This is an epic, 7 and a half hour adaptation of War and Peace, sort of on the scale of The Human Condition, but not nearly as long and far more ambitious. Apparently made in response to the Hollywood version, this film (or series of films) mostly realizes the promise of Peak TV decades earlier …
The Early Years 1965-1972 (2016) by Pink Floyd
Full disclosure part 1: I listened to this on a streaming service so a few tracks were missing, the videos were included in the track list, and I really have no idea how it would compare to the actual boxed set. (No booklets, etc.) Full disclosure part 2: the time for me to have listened …
The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (1966, Rossano Brazzi)
There are movies that more competent than the worst made movies but somehow manage to be almost worst than the least well made films, in how dull they are, or how incompetent they are from a story perspective. This Christmas film was an absolute chore to sit through even with the MS3K jokes.
The Exciting Wilson Pickett (1966)
I’m a hypocrite because I’ll rip into Motown for including old hits on new albums but I’m apparently completely fine with Stax (um, I mean Atlantic) putting “In the Midnight Hour” on this album. So much of that has to do with how much I prefer southern soul to Motown and a lot of it …
Tim Hardin 1 (1966)
This record has a pretty sterling critical reputation and one has to think that has to do with the overall quality of Hardin’s songs and the fact that this is a debut (so it likely took a few people off guard). Because there is a pretty problem with this album and most of the reviews …
Gettin’ Ready (1966) by The Temptations
This is one of the better Temptations albums, in part because of the qualify of the original material and in part because of the (slightly) contrasting styles of its two producers, which gives at least some variation.
Little Wheel Spin and Spin (1966) by Buffy Sainte-Marie
This is my first encounter with Buffy Sainte-Marie’s music – save covers of “Universal Soldier” – though I’ve known of her for longer than I can remember. (Is it possible one of my parents had an LP that never got played?) It seems I should have started with her earlier records, but I honestly missed …
The Soul Album (1966) by Otis Redding
As the kids say, I’m an Otis stan. (Oh science, I almost wrote “stan” like an old person, with quotes.) So I’m pretty much going to like everything he did.
Lightfoot! (1966) by Gordon Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot was born in 1938. He was relatively old when he released his debut album. And, though this shouldn’t matter, it’s really apparent in 1966, when this was released. Because something happened in the early ’60s after Lightfoot began his career, while he was refining his style, recording his debut but, importantly, well before …
Cancer Ward (1966, 1968) by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
I have no idea why it took me so long to finish this one. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, but something about it turned into a slog for me. (It also happened that I was listening to podcasts when I supposed to be reading, which was a problem.) Anyway, the time it took …
The Best of RPM and Kent Recordings (2011) by BB King
This disc compiles some of King’s A-sides for both the RPM and Kent labels throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.
The Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (1966)
This is probably the definitive British blues album: it sounds like it could have been made by Americans in the US, it features great playing (particularly by Clapton) and I don’t know of any other pre-psychedelic blues album from the UK that is remotely this good. There is just one minor problem: by the time …
Ives: Symphonies Nos 2 and 3; The Unanswered Question (1966) by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Berstein
This is a compilation of the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Berstein’s performances of the middle symphonies and The Unanswered Question, originally a piece paired with another but one that has found a lot of attention as a standalone.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience (2000)
This is an exhaustive collection of Experience alternate takes, outtakes, alternate mixes and live performances. For the Hendrix completist, it’s probably more essential than any of the other studio rarities collections that have come out, just because it shows off more facets of his playing and his experimentation – unlike those studio rarities collections which …
Andrei Rublev (1966, Andrei Tarkovsky)
Writing a brief review of Tarkovsky’s immense, uncompromising, willfully difficult Andrei Rublev seems inherently unfair. This is one of the most ambitious and difficult films I have ever seen, also among the longest. When I say it’s immense, I mean it: 9 chapters over nearly 3 ½ hours, ostensibly about the Russian medieval iconographic painter …
Bernard Hermann: The Film Scores (1996) by Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen
This is a hilariously named compilation – it implies some level of completeness – but it’s actually an interesting survey, focused almost exclusively on Hitchcock scores.
Fahrenheit 451 [et al.] (1995) by Bernard Hermann, performed by Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Joel McNeely
This is another Bernard Hermann compilation, a kind of scattershot one.
Complete String Quartets (2008) by Philip Glass, performed by the Smith Quartet
First off, this is no longer ‘complete’ if it ever really was – Glass has apparently written a 6th quartet. (Also, there are other pieces he has written for string quartet that do not appear here, but they are not numbered among his string quartets, apparently.)
My Favourite Music Scene
Throughout the years, New York has been a hot bed of the avant garde, the new, and the different. And London has also been a real centre of forward thinking music. (Though with London – even more so than NY – many of the bands that were doing the forward thinking originated in other communities …