Thursday, June 30, 2016

Secession - A Dark Enchantment - 1988

I mean, I'm just going to be openly honest here.  I've downloaded a lot of music, and I've downloaded a lot of music I've never listened to, nor have I even heard of.  I had a request for Secession, and on a whim, saw that I had quite a lot of their material. Once I researched it, I had everything from this album - singles, b-sides and all.  But, guess what.  I'd never heard them before.  I've barely heard OF them.  But, the descriptions that the bloggers gave in their posts said "Hey!  Listen to this stuff!  It's Great!!!"  So, I downloaded it, I have it, I compiled it, and now it's yours.

Don't think this is a common place thing.  I just happened to have the stuff, and even then I've been debating on posting it. I'm not always big on special requests.  I take suggestions and whatnot, but I'm not planning on becoming a wishlist site so you can grab and go.  You have to stay and read my meanderings as well.

So, here's to!  Grab it while it's hot!  If its good, more power to ya!

PS - I am going to be out of town for the holiday weekend, and won't be posting anything on Saturday, Sunday or Monday.  So, that being said, tomorrow night is going to be a VERY SPECIAL POST with some stuff you're going to want to have.  So, come back and don't miss it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Big Pig - Bonk - 1988

The summer before I moved away from Chicago, I spent listening to the likes of Big Pig, INXS and Midnight Oil.  The Australian wave of rock in 1988.  Despite the fact that the only big hit off this album wasn't even written by them, Big Pig put out a great album with some impressive tracks.

I posted a want list from this group about a month ago, and I have to say that most of the "Gold" disc is from that awesome contributor.  The Year of the Pig track is interesting, as the unreleased songs that are on it are actually rough demos and you can hear the producers coaching the singer on one of the tracks.  Very cool.

I have most of the mixes here.  There are still a few missing tracks, though.  If you find one that I've missed, please post a link in the comments below.........

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lush - Split - 1994

The second full-length album by the band, and the best one of the bunch.  I was in college and being indoctrinated by the hippie liberal pigs that passed as professors.  My wife, who was then my girlfriend, had been dating for about a year and a half, and we were constantly immersed in music, as if that was the only reason for living.  Well, almost the only reason, I was also addicted to comic books at the time, so if I wasn't at a record store, it was a comic store. 

So, one day, I'm standing in Cosmic Comics, my store of choice at the time, and I'm browsing the new release section, listening to this album.  I had turned it off while I was there, as I had been chatting with the counter clerk about comics.  This guy comes in as I'm off down the racks, and starts chatting with the clerk as well.  He brings up this album about it's high points and low points and that when he gets the money he was going to buy it.  Mind you, he had about 30.00 worth of comics in his hand, but not enough money to go down and purchase the CD.  I walk over and asked what he was talking about, and he mentions this album.  I pull out my CD Walkman and ask him "You mean this album?"  Instantly he was my best friend.  We chatted and chatted, and he eventually got around to asking if he could borrow the disc to listen to and tape.  Hesitantly, I said yes.  I have problems saying no to people, and I am too trustworthy.  He promised he'd only have it for a day or two, and that he would return it to the comic store and I could pick it up from the clerk.  I thought, what's the harm?

That was the last time I ever saw that CD.  4 months later, I had to repurchase the disc, and I never saw that guy or my disc in the comic store ever again.  The clerk said he had seen the guy a couple times since, but never mentioned the disc let alone return it to him.  That was the last time I ever loaned a CD to anyone.  Ever.

Now, I sit here and hand out music freely, which I am in no position to do.  I sorta feel like a hypocrite.  Pun intended.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Erasure - Wild - 1989

I posted Wild a month or so ago, so if you'd like to read what I think about it, click the Erasure label on the side of this blog.

These are my favorite remixes from Wild!  I loved the artwork of all the singles, and used the Supernature logo for the cover.  I did a lot of tinkering with the filters on Photoshop, and I think I really did the logo justice by adding some dimension to the letters.

I loved the remixes from this album.  You had Mark Saunders and William Orbit, two of my favorite mixers.  Also, some great mixes from Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones as well.  What I love about these mixes, is that they released some really great versions of b-sides as well as album tracks.  Most artists out there only remix the title track of their singles, so I take that as a bonus.

No fan mixes, though.  I can't find any that are worth a shit.  If you think you've found a fan mix that I should include, drop a link in the comment section, and we'll all take a gander.

"I lie in a dreamlike state and wonder if this fear will go away..."

Great music...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gary Numan + Tubeway Army - Replicas - 1979

And now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the absolute God of New Wave himself, the illustrious Gary Numan with his Tubeway Army!!!

I got this album sometime in the mid-80s, and fell in love with it.  As time passed by, and music changed and my tastes changed, and this album became older and more distant, I finally realized what Gary was up to.  His music begins to take on an alien sound that haunts and reminds of the past, yet sounds as if it could be music of the distant future as well.  It's as if it exists in a parallel distopian civilization of darkness, cold and barren.

I can almost see this album as a sequel to Ziggy Stardust or Aladdin Sane.  He took what Bowie started and pushed it right over the edge.

To this day I think that Gary Numan is completely under-rated and feel that despite his cult following, he should've been way bigger than he ever was.  His pioneering sound spawned countless imitators, but none could hold a candle to his vision.

I had to laugh when Basement Jaxx released their Where's Your Head At single, and there in the middle is a sample from this album.  A perfect nod to the King of electronic New Wave.

I always liked this album art, front and back.  So, I kept it the same.

