Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Caterwaul - Portent Hue - 1990

This is the first of four back to back "WTF" posts over the next four days.

I first heard this group driving back from class my freshman year in college.  Their song Manna & Quail was sandwiched between Don't Slow Down by the Hollow Men, and It's Heaven by the Railway Children.  A great mix with perfect segues.  I found it shortly after on cassette at Twisters Records and played it pretty consistantly in my car for the Spring semester of 1991.  The album as a whole is "good", but I was always more interested in listening to Side Two, rather than Side One.  Starting with Manna & Quail, followed by Big Ox Laughing and Seven Rabbits, the album really kicks fucking ass.

It surprised me to learn that the group was from Arizona.  Don't know why, but it did.  Possibly because the album covers always reminded me of Industrial or Gothic or Post Punk album covers, and those bands were generally from Europe or Canada.  From Arizona, though?  Why the hell would they feel the need to sing like that in Arizona?  It would be like listening to Country music in a Japanese Karaoke Bar - just silly.  The music is definitely a Post Punk/Gothic/Hard Rock sound.  And Betsy's vocals remind me a little of a female Robert Plant or Steven Tyler with head injuries.  A lot of howling and other somewhat distressful noises.

But, it all works.  the music is great.  

If you haven't heard these guys before, and feel the urge to try it out, do it carefully.  If you can't really get it within the first song or two, then skip forward to Manna & Quail and the following songs, and you'll see why I like this album.  It's truly a good one.

Why not?

I've run into a couple of stumbling blocks on my journey through making and posting these "new" albums.  Some are easy to fix, some are not so easy.  One of them that consistently has been popping up, especially recently, is as follows, as it's difficult to give it a name....

I only want to post albums that I like, that have additional material and that haven't already been released as extended expanded editions.  I keep finding albums that I would LOVE to post, but the existing expanded editions are already better than I could make them, and also come with better covers.  I would hate to post an album that has already been collected and then give it a sub-standard cover.  And if I simply posted it without a new cover, then what's the point?  There are a dozen other blogs that already do that, and I am trying to do it differently than the rest.

SO, if you ever wonder "Why hasn't he posted this album yet?", it's more than likely is because it's already been done, and not that I don't like the group or album.

I felt the need to point all of this out because I am planning my January posts (can you believe I'm already done with all my December albums?!) and I keep coming back to albums that have already been done, and it's really pissing me off.  Maybe one week or month I'll just have to post all of the albums that already have collected editions, just to get them out of the way....  We'll see.

Techno Rave week starts on the 12th of Dec.  I wanted to point that out because several other blogs have started posting Techno releases from the 90s and I've had these done for weeks already.  Frustrating.

Compilation week starts the 23rd of January, so look forward to that.  They aren't going to be Greatest Hits for particular groups, but compilations of individual songs by lots of groups.  Should be interesting.  I've built and scrapped a dozen different ideas over the past week, but I still have a month and a half to get some cherry arrangements together.

Anyway, off to tonight's post.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pet Shop Boys - Elysium - 2012

A fairly tranquil album, this was PSB's last album with Parlophone.  After Yes and the myriad EPs, Comps and Soundtracks, this album seemed to be the Boys in a different form.  They were mature, laid back, having a good time yet oh, so serious.  It seems somewhat morose, and a little forelorn, but yet it still is warm and lush.  I'll never get over their synths.  They are oh, so pretty.

Honestly, I've only given this one a play though about 4 or 5 times.  The singles are always tops, but most of the track melodies seem somewhat forgettable.  I will say that this is the last album of theirs in which they are writing songs their age, rather than writing songs for a much younger audience.  Electric and their newest album, Super, really seem to be written for a bunch of club kids and seem somewhat superficial and formulaic.

Once you get into the singles, though, things really seem to get good.  All of their b-sides (which I plugged right down the middle of the album) are terrific, with possibly the one exception being I Started A Joke.  I don't like that one only because I don't care for the original song, let alone a cover version.  The remixes are also fantastic, especially the tracks that the Boys remixed themselves. Not super strong dance hall jumpers, but strong enough to keep you interested and impressed.

I made this cover a long time ago, long before I learned of The Way Through the Woods, the short version.  The album disc was too long, as it is, so I had to put it on the remix disc, at the end.  As I said, the covers have been done for a while, so there's no listing on the cover for the short version, it's just the "invisible" track 10.  Deal with it.  If it bugs you that much, get your Biro out and pen it in below the other tracks.

No personal connection to this album other than I was working as a regional distributor for a company covering 2 states at the time, and I remember listening to this one while sitting in my car in the parking lot of a grocery store about 300 miles from home doing paperwork.  It was a pretty good job, and I loved traveling for it.  But, alas, the business folded shortly after Obama's second win.  That's alright, though.  I'm on to another job I can't wait to get away from...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Superstition - 1991

This one came out my Freshman year in college, shortly after I got back from Basic Training for the Air Force.  I had never been a huge fan of the Banshees (and I'm still not, to this day), but this album did have a few pop songs on it that attracted me.  I thought, after the glorious releases of Disintegration, Violator, Technique, Bona Drag and Wild!, that I'd get another group to add to the list of excellence that were my idols.


