BCPF, Brian Eno, Bruce Springsteen, Cheap Trick, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Girl Groups, Gram Parsons, Lists, Peter Wolf, Rolling Stone, Ronettes, The Police, Top 500 Albums, Top 500 Albums of All Time, Vampire Weekend
One good thing about these RS lists is that it gives me fodder for the NaBloPoMo. And it’s fun to do, so they go hand in hand.
Let’s move on to the next dealio…
#430 – Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend. I love the cool drum pop/Brit feel that I sense from this album. Some cool vocal tricks and groovy rhythms make for a delicious aural experience; especially “Oxford Comma.” The BCPF, along with other grammar freakos, and myself have debated the Oxford Comma’s legitimacy and its negligibility. And so you know, the Oxford Comma is that comma that comes in a list and is placed before the final conjunction. Such as: one, two, three, and four. That comma in front of “and” and after “three” is really unnecessary, yet, some “scholars” and grammarians think it should be there. Wow, how did this become a whole entry about that silly comma? Oh yeah, the song. It’s a cool song. It’s a cool album. Dug!
#429 – Another Green World by Brian Eno. Oh, Brian Eno. It was but a few entries back (#432) that I got to know you and your weirdness. This is still weird but more palatable to me. It’s more instrumental than lyric-based. Out of the 14 songs, only 4 have lyrics. It’s groovy and I don’t mean in just some hip kind of way, I mean it’s got some groove. Not funk groove mind you but some very interesting things. “St. Elmo’s Fire” is one (many years before the movie). It’s some great piano and keyboard work, too. I dug it.
#428 – Outlandos d’Amour by The Police. Okay, I know I’ve professed my love of The Police before. Further, I think I have a man-crush on Sting and I’m not afraid to admit it. So this was the one that broke it open; the debut. Hit songs like “Roxanne,” “Next to You,” “So Lonely” and “Can’t Stand Losing You” are, of course the staples but there are other gems on here like “Born in the 50s,” “Hole in My Life” and “Truth Hits Everybody.” The one thing that I find myself singing to The BCPF is the opening part of “Be My Girl/Sally.” This whole album should be on everyone’s list to at least hear if not own. I own it, well, I have Message in a Box which is all The Police albums in one collection, but I do “own” it.
#427 – Sleepless by Peter Wolf. The former singer of J. Giles Band comes on with some oldish boogie-woogie and country mash vibes. Jangly and with some good musicians but overall, not something that I’d just sit and listen to. “Run Silent, Run Deep” is kind of chilling. “Oh Marianne” has some Spanish overtones. Still, most of Wolf’s singing is some amalgamation of talking and singing. And, the album is from 2002. It has an older sound, and it just seems it’s out of place. I won’t say I don’t like it, but why is it on this list? That’s been the biggest puzzler to me for the whole thing: why is that even here? Meh, didn’t not dig it but didn’t knock me out. Again, meh.
#426 – Cheap Trick at Budokan by Cheap Trick. Return engagements. That will become a theme here as we start digging into the list, I’m sure. We’ve had my favorite Cheap Trick album, In Color on the list and now, a live album that I can actually get behind from that band. I’ve never been a fan of live albums. Yes, there’s the energy of the live shows and yes there’s dynamic, but I don’t really (or generally) care about that. I am all about production. I’d rather hear a producer’s vision and how they can convey that. All that being said, this album kicks boot-ay! I especially like the extended version, or “The Complete Concert” that showed up in 1998. The impact that this disc had on live albums, to me, is comparable to KISS Alive! It’s one that has stood the test of time, was well put together and doggone, people like it. To do something different, my least favorite track on the album, “I Want You to Want Me.” Not (only) because it was played out, but because I really like the studio version 10x more. If you only listen to one live album, in my opinion, it should be KISS Alive!, but if you listen to two, then the second one should be Cheap Trick at Budokan (both versions). DUG!
#425 – Grievous Angels by Gram Parsons. I didn’t know much about Gram Parsons, really anything. I know he was in the Byrds and I know he was part of The Flying Burrito Brothers. The album is nestled in one of the coolest named genres in popular music, “Cosmic American Music” (which is a term he coined), a combination of country (alt country?) and rock and roll. And, I’ll admit it’s not really my thing, but he pulls it off beautifully. One thing I’m not sure of is why they didn’t call it Grievous Angels by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. There is only one song on the entire album that she isn’t prominent on, and on that she’s not on it at all. Anywhat! This album was released but a few months after Gram Parsons passed away from a mix of alcohol and morphine and I have to say: the album cover sucks. It really, really sucks. But, the contents are really good. Some boogie rock with Tom T. Hall’s “I Can’t Dance” and some laid back ballad action in “$1000 Wedding” and my favorite line (“I’d even like to see her mean ol’ Mama.”). But, to me, the highlight is the first track, “Return of Grievous Angel.” It sets the pace as any opening track should and makes everything alright. I could listen to that song over and over and truthfully, I could listen to most of it over and over, even though, as I stated, it’s not my thing. I think it become, at least partially, “my thing.” DUG!
#424 – The Rising by Bruce Springsteen. More Bruce. Not only is that a statement, I think it’s a request, too. I’ve not hidden my mixed feelings about Bruce, but as time goes on, I can’t help but admit that I’m liking it more and more. Especially after I’ve seen him live. The rest of the band was kind of boring but he was on fire. Anywhat! I’m off track. The power of this album is the honesty and emotion of a country recovering from its darkest day and most devastating blow, ever, September 11, 2001. It’s hard to pick any particular part that stands out as the emotion is prevalent throughout. My faves are the title track and “My City of Ruins.” DUG
#423 – Anthology by Diana Ross and the Supremes. Anthology, greatest hits, compilation = nope.
#422 – Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica by The Ronettes. The debut album with some lovely, big haired ladies. Ronnie’s voice is one-of-a-kind and awesome. Probably their biggest hit “Be My Baby” is on this disc and the rest of the album is laced with girl-power. Phil Spector’s work is, well, Phil Spector. Hard to beat that. Doing some reading on it (admittedly on Wikipedia), it seems to have a decent list of guests including Sonny & Cher. A pretty good album but don’t know that I’d listen to it again; at least not all the way through. It’s ok.
#421 – Best of Girl Groups by Various Artists. Ok, I get girl groups. Girl singers and musicians in general, especially at this time in musical history, laid the road for pop divas, punk chicks and rock goddesses. No doubt they rocked when they did. I did listen to the album, but I’m not reviewing any compilations. In my opinion, they don’t belong on this list.
I really hate that we ended this section of the list with that bad vibe. However, there’s good stuff coming. Give these a listen and make your own reviews of the albums that I’ve talked about.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel at SOME blog time…
“Would you be my girl, would you be my girl, would you be my, be my, be my girl?” – The Police (Sting/Andy Summers) from Outlandos d’Amour