Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Morrissey - Kill Uncle - 1991

Sandwiched between two of Morrissey's best albums - Bona Drag (a comp, I know) and Your Arsenal, comes this little number that was as dull as a square ball.  Nothing there, no fun, not going much of anywhere.  BUT, it is still Morrissey, and I will still have it and keep it and listen to it when I feel the mood creep over me.  All of the b-sides, but I kept a couple of mixes off, just to keep it real.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Republica - Self-titled - 1996

This was one of the bands my wife took a liking to, and I grew fond of it as time went by.  It isn't the best album, but it's a fun listen, and there's a couple really cool mixes on it.  They had one more album after this, and Saffron did a guest vocal with Robert Smith on that one Cure song Just Say Yes.  Too bad they didn't release any more material than that....

My wife and youngest son are out of town this week, as my wife is off looking for work.  She's still not found a job, and her unemployment runs out in a month.  So, it's my oldest son and I, and he likes spending time in his room alone (teenager), so I should be able to get a lot of work done here on the covers.  I'm actually making a folder of albums I haven't posted yet, so I can see how much longer I can keep this thing going.  Hopefully, I can fill it up....  can you ever "fill up" a digital folder? 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Wild Swans - The Coldest Winter for a Hundred Years - 2011

Had I known when I first heard this album that it would be their last, I probably would have listened to it differently.  Instead, I absorbed it thinking it was to be the first of a new era of greatness.  Regardless, I now listen to it with a sense of loss and the closing of a door.  Insert a crying emoji here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Z95 Chicago - An 80s Compilation

Z95 was the main radio competitor to B96 in Chicago from 1986 to 1991.  When WLS FM 94.7 changed it's name and format in 1986, it was the first station I listened to regularly as a teen, and the only one I remember from Chicago.  I moved from Chicago at the end of 1988, So I had a good 2-3 years of pure 80s pop music from this station.  Unfortunately, the station only lasted 6 years due to inner turmoil with the staff and talent.

I was surprised to find their call-sign in a digital format, and knew that when I made my "80s Favorites" comp, it would fit perfectly as a header to the set.  IF ANYONE lived in Chicago between 1986 and 1991, I'm sure you'll remember this.  The logo is the original logo for the station when it first started.  They later had to change the logo, as they were sued by Zenith for trademark infringement, as the logo looked too similar to theirs.

All this is, is a solid 80s Top 40 compilation, (minus the soul/RnB/Hip Hop) mainly highlighting the time between 1985 and 1989, about the only time I really listened to Top 40. 

And that's the end of Compilation week.  Regularly scheduled programming will resume tomorrow!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Untitled - A Compilation

This is the track listing from the very first time I sat down to make a real mixtape.  I was probably 18 or 19, and had dabbled with taping my favorite songs off of the radio or other tapes.  But those other tapes were cobbled together with no rhyme or reason, just a hodge podge of miscellaneous tracks that I had put onto tape so I could listen to them in my Walkman when I was out.  I mean, you can't very well take a record player out with you.

At the time I made this tape, you can look at the track listing and see that a lot of fantastic material had been released pretty much all at once.  I had my favorite tracks from every album release by these artists, and I wanted to listen to them all, without having to haul 10-12 tapes/CDs around with me, trading them out as each track ended.  So, I pulled my favorites, and sat listening to them, then arranging them in a way that sounded good.  Back then, you didn't have any music on your computer (if you even had a computer), so it wasn't like you could load the tracks in your WinAmp and hit shuffle.  No, this was a very careful and deliberate process that took a while for me to come up with the right arrangement.

I made the tape, though, and used it in my car, listened to it while I mowed the yard, and played it when I went to friends' houses.  It was pretty good.

I've rearranged some of the tracks as years have gone by - only added the Ian McCulloch about 1998 and traded the Cocteau Twins track from Heaven Or Las Vegas to Dials (and then plugged it on the end of the mix).  But, as for the rest, this is the same setup I made back in 1990-91.  And, I still listen to it about every other month or so, to this day.  To me, this comp represents the best these groups had to offer, at the peak of their popularity.  Every song is quintessential to what these groups/artists are.  They are all lush, romantic, and full of emotion.  They are perfectly written, and perfectly performed.

To this day, I still don't have a name for this collection.  It's still, to this very moment, Untitled.  But, to me, that might be the best way of describing it, too.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Today's Sound Today - A Stiff Records Compilation

From Discogs -
Stiff Records was created in 1976 by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera. Initially intending to specialize in "pub rock" by artists such as Ian Dury and Wreckless Eric, the label quickly got caught up in the punk, ska & new wave movements, and helped launch the careers of such artists as Elvis Costello, Madness, The Damned, Nick Lowe, The Pogues and many others.
Ever the keen marketeers, Stiff billed themselves as "The World's Most Flexible Record Label". Other slogans were "We came. We saw. We left." and "If it ain't Stiff it ain't worth a fuck." 

From the Ultimate Stiff Discography -

I know that I couldn't even begin to count the number of Stiff Records compilations out there.  I will admit, all of the tracks for my compilation here, were all pulled from other Stiff comps.  I'm sure everyone of us has at least one Stiff comp in our possession, and we've probably listened to hundreds of them.

