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Old 02-01-2009, 04:59 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Here's something which I hope is mildly informative and of interest.

The first 3 parts of Blues in The Cellar, looking at the artists from the early 20th Century, who I have no doubt had a huge role in making the 1960's the decade it was musically. Enjoy

Part 1 - Blind Willie McTell


Part 2 - Robert Johnson


Part 3 - Brownie McGhee
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:32 AM   #42 (permalink)
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The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico
(1967)



Tracks

1 Sunday Morning 2:56
2 I'm Waiting for the Man 4:39
3 Femme Fatale 2:38
4 Venus in Furs 5:12
5 Run Run Run 4:22
6 All Tomorrow's Parties 6:00
7 Heroin 7:12
8 There She Goes Again 2:41
9 I'll Be Your Mirror 2:14
10 The Black Angel's Death Song 3:11
11 European Son 7:46

One of the most influential releases ever to grace the world of popular music, its effect shaped the course of Glam Rock, Punk, Goth, New Romantics, Indie and no doubt even music which is not very good. It truly is a special album, which deserves its hype amongst music critics and fans alike.

Released in 1967 on The Verve Record Label, The Velvet Underground and Nico really does stand out from other albums recorded during 1966/67. When we talk about the production efforts going into other 1967 releases like Sgt Pepper, or even the closest British equivalent to the Velvets; Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates, The Velvet Underground's production on their debut is pretty much none existent, but for me that surely is the point.

The album was apparently produced by Pop Art pioneer, Andy Warhol, but in reality his role in the making of this album was to house the band in his eccentric New York art house, The Factory, to sign the cheques and to introduce the band to the mysterious German model come singer Christa Päffgen or Nico as she was known. It also has to be said that Warhol also created the front cover, one of the most iconic front covers ever to come out of America. But in musical terms, this album is really a Lou Reed/John Cale masterpiece.



Instead of producing a typical late sixties album, Reed, Cale and Co produced a beautiful yet stripped down album with songs as poignant as the city it was born. Songs like Heroin and Venus in Furs provide the darkness while songs like the beautiful Sunday Morning, Femme Fatale and I'll be Your Mirror brighten up your day, even if the meaning behind the lyrics are probably just as dark as the previously mentioned songs. Run Run Run and I'm Waiting for the Man are as raw and garagy foot tappy as the best of them, while All Tomorrow's Parties is as avant-garde as they come, what more can you ask?

Like many folk, I tend to avoid things which are clouded in hype because normally they are quite the let down, however with this album; I have nothing but praise and admiration. Believe the hype.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:03 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Nice review of a good album. As I wrote earlier, I believe it must be the world's most famous cult album and so it deserves proper mention on MB. JJJ and doc's reviews were a bit more "song for song" in their approach and what you have added, some of the story around the album, is what I felt was missing from their reviews.

Good job.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Great review, man! I like the way you went about this. Not exactly your typical review.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:33 AM   #45 (permalink)
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The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
(1968)



Tracks

1 Sympathy for the Devil 6:18
2 No Expectations 3:56
3 Dear Doctor 3:22
4 Parachute Woman 2:20
5 Jigsaw Puzzle 6:06
6 Street Fighting Man 3:16
7 Prodigal Son 2:52
8 Stray Cat Blues 4:37
9 Factory Girl 2:09
10 Salt of the Earth 4:47


In a year when the big guns of the British music scene were releasing some of their finest works, The Rolling Stones in 1968 took a step back from the Psychedelia that the band had dipped their toe into with Their Satanic Majesties Request, and instead opted to return to the style of music they found more comfortable, the Blues.

In 1968, Beggars Banquet was released on the Decca record label. It marked a return to the essence of what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are all about. With Beggars Banquet they returned to the sound that got them into music in the first place, demonstrating a passion and purpose to their writing, which I think to some extent, was missing from their 1967 release. It also marked the end of Brian Jones fully contributing to a Rolling Stones album.

Produced by Brooklyn born Jimmy Miller, producer for great Blues connoisseurs The Spencer Davis Group as well as later landmark Rolling Stones albums, the sound on Beggars Banquet is very primal in nature and could be straight from 1930's Chicago, with many of the songs featuring sliding acoustic elements like No Expectations and the unbelievably underrated Jigsaw Puzzle

There are some Rock and Roll numbers to be had on this record as well. Whilst John Lennon was promoting a more passive revolution in the troubling times of 1968, Mick Jagger was right in the thick of London's antiwar protests. The result of his feelings towards these troubling times was the song Street Fighting Man, arguably one of their finest moments as a band.



The opening track to the album also stands out as one of the bands finest moments. Sympathy for The Devil with its very Luciferesque lyrics and an upbeat voodoo feel must have been quite the song in 1968, as it still stands up as a belting epic song to this day.

