The wily, irascible old genius has passed away. His contribution to the music we all love in its myriad forms is incalculable.
He made some great records, but will always be remembered for his only number one My ding a ling.
Sad loss, but at 90 years old he had a good innings.
What does it sound like?:
After nearly 40 years, you’d think that a new album would be full of competent, straightforward songs with some nice touches but nothing too alarming. The previous two albums delivered on that promise and it is only now, after delivery of an enigmatic and edgy collection of songs that I truly remember why I loved them in the first place.
Cast your mind back to 1982, when Messrs Fletcher, Gahan and Gore found themselves without their main songwriter. They somehow cobbled together OK album with some very clever studio people. Alan Wilder then came to their aid as the only naturally musical member, working with the top-notch studio blokes. Demos were rough and sketchy – but Wilder and the production team, under the guidance of Daniel Miller used studio alchemy to turn the material into pop music of the highest quality.
With Wilder leaving in the mid-90s – the three of them were exposed again. They are obviously talented musically but they need a translator, a diplomat, a representative to articulate what they want. They communicate badly between each other – they know this. They need a parent, an arbitrator and a leader to » Continue Reading.
I start the bidding with the fantastic Instinction by the Spands. Anyone else wish to pay homage to the boldly bespectacled Buggle?
What does it sound like?:
Steve Hackett returns with a new album, the follow up to 2015’s Wolflight set. Incredibly, this is his twenty fifth solo album, but he continues to push forward and explore new musical fields.
This time there is a definite influence of what can loosely be described as ‘world music’ throughout as Hackett collaborates with artists from places as diverse as Peru, India and the Middle East. This is still very much a Steve Hackett album though, and fans of his proggier leanings need not fret, as they’ll not be disappointed by the music on offer.
As ever, there are hints of classic era Genesis here and there, but Hackett is very much his own man these days. Personally, I prefer the more atmospheric pieces such as Fifty Miles From the North Pole and Inca Terra, which is maybe the strongest song and the core of the album. However, there are plenty of other interesting songs in this set, most of which have a great deal going on musically, often too much to fully take in on an initial listening.
This is an album of many different directions, and maybe is not as immediately accessible » Continue Reading.
Getting warnings when I log in, multiple browsers, multiple computers. I don’t store my credit card details here, but somewhat worrying. Anybody else?
There’s a growing interest in jazz these days from younger listeners. I’m writing a book currently along the lines of ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Jazz’ and one of the sections is around which 25 albums might one recommend to someone who is starting a jazz collection? Knowing that the Massive is both knowledgeable and loves a challenge, I’m throwing this question out to you all for views and to see if we can put together a rough list to help answer this question. All views welcome!
This was supposed to be a quiet year hiding under the covers, but…last week it was the new Magnetic Fields 5 disc album, then today I was forced(I tell you) to buy tickets for both nights of MF UK performance in the summer (25 songs per night)….and now Lloyd Cole goes and does this. Take me I’m yours…Thank God I don’t own a record player or i would probably be ordering the vinyl….
Earlier in the week, a friend tipped me off about the haunting solo piano music of Ethiopian nun, Emahoy Segué-Maryam Guébrou. An album by her is Number 21 in the magnificent Ethiopiques series of re-issues from the Ethiopian golden age (and you can listen to it on Spotify or YouTube). Remarkable music from a composer with a very personal style. She’s 93 now and lives in a monastery in Jerusalem.
What a dramatic life she has led. As a young woman, during Mussolini’s invasion of her country, she was a POW on the island of Asinara, off the coast of Sardinia. That titbit led me an unexpected discovery. During the same period, The Emperor of Abyssinia, Haile Selassie spent four years in exile in Bath of all places from 1936- 40.
What a contrast! The charismatic, exotic East African patriarch and his enormous retinue must have made quite an impression in that sedate, stately, rather sleepy Georgian spa town. My first thought was that he chose Bath as he was a great fan of Jane Austen. The truth is more mundane. The British government, who were trying to stay on the right side of Il Duce, felt that it was » Continue Reading.
In these times of bad and fake news the smallest things can make my day. Warm sunny weather, a delicious solitary cask beer in my local Beer School or finding fallen pennies on my travels. On my Thursday charity shop excursion I bought a Freddie Starr LP I had not seen previously. Also a Virginia McKenna LP I did not know existed.
This morning I got a Twitter message to say Laurence R Harvey had retweeted one of my Bad Album Covers postings (look him up). That is only one of the main actors in Human Centipede 2 AND 3 plus Frankenstein Created Bikers – not that I will ever watch these films but…
It is up there with Glen Matlock offering to buy me a pint. What makes your day?
