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10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 06 May 2020, 08:33
by robertff
Day 9

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Having left boarding school after the first year in the sixth form and now in my second year at West Norwood Tech, my whole life had changed - free of the rigid, inflexible restraints of boarding school and the rules and regulations that dominated my life - apart from a strict father, I was able to sample what a relatively normal life could offer. I had friends out of school and girlfriends, oh the pangs of a late first love! However, I felt like a fish out of water and struggled to fit in, I didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't take drugs - still never have, whilst this was happening all around me but I loved the music and the vibe, if that makes sense to anyone else.

Anyway going to see bands play was one of the things I loved to do and I had heard about this new band called Yes, who had just released their first album. My girlfriend at the time mentioned that they were going to be playing at Croydon Tech. and so we decided to go and see them. Anyone who knew Croydon Tech. would know how up close to the band you would have been.

Well, apart from Rory Gallagher of Taste's initial burst on his guitar at the Marquee, no live band ever made such an instant impact. I didn't know any of their music but right from the start they sounded absolutely brilliant, the whole set was brilliant, their sound so full, so lush, so commanding and so in control, you just knew immediately that this was a band that was going to be big. And so it happened. The only down side to this was that we had to leave early so that I could catch a train to get home.

Nevertheless, the impact of Yes had been made and I bought their album within a few days. It is such a great album, choc full of music, melody and full of interesting ideas, just listen to their version of the Beatles' 'Every Little Thing', apart from their own compositions, fabulous. And of course, there was the cover design and what a statement it made, a design of pure genius, simple and to the point - YES.

This was progressive music at its finest before prog changed it and of course Yes were instrumental in doing that but this is the album I 'd rather play than some of their later stuff. The later stuff might have produced a masterpiece of prog but this was a masterpiece of something else.


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Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 06 May 2020, 12:48
by Mike Boom
The Smiths - Day 9

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1983 - What can you say? Out of nowhere “This Charming Man” appeared , a Motown rhythm , Byrdsian guitars and Oscar Wilde on vocals. The lyrics, the humor, the jangly but driving guitars and the beat, all irresistible. Everything was strange and new about the Smiths, from the strangely normal name to the odd Warhol cover shot, to the gladioli in the back pocket. "Reel Around the Fountain”, "What Difference Does It Make?”, "Hand in Glove”, Still Ill" , You've Got Everything Now" - needles to say this was on continuous rotation for months until the next Smiths release, and that one till the next. What a breath of fresh air this album was, and still is really. Like their whole catalogue , its a thing of wonder and genius. From the cover art to the b-sides, every Smiths release was a complete work of pop art .I eagerly grabbed everything they released the moment it was released. Of course it all ended in tears but it was brilliant beyond belief while it lasted.

Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 06 May 2020, 13:51
by robertff
Mike Boom wrote:The Smiths - Day 9

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1983 - What can you say? Out of nowhere “This Charming Man” appeared , a Motown rhythm , Byrdsian guitars and Oscar Wilde on vocals. The lyrics, the humor, the jangly but driving guitars and the beat, all irresistible. Everything was strange and new about the Smiths, from the strangely normal name to the odd Warhol cover shot, to the gladioli in the back pocket. "Reel Around the Fountain”, "What Difference Does It Make?”, "Hand in Glove”, Still Ill" , You've Got Everything Now" - needles to say this was on continuous rotation for months until the next Smiths release, and that one till the next. What a breath of fresh air this album was, and still is really. Like their whole catalogue , its a thing of wonder and genius. From the cover art to the b-sides, every Smiths release was a complete work of pop art .I eagerly grabbed everything they released the moment it was released. Of course it all ended in tears but it was brilliant beyond belief while it lasted.




Totally agree Mike, great music by a great band. As a little footnote I once won their entire catalogue both vinyl and CD as box sets and a promotional picture to boot - already had most of it but needless to say I was really chuffed.


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Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 06 May 2020, 16:00
by Darkness_Fish
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Jazz, man. For years and years and years I struggled with jazz. I think it's just because there's a helluva lot of it, and there's a lot that superficially sounds similar, it was just an impenetrable hazy wall of double bass, sax, and smoke for me. But then along came Albert Ayler, who seemed to bridge the gap between the tasteful and the unlistenable, the smooth and the skronk. I've never been one to really care about someone's instrumental prowess, the key points for me are can they deliver emotion, feeling, and something unique. Can they communicate. And Ayler sort of moved jazz from technical perfection to a realm where perfection becomes irrelevant. Sure, he had the chops, couldn't have done what he did without that ability, but he took traditional New Orleans jazz and just ripped it into a glorious unrestrained whirlwind. The communication became the point, the emotion is absolute. He remains something of an icon for me, the peak of the genre.

Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 07 May 2020, 20:14
by Jumper K
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Supergroup! Concept album! Two things guaranteed to send me running to the hills. But wait. I love hip hop and you know I'm a Hardcore freak so can this work? It does and it far surpassed my, admittedly meagre, lets face it zero, expectations.

LA MC Murs, Bad Brains bass master Darryl Jennifer and Sacha Jenkins, Rolling Stone journalist came up with concept around a young New York black man getting a recording contract and getting a white girlfriend. Pretty crap concept. But. Its contemporary, full of humour, aggressive and confrontational. Its also about universal themes such as race, the music business, relationships and social injustice. All wrapped up in a pot-pourri of hip hop, reggae, rock and hardcore.Its great storytelling by an MC at the top of his game, the flow is perfect,


Why am I recommending this? Its not, and never will be, revered as a classic. Its too schizophrenic to be pigeonholed, although some have labelled it with the lazy epithet, rap-rock, vehemently refuted by the band. It most definitely is a record you will either love or hate with a passion. But it remains vital to these blunted ears and never fails to stir something in me that wants to get up and spit along, and embrace righteous indignation of the vagaries of modern life.

