Sunday, July 31, 2016
This album is Part III of a IV part series by DA called Alarma! I posted Doppelganger several months ago which was Part II. Part I and IV aren't as good as the middle two, but I will eventually post them.
The sound, as the previous albums, is something of a cross between New Wave and Classic Rock. The vocals at times remind me of the Beatles, but the melodies themselves are very unique, and I can't compare them at all to any other groups that I can think of. Whereas the the previous album was somewhat stark, this one is full and lush. All of the songs jump from genre to genre, every song different from the one before. Some of them are written and performed smoothly and elegantly, others are stilted and awkward, purposefully.
The best songs, in order of the track listing, are Travelog, William Blake, Live and Let Live, As the World Turns and Sanctuary.
One of the best tracks for nostalgia's sake, is (It's the Eighties) Where's Our Rocket Packs? It's funny that they were expecting so much back in the eighties, and here it is, 35 years later, and only half of the things they sing about are even close to coming to fruition.
The album was recently re-released with some demos, alternate tracks, and outtakes. So, I picked the best of them and put them on. The acoustic versions are fabulous, and I dropped the new outtakes right between "Side A" and "Side B".
I really think if you give this a try, you'll fall in love with it as I have. It's really that good....
Having gotten on the Cubes bus a little late, after Stick Around and before It's It, I found it took several listens before I became accustomed to the sound. I still don't like the Fred Schneider-like screaming by who I assume is Einar. But, Bjork's vocals, while still young and wild, are really really awesome. She is really a talented, albeit eccentric artist.
I know I'm missing a couple of mixes on here, but I'm pretty sure I have all of the tracks and b-sides. I didn't want to throw on any of the demos, either. I preferred this sleeve to the original album art. The lettering is more classical and it has a very retro feel to it. All in all, it's a pretty sleeve...
Saturday, July 30, 2016
What's funny is I picked this one up while I was in Biloxi Mississippi in 1990 while I was in Tech Training for the Air Force. I'm marching around in fatigues and in a dorm with a bunch of guys listening to either Metallica or NWA, and here I am listening to Anything Box. Needless to say, I only heard this one through headphones the entire time I was there.
I think I picked it up, again, because it was on the Sire label, and I was in love with DM and Erasure, and I knew that there was a lot of other great bands like Book of Love, Morrissey and Echo and the Bunnymen as well. I wasn't disappointed, either. I knew from the first song that it was going to be good. The first half of the album is strong, but it peters off on the second half. The single mixes are pretty good, too.
I'm pretty sure I got all of the tracks, and the best of the remixes. I know there are a few mixes that I left off for space constraints. Nice little set, though. It's a nice filler to pull out once in a while to mix with your 80s/90s synth bands.
I picked it up in the winter of my Freshman year in college, and listened to it heavily while walking to and from class on campus. While not as good as Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine, Skinny Puppy's Rabies or Ministry's The Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Taste, I would compare it more with Single Gun Theory, Frontline Assembly or Front 242 (in quality, not so much style.)
The best tracks for me have to be New Decision and Control Yourself, simply because I really like the vocals and melodies from those tracks. The rest of the songs are pretty good, though. This is a prime example of that proto-Industrial sound right before Nine Inch Nails and Ministry tore the scene open in 1992.
I still used the original cover, but used the single sleeve of A Measured Response for the back. No b-sides, but I tossed a few remixes on for good measure. There's still about 5 mixes out there, if you like this, I suggest you hunt down the rest. I hate it when there's not enough material for two discs, but too much for one disc. That was the case, here.
Someone out there has got my blog pulled up on their phone, and it's running in the background. Starting last week, I had a spike of mobile smartphone visits through Facebook. Now, I have upwards of 500-600 Facebook mobile app visits a DAY, and they are all visiting the Arcadia post I had back in June. This far outways any other post I've had out there by the hundreds. There aren't that many people out there who like Arcadia who come specifically for that, and then leave.
So, check your phones, clear your browsers, make sure that everything is closed out.
So, check your phones, clear your browsers, make sure that everything is closed out.
Friday, July 29, 2016
Alright. Here it is. I'm not going to say anything about it, no long exposes on how Rio impacted my childhood. I'm just going to throw it all up on the wall here, and you can feast on it like a school of hungry piranha.
I even threw in some bonus material for those who'd like to try their hands at their own mixes....
