Friday, June 23, 2017

The Smithereens - Green Thoughts - 1988

This is another one of the albums that I remember specifically while reminiscing about Chicago in the 80s.  I got this cassette probably the last month or so that I lived there, and was my cruising tape during my last couple dates.  It was hip, progressive, catchy and rather manly.  I was so very concerned about superficial things like that, back then.  I specifically remember driving north down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, just past the Art Institute, right before going in between the buildings.... But, that's only a memory.  (Guffaws and slaps his knee)

To me, it has stood the test of time, sounding as sweet and thunderous today as it did back then.  To me, it is probably their best album, followed closely by their Especially For You album and their Live EP (The Seeker kicks ass).  Only A Memory, House That We Used To Live In, The World We Know and Especially For You stand out to me, and side two is a little weaker, but still really good.

After this one, they had a couple other good albums, but none that compared to this.  Their Beatles cover album and their version of Tommy are pretty good, but that's not their own material.  They are still playing strong today, and I would love to go see them live.  A twenty song set, in a club with a low ceiling, smokey, and about 200 people.  A short, two foot stage and no grandeur.  Love it.

I THINK I have all the tracks, here.  When I originally compiled this, I think I remember that there was one or two tracks that I couldn't find.  I could be wrong.  If you have any tracks that you think need to go on here, let me know, and send me the tracks!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

REM - Out Of Time - 1991

One of the most anticipated albums, the follow-up to Green, Out Of Time really introduced REM to mainstream America, and probably the world.  Of course, Green was a hit and a great intro in it's own right, but Out Of Time was the one that shot them to super-stardom.  I was in my first year in college, and giddy as a school girl when I picked this one up.  Green had been one of my favorite albums ever (still in my top 100) so my hopes for this one were huge.

All in all, it's a great album.  It's not SUPER, just great.  I could lose Radio Song and Low, and although I like Kate, I could've done without Shiny Happy People (although I'm a sucker for pop-hooks, this one was too easy and overplayed.)  My favorite tracks of the album were Near Wild Heaven and Half A World Away.  Great stuff.  Losing My Religion was a great song, not one of my favorites.  Had a great melody and very strong lyrics and the video was awesome.  But it was way overplayed and it grew tiring.  I still like it, just heard it way too many times.  (I said great in this period four times if you don't count this one...)

All the b-sides and fan club tracks but I left off the remixes.  They would've pushed the CD limit and none of them were any good anyway.  As for the cover, just a straight out duplicate of the original.  The font I used, though, looks a little screwy.  The kerning in the type is off and makes the spacing a little awkward. 

Thanks, all for your messages on Friday.  My boss knows, and he wasn't upset.  He's letting me work my final two weeks (for now) and the other sales people have already started cannibalizing my accounts.  That's fine, who cares.  I'm OUT!  Only troubling point is that I've already turned in my notice and my new job still hasn't gotten my piss-test back yet.  I KNOW that it's clean, but I always like to have everything squared before I make a move.  Always afraid of the "what if" scenario.

Lastly, I'm going to do some re-upping right now, in case you needed something.  If I miss anything, let me know.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Max Q - Self Titled - 1989

 

When this album came out, I had no idea it was Michael Hutchence.  I purchased it, anyway, because it looked cool and I was experimenting in my purchases.  This is how we discovered new music before the internet.  But, Michael's voice is unmistakable, and I knew what I had before I even read the CD liners. 

blah, de blea dee blo blo blo.... whatever.

I got a new job this week.  I have been looking for nearly two months, now, and been through 4 interviews.  I had decided to look, as my wife STILL hasn't started working, yet.  Money is EXTREMELY slim.  Fortunately, we have relatives who are generous and supportive, and have helped us make it through.  But, we can't rely on them forever.  That's not fair to them.

So, I got a new job.  It is with a much bigger company with 20 branches across the United States.  I will still be working here, smack dab in the middle of the US, but my territory will cover 2 states.  I will be on the road constantly, all the time.  They are giving me a company car, they are going to pay for my gas, food, and hotels.  I will be making nearly 25% more than what I'm making now.  It won't make up completely for my wife being out of work, but it will help, especially when she finally does start working again.  I will feel much more independent in my new position.  I will be out and about constantly, and won't be strapped to a desk.  I will feel like I'm actually accomplishing something, now.

But, there's always a catch.  I will literally be gone 3 to 4 nights a week.  I could potentially leave Monday morning for work, and not come home until Friday night.  My family dynamics are going to change so dramatically, I don't know how it's going to work out yet.  One way or another, we will make it work, I'm sure.  We can facetime, now, so I'll get on the phone with them every night.  But, there's something about actually being there for the boys and my wife. We will see.

The other catch is that I will have less time to do things I like to do, like, well, THIS.  With a 9 to 5 it's so easy to come home and work on this for an hour or two.  But, on the road I won't have access to my computer. And on the weekends when I'm at home, the last thing my wife and I will want is for me to be sitting on the computer for hours playing catch up on the blog while my little boy stands in the front yard with his ball and mitt waiting for Dad to come out and play....  That scenario isn't going to happen.

SO, just as I come back, I'm already shifting my scheduling on this.  What it will be, I have no idea.  I may have NO schedule, just where and when I have time.  Who knows.  For now, it will stay the same.

