Friday, September 30, 2016

Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory - B-Sides - 1995

After yesterday's Godfather of British Rock, I follow it with the two princes of British Rock, the Gallagher brothers.  Their best album, ever.

The first time I heard Oasis was Live Forever on a random music magazine's sampler disc.  I really couldn't stand it, as it was a very whiny annoying song.  I wrote them off as just another band, and went on my way.

After a while, I started hearing a lot about them.  People were talking.  I continued to resist because now I just thought they were trendy.  Oh, the trendy thing to do, let's all like Oasis.  Whatever.  I mean, who the hell names their band Oasis?  What a dumbass name.

Then, Morning Glory came out, and I have to admit I was interested.  I still hadn't heard any music by them, but there was definite hype surrounding them.  The little rivalry between them and Blur had popped up, and I was still, personally more interested in Blur (even though they had also gone that nasally whiny Britrock style, too)  When the little competition between their singles happened, and Oasis won, I finally broke down and bought their album.

Mind you, all this time, the only thing I had heard by Oasis was that one song, Live Forever.  That was it.  So, when I bought the album, and played it through, by the end of it I was dumbstruck, shellshocked, bowled-over by the absolute magnificence of this album.  It is TRULY LEGENDARY, and will be for a very long time.  If they don't get inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame for this album alone, I would be absolutely shocked.

The best part about the release of this album was the singles and all of their b-sides.  That is what I've compiled here, as Disc Two of the (WTS)MG? album.  All the b-sides in one spot as not just a companion to the original release, but equally part of the album.  I feel that a lot of the tracks on the b-sides were better than album tracks.

My wife and I, before we got married, took a little vacation in Chicago for 3-4 days one autumn, shortly after the release of this album.  To cruise through the streets of such a magnificent city, listening to Morning Glory and Champagne Supernova back-to-back, is quite exhilarating.  Music rocking, one hand on the wheel, the other holding her hand.  Love Love Love.

I still think Oasis is a stupid band name.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ian Brown - Solarized - 2004

Upon reflection, this is probably my favorite Ian Brown album.  I didn't know it at the time, as I was still too busy listening to Golden Greats, and dismissing the Spheres album.  I listened to this one quite a bit, and liked it, not loving it unbelievable, just really enjoying it.  And, I'd listen to it over and over again, and put it away, then pull it out later and listen again and again.  Whenever I feel like listening to IB, this is the album I always go to.  And now, looking back, if I could only have one Ian Brown album, this would be the one.

What's awesome about this album is that the songs are all very different.  But, due to the style and sound of his vocals, it's enough to unify them all.  Right up front, he starts it with Longsight M13 backing right into Time Is My Everything.  Can they be any different?!  Even the notorious Keep What Ya Got, IB has taken an obvious Gallagher track and made it his own.  (I really would like to see a IB and NG duo/partner album.  I think it would kick fucking ass.)

Well, all the album tracks rock, the b-sides are killer, the Unkle song kicks ass, the Gusgus Vs remix is awesome, and the remixes are great.  What more can be said.

It's apparent as IB has aged, his production as declined.  As I've spoken before about aging heroes, I think IB has aged well, and I hope that he continues to make music for a long time.  Also as I've said before, I consider him to be the Godfather of British Rock, and I don't see anyone toppling him soon.  So, keep at it, chap!  Give us some MORE.  I'm a greedy piggy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New Order - Power Corruption & Lies - 1983

I know I just posted New Order a couple days ago, but I felt compelled to post this one, now.  Don't know why, I just had to.  Obsessive Compulsive.

To me, this was New Order as professional, mature artists.  I thought this, having only started listening to NO with Substance, and reflecting back on the material they had already released.  I thought it was very well written, tame and un-risky.  Little did I know.  Now, looking back, I still see this album as an artistic example of professionalism and maturity, but I also see this album setting a gold standard for bands before and after to be measured by.  Every track is a classic Post Punk song.