Have a great night, I'll see you tomorrow....
Tonight I will be going to see my son in a performance for/with his Summer volunteering activities. I work until 5pm Central, and won't be home until 10pm Central, but I'll make my post for Friday before I go to bed.
BUT, THIS WILL BE THE BEST POST OF THE WEEK IF NOT THE MONTH. I can guarantee you will be loving this one.
So, set your alarm clocks to check the blog out between 11pm and 1am Central and come see what I've got for you. It will definitely be worth it....
See you tonight...
BUT, THIS WILL BE THE BEST POST OF THE WEEK IF NOT THE MONTH. I can guarantee you will be loving this one.
So, set your alarm clocks to check the blog out between 11pm and 1am Central and come see what I've got for you. It will definitely be worth it....
See you tonight...
Thursday, July 28, 2016
I say RED with capital letters, because it seems that all people want to talk about or listen to is the German version, Luftballons. Yeah, yeah, fine and dandy. But, as a 12-year-old American boy I didn't understand German, so I played the side that I could understand and was comfortable with. It's not a racial or nationalist thing, I just wanted to know what she was singing about!
Years later, I still see this song as a defining song for the 80s. I ended up purchasing the US release of 'Nena' in the early 90s at a used record store, and was impressed by it. I didn't much care for the half German/half English format, but all of the tracks were good, and I enjoyed listening to it.
It's when I decided to get their two earlier albums, that I made a discovery. The tracks on the American release of the album were found on the first two albums, but in German. So, essentially, the American release is something of a 'greatest hits' collection. Well, you know how I feel about greatest hits collections...
So, I've compiled all of the tracks from the first two albums, plus the b-sides, plus the remixes, plus the English versions, and put them all on one 2-disc set. Now, you have everything that Nena released in those first years of popularity and rise to stardom. I feel that this is the only way to present them, as the later albums are more conducive to my regular format. The first two albums and the US release were all made and released within the same 2-year time span, so their sound remains consistent.
It's a great set, so you should enjoy it. Mind you, 80% of it is in German, so you'll have to love her voice and the melodies more than the words, if you don't know what she's saying.
That's what I do...
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Today is my first son's 15th birthday. As the years have passed, he's made me more and more proud to be his father. He has grown, not just physically and mentally, but spiritually, beyond my wildest beliefs. He makes me aspire harder and harder to be a better dad, and a better person day after day, by leading a positive and optimistic life. Lucas, you are a wonderful son, and I look forward to your bright and hopeful future. I love you, big guy!
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
It's hard to say which disc I prefer, as I have favorites on both of them. Regardless, it's a good set, and playing through a 2-disc set doesn't take long. Favorite tracks would include Never Turn Away, So In Love,
Messages, Souvenir, and of course the Martin Hannett mix of Electricity.
I've said before that I don't care for greatest hits collections. I don't. But, when it comes to OMD, and Art of Noise, a lot of times, that's the only way you can listen to them. Don't know why. But, as far as albums go, neither of them can really pull together a cohesive group of songs that I can like. I guess I'm too picky.
Anyway, I thought the font and cover graphic was fitting for this collection. I hadn't made the cover for myself before, but once I got these two, I printed them off. Looks good on my CD wall.
Monday, July 25, 2016
But, this album did come out in May of 1991, as I was taking my finals for Spring Semester. My best friend came back from school for the summer and got a part time job at a restaurant. We'd work days, and at night we'd head out and have a good time. We both were making good money and had no real responsibilities to speak of, so we blew a shit ton of money on movies, eating out, music, booze and comic books. What a life.
By the end of the summer I was sick of the bastard and just wanted him to go back to school.
This was one of the albums we listened to as we "cruised" up and down the main drag of our city in the late evenings. We'd drive up and down, back and forth, see a lot of school friends and a lot of women. We'd turn up the fast songs, and turn down the slow, but I bet we listened to this thing a hundred times in 3 months time. I used to know the rap to Unbelievable by heart.
Now, it seems dated and really not a very good album. The songs were catchy, trendy and poorly written. But it brings back a summer of my life that was carefree and fun. Whenever I start to feel nostalgic, this is one that I pull out to remember the good times.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
I fell in love with Kaiser Chiefs with the Na Na Na Naaaaa song way back when it was a track off of the NME Sampler disc in 2004. That disc introduced me to about 5 bands I didn't know and found out I loved. KC was the biggest of them, though. Their best song is I Predict A Riot, which I can only imagine what it would be like live to here them play. What an anthem rocker.