But, here's mine.

This is a list of some of the earliest tracks released that I feel really started the birth of the "Alternative" music (aside from John Peel).  This was a label that jumped on that New Wave/Ska/Pub Rock movement that really kickstarted the careers of dozens of our favorite artists, and has given us some of the most memorable single tracks from that era.  Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, Loud Music In Cars, You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties, Going Left Right, My Girl, the list goes on and on.

I could have made a comprehensive list covering all of the tracks from the very first, to the very last 80s era single.  But, I just grabbed some of my favorites.  In fact, there are still some other favorites that didn't make this cut, so there will be a Volume Two later on down the road. Maybe my next comp week. 

Listen up...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Covering the Beatles - Volume One

My Dad is the one who introduced me to the Beatles.  I grew up listening to the Beatles Red and Blue compilations from my earliest memories.  My favorite tracks were the ones released between 1965 and 1969.  I strongly preferred the "psychedelic" side to their music, I found it more creative than the rest.  I never got into the early 60s stuff, even though it was good, simply because it sounded a lot like all the rest of the bands from that era, and to me it got repetitive.  And, the stuff from the White Album on seemed a little too stoner hippy type music, a more Classic Rock/Prog Rock sound of sorts.  Just didn't dig it.

In the late 90s I really got into their work, purchasing all of their albums as they were remastered and released, memorizing every track.  Every time I listen to them, I am constantly reminded at what master songwriters they were, and I marvel at their creativity.  Their body of work can be matched by no other, in my opinion.  Not the Stones, not Floyd, not Led Zepplin, not U2, NOBODY.  There are bands and songs that I like better, but from an educated and learned position on music, I thoroughly respect and admire all that they did while they were together.

I've read that neither Paul or John were satisfied with the end results on their songs.  They both felt (especially John) that a lot of their most well-recognized hits were never fully realized.  Never finished as they should have been in their eyes.  Sometimes, they've even admitted that other artists were able to perform the songs better than them (hard to believe, really).  I have to admit, that over the years, I have heard versions of their songs that I find breathtaking.  Sometimes there are artists who can really reach into the song and pull out the inner beauty in ways like no other.  Sometimes, there are artists that play a perfect homage to the Beatles, giving heartfelt versions that honor the work the Fab Four did together.

After I got the "Across the Universe" soundtrack, which is magnificent in itself, I began a long an arduous search to find as many covers and the best covers of Beatles tunes.  With 300-400 different cover versions of their songs that I find acceptable, I have barely scratched the surface (but there's a lot of shit out there, too)  I've been able to pull together some of my favorites into one set.  This "Covering the Beatles" though, is only Volume One.  I will eventually be compiling Volume Two and Volume Three, for sure, and maybe more as I find more versions out there.

All of these songs represent my favorites at this point in time.  Some more than others, obviously, but all of them positively permanent renditions in my eyes (ears?) Some of my favorite highlights on this specific set...

-  The opening stanza of Cheap Trick's MMT.
-  Cornershop and the Vickers are both covering the same song on this comp, but the versions are so dramatically different, I had to put them both on, if anything, to compare to one another.  They both kick ass.
-  U2's version of LItSWD from Across the Universe.  Not the best film, but an excellent soundtrack version.
-  The Ladders' Paperback Writer, an Italian cover band who have done a spot-on version with their own little flare.  I'll be posting more of these guys in February.
-  Julie Fowlis' version of Blackbird sung mostly in Gaelic.
-  Paul Moody's version of WMGGW.  A youngster who played and recorded this version with his computer in his bedroom.  YOU WILL BE ASTONISHED.  (Find his videos on Youtube)
-  And Sean Connery's version of In My Life.  This version will be played at my funeral when I die.  I've insisted, and my wife and children have promised.

Of all the comps I'm doing this week, this one is probably my favorite.  It was also the most fun AND the most difficult to assemble.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Millenial Redeux

I embarrass my 15-year-old.  I've done it many times, in many different ways.  Sometimes, I'm aware of it, sometimes I'm not.  Sometimes it's because of something I do, and sometimes it's because of something I have no control over, or because of who I am.

One of the prime examples of all of this is music.  I think that most of you are aware that I do have a liking of music, right?  All sorts of music, from the 1950s to today.  Obviously, I do focus most of my attention on the 80s, though, followed by the 90s.  The rest of the decades are hit and miss.  But, for the most part, it is older music.  Music that can be dated, music that can pigeon-hole me in that "I remember when" category of old people.  Yes, I'm getting old.  I want to say so what, but it still stings when I remember that I am not immortal, and life is fleeting.  But, I don't want my children to see me as "old".  At least, not yet.

So, we're driving in the car, and I've got one of my CDs in and it's turned up loud.  My son rolls up the windows, and when we come to the stop light, he turns the music down.  What's the problem?  He doesn't want anyone to hear us listening to "old music".  Wow.  I'm also not allowed to dance in the car when he's with me, either.  I guess I'm too "old" to do that sort of stuff.

