It’s time for another installment of “Scorp’s Crazy, Wacky and Mostly Moronic Views on Music” as I’m sure some would call it. I call it my take on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All-Time. Last segment was alright, let’s hope this one surpasses it. Let’s hit it!
#220 – Look-Ka Py Py by The Meters. First of all, I don’t know what the heck that title even means. I know it’s some sounds they were chanting throughout the title track. Okay, then. Next, this is some funky stuff (and yes that was a pun and yes it was intended). The Meters (and later, or currently, Original Meters and Funky Meters) are a funk band. Not really any singing other than the title track but this could be used in any film that depicts the 1970s and be a fine soundtrack in and of itself. This album is about 9 months older than I am as it was released in January 1970. George Porter, Jr.’s bass work is fabulous here and I look forward to hearing more of his work. I know all of it goes into the overall sound but, to me the bass is the foundation to the greatness of these songs. The songs are relatively short, most of the twelve being under three minutes. The longest comes in a 3:18. It’s like they’re getting to the point, playing their boogie beats, turning you on and then turning you on again. And, again. And, again. And, again. I’ve not heard anything on here I didn’t like. I am a fan of funk, believe it or not, and this is on target! Muy bueno! I’d listen to this again and would like own this on vinyl. I’m not pulling any songs individually because I think the work, as a whole, is best observed as such. Dug!
#219 – Licensed to Ill by Beastie Boys. Lots of Led Zeppelin samples on this record. Some “Misty Mountain Hop” and “The Ocean” in the first three songs alone. That’s not a bad thing, it’s pretty cool actually. As much as I talk about liking this kind of music (especially the 80s/90s non-pretentious rap), Beastie Boys is someone I never listened to much. I knew “Fight for Your Right” and “Brass Monkey” but until about ten years ago, I hadn’t heard “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” I had people that would talk about that song and I had no clue what they were talking about. As to not look stupid, I just chuckled and pointed. Anywhat! I like this as it’s straight up rock rap and I dig that. I like, too, that they do a lot of rap turns. I really do like the sample work. That’s good stuff. Tongue-in-cheek, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Let it hang out. That’s what you do. Good rap album with “three nice Jewish boys” doing their thing. Dug!
#218 – The Queen is Dead by The Smiths. Plenty of the off-key warbling that Morrissey does, but, it works for them. “I Know It’s Over” is a prime example of that cat wailing. The Smiths is something that I don’t think that I’ve fully jumped on board with. I absolutely do like a few of their songs and this album has three of my faves: “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” and “There’s a Light that Never Goes Out.” But I do like “The Queen is Dead” and “Frankly, Mr. Shankly.” Not a bad album, however, if I am going to pick a Smiths album, this wouldn’t be the one I’d call great. Musically, Johnny Marr and company do a great job, as always, but Morrissey is an acquired taste. Again, I’ve not quite acquired that. Perhaps The Smiths is a band where I really do need a greatest hits album. Psst… I do have one. Dug.
#217 – Two Steps Away from the Blues by Bobby Bland. The beauty of this album is that while it sounds like it would be “blues” (and to some degree it is) it’s more of a crooner-jazz styled album than blues. There’s R&B, soul and some gospel in here, too. So that makes the handful of blues tunes mostly tolerable. Another beauty is that the longest song comes in at 2:44, so even if a blues tune sneaks through, it doesn’t last too awfully long. I’m not denying that the blues comes through. I hear it. But, the jazz/soul/R&B elements are so much better. Bobby Bland was only 30 when this album was released but, man, does he ever sound weathered? That’s not a knock, that’s a good thing. I feel the “soul” and “blues” parts needs to have that to authenticate the spirit of those genres. And, for the blues part of it, I like “St. James Infirmary” and “I Pity the Fool.” I think my favorite one is “I’ll Take Care of You.” The rest of it, I liked it. I don’t know that I’d listen again, but the album is solid. I dug it. Yes. I said that.
#216 – Go Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley. Technically this is supposed to be a combo album called Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley, but the album Bo Diddley is a compilation album but the second one is his actual debut album. Well, it’s early rock and roll, rock-a-billy and not really my thing. I don’t mind that genre but didn’t really care for this. I know, I know, I know: gasp! what!? are you (expletive) kidding me!? etc. etc. etc. No. I’m not kidding you, don’t care for it, meh. I feel the same way about Chuck Berry, too. I don’t care who he influenced and I don’t care this and that, I just don’t care for this stuff. Am I just being contrary, now? Maybe, but that wouldn’t change me liking it. Meh.