Their b-sides are meh, some are okay, some are not. This is mainly to complete the set from their first album. I also through in their pre-Kaiser songs as well. Maybe you should put this one in FRONT of their first album... I don't know, you decide.
I've never understood why a band would put out a single without having it on an album to begin with. I thought that the reason why singles were released, were to entice people into buying the album. Then, the b-side was created so people would buy the album, but then also buy the single for the bonus track. I can't even begin to pretend like I understand how the music industry works.
Anyways, after the Charlatans released their first big album here in the states, the then released three different singles afterward that fell in between that first and second album. The singles and accompanying b-sides were great. I loved them all.
They've released these some of these tracks on Melting Pot, and then some on Songs From the Other Side, but they never put all of them together on one disc. I gathered all the tracks, then added the b-sides from Some Friendly, and now we have a nice little young Charlatans set that you can listen to without having to bounce between discs, whether digital or vinyl.
I hope it meets your expectations.
PS - I just got done compiling my Thompson Twins "Future Days" set, and boy is it a doozy. I've got it scheduled to post on August 18th. The covers aren't done yet, but I can hardly wait!!!
Saturday, July 23, 2016
I didn't like the fact that when they released Disco 3, they had these great new tracks on there, but then a bunch of mixes from Release. Well, you know me. That couldn't be. The mixes from Release need to go to Release. So, I've switched up D3 to make it it's own album. Between the singles released for PopArt and the new tracks from the original D3, there were plenty to fill it up.
Track 00 is a Radio One Jingle that opens this collection PERFECTLY.
Tracks 01, 02, 03, 05 and 08 were the new tracks for Disco 3
Tracks 04 and 06 were the singles from PopArt
Tracks 07, 09, 10 and 11 were the b-sides from the two PopArt singles
Tracks 12 through 16 were some of the remixes from the singles, including the Break 4 Love single.
Plenty for a fabulous PSB set that is lightyears better than the original. Yes, there were some great mixes from the Release singles, but we'll get to those when I do the Release album.
And again, a great collection of tunes to listen to at about 1:30am in the morning....
Regardless, I liked it. I liked it better than "Erasure", Other Peoples Songs, Nightbird and Union Street, so it can't be that bad. In fact, of the 16 albums that Erasure has released, I would honestly put this as #7. Solid.
I changed the color of the front cover to match the color of the single sleeve I used for the back. There's only 2 decent b-sides, and I put my two favorite mixes on at the end.
Friday, July 22, 2016
I know that this isn't really what my blog is about, but it's Friday, time to go have some fun and dance to something modern, energetic and exciting. Paul Oakenfold has always been one of my favorite remixers, starting way back in he was mixing Shamen on En-tact. His solo material is good as well. But, his skills as a DJ are what people know most about him.
Every month (give or take) Paul releases his DJ box, to let people know what he's spinning at that time. There is a lot of great material to be had on every disc. Every once in a while, I'll throw a couple of these out there, as it gives me the opportunity to make my covers without any preconceived ideas of what they should look like. It's all me and Photoshop, then.
Yeah, I know. I phoned this one in. Hope your not too disappointed....
So, here's two months of DJ Box. Rip them, burn them and party on....
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Now, most people would consider that a bad thing. But, it's what kept Bowie alive for 45 years in the music scene before he died. I will admit he didn't break any musical barriers with revolutionary work, but he kept inviting new people to listen to the work he did, and it wasn't crap work at that.
I didn't start listening to Bowie until Tin Machine. All I knew about him before that was that horrid single he did with Mick Jagger and that embarrassing video that accompanied it. I enjoyed Tin Machine, and liked Black Tie, White Noise even better. But, working my way backward, I found that I was very comfortable with Never Let Me Down, as it captured my favorite (and I think the best) part of the 80s. It was a time of discovery for me, and this music exemplified that. It reminded me of my Sophomore and Junior years in High School in Chicago, and my discovery of life beyond what my parents taught me. To coin a cliche, "a coming of age" moment.
All of the singles were perfect 80s hits. Not that they were so much popular, but, as I said, they were SO 80s. The album tracks were great, and he was able to do a little more of what made Bowie BOWIE. And the b-sides were prime examples of Bowie in general. You could line them up with his 70s material without skipping a beat.
