Saturday, September 30, 2017

Roland Orzabal - Tomcats Screaming Outside - 2001

Huge expectations and desires when this one came out.  Why he chose to use his name rather than Tears For Fears is really beyond me, considering he'd been doing it that way for a decade.  I know that he and Curt were working together again, but another release of TfF would have gotten him a hell of a lot more attention than an album under his own name.

Excellent, excellent material on this one.  Absolutely fabulous.  One track after the next, we get classic Orzabal sound, with a modern flare and experimentation.  A little more electronic, drum & bass, and other styles current to this release.  Mind you, there are two songs on this one, though that I don't really care for, but for the sake of all of you, I won't tell you which ones, as I don't want to ruin it for anyone.  But, for the rest, all I can say is WOW.

It's unfortunate that it didn't get any attention or airplay.  But, when you have a name like Roland, and you are unknown to the general populace that doesn't normally pay attention much, it's bound to happen.  Wikipedia seems to blame it on 9/11, as it was released on that day, but I doubt that.  Maybe Wiki is just indirectly claiming it was cursed?  I don't know.  All I know is that it is one of Orzabal's best, and needs to be recognized for it.

Always hated the original cover, it just doesn't jive well for me.  Used the Lowlife single sleeve for this one, and seems more appropriate.

Dude, it's been one of those weeks.  Sorry for posting late, but yesterday sucked hard.  Plain and simple.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shamen - UV - 1998

 I'm sitting in a truck stop in the middle of Kansas trying to edit this as I speak.  Hopefully I can get done before it actually posts. 

 After the glory of their  last four albums, I was really looking forward to this new album when it came out.  The Universal single have been out for couple months, and I was really enjoying it. So, one would expect a spectacular album.   How wrong I was. 

 There are some awesome songs on this album, but it is a far cry from Boss Drum or Axis Mutatis.  In fact, there are a couple songs in which you almost wonder if this is the same group. They seem to have shifted from their techno pop sound back into and electronic Indie-type sound.   For the most part, though, it will probably leave you disappointed. This is here for the completists.  

 All in all, there are several songs that would definitely end up on a greatest hits selection. There are tracks worth listening to, and enjoying. And thank you for those of you who helped me find the missing mixes of U-Nations. 



Friday, September 22, 2017

Pet Shop Boys - Release - 2001

When this album came out, I was drowning in depression.  DROWNING.  9/11 had just happened, I had quit my job in the heat of passion, my son had just been born, and my wife and I were struggling together.  The depression was the worst.  It was my pre-medicated years, and I would try anything that I came across to self-medicate (use your imagination.)  I hadn't started seeing a shrink yet, and I would come home from work and have this strong urge to go into the kitchen, get out one of my large carving knives, and plunging it down into the suprasternal notch of my neck (look it up.)  I would get tunnel vision a lot and severe panic attacks.  I would curl up in a ball on my knees and scream.  This contributed to, and worked hand in hand with my quitting my job.  And, with 9/11 happening, I had this overwhelming feeling that the world was crashing around me, too.

For this reason, there are specific albums I can no longer listen to.  They remind me too much of that time lost to fear and anxiety.  They take me to a dark place.

But, musically, there was one shining spot of piece for me.  One album that I could listen to that helped calm me, and helped me recuperate.  Obviously, it was PSB's Release, otherwise I wouldn't be telling this story now.

Home and Dry and London, to this day, are two of my most favorite PSB songs.  Samurai In Autumn and You Choose stand out, as well.  It was a very mature and peaceful album that captured the Boys at their best, personally, since Very.  I remember it well, listening to it at home or in my car, and it being snowy, cold and overcast outside.  It would make those dark days more bearable, soothing and warming, even in the dark nights of winter.

Any doubt about my 2001 nightmare, remember these two posts - Here & Here

Anyhow, one of their best, always will be. Remix Discs to come later....


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw & the Cooked - 1988

So, for some reason I got done with the cover of the remix discs (2) to accompany this album, but I didn't finish the back side/track side of them.  They've been sitting around for a month or more waiting for me to finish them, and here I thought they were already done.  Well, that will make for another post later on in the year.....

Anyway, here is the complete version of FYC's 1988 album, the Raw & the Cooked.  I was somewhat of a fan of the singles when they came out, but at that time I was hip deep in collecting rare Cure, DM and New Order 12" singles, and too busy with that to notice the album itself.  Years after the fact, I found the CD at a garage sale for 50cents, and had to make the purchase.  I wonder why I waited so long....   Some of the b-sides I've never heard before now.  I have never collected this for myself, so several of the tracks are completely new.  I'm pretty sure I've got them all on here, but even Pull The Sucker Off snuck up on my out of nowhere after I had finished the back cover once, and had to redo it.

I am scheduling this post out, as I speak, and when you read it, I'll be two days into my week of traveling.  I used to think that traveling for a living would be easy, but I was wrong.  It's hard.  Sitting in the car for 8 out of 10 hours of the day, traveling through endless countrysides, trying to convince people to buy more of product they already have too much of and I'm not even interested in it.  Spending 3 to 4 nights out of the week in hotels, strange and uncomfortable beds, smelly rooms, poor internet and phone connections.  And in these small towns, there is NOTHING to do.  This last week, I spent Thursday night sitting on a curb outside of a gas station in this town out in the middle of nowhere, playing solitaire on my iPad and smoking cigarettes, all because I didn't want to go back and sit in my hotel room.  Wow, what fun!  I guess that as time goes by, I'll get used to it. But, right now it's rough.  Hate it.  All this, knowing that my wife and boys are at home without me.  So it is...  The things we do for our families.

