Tuesday, December 12, 2017

You can do it (Natural Gas) (LP 175)

Natural Gas Natural Gas (Vinyl - Private Stock Records, 1976) ***

Genre:  Apple/ Dark Horse Records (of course Private Stock is neither of those but I group Badfinger related albums all together)

Places I remember: Real Groovy Records 

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Christmas Song

Gear costume: Little Darlin'

Active compensatory factors: Of course, Joey Molland's voice is very familiar from those Badfinger songs, but hardly anyone remembers this band. The band is obscure enough that there is not even a wikipedia article on them!

On the surface it's a supergroup of sorts. Some of the bands the membership of Natural Gas have been part of: Badfinger, Humble Pie, Colosseum, Uriah Heep, Rare Bird, Sutherland Brothers & Quiver.

It's a nice collection of largely undistinguished songs from various band members. Naturally, I'm more partial to Joey's tunes, but even his contribution doesn't come anywhere near his Badfinger output.

Where do they all belong? Natural Gas was a brief interlude before Joey went back to the Badfinger name with Tom Evans.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Words of Love (Buddy Holly) (LP 171 - 174)

The Beatles For Sale (various CDs/Vinyl - Apple Records, 1964) *****
The Beatles VI (Vinyl - Apple Records, 1965) ****
The Beatles '65 (Vinyl - Apple Records, 1965) ****
The Beatles No. 5 (Vinyl - Apple Records, 1965) ****

Genre: Beatles related pop  

Places I remember: For Sale CDs came from Kings Recording (Abu Dhabi) and The Warehouse; vinyl from DJ Records (Otahuhu) ; Beatles VI - Marbecks Records; Beatles '65 and #5 from Noel Forth.

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: No Reply

Gear costume: I Don't Want To Spoil The Party 

Active compensatory factors: Okay. Deep breath. The one true item amongst this bunch is The Beatles For Sale, with that iconic cover above. 

That's the one long term Beatles fans who don't have OCD know and love from their nostalgic past. 

But wait...there were other versions?!

The other three records in my list are the American versions - they made two out of one (The Beatle '65 and Beatles VI), and the Japanese version was The Beatles No. 5

All these records are repackages on Apple Records rather than on Capitol or Parlophone.

Why? Because I'm an OCD/completist Beatle AND Apple Records fanatic. Well, those two things usually go hand in hand for us OCD/completist Beatle AND Apple Records fanatics.

Four stars for these other versions of Beatles For Sale is because they each take tracks from For Sale and flesh them out with various singles or older cuts.

That doesn't make for a cohesive package and there's only so many times I can listen without prejudice to the German language versions of I want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You. Great though they are.

My opinion. But what is never under dispute is the fact that 1964 was the year the Beatle dam burst.

Where do they all belong? Help is coming! 

P.S. Off to meet up with Macca in Auckland this coming Saturday night! My heart is all a flutter. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Merry-go-round (Buffalo Springfield) (LP 170)

Buffalo Springfield Last Time Around (CD - Atco Records, 1968) **

Genre: Canadian pop/rock

Places I remember: The Warehouse (Cambridge) 

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: On The Way Home (the only track the original five members all play on).

Gear costume: I Am A Child, Kind Woman, Four Days Gone (all provide hints of solo greatness to come)

Active compensatory factors: Heavily tilted towards (ultimately, sub-par) songs by Stephen Stills and Richie Furay (with only two from Neil), Last Time Around was the band's third and final album and cobbled together to fulfill their contract and boy does it show! 

The front cover and title are clear indications that the band members are moving on. Neil is even facing the other direction to the rest and the back cover collage is a clear symbol of the cut and paste job happening inside.

Pity, because while the restless Neil Young loves the band in retrospect, and the Buffalo Springfield sound is unique, with strong individual egos pulling in different directions the band just couldn't sustain itself beyond two strong albums and this last one.

Where do they all belong? Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, Jim Messina, and Neil Young went on to realise their potential in the next decade in a variety of bands.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Find the real (Alter Bridge) (LP 168 - 169)

Alter Bridge One Day Remains (CD - Wind-up Records, 2004) ****
Alter Bridge Blackbird (CD - Universal Republic Records, 2007) ****

Genre: American pop/rock  

Places I remember: Virgin Megastore Abu Dhabi; Music Box Record Exchange (Hastings)  

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: White Knuckles (Blackbird) is nicely representative of the Alter Bridge experience.

Gear costume: Wayward One (Blackbird); Find the Real, Down To My Last (ODR)  

Active compensatory factors: They used to be Creed but please don't hold that against them. Along came the lung busting vocals of Myles Kennedy and hey presto, they are Alter Bridge!

These are the band's first two albums. They sound kinda like Volume 1 and 2, even though are three years apart so it seemed a good idea to pair them here.

If old school guitar shredding rawk is your bag - get hip to be square and check out these dudes!  

Where do they all belong? America is next up in the US pop/ rock genre.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Playing my game (Lene Marlin) (LP 167)

Lene Marlin Playing My Game (CD - Virgin, 1999) ***

Genre: Norwegian pop/ rock  

Places I remember: Virgin Megastore Dubai Mall.   

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Sitting Down Here

Gear costume: Unforgivable Sinner  

Active compensatory factors: I started my Lene Marlin obsession via a sampler. Sitting Down Here was a crazily effective ditty. It got into my brain and wouldn't let go. In a nice way.

Lene's whole sound is a superb mix of pop hooks, Scandinavian mystery and appropriate beats. 

It's catchy as all get out.

Taylor Swift was certainly one person who was listening and watching closely!   

I can just imagine a preteen Tay Tay picking up on what Lene was doing!

Where do they all belong? Debut album in a stellar career. Another Day is next. No difficult second album syndrome for Lene.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Engel (Rammstein) (LP 166)

Rammstein Live Aus Berlin (CD - Universal, 1999) **** (***** for the DVD version)

Genre:  German pop/rock

Places I remember: The Warehouse (Cambridge)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Engel (sadly, the Berlin version not available)

Gear costume:  Du Hast, Asche zu Asche, Rammstein

Active compensatory factors: Brutal. But not humourless. There is no better place to start if you have never experienced the joy of listening to Rammstein.

Utterly captivating - the DVD of this concert trumps the CD/Record. The malevolent robot cartoon concept is breathtaking in its execution. It's impossible to turn away for even a second.

Go view it now and turn your hifi stereo support system up to 11!!    

Where do they all belong? Next up - the boys head back to the studio with Mutter

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Got my mojo working (Muddy Waters) (LP 165)

Rory Gallagher BBC Sessions (CD - Capo, 1999) ***

Genre:  Irish pop/ rock

Places I remember: HMV Stratford Mall, London  

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: I take What I want

Gear costume: Country Mile, Race The Breeze 

Active compensatory factors: Rory played everywhere, and he always played for fun. If ever a guy had a guitar shaped heart, it was Rory Gallagher. If ever I guy had his mojo working on a consistent basis, it was Rory.

Here we find Rory on the wireless, both in the concert and studio mode over two CDs.

He lets rip! As he always did! 

Faithful allies Gerry McAvoy, Lou Martin and Rod deAth are present and correct - laying down the bedrock for Rory to do his expansive best upon.

Where do they all belong? More to come in the firey/bluesy guitar stylings of Rory Gallagher.