I understand that kids will always see their parents like that.  It's just the nature of the beast.  At first I was a little hurt by it.  Maybe a tad offended.  But, now I just laugh it off, tease him a bit, and try to connect with him to show him I'm not as old as he might think.

But, I still listen to "old people's music."  Sorry, I can't change that.  Unless.....

Ever since I started listening to music, I've always been fascinated with remixes.  The very first remix I ever heard was the extended remix to The Reflex.  I was in love from that point on.  If I ever heard a song, I'd instantly run to the record store to see if they made an extended release of it,  I might like it more, I liked the length, I enjoyed playing versions that others hadn't heard, etc.  To me, remixes (and b-sides) are key.  That is what attracts me.  An album is good, it's the extras that really sweeten the pot.  And lately, with the incredible software available to work with at home, some really talented people are able to further mix music, especially music that has never had that extra treatment....

SO, drawing these two stories together, I wanted to show my son that my music wasn't old.  I wanted to show him that my music still had relevance.  I wanted to show him that old could also be made new.  And, I love the remixes.

Play this at a party, play it in the car, whatever.  You play this music, you become hip and mod.  You are the shindizzle.  You are the BOMB dot COM. And you still get to listen to your oldies at the same time. All of these songs are at least 20 years old, with the exception of the Gotye track.  Yet, the tracks were all remixed within the last five years.  Most of these versions are fan-made.  All of them are fantastic.

Stand out tracks are Queen, Peter Gabriel, Simon & Garfunkel, Tears For Fears, David Bowie and the Gotye track.  I really like the Queen and Gotye ones.  When you play the Queen one, turn it up as loud as you can, and drop the bass on the equalizer as low as it will go.  You'll shake your foundations.

A fresh look at some older material.  It may make you feel younger, or it might make you feel older.  Regardless of how it makes you feel, you'll enjoy doing it.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hey Mom! I've Taken Over the Planet!

In 1995 I was going to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln NE.  At the time, Lincoln had a radio station that was a little more than a year old called "The Planet".  The Planet claimed to be the "Home of Lincoln's Alternative Music!"  Yes, I guess you could call it that.  Especially if your idea of Alternative was Nirvana and Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam and the Spin Doctors and all of those other Grunge and psuedo-Grunge groups that came out at that time.

But, in 1995, The Planet offered a new segment to it's listeners called "Hey, Mom! I've Taken Over the Planet!"  This segment allowed listeners to send in a reason why they, the listener, should be allowed to "take over the Planet" for one hour, and a list of songs that they would play if they were to be selected.  I looked forward to this segment that took place once a week on Friday nights from 9-10pm because I hoped that I would be able to hear new groups, groups that I liked, and a little diversity in what was being played.

But, I didn't.

From the outset, every person that was selected came on the air, acted like a fucking goofball, and played the same old shit that the radio was already playing.  The SAME STUFF.  If you were to take over a radio station for an hour and allowed to play whatever you wanted, why the hell would you play what they were already playing?!  Stupidity. 

Two months I listened to that crap.  Two months.  I was VERY disappointed.  So, I did what any rational, true aficionado of classic Post Punk/80s/New Wave/Madchester/Electronica/Rock would do.  I made my list.

When I wrote my letter, I explained to them exactly as I told you above.  I also told them that playing the same old American Grunge was only one small facet of the true nature of "Alternative" music.  I know that now the term Alternative DOES define specifically that sort of Grunge/Garage/College Rock sound.  Now, the bands that I have listed above would probably cringe at being considered "Alternative."  BUT, at the time, the only term I knew that could describe the sort of music that I was referring to was the word Alternative.  SO, I told them that the music that they were playing was only one small facet of Alternative, and that there were a bunch more bands/sounds/movements out there that should get their respective exposure, and given that exposure, could lead to a more diverse listening group, a better understanding of what was available, and a broader catalog of music for them to choose from to play for people.

We were told at the beginning when we submitted our lists, that they had to be under 53 minutes, to account for commercial breaks and station IDs.  Mine came in at just over 52 minutes.  Perfect. 

They called me, and told me that due to my well thought out letter, that they were going to let me on the air.  I was thrilled.  I took my girlfriend (now wife) up to the station with me, and she sat in the booth with me.  Mind you, I had worked in radio from 1991 to 1993, so I was very familiar with how the process worked, and what I needed to do.  I slipped right into place like I had been doing it my whole life.  I had arranged the songs, personally planned where I wanted to break for commercials, and planned how I wanted them to fade and mix.  My performance was flawless.

One of my roommates at the house I was living at stuck around for the evening and taped my hour long show on cassette.  I STILL have that cassette, 22 years later.  I wish that I could figure out how to get it transferred to a digital file, but I don't even have the equipment to do it, even if I knew how.

My hour long show ended up actually being popular.  The station ended up cancelling the segment several months later, but they invited me back to do it one more time, simply because I had been the most popular.  That show, though, I was ill-prepared in what I wanted to play, and thought that I could just pull songs out of my ass, on the fly, without planning it all in advance.  I was wrong.  The show sucked, as I didn't know what to play, and ended up playing a bunch of shit.