This album is good, I'll give you that.  I really enjoy the singles, and the b-sides, and there are a couple of album tracks that stand out as examples of some superior craftsmanship.  Albeit, I think Hague's production also had a direct influence on what was released.  I think this album helped bring the Banshees more into the mainstream pop music of the time, right on the cusp of the Alternative Boom in the 90s.

But, to this day, as I've said before, I can't stand Siouxsie's voice.  It drives me fucking bananas.  Musically, the band is superb.  I'm sure that if there was another vocalist, they would've been much more successful.  I just think her voice is an acquired taste.  You either love it, or you hate it.  Obviously, a lot of people like it, or they wouldn't have made it as far as they did.

So, although I'm not horribly fond of her, this album (and the rest of the band for that matter) are pretty fucking good.  My mix tapes of that era always include one or two of their tracks. 

I didn't want to fuck with a Van Gogh, so I left the cover exactly as it appeared.  But, I couldn't find a good scan of it on the internet, so my version looks a little shitty.  If anyone has a better scan, please send it my way...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Blur - Parklife II -1994

Absolutely cheated.  That's how I felt.  I was a junior in college, struggling to keep up with my studies while working 35 hours a week to make rent and pay for school.  I sacrificed 12 bucks to get a new album that I knew I couldn't afford.  I purchased Parklife, and put it in my CD player when I got back to my apartment.  Boys & Girls blared out of my speakers, and I sat in abject horror, not knowing what had happened to the Blur I knew only from their Leisure album.  This was not There's No Other Way.  This was annoying and twangy and it really pissed me off that the one album I chose to purchase, out of everything else I could have spent my money on, had been this one.  I listened to it twice, and finally sold it back to the used CD store for something else.

Then, Great Escape came out...  Wow.  Then their self-titled... Even better.  Then 13.  FINE!  I get it!  They're fucking awesome, alright?! 

I eventually went back, years later, and repurchased the album to become more acquainted with it.  Honestly, it is a great album, with a lot of great material.  Some of my favorites include This Is a Low, Parklife, End of A Century, and a couple others.  And, their PSB remix of Girls & Boys is spectacular.

My ONLY qualm with these guys is their song Red Necks.  I feel that it is very prejudice and stereo-typical, and condescending.  In today's PC environment, I would say it is borderline on bullying of sorts.  I'm sure they wouldn't want me to sing a song about Brits with ugly teeth, or homosexuals or anything like that.  I am always told and I have always felt that I should accept everyone, regardless of race, religion, orientation, etc.  It's just that society has seemed to find it acceptable to make fun of Christian, white, American males, and then chastising us if we say anything about it.  I find it disgusting. 

Regardless, the track is on this "Disc Two".  I weeded out the redundant demos and radio sessions, as they are unnecessary overall.  Also, no live tracks.  My front cover looks alright, but I hate how the back cover turned out.  Half tempted to scan the original back cover, take out the album tracks and put the new tracks in their place. 

Hope you all like....

 a little note for future reference...
Old School Techno Rave Week starts on December 12th.  Mark your calendars!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Orbital - the Blue Album - 2004

Not really much to change on this one, only slightly better than the original.  And, I don't know if adding their name in the middle detracts from the cover or not.  I always hated when bands didn't put their names on their covers.  Stupid.

The Blue album was supposedly their last, until they came back five years later and made Don't Stop Me/the Gun Is Good, then three more years with Wonky and Pusher.  Now, it's been four years, let's see if they come back again.  Not counting their soundtracks, I think this is probably their second worst album.  Not that it's a bad album, it's just not as good as all the rest of them.  Of course, One Perfect Sunrise and Acid Pants are classic Orbital, but I also really dig You Lot, a masterfully foreboding piece about genetic engineering.  Pretty cool.

Thanksgiving was good, we didn't do much other than eat.  I also sat around and watched Youtube, watching all the idiots acting the fool on Black Friday.  It's almost become a tradition around our house to sit and watch all the fights and insanity that people post from their shopping adventures.  Why anyone still goes out and does that anymore is beyond me, it's just not worth it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Depeche Mode - The Naweed Mixes - Volume One

So, my last post before the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to do something a little special.  I've compiled some of the remixes made by Naweed Wahla.  I can't say that I've compiled the best of his remixes, as he has about 50 mixes and I haven't even been able to listen to all of them yet.  But, of the ones I have listened to, these are pretty damn good.

A lot of times fan remixes are crap.  There are a lot of people out there who think they know what the hell they're doing.  But, every once in a while, someone with some talent comes along and can work some fantastic magic.  Naweed Wahla has taken songs from the entire spectrum of DM's discography and mixed them in a more modern, more dancey, more attractive package.  Although most of the songs on this comp are from the latter era of DM, he does a lot with the older tracks that I'll be posting later in January.  I like the second half of this album a lot because they are all songs that I generally didn't care for in their original form.  But now they've been crafted and molded in such a way, I can't help but enjoy them. 