This album is QUINTESSENTIAL and a definite MUST HAVE for any New Wave enthusiast. I pity the fool who doesn't have this album in their collection.  I really couldn't take you seriously.

Altered Images - Pinky Blue - 1982

Tonight's posts are going to be a trip to the deep past of New Wave Pop.  You'll feel as if you are in a time warp again (pun intended) once you get listening to these two beauties.

I don't have much to say about this shitty album, other than I like it.  It's the prime example of everything wrong with 80s music, and I EAT IT UP.  Pure 80s bubble gum psuedo-New Wave (if you can even call it that) that sounds like crap, but you can't help but sing along with it.  No 80s collection is complete without it.

Used the same crap cover that I always hated, but the album wouldn't be complete without it.  Plus, all the covers to the singles.  I've got all the mixes, b-sides and the album itself.

Listen to it once and delete it off your computer.  Maybe.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Arcadia - The Remix Discs - 1985

As many have said before me, this is the best Duran Duran album that was ever released, and it's not even Duran Duran.  I still remember when this album came out and watching the videos when I could catch them.  The entire image was stunning and the music was only part of it.  The art, the makeup, the clothing, the videos, and the MUSIC, yes.  I remember finding the 45 picture sleeves at the Venture department store near my house and being infatuated with them....  I was in love.

But, it was about this time that my parents went through this "Rock & Roll is the Devil's music" phase, and I wasn't allowed to purchase any music without their approval.  So, after seeing their Election Day video, and seeing the album had a song called El Diablo, and wondering why they all dyed their hair black, I was told by my parents that I couldn't purchase the album.  Fuck.  What's a 14-year-old to do?  Of course, that didn't keep me from taping it from my friend, so, I did have the album, I just had to imagine the glorious picture sleeves.  Mind you, by the time I turned 16, that Devil music crap was out the window, and I eventually purchased the album.  Just tell me I can't purchase a little Duran Duran, and I'll go out and start buying Ozzy and Anthrax and Megadeth.  It changed their tune rather quickly...

The album itself, standing alone, is a masterpiece.  But, as always, the hunt for mixes soon became the key.  The few that were released as singles were good, but I wanted more.  I never knew about Say the Word until I got my bootleg Heaven's Eyes disc.  What a shocker.  mid-90s and I uncover an Arcadia song I had never heard before?!  Grey Lady of the Sea soon followed in the same fashion.  Yes, I know that Grey Lady isn't an Arcadia song, but it could be, it sounds like it.  And, it was released almost the same time.  So, I plug that one in with them.

When fans started mixing D2 and Arcadia tracks, there were a lot of really shitty ones done.  Not everyone is skilled at it.  Plus, there were a lot of fan mixers who would plug in these modern elements and beats that rendered the tracks worthless, as it was obvious that they were never meant to fit with the rest of the Arcadia songs.  I mean, why the fuck would someone try and manipulate Simon's vocals with a vocorder or Auto-tune?  That's just fucking stupid.  SO, I am very picky about which tracks I've selected to be on these remix discs.  All the tracks, IMO, HAVE to sound as if they were mixed and released in the same period as the original tracks, just to keep it authentic sounding.

The covers - meh.  Disc One's cover looks alright, but I feel that the cover I did for Disc Two is too busy and is obviously cut & paste.  Eventually, I may remake it.  Anyway, I hope you like them, and I hope you like the inclusion of the fan mixes, as I feel they've carried on a tradition and given us more to listen to.  I want to thank THEM for their hard work...

Electronic - Twisted Tenderness - 1999

Although I really liked Electronic, I still preferred Revenge and Monaco, simply due to their darker edge.  But, as always, it is Bernard's voice that always sucks me in.  And when you couple that with Mr Marr's excellent skills of writing and musicianship, Electronic's work was always top shelf.

After Raise the Pressure, I was a little nervous about how this album was going to turn out.  I never cared much for RtP, as it seemed tired and worn out.  It was as if they had phoned the performance in.  I guess they were also competing with Grunge and Britrock at the same time.  The fact that Twisted Tenderness was also only going to be released in the UK even furthered my concern.  If you can't even get a US label to pick your album up, there's got to be trouble.

Needless to say, the album was almost as good as their first one, and far better than their second.  Some of the tracks you had to warm up to, but there were other anthems that really stood out as exceptional.  The title track, Twisted Tenderness, and Late At Night are the best ones on the disc, by far.  But, nearly every track is worthy and I will always treasure the work that these guys put forth.

I hate the old man cover, so I switched it with the interior art and staggered the boxes like the LAN single sleeves.  The construction of their covers, too, make it a little odd, as the track listing is on the front.  That being said, When you look at the sleeves above, remember, the two squares go on the front, and the group shot (?) goes on the inside.

For those of you who remember when this album came out...  Can you believe it's twenty years old this year?  And, it's stood the test of time.  Great work!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Chemical Brothers - Diamond Sky - the Surrender B-Sides - 1999

I always loved the Chemical Brothers cover art.  Posterized and retro, very representative of their style and sound.  Their music is pretty good.  I like it.  I'm not in love with it.  I'm not going to drop mega-coin for anything by them, and I don't listen to them on a regular basis.  But they're good, and I'll listen to them every once in a while and enjoy myself.

This album came out shortly before I moved to Kansas City and I listened to it regularly at work and in the car.  The b-sides were interesting, and I loved Bernard's vocals on Out of Control.  Noel did pretty good, and, in fact, all the vocalists did great jobs.  But Bernard's were the best.  It sounded like a ravey sorta funky electro New Order.