The Rolling Stones tried outright Psychedelia in 1967, and for me personally, there were bands out there that were much better at writing that sort of material. But when it came to out and out British Blues with a twist, The Rolling Stones were champions and head and shoulders above the rest. In Beggars Banquet they let rip and produced an exceptional album, not just for 1968, but for anytime, the front cover aint that bad either.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:04 AM   #46 (permalink)
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What an album, i don't think there's a bad track on there at all. You're very right about Jigsaw Puzzle too, my favourite song by them behind Gimme Shelter.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:31 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Part Four of Blues in The Cellar,

The first time this Journal has looked at the female of the species, and I cannot think of a better place to start

This YouTube creation looks at the marvellously flamboyant Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose influence reached the likes of Keith Richards, Robert Plant and even Elvis. A remarkable woman.


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Old 02-15-2009, 09:55 PM   #48 (permalink)
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thank you for this thread.
One of the most enlightening things I've read on this sight.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:17 AM   #49 (permalink)
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? & The Mysterians - 96 Tears
(1966)



Tracks

1 I Need Somebody
2 Stormy Monday
3 You're Telling Me Lies
4 Ten O'Clock
5 Set Aside
6 Up Side
7 Teen
8 Don't Tease Me
9 Don't Break This Heart of Mine
10 Why Me
11 Midnight Hour
12 96 Tears


? & The Mysterians from Flint, Michigan are quite literally Garage legends. To mainstream audiences they were known for being a one hit wonder, but they were much more then that, they created this brilliant, and very much underrated album.

Led by their charismatic front man "?" (His legal name by the way), the band released their debut album in 1966 on the Cameo Record label. 96 Tears contains their solitary big hit which reached number 1 in America in October of 1966,

The title track was huge, and took the band instantly into the area of Garage gods, and according to the clever folk at VH1, into the one hit wonder bracket. John Lennon of the mainstream, who had more hits according to VH1, called the song "the greatest Rock n Roll song of all time", some praise indeed.



So track 12 from this album is pretty much a given, 96 Tears is, shall we say, great! But there is much more to behold on this album then just their hit. ? And The Mysterians are all about the organ, and in my view the band are at their best when the organ is being played like a demented being is at the keys producing the licks. The opening track on this album is a shining example; I Need Somebody is relentless and is a fine taster for what else can be found on this album.

But after the opener you're met with track two; Stormy Mondays is the complete opposite to the opener, its huggable and chilled with vocals accompanying the organ beautifully. But by track 3 we're back to typical Mysterian territory, this time the organ is joined by a very basic guitar, which all mixed together makes for a corking song, You're Telling Me Lies is my favourite Mysterian song, but not by far.

This winning formula runs throughout this superb debut creating equally marvellous songs, Up Side, 8 Teen, Don't Tease Me, Don't Break My Heart, sod it, basically the entire album is utter brilliance and is essential for any Garage connoisseur, if not any music lover, you really cannot go wrong with this album.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:29 AM   #50 (permalink)
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The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
(1967)



Tracks

1 Pretty Ballerina
2 She May Call You up Tonight
3 Barterers and Their Wives
4 I've Got Something on My Mind
5 Let Go of You Girl
6 Evening Gown
7 Walk Away Renee
8 What Do You Know?
9 Shadows Breaking over My Head
10 I Haven't Got the Nerve
11 Lazy Day

Formed in New York in 1965, The Left Banke were a band who mixed classical arrangements with sunshine pop, the result was to see them produce a version of “Baroque'n'Roll” not heard since. Driven musically by the teenage prodigy, chief songwriter and pianist; Michael Brown, whilst driven financially by Brown’s father, in 1967 they released one of only two albums, Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, released on Smash.

The album from track one; right through to track 11 is a piece of work which deserves its own wing at an art gallery. With tracks so beautifully arranged mixed with sweet harmonisation running through its core, the music on this record literally glows from the speaker it is that stunningly good.



The album contains the band’s hits, reaching number 15 Pretty Ballerina is a glorious song and a fine opener. The other hit from the album was their number 5 single, Walk Away Renee, which features on track 7. Both songs however are the tip of a much bigger and bolder iceberg, for all these songs on this record are of a quality unrivalled by many of the better known bands from the sixties.

However to create these beautiful songs, session musicians would be drafted in which in turn led to the downfall of this promising band. Creating such wondrous records as they did, they were never able to consistently recreate their beautiful signature tunes out on the road, a fact further exacerbated by Michael Brown’s decision to focus more on studio work then tour dates. The band would fall victim to this and indeed dissolved in 1969

The Left Banke despite their marvellous and gorgeous debut (their follow up aint bad either), are today largely unrecognised. In fact so unrecognised are The Left Banke that none of their albums or subsequent compilations are still in production, meaning the price for any of their works has inflated out of control, which to be honest is a shocking state of affairs. If you like anything remotely wistful, beautiful and sweet, wrapped in a blanket of brilliance, then this album is surely for you.

Despite the market value, not all is lost, get in touch with your local independent record shop; they’ll know what to do.
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