Surprisingly, this is not my favorite NO album, though.  I still see Technique as their BEST album.  But, this one comes in...  I think third?  Not bad, considering.

I did what was right and had to be done by squeezing Confusion, Thieves Like Us and Lonesome Tonight on here, as it's almost a requirement.  This is where those songs belong.  Maybe, one day, I'll make a remix disc for this one.

One reason why I am not a huge fan of this album centers on Blue Monday.  YES, I respect the fact that most Techno, House and Electronica are influenced by it.  Yes, it was the #1 selling 12-single for many years.  Yes, it is a great song.  BUT, it is by far the most overplayed and worn out New Order song in existance (followed closely by Bizarre Love Triangle.)  I have heard Blue Monday played SO MANY times, I would choke someone if I hear it again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beady Eye - BE - 2013

When this album came out, it annoyed me that they had to use a nude woman on the front cover.  Don't get me wrong, I like women and I don't have a problem with sensual things.  But straight up nudity really has no place on an album cover.  There are plenty of other ways to portray sexiness.

This was a pic from an article about Beady Eye's new album.  I thought it was a fabulous pic, very unique and really cool.  I had to use it.

I've got the album and the b-sides here.  I didn't make a cover for 42 42, but I'll upload that here, anyway.  As always, it's another great album from one of the Gallagher brothers.  In fact, this one is better than Noel's album.  I think Noel has written all the songs he has in him.  There doesn't seem to be much left in him.  Liam, on the other hand, is sparkling.  Edgy and poignant as ever, pop hooks galore.  A great peice.



On a side note, Heavy Metal Week is coming up on Monday.  So, either get your air guitars out, or plug your ears.  You decide.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sting - Dream Of the Blue Turtles - 1985

I didn't fall in love with Sting's work until Nothing Like the Sun.  That being said, I still really liked a lot of the singles from this album, and after I started really paying attention to him, I learned what a wonderfully written album this truly was. 

When I was a kid (13 or so?) I remember seeing the If You Love Somebody video on MTV and enjoying it and the unique way in which they shot it (check it here).  Were they actually in that room or not?  And William Orbit's mix is awesome.  I heard Russians on the radio (I remember driving from the suburbs into Chicago and it played) and it was great, it was sad and beautiful and perfectly captured the essence of the 80s political stage.  To this day, I still think that Fortress Around Your Heart is one of the best songs he's ever written.  It is a cathartic pop hook that helped me sort through several relationships.  And Seventh Wave is a clever balance between objective happiness and nihilism. 

One track I had never heard before until I compiled this collection is Code Word Elvis.  It is stupid and silly, but it's supposed to be.  In fact, it's hilarious. 

I'm not going to say that Sting wrote his best work when he went solo, but damn near close.  If it weren't for Synchronicity, it would be a definite yes.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm - 2004


In 2004 and 2005, we saw a Britrock revival like no other.  Kasabian, Art Brut, Killers, Futureheads, The Music, Franz Ferdinand, Bravery, Zutons....  the list goes on forever.  It seemed like every week there was another smash Britrock album coming out, and I was in heaven.  Bloc Party was part of that group with the release of their album Silent Alarm.

There album is great.  It's fresh, lively, powerful and full of pop hooks.  Alone it's great, but I had a fucking blast tracking down all the additional material.  They had a slew of singles in multiple formats and multiple track listings.  They even eventually released the remix compendium just for the first album.  Lots and lots of great stuff.

I love this album, but I must say that their best song is actually Two More Years...  and that was a single that came out between this album and the next.  So, it will wander around in a void until I can find a good compilation to drop it on.  Oh wait, I already did...

Enjoy this one and slide it right up next to that Kasabian compilation I made a month ago or so...


New Order - Movement - Live in Milan - 1982

I found this cover on Deviantart and I knew I had to use it.  It's a beautiful design and seems to match the time period of the album it was made for, despite the fact that the design is all wrong for the work they were using on the covers at the time.  It's wrong, but it fits...