The cover was a real task, as I wanted to use the latest DM logo for 2017.  But, I hated the font, so I switched that one around...  SO, with the paint swash logo, a pic of DM, a forest pic, and some paint circle clip art, I created something I think really is an homage to DM and Anton Corbijn's art.  I can't wait to make more.In January, I'll be posting more of Naweed's mixes, along with mixes by Reaps and Dominatrix, two more spectacular DM mixers, later on down the line.

Anyway, I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving, and I'll see you on Saturday night! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ian Broudie & the Lightning Seeds - Smoke Rings & the Four Winds - 2005 & 2009

Technically, there is no such group as Ian Broudie & the Lightning Seeds.  There's also no such album as Smoke Rings & the Four Winds.  But, they are two separate releases, Ian's last solo outing and the last Lightning Seeds album.  Both, are soft and eloquent, but wholly ineffective and forgettable.  It's nice to hear Ian's voice, again, though.

After these releases, Ian released an album with the Wild Swans, and produced Miles Kane's albums.  Other than that, nothing.  Supposedly, he's busy in his home studio, doing what, I don't know.  And if you go to the official Lightning Seeds website, you get nothing but a white screen.  I know that he's been busy for 3 decades, but it's sad to see such a talented musician and songwriter finally call it quits.

But, don't be too disturbed, I still have a couple of his albums to post, yet.  But, enjoy this one, while we're at it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Yes - Big Generator - 1987

As a teen, I somewhat enjoyed Yes, along with the rest of the Post Prog bands out there, like Asia, Toto and the like, but I really didn't pay them much heed.  After the release of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, I decided to pay attention a little more closely.  The 80's incarnation of Yes was definitely my favorite, and this was one of the albums from that period.

The entire album is great.  As with the previous album, this one has shaken off it's 70s Progressive style in favor of radio-friendly tunes to grow their fan base.  I'm not particularly in love with Rhythm Of Love, or the title track Big Generator, but I am totally infatuated with Love Will Find A Way and Shoot High Aim Low.  Those two tracks are two of the best examples of Yes' efforts at writing radio-friendly Pop songs.

I also found that Jon Anderson could sing about anything he wanted to, and I would think it was cool.  The band, as always, is extremely tight and well-performed.  Excellent performances.  And their harmonies are spot on with every song.  I do know that most of the song writing from this album and the one before - 90125 - can be credited to the extremely talented Trevor Rabin.  I'll try and post some of his solo stuff here later.  I think that his work is what allowed the 80s Yes to shine as bright as it did.

This post has the entire album, plus all of the remixes.  I changed up the cover a bit to make it match the colors from the single sleeves, pulling them all together.  A great 80s album, even if it isn't one of my regular fares. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sugar - More Easy Listening - 1995

This is for my friend, Grant.  I know he loves these guys, and I wanted to do something special for him.

I know that all of these tracks were on the Sugar compilation called Besides.  But, I felt they needed to be their own companion disc to File Under Easy Listening.  The differences between the two recording sessions of Sugar's two albums caused the b-sides of each particular album to clash.

I love Bob Mould's voice.  I'd like to post some Husker Du albums, but I don't like the other guy's voice.  I think I may do a Mould compilation of just the songs that he sings.  That might be cool.

Always liked this Mould incarnation.  Listened to him all through college, and still do to this day.  I preferred Sugar to all the other College Rock/Grunge/Alternative bands out there.  The songs were a lot more substantial than anyone else out there, and they weren't over-hyped and over-played.

You should like them.

Off to watch Inside Out with my 5-year-old.  He has a sore throat and wants to watch a movie while I sooth him.  I'll enjoy being the nurturing father, now. 

Have a great evening.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Bolshoi - Friends - 1986

Never heard of the Bolshoi until the internet arrived.  I don't know how I missed them.  They were a mysterious obscure band that was new to me, but harkened back to that 80s sound that I'm so in love with.  They sound like James, Simple Minds, Echo & the Bunnymen, sort of that Post Punk, borderline Jangle Pop sound from the mid 80s.

I have no personal attachment to the album, other than I really like it, wished there was more, and a fine addition to my Post Punk catalog.  The original version of A Way is great, but they redid it a year later, and it was horrible.  They took out the purity and rawness of the song and tried to accentuate the vocals, glossing the music, and turning it more into a commercial Pop song, but they failed.  It was a pathetic try.  BUT, the version here is great.

I loved the original cover, but thought I could make it a little more professional looking, give it a little more depth.  Maybe I failed, maybe not.  Up to you to decide, I guess....

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Duranduran - Big Thing - 1988 - Chicago Edition

Happy Birthday to Me.  Happy Birthday to ME!  Happy Birthday to Myself, Happy Birthday TO MEEEE!!!

So, a present to myself is also a present to you.  A brand new "Chicago Edition" of Big Thing by my beloved Duran Duran.