The Planet radio station hung around until about 1998 before it was absorbed by it's sister radio station, The Blaze.  The Blaze played Hard Rock & Heavy Metal, so Grunge and Alt Metal/Rock fit in nicely there.  The Planet never ever did play Post Punk, Madchester, New Wave, Britrock, Synthpop, Electronica, after my shows, none of that.  I think that's why it died.  When you live in a college town, college kids are willing to experiment with music in ways you couldn't imagine.  College was where I discovered a lot of my likes and dislikes, but listening to a station that only plays you one brand of music couldn't hold me for long.  I never would.

You already have most if not all of this music.  But, odds are, you've never listened to them mixed together like this.  You will get the full spectrum of what "Alternative" was to me, and you'll also get a nifty little mix that sounds good on repeat.

Remember John Cusack's philosophy on mixtapes from High Fidelity.  That was my philosophy long before I saw it on the movie.  I think anyone who likes to make mix tapes would agree.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

This is exactly my 400th post, including all the miscellaneous non-download/talking only posts.  I don't even know how many albums I have on here, it would be nice to know.  At one time I had calculated that I would hit 500 albums at the end of May, but I've missed some days since then, so I don't know when I will hit that.  Probably beginning of June if I can keep this up. 

I will admit, as I've posted all of my favorite albums that can/could be recompiled, it's become more and more difficult to find new material to post.  I will eventually reach a point where I start posting my favorite albums that have already been compiled with their mixes and b-sides, and the albums that don't have any b-sides or mixes.  It's inevitable.  Even so, there aren't that many of them, maybe 100, give or take.  We will see how long I can keep it up.

Tomorrow starts Mix Tape/Compilation Week.  These are all mixes that I put together myself.  Some of them recently,. some of them done a long, long time ago.

Here are a few that I've done in the past, that will give you an idea of where I'm headed...

And that's just a few of them.  Tomorrow you will see some more that I've held to over the years and others showcasing bands and labels and genres that I love.

HOPEFULLY, you will love them too.

Electronic - Raise the Pressure - Disc II - 1996

When Electronic first released Raise the Pressure, I will admit I was a little disappointed.  After their stellar "debut" in 1991, this one lacked the creativity, diversity and spontaneity the first one had.  It came out at the same time as PSB's Bilingual release, and after Very, I felt the same about that one as well.  I don't know if it was the time period that they came out, or if they had grown tired, or if I was even expecting too much. These two released lacked the fire of their predecessors had.

As with Bilingual, I listened to this one repeatedly.  They both were still in constant rotation at home and in the car.  And, over time, I learned to love them and hear the creative nuances and finesse that only these two groups could bring.  Electronic's album really hit home with me, not in the singles, but in the album tracks and b-sides.  That was where you could really hear the expertise that both Sumner and Marr had.  The magic that the two of them shared was like no other.  Honestly, though, I would have preferred a little more on Johnny's guitar, but that's beside the point.  And, as for Bernard, his singing was exceptional, as always.

There were too many b-sides and non-album tracks to make one disc with them and the album, and a second disc with just the remixes.  So, here you have DISC 2.  Load this puppy right behind the album, and you'll be set.  I also wanted to try and use the For You single sleeve as the cover of this one, but none of the pics I had of them were clear enough, and if I tried to fix it, you could totally tell and it looked stupid.  Still, eventually, I would like to make a font of that typeface on the cover (unless someone out there already has it and would like to share with me) because it's fabulous, and I can think of a dozen projects I'd like to use it on.

Tomorrow is the first day of Compilation Week, we'll see you then...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Bass-O-Matic - Science & Melody - 1991

Yeah, Bass-O-Matic is a William Orbit alias.  William Orbit being a stellar musician, producer and mixer.  But, this album sounds just like the cover looks....

It is definitely Orbit work, it's blatantly obvious on every track.  And, admittedly, the music is fantastic.  Which leads me to the issue at hand.  This album would have been so so so much better if it had simply been an instrumental album.  But, he throws in vocals.  Hip Hop RnB vocals that make you feel like your listening to Heavy D & the Boys or Salt N Peppa from the early 90s.  Back then, that style was popular.  As time goes by, though, the album's credibility slips further and further as it becomes more dated.  William Orbit's music is generally timeless.  This is not.

It is a FUN album, though.  You can tell that he had a blast making it.  A lot of his solo material outside of BoM is very serious work, that's what makes him so special.  This album is him playing around, throwing things against the wall to see if they'll stick.  The song titles and subject matter are wild and fun and creative.  There's nothing revolutionary here, but it is Orbit, and a definite must have for all completists.  I missed a mix or two, as the track list would have exceeded the hour twenty mark, but you have what you need. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Autumn - Synthesize - 1981

This is going to be the first entry in the "I try it, You try it" posts that I will start having more often (as my selection of personally great albums diminishes.)  As I am still constantly on the lookout for great music, new and old, I may stumble on something that I've never heard before, but think I might like, and you might like.  I'll post it, we'll listen to it, and then I want some solid feedback on what you think.  And, don't be shy, I can handle good constructive criticism.  I just can't handle ignorant flamers out to stir the pot.  But, solid opinion on music is a must for posts like this.....