This is probably my favorite NO concert from that year/tour/album, whatever.  It's raw, and unaltered and flawed.  But, it's a great soundboard recording, with only a hint of audience in the back.  I'm pretty sure that Hooky is singing, but it's hard to tell.  Best track on it is Procession.  What I wouldn't give to slip back in time and see a show like this...

That's it, though.  Just a simple live recording, that you can turn on at 2am and surf the web to.  It will drill into your head and mesmerize and focus you at the same time.  Before you know it, you'll have listened to it twice.  Make sure to take your anti-depressants before you do, though.  You're gonna need em.

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......


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Howard Jones - Hunger For the Flesh (Mensepid Video Edit)

video
Preparing a Howard Jones post for mid-October, and I found this absolutely beautiful video for HJ's Hunger For the Flesh.  It's all about the video, and it gives a whole new dimension to the song....  I love this one!

Kajagoogoo - White Feathers - B-Sides & Remixes - 1983

I've only ever cared about their Too Shy single, but all said, they aren't THAT bad.  I think they may have had something, and possibly could have gone further had they studied under Nick Rhodes tutelage just a bit longer.  The album itself shows some definite potential, but it seemed a bit rushed and forced.  But, as always, I've been hooked on their extended mixes and b-sides, where I think a lot of the best material lies.

Maybe it's just me, though.  Maybe, I see the album as something to be expected, while the b-sides and mixes are those little extra gems that you have to work for, search for, more rewarding to find.  This isn't just the case with Kaja, here.  I think I feel this way about almost every and any artist.  You don't know how disappointed I am when I pick up a single or go to download a new single, and there isn't a remix or a non-album b-side included.  KISS has sold a billion albums, but I don't think they have a single b-side that isn't already on an album.  Bullshit.  What sucks, too, is now that artists are releasing digital singles, it's generally just the one track, that's it.  Now that REALLY pisses me off.

I digress, but it's because I didn't have a whole lot to say about this one.  I like it, it's fun, and it was some extra tunes to mix into my playlist in my bedroom late at night doing my homework.  The rest of their material was marginal compared to this, and even this one can barely stand on it's own.  But, this little disc will roll in and complete your White Feathers set just nice.  It includes that lovely Dodi fanmix that is great, and I had a hell of a time trying to make that logo on the cover look dynamic enough.  I may have pulled it off, though...

SO, what are the words?  Are they

You're too shy.  hush hush, shy you are..

or are they

You're too shy. sh - sh - shy you are...

What are they?

Men At Work - Cargo - 1982

So, the first LP I ever purchased was Business As Usual, but it was only because I had already heard not just Down Under, but also Overkill.  Overkill was the song that made it for me, as far as my liking of MaW.  It would, I guess, be considered Power Pop/New Wave?  Hard to say.  Maybe I'll just file it under Perfect Rock N Roll, because that's what it is.

The great thing about Cargo is that I felt there was no sort of pretensions or expectations with the album's sound.  It was a continuation, and fine-tuning of Business As Usual.  It could be that I may have been young at the time when it came out, but listening to it as an adult, I can't hear anything but pitch-perfect pop hooks that flowed naturally....

After I purchased Business As Usual, I got the Overkill single for my Dad for his birthday (I was only 11.)  He liked it.  Then, we said, "Hey!  Why don't we play side 2!"  Well, the side 2 of my Overkill was Until the Money Runs Out.  That song lasted one playing before my Dad said no more.  I mean, I guess you could call it an instrumental, with a chorus, but when they only repeat that one line two dozen times in a row, it grated on my father's already short nerves.

But, hey.  I liked it!

My version is only slightly different than the re-release.  I hate when they include live tracks on studio albums.  So, I pulled those off.  I tweaked the track listing a bit and made that killer cover...

Have fun...

A Question for my British Visitors

How do those of you with "musical taste and maturity" view the artist Example?  Is he legit, is he a joke, is he teeny-bopper pop?

Thoughts?