This album came out the summer before I moved from Chicago to the Great Plains of the United States.  This album came out as I was relishing in my final days in a city that I loved eternally, with all my heart.  This album was the soundtrack to my life for about six months.  This album helped close a chapter on my life that I never wanted to end.

My dad got a work transfer that moved us the first day of November, 1988.  We found out about it in July, and I dreaded the arrival of the day we would leave.  Being 16, I had a part time job at a local food establishment where I had a bunch of friends.  We had spent the summer going to see Def Leppard & INXS, taking trips into the city to screw around on the streets of downtown Chicago, hung out at friends houses, taking long lunches from school during the day to mess around at a small hamburger shack just a block away from school.  I had a girlfriend that taught me how to kiss.  I had friends who got me into trouble.  I had friends who introduced me to the Descendents, Depeche Mode, New Order, OMD and the Cure.  I had friends.

A week before I moved, we all went to a Haunted House close to O'Hare airport, we ate at Ed Debevic's Restaurant, and me and the girl that I was dating at the time clung to each other all night.  I stayed out with them until 2 o'clock in the morning.  My mom waited up until I got home and gave me dirty looks, but my parents didn't do anything about it.  After that, I got into a physical fight with my dad over the move, as I didn't want to leave this place that had so much for me.  I'd never hit my father before, and I never will again.  But, I was angry and in despair.  On Halloween, the day before we moved, I worked my last shift at work, and they had a party for me.  One of the girls there, who I had chased and loved since 7th grade - and asked out many times before - suddenly broke down crying.  I asked her why she was crying, and she said it was because she didn't want me to leave because she suddenly wanted to date me and be with me and all of this stuff...  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  She gave me a ride home, and we made out in her car for quite a while.  I absorbed as much as I could, being with her, holding her tight and kissing her lips.  The girl of my dreams...  I was devastated.

The next morning, my parents took my sister and I to the train station where we would take the train to our new home 600 miles away, while they finished packing and moving all of our stuff.  The sun was shining an autumn gold, and  plopped down in my seat next to the window, with my sister sitting next to me.  As the train pulled out, I put my sunglasses and head phones on and started playing Side Two of Big Thing, starting with Do You Believe In Shame? As the train headed west, I stared off at the city in the distance, slowly getting smaller, and lost behind the trees and buildings surrounding the tracks until I couldn't see it anymore.  My sister asked me why I was crying, and it was only then that I noticed tears were rolling down my cheeks.

And it may seem selfish now but I'll hold on to
The memory until all this fear is washed away.
Do you believe in love?
Do you believe in life?
Cause I believe a little part of you inside of me
Will never die.

This is my album.  This is me.  I am all of this.  This album is what defines me, and I think it's the best Duran Duran album, for obviously very personal reasons.

Fuck it.  F U C K ALL OF IT.

Tonight, on my birthday, I will listen to it again and have a toast to a life I loved, I could've had, and also one that could never be.

Good night, all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BM Linx - The Portable Genius - 2006

I know it's been a LONG time, but this is another entry in my "Pleasantly Surprised" catagory.  I happened to fall upon this band on a sampler disc of unknown origin a long time ago.  I had downloaded the disc, burned it on a disc and deleted the files.  Why?  Because sometimes I do stupid things.  What made it worse, I neglected to write the track listing down, and none of the artists.  So, for years, I had NO IDEA who the hell this was.  I had the one track by them, Understanding Orange, although I didn't know that's what the name was, and I didn't know their name, either....

SO, after listening to it for probably two years off and on, I finally snapped.  I picked out snips and pieces of the lyrics of the song and googled them.  Fortunately, the lyrics popped up, and I discovered BM Linx and Understanding Orange.

The next task was finding their album.  I'll tell you, no one anywhere had posted it.  So, this was actually the first digital download I ever purchased with my hard-earned.  BM Linx, I'll tell you guys right now, it was worth it.  Totally.

Their sound is very retro.  I don't know if I'd classify it as 80s.  Musically, they sound something like the Pumpkins, but tighter.  And the drums remind me a lot of Duran's Roger Taylor.  The guitar and bass sound very reminiscent of New Order or the Cure.  And I can't place the vocals.....

Every song is a tight little ditty.  No mush, no ballads.  Just toe-tapping, head-bobbing, finger-snapping garage rock.  The pop hooks are everywhere.  And lyrically, they are very teenage.  I can't tell if they're trying to make fun of teen angst and pop culture, but it comes across like that to me.

Although classified as an EP, it has more tracks than some albums.  And, a bunch of mixes as well.  I hated the original cover, so I remade it with a blank tape.  It captures that 80s feel, and riding in your car with a tape deck, windows down, summertime late Friday night, rolling through the parking lot of several dozen parked cars full of teens out socializing - flirting, passing numbers, laughing and smoking cigarettes.  And you and your buddies slow it down, and turn it up.....

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Roxy Music - Flesh+Blood - 1980

My second favorite Roxy album, Flesh+Blood.  I think I like it almost as much as Avalon, but not quite.  The cover songs sort of ruin it for me.  Anyway, by this time, they were well out of their previous incarnation, and firmly in the post-Disco New Wave catagory.  A touch more Disco than I prefer, but not nearly as much as Manifesto.