I thought the b-sides were too experimental to mix into the album set, plus I'd run over the 80 minute mark on the CD limit.  I'm not really a fan of any of the remixes offered, as it's hard for a mixer to offer their interpretation without destroying the integrity of the Chemical Brothers sound, except for that slammin' Sasha mix.  That being said, I simply put the b-sides on their own disc, essentially making a album addendum for Surrender.  A little Surrender EP of sorts.

I used the cover to Let Forever Be, the best from the Surrender singles, so it maintains the art theme for the album and singles.  Nothing special, but it blends in well....

Tears For Fears - Raoul & the Kings Of Spain - 1995

 So, I'm home from work early today, as I really suffered these last couple of days.  So, I'm doing my posts for you early, as I want to work on some more album covers.

After Elemental, Roland Orzabal followed it with the wonderful, under-appreciated Raoul & the Kings Of Spain.  Grunge was in full swing, with a competing Britrock phase in America at this time.  Roland was busy playing what I would almost call Adult Contemporary music.  It was still Pop Rock, but the lyrics, music vocals and themes were way above the level of all the rest of the music that was playing at the time.

So, it got lost.  Three incredible singles a handful of b-sides and a few spectacular album tracks.  Very heartfelt, mournful, a little spooky, but very strong.  You can tell Roland really puts his heart and soul as well as his skill into all of his work.  And, it's more than apparent here.

Sketches of Pain, Los Reyes Catylicos, and Me and My Big Ideas are some of my definite favorites.  And every single b-side is more than worthy of being an album track if not singles in their own regards.  Queen of Compromise is incredible, as is War of Attrition.  And, I decided to add the Bowie cover of Ashes to Ashes, not just because it was recorded during those sessions, but because it's better than the blessed original.

I tried to redo the cigar box cover, but I couldn't find a decent enough scan of it on the internet, and I don't own it.  So, I settled for the original with a new backing texture, and the wonderful pic of Roland.  Good enough and suits the album well.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

On formatting.... Good night, and good luck!!!!

I've had several people talk to me about the formatting of the mp3s that I include in my zips.  I thought that I would address it here, and refer back to it, should the question ever arise again...

My music collection is huge.  I have a 2TB external hard drive that has less than 50 gigs left on it before it is full, then I'll have to either weed the collection, split onto two different drives, or buy a larger drive to hold it. It is gigantic.

I could go into great length, (and almost did), about the origins and growth of my large collection, but, I'd rather not incriminate myself in any way.  Let's just say that I can think of over a dozen ways that I can find music to put on my computer.  I can think of five different programs that can be freely downloaded that can help me obtain and format these music files.  I can think of at least ten different websites that can assist in ripping music directly from Youtube and converting them to Mp3 and even Mp4 files.  I am in no way saying that I utilized any of this, I'm just saying I can think of ways that this can be accomplished. 


As my collection grew, I would title each track accordingly, so I could listen to it on my computer in order, or I could burn them on a CD in order.  I did not, and still don't know how to imbed additional information into the tracks themselves.  But, my collection grew at such a quick pace, and my ravenous appetite for more music grew so quickly, I was happy simply if the files were titled as is and begin collecting more.  At times, I see images of album covers and whatnot on Mp3 files as they are playing on my Windows Media Player.  I did not put those images there, and I don't know how to remove them.  I also noticed, when I attempted to put them on a Mp3 player, that the tracks weren't in order according to their file name.  I have assumed through right-clicking that you can change that information at least on the details tag.

Well, to make a short story long, I don't know how, and don't care to know how to format all of this information on these files.  It takes too much time and doesn't suit me for my needs at this time.  I'm old school and still prefer music burned onto CDs if I want to make them a part of my physical collection on my wall library of CDs (Almost 6,000 actual discs).  I don't use a portable Mp3 player, nor do I have one in my cars.  So, all of that extra work is of no use to me.

Maybe one day, when they stop putting CD players in cars and I can't find one on the secondary market and I am forced to use an Mp3 player rather than a CD player, I will actually begin formatting the files to stay in order once I make that transfer.  Until then, I don't have enough time to do this, I don't know how to do this, and would rather spend that time finding more obscure music and making CD covers.

That being said, I will leave that extra work to you.  If you would like your files formatted in that fashion, then I hate to say, but it is a project that you must complete alone.  If it is something that you would like to do and then share here with a link in the comments, then I am in no way going to stop you.  All I can do is apologize for my lack of motivation in this department, and hope that I can make it up by making more cool covers and releasing more cool sets...

With that, I am off to bed, as the last two days have been chaotic, and covers working two 10 hour shifts in 2 different locations 200 miles apart in less than 48 hours.  I have 6 blisters on my feet, and my knees feel like they are going to give out at any moment.  It feels as if someone has knuckle-punched both my buttocks, and I have a sore throat from smoking too many cigarettes.  Plus, I need to have a healthy bowel movement before I hit the sack.

Hope the visual didn't scar you for life, just for a few hours...

Good night!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Men At Work - Business As Usual - 1982

I'm going to be out of town tomorrow and Thursday, so I thought I'd give you another post tonight, to help ease the pain of withdrawal.

This was the VERY FIRST album I ever purchased.  Actually, I didn't purchase it, my Dad got it for me for my 11th birthday.  He liked the song Down Under, so therefore I liked the song Down Under.  It was my first vinyl, and I didn't have my own record player, so I had to use his.  He made me tape it, because that way I "wouldn't wear out the record."  Actually, he didn't want me playing with his stereo.