I ask, because he guested on PSB's Thursday, and there are a few songs of his that have caught my attention.  But, I don't want to diminish my credibility without getting a little more info on the guy....

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Missing Persons - Spring Session M - 1982

AND I AM BACK.  Hopefully we won't have a break like that again, for a while!!!!

Some of the most classic New Wave tracks out there are on this album.  Destination Unknown, Words, Walking In LA, and even an interesting cover of Hello, I Love You.

Obviously, I was probably too young to know or pay attention to these guys in their heyday, but as I learned more about Warren Coocooroolow (sic), and took a greater interest in 80s music in general, Missing Persons kept rising to the top.  Whenever I make an 80s comp for the car or for a trip, there's always a MP track on it.

But, that's all I'm saying for today.  I have missed my family and I made a 5 hour trip in just under 4 (fast baby, fast! And piss in a water bottle instead of stopping!)  I'm going to play with my son, who I bought an Optimus Prime costume for, and watch all four episodes of Better Late Than Never (It's funny but worthless)

I'll be here tomorrow with two albums that I'm sure you'll like.  Until then...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Additional note

 I'd like to  add one more small note here. I know that there have been a whole lot of comments that have been left on my posts, but I haven't replied to them. I want you all to know that I read it and cherish every comment that is left. Because, it means that someone is listening and pays attention to me. I know that sounds a little narcissistic  or self-indulgent,  but it is far from that. I appreciate and love everything that you guys leave.   Generally speaking, I don't have the time aside from making the initial post to go back and answer everyone. Plus, sometimes I don't know what to say. I wish I had the ability to articulate more but it is as it is.

I don't want to name any names but those of you who have left comments with your name, you know who you are. I love everything you have to say.  I also love the posts left by this one guy called anonymous. He seems to leave a lot of messages.

Talk at ya later...

Almost there!

I'm headed into the final stretch here, and will be driving home tomorrow morning.  It's been a hellacious week, but the property looks good and our new tenants are happy.  The old tenants didn't get their deposit back, as they left the house looking like a dirty pile of used condoms.  There's nothing like cleaning someone else's shit, piss and pubic hair out of a bathroom.  I say bathroom as it was in, on and around the toilet, the tub and in the sink.  There was a layer of grease all over the kitchen, the stove wasn't cleaned, dust an eighth of an inch thick all over the whole house and the two stair cases covered with cat hair, dirt, gravel, gum wrappers...  You name it.  I could go on for hours (or paragraphs?)

I will drive home in the morning, and MIGHT make a post tomorrow night.  We will see.  I've been apart from my family for a whole week, so I desperately want to spend some quality time with them.  But, for sure, you will have a post on Sunday (hooray!)

Thanks for the comments and suggestions this last week.  I'm sure that with the ideas I got from you guys, I'll be able to keep this up for a while, and we'll all have some more fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Requests and such

 I want to thank all of you for the thoughtful and considerate comments that you posted on my last entry. I think that all of you realize that this is a passion for me, and I need to have definite interest in what I'm doing, in order for it to work for everyone. I'll keep going as long as I can, even at this pace,  ( I have the blog booked out through mid-November, and many more albums I haven't even touched yet )  until the steam runs out, the albums run out, or the visitors run out.

 One thing that has been troubling me recently though, in my search for new posts, is what I need to post, and what I have already posted. If there's any way anyone, or all of you, can suggest any albums that I need to post that I haven't already. I'm starting to hunt and peck through my collection, and  it's hard to remember what I've posted, and what I haven't. In fact, there may be a number of albums that I haven't touched yet, but I should, considering the amount of material and interest in the artist.

 So, if everyone could post a comment on what they have yet to see here and what they would like to see here that will help me plan out even further with a better understanding of how far I can go with this.   MLG in the comment section of the previous post, made some excellent suggestions that I'm sure to follow up on. Any more input from the rest of you would be great.