I'm thinking of making an 80s compilation of remixes, and you can be sure that you'll find at least one of these tracks on it.
I used the same cover as the album and added the single sleeves for the back, and the Remix Disc, I completely redesigned one of the single sleeves.
I'm pretty sure I got all of the b-sides here, let me know if I missed any. AND, if anyone knows or has any demos or outtakes from these sessions, I'd love to have them....
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
This album was written and performed by the two of them right up until his death, but then it was produced later but only released in February of this year. As Rolling Stone described, its a cross between Shoegaze, Indie Rock, Dream Pop and Electronic, and I have to agree. You can't really pigeon-hole this one, and I love it. It's got some complex sounds and beautiful vocals and the melodies are striking and addictive. I'll find myself humming their songs all the time.
There aren't any b-sides or remixes from this album, but I did pop a remix that they did for Civil Twilight on there, and it fits right in. If you've listened to their album that I posted last month and liked it, you will be even more surprised to hear how good this one is. I venture to say that this is my favorite album of 2016, and we're only halfway through the year.
It's that good. Download it and try it. If you don't like it I'll refund you with the post of your choice....
Just kidding. Like I'd ever give this up, even for a post ;)
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
It was an Indie Rock sound, with some 80s Wave and some Post Punk vocals. The tunes were catchy and the concept was truly creative. I thought that Endicott's vocals sounded a little like Robert Smith's vocals on a couple of tracks. And Conway's keyboards actually gave the music some substance that refined the rawness of the rest of the performance.
They released two more albums, that progressively proved that they put all of their good work on the first disc and then didn't know what to do. Some of the songs on The Sun and the Moon were good, but overall they lacked cohesiveness and creativity.
I used the same cover as the album, grabbed all the b-sides, and some of the mixes. It's a good set, and my favorite album of 2005.
Monday, July 18, 2016
Here's the entry from Allmusic.com, if you need to know anything about this great album before you download it...
"The Wild Swans' Space Flower follows XTC (masquerading as the Dukes of Stratosphear) and the Damned into the more pop-oriented side of the '60s: the sort of area that could produce a three-minute single and a ten-minute hallucinogenic mind-blower. Pink Floyd got to be quite masterful at this aspect of things with Syd Barrett; the Moody Blues, too, used to be able to do this to a degree. Typically, the Wild Swans, with a somewhat softer sound than they've had previously, have followed in this rather English area, twenty-some years down the line. What you get for your money is a rather catchy collection of hook-driven numbers with titles like "Chocolate Bubblegum" and "I'm a Lighthouse," not to mention the royally absorbing "Sea of Tranquility," a track that ticks along on a rolling bassline, dispenses with vocals along the way, and proceeds to play sonic games that suck you in and make you wish it could have gone on lots longer than ten minutes. One of the factors in the Swans' favor is certainly an endearing simplicity. Where their songs have often been complex sonic tapestries, Space Flower shucks off the complexities in favor of a very '60s production -- even the sound effects utilized by Paul Simpson are low-key, with the exception of one that's truly startling on "Sea of Tranquility," while his trademark Mellotron, which has sometimes been as omnipresent as those on early King Crimson albums, is hardly to be heard on the album. It's great fun, very catchy, and probably great for parties. Now, if they could just do something about that wretched cover..."
I don't mind the cover, though.
No Remixes. No B-sides. Just one good album....
Sunday, July 17, 2016
As I've aged, I have grown to respect the work that Howard did in the 80s. Yes, it was Psuedo-New Wave Radio Pop, but it was all well written. He worked with a number of talented producers and musicians, including Phil Collins, that helped to give true heart and life to his work. Although some of the songs aren't too interesting, I can't say anything bad about them lyrically, their melodies aren't that bad, and the production was always tight. He is a true artist and master at what he does.
I saw him live in 1999 in Chicago with Human League and Culture Club. All three bands were great, but Howard was the only one who went out there without pretense, and just to have a good time. He didn't dress up flashy, he didn't have the wild hair, and he was smiling the entire time. He even brought his teenage son out on stage for a couple of songs.
I don't know how else to put it other than the guy is simply GENUINE. And I love that about him.