As a kid I did like the album.  It was okay.  But, I was more interested in Matthew Wilder's Break My Stride, Toni Basil's Mickey, and Micheal Jackson.  So, I played it sporadically amongst my other records, listening to the good songs and fast forwarding through the boring ones.

It wasn't until I was in my twenties before I fully appreciated the album for what it was.  It was as if the music finally revealed itself to me and I listened to it as the first time.  Of course, the singles on this album are great.  But, the other songs on the album really showed the skill that they had, and it's my guess it was mainly Colin.  I mean, he's the only one who continued on, and still writes wonderful music to this day.

Best song, by far, is Down By the Sea.  I could listen to this song on loop for a long time.  But, I don't want to ruin it.

I never knew about their demo songs until late last year.  Not that I was ignorant or something, I just never cared enough to look.  Since I've found them, Keypunch Operator and the original version of Down Under have become something of an oddity to me, even though I put them on this collection.  It's very Power Pop, with a hint of Country.  Interesting stuff.

I never liked the original album art.  My version is much better.

Art Of Noise - In Visible Silence - 1986

After purchasing The Best of Art of Noise my Senior Year in high school, this was the first album of theirs I actually bought, specifically because of Peter Gunn and Opus 4.  Little did I know what a wonderful album it was in itelf.  Pure classic AoN, I think this was them at their prime best.  Every track is a work of art, no pun intended.

The best tracks on the album is the two part Backbeat and then Beatback.  I remember driving down the street with it loud as hell, and tapping my hand on the top of the steering wheel with my white man's overbite and head nodding.  Good jammin' stuff.

It's unfortunate that after their greatest hits, they sorta sucked ass from the mid-nineties through today.  Some will beg to differ, but I outgrew them and I think they lost their creative edge.  Too bad.

I loved the cover, and continued it on this sleeve, adding some yellowed edges for aging.  Gives it more character, if you ask me.  I only kept the album tracks and the b-side, as the mixes are already on the GH projects I've already released...


Monday, June 20, 2016

AIR - Whispers Under the Moonlight - A Remix Compilation

In the late 90s/early 00s, one of my favorite bands was AIR.  I went to see Virgin Suicides at a little art theater simply because I knew they did the soundtrack.  My favorite album was 10,000 Hertz Legend, even though, and especially because it was so wild and bizarre.  I first heard of them from the DM remix of Home back in 96 or 97, and I was on the look out for them ever since.

Well, here is a nice little comp I put together of the remixes that they did for other artists.  When you listen to it, you might think you are listening to an actual AIR album with different guest vocalists, it was sort of my intention.  Their interpretations are rather original and inclusive, so it's quite literally as if they redid the songs completely.  It's all great stuff.

I found the cover art while perusing an art website and thought it would make an excellent album cover, which it did.  And as I was trying to figure out which font to use, I fell upon this one that I used for the AIR logo, and it was a perfect fit.

Here's hoping you like AIR as much as I do, and if you don't, you'll get a different post tomorrow,  so there...  ;)

School Of Seven Bells - Ghostory - 2012

The group that used to be three, then it was two, and now it is one.  This is their last album, not their newest one.  I discovered this group just a couple weeks ago, and I am thoroughly impressed with their/her work.  It used to be two sisters and a guy, then one of the sisters quit the band, and then the guy died, and now it's just Alejandra Deheza doing it all.

Their newest album is probably better than this one, IMO, but I don't know if there are any b-sides or remixes yet for it, so I won't post that one until I completely know.  Until then, take a listen to this little gem.  I would file this one right next to Curve and Cocteau Twins.  It's a little dark, a little Indie, and a little synth.  But the pop hooks are killer and well executed.  Her voice is wonderful, and their style is right up my alley.

It's still too new to me to pick out favorite tracks, but the mixes are pretty good, and overall its an impressive listen.  Take a shot and let me know what you think.  Who knows, two years from now I may absolutely hate it.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Housekeeping Notes

First off, I apologize for missing my posts last night.  I got carried away with some other projects and I completely spaced it off.  That's why I posted early today, and I will be back on track tomorrow.  Hopefully, the selections today will make up for it.

Secondly, PLEASE let me know if any of the links go down, and I will re-up them for you.  I don't have the time to go back and test every one of them, so it is up to you to let me know what is down and what is not.  If you want it, just let me know.

Lastly, if you have requests, I will accept some requests at times, depending on what I have collected, and also what I LIKE.  There are some specific bands and artists that you will never see anything posted on this site.  Here is a list of the major bands that you will NEVER see here -

Culture Club - Although I like some of their songs, I never cared for their albums or b-sides.  Don't know why, I just never did.

Siouxsie & the Banshees.  - You might see A Kiss In the Dreamhouse, Hyaena and Superstition, but that will be it, as I hate Siouxsie's voice.  Can't stand it.  BUT, Robert did play with them, and Superstition wasn't bad, but, that is it.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood - I like Relax and Two Tribes, but that is it.  I never cared for their music...

B-52s - Although I've always liked Kate and Cindy's vocals, Fred Schneider is fucking annoying.  I feel he RUINS whatever song he sings on.  Absolutely ruins them.

Elvis Costello - I don't care for his vocals.  Never have, never will.  I can think of only two songs of his that I like, and one of them is only a soundtrack song.

10,000 Maniacs - I only ever liked Our Time In Eden.  That's it, can't explain why.  Sorry.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Never cared for the funk or the vocals.  I'd rather listen to Faith No More.

Bauhaus - Although I like Peter Murphy, I never cared for the music of Bauhaus.  I always thought they were silly.