The optimal time to clean your stovetop is when it is hot.
Yes its the bloody Beatles again – well, we – that being the regular podders DFB, StevenC & DrJ PLUS fresh face NigelT making a stunning debut – look at the solo career AFTER his All Things Must Pass album and enquire if unlike Lennon post Imagine – is there anything to see?
Somehow we take in the 80’s TV show ‘In At The Deep End’, the Dark Hoarse tour, the much remaindered Living In The Material World, Steven C’s marvellous Spotify playlist, Oliver Reed, Neil Innes, wife-swapping, croque monsieurs and everything in between. Oh and of course Jeff Lynne & the 1986 Brumbeat concert at the third time of asking.
You can also sample Steven C’s super GEORGE playlist on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/user/stevenccc/playlist/2LEtDbCSzT4XdS74s8YcEF
It’s a non stop cavalcade of chat and when you reach the end – we ain’t done – there is more in the can for the future. Hari Hill to you all.
Posted for no reason other than that I just watched a rerun of TOTP from ye olde 1983 on which they featured on the closing credits. Includes some ‘long after most DJs have retired to the BBC bar’ footage of Mike Read, virtue-signalling that he’s above the run of the mill R1 deejays by singing and marching along to said song.
To be fair, I did kind of feel at the time that MR had more of a knowledge of pop history and context than yer average R1 personalidee…
Where do you find yourself?
I find myself in the top two floors of a townhouse in Bonn, some 66 steps up from the ground. Looking out of the windows I can see the rooftops of the city and the hills in the distance. I am rooted in the centre of the city, near a large square where people ebb and flow during the day and during the seasons. 10 minutes and I am on the banks of the Rhine which stretches up towards Liechtenstein and down towards Rotterdam. I am in the western regions of Germany, not too far from the Luxembourg border, but there are big stretches of wooded countryside on either side of the Rhine valley before the next major conurbation.
How about you?
What does it sound like?:
So in an alternate 1991 – probably visited at some point by Marty McFly in a DeLorean – Nirvana released their second album for the SubPop label – ‘Sheep’. Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic & Chad Channing select Butch Vig to produce the majority of the release which garners positive reviews in the music weeklies. Due to SubPop’s ongoing distribution and marketing problems, it barely equals the 40,000 sales of ‘Bleach’. Channing quit the band with the remaining members attempting to recruit ex Scream tubthumper Dave Grohl but losing him to Pearl Jam……
Back in our timeline – April 1990 at Smart Studios, Madison, Wisconsin, Nirvana recorded 8 songs for their proposed second album on the SubPop label but these tracks would be used by the band to score a new deal with a major label. Naturally once Channing was replaced with Grohl, the material was re-recorded although the arrangements and lyrics often remained the same. With the addition of other tracks from the period this bootleg album attempts to give a taste of what was lost. All of the tracks are now officially available – scattered across the CDs and box sets – but » Continue Reading.
Just listening to jazz fusion supremo Gary Boyle following discussion with the discerning @peanuts-molloy on another thread. Gary’s solo work is fine, but I was highly amused to see a track called “Grumble”. Possibly not inspired by modern usage….any other sniggersome or other examples?
Tickets are now on sale for The Indigo Girls, who will be here in July.
Not my favourite band, but one I like a lot, but more to the point, ever since I first discovered them, some 20 years or more ago, they’ve never been over here on tour (but I stand to be corrected on that). Certainly this is the first time I’ve been aware of them touring and from what I’ve read they are a tremendous, formidable live band.
Dates confirmed are:
Thursday 20 July, RNCM Theatre, Manchester; Friday 21 July, Albert Hall, Nottingham; Saturday 22 July, The Leadmill, Sheffield; Monday 24 July, Birmingham Town Hall, Birmingham; Tuesday 25 July, Bierkeller, Bristol; Wednesday 26 July, Concorde 2, Brighton; Saturday 29 July, Islington Assembly Hall, London; Sunday 30 July, Islington Assembly Hall, London.
I’ve got tickets for the 29th.
Possibly a couple more dates can be added into that schedule. No dates in Scotland I note.