 I've mentioned in the comments section previously that the first week in October will  be heavy-metal week. Hopefully that will interest some of you, maybe not all, but it should be entertaining. The first week in December will be oldies week. We will see a lot of rare and unreleased Beatles, Rolling Stones,  Donovan, the Kinks, and possibly Bowie. But we have to wait and see what I feel like when that rolls around.

 As for my rental property, I'm fucking sick of it right now. I painted two rooms, replaced carpet, fixed plumbing and washed windows.  I would like to choke the previous renter who lived here. They were fucking filthy pigs. I don't know how people can live like this.

 Until my next post, enjoy what I already have here. If there are any dead links, it would be great to know so I can get them reposted.

 Thanks for visiting, guys. It's nice to have you here..................

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Meanderings

 So far this week, I've had quite a few brutal days. I've had some time to think about the blog, though, and I need some advice from all of you.

 At my current pace, I will be done posting all the albums that I think need to be posted in about four months.   These would be the albums that I feel need to be compiled with all the extra tracks and remixes, and also the albums that I do like. I know that there are plenty of albums out there I could still post, but either I don't like them, or they don't have any additional b-sides or remixes, or all of the additional material has already been released with the albums already.

 I could post all the albums that I still like, but don't have the B sides or additional material, or the material has already all been released.  But then, there would be no point in remaking covers for them which is what I like to do the most with these posts. Without the new covers, and the commentary, there really is no point and the blog becomes just like every other blog out there.

 I have thought about changing the genre of the blog to something like jazz or hard rock or surf music or oldies, but I think I would lose the good part of my audience by doing that.

 That being said, I do have some questions.

How many of you would be apt to leave if I changed the genre of the blog?

 Would it still be interesting or entertaining, if I simply made new covers for existing albums?

 Do any of you have any ideas of what would make interesting subjects for the blog?

 I know that there are number of you out there who would like me to do other albums by artists that I am either not familiar with, or simply don't like. Should I continue posting albums even by groups or artists that I really don't like? What is the point of that? If I don't like some of the music, then how can I comment on it or expect anyone else to like it?

 mind you, we still have a lot of great material to get to. I still have a lot of exciting posts left and I am thrilled to continue this work. It's just that at the pace I'm going, it will all be short-lived.

These are just a few of the thoughts I've had it running in my mind the last couple of weeks.  I really look forward to any advice that you can give me...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Madonna - Ray of Light - 1997

 
 
 The final post for my Pop Music Week!  I hope you have enjoyed it, I'm sure some of you have hated it.  But, have no fear, when I return, it will be back to it's original format!!!!

Just so you all know, I hate Madonna.  I hate her style, hate her image, hate "most " of her music, especially her 80s crap and that Vogue bullshit.  I really think she's something of a whore now, ever since Erotica, but possibly even as far back as Like A Virgin. I can't help now, but think of Quentin Tarantino's translation of that song, Like A Virgin, whenever I hear or see "Madonna".

BUT, there was a shift in my attitude toward her music starting SPECIFICALLY with the song Bedtime Story, written by Bjork (amongst others), and more precisely the mix by Orbital, surprisingly.  The song and video are beautiful and extremely well performed, the writing and mixing are stellar.  Holy Cow!  Is this fucking MADONNA?!  Well, I got the gatefold single of that song, and treasured it as a Madonna anomaly. 

During that time, I was already very interested in William Orbit and any collaborations he was doing at the time.  Strange Cargo Hinterland and that Torch Song album had been out since 95, but that really was it for his own personal music.  I think he was mixing a few random Blur tracks, right before this album, Ray of Light, was released...  Co-writing, producing and mixing a Madonna album of all things was a fucking shocker in my book.

Many people have considered this to be an entry in his "Strange Cargo" catalog, as this album is definitive Orbit in it's concept, performance and production.  It is a prime example of WO at his best.  Every track has his signature sound written all over it.  I've included the instrumental versions below so you can get the full impact of the absolute high quality of his work.  Madonna actually sounds mature, coherent and somewhat intellectual in her lyric and performance.  She even seems less slut-like than almost every album before or after.  Wow, is that even possible?!