Nine Inch Nails - I used to love Pretty Hate Machine, but, as time went by, I found Trent to be destructive and sacriligious.  I may have a somewhat foul mouth, but I have always respected Christianity and am a believer in God and Jesus.  I may be human, but I believe in the Grace that the Lord has provided, and I don't agree with anyone who will openly make fun of that.

Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots - YUCK.  Soundgarden is about the only one I can tolerate anymore.  You MAY see Superunknown eventually, but that is it.

Sonic Youth - Who the hell ever said these guys were talented?!

Cheryl Crow, Alanis Morrissette, Fiona Apple - again with YUCK.

Talking Heads - David Byrne sucks.

I'm sure there are a million other bands and artists out there that you will probably never see on this site, due to me either not liking them, or that I don't know enough about.  But, this is a list of the major ones, so be aware.  I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you, just remember that I don't love everything!

I hope this clears up some stuff.  I'll post more Housekeeping as time goes by.

Thanks for visiting, guys.  Thanks for letting me share my stuff and my life with you.  It thrills me to know that there are people out there that care about the same things I do....

Be Awesome To Yourself!

Smiths, The - Strangeways - 1987

I was well into loving Morrissey solo, long before I fell in love with the Smiths.  It's partially because I was into New Order, DM, OMD and the Cure during the time period that the Smiths were popular.  Plus, everyone knows that Morrissey's melodies are an acquired taste.

I never cared for the "complete-ness" of this album, as it was too short, and there were a handful of non-album singles all around it.  They complied all the singles on Louder Than Bombs, but then you had a bunch of singles, and some of the b-sides collected in a mish-mash, non-linear fashion that defied logic.

Some may think that I ruined the integrity of the album by putting all of the music from that time period on one disc like this.  I feel it is more complete, and also has a better selection of pop-hooked singles included.  Let me know if I've missed anything.

As for the covers, I've always thought the original cover was "meh".  But, some people may be attached to it.  So, I started with the original cover above, along with the single sleeves.  But, then I made another cover, and then another, as I was unable to decide which one I liked best.  So, for the first time ever, I'm offering THREE different covers for this album set.  You decide which one you like best, and use it.


Bjork - The Homogenic B-Sides - 1997-98

IMHO, this was Bjork's last good album.  Her newest one, Vulnicura, isn't bad.  But it doesn't compare to the masterpiece that was Homogenic.  A dark, personal album, it spent a vast majority of the time talking about her deepest, innermost thoughts and feelings.  Poetically, her lyrics were unbelievably fantastic (I'm a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl).  And the execution of the album was flawless.

I had already been collecting all of her work, but this album became a particular obsession to find every little piece related to it.  I had a poster of the particular I used for the cover above, there, hanging on my wall for nearly three years.  And, I still own it, rolled up in a tube downstairs, protected forever.

The disc I've collected today is one of the first b-side compilations I made when I got my first CD Burner.  I've burned it, listened to, worn out and reburned this disc three times in the last 20 years.  I've changed the cover several times since I first made it, but this is the first time that I've considered changing the green cover to red.  I think it turned out well.  Obviously, this is simply the b-sides and the remixes, as it was the original set that I compiled.  Plus, I didn't want to mess with the structure of the original album.  It would only pollute it's perfection.

With that, sod off. (It's the name of one of her songs.  I'm not literally telling you to sod off ;) )

Friday, June 17, 2016

Shamen - Axis Mutatis - Arbor Bona, Arbor Mala - 1995

And so the fun continues!!!!

After Shamen's awesome Boss Drum album, they followed it up with Axis Mutatis.  Although, IMHO, it wasn't as good as Boss Drum, it was an incredible album with even more mixes by the Beatmasters and a host of talented mixers.  We had four incredible singles, and a wonderful mix disc called Arbor Bona, Arbor Mala.

This album came out the year before I got married, and I spent the better part of a year really soaking these guys in.  By the time I got married, my wife was sick of them, I played them so much.  They were trying to follow on the success they had with Boss Drum, but I think they missed the boat by switching their female vocalist.  Jhelisa should have stayed with them, as her vocals accounted for more on Boss Drum than Colin's vocals did, again, IMHO.  Of course, Mr.C's raps were great, and I would have been happy with more of them, in fact.

The first half of the album was pop hit after pop hit, while the second half was a little more grounded and album based, where they could focus on writing music rather than hits.  I personally am not a fan of Transamazonia, as it was TOO pop, and it makes the first half of the album seem like a greatest hits album, and somewhat disjointed.  But, Persephone's Quest, Axis Mundi, and even Moment really stole the show for me.

Although, I'll still dance my ass off whenever Destination Eschaton or MK2A plays...

I think I have all the mixes here, so build that collection, boys and girls!  This only comes along once in a lifetime!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pet Shop Boys - PSB Mix Compilation

Here's a nice little mix from the past two decades that you might like.

Whenever PSB release new singles, I always go for the mixes that they make of their own songs.  They have a heart and vision for them, so they know best how to reinterpret them and "spice" them up.  With the exception of the Trouser Enthusiasts remix of Somewhere and the Beatmasters mixes of IWNDTKOT, the PSB mixes are always the best.

I've collected all of them, with the exception of one or two due to disc restraints (I ensure that whatever I post here will all fit on one disc or be appropriately seperated), we have all of the post-Discography mixes by the PSB.  The definite highlights for me are Discotecha, Integral and Did You See Me Coming?