So, I'll post the remix discs for this album later on in the year.  The cover I did for the discs is awesome, so they'll stand as a good set on their own.  Enjoy this album, though, and I'll see you on Friday.

Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw & the Cooked - 1988

PS - You will all be happy to know that with my new job, I got a new company car.  There is no CD player in the car, so I have to Bluetooth music from my iPad.  I now understand with 100% certainty the absolute necessity of proper Mp3tags and volume leveling.  So, from now on, all of your Mp3s will be properly tagged and leveled.   Also, would any of you prefer I post both MP3s and M4As?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Steve Taylor - To Forgive - 1984

I've had this song on my mind all morning.  Could be because it's Sunday, and we just got home from church.  You'd never guess I was the type to do that.  But, I do.  And I hope someday my heart will be changed...  Anyway....

Friday, September 15, 2017

Cure - The Top - 1984

Sorry about missing Tuesday's post.  I got busy on Sunday getting ready to leave for the week and didn't have time to post.  Hopefully, the extra post I made today will make up for that.

Of all of the Cure albums pre-2000, this is probably my least favorite.  Dressing Up is good, Caterpillar is good, and the b-sides aren't too bad.  But, I could never really grasp the rest of the songs.  They just didn't do it for me.  The melodies were chaotic and unattractive, the mixing wasn't the best, and the track arrangement left a lot to be desired.

I had this one on cassette forever before I finally got it on CD.  It was the last Cure album I purchased on CD when I was converting my collection (probably 1995).  I only got it on CD to complete my digital Cure set.  So sad.

When the deluxe sets came out, I was hoping for some better material hiding in the bonus disc.  But, alas, not hardly anything we didn't already have.  I mean, what sort of title is Sadacic?  How do you even pronounce it?  You Stayed... wasn't a bad track, but the rest of the material was weak.

This collection eliminates the demos of the album tracks and intermixes the b-side and unreleased song demos into the actual album, in a sad attempt to fix it.  Doesn't help.

Don't forget the bonus post, just below this one!

Depeche Mode - The Reaps Mixes - Volume One

Because I was gone for work, and missed my Tuesday post, I am giving you this extra post tonight.  It's the Reaps mixes of DM from 2012.  All are awesome, and you should get a kick out of the modern interpretations.  They are all worthy of the DM name.  Hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Duran Duran - Astronaut - 2005

I had high hopes when I heard that all five of the guys were getting back together for the first time since 1985.  Ecstatic to be more precise.  Finally, a return to greatness!!!!

Then I heard Sunrise, and I grew a little worried.  Oh, no.  This better not be how they're returning to the scene after all this time.  Some mixes came out, and I grew a little less concerned, but still very cautious.  Then, they released the album.....

As a grand return to the music scene, the album was okay, pretty good, but far from perfect.  It has some really good songs on it, but then also some songs that make you think "what the hell is that?!"  After repeated listens, I grew more comfortable with it, and I settled into the fact that this was the new "them", and to accept it for what it was worth.

Then, over the course of the next year, some great things happened.  The remixes came first, then some b-sides and unreleased tracks.  Lastly, the demos.  It would appear that the best songs recorded during the sessions were left off of the actual album.  Beautiful Colours, Salt In the Rainbow, Silent Icy River...  All favorites of mine.  And there are a lot of fantastic remixes as well.  Really great stuff.

SO, I compiled it into three discs.  All of the mixes are official, all of the demos are top quality.  And, there is also one track in there that does not belong in there, but I included it anyway because this was the era I found it in, and I didn't learn until much later that it didn't belong in the set.  Too bad, so sad, in my collection, that is where it's going to stay.

Anyway, I will be gone ALL next week, but I will schedule out my posts so you won't miss a beat.  Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Zolar X - Timeless - 1982

I leave to go out of town for work tomorrow morning, so I'm making tomorrow's post today.  I will be keeping this short and sweet, too, as my family just came back into town and I need to spend some quality time before I go out for the week.

Some may ask, "Why are you posting this?"  I'm wondering that myself.  I'm posting it though, because I've found it to be so freekin' bizarre.  It's good music, very creative.  It's got a hint of Power Pop, New Wave, Prog and Punk.  All wrapped around this weird alien theme.  It's good for a couple plays, and then drop it into your library, done.  Maybe pull it out once in a blue moon.

But, now if anyone asks if you've heard Zolar X, you can say "Yes, I have.  I have a copy, too.  Would you like to listen?"  That has been my goal in life.  Finding obscure crap to share just to say I can.  It gives me a thrill up my leg....

Zolar X - Timeless - 1982

PS - The Russians have been hitting me again.  And the Italians.  I got over 4000 page views in less than 10 minutes from Russia, last week.  Two days ago, I got 3000 page views in about 20 minutes from Italy.  Considering I usually only get about 4500-5000 page views a day, I think something was up....  And I usually don't get any visits from Russia at all....

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 4 (Security) - 1982

Sorry for the delay last night.  It's been a busy week since last we spoke, and I actually didn't have any time until it was too late, and then I was too tired.  Hopefully the fact that it's a PG album will help you to forgive me.

Best mix on the album - the Simian Surprise mix of Shock the Monkey.  Turn that one WAY WAY UP.