I know that a lot of reviews said this one was a tired, lack-luster and unimpressive album, but I have to disagree.  They weren't the proto-Punk of their previous incarnation in the early 70s, but they had a lot of talent and ideas still in them, and I think their sound, especially from this album, helped establish a style for all artists and bands that stretched well into the mid to late 80s.  And the album sold like fuckin' hotcakes even with the poor reviews, anyway.

As all of their single sleeves were ugly, I didn't want to use one for the cover, and the existing Seville cover is fantastic enough, so I left it alone.  There were two b-sides and two remixes, but then also the wonderful Dreamtime mixes, as well.  Favorite tracks are Oh Yeah, Same Old Scene, Flesh+Blood and Over You.

Monday, November 14, 2016

U2 - How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb - 2004

I debated on whether or not to make this a two disc set or a three disc set.  There are enough songs for the regular album to make it two discs, and then a third disc of mixes, of which there were plenty.  But, a lot of the mixes sucked, and a two disc set for the album would be two short discs....  But, I also hate having one album disc and then the second disc with just a few album tracks and a bunch of mixes.  BUT, I also didn't feel like making three covers for this collection, as I'm not a huge fan of it.

As an album, I think it is a good album, but I am not drawn to listen to it, and I grow weary when I do.  It didn't do a whole lot for me.  I started feeling this way about the group starting with ATTYCLB.  Their style changed yet again, and it didn't thrill me as much as their 90s albums or even their 80s albums for that matter.

I did love the tour for this album, though.  The DVD for it was incredible.  I can only imagine what a fantastic show it must have been to see live.  If there's one thing these guys can do, it's put on a live show that is better than anyone out there.  I've watched other videos from that tour that weren't pro-shot, and they are all fantastic.  Great stuff to hear them take songs from their entire catalog and amalgamate the sound and style to sound unified.  Signs of true artists and performers.

I still remember being in San Diego in 2006 for vacation and my wife and I took my oldest son to Seaworld.  When we went to see Shamoo (spelling?) they played Vertigo when he came shooting out of his pen and started leaping into the air.  Pretty cool.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tears For Fears - Songs From the Big Chair - 1985

A far cry better than The Hurting & Seeds of Love, this album is quintessential 80s Pop Rock.  Graduating from New Wave into something more substantial, TFF really proved they had the talent and abilities to whether the demise of the 80s and hold their own into the 90s.  One of my Top Ten 80s songs is Head Over Heels, an absolutely perfect pure Pop track.

I was in 8th Grade when this album came out, and was strongly influenced by one of my friends - Grant - who said that after he outgrew Duran Duran (WHAT?!) he was now interested in TFF.  It sort of took me off guard when he said that, and thoroughly intrigued me.  Looking back, it was a natural procession to move onto them (as well as Sting, INXS, Simple Minds and Wang Chung.)  But, I am glad he recommended that, as the album became a staple of my collection.

I know that they've already released an expanded version of this album, but I felt it needed more, it wasn't quite right.  They had left too much material off that needed to be there.  Plus, I was able to also include a McDoC mix in there as well.  Great stuff.

A little advance notice, Thursday and Friday nights will be extremely late posts, as I have business meetings to attend both days that will stretch into the evenings.  Also, I will be taking off the 23rd and the 24th for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Lastly, 90s Techno Rave Week will be starting on December 12th...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Cars - Heartbeat City - 1984

So, sometimes I make double discs with two covers, and single discs with single covers and double discs with single covers.  Well, here's a single disc with double covers.  If you can get your printer to line up just right you can print the front cover, then flip the paper and print the "inside cover" on the other side.  I did it this way to get the entire beautiful front cover without jacking with it, and then also the track listing and single sleeves as well.  I made this one probably two or three years ago for myself, and am just now posting it.

I always liked the Cars.  I got their greatest hits albums and listened to them regularly.  But, that was about it.  I didn't hear Heartbeat City all the way through until I was in college in the 90s.  I was working in a restaurant late on a Saturday night, probably close to midnight, and I was in back in the dish pit washing stacks and stacks of dirty dishes, pots, pans, you name it.  I was hot and sweaty and wet.  I smelled horribly from the food, grease and body odor.  I had the radio setting on a stack of boxes by the freezer listening to the local Classic Rock radio station.  They had a segment during one of the hours in which they would play an album from the very beginning all the way to the last track, uninterrupted.  That night, they played Heartbeat City all the way through, and I suddenly realized what a masterpiece it was.

Part Power Pop, part New Wave, Heartbeat City is a solid, well-written, powerfully performed and slickly produced album that is quintessential Cars.  All of the singles are great, and the album tracks could really have additionally been singles, as they all sound perfect.  The album arrangement really enhances the quality of each and every song, complimenting each other perfectly to achieve maximum impact.