For the cover, I saw this picture and knew exactly what I wanted to use it for.  It is spot on, especially Tennant's smirk.  I think it fits the compilation perfectly.

Anywho, enjoy the mix and see you tomorrow....

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

OMD - The Pacific Age - 1986

Definitely a band that is in my top 5 personal favorites, OMD's Pacific Age was a staple of my Freshman year in High School.  I know that If You Leave isn't technically supposed to be on this album, but I remember that I couldn't listen to this album without it.  I had the 45-rpm of it and I taped it onto the end of the album cassette because there was enough blank room for it.

It really sort of pissed me off, though, when I got the greatest hits album and only Live and Die was on there.  Yes, I know that the other singles off this album weren't super, but they were better than some of the other singles they left on there.  Regardless, the singles and mixes from this album are a lot of fun and rather Pop sounding, less New Wave.  It was a typical album for that time, fitting in well with Wang Chung, George Michael, PSB's first album and DM's Black Celebration.

I had fun enhancing this cover, giving depth to the lettering.  Although I am somewhat disappointed that I didn't put all of the singles picture sleeves on it, I think it turned out well.

Enjoy, you'll like it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Webb Brothers - Maroon - 2000

Not much to say about this one tonight, other than the fact that it came out when my son was born.  I remember picking it up at the music store while I was carrying him in his car seat.

I'll also mention that the vocals really remind me of Elvis Costello.

This is their second album.  Their third album sucked ass horribly. 

This is PURE Britrock.  100%

And it is GREAT.  I freekin' love this album.

Enjoy and have a great evening!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Simple Minds - New Gold Dream - 1982

For YEARS I used to not like Simple Minds.  Well, I take that back.  I liked Once Upon A Time, and Don't You Forget About Me, but that was for obvious reasons.  Not because they were good (even though they WERE good), so much as they were way overly promoted.  So, I didn't like Simple Minds back in the 80s and 90s because I thought they were boring.  The songs seemed uninteresting, dull, just not very exciting to a boy in his teens and twenties.

Towards the middle of the last decade I moved my family from one midwestern state to another.  My oldest son was in school then, and my wife and I weren't comfortable pulling him out mid-year and switching schools.  So, the two of them stayed at home, and I lived in a hotel in another state for three months.  The trip between the two cities was about 400 miles, and I made that trip back and forth about 6 times in those three months.  They were long, boring trips that I hated but knew that they were necessary.

It was during these long trips, that I had books upon books of CDs that I stashed on the front seat of my car, and I would pop album after album, trying to fill the time with music, trying to make the trip that much shorter.  It was during one of those long trips, that I popped in, almost accidentally, New Gold Dream.  To say I was surprised, might be saying too much, but, I do remember being impressed.  I listened to it once, and filed it away.  The next trip, I was trying to figure out what to listen to, and I remembered that I had liked New Gold Dream, so I popped that one in again.  It became almost standard road music for me after that.  Hitting the streets?  Don't forget New Gold Dream, you never know when you'll want to listen to it.

True, Simple Minds doesn't write flashy trendy catchy songs.  But, they do write classic, well-crafted, almost beautiful rock and roll, with Post Punk overtones.  Yes, this album (and the ones around it) obviously sound "80s", but only because that's when they were made.  Lyrically, these songs held it together with beautiful strong, mature themes that highlight the majority of the SM catalog.  Comparatively, how would you rate the complexity of their lyrics with their peers during the same time?  SM were light years ahead.  Their melodies were subtle, yet rich and full.  The album itself was almost a tapestry of sound that weaved itelf into my subconscious, and it comes back to play occasionally.

I consider this album to be the first in their trilogy of excellence.  First, New Gold Dream, then Sparkle In the Rain, and last we have Once Upon A Time.  These three albums are SM at their prime.  I've already posted Once Upon A Time, and now you have New Gold Dream.  All that's left is Sparkle in the Rain.  But, we'll save that one for later....

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Japan - Quiet Life - 1979

So here's why Duran Duran made it big, and Japan really didn't.

1.  -  They both played New Wave music - BUT - Japan was too Disco oriented, while D2 took it to the next level and created the New Romantic sound.

2.  -  They both wore makeup.  Hell, Nick Rhodes looks like he ripped off David Sylvians look.  - BUT - All the boys in D2 were handsome pretty boys, but, Japan...  Well, they were all ugly.  Sorry, but just a fact.

3.  -  They both had great, singles full of pop hooks.  -  BUT - Japan's album tracks and b-sides were pretty poor, and didn't carry the magic that the singles had.  Japan even reused album tracks from previous albums instead of putting something new on them.  Whereas every track D2 had on their albums were fantastic, and their b-sides and remixes were also terrific.

4.  -  Timing.  Japan came out about 3-4 years too soon.  They missed the MTV exposure that D2 received. 

5.  -  They both had videos for their songs.  -  BUT - D2 put a lot of time and effort and money into making revolutionary and visionary videos.  Japan's videos sucked.

6.  -  Japan split up way too soon.  Had they stuck it out, they could have done better and more.  D2 could have stayed together longer, but that's another story....

Regardless, Japan put out some good music, and they definitely sound like a precursor to D2, or even ripped off by D2.  That conspiracy has been argued for decades, though.  It's best just to enjoy what Japan gave us and groove to the Quiet Life...   again.