Their music was great, and the hairdos were wild, but that guy with those fucked up glasses... Geez, dude, pick some better frames. Where I come from, glasses like that are called BC Glasses, or Birth Control Glasses. Because, if you were ever wearing glasses like that, you weren't getting laid by anyone.
There's really not a whole lot to say about this album. It was the Seagulls second album, and it had three singles, including Wishing. I liked this album better than their first one, because it sounded more confident and self-assured. Their first album was really wild and raw, like they were throwing themselves out there to make a statement or impact or something. This one wasn't like that at all. It was simply about making good music.
I have all the album tracks and b-sides, but no remixes. That will probably be a separate disc...
Saturday, July 16, 2016
I found that upon listening, the Beth Orton album - Superpinkymandy - was better than Strange Cargo III. Her vocals are infectious and the melodies are catchy and traditionally Orbit. It sounds as if it was an Orbit album rather than an Orton album. His trademark blips and bloops, it's all there. Great great stuff!!!!
The lead song on the album was originally released with Beth Orton and Orbit under the moniker of Spill. There is a Rumble Mix and a Tumble Mix, both by Orbit, that are out there. I don't have them digitally, so I was unable to put them on the Superpinkymandy disc. If anyone has those two mixes, I would love to have them.
Two years on, I finally find that Orbit has released another Strange Cargo album called Hinterland. Hooray!!!! I can hardly wait to hear it! I rush to the cashier, slap down my hard-earned, and run to the car to play this pristine disc as quickly as possible. Press play... Yeah, this song, Million Town is pretty sweet. Lets move on to She Cries Your Name. Hold on, didn't he already do this track with Beth? Holy cow, he did. This is sort of an "alternate version", I guess. No big deal. How about Montok Point. Wait a minute! This is ALSO an "alternate version" of another BO song called Yesterday's Gone! Track after track I skip through the album to find the the majority of the album is a set of instrumental alternate versions of tracks he did with Beth. Can we all say Retread?
BUT, come on, now. It's William Orbit. I listened to the album, and it's still good. Every track is slick and true to sound. Beth's vocals are great on her versions, but the tracks are equally good and in some cases better on the Hinterland versions.
Both albums are great individually, yet they compliment each other when they are together. Put these two albums side-by-side in your WO collection, and listen to them together when you can. The comparisons are awesome.
I didn't like the covers for either of the original albums. Hinterland's cover was boring, and Beth's cover just looked silly, and didn't fit the music. I took a stock image from the web and played with the colors, finishing them with a minimalist typestyle. The covers befit the music, and add a layer of integrity to the two albums together.
Finally, I thought of putting some of the William Orbit remixes from the same time period on here, but they would've ruined it. The only mixes worth it would've been the Madonna and Peter Gabriel mixes, but they didn't fit with the sound of the album. Plus I fucking hate Madonna. Ray Of Light? Uhh... That's another story for another post...
Personally, this album is their best. I would almost place this as a bit Goth, a bit Industrial, and mostly Synthpop. It's not that hard. But, it has a lot of great samples, noises and beats. The vocals are somewhat mainstream, and probably would've been radio-friendly, given the chance. But, back then the airwaves were flooded with Wang Chung, INXS and Tiffany, so fat chance of that. In this day and age, I would probably classify this as Futurepop. It's just not dark and scary enough to be considered Industrial. I think it would probably fit right in with the early Sarah Mclachlan albums.
The original album was half new tracks, and half tracks from their previous album. So, as a first on this blog, instead of expanding what an album has on it, I have reduced it instead. I took out the tracks that were from the previous album, and added the remixes from the singles.
Honestly, I found this disc to be something of an oddity, and peculiar for the Nettwerk label. It didn't have the caliber of the other bands that had been signed. But, it's still fun to listen to occasionally. Good thing is, Graeme Revell then decided to go on and score a number of great film soundtracks like the Crow, Spawn, Street Fighter and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - the Movie. Wow.
I still think the cover is sweet, though. Steven R Gilmore is the bomb...
Friday, July 15, 2016
As I grew ever more and more fond of the Cure in the late 80s and early 90s, I started to accumulate as much material as I could lay my hands on. I didn't find The Glove until 1992, and even then it was only on cassette. I hate to say it, but I thought it sucked. Sucked HARD. The two Robert songs were great, but I couldn't stand their vocalist. Still to this day she really turns me off.
