So, the last segment had its share of misses among the few hits, for me. Like I said in the last post, there will be a lot of questions I ask about why this or why that are making the list and why this far up. Let’s move on with the next
victims section, shall we?
“Tonight’s the Night” by Neil Young
#330 – Tonight’s the Night by Neil Young. The title song mentions Bruce Berry and Mr. Berry was a roadie for Neil and he had overdosed. This was a tribute to him. I think I read, too that one of the members of his band, Crazy Horse had ODed before these songs were written. Most of them, anyway. “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” was recorded live and features, Danny Whitten (the fallen “Horse”) on vocals. This album in whole shows some deep emotion for Mr. Young. I believe it to be difficult for him and there’s not really any joy on this disc. “Mellow My Mind” seems a cry for help, and a desperate one at that. It’s almost like he’s crying the entire song, and that may be figurative or literal but it’s definitely there. I hate the circumstances but the events did lead to a powerful and wonderful album. This one definitely belongs on the list. Dug.
#329 – In the Jungle Groove by James Brown. Compilation album. Nope.
“Daydream Nation” by Sonic Youth
#328 – Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth. The BCPF loves Sonic Youth. I believe that I can see that to some extent, it is a bit up her alley. Me, at least on this album, couldn’t figure out what in the wide world of sports was going on. It sounded great through the studio monitor, rumbling but not too. But, what the heck was it? Of the first six songs, FOUR of them were at seven minutes or more. The ones that weren’t…? I don’t know.I was looking forward to hearing this because of my wife’s tales of admiration. I didn’t get much out of this, I wonder if she did. I’ll have to ask her about it. And after asking her about it, she said she was probably more into the idea of Sonic Youth more than their music. I haven’t peeked ahead but I’m wondering if John Cage will be on this list? If not, then that’s a rip off. I’m not a fan of this, although I hoped I would be. Did not dig.
#327 – Exile in Guyville by Liz Phair. This is better. At the end of the last album I was about to put my head through a cement block wall. You hear that? Music. Singing. A relief. We’ve got a long way to go before we get to Exile on Main Street from the Rolling Stones but Phair has said this is a song-by-song response to that album. Main Street has 18 songs, Guyville has 18 songs (the original, anyway). Supposedly this was meant to be on pace with M.S. even though I don’t think that it’s a direct response. Whatever floats her boat, I guess. She doesn’t really hold back on this, either. Girl Power comes through on songs like “6’1″,” “F*ck and Run,” “Girls! Girls! Girls!” and “Divorce Song.” She also lets you know what you’re going to get from her and how it’s gonna either be the best thing you’ve had or that it’s going to be a bit painful in the song “Flower.” And she lays her relationship frustrations out in complete honesty in the final song, “Strange Loop.” Phair is more than fair, I dig it.
“Disintegration” by The Cure
#326 – Disintegration by The Cure. Ok, so I clarified and The BCPF said that this is one of her favorite albums of all time. Her words exactly were “yep. Top 10 definitely. Maybe even Top 5.” She then added, “You better like it!” I notice while looking at it that I see several songs I’m already familiar with and I like those. Right off the bat I love the grandeur of “Plain Song” the opening cut. It’s massive in sound and poised, which is a great thing. I think Robert Smith and company get lauded as goth way too much. There are moments in their stuff that he’s a bit dark and I can see why people say that, but for the most part there’s an elegance to his music, especially around this time. Lots of ambiance in this record, too. My faves are everyone’s faves: “Pictures of You,” “Lovesong,” and “Lullaby.” I’m also a fan of “Disintegration” and “The Same Deep Water As You.” Dug, The BCPF… Dug.
#325 – Slowhand by Eric Clapton. I know I’ve publicly expressed my disinterest in Eric Clapton on many an occasion, and I’m not about to change my tune, necessarily but I will say, there are some good songs on this album. “Cocaine” is a great tune (even if he didn’t write it). “Lay Down Sally” gives the listener a good bounce and it’s funny, at least to me, when the crazy overdubs come out of nowhere. It’s a bit heavy on the country side than I expected from “Slowhands” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I have to admit that I feel like gagging when I hear “Wonderful Tonight.” That’s such a sappy song in every way. There are times when I think he sounds like Kenny Rogers singing, too. Or heck, is that Leonard Nimoy? I’m sorry Mr. Spock, didn’t mean to offend you. Now, on “The Core,” I really enjoy Marcy Levy’s vocals in the duet with Clapton. That song rocks. Also, Yvonne Elliman is all over this album with backup vocals and harmonies. Overall, I dug the album.