I've recently been delving into Minimal Wave music.  Please inform yourself on the Wiki link I've provided if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about.  I think that there were (and in some cases still are) some great acts out there that had/have excellent potential, but were never discovered.  Whether they wanted to be discovered or not is an entirely different discussion.  Autumn happens to be one of those bands.

I discovered the cover of this album before I discovered the group.  I was searching for a New Wave album cover for one of my posts, and this album cover popped up in one of the searches.  I was instantly intrigued.  For one reason or another, it reminded me of a Roxy Music type album cover, or a pre-Duran2 cover, or something like that.  It definitely felt "New Wave".  I found the sight that the cover was on, did a little reading, and looked for their music on Youtube and the lot.  I instantly fell in love with the sound.  It is a cold, solitary sound that fit perfectly with the mood I was in when I found it, sitting alone after midnight in the dark with the glow of my monitor offering the only illumination.  Fantastic.

I researched the band and I find that there is an entire sub-culture of Minimal Wave bands, labels and groupies out there in the nethersphere of the Internet.  Bands that experimented greatly with the sound that New Wave offered, but pulled it back into the Gothic & Post Punk areas of music.  Imagine OMD as a dark, foreboding, isolated group, or Joy Division with nothing but electronic sound.  That is where this lies.  Autumn is a perfect example of the kind of work out there that I am thoroughly enjoying right now.

Autumn doesn't have many albums out there.  And most of it that you will find on Discogs is CDr at best.  This particular collection, Synthesize, was only ever released on vinyl (a luscious green tasty treat, I'd love to get a copy) and that was in 2011 and 2014, even though it was all recorded in the early 80s.  A superb set.

So, download, give it a listen, and give me your opinion.  I will be waiting with bated breath.....

Thursday, January 19, 2017

YMO - Technodon - 1993

This is an entry in my "pleasantly surprised" category.  Yellow Magic Orchestra has been around since 1978.  They are an extremely influential Japanese trio who have made electronic music that has impacted nations from all over the world.  I've known about them for years, since some time in the mid-90s, but have never bothered to listen to them.  I've always dismissed them, for reasons unknown even to me.

So, while working on my Techno week, (oh, that dreaded week that no one liked...) I kept coming across them in my searches.  I found the above yellow cover while looking for remixes by Alex Paterson, and thought it was beautiful.  It really captured that "Techno" feel from the early 90s, and I loved it.  I thought I'd give it a listen. Yes, yes yes!

I've been listening to this particular set almost non-stop for the past month (Once or twice a week, really.)  It's tunes are addictive.  It has a strong Electronic base, but there is so much more.  Imagine the Art Of Noise, crossed with the Shamen, with a hint of Orb and a dash of 808 State.  And, they come from Japan (one of my favorite countries and cultures.)  It's instrumental music, with a smattering of English vocals thrown into the mix to give it some structure.  It's all very entertaining.

The thing I like most about it, is the uplifting and positive style of the music.  It's feel-good music with no angst or manic.  Just light and airy. 

This cover, unfortunately, is the only one of theirs that I think is cool, though, from that particular album session.  I've always been a sucker for that look.  It took me a while to find the best looking one I could, and even that wasn't so great.  It took me about 6 or 7 hours to repair it, as the scan was far from perfect, and with a higher resolution, the imperfections were obvious.  So, if you have an art program and take a look at it closely (zoom right in), you will see there are still some areas that I couldn't quite get fixed.  As it is, I think it turned out well.

If you like the Orb, Shamen, Art Of Noise, or if you already know YMO, you are going to love this.  It's a great GREAT set.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sting - The Chicago Sessions - 1991-1993

On the coat tails of the Oasis Demos, I'm posting Sting's awesome Chicago Sessions.  Lord only knows what they were recorded for, or why they were recorded.  All of the sources I've researched just state that they were soundboard recordings.  So, my guess would be it was some sort of show, although there aren't any crowd noises, if that's the case.

You'll find this collection all over the internet.  I am, by far, not the first to post this.  You could probably download these tracks from two dozen different sites, or more.  BUT, I am the only one with such a cool cover that will fit in nicely with all the other Sting albums available.  Sting has a picture of himself on all of his albums, with the exception of Soul Cages.  So, I had to find a good pic circa 91-93 that was in good quality/high resolution, and also not already used.  Trust me, it was hard to find.  But, the pics of Chicago were abundant, and I think I found a great one for the back.

Got this one back when I lived in Kansas City, during my "great depression".  It was a soul-soother.  I got it back when there were still these bootleggers who sold CDs on the web, and I got this one from this site called DMD Digital World. I also purchased three A-ha collections, an INXS live CD, and about five different Duran2 concerts.  I bet I spent 300 bucks with this guy for CD-R burns and laser printed cut out covers.  Stupid.  Now I can get all the material and more, and create my own covers, all for free.  Imagine the things I could have spent my money on instead of some cheap burns and printer paper.  Made in the Czech Republic my ass.

Hopefully, some of you don't have this yet.  If you do, I'm sorry.  Maybe next time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Oasis - Standing On the Shoulders Of Giants - the Demos - 2000

So, it only took me a couple days to resolve my situation.  Nothing huge, guys, just personal.  I'm sorry if I worried any of you, based on your wonderful comments.  I really appreciate it.