I included Tonight She Comes from their 85 GH album, as it was lonely by itself and fit well with these others.  I also have a variety of remixes, and two fan mixes in there, as well that are really super.  Hope y'all like it.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dexy's Midnight Runners - Too-Rye-Ay - 1982

A nice way to end a stressful week, it's time to pop in a little DMR.  I know that one of our fellow sites just posted the official version of this last week, but I've had this one scheduled out for a month.  It's weird how that works out sometimes.  I think that you'll find mine to be different enough, though, to be worthy of downloading.

I remember being a fan of Eileen when I was a kid, playing on the radio.  But, the first time I took notice of DMR was when they played on an episode of the Young Ones.  MTV, back when they had great programming, was playing re-runs of Rik, Mike, Vivian and Neal back in the mid-80s.  Not only was I fascinated by the show, but I also loved all of the musical guest-stars.  This show was how I also discovered Motorhead, Madness and Nine Below Zero.  Watching Dexy's Midnight Runners play in a dark bedroom (or was it bathroom?) upstairs was great, and I was thoroughly impressed, even though it was lip-synced.  They played a cover version of Jackie Wilson Says (which then later led me to discover Van Morrision)

From what I can tell, this one has all the b-sides, demos and alternate single version.  I may have missed a few, but who's counting?  I always thought the cover was dull, and I still do.  I'm not a huge fan of it.  But, it is what it is, and I tried to do my best to dress it up.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

De/Vision - Rockets & Swords - 2012

Another fine album by De/Vision.  One of the dozens of FuturePop albums I snatched up when I discovered the genre.  Actually, I think I got this one after I had discovered the genre.  Even so, a nice dark synth masterpiece.  Very melodic, almost retro, and great sing-a-long tracks while tooling down the highway.

I hated the original cover, so I tried something different.  I don't know if it works, though.  Whatever.  Also, no bonus tracks on this, it is what it is.  If I bother to chase down the extras, I'll make a companion disc later on and post. 

Best track is Superhuman.  Really fantastic stuff.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Chime - From Fairies To Fire - 2016

Alright, I think I've already stated that I'm not a huge Dubstep fan, as I think it's trendy and will disappear as a fad before Trump leaves the White House.  BUT, there is some fun stuff out there that I think we should pay attention to.  If anything, to keep us current and hip for the moment, so our kids won't dismiss us and laugh at us (at least my 15-year-old does.)

Chime is one of those performers who has taken the form of Dubstep, but turned it on it's head, giving it an electronic Synth-Pop sound that has melody and depth, making it interesting to listen to.  Why the Dub crowd insists on releasing 4 song EPs, I don't know, but the genre seems to distance itself from anything more than 6 songs.  So, I've collected the tracks I could find, plus his mixes from this past year. 

They should be a tasty little treat for some fun tonight after an evening of stress and anxiety.  I'm glad the election is over, but I have a feeling that the war has just begun.  Just watch.....

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Peter Gabriel - More Than US - 1992

Funny, I just saw this album on another blog yesterday, and here I am posting it, having had it in the que for about a month.  I'm telling you, it's uncanny.

Actually, this isn't the album, it's more than the album, it's More Than US.  Clever, right?  I think so.  This came out my Sophomore year in college.  My wife and I hadn't started dating yet, and I was lonely.  My parents had just moved to Colorado, and I stayed put, so I felt I was being abandoned in a way, rather than getting my freedom.  It was rather scary.  Mind you, I was still living with my grandparents, but they had left for their winter in Texas, away from the cold.  So, I had the house to myself, no close friends left, as the ones I had, had gone off to school far away, and my friends from Chicago had long forgotten about me.  This album brought solace and understanding to my troubled soul, and I found comfort as I wrapped myself in it's warm melodies and powerful lyrics.

This is an album of a true artist.  A true songwriter.  Someone who is more interested in doing something meaningful and right, than in doing it for the fame and fortune.  I was already a PG fan, and this album simply reinforced my love for him.  The album is an anchor to a troubled soul and aching heart.

These tracks are technically remixes, but I almost see them as reinterpretations of the originals.  They don't carry the trappings of your normal remixes with dancey beats and extended keyboard segues, just the instruments used, but even some alternative vocals and other musical twiddlings.  The extra tracks were non-album tracks or guest vocal tracks from other artists, but fit perfectly with what PG was doing at the time.  They make excellent additions to this fine collection.

So, maybe tonight instead of watching some dreadful election programming, you could pop on a classic and relax with a glass of wine.  Leave the stress and anxiety to the buffoon and the criminal.  But, which is which?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Police - Synchronicity Live - 1983

If I was given the option by a genie from a magic bottle to go back in time and see any concert I wanted, The Police in 1983 would be in my top 5.  Bowie during Ziggy Stardust, Elton John during Yellow Brick Road, Doors during... when Jim was alive, and the Who any time during the 70s would fill out my top 5.  But this one, the Synchronicity Tour would definitely be there, seeing the guys at their prime as a group.