So, when they released the deluxe set with the RS Demos on the bonus disc, I was ecstatic. Overjoyed. Thrilled. I listened to it like it was a lost Cure album. Well, essentially, that's what it was, to be honest. Yeah, Severin was good in his own right, but IMO, nothing compares to Fat Bob. If that makes some Banshee lovers out there mad, I'm unapologetic about it.
In a comparison side-by-side playing of the original album, and the RS vocal album, it's surprising how different they sound. It's amazing what a difference can be made just by switching up the vocalists.
So, on my version, I kept all the Smith vocal tracks. I cut out all the original release tracks and remixes. I left the b-sides, and anything on which Robert sang. I used a single sleeve as the cover, and here you have a beautiful "New Wave" looking album with all of the goodness, and none of the bad.
I wish I could've been Robert, he was so cool back then. Now, though, eew! Sorry, Bob, but you is fat and scary looking. You look like Aughra from the Dark Crystal. Time to retire. It's best to have burnt out than to fade away...
When Madchester exploded, I always liked the Carpets better than all the rest. Their look was the best, I loved their keyboard/organ (reminded me of the Doors), and they always had the best pophook melodies. Of all of the groups, these were the guys I sang along with the most.
I got these guys my Senior year in High School, right before graduation. I had it playing in my car, and the girlfriend I had at the time just rolled her eyes like I was some sort of freek. So be it, the music was good. While everyone else was listening to MC Hammer, New Kids on the Block and Bel Biv DeVoe, I was jamming out to British hipsters, and I loved it. Listening to it now, it's hard to believe that it was even released during the same time as those other musical outfits, as it has transcended it's birth, 26 years later. Can't say the same for those other guys.
After this album, they had another that was pretty good, not bad. After that, they slid into an irrelevant hole of uncreativity. Too bad for them...
This album has already been released as a deluxe set. But, they didn't include any b-sides, and they had a bunch of Dung 4 tracks on there as well. I've eliminated the live tracks, demos and Dung 4 tracks, and added the b-sides and remixes. Much better.
Maybe later I'll post my Dung 4, but not now. For now, this is good....
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Good thing is, it looks like we're going out to eat tonight!
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
ANYWAY, this brings back more memories of High School and my move from Chicago to the midwest. It's bittersweet, but I'll get by. I remember listening to this when one of my friends borrowed his mom's station wagon and we went for a drive. He said "Watch this..." and opened it up in a residential area. He got it going about 75 miles an hour, and we came to a huge dip in an intersection. We hit it so hard, the station wagon LITERALLY caught air. In a residential area. In a station wagon. He was howling with laughter, whooping and hollering, while I clutched the "Oh Shit" bar and sucked the seat cushion half way up my ass. "That was F**king Awesome!!!!" he screamed, and he wanted to do it again. All I could envision was smashing through some front yard and into someone's living room while the engine drops out of the bottom and the tires exploding. Needless to say, we didn't do it again.
I'm really struggling today. Work was difficult, as I had to deal with two different clients that I would like to choke the life out of. It sucks when you have to acquiesce to a client to ensure business, and they know it and take advantage of that fact to belittle and demean you just to squeeze another dime or assert some sort of authority. I know if I pay money for something, I expect the best for the dollar I'm spending. But, I don't berate the salesman just because I can. A lot of times I think that clients forget that it's supposed to be a two-way relationship and that you're better treating your sales representatives with some respect, so that way they'll actually work for you to get you the best deal. Right now, I could slap those prick fuck douche bags with a 56% profit margin and wouldn't give a rats ass. If they'd been fair and equitable and worked WITH me, I'd be a little more inclined to look out for their best interests. Not now.
So, now that I have that off my chest, enjoy a little InSoc, and have a beer on me....
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
If you are a fan of Cocteau Twins, Lush, Curve or the Sundays, then you are definitely going to find something of interest here. The first time I heard it, I instantly fell in love with them. Fortunately, I didn't know they were from Oregon, or I may have passed them by. Not that I have something against American bands, just that my tastes are a tad European. When I think American music, I think Hard Rock, R&B, Rap, Country and teeny-bopper Pop shit. Anything considered "alternative" by American artists is usually full of unjustified angst, which I find to be disgusting considering most of them should move out of their parents basements and get a job.
I keep slipping back onto that soapbox, sorry.
The entire album is full of great music that sounds very "early-90s", but with a modern twist. The vocals are heavenly, and the guitar-playing would impress Robin Guthrie. The melodies are full of pop hooks, and you'll find yourself humming along by the third playing. Very catchy.