That being said, the issues are not 100% resolved, but I didn't want to fall too far behind in posting.  I've got plenty of albums ready to go, I just keep pushing them further and further out.  We will still get our compilation week on Monday the 23rd, but the albums around that are being scattered throughout February.

In March I want to do a Live Album Week, and another themed week in April (yet to be decided.)  If you have any requests for the Live Week, let me know.

As for tonight, I wanted to post something I didn't have to take to long to explain, just a post and run scenario.  So, here's the Oasis demos to Standing On the Shoulders of Giants.

Have a great evening.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I'll Be Back

Could be a day, could be a couple days, could be a week, could be two weeks.  Unknown and uncertain at this time.  But, I will be back, don't you worry....

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Vickers - Ghosts - 2014

I've really been anticipating posting this album for some time.  I had forgotten about it for a while, and finally remembered it as I was building my albums for Compilation Week (coming in a week and a half!).  I discovered them a little over a year ago, and have been fascinated with them ever since.....

From their website -
The Florence based new psychers will take you on a musical kaleidoscopic journey made of colours and space voices on flowing waves. They are influenced by the immortal 60′s melodies mixed with a touch of 90′s spleen. They toured Europe several times (recent tours December, February and May 2014) and they played at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcellona (May 2014). The Vickers released the new album “Ghosts” at the end of March, an example of their new sound, a clear example of modern expanded pop/rock! “Sounding like The Beatles after one too many acid trips”

 Also, here is the song/video that first grabbed me and impressed the shit out of me....

I've always thought they were a stellar band ever since...

I know that they aren't the bestest best band out there, but I find them very enjoyable, entertaining, and fun to watch.  I would really like to see them, but I'd have to go to Italy for that to happen.

Some of the best bands out there are undiscovered (or only very little "discovered").  I spend a lot of time on Jamendo , Soundcloud, and Bandcamp (I know I should probably look on Spotify and Reddit, but I found that I find better music on those three.)  There are a lot of great bands that given the proper exposure, could lead to something big.  This is how I found the Vickers, among a dozen other great outfits.

So, listen up, let me know what you think, and we'll see you tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Howard Jones - Human's Lib - 1984

HJ's first album, and my second favorite.  These were the songs that were playing on my radio when I was first discovering Pop music.  I remember them vividly, and his videos on Saturday Night Videos on our local channel, playing the best videos after 11pm. 

Howard truly shows a maturity level in his songwriting that a lot of his peers completely lacked.  When compared to others, who wrote about these subjects at a level that he did?  Shy of Phil Collins' solo work, I can't think of many. Maybe Bryan Ferry.  Aside from all that, it's funny, yet somewhat disheartening to read the various contemporary reviews of the album during the time it was released.  Some of the reviews seem to be exercises in verbal logistics more than substantial analysis of the album.  Most of them were probably jealous, anyway.

Howard had quite a few b-sides for this album, and I think I have them all here.  The mix disc is extra special, too.  But, I'm not sure if I have all of the mixes, let me know if I don't.  As for the cover, I have always liked the artwork, so I kept it the same, just making a black version and a white version.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Graduate - Acting My Age - 1980

Alright, all who like Tears For Fears, raise your hands....  Great!  I love to see that many hands in the air!

I didn't find out about Graduate until I discovered Discogs.  Even then, I didn't hear the album until about 2005 or 2006.  It's funny listening to the album, knowing they were just kids at the time, and hearing Roland's deep voice, even then, singing out loud and strong.

Listening to this one, you can hear Roland's definitive style already in full bloom, sounding a lot like TFF first album, with a Power Pop/Ska edge.  I've always wondered, though, why they drifted from that specific look and sound, and shifted to their obviously more well known personas.  Was it because the niche for Power Pop/Ska was limited and very small, and only lasted until the late 70s/early 80s before fading to obscurity?  That would be the obvious answer.  Was it a commercial switch to do so, or was it an artistic change?  That is what I want to know, more.

If your a fan of TFF, than consider this TFF lite, minus the New Wave and add the Power Pop & Ska.  If you are a Power Pop or Ska fan, than be prepared to hear those styles of music played in a whole new way, packed with a lot of pop hooks and talent.  This is a MUST HAVE for any true TFF fan.

As for my version, it's not my version.  This is as it was, released on CD in 2001 in the UK.  But, long out of print and hard to come by, I felt it was necessary to bring it out for all to see.  The only problem is that it's missing their very first single, Mad One with the b-side Somebody Put Out The Fire.  I should have included it, but time constraints on the "disc" prohibited me from doing that.  Also, it sounds like total shit.  Really really really.  I've included it as an additional upload, and you can include it in your "one of 7-inch records" folder that you might have, as I do.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Peter Gabriel - Untitled One - 1977

Even though the cover of PG's first album is cool, I wanted to use some of the beautiful images from his singles for this cover.  And, in an attempt to add a title for his first album, I used the single Modern Love as the title for the entire album.  Call me a heretic, but I think it works.

As for the album...