I can't tell if this an excellent audience recording or a mediocre soundboard recording, I can't tell.  But it really gives you the feeling of being there in the crowd and experiencing a great show.  I own the DVD of one of the shows from this tour, and although it sounds great, their stage show was a little lacking, but maybe that's due to being a recording rather than being there.  I think I would want Sting to be wearing his Mad Max coat, too.

I know not everyone likes live recordings, but I think any good fan of any group should have at least one high quality live recording of every tour for their favorite groups.  Not every fucking show, just one for each tour.  It gives you the ability to capture their humanity and talent, as you can fake anything in the studio.  It's nice to hear them actually working, too.  Every show I go to I am impressed by the effort that each and every performer puts into their show, just to make it real for their fans. (Except for Morrissey.  I love his music and he sounds pretty good live, but I don't think there's much effort there and I don't think he respects his fans much.)

This show has a lot of great songs, but at 13 tracks it seems a little short.  They also cut out all of the banter, false starts and the little extras that make live performances so special.  This leads me to believe it must be an edited radio show recording...  Don't know.

Doesn't matter, it kicks ass.  So does Sting...  He the fucking bomb.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

World Of Twist - Quality Street - 1991

A quick and easy one tonight.  A nice little slice of British Madchester (right guys?)  Nothing to say here, just another of a long list of bands that disappeared as quickly as they appeared.  Love this one because of the trippy cover of the Stones' She's A Rainbow. 

Who would've guessed you could get a double disc expanded edition of this?  Two discs, album on one and mixes on the other.  I hate the cover, but I don't know what else I could've done on this.  It's a dumb cover with a lousy font and I can't stand it.  The whole cover sorta reminds me of the 80s sitcom Cheers for some reason.  Maybe it's the font and the substandard photo.

A little unrelated note.  It is very uncanny how my posting is working out.  There are thousands of albums and groups to post from.  But, for some bizarre reason, my posts (and preparation of) seem to overlap with our fellow bloggers.  I have Dexy's Too- Rye-Ay coming up on the 11th, yet it's been posted over on another site today.  What are the odds?  And that isn't even the first time it's happened.  I just want you all to know that I have planned all of my posts about 2 months out, and I'm about 3 weeks ahead in making covers.  And, I never base my selections on what the other guys are posting.  I just want you to know I'm not a cheater without an original thought, it's just coincidence I guess...

Now, I'm off.  I spent my day off at work stripping and waxing the lobby floor.  Now, my body is beat up, and I missed a whole day with my family.  And the fumes of the floor finish have given me a monster headache.  Fuck it.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Buzzcocks - A Different Kind Of Tension - 1979

Firstly, I finally got my Music Hard Drive to work just about an hour ago.  So, I'm back in business for a while!

This was the Buzzcocks final album before the split.  It contains a wide variety of sounds that you wouldn't normally consider to be Buzzcocks or even Punk.  Maybe they could see the writing on the wall as their style of Punk would soon fade to New Wave, Post Punk and Goth.  Also, their seemed to be an extreme amount of drug use going on at the time that was splitting the band.

Despite it all, this album is put together very well, and showcases a lot of the talent that the band members had.  The songs were well written, the melodies were catchy, the message was good, and the performance was tight.  Even so, it wasn't enough to keep the members together.  Shelley was destined to go it alone...

I always thought the cover was a little wonky, so when I couldn't find a decent, high-quality version of it on the internet, I just used their logo to redo it, making it a little harder, a little more modern, and hella cool.  They have already released an expanded version of this album, but it didn't have all of the tracks from that period, but had repeat demos from album tracks.  I'd rather have all the b-sides and demos of unavailable tracks than Peel Sessions and demos of tracks already on the album.  I still had to cut it into two discs, though.  And at two discs and 28 tracks, it still comes out at 114MB, so the quality isn't the greatest.  It's definitely listenable and worth burning, but it's not the best it could be.

Be back tomorrow ~

Original Graphic Request

As per request from MLG, I found the original graphic from my Halloween comp while rooting around in my artwork for a new cover.  It might not be the one that I used, as the resolution looks different. And, I'm pretty sure I threw filters all over it by the time I was done (I made it more than a month ago, and I don't really remember.)  Here's a link for anyone else interested.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Erasure - The Innocents - 1987

Sorry for the late post tonight.  I took my five-year-old to see the Secret Life of Pets at the second-run theater.  Pretty good movie, well worth seeing or purchasing.  Clean and wholesome, without any adult innuendo anywhere.  Plus, I got to spend the evening with my little guy.

As for the Innocents.  This was my second Erasure album, after I had fallen in love with Wild!  I like this one a lot, quite a few great songs on here that aren't singles, but I think they should've been like Heart Of Stone and Imagination.  I love both of those songs.  Even Yahoo! could've been a single.  The b-sides are good, except for their version of Good Bad Ugly.  That one's just plain dumb.

I'm not sure about the cover, in that I like the way I've cut all the empty space out, but I'm still not sure that I like the way I did the Erasure logo.  I couldn't find a chiseled style that matched color with the graphic.  I like the style of the logo, I just couldn't get the color right.  Does it work for the rest of you, or no?

