Tag: Music

1970, Music

Starsailor (1970) by Tim Buckley

I guess this is the logical end of Tim Buckley’s pursuit of jazz – a record that has basically nothing in common with his debut or any of his early music, and which feels really mislabeled if the term “singer songwriter” or “folk” is used.

1970, Music

Tea for the Tillerman (1970) by Cat Stevens

At his worst, Cat Stevens is like a sappier James Taylor (which is really saying something). But, at his best, he’s more musically interesting and ambitious than his bloodless contemporaries. My problem with this record is that he’s at his worst far more than he’s at his best.

1970, Music

Van Morrison, His Band and the Street Choir (1970)

Imagine you were so talented you could come up with an album concept, have it fall apart completely, and then have your record company release some of the tapes against your will and you still end up with this great album. The more I get into Van Morrison the more I am just in awe …

1965, Music

Going to a Go-Go (1965) by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

This record is reputed by some to be the best Miracles record out there. I have no idea if that is true because I’m pretty sure this is my first ever Miracles record. And given that I have no intention of listening to every Miracles record, I guess I just have to take it on …

2000, Music

Stankonia (2000) by Outkast

In first year university I lived a few doors down from a girl who played “So Fresh and So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson” on repeat for what felt like weeks. (There were probably other songs in between but I don’t remember them. I certainly don’t remember a single other track from this album.) That, combined …

2000, Music

Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000) by PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey is one of the great songwriters of her generation, and this album is another fine example of her abilities. but the record marks a bit of a change in aesthetic for her (as far as I know) that I don’t exactly love.

2000, Music

Whoa, Nelly! (2000) by Nelly Furtado

I’ve paid basically no attention to Nelly Furtado. I was aware of her hits – and remember the hits from this record – but was otherwise utterly uninterested. Some of that has to do with my music tastes – specially my tastes when I was 19 – and some of that appears to have to …

2000, Music

Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000) by Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit are so monumentally dumb that, while I’m listening to a Limp Bizkit record, I have trouble imagining there are dumber bands. Now, I know there are plenty of dumb bands, but the scale of the Bizkit’s dumbness is so immense that, during the album, you just sort of forget that there could be …

1995, Music

Daydream (1995) by Mariah Carey

I’m on my fourth ish Mariah Carey album. And, with listening to her actual albums, I’ve come to believe she may be the most technically gifted female vocalist in pop or R&B. (I might go even further than that.) With every album of hers I listen to, I become more and more convinced that she …

1990, Music

Nowhere (1990) by Ride

I’ve never gotten shoegaze, it’s just not anything that appeals to me on a fundamental level. Some of this comes from the nature of the genre – pop music drowning in distortion is still pop music – and part of it I’m pretty sure comes from not seeing it live at the time it was …

1985, Music

In My Head (1985) by Black Flag

I guess there was a point in my life where I could have become a big Black Flag fan and become interested in the little stylistic changes they made throughout there career. But that point was a while ago and, instead, I found other things that suited my desire for noisy music.

1985, Music

Spreading the Disease (1985) by Anthrax

I have both come to Anthrax backwards – having heard a later record before this one – and come to Anthrax last among the Big 4. That makes it harder to appreciate them. But worse, I’ve been listening to Seven Churches, a way more brutal, way more innovative metal record, released the same month as …

1985, Music

Hunting High and Low (1985) by a-ha

It’s hard to imagine that anyone who was born between 1965 and, say, 1995, has never heard “Take on Me”. Not only is an ear worm but it has that incredible video, which meant that it got played so much more than it otherwise wood during the heyday of music videos (which corresponds with the …

1985, Music

Seven Churches (1985) by Possessed

One of the conventional narratives about the invention of death metal is that it is so named because of the band Death, who supposedly pioneered the genre. Now, there were other bands in other places that also either claim credit or have been retroactively given credit, but Death’s claim is pretty good simply because they …

1985, Music

What Does Anything Mean? Basically (1980) by The Chameleons

I sort of don’t know why I ended up listening to this. It seemed to have pretty positive reviews and they released so few records, I guess I figured I had to listen to this if I was ever going to listen to any Chameleons record. So here we are.

1980, Music

A-Z (1980) by Colin Newman

One of the things I find fascinating about musicians is when a frontman or primary songwriter or leader of a major band goes out and makes a solo record…which sounds exactly like their band, or close enough. It’s like, what was getting in your way in the band that made you think you couldn’t make …

1980, Music

The River (1980) by Bruce Springsteen

We were driving back from a ski resort in Vermont – Bolton Valley or Killington, I don’t remember which – and we got slowed by a massive snowstorm. I was in my tweens or early teens. We were driving up the west side of Lake Champlain and we could only get one radio station from …

1980, Music

Love Zombies (1980) by The Monochrome Set

We all have things we like more than other things, that hit certain buttons or pleasure points. And the moment the title track started I was like “This is for me”. I love carnivalesque music in places where it shouldn’t be, for whatever reason, and the lead off track to an album by a band …

1980, Music

Kilimanjaro (1980) by The Teardrop Explodes

It’s funny what gets labeled “psychedelic”, especially when music wasn’t particularly psychedelic. I’ve never heard this band before – though I’ve heard Cope’s solo music but the label “neo psychedelic” really steers one the wrong way. Yes, it’s a spectrum, but this is pretty typical 1980 British post punk with a couple of major differences: …

1980, Music

Dirty Mind (1980) by Prince

Like so many artists’ early work, I’ve come to this Prince album backwards. And I suspect that a lot of my issues with it come from all the later Prince I’ve heard. Because, on first listen, this record just sounded like Prince in utero or, um, proto Prince.

1980, Music

Lightning to the Nations [The White Album] (1980) by Diamond Head

There are a couple NWOBHM bands that sound a little closer to the thrash metal they would inspire and, from their debut album, Diamond Head appears to be one of them. Nowhere near as dirty and punk as Motorhead, they’re still (at times) grittier and heavier than some of their contemporaries.

1975, Music

Godbluff (1975) by Van Der Graaf Generator

Van Der Graaf Generator’s firs reunion album feels like the first step in the band’s evolution from its dense prog sound of its early days to the almost new wave sound they would have on The Quiet Zone. It’s a notably sparer record, which may seem like an odd thing to say if this is …

1975, Music

Rock of Westies (1975) by Elton John

Based upon the title, the cover, and the presence of “Island Girl”, I thought this was going to be John’s Caribbean record. (I thought “westies” meant “West Indies”; I didn’t know it was a spoonerism.) So colour me surprised by (most of) the actual content.

1970, Music

Tumbleweed Connection (1970) by Elton John

Try as I might, I cannot fall in love with Elton John’s music. I have listened to many of his records at this point – basically only from the ’70s – and I have quite liked one of them. The others don’t really connect with me yet and this one is just another of those.

1970, Music

Jesus Christ Superstar (1970) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

I honestly had no idea this was an album first. I think because it has been so successful as a property I just assumed it had to have been a musical. But, instead, it was an album. And, as a result, it got reviewed as an album. (And, hilariously, it was banned in some countries …

2000, Music

Let’s Get Ready (2000) by Mystikal

When I first started purposely listening to hip hop about 5 years ago, the idea that a rapper had charisma was something I couldn’t really stomach. As a music fan I am primarily a fan of chops and, for me, vocal chops had to do with singing, not rhyming. I didn’t understand flow and I …