Being a 16-year-old boy, in love with So, I wanted to hear other PG albums.  I thought, naively, that starting with his first album might be the best.  Boy, was I shocked.  At the time, I wasn't a huge fan of Prog and 70s Rock.  I was wondering upon listening to the first album if a mistake had been made, as this didn't sound like PG at all to me. I tried really hard to listen to and like this album, but for the life of me, I couldn't.

Years pass, and my taste in music developed and shifted and I picked this one up again.  By that time, I had fallen in love with Genesis' tLLDOB epic, so I thought that a re-evaluation of the first PG album was in order.  Again, I tried to like the album, but, again, I didn't.  It took time, revisiting again and again, along with his other early albums, and I eventually came around and now I truly love the work that he put into it.  It's definitely an acquired taste.

It should be expected, especially from PG, that a transition from his Prog beginning would take time and experimentation.  I feel that starting with this album, he wanted to make music that he liked to make, that would eventually be a universal sound that expressed his art and mind, and also tried to avoid the trappings of being classified into one genre or another.  Honestly, listening to him from his early roots through his sound today, he has run the gamut of sound and art.  Sort of like his contemporaries in Sting, Phil Collins and U2.  Standing in one place too long creates stagnation and irrelevancy.

This is still a pleasant ride, as long as you have an ear for Prog as well as Rock and the rest of PG's work.  If at first it doesn't succeed, try and try again.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Cure - Kiss Me Remixes - 1987

As Fiction, Elektra and Rhino began releasing the Deluxe versions of the Cure albums, I fervently anticipated the arrival of Kiss Me x 3.  This is the album, as I've said in my first Kiss Me x3 post, that was my "life" during 87 and 88.  It was and still is BY FAR my favorite Cure album.  So much of my soul is in all of those songs, and so much of those songs are in my soul.

When they finally released the Deluxe version, I felt a distinct tinge of disappointment, as the bonus disc didn't have any remixes, and there were no new, un-heard-of tracks, and the only additional material was demos of songs we had already heard.  Despite, I still anxiously listened to the bonus material, hoping to find something new and wonderful to pull me back in.  But, there really wasn't.

The bonus disc from Rhino is ultimately a disappointment.  First, in my opinion, as stated in the last couple of posts, I despise live tracks unless they are part of the entire concert.  None of these hit and miss bastards.  The bonus disc had six separate tracks from four different shows.  WHY?!  That's just dumb.  Second, all of the rest of the tracks were "demos" and "guide vocals".  They may as well just have been labeled instrumentals, because that's all they were.

I've arranged here today the missing "third disc" that many have mentioned before.  I've included all of the remixes from the singles and b-sides.  I've included alternate mixes, and then finally the To the Sky remix.  Yes, I've included some of the tracks from the original bonus disc, to flesh this one out, and cut out the unnecessary.  This is what the second disc should have been, in my opinion.

I hope this one fits up snugly against the Album set I posted some time ago.  It completes that Kiss Me era, but I still have a few shows from the Kissing Tour that may yet make it here....

Beloved Singles from 1992's Conscience....

The Beloved's 1992 album Conscience has MANY different singles with MANY different mixes, and a b-side called Motivation.  I have almost a hundred different mixes of all the songs and mixes, but I am having a couple problems...

-  Can anyone give me a complete rundown of all of the mixes from all of the singles?  I sincerely cannot tell if I have them all.  I may be missing some, I may have some that have different titles but are the same mix, I'm at a loss.

-  Does anyone have the Energetic Mix of Motivation?  Is there an original version of Motivation (un-remixed) out there?

Due to the number of mixes, I'm planning on doing a singles set, like I did for the Shamen singles, each with a different cover.  It's going to be a great, and very comprehensive set!

Any clues and information you can give me will be greatly appreciated (and will benefit all of us on February 2nd....  wink wink)

Friday, January 6, 2017

System 7 - System 7 - 777? - 1991

I really don't know how or why, but System 7's first release, the original British version, was my first Techno album.  I'm pretty sure I purchased it the same time I got Shamen's En-Tact album.  Two distinctly different albums, but showcasing the diversity of the genre and excellence in their interpretations.

I bought it on the recommendation of a record store clerk from Pickles Records in Nebraska.  They had received the disc already opened, and he played a song or two on the store system for me to hear.  The quality of the music, plus the fact that it was an import (I love to have things that are hard to come by) really influenced me to pick it up.  I recommend you to do the same.

The great thing about this album is that it's not one droning Techno track after another.  There is some Ambient, some Pop, some Techno, some guitarwork, and a lot of synthetic noodling that make it a listen that never gets tiring.  Plus, it's not the trendy cliched sound that is easily dated.  This is definitely written in a classic universal style that can easily appeal to music lovers of any age group or decade.

This album wasn't immediately released in the US, I think it took another year or so before they were able to do that, and they had to change their name when they did.  The track listings were different, and there were different mixes on there as well.  I took all of the different tracks and put them as closely back to the original UK release, while adding the new tracks from the US one.  The second disc is almost all of the mixes, I think.  There is a great one by The Orb, a band in its newly formed stages still trying to find themselves in the Post-House dance music world.