I really enjoyed the album from the beginning.  All I could think of was WO's work on this, and the fact that it was a Madonna album really didn't mean a whole lot.  As an album, it really didn't impact me emotionally or spiritually, or change my views on life or any of that crap.  But, I did realize that opening my thoughts on specific artists or genres isn't a bad thing at all, given the chance.  Hell, yeah, you'll get burned sometimes, but it's better than missing something really great that you might have never considered before.

I know that many fans of WO will already have all of this material.  But, to those of you who don't follow either Madonna or WO, you may want to give this one a shot.  You might be surprised...

 





I'll be posting throughout this next week, but no new albums or covers.  I'll be out of town, working on my rental property one last time for the whole week.  New albums will resume on the 18th.

Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fleetwood Mac - Tango In the Night - 1987


 So, I blame this one on my parents.  I'm busy listening to Duran2, Cure, New Order, Punk, Hard Rock, 80s Synth, Post Punk, EVERYTHING, but late Classic Rock/Adult Contemporary.  In my wildest dreams, I would've never listened to an album like this, let alone own one.  But, as a teen still living with my folks, a lot of the time I was forced to listen to their music (sorta like I do to my kids now) and they both thought this was a pretty good album when it came out.  For the longest time, I thought it was a 70s album, being ignorant of Fleetwood Mac in general.  Why would I bother to know the facts?

So, several years back, I got nostalgic for this album.  Remembering my parents listening to it, and I recalled a lot of the tunes.  To learn it actually was an 80s album was somewhat shocking to me.  I thought most of them were dead by then or something (even now, none of them are dead.  Stupid, stupid man)  To also learn, while searching for the b-side material, that there were remixes of their songs was even more surprising.

The b-side songs and remixes are rather meh.  But, if you are a completist, it doesn't matter.  I'm pretty sure I have it all here.  There might be a remix or two that didn't make the cut, I can't remember.  But, there's more than enough here to make you feel like you've had enough by the time the disc is done.

It IS solid material, just not always my style.  As I said, it's a nostalgia thing.  But, to each his own, some of you may absolutely love this one....


Prince - Lovesexy - 1988

 
So, I haven't ever been this huge Prince fan.  For the longest time, his greatest hits albums were all I needed, as I couldn't connect with any of his music that wasn't drilled into me from the radio.  I always thought his music was a little too Soul, too R&B, for my tastes.  As time has gone by, I've grown to appreciate what a talented musician he was.  His death is a true loss to music in general, as he worked at it with such passion.

In the 90s I had a big kick of searching out 12" singles on vinyl.  I was always truly satisfied to find a Prince single, as there was always a remix, a b-side, and a remix of the b-side.  The singles were a must if you wanted to be complete.

The Prince era that I am most drawn to is his 80s albums - Around the World In A Day, Parade, Sign O the Times, Lovesexy, Batman and Graffiti Bridge. (I wonder why?  I mean, it wasn't like this was the time period in my life in which I was extremely receptive to music and my youth.)  Everything before and after is a loss to me.

This one is my second favorite behind Around the World, and just in front of my third favorite, Parade.  I've got all the b-sides, some demos, and all the remixes I could fit on one disc.  I had troubles coming up with a decent cover for the remix disc, as all the singles were packaged in those plastic sleeves with stickers.  And there aren't many pics on the net that I could find that would've been suitable.

I always thought this cover was hilarious...  What does that flower pistil on the white flower look like to you?  So close to Prince's lap?  Hmmmm...


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice Vol One - 1990

Already a fan of Faith, and disappointed with Duran's release that year, I followed the anticipation hype of Listen Without Prejudice and snatched it up rather quickly.  Upon first listen, I really liked it and found his growth and development of style would soon lead him into other avenues of music (even some I didn't care for)

There are a lot of songs on this album that I take rather personally.  George wanted to be taken seriously as a songwriter, and the music and lyric really reflect that.  Even though it wasn't as successful as Faith, the songs on Listen are by far superior, and I often pull this disc out at night, whether on the road or in my house, and listen to it in the darkness.  The music, to me pulls at heart strings and soul chords.