Travis - The Man Who B-Sides - 2000

When the Travis album called The Man Who came out, I was living in Kansas City.  We had been there about six months, and my life was falling apart.  I had taken a job there, and moved my wife and I so I could get back to "the big city".  Truth be told, now, I should have moved back to Chicago, instead.  We lived in a small apartment, and she got a job as well.  She worked days, I worked nights.  We never saw each other.  I started going out at night after work while she was in bed, and partying and clubbing and drinking and smoking and taking substances I had no business taking.  My job dealt with pretty much the lowest life forms of humanity.  I'm not judging, I'm saying that dealing with literal scumbags all day and night can wear on the soul, and bring you down.  I had women trying to get me to cheat on my wife, and I had gay men trying to get me to cheat on my wife, and I'm not gay.  There was violence, and crime and scandal and drama and even though I thought I wanted no part of it, I was neck deep in the shit.

I fell into a deep depression.  I had never realized that I was suffering from it even when I was in it.  I was watching my job and marriage and life fall apart before my eyes, and never considered the fact that I needed help. My life had become a living black hole, and there are portions to this day that I don't recall....

I walked into a Borders bookstore in the winter (all I remember is that it was cold and I had a coat on.)  They used to have these little listening stations in their music section that allowed you to listen to albums before you purchased them.  I saw the new Travis album, having never heard of them, and considered listening.  I put the headphones on, pressed play, and that was the end of that, I was hooked.

To say I was hooked because it is a good album is not a good description.  At that point in my life, when I was at the lowest of lows and wallowing in self-hatred and self-disgust, listening to those songs allowed my some solace, some comfort and some hope.  It allowed my soul to soak in solitude and cry.  It kept the knife from my throat.  What's rough is that I had Cure's Bloodflowers and Air's Virgin Suicides at the same time, so those two fed my depression.  To this day I cannot listen to Bloodflowers and I can rarely listen to the Air album, but I will always go back and listen to Travis.

Needless to say, I got help and it took nearly a decade for me to come out of it.  I still suffer from it occasionally now, but I know how to identify it and address it, whereas before I didn't.  And I can still listen to The Man Who.

Here are the b-sides.  They're pretty good, and the Brittany Spears cover is pretty hilarious.

Thank you...

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Stone Roses - B-sides from the first album - 1989-91

Obviously, Second Coming was not very good.  They had taken too much time off as a band, the magic wasn't there anymore, and Ian was ready to move off on his own, to become the Godfather of Britrock. (Noel Gallagher is the Prince)  So, collecting the b-sides from the first album sort of gives us the "coulda bin" second album of the Stone Roses.

There were several great tracks laid on the flip side.  Mercey Paradise, The Hardest Thing In the World, and Something's Burning were, IMHO, better than some of the album tracks from the first album, and also Peter Hook's Elephant Stone is better than the original.  Honestly, I'm not sure if I have all the b-sides and official remixes, and I am unsure if there are any unreleased tracks from this era or any quality fanmade mixes. So if anyone out there spots a hole, let me know.

As with the original covers, all the cover art for the Stone Roses were painted by John Squire, so I selected two of his works that weren't on any of the covers.  I hope this one will be able to slide right in behind their first album.

This is a good listen, so enjoy, and have a great Saturday night!

The Tear Garden - The Center Bullet - 1986

When I first got into Skinny Puppy, I fell in love with their sound and imagery.  I sought out all of their music and projects and side-groups.  One of those groups was The Tear Garden, who included Puppy Cevin Key and Edward Ka-Spel from the Legendary Pink Dots.

This is just a straight up upload of the album.  I have both versions of my Thorny Thorny Crown along with the rest of the album tracks.  It's something of an ambient, experimental industrial, almost gothic, never harsh or pounding.  When I listen to it, I sometimes feel as if I'm falling into myself.  It's a deep and personal sound.  Ophelia does have a synthpop feel to it, but that is the only one...
Of course, I had to get the Legendary Pink Dots material, too.  But that is completely and totally different, so....

The cover is great, as well.  Steven Gilmore does another stellar job of capturing the feel and emotion of the music in a visual form.  Would someone please tell me if Gilmore has ever done something that WASN'T completely awesome?  I challenge you!

Anyway, listen, and fall asleep and dream dark things...

This time, with the Power Company...

This morning, I started working on my Smiths cover for Strangeways, Here We Come.  It's a rather large project for me, as I am doing three different covers for the same album.  I couldn't decide which one I liked best.  Anyway, I was 85% of the way done with all three of them (making all three simultaneously to copy and paste track listings), and I hadn't saved any of them.  Then the electricity blinked out in the whole house for literally 2 seconds.  When my computer clicked, I lost everything.

Frustrated, I rebooted the computer, and put the Smiths on the back burner as I was pissed about the covers.  So, I started on my Bjork Homogenic remix and b-side disc with a recolored cover.  If any of you know how Photoshop works, you know that it can be a tedious and complex job of getting exactly what you want.  I was recoloring little bubbles on the cover, again spending about an hour or an hour and a half on the job.  Boom, the electricity goes out yet again.  And, again, I hadn't saved the job.

So, after spending about 3 hours on four different covers, I have nothing to show for it.  What a pisser.  Totally ruined my day.

I'll see you all tonight with 2 new posts, have a great afternoon...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ministry - With Sympathy - 1983

When I first got into Ministry, this was the Ministry that I first loved.  Perfectly constructed music with well-crafted melodies and interesting vocals.  SO, you can only imagine my surprise when I purchased The Land Of Rape And Honey.  Shocking.

Mind you, as time went on and I learned to love Industrial Music and I watched Ministry rise to the top every time, I loved the Industrial Ministry as well, but in a different way.  Synthpop Ministry is something different and will always hold a special place in my heart.  Especially Halloween.

