Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cyndi Lauper - True Colors - 1986

When I was a kid, Cyndi Lauper was just another artist whose songs fell in between the songs I liked to hear on the radio...  Slam.  I considered something of a joke, and for girls only.  Her first two hits, GJWHF and She-Bop sorta set that stage, you know?  Her dad comes out as some sorta wrestler guy for the WWF and what ever credibility she may have had for me was really not there any more at all...  Okay, okay.  I did enjoy her ballads.  All Through the Night, Time After Time, True Colors, and I Drove All Night were pretty good songs and I didn't turn them off when they came on the radio.

In 1996 she officially released her first GH compilation, and my girlfriend (now wife) wanted it for her birthday.  Jeez-a-loo.  Okay, I guess.  If that's what you want, I'm not going to deny you that.  It's not my CD.  So, we start listening to it, and I start remembering the tunes from my youth and I'm not hating it.  The CD became a regular staple of road trips and that was that....

Once the internet broke out big, somewhere along the line I downloaded her albums, I think, just to fill out my "Ultimate 80s Albums Collection."  I started burning discs at a rate unknown to man, with no real regard to exactly who or what.  This album (in it's proto-expanded form) was the first of her's that I burnt.  What a nugget!

I'm not going to recite her history, training, expertise and talent, as I'm not a Wiki.  I will recommend that you do go back and read a little about her, and her professional training, and you'll gain some respect and admiration for her.  Her weirdness and eccentricities add to her talent and creativity and the results are unique and spectacular.  Yes, the music does have that novel 80s sound, but the song writing is spot on, and her execution is commendable.

She's a talented lady, and I'll never doubt her again! 

This one, is for my lovely wife.  Just for you, sweetie!

De/Vision - devolution - 2003

Somewhere in the late aughts, possibly around 07 or 08, I suddenly discovered an entirely new genre of music that I had never heard of before called Futurepop.  I would describe it as akin to Darkwave, or a hybrid of Industrial and Synthpop.  Where did this come from?  Suddenly, there are about 10 or 15 groups that I had never heard of before celebrating their tenth anniversary or releasing their sixth album...  Where had I been hiding?

De/Vision was one of those bands.  Next to VNV Nation and Covenant, De/Vision is one of the biggest Futurepop bands out there.  I personally like the other two bands a tad better, but De/Vision is nothing to sneer at.  They have a large discography stretching back to the early 90s, and enough Mode-like pop hooks to satisfy any DM fan.

Nothing enormously special about this album.  It is simply one of the many of their discography that I enjoy on a rainy day or late in the evening.  I pulled a few of the remixes from the album and a cover from one of their singles, and there you have it. 

Try it out if you like DM, Curve, Industrial, Cause & Effect, or any of the bands like them.  I'm sure you'll like this one, too.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Steve Taylor - Meltdown - 1984

Something of a novelty of the early to mid 80s, Steve Taylor was a staple for my youth, being naive and impressionable from neat middle class suburban life.  He falls somewhere between New Wave and Synthpop, but definitely a Contemporary Christian Artist (contemporary for the 80s).  There, I said it.  He's a Christian artist. Thing about it, the songs are full of pop hooks, and the songs aren't bad.  But, it is very whitebread and preachy.

When my parents took away my music from 84 to 86, I didn't have a whole lot to choose from that was acceptable to them.  He happened to fall into the category that they would approve.  And I needed my music.  I spent a lot of time at church, then, and I was introduced to ST, along with a slew of other Christian bands (Petra, DA, Rez Band, Stryper, Servant).  In my art class in 7th grade, we spent a two week session learning how to use an airbrush with masking and stencil screens.  We were supposed to come up with a design and airbrush it on a t-shirt.  I did this cover for my project.  Best in the class even though no one knew who the hell he was.

You might find the album cute, you might disagree with his views, but wholly the album isn't bad, I still enjoy listening to it to remember my early teen years before I went rebellious.  (Maybe being forced to listen to this is what made me rebellious)

Songs that I still like are Meltdown, Am I In Sync?, Sin For Season, Hero and Baby Doe.  Other tracks that are still very relevant today include We Don't Need No Colour Code and Meat the Press. 

Steve also has a couple more albums that are pretty good like On the Fritz and Chagall Guevara, when he was in the band Chagall Guevara.  I'll probably post these later.