I probably could've included the four tracks that were supposed to be for Listen Vol II, but, as it is, the album, two b-sides and one remix seem to be enough.

I always thought the original cover was stupid, so, again, the single sleeves remain king, and throw a unique light on the album like this.

George Michael - Faith - 1987

 
Obviously, my little sister was the one who first got interested in George Michael.  Also, one of my best friends was a big Wham! fan as well.  I simply dismissed it.  But, back then when I did listen to the radio, I heard a lot of this album, while I was waiting for music I DID want to hear (Inxs, Duran2, Wang Chung, etc).  It didn't take long before I started to really like what I heard, and soon George became a figure that I was interested in hearing more from.  The fact that Shep Pettibone did several of his mixes made it even that more enticing. 

Back then, I was hooked on Father Figure (hot model in the video), Hard Day and Kissing a Fool.  Later, I quickly added his cover of Jive Talkin' with Boogie Box High and his duet with Aretha, I Knew You Were Waiting For Me.  For the album disc, I also added his song with Jody Watley and another Boogie Box High track (that really sucks, IMHO)

As far as the mix disc goes, there aren't any surprises on it.  All of the single mixes, including the remix that was on the album.  It surprises me that there weren't any actual remixes of I Want Your Sex, just those three versions.  You would've thought that a IWYS single would have an extended mix of Part I.  Guess not.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Seal - the First Album - 1992



The first time I heard Seal was sitting in a movie theater watching the movie Gladiator from 1992.  I was seeing the film because of Cuba Gooding Jr, who had just come off a great performance in Boyz N the Hood, and I was interested in seeing more of his work.  Gladiator was a great film, one that I still have in my personal collection today.

In the opening sequence, the main character is walking down the street in the winter time, and Seal's version of Killer is playing.  I thought it was a great track, and a wonderful way to set the stage for the rest of the film.  I waited through the credits to find out it was Seal, and I started looking for his work.

I found the Killer single at the music store, and already knowing the fantastic work that William Orbit does, I was overjoyed to see Orbit mixes on the single.  I loved those mixes, enjoyed the b-sides, and thought that was it.  Then, they started playing Crazy on the radio, and I instantly recognized Seal's voice, and I knew there was another track I "had to have".  The single, too had WO mixes, and they were even better than the Killer mixes.

Seal then went big with his debut album, which I found to be expertly crafted and a sign of true talent.  I got the album, and eventually tracked down all the remaining singles from that first album.  Mixes were great, the b-sides were solid, and the album was a definite standard.

Too bad I didn't care for the rest of the music he made.  Nothing else by him has ever grabbed me, so I am content to have his first album and his Orbit mixes as the extent of my Seal collection.  It's all I need.


Beastie Boys - Check Your Head - 1992

Day two of Pop Music Week, and I can tell this week is probably going to be a bust.  BUT, we only have a few days more to deal with, and you MIGHT find something that you like here....

During the 80s, I loved (as did everyone else) the Beastie album Licensed to Ill.  A wonderful little piece of shit that was always a pleasure to listen to.  When Paul's Boutique came out, there was very little fanfare, and I was too busy listening to Madchester, Duran2, Cure, DM, New Order, Erasure, you know...  the likes of this blog.

There was a rumor shortly before this album came out that either the Boys had broken up, or one of them died or something, so seeing Check Your Head on the shelf at the Music store was something of a shock.  Wow.  Hmmm, interesting cover, Parental Advisory sticker, looks a little mainstream Rap to me...  What the hell, I might as well give it a try.  What do I have to lose?

