Category: Music

1968, Music

Hair (1968) by the Original Broadway Cast

This is not the first cast recording of Hair but it is the first Broadway cast recording (I think) and, more importantly, it was the hit, it’s the version that hit #1 in 1968 – the last Broadway cast album to do so, according to Wikipedia – and sold millions of copies. So whether or …

1963, Music

In Dreams (1963) by Roy Orbison

If there was one artist I grew up with from the ’50s and early ’60s, it was Johnny Rivers. But if there were two artists I grew up from the ’50s and early ’60s it was Roy Orbison. You see, we listened to oldies radio. But when we didn’t listen to oldies stations, we either …

1963, Music

Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul (1963) by Ray Charles

This record was a big success but, despite some positive reviews, doesn’t have the greatest reputation. (Example: the Allmusic review is 4 stars but really feels like a 3 star review.) The idea is that its source material is [i]too[/i] diverse. I call bullshit.

1998, Music

Hello Nasty (1998) by Beastie Boys

If there is one hip hop album I’ve heard more than any other, it’s this one. Now, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually heard it all the way through, but my brother owned this one, I know a lot of it. Sure, I know the hits – a few of these were played on Much …

1983, Music

Suicidal Tendencies (1983)

Before listening to this record, I have only ever listened to a “best of record” by these guys. That impressed the hell out of me, but it’s worth noting that they definitely changed significantly over the years, and what we have here is something much, much rawer than what I was expecting.

1993, Music

In on the Kill Taker (1993)

This record makes the fifth Fugazi record I’ve heard and I’ve finally figured out that I like this period the best. I find their earliest records to be a little less musically interesting than this and Red Medicine. And though it’s been a very long time since I heard The Argument, I didn’t enjoy that …

1993, Music

Exile in Guyville (1993) by Liz Phair

Many years ago, after hearing way too many times that Exile in Guyville is a song-by-song response to Exile on Main St. I listened to this right around the time I was obsessed with that Stones album. I listened to this once, didn’t hear a song-by-song response, and decided it was one of the most …

1993, Music

There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You (1993) by Palace Brothers

The impact of this record is dimmed a lot by time and by familiarity with Will Oldham’s career. Apparently this was initially released without credits and the sense of mystery that and the music contained herein created probably has a lot to do with this record’s reputation and the launching of Oldham’s career (as Palace …

1998, Music

The Good Will Out (1998) by Embrace

I am listening to this record for the third time, and about to talk about it on my music anniversaries podcast, and I’m wondering why the hell I bothered. I don’t like it, nobody requested it and it isn’t really a big deal, is it?

1988, Music

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) by Public Enemy

Though I have no one coming on the podcast to help me with this record, I made a promise to listeners and myself that I would try not to ignore major hip hop releases, even if I feel like an imposter when I try to talk about music I have no context for. So, here …

1983, Music

Texas Flood (1983) by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

When I was first becoming a really serious music fan, Stevie Ray Vaughan was just one of the guitar greats. It was just assumed but it was hard to really question it. If you talked to more knowledgeable (inevitably male) music fans about which guitarists to listen to, SRV was always on the list. I …

1978, Music

Real Life (1978) by Magazine

As an album recorded by a band featuring the former lead singer of one of the original British punk bands, but manifestly not playing punk rock, I think there’s a temptation to say this record could be the original post-punk record. (It literally is “post punk” in that sense.) That in itself would make this …

1978, Music

The Cars (1978)

The Cars’ debut album marks the point where, for better or worse, New Wave goes commercial. Basically very previous (American) New Wave album was too arty, too quirky, too herky jerky to connect with the average listener. But Ocasek and company found how to merge New Wave with that basic American need for big dumb …

Music

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) by Bruce Springsteen

Sometimes I feel like I go on and on about how I think Springsteen is overrated. At least a little of that is because I feel like I have to compensate for all the rock critics who told people Springsteen “saved rock and roll music from disco” or whatever the fuck. But part of that …

1978, Music

Peter Gabriel [Scratch] (1978)

Because of the nature of the collaboration – my favourite guitarist, Robert Fripp, produced this record – I had sort of viewed this record as the holy grail of early Peter Gabriel records, in spite of the lukewarm reviews. I had just assumed that, whenever I got to it, I would discover this incredible mixture …

1993, Music

janet. (1993) by Janet Jackson

As I say all the damn time, coming at an artist backwards is a bad idea. And yet here I am doing it again. This is only the second Janet Jackson album I’ve ever heard, but the first one I heard was the sequel to this one. The problem for me is that the sequel …

1993, Music

Symphony or Damn (1993) by Terence Trent D’Arby

Somehow I managed to grown up when D’Arby was releasing music and completely avoid him. We listened to an Oldies station primarily, so we didn’t hear him there. And I swear I never saw any of his videos. (If I did, I didn’t see them enough to remember them.) So all I knew was the …

2013, Books, Music, Non-Fiction

Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion (2013) by Robert Gordon

This book tells the story of Stax Records, but it isn’t just a the story of Stax the record label, as it also places the story in the context of Memphis and the civil rights movement, and there are some very interesting parallels between the rise and fall of Stax and other American businesses.

1973, Music

Felona e Sorona (1973) by Le Orme

I don’t understand Italian, and I didn’t realize there was an English version – and I don’t really want to listen to that – so whatever this grand concept is, I don’t really know or care. Sometimes it’s better to listen to “High Concept” rock music in another language, that way you’re not confronted with …