Novelty and cheesy, it still has me singing along like I was 13 again.  Download it, listen to it, and if it's not your liking, delete it!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Toni Halliday - Scylla - 1995

After the release of Curve's Cuckoo album in 1993, it appeared that Curve had decided to take a break.  In fact, I think most of us thought they had broken up.  As we all know, they returned in 1997 with Come Clean, but not before Toni worked on her own project called Scylla.

Scylla, a Greek character brought to life by Homer, Ovid and Keats, was best described, IMHO, as a beautiful nymph that is transformed into an ugly sea monster.  Click here for an excellent back history....  After learning more about the name, and applying it to the music that Toni performed in these tracks, I can't help but be mystified and awed by her and her work.

Toni worked on her Scylla project in 1994-95, but never released an album, and only released a single track which can be found on the Showgirls soundtrack.  There were also a couple live shows that happened in England back in 1995, as well.  I, personally, never even knew about the project at all until about 2006.  Finding these tracks that had been leaked on the internet back then, are near impossible to find now.  Best you can do is listen to them on Youtube. 

These are all the tracks I've ever been able to find.  I don't know if any more exist.  If you are a true Toni fan, you'll love them.  If you only know her through Curve, you might be taken aback, as the tracks are rather course and heavy.  But, it's still true Halliday material that I really love. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Morrissey - Southpaw Grammar - 1995

After becoming mainstream with Vauxhall, I was a tad nervous of this release.  I didn't want it to change his music and style as it did with New Order, Depeche Mode and Cure.  Well, I wasn't disappointed.  In fact, I think he purposefully avoided that with his elongated compositions in Teachers and Southpaw, on opposite ends of the albums.  To be honest, I never liked those particular tracks, as they seemed to drag on forever without point.

I got this album on cassette at Best Buy, back when they still sold cassettes and had a huge music department.  It never really stood out as an album for me, but I really liked Reader and Dave individually.  These two (and Boy Racer) would probably be on a Morrissey GH album, if I ever decided to make one.  Just another mid-90s album that got lost in the glut of "alternative" releases from that time.

This is the album and all of the B-Sides, and I think there's even a demo or unreleased in there, too.  I never cared for the original cover, so i made this one that looks pretty cool, and could even pass for a real Morrissey cover.

Have at it...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lightning Seeds - Dizzy Heights - 1996

My favorite of all the Lightning Seeds albums, and possibly my favorite of all of Broudie's work, Dizzy Heights is a definite must-have for any serious Post Punk collection.  His writing and pop hooks are incredible, and the performance is exceptional.

This was a find of mine that happened mysteriously, as I didn't know it had been released.  I came across it in a closeout bin at the music store several years after it had been released.  I had his previous albums, but I hadn't been following him, so this one slipped by.  I snatched it up, and then scoured the internet for the singles (pre-Discogs, I think I was shopping on GEMM a lot.)  I didn't have everything until about 2009.

Not much more to say than that Broudie is simply brilliant, and everything he plays with turns into a classic.  It's unfortunate that he's only recognized among a small group of aficionados, such as ourselves, and not more mainstream.... 

This is just the album and the b-sides, fitting in at about an hour and seventeen minutes, filling the disc perfectly.  The mixes aren't bad, and I might pull those out later.  But, as an album, this stands well as it is.  I even like his version of Be My Baby....

Monday, September 19, 2016

Stereo MCs - Connected - 1992

A great album that I felt was a nice balance in the music scene of the early 90s.  It had a little more hip and a little more hop than your average baggy album.  It fit nicely between the guitars of Madchester and the electronic beats of Techno.  Very up beat and positive.  Some think that they were a one-hitter with Connected, but a lot of their material is great and shouldn't be ignored.

I liked the single Connected, and thought it was great with it's little cameo in the movie Hackers.  But, my favorite of the album was Step It Up.  Also, the FSOL mix of Connected is spectacular.  There are parts that get a little slow, but it comes back strong by the end, and I always feel good when I finish the album.  It just makes you feel that way...

I have most of the mixes here, and I didn't do too much with the cover, just accented the logo and title.  I got lazy and only made one cover for this one, so either print off two covers, or squeeze two discs into one case, you decide.

Now I have to hook up my new hard drive, my sixth...  That gives me about 12.5 TB of storage, and I already have it about full. Now, if I could only find a PetaByte drive somewhere......