Apollo Theatre, London
One doesn’t frequent the theatre as much as one ought, nor will one in future if the theatre continues to stiff one for eighty-three notes plus a £1.75 ‘Restoration Contribution” for a seat in Row B of the Circle. In an odd way it’s the smaller amount which hurts you more – having recovered from the mugging at the Box Office, you find yourself reeling all over again at their temerity in coming back to you with hand outstretched for a levy to fund the polishing of the proscenium or the re-sticking of the stucco. Such costs, you might think, would be intrinsic to the gross figure previously presented, but not so. Throw in train tickets, a couple of Shaftesbury Avenue burgers and half a bottle of claggy Malbec each, and the chiz household is well on its way to £250 in the hole for the privilege of sitting side-by-side in silence in the dark all evening, something we normally expect to get for free at home. A modest mortgage renegotiation at half time scores us two thimbles of Haagen Daas, the ice cream equivalent of a Farrow and Ball testing pot; it’s » Continue Reading.
The locks are kept long to keep me warm as I work outside, but spring has finally sprung here on Vancouver Island and it’s time for a new “do”. In keeping with the dame’s age at the time and mine now I’m opting for the 2002 version.
For those of us in the land of Oz, Daniel Kitson is touring. That was remarkable enough, but next week in Sydney he’s playing a tiny venue I had never heard of, and for a ticket price I havent seen since the 80’s, or maybe the 70’s – $12.
I don’t know what I was originally looking at, because you know what it’s like when you are reading something online and something else catches your eye and before you know it you’re reading a list of 10 actors who had to be re-cast two weeks into a movie shoot. But I ended up reading something about how much a rare £2 coin went for last week. I don’t collect coins, but I quite often keep special coins that I’ve never seen before. Or I at least keep them until I’m searching for change to pay the window cleaner. But I had one or two knocking about so I thought I’d look on eBay, just in case I was sitting on a £2 coin that was worth 5 grand. I wasn’t.
There were loads of £2 coins for sale though, so I sorted them by price to see what the most expensive one went for. It was mildly interesting for a few seconds. But then I ordered them the other way and looked at the cheapest. I was gobsmacked. You would not believe how many people have sold ‘special’ £2 coins for less than £2. And when you take Paypal » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Like Tull? Like a bit of light classical music too? Then this is your lucky day, as what we have here is a selection of the best of the mighty Tull, creatively reimagined, reworked and performed by The Carducci String Quartet, with judicious assistance as required by Ian Anderson’s flute and vocals.
To differentiate these treatments from the original songs on which they are based, Anderson has given each piece a new title, each referring back to its inspiration. About half of these are purely instrumental, while the remainder feature some vocal passages from Anderson, along with his acoustic guitar, mandolin and of course his ever present flute. However, it is the string quartet that is the star of the show on this album. Their playing is sublime throughout, and gives a new lease of life to these now quite long in the tooth songs.
While Anderson’s flute playing is as good as ever, his voice has lost some of its power over the years. However, in this context that doesn’t seem to matter, as it’s the instrumentation and arrangements that bear the main weight of carrying these songs.
The strongest pieces – » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
AKA I Saw You Standing There With A Bootleg In Your Hand.
Beatle Paul had a variable 1980’s – kicking off with the drugs bust and the death of his teenage best friend nemesis rival, John within the first 12 months, followed by a technical nightmare live appearance at Live Aid, Ebony & Ivory, Give My Regards To Broad Street, the ‘Press To Play album, losing out owning The Beatles catalogue to Michael Jackson, the theme song for ‘Spies Like Us’ and – no I’m not going to say “The Frog Song” because a) it’s called ‘We All Stand Together’ and b) it’s a fucking brilliant children’s song.
On the other hand – a memorable video for ‘Pipes Of Peace’, ‘Coming Up’ with its fab multi-Paul promo, Take It Away, Wanderlust, No More Lonely Nights, the inventive McCartney II album, Here Today, Choba B CCCP and a triumphant live return at the end of the decade off the back of one of his most successful and critically acclaimed albums in years – 1989’s ‘Flowers In The Dirt’. Paul’s reissue projects slightly haphazard sequencing lands there this month with a 2 CD, 2LP and a 3CD & 1 DVD Deluxe Edition » Continue Reading.
So instead – howsabout posting the very last track you listened to (or indeed are listening to now) ?
Given the , shall we say, “varied” tastes on here I’d be amazed if we find any two of the same artists/band nevermind, miracles of miracles, the same song ?
Well this looks very interesting. The first of a two volume work on the darker side of pop culture in the 70s and 80s. The author is self publishing through www.lulu.com. The physical copy is black and white but he plans to give away a free, full colour e-book with every physical copy sold.
There’s a review on the blog link.