Category: 1979

1979, Music

New Values (1979) by Iggy Pop

One might be tempted to read into the title of this record, given that it’s Pop’s first record without David Bowie and his backing band in a few years. That might be reading into it too much, though, as I’m not sure this record is dissimilar enough from Lust for Life to really spend to …

1979, Music

Bad Girls (1979) by Donna Summer

I do not like disco. I do not like disco for both intellectual reasons and emotional ones. My intellectual reasons? Disco, to me, sounds like robotic, neutered, safe funk where everything musically interesting within funk has been abandoned to emphasize repetitiveness and sameness. My emotional reasons are more complex. I am pretty self-reflective and can …

1979, Music

Breakfast in America (1979) by Supertramp

I grew up listening to Oldies Radio when that meant music from the 1960s and, occasionally, the late ’50s. Especially as I got older, the station I used to listen to would make exceptions for some music from the 1970s, usually MOR and singer-songwriter stuff. Supertramp was one of the bands that made that cut. …

1979, Music

Overkill (1979) by Motörhead

I have never listened to Motörhead’s debut in part because I have been warned off it by bad reviews. It came out a year and a half before this record but, in the meantime, the much more polished but still fast and relatively rough (for ’70s metal) Stained Class came out. What I’m trying to …

1979, Music

Live at the Witch Trials (1979) by The Fall

Debut albums can be quite hit and miss. Most bands do not record their first album with a completely unique sound. The unique debut albums we do remember which stick out do so because they are so rare. Most bands’ debuts are not only not their best albums, but don’t capture them doing something wholly …

1975, 1979, 1988, Music

Knussen: Symphonies Nos. 2-3, Trumpets, Ophelia Dances, Coursing, Cantata (1988) by Various

This is a compilation of a few of Knussen’s pieces, which, far as I can figure, are performed by three different ensembles, including an ensemble conducted by Knussen himself.

1956, 1979, 2007

Khachaturian: Spartacus (1979, 2007) by The Bolshoi National Orchestra

As far as I can tell, this is the orchestral music from a 1979 performance of Khachaturian’s Spartacus. It is the complete four suites, I believe (or, rather, all the music). I definitely prefer listening to it all at once, instead of hearing one suite or something like that.

1979, 1981, 1982, Music

Vox Humana? / Finale / Fürst Igor Strawinsky (1991) by Mauricio Kagel, performed by Ensemble 2e2m, Lyon National Opera Chorus conducted by Paul Méfano

This record collects three of Kagel’s longish “choral” pieces. Kagel was a weirdo is the best ways.

1975, 1976, 1979, Movies

The Battle of Chile (1975, 1976, 1979, Patricio Guzman)

This is a remarkable 3-part documentary (cinema verite style) that exhaustively covers the political crisis that led to the 1973 coup in Chile and the aftermath. And when I say ‘covers’ I mean it’s an eyewitness account that was smuggled out of Chile. It has to stand as one of the film landmarks of the …

1979, Movies

All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse)

I am not a fan of Fellini. Well, that’s not exactly true, I like early Fellini. But I find “peak” Fellini highly overrated and I pretty much can’t stand late Fellini. Of all the “Great Directors” I a have attempted to appreciate, Fellini is among my least favourite.

1972, 1975, 1979, 1981, 1994, Music

Miserere et. al (1994) by Henryk Gorecki, performed by John Nelson et al.

This is a collection of Gorecki’s choral music, mostly performed by choruses from Chicago. (Yet another release where the performers differ from track to track! I really need to get over this.) Fortunately, I wouldn’t have known that, if they didn’t tell me. So that’s something.

1979, Music

Einstein on the Beach (1976, 1979) by Philip Glass

I am a very big fan of John Adams’ Nixon in China from pretty much the moment I heard it. It seemed impossible to me that two seemingly diametrically opposed styles of music could be merged s seamlessly. It’s safe to say it changed my (musical) life.

1979, Movies

Woyzeck (1979, Werner Herzog)

It’s interesting to see something that is so popular in one culture and yet unknown in another. I wouldn’t have guessed this was considered part of the German canon if you had asked me. And so, I feel like I have to ask the question, why not? But I won’t answer it, I don’t think …

1979, Books, Non-Fiction

The Old Patagonian Express (1979) by Paul Theroux

The Old Patagonian Express is Theroux’s second excellent train travel book. In it he travels from Boston to Patagonia, mostly by rail (with the odd flight involved). As usual, he is astute, he is observant and, perhaps above all, honest.

1979, Music

Pelleas et Melisande (1979 EMI) by Claude Debussy, performed by Berliner Philharmonic, Von Stade, Stilwell, Denize, Van Dam, Raimondi, Von Karajan

Though I am growing in familiarity with late 19th / early 20th century “art” music, I am still not there yet. So it is very hard for me to judge something like this, Debussy’s only completed opera, especially as it relates to other performances of the same work. So forget about that part.

1979, Music

Armed Forces by Elvis Costello & the Attractions (Columbia 1979)

It’s slightly overproduced but this actually sort of makes it fit in with what was going on in the world. Costello is more biting here (and more cohesive) which appeals to me. It lets me forgive some of the more bizarre flourishes. Like the past one, it feels like a step forward and a step …

1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1988, 2003, Music

The 50th Anniversary Collection by James Brown (Polydor 2003)

James Brown’s importance can not be understated. He is on The List of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century (along with Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Dylan, Duke Ellington, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Frank Zappa and maybe a few others). This compilation of his hit singles gives a very good idea of his progression …