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Old 03-29-2009, 02:52 PM   #161 (permalink)
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I still can't get into Peter Tosh for some reason and I much prefer Sensimillia to Red for Black Uhuru but Can and Beefheart? Soundtracks is the new Can album for me and I think your brov thinks the same but great choices all around.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:37 PM   #162 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Piss Me Off View Post
Can and Beefheart, i'm appeased as are plenty of others here i'm sure
Yeah, I told you it'd get predictable

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I still can't get into Peter Tosh for some reason and I much prefer Sensimillia to Red for Black Uhuru but Can and Beefheart? Soundtracks is the new Can album for me and I think your brov thinks the same but great choices all around.
Sensimillia's an album I really need - if it's any better than Red it's gonna be quite something. The latter though was among the first reggae albums I ever bought, and it knocked me for six to say the least. As for Peter Tosh, he's a bit more watered-down than a lot of his contemporaries, but Equal Rights is such a strong album (in my opinion), and I'd have his material over those of his fellow Wailers anyday. Such views will probably change a year or two though.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:48 PM   #163 (permalink)
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I will sort Sensimillia out for you tomorrow as most links are dead.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:50 PM   #164 (permalink)
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I will sort Sensimillia out for you tomorrow as most links are dead.
Cheers pal, I'll be looking forward to it. No rush or anything

If there's anything you want in return (a Nick Cave album or two for example) just give us a shout eh.
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Old 03-29-2009, 04:16 PM   #165 (permalink)
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HA! I KNEW IT!

I've only just gotten acquainted with Lick My Decals Off, Baby but it's such an interesting listen. And beforehand I hadn't given much thought to Beefheart's sharp wit but I'm rather convinced he was more interesting than Zappa could ever be (see my user title!).

And I can't accurately express my love for Tago Mago.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:28 AM   #166 (permalink)
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HA! I KNEW IT!

I've only just gotten acquainted with Lick My Decals Off, Baby but it's such an interesting listen. And beforehand I hadn't given much thought to Beefheart's sharp wit but I'm rather convinced he was more interesting than Zappa could ever be (see my user title!).

And I can't accurately express my love for Tago Mago.
Van Vliet's a terrific lyricist for sure - it's a good laugh to try and make your own sense out of them. I personally think he's at the height of his creativity on all levels on his last three albums, even if they're not necessarily his best. Zappa on the other hand hasn't clicked with me in quite the same way Beefheart has; as much as I love any number of his albums they just don't get as much time from me as Beefheart's. I'm sure it's something that'll come with a bit more time.

As for Can, as brilliant as Soundtracks and Ege Bamyasi are, I'd still have Tago Mago over them anyday, if only for that midsection I ranted on about back there. It's probably the best album to freak out your flatmates with as well
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:36 AM   #167 (permalink)
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Right, I've left this alone for long enough. You've seen the best, you've seen the best of the best, here are ten albums I couldn't really imagine living without. The countdown is on!

10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part (2001)


1. As I Sat Sadly by Her Side
2. ...And No More Shall We Part
3. Hallelujah
4. Love Letter
5. Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow
6. God Is in the House
7. Oh My Lord
8. Sweetheart Come
9. The Sorrowful Wife
10. We Came Along This Road
11. Gates to the Garden
12. Darker with the Day

At the end of a cycle of virtually constant studio and stage work throughout the 90s came the Boatman's Call in 1997, which came as an unusual step after the brutal and nightmarish Murder Ballads. The former saw a remarkably tender, much more mellow and lyrically romantic Nick Cave arrive on the scene laden as it was with gorgeous, piano-led ballads featuring very sparse (though still vital) contributions from the Bad Seeds. It was a wonderful album, the only flaw of which would be the fact that it sounds under-thought, somewhat unfinished and as if its full potential hadn't been realised in the studio.