All of the songs are pretty good, the singles of course are spot on, but my favorites are I Wanted To Tell Her and What He Say.  They're all pretty dancy, and they'll keep you humming, quite memorable.  I never cared for the album cover, though, so I chose one of the single sleeves.  These scans of older albums are nostalgic for me, so I sometimes enjoy leaving the wrinkles and tears and discoloration at times.  There's nothing like seeing that old vinyl wear ring on a 45 picture sleeve.

I wonder if Al would ever consider re-releasing this album in an Industrial Metal style like his later work?  Would it be any good?  One will never know...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Depeche Mode - Shake-Flexible-Heart - 1985

As I was discovering DM and collecting their work, these slabs of vinyl were the ones I came across second, after MftM.  I found the 12" Maxi Singles at the mall record store, and I remember specifically running home to get money out of my stash to go get them.  It was like Raiders of the Lost Ark and I had found the Golden Statue, I almost had heart palpitations.   It's weird how moments like that can stick with you your whole life.

Of course, within a single playing, I loved both Shake the Disease and It's Called A Heart.  Both well crafted and traditional Mode all the way.  I almost instantly hated Flexible.  At first, I thought it would grow on me, so I listened and listened.  I really tried, I did.  But, I dislike the song to this day.  It's to fast, to country.  The harmonica sound is irritating.

I originally, for years, just had the single songs and their one extended mix.  But, fortunately over the last 5-6 years, new official remixes and one Dreamtime Fan Mix popped up, which increased the tracklisting considerably.  And, I am very grateful for that.  I will say, though, that I always return to the original extended mixes, because they are the mixes that I grew up with and are very dear to my heart.

The cover art is flawless, and perfect.  So, a single sleeve was all that was needed, and I think it would make a fine addition on the shelf between SGR and BC.

Enjoy, this is a good one...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Radiohead - B-Sides to the Bends - 1995

So, these are the b-sides to The Bends.  You probably already have this disc, as they have re-released the album with a bonus disc of all the b-sides.  Sorta takes the fun out of collecting all the singles when they'll turn around and release a disc like this.  That being said, this is nothing new.

The reason why I wanted to post it, though, was to say that although OK Computer was a great album, The Bends is a better album and very underappreciated.  The B's are good, too.  Thom's vocals hadn't really gotten too bizarre, yet.  And the music was a little more cohesive.  I thought it was an awesome sophomore release, if anything.

I found the cover I've selected here on the internet as a wallpaper.  This cover is another reason why I wanted to do this post.  The wallpaper (thanks to whoever made it) is a far superior graphic for the album, IMHO.  If I could have found a way to keep the faces on there, though.

Anyway, it's a throwaway post.  Nothing new, just a different cover and a lot of bullshit on my part.  I've got Depeche Mode tomorrow, if that'll make you happy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kula Shaker - Peasants Pigs & Astronauts - 1999

My favorite album of 1998-99 was Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts by Kula Shaker.  I had thought their K album was pretty good when I got it, but this one completely blew it out of the water.  It's a complete blast.  From the eerie, spacey opening of Great Hosanna, to the very last mystical chant of Stotra, the album pulls you into this otherworldly experience of psychedelia that I can only describe as cosmic transcendence.  Don't I sound full of shit?

Needless to say, this was an album that still rocks my house at least 3-4 times a year.  It's musicmusicmusicmusic...  Okay, where's that Kula Shaker album? It's also freekin' awesome to play air guitar on this album, too.  Pull out that Townshend windmill move.  Or maybe that Billie Joe Armstrong stance.

It's hard to think of areas in which the album suffers.  It's speeds up and slows down just where it needs to, and never gets boring.  It sucks you in when it slows, and explodes all over you on the power anthems.  Mystical Machine Gun, Great Hosanna and Golden Avatar to name a few.  My favorite song is Timeworm, a slow subtle track that's slinks in and melts all over your brain, right before the albums closing tracks.

BUT, the reason for this post wasn't the main album, but the B-Sides, which are just as good, and I have compiled into a nice supplemental disc to accompany this fine album.  They're pretty good, not as good as the album, but a necessity to a complete Kula experience.

Just remember, you don't have to be a hippy to like this kind of music.  Ain't that right, Ryan Parr?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Beloved - Happiness - 1990

 So, yeah, this was a great album when it came out.  Very fun, and a nice addition to my growing Madchester collection.  It got some radio air time and people knew who they were, and they were pretty cool....


AND all these great groups from England and Europe and nearly everywhere got left behind for good ol' Kurt Cobain.  Brrruup!  I think I threw up a little in my mouth.

Yes, yes yes, the Beloved were able to release, what, two more albums, I think (Both of which were great)  But no one knew about them or cared too much on this side of the ocean.  What a sad sad thing.

What's great about this album was all the remixes.  You had Blissed Out (below) and a couple dozen more great mixes.  So, I've made what essentially is three discs for the same album and most of the mixes.  Mind you, not all of the mixes are on these three, but most are.  I culled the worst just to slim it down a bit.

The covers were fairly simple to make, but the font was impossible to match.  I hope they look alright.  It pisses me off when I can't find the right font (especially since I have about 7,000 now).  A font can say so very much.

Looking back, I want to try and pick out the best tracks for you (even though I know it's subjective), but it's hard to pin down just a few.  Time After Time, Found, Hello, Your Love Takes Me Higher, The Sun Rising...  Where should I stop?

Just keep listening, and you decide which ones are the best....


That last one, Happy Blissfulness, doesn't actually exist.  I made it up.