I included the remixes from the tracks that were on the album, which they had released on a disc in 2007. They didn't release any singles, so there's no b-sides. But, the mixes make up for it. It's great stuff, you should like it if you like Harriet, Toni or Ms Fraser.
Unfortunately, they've only released two albums since then, and I didn't find them to be very interesting. But, they did have an EP called 44 Down from 2002 that was pretty good. You may check that one out as well....
Monday, July 11, 2016
In college I was at the record store shoveling through the used CDs, and came across this one. It was only 1.99, and I had already heard it, so I didn't think it could be so bad if I got it and gave it a listen to again, just for nostalgia, if anything. Listening to it once again, I realized that I truly did like this album, quite a lot. The song writing is pure, the melodies are catchy, the vocals are strong, and its not as obnoxious as I used to think. It's just solid 80s rock, good listening and well worth owning.
The first six songs back to back are really impressive. It's almost one solid piece. If I didn't know better, I would almost say there's a hint of AOR in there. "Side Two" is sort of sketchy, but it still pulls out sounding fulfilled. It's too bad their follow up albums didn't stack up to this first one, because it was great and I have always wanted more.
I have the b-side on there at the end, as well as four mixes. The cover is the US release, and the better of the two covers issued. So many single sleeves! I only kept the best and we still have 7 of them.
Anyway, have a great night, and don't make fun of me. ;)
Sunday, July 10, 2016
I think that despite the SP connection, PiL are an acquired taste that either grows on you or doesn't. I can only listen to about 3 of their albums, this being one of them, because I can't tell if they're being experimental, or attempting to sound somewhat talentless, or if they really are without talent. Yes, the image is cool, and I know that Malcolm McLaren did a lot of promoting of the group as an art piece, but at times, a lot of times, the songs are just hard to listen to.
I think this album is pretty good, though. I made out with a girl to it, and I still think of that occasion when I here these tunes. It's one of those discs that I've had in my collection since I started collecting CDs, and it's not going anywhere. I've lost discs, worn discs out and repurchased them, sold them back to the record stores, garage sales and pawn shops. But, I will never part with this one. It's a fucking original.
Anyway, popped on the only b-side and 3 mixes. Good enough.
I never got Lenny's first album, don't know why. This was the first one I purchased. When I originally got it, I got it on vinyl, and it blew my mind. It was tough switching to digital, as it lost some of it's strength during the translation. But, it's still a killer disc.
I made the collection a little more cohesive and inclusive, eliminating the demos and live tracks. I strictly wanted an album of material that you could listen to without having to pull out the liner notes and figure out what was going on.
As for the cover, the original cover is an absolute classic. It's perfect. So, I just popped the single sleeves on the back and we're done.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
I didn't purchase this album until my senior year in High School. Reason being, for the most part, at that time in my musical tastes, I had problems with a lot of bands "first albums" I don't care for the first albums of Depeche Mode, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Skinny Puppy, Smiths, Beatles, Rolling Stones, U2, Sugarcubes, Peter Gabriel, Cocteau Twins, Shamen and INXS. This list goes on eternally. So, getting me to purchase a debut album of any group is sometimes a challenge.
But, I got this album and had a good listen. It seems to be a cross between Joy Division and New Order, rather than NO proper. Every track is dark, and the vocals are deep and low. It took a while, but their songwriting skills really took hold and I knew they had a winner with this one.
They also released a herd of singles and EPs around that time, which I have included in this set. In some places the tracks work. In other places they don't. For the most part, I think this is probably as complete a set as you can get for the time period. I also popped Turn the Heater On into the set, which I feel is something of a rarity.
The original US release to this album was white and burgundy, so I opted to try that one out instead of the traditional blue standard. I think I like it better this way. I've also seen a navy blue version, with white letters and yellow lines and dots that looks good too. I also found this version below on deviant Art that I really liked, too. But, I think it might be too much of a departure, so I will probably use it for one of the bootlegs later on.
I encourage you to listen and see if you can find yourself in any of these tracks. If you can think of a song that would fit in here, suggest it. If you think a song doesn't fit and needs to be subtracted, then suggest that as well. As I said, this is a forever evolving compilation, and it is never set in stone.