Four years later (having taken the time off to shake off his heroin habit), Cave and Bad Seeds took to Abbey Road studios to address the flaws of the Boatman's Call and, seeing as I'm going on about it here, this is exactly what they did, making some of the most beautiful music ever as a result. Again, as with the album which preceded it, the focus is on slow, contemplative and lyrically rich ballads (in another example of some of the finest lyrics ever committed to record), only this time the songs more well-rounded and glossy than before. The opening forty seconds of the album, in the blissful ballad As I Sat Sadly By Her Side, are as good an indicator as any for what we can expect - while the softly-struck piano notes are pushed higher in the mix, we can still hear the Bad Seeds demonstrating their versatility as a backing band, does so well to carry the song along. It's a vein that runs through the next couple of tracks, ...And No More Shall We Part and Hallelujah, as the album goes about its melancholy opening. Another facet of the songwriting which is carried over from the Boatman's Call and used to a fuller extent is the use of Warren Ellis' violin, supplying the songs with even more texture and raising the bar of the album's quality that little bit more.

Starting with Love Letter the overall mood of the album takes a turn towards the uplifting, if slightly naive (this particular one concerning someone who sends love letters as part of some mental compulsion - yes, it's a condition that actually exists), while remaining in the same piano-led court as the songs before it. Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow is the only real throwback to the Bad Seeds sound of old, and even that's a pretty vague one, being a slow-boiling tune which eventually builds towards a thrilling chorus, all the while opting for a more heavy-handed approach from the band.

All in all though, despite the occasional nod to the white-hot band-wide freakouts on earlier records, No More Shall We Part finds the group gripping this new, gentle and deeply emotional sound by the horns and manipulating it with very good results. The stunning God Is In the House, with its fragile arrangement and extremely gentle vibe, is this way of songwriting in a nutshell. The following Oh My Lord is a much more uptempo moment and another one of Cave's masterpieces, demonstrating his main strength as a songwriter, that being the composition of songs which build to terrific climaxes on the back of the urgency in his lyrics and rising temperature of the Bad Seeds' performances. On top of that, it's also home to one of the man's best vocal performances.

Over the remaining tracklisting settles the kind of mood which opened the album, that being one of a deeply poetic and gorgeously evocative melancholy, which is perfectly summed up by the tender Sweetheart Come (listen out for Ellis' beautiful violin solo). With regards to the last four tracks though, starting with The Sorrowful Wife, the word incredible comes to mind. The Sorrowful Wife kicks off in the same vein as the preceding ditty but, upon evolving into the manic thrash-up halfway through (one of those classic 'wtf' moments) comes across as a truly brilliant song. We Came Along This Road is probably the most theatrical moment here, the intro building up on the back of Cave's seamless piano chords, and continuing to build throughout the verse-chorus structure towards a blissful string-laden climax which sees the song to its end.

The closing couple of songs are from another world of piano-led balladry altogether. Gates Of the Garden is as close to the perfect song as you'll get, both musically and lyrically, while the same can be said of Darker With the Day. Without going on too long, if you want to know how to write musical and lyrical ballads with as much emotional resonance of the ending of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, look no further than these two songs.

In fact, look no further than this album. Primarily using the growing potency of the croon of Nick Cave's voice, his ability to lay down a killer piano track, Warren Ellis' violin and occasionally the backing vocals of Kate and Anna McGarrigle, the group takes the promise of a more mellow direction first explored with the Boatman's Call and exerts it to its limit, resulting in a very well-rounded, wonderfully-produced and absolutely excellent album of piano-led ballads. Top stuff.



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Old 04-07-2009, 02:15 PM   #168 (permalink)
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And behind curtain number 9...

9. The The - Mind Bomb (1989)


1. Good Morning, Beautiful
2. Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)
3. The Violence Of Truth
4. Kingdom Of Rain
5. The Beat(en) Generation
6. August and September
7. Gravitate To Me
8. Beyond Love

To take to the studio with him in the Autumn of 1988 in order to record the followup to Infected, The The's vocalist and sole constant member formed an actual band to cut songs with instead of an assembly of session musicians as he had done before (although string, horn and vocal overdubs were added later all the same). This band consisted of drummer Dave Palmer, bassist James Eller and some bloke called Johnny Marr on guitar. The resulting album remains without doubt one of the most ambitious and original mainstream works of the 80s. Here is where bandleader Matt Johnson takes the darkly-polished dance stylings of his earlier output and injects them with an air of theatricality, producing a slowly unwinding world of textured sound which brims with emotion. It's an album which owes no small favour to the hiring of the ex-Smith Marr, as well as a rock-solid rhythm section and as such a tight core unit which translates Johnson's musical imagination into some of the most evocative and radiant music ever recorded.

