Saturday, February 25, 2017

One two three four... (Macca) (LP 89)

The Beatles Please Please Me (Vinyl and various CD editions - Parlophone Records, 1963) ****

Genre: Beatles pop

Places I remember: The vinyl option is an Australian copy - orange Parlophone, that I got from the mighty Noel Forth.

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: I Saw Her Standing There (is there a better song 1, side 1, debut album track? That's a rhetorical question btw)

Gear costume: OMG - is there a better last song, side 2 debut album track than Twist And Shout?

Active compensatory factors: The stuff in between those two behemoths can be a little bit meh, sadly. But that's revisionism. Nothing was like this album when it came out.


Incredibly, (if we ignore all the USA versions) the albums grew exponentially better and better from this point onwards until Yellow Submarine which followed the jaw dropping genius of The Beatles (a.k.a. the white album), but they had to start somewhere, right?

Just listen to my fab and gear tracks again and marvel at Macca and Lennon's voices. Gob smacking!

Where do they all belong? Let's go back! With the Beatles comes next.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Endless Highway (The Band) (LP 88)

The Band Live At Watkins Glen (CD - Capitol, 1995) **

Genre: Canadian rock

Places I remember: Kings Recording - Abu Dhabi.

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Up On Cripple Creek - Levon Helm in fine form!

Gear costume: Don't Ya Tell Henry

Active compensatory factors: I've deducted a point for the fraudulent nature of this collection. A few tracks are from the actual concert but the vast majority are studio outtakes with an audience noise super imposed over them.

Crazy! The music is okay and my two featured tracks are the pick of the bunch but cynical are Capitol records?

Crappy cover too! looks like someone has shot up the sign, which would be appropriate.

Where do they all belong? In a completist Band fanatic's collection (which I am not).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Revival (The Allman Brothers Band) (LP 87)

The Allman Brothers Band Idlewild South (CD - Mercury, 1996) ****

Genre: American Rock

Places I remember: HMV in Stratford City Mall (UK)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles:  Appropriately, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed  has a haunting beauty that continues to fascinate me.

Gear costume: Revival is a great opener!

Active compensatory factors: For years I had only a tape of this album. My dad belonged to the World Record Club and it was in the days when they sent out a copy to subscribers for a brief period. The concept - if you liked it you kept and paid for it. By a certain date if you didn't return it you were billed for it! The marketing ploy being that people are too lazy to send it back, so they eventually pay for it! Well, Graham Purdy didn't fall for that trick. Before he sent this juicy slice of southern rock back, I taped it onto his reel-to-reel.

Certainly wasn't his cup of tea!

Ever since then my Allman Brothers collection has grown, but without this, their second album. Until recently! I was in the UK last year and came across it at an HMV in the Stratford City Mall. Since then, of course, I've seen it in JB Hi-Fi in NZ, as the record was comprehensively re-released for it's 45th anniversary. 

It was a great find; it contains some stunning music! 

Where do they all belong? Next up for the bros - the break through live At Fillmore East album.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fire! Battle! In Metal! (Dream Evil) (LP 85 - 86)

Dream Evil United (CD - Century Media, 2006) ***
Dream Evil In The Night (CD - Century Media, 2010) ***

Genre: Scandanavian rock

Places I remember: Virgin Megastore in the Dubai Mall.

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: My Number One.

Gear costume: United (on the same album); Doomlord (In The Night)

Active compensatory factors: Sweden. Usually, when you think of music from Sweden you probably think of bands like Abba and the like. But that country is awash with metal bands and Dream Evil are a million miles away from Abba!

These are the band's 4th and 5th studio albums. Not quite up there with the amazing Book Of Heavy Metal and Dragonslayer albums but noisy fun all the same.

Where do they all belong? Hammerfall are close fellow power metallers.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Rammstein (Rammstein) (LP 84)

Rammstein Herzeleid (CD - Motor Music, 1995) ****

Genre: German rock

Places I remember: Keegan's bedroom is where I heard this music for the first time, and then I got the CD from the Warehouse in Cambridge

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Asche Zu Asche is catchy as all get out.

Gear costume: Wollt... is a great opener for their debut album, and Rammstein a perfect closer.

Active compensatory factors: My eldest son played a lot of Rammstein in his bedroom when he was growing up. It sounded vaguely threatening - all those German gutturals and the Giger visuals but in reality, after I heard enough to be impressed, I found that Rammstein provide the perfect driving music. 

Propulsive, explosive, it's great to nod along as I drive with this on maximum volume.

Not sure what they were going for with the cover - doesn't scream brilliant German heavy metal to me, and the other weird thing about this music - Jacky loves it, too.

Where do they all belong? I'd recommend the Live in Berlin set next - the video version is especially spectacular.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Remembrance day (Big Country) (LP 83)

Big Country The Seer (CD - Phonogram, 1986) ****

Genre: Scottish rock

Places I remember: Marbecks Records

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Look Away was the big hit single.

Gear costume: The Teacher

Active compensatory factors: This was the third studio album from Stuart Adamson's great band.

The band started to become more accessible around this point after the darker second album, with their distinctive sound from the first album intact. Kate Bush even makes an appearance!

It's still hard listening to it knowing what we do about Adamson's death but albums like this are all we have left, and I for one, cherish them.

Where do they all belong? In the bosom of a Big Country extravaganza.