Also, if you have your own compilation of tracks that speak from your soul as well, feel free to include a link or a track listing in the comments for others to share.
I hope you enjoy this set. It means a lot to me.
Friday, July 8, 2016
I got this album when my first son was 3 years old and played it continuously. It got so my son started requesting the "banana songs" and we would dance and sing together while We Used to be Friends was playing loudly in the living room. Now he only listens to Christian Inspirational Worship music, the likes of Tenth Avenue North, so I don't know where I went wrong, there.... Maybe it's his form of rebellion....
All of the b-sides are here, and it is obvious that NR hadn't worked with them. With the exception of three of the cover songs, the rest of the b-sides are crap. But, their version of Hells Bells really kicks ass. Turn that MFer UP. Best songs on the album are, We Used To Be Friends, Plan A, Call Me, Relax, Hells Bells, The Last High and Heavenly. The Jean Genie cover really sucks, and it sounds like a demo or session.
Anyway, listen away, it's good for a party weekend or even jamming out while you're cleaning the kitchen on a Saturday morning. Good Stuff, Lots of Fun, and Quality Listening!!!!!!
Thursday, July 7, 2016
I'm going to make it through this post with trepidation, as emotionally, I am in a state of flux. The woman I shared a cubicle with for the past two and a half years at work passed away in the night last night. She suffered from what is called a hemorrhagic stroke and it killed her. The guesstimate is that she didn't even see or feel it coming, and she was gone before she knew what was happening. It's funny how you can be chatting and laughing and working with someone one day, and the next day they are gone forever, and you never even get to say goodbye. She was only 53. Well, goodbye, Cindy. It was a pleasure working with you......
As I started the summer of 85, I remember seeing the video for Don't Let's Start by TMBG. What a couple of weirdos, I thought to myself. Not long after, Ana Ng was playing, and it definitely caught my attention. But, the arrival of Flood was the turning point for me (and millions of others) that proved that TMBG were a definite talent force to be reckoned with.
Of course, as you all may well know, finding ALL of the material that these two gentlemen have produced is nothing short of impossible. I would venture to guess that in their lifetimes, these two men have written and released more than a thousand songs. I haven't done an accurate count, but my best guess would be possibly 1400-1600 songs. If anyone has any more insight into this count, feel free to correct me on it. I'd honestly like to know.
After Flood, I continued to listen to all of their material. To this day, though, I find the Flood and pre-Flood songs to be the best.
I feel that Lincoln is better than Flood in a number of ways. The songs are written in a way that leads me to believe they were trying harder, trying so very hard to be that break-out artist. The songs definitely seem more sincere. I think that they knew they were on the verge of that major achievement and they wanted it bad. They weren't desperate-sounding, just pushing themselves to the max to reach that goal. And it shows. The songs are all very heartfelt and full of energy and life.
Then, Flood gets released and it completely overshadowed all of their previous work. I'm sure they didn't mind, it was growth and prestige and success. Move on and carry on, as it is.
But, it's fun to listen to it all now....
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Feeling rather withdrawn today, I don't have anything else to say. I am making a few more covers, though, tonight. I'm roughly two weeks ahead of schedule, so all is good....
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I don't have much to say other than this was another of those great albums that came out in 98 or 99, and I found it to be really special. Tooling down Interstate 435 in Kansas City with this one freekin' blaring in the stereo, my ears almost bleeding. They are great rockers, but have mellowed significantly since. I'll appreciate what they did release, though. And, you should too!
This Is Normal is the second album from Gusgus. I got this one at the same time I got Kula Shaker and Suede's new albums, along with Fat Boy Slim's megahit album. I was instantly drawn to the melody and vocals, along with their unique sound. Lyrically... meh. But, for the most part, it was awesome. The mixes aren't bad, and there was only one b-side. But, I threw on their cover of DM's Monument.
I bought this album when I was working at this really horrendous restaurant, and we'd play it in the kitchen. It was the second worst restaurant job I've ever had, and I have horrible memories of the place, but I can still listen to this album and enjoy myself. Don't you hate when there is music that you love, but your brain associates it with a bad time in your life? Sometimes it's good times, and that's fine. But, the bad times can totally ruin some great albums for you. FOR INSTANCE, I cannot for the life of me listen to Cure's Bloodflowers album without thinking about killing myself and feeling that gnawing bite of dread in my chest. This Gusgus album is almost there, but not quite....