As the title may or may not suggest, there is a very sinister streak that runs thematically runs through the album. The fact that a song called Good Morning, Beautiful opens with what sounds like radio interference and ominous piano chords and horn arrangements illustrates this nicely, especially when after this slowly-building intro Johnson whispers the opening verse of 'I know that God lives in everybody's souls - and the only devil in your world - lives in the human heart'. On top of the dark, harrowing instrumentation and Johnson's musings on who 'turns your blood into spirit and your spirit into blood' is a very tense and surreal atmosphere to fit the political and religious concepts which dominate the album nicely. Such is the strength of this fabulous album.

Armegeddon Days Are Here (Again) takes the dark concept of the preceding track up a few notches, but this time finds Johnson singing of how 'if the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today, he'd be gunned down cold by the C.I.A' in more of a conventional song format than its predecessor, and is one of a few more danceable moments on the album, given its quick, pounding rhythm punctuated by Marr's funky guitar and overdubbed with the necessary strings and synth to bring out the foreboding theme of the song. The Violence Of Truth, as well as being a damn cool name for a song, carries this focus on dance rhythms over, boasting a kind of robotic percussive motif, fantastic bassline, terrific guitar-work and new wave-afflicted organ chords. At the album's more accessible section, it's another one which resembles The The's earlier output heavily.

From Kingdom Of Rain onwards (featuring the vocal talents of Sinéad O'Connor), the album's approach softens somewhat, with the lively rhythms stripped away to make way for a gloriously dark, midtempo slice of pop, where Marr's simple-yet-so-effective guitar brings out the sense of foreboding in the lyrics. The sole single release from Mind Bomb, the Beat(en) Generation, is another such tune, wherein beneath a melody-driven, glossy pop-rock exterior lies a paranoid, textured masterclass of songwriting.

August and September though sees Johnson's imagination running wild with a much more ambitious and experimental piece of work. Despite doing away with the political and religious lyrical themes, while this particular set isn't to be dismissed as a sappy love lyric in comparison, August and September lets the music do all the talking. It's a simply brilliant piece of finely-tuned and layered songwriting, propelled by Johnson's work behind the piano keyboard and underpinned by some sublime (though not intrusive) string and woodwind arrangements, with Marr's distant, distorted guitar and the tight rhythm section to fill in any gaps in the sonic picture. It's a darkly colourful, deeply evocative masterpiece of a song (in my opinion anyway - check the video and decide for yourself I guess).

The album then takes another twist in the gothic dance direction. Gravitate To Me is, then, a sister-song to Armegeddon... and the Violence Of Truth, in that it's another rhythm-oriented track with shades of funk about it which doesn't sacrifice the ambitious nature of the album as a whole. It is, needless to say, another fantastic song, and one which goes surprisingly well before Beyond Love, the dramatic, slow-burning album-closer. It seems a lot like the romantic calm after the storm of the music which precedes it, kinda like the sun shining through the rainclouds, as it builds from its lo-fi beginning to a beautiful climax.

It's quite simply the perfect end to a dark, complex and excellent definition of that vague term we see getting tossed around a lot - alternative pop. Theatrical, original, absolutely essential to any music fan, its standing as my 9th favourite album of all time is richly deserved.

And I'm finished.



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Old 04-07-2009, 06:47 PM   #169 (permalink)
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Hell no! The Byrds are not country!
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:54 PM   #170 (permalink)
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I take that back.. What happened to The Byrds and their music from the 60's era? If anyone really wants to listen to some good music from The Byrds, I think they should listen to songs like "My Back Pages." A song originally by Bob Dylan, but the Byrds have remastered the song.
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