That's me, armchair revolutionary, with a strange affiliation to the black American struggle. How do I feel about supergroups and concept albums now? Murs educates me with the vital line “Artists one-dimensional will always be the loneliest.

Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 11 May 2020, 01:54
by Charlie O.
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I have this long-held notion that when we really like a piece of music, we're responding to it as a reflection of something already in our character. The more vivid that reflection is, whether it's a positive thing or not, the more likely we are to love that song/album/whatever. I have not explored this notion with anything approaching intellectual rigor, but there it is nonetheless.

It's not easy to put into words how strongly I saw my character reflected by A Wizard/A True Star, or to explain it - especially since it had relatively little to do with the lyrics. I was only 8 years old when I heard it.

But from a very early age I had been fascinated with dreams and dream logic, the way things and people and scenes and situations would morph or jump-cut, the way that something utterly preposterous could seem so real and obvious in a dream (I can still remember, at least vaguely, dreams I had when I was still sleeping in a crib). And I'd been drawn to psychedelic music since I was about two, hearing Magical Mystery Tour and "Incense And Peppermints" and so on - I hadn't heard a LOT of it at that point, but what I had heard I was very keen on. My imagination and sense of humor tended toward the surreal, even if I didn't know that word at the time.

I won't say I was a lonely kid - I always had friends - but I would often make a joke or comment only to have the other kids look at me quizzically because it didn't make sense to them. I did understand why - they weren't in my head. And I spent more time there than anywhere.

At 8, I was blindsided by Todd Rundgren. I'd heard (and loved) "Couldn't I Just Tell You" and "I Saw The Light" from his previous album, but this was something quite other. I listened to it obsessively, staring at the multi-leveled cover art, perusing the lyrics and credits and photo collages on the inner sleeve for clues, trying to figure out how on earth he did it.

Because - on an almost purely aural level - it really felt like he'd reached into my own head, into my unconscious mind, pulled out all that batshit crazy stuff and made just enough sense out of it to somehow get it on plastic, where other people could experience it.

The follow-up double-LP Todd (a much messier album, but another mind-blower nonetheless), then finally hearing the previous double-LP Something/Anything? (more conventional, but only by a matter of degrees, really - still wildly imaginative and creative), cemented it. Experiencing this work and knowing that other people (like my older brothers and their friends, as well as writers in the rock press that I was just discovering at the time) were actually buying this music and enjoying it, getting it - even if not everybody did - utterly validated me in my own mind, gave me a subtle but crucial bedrock of confidence in my own sensibilities that would serve me well going forward. I was never afraid to be myself again.

I think A Wizard/A True Star (everybody is a star) actually changed my life for the better, just by reflecting my self back to me in a way that nothing had quite done before.


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Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 11 May 2020, 05:02
by Dr. Baron
Fantastic!
Both that record and you now make slightly more sense than they did before!

Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 11 May 2020, 05:05
by Charlie O.
Dr. Baron wrote:Fantastic!
Both that record and you now make slightly more sense than they did before!

:lol:

Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 12 Jul 2020, 02:35
by Hightea
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My introduction to REM was the EP Chronic Town they had just played a late night show in NYC that my brother saw. Next time hanging with him he played Chronic Town and it just hit me. Wolves, Lower and Carnival of Sorts(Boxcars) were Gems. That weekend I went to get the EP and the Murmur had just come out so I bought that along with Chronic Town. Murmer was my spring and summer of 83 jam.

From start to finish this album is full of great songs. Still listen to this album as a whole and don't skip a song. Radio Free charm to Pilgrimage little Peter Buck hooks and little sounds and off beats at the right time with Stipe's whiny vocals and Mills harmonies just seemed to work. Talk about the
Passion brings Buck's guitar work into full view and Mills bass lines complete a distinct sound for Stipe to sing over.
Perfect Circle with the country like piano and Buck's 12 string guitar give this a different vibe than the rest of the album but again REM make it work.

Catapult was my early goo to jam and is a great start to side two which in a lot of ways is better than side one. Sitting Still is the most straight up folk rock song REM ever did. Very Byrd inspired. 9-9 - conversation fear was something I got at the time as still a shy college kid. Shaking through was a great team of Stipe and Mills with Berry's drum beat and Buck's guitar. Also liked the line "Yellow like a geisha gown, denial all the way"
We Walk is a bizarre song somhow Mills and Buck make a walking up stairs sound that works with Stipe sort of narrating a story. The album ends on a high with the rockiest song. REM became my college band and was a theme for my college friends as the first week I arrived on campus in Maine REM played. it was my introduction to 80's indie and still a big influence in my music world today. A few years ago I was having a small bday party at a NYC restaurant and its was just us making a bunch of noise and Stipe eating with two friends. On the way out I told him I hope were weren't to loud and told him I was a big fan since Maine live show in 83. He wished me a happy bday.

Re: 10 albums in 10 days - Day 9

Posted: 17 Jul 2020, 05:23
by trans-chigley express
robertff wrote:
Nevertheless, the impact of Yes had been made and I bought their album within a few days. It is such a great album, choc full of music, melody and full of interesting ideas, just listen to their version of the Beatles' 'Every Little Thing', apart from their own compositions, fabulous. And of course, there was the cover design and what a statement it made, a design of pure genius, simple and to the point - YES.

This was progressive music at its finest before prog changed it and of course Yes were instrumental in doing that but this is the album I 'd rather play than some of their later stuff. The later stuff might have produced a masterpiece of prog but this was a masterpiece of something else.


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Completely agree with your assessment. One of my favorite Yes albums.