Lastly, I am moving down to one album a day, including the weekends.  I'll try to save my bigger specialized posts for those days.  But one is all I want to commit to, right now, especially with the holidays coming up.  I've been suffering from some burn-out ever since I came back from working on my rental property way back in September.  I used to have a months worth of covers & albums ready in advance, but I'm now down to just about 2 weeks worth.  It may sound like a lot, but I need that buffer just in case of any unforeseen circumstances.  Like now.  Plus, I still haven't been able to get my music hard drive to respond, so we have some issues, there....

Anyway, listen up to Erasure's American breakout album. A solid slice of pure 80s synth.  Gotta love it.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Marsheaux - A Broken Frame - 2015

OMG! Is that blasted watermark gone?!  Holy Shit!

Alright, I will admit I'm a little embarassed to be posting this one.  I haven't ever been a fan of Marsheaux, I don't care for their music, really.  But, this IS a Depeche Mode album, even if it's just a cover version.  What's almost as embarassing is that I'm posting this version of A Broken Frame before I've posted the actual ABF.

BUT...  I heard a couple of the songs from this one, and they grew on me.  So, I listened to the whole thing and I found something great.  With indirect translations, they've done a pretty good job interpreting the originals as their own.  They maintain a lot of the original elements that made the originals great, but have added enough to make this dancefloor-prone.  I've read many different reviews on this one, and the best that I've read have said exactly what I've felt -  Marsheaux have taken the nostalgic synth past that I've always loved from a bygone era, and brought it into the modern day, to be relived, and reloved all over again.

My version differs from the original as I've included the non-album tracks and the remixes.  Other than that, you get it as intended.  Hopefully it will help you see the album in a new light as it did me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Smiths - The Queen Is Dead - 1986

SO, my second favorite Smiths album, with several of my favorite Smiths songs.  Big Mouth, Ask, Boy with a Thorn, and Some Girls Are Bigger.  ALL are classic, CLASSIC Post Punk and classic Smiths.  For me, this was their break out/breakthrough album right before they went huge, and then imploded.  I was never a huge Smiths fan, but I really got into this album in late 96 and early 97.  I was working in Ames, Iowa for a restaurant chain as management trouble shooter.  I'd travel from Ames to Des Moines to Nebraska and back working for this chain in their stores, staying in hotels and racking miles up on my vehicle.  I was living in Nebraska at the time, working far from home, and had plenty of alone time in the car to listen to music.  I played this album time after time after time after time, memorizing it from the first note to the last breath.

Don't get me wrong, I think - by FAR - that Strangeways is a much better album.  But this one was an album that touched me when I was alone at a time when I needed people close to me.  My wife and I had only been married for 4 or 5 months, and then I was on the road for 5 months straight.  I think that it affected us in ways that still stay with us today. And this album was there for me (along with Monaco's first album, Radiohead's Ok Computer and D2's Medazzland.)

Of course, I've added all the time period appropriate singles with their b-sides, so we have a more complete picture of the year this came out.  The single sleeve images are fantastic, and I wouldn't mind using them elsewhere, but that's for other posts and collections.  I slightly augmented the color of the original cover image to give it a little more definition, not so dark.

But, you should like the arrangement here.  It flows naturally, and you won't have to change your disc for a full hour!  I don't know if I can handle an hour of the Smiths in one sitting.  I guess unless I'm at their concert, and that sure as hell ain't happening...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

KMFDM - Hau Ruck - 2005

I don't know which I like better.  When KMFDM releases a remix album with a few bonus tracks a year after an album, or a staggering of singles throughout, with a b-side and mixes on those.  The remix albums really help in the matter, and basically that is what I'm doing here.  But, it takes the fun out of it for some of us if the job is already done.  Regardless, here we have Hau Ruck and the best mixes from Ruck Zuck.

Ever since Sasha released World War III, it's been a little more difficult for me to stay on board with the boys as I did pre-War.  I think that Adios and MDFMK were their pièce de résistance, and I was alright with Attak.  But, once they broke the 5-letter-title rule, I noticed the music started to sound more and more and more rehashed.  In fact, I'm not sure how many times they can sing about themselves before it gets old, but it's getting close.  It seems they mention themselves at least once, but closer to three times on every album.

The first track on this album, followed by the title track really really kick ass.  Especially Hau Ruck.  Fortunately, the rest of the songs hold their own, and the album isn't really that bad.  Even the two "b-sides" (?) are pretty good.  I think that a KMFDM greatest hits album is probably a worthy one, going against my "No GH" policy.  I can think of quite a few rockers that would sound good sandwiched around this title track.

So, I picked my favorite mixes from Ruck Zuck and tagged them on the end along with the two extra tracks.  Then, I recolored the front, just for fun.  I know that part of the magic of Aidan Hughes' artwork for the albums is the black and white with a single color, but I wondered if it might improve the look if I added some more.  What are your thoughts on that?

So, for All Saints day, I give you something that would've been better posted yesterday.  But, who the fuck cares.