“Station to Station” by David Bowie
#324 – Station to Station by David Bowie. It takes a while but the opening (title) song finally jumps in after a wall of sound effects. Ten minutes. That’s a long tune, indeed. Bowie referred to himself as the Thin White Duke in the first lines of “Station to Station.” Even though he started using that character prior to the album, the album is where this really took off. “Golden Years” is a “hit” but it has never been one that I hang on, generally skipping over. I’m wondering if REM’s Michael Stipe took the “angel” part in “Golden Years” to use in “Crush with Eyeliner” from their Monster album? No, he doesn’t say ‘angel’ per se, but it is reminiscent of that. “TVC15” reminds me of Talking Heads, at least in some parts. It heavies up and has some hints of the Soul genre. I love the ’70s almost-disco that plays here on “Stay.” Sounds like something from an action film in that same time period (’76 or so). I’ve always been hit-or-miss with Bowie, leaning more toward the hits both before and post this record. I know it will be odd, but the first thing I ever heard from Bowie was “Blue Jean” which didn’t come until almost 10 years later. Where I’m from in WV didn’t play this kind of music on the radio and I just wasn’t exposed to it. I’m still hit-or-miss, but this was an alright album. Dug.
“Ghost in the Machine” by The Police
#323 – Ghost in the Machine by The Police. Ah, The Police… how I love thee. Let me count the ways: “Spirits in the Material World,” “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,” “Invisible Sun,” “Demolition Man,” “Too Much Information,” “One World (Not Three),” “Omegaman.” It’s Sting. It’s Stewart Copeland (who’s amazing). It’s Andy Summers, who I think is quite underrated. I didn’t listen to this one in order because I listen to the Message in a Box box set about once a quarter, so that’s the caveat of this rating. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Police. This is no exception.
#322 – Sail Away by Randy Newman. I’m really happy with the Randy Newman stuff I’ve gotten to hear in this list, so far. I’m sure this isn’t the end of it by any means. I’m trying to get if there’s irony, snark or sarcasm in the title track. It’s one of them and I’m thinking it’s sarcasm with bits of the others. I’m loving the Americana aspects, especially in “Lonely at the Top.” It goes from the Dixie Jazz to a more gospelesque style with awesome orchestration. I feel like I should be leaned against a light post on a dirty street corner with “Last Night I Had a Dream.” I love that dirty blues/jazz genre of stuff. Newman’s piano work is masterful, ragtime-laden, quaint and in your face all at the same time. “Political Science” is a bit of political satire telling the listener, “let’s drop the big one and see what happens.” How about we don’t? I love, too, “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” but I think I’m much fonder of the Joe Cocker version that played in 9 1/2 Weeks. But, it’s interesting to hear the original. It’s a sexy song. A darn good album, indeed. Dug!
“Pink Moon” by Nick Drake
#321 – Pink Moon by Nick Drake. Two 1972 albums in a row. I know this is a favorite of The BCPF. She put the title track on a “mix tape” for me when we were just friends, when it was really ONLY “Friend” that the “F” stood for. I love the title track, it’s so The BCPF, maybe that’s why I love it so. The songs are all so short I don’t have time to comment on them before they move on. But, that’s not a bad thing. A graceful guitar and somewhat grim lyrics make for a full-sounding, beautifully written and performed album. The BCPF usually knows the good stuff with just a few misses, this is no such miss. This is amazing. I will say I love listening to it.
Not counting the James Brown comp, there’s only one true miss which was Sonic Youth. There are still some that make me wonder why they’re where they are, either up or down, on the overall list. Some great finds, Liz Phair, Randy Newman and definitely Nick Drake. It’s been a mostly fun segment. We’ll start on the next soon.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“I saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get you all” – “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake from Pink Moon