So, I bought it.  The first listen, I was really taken aback by the change in style.  It was nothing like Licensed, and it wasn't really Rap.  There was a lot of Punk in it, and Funk and a lot of something new.  This album showed a real growth and maturity in their material.  The first listen impressed me, but I wasn't really loving it.  I appreciated it, and thought that they really showed some talent, but that was it.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I had some sort of overwhelming apifany that made me fall in love with the album.  I haven't.  I have learned to appreciate it a great deal, and I enjoy listening to it now and then.  It is a different aspect of my musical tastes that I sometimes like to sample.  It's an album that I consider very worthwhile and an expertly crafted set of tracks.

So, here you have the album and all the b-sides.  A nice little set.  I didn't HAVE to change the cover, but I did, and had some fun with my Photoshop styles on the fonts.

If you haven't listen to this album in a while, try it again.  It's a fun listen and you'll be satisfied with the time spent...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Michael Jackson - Extended Thriller - 1982

Just got back from an exhausting weekend of cleaning, painting, fixing and demolishing parts of my rental property.  I'll be leaving next Friday night to do it again for a whole entire week.  So that means, we've only got 5 days of music before I shut it down for 8 or 9 days....

That being said, no better way to start of POP MUSIC WEEK, than with the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson.

After my parents purchased Men At Work's Business As Usual album, the first album I ever got, my second album ever was MJ's Thriller.  Oh, yes, the craze was everywhere.  You couldn't go to a department store without a monitor in the music department playing the Thriller video, and 2 dozen people standing around it watching.  All the kids at school were on it.  I'd never seen so many faux red leather and sparkly gloves in my life.  I even went as far as learning how to moonwalk.  I was just shy of putting jerry-curl in my hair before I came to my senses.

I'm no fan of MJ.  But, I can't deny the impact this album had not only on the world in general, but in my little life as well.  I listen to the album now, and it sounds dated, yes, but every song is spot on and well written.  I hate to say it, but it is perfect pop.  Nobody has to like the guy or even like the album, but no one can say it isn't a good album.  Despite the variations in everyone's tastes, a bad album doesn't sell billions of copies.

So, I really don't know anyone who doesn't have the original album in one form or another.  So, here is the companion disc of remixes (and one bonus track).  They released an extended mix of every song on the album, with the exception of the song Thriller.  WOW.  Who does that now?  The fan mixer, Dreamtime, did an extended version of the song Thriller, and it is a perfect fit.  The bonus track I added is another Paul McCartney song that MJ guest-vocaled on.  So, enjoy the lot.

I'll be back tomorrow with some more pop music (love it or not), see you then...

Friday, September 2, 2016

Working Weekend

I'm off for the weekend to work at my rental property out of state.  That being said, there won't be any posts until MONDAY NIGHT.

But, something exciting will happen Monday.  It will be the beginning of....
So make sure you're here for some classic 80s and 90s pop music, like Michael Jackson, Seal, and Madonna to name a few....

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Everything But the Girl - Walking Wounded - 1996

My wife and I had been married about 6 months when this album came out in the winter of 1996.  We had gone to Blockbuster Music (remember that?!) and she had listened to it at the listening station and decided to buy it.  I thought it sounded alright, but it was more her than me.  Just like the Bjork Post album, after repeated listening in the car, I fell in love with it.

Unfortunately, the album doesn't have any b-sides, but there are a host of mixes.  I put the best on here, enough to fill up a disc, and slapped a nifty new cover on it using a random "tilt shift" picture from the internet.  I think I hit the nail on the head with it.

At the time, Drum n' Bass hadn't hit full swing, so I wasn't overtired of hearing it.  In fact, it was so new to me, I really enjoyed the sound of it, and found a lot of these mixes to be better than the album. 

I will eventually post mixes from Temperamental, but it's unfortunate that after that they split and their solo work has been less than good.  In fact, it's been rather lackluster and boring. 

Regardless, their shift to Electronica was a smart move and it made an extremely bright moment in their musical careers.

Looking for...........

I'm looking for The Fixx's "Reach the Beach (Dub)" b-side.  I cannot find it.  I need to be able to download it, or rip the audio from it, or something, to be included on an October post...  If you have it, a link to it, anything, please post here!