I can guarantee you will enjoy the main album disc thoroughly.  It's a great audio meal that's will leave you feeling full and happily satisfied.

Album    Mixes

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Mighty Lemon Drops - Out Of Hand EP - 1987

Although my "EP" differs from the original, I must say that I got this on cassette back in the early 90s, after hearing the extended mix of Out Of Hand on the Just Say Yes Volume Two compilation from Sire.  Totally fell in love with it and became an EP of esteem in my collection.

Then I started listening to some of their other material....  Too bad they wrote all of their good songs for this EP, is what I think.  I look at the many albums they recorded and released, and I can't find a single one that I can say is good, to me.  What a sad thing.

This is definite Post Punk song writing.  Reminds me a lot of early Ocean Blue, and I also get a hint of the Bunnymen in there and a dash of jangle.  I changed the cover, using different trees than the original, but kept the same theme. I pulled out the live tracks, (which I've said previously I detest individual live tracks rather than a full show) and added the extended mix of Out Of Hand.  It's a good little one-off set to play between your discography binge-playing of other bands. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now - 1982

Although not my favorite Furs album, Forever Now was their third US release, and the one that showed a major shift in personnel and also sound (according to Wikipedia).  There are a lot of great songs on here, but this was one that was initially purchased by me on vinyl back in the mid-90s while raiding a used record store.  It was a big one in the Westport neighborhood in Kansas City.  I can't remember the name of the store, it's since gone out of business....  So, although a fantastic 80s Post Punk masterpiece, all I can think about in relation is listening to this as I was also listening to Techno, Grunge and Britrock.  So, no real nostalgia there to pull you back to your 80s days from me, unfortunately.

Even though the British release cover is good, I prefer the US release cover.  Probably because it was my first view of the album.  I didn't see the British version until I picked up the 20th anniversary edition on CD.  And, as with too many other remaster deluxe versions, I had to add remixes to the album as they were left off.  I think if they're even going to bother with making these deluxe versions, they need to also include any additional mixes and remixes, even if to just flesh out the rest of the CD.  I mean, this one had live versions of some of the songs, which I think is dumb to begin with (so I pulled them out of the track listing).  Why would you want to listen to ONE live song?  Or two or three that fade in the beginning and fade out at the end?  If you're going to release live tracks, at least make it a live disc so it's like a whole show...


I'm still working on my compilation week sets.  This has been a tough one, even harder than the Techno one (that no one liked.)  I'm on my last compilation, and it's a Chill Out set.  But, my Chill Out tunes are so diverse, I can't get a good mix.  The segues and styles contrast a little to much, and one disc also is a little too limiting.  It'll end up being a double disc set, but that also makes it twice as hard for track selection.  I have seven different compilations spread over six days.  Three of them are double disc, and only three of them are compilations I had already made.  And ALL of the covers are new.  So, it's been a tough one.  Listen to me whine.  I still love it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sunscreem - O3 - 1992

Not much to say about Sunscreem for me.  I never really had any personal connection other than I liked their music back in the day.  When Techno was emerging, these types of bands seemed to pop up amongst the major labels trying to capitalize on the genre in it's prime.  Yes, poppy and a bit too commercial, but they had some good songs, and the mixes aren't that bad, either.  Only problem is, with all the mixes that were released, they all seemed to sound the same.  The mixers either didn't want to risk anything too dramatic, or they were told not to.  Don't know which it is.

Because of the smallish post from yesterday, today you get the entire album with the b-side, plus as many of the mixes as I could fit on two discs.  I think there's about 4 or 5 mixes that aren't on there, not counting the 7-inch/radio mixes.  But I think you'll have more than enough by the time you get done listening to all of this.  You'll probably be fucking sick of them.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lemon Interupt - Under the Proto-World - 1992

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2017!

The first time I heard Underworld was in the movie Hackers. I was a little late coming to the game, but I soon realized what a talented and innovative band they were.  In the 90s, Underworld, Orbital and Prodigy were my go-to outfits for great Electronica (I hate that moniker. Just another trendy label invented by corporate ignorance.)

Underworld has always put out excellent collections of their music.  Every time I made my own "deluxe edition", they would release their own that always made mine look stupid.  So, to be honest, any Underworld collection that I put out here will always be inferior to what's already out there.  Trust me, I would love to post more of their music.  But, what would be the point?

That's why, quite possibly, my only entry to the Underworld collections is one that they have never released as it's own little independent EP, even if it's been released collectively lumped into the newest Underworld set.  These are all of the Lemon Interupt tracks that I know of, along with their remix of a Leftfield track.  PLEASE, if you are aware of any other LI tracks out there, LET ME KNOW - SEND THEM TO ME.  I left plenty of space on the left to add any tracks I may have missed.

As for the cover, when I made it, I wanted to capture that early 90s techno feel in the typography and the colors.  As for the lemon pic, it does seem a bit cliche, as does the title I gave the EP, now that I look at it.  It's a little campy, now that I think about it.  So, if anyone so desires, I can remake the cover to seem a little classier and designed better.  If I don't hear any complaints, then it stays.  Rarely do I offer to redo a cover, but I think if it is needed, I'll do it for Underworld.

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