#215 – New York Dolls by New York Dolls. Time for another “what!? are you (expletive) kidding me?!” moment. I’ve never heard a thing from New York Dolls before. Not a single thing. Nothing. Of course, I’ve heard David Johansen as “Buster Poindexter” doing “Hot Hot Hot.” I don’t think there’s a person alive that has seen anything ever on television that hasn’t heard that. And yes, I also know that it doesn’t count. It doesn’t count as hearing New York Dolls and it doesn’t count toward actually being a real song. I say all that but somewhere I’ve heard “Personality Crisis” and don’t know where. It may be some radio show mashup that is aimed at partying on a Friday or something. I don’t know. My initial response to this is that it sounds like a less-talented T-Rex or early Alice Cooper. Before any panties are in a wad, I didn’t say no-talent, I said “less” than those artists. It certainly has its moments and does kind of remind me of Rocky Horror Picture Show’s soundtrack, except with Johansen’s batty vocals instead of someone who likes to be in key. Again, don’t hear that as me not liking it, I’m just pointing out the obvious. Musically, this is one good album. I missed most of the “glam rock” because of my age. I wasn’t old enough to know about it and I was located in a town in WV where no one even heard of this stuff until much later. In fact, I never even heard of New York Dolls until 1986 when I moved to WSNC and I think that was because I got MTV. And, whilst they didn’t play a lot of stuff like that, I do remember them talking about it. My faves on this is “Personality Crisis,” “Frankenstein,” “Trash” (or is it Tri-ash?) and “Bad Girl.” I dug it but found myself watching the track listing to see if it was almost over.
#214 – Proud Mary – The Best of Ike & Tina Turner by Ike & Tina Turner.
#213 – Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones. Never a Stones fan, per se, I’d say this is the third of my “favorite time” in Stone-dom. Started with Some Girls (#270), on to Emotional Rescue and finally here. I like the ’70s pop rock that they did. Weren’t they always pop rock, really? Not trying to take their cred away or anything. They’re still one of “those” great rock bands, but it’s really more pop. Who doesn’t get excited when they hear that opening riff to “Start Me Up,” the doo-doo-doos of “Hang Fire” or the like? I do. I don’t own Emotional Rescue but I do own the other two in this triad of Stones discs. I love the laid-back emotion in “Tops.” I’m also a fan of the ethereal ambiance of “Heaven.” Now, I think one of the best Stones songs ever written is “Waiting on a Friend.” The video, the song, the sound – all that reverb. I really love that song. I think if I hadn’t seen the video before hearing the song I’d actually picture someone standing up against a light pole waiting on a friend. It’s a great song and a really, really good album. To me it’s not better than Some Girls but it’s still good. Well written. Dug!!
#212 – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain by Pavement. The BCPF is a huge fan of these guys. It’s melodic and rockin’ while staying true to the times (1994). Lots of arpeggiated and open chords with simple but strong bass lines. Dropped volumes and nonsensical “jams” that sometimes don’t fit… or do they fit perfectly? It’s not that it’s unwelcome or unwanted but odd that it’s there. But, at the same time, I say, “of course that’s there.” The use of Leslie effects is splendid. I was warned that I wouldn’t like his (Stephen Mulkmus) voice, but truthfully, I don’t mind this. I can’t explain it, I just like it. Mixes of Velvet Underground (which you know I can’t stand), The Doors (also not a huge fan) and Nirvana (again) make this something that I can really listen to and like. I think it’s the execution that I really like. “Cut Your Hair,” “Newark Wilder” and I absolutely love “5-4=Unity.” I think that’s my favorite on the album. It’s an instrumental, maybe that’s why? Let me say that musically, I really enjoy this entire album. Vocals would get a B- if I was going that but as it stands, I think the music and musicianship is top-notch. I dug it!!
#211 – Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. I’m for most Pink Floyd, just that very early stuff (Piper at the Gates of Dawn and such), I can’t get into. I especially like Dark Side of the Moon and later. This falls there. I think the twenty-six minute opus called “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-9)” is a bit long but I don’t know what I’d cut, perhaps the disco-ish part? I don’t know. I think it’s pretty much epic just the way it is. With the exception of that lengthy version of the song (it’s usually edited down), you’re liable to hear any of the stuff on this album on classic rock radio. My personal favorite on this album is “Have a Cigar.” I love the story behind it and it’s tongue-in-cheek aspects (“which one is Pink?”). And Roy Harper sings the song, not Roger Waters or any other permanent band member. It’s one of only two. I’m suspecting the other to be Big Gig in the Sky. The title song is definitely a classic and “Welcome to the Machine.” It’s really sad the story behind the whole album and Syd Barrett visiting in the studio during recording. Not my overall favorite Floyd album but still a danged good one. If you get a chance, go read the Wikipedia article on this album, it’s really good. LOVED it!
One compilation and only one that got anything other than a “dug!” I wouldn’t say that it’s anywhere near my favorite segment but I think it’s the most likes I’ve given in one segment. I enjoyed this segment, for sure. So let’s get on out of here. Thanks for reading!
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“How I wish, how I wish you were here. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here.” – “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd (Waters, Gilmore)