Right now, though, I haven't yet told my boss at my current job that I'm turning in my two weeks.  I don't know how he'll react.  He may be happy for me, he may let me stay my full two weeks.  Or, he may get fucking pissed and tell me to leave right there.  I can't read the guy, and I'm usually pretty good at reading people.  So, that scares me a little.  Inside, I want to walk in and tell him to go fuck himself three ways from Sunday, twice.  Then piss all over his desk and walk out.  The rational mind tells me to stay positive and let him know that a great opportunity has presented itself and thank you for the training and experience he gave me.  The child in me is frightened and afraid I might burst into tears.  So, I'm a bundle of emotions about ALL of this right now.  It's really hard just to keep my head straight....

I think I'll go watch Suicide Squad blow up some bad guys.....

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pet Shop Boys - Additional Listening - 2017

It would appear that I will have to reschedule any further PSB versions I have planned and re-organize and re-track the new releases as they come out....


Regardless, I'm thrilled to see this happening!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

EMF - Cha Cha Cha - 1995

 
When EMF's first album came out, this is what I thought of them.  I didn't care much for Stigma at all, and I was hesitant to get this one, especially as it was an import disc and cost me 22.00.  They had the single for Perfect Day at the record store, so I tried it first, and really enjoyed it.  So, I bought the album....

This is actually a really good album.  Individually, all of the songs are well written.  The band had matured some, and seemed well aware that they weren't going to be the "Next Big Thing", like the band from my last post.  It actually seems to have some substance.  As a whole, the album tends to drag, though, as there aren't any real "singles" other than the first track of the album.  But, listening to it in bits and pieces works well, allowing you to focus on the few tracks you are listening to, rather than them all blending together in one long chunk.

The b-sides are all here, but I only put one mix on there, as it's the only one worth a crap. 

And, is EMF the brother band of Jesus Jones?  I tend to think so, as I discovered them both about the same time and they are very similar in most respects.  Stevo answered it correctly, though, but he hasn't given me his choice, yet.  Grebo Guru came damn close, as I had forgotten about NAD.  Anyway, Stevo - you need to tell me what collection you want me to make soon, or I'll have to skip to the next person (and I sure as hell don't want to do anything with Spaceman 3 - Sorry Anon.....)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

True Colors + Duran2 Liberty

So....

So, Netflix has added the movie Trolls to their selections.  Of course, my 5 year old wanted to watch it last night, and my wife obliged.  What a DUMB ASS MOVIE.  I fell asleep about half way through.  I just couldn't stand it. 

But, suddenly, I was awoken by one of my favorite 80s songs, and it took my breath away....


My god, it's freeking Justin Timberlake of all people.  I can't stand that dude.  But, this cover version is outstanding.  It goes to show how powerful the original version was.  It wasn't just written solidly, it was written perfectly.  Perfection.  The melodies and lyrics are legendary, to say the least. 

I love this version of True Colors, despite the fact it was sung by Justin Timberlake.  Just don't watch that fucking Trolls movie.  It is beyond a waste of time.

Another note, I am working on more Duran material, and I have discovered something I never knew existed.  I need your help.

According to this Duran Wikia entry, there are two songs from the Liberty sessions that I know nothing about.  I've never heard of them before now, and I can't find them for the the life of me.  I almost wonder if this entry is full of crap, but who can tell?  One is called Juice, and the other is called Hymn For the Preacher.

Has anyone, anywhere heard of these before, and do you have them?  I know that Liberty is their worst album ever, but I still have to have every track, regardless.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jesus Jones - Already - 1997

 
I'm going out of town tomorrow, so I thought I'd do tomorrow's post today, just to get it out of the way.

I look at Jesus Jones now, and I really do feel sorry for them.  Mike Edwards is truly a talented songwriter - truly.  He has passion and creativity and he loves what he's doing.  Sad thing about it, is that the entertainment industry is fickle, and in the case of the nineties, it was shifting dramatically all over the place.  JJ was in the right place at the right time and they were on top of the world.  I read several interviews back in the day in Details magazine and Rolling Stone about these guys and they made Mike out like he was a god or something.  He had to feel like he was on top and nothing was going to stop him.

Now, a lot of people consider them to be one-hit wonders - which has always bewildered me as they had a hell of a lot more than one hit.  I watch some videos of them playing on Youtube, like this one---

and there they are, stuck on this little micro-stage, playing to a handful of people.  Mind you, they could do something about their stage presence (that keyboardist is a dork), but they are having fun, could have been huge, and I get the feeling that there is a lot of remorse of what might have been.  

Maybe I'm wrong.

Already was a breath of fresh air to me, at the time, as we were in the middle of the psuedo-grunge American "Alt Rock" scene, and then the Electronica thing before it exploded into a zillion different sub-genres.  Here we find a new, unassuming Jesus Jones album.  Powerful, soulful and solid, the album really stood out to me as something ELSE.  Not the same old crap that I heard every day on the radio (and in some cases my CD player.)  It had potential and maturity and direction.  It had everything needed to be an album to put them over the top.  Except, it didn't have the publicity and marketing, it didn't have the support of the industry, and the hardcore fans like myself couldn't make a difference no matter how hard we tried.  I think there was two of us in my town.  Hell, the album wasn't even officially released in the states.

They've already (no pun intended) released a deluxe version of Already with 3 or 4 discs of material.  Some live stuff, alternate takes, demos of the existing tracks and whatnot.  I just pulled the album, the b-sides and the demos of songs that weren't on the album.  Now, you have at least one version, if not the official version, of every track recorded during those sessions.  All of them are good, no matter if it's a b-side, demo or album track.

I'll be gone this weekend, but my next scheduled post wasn't going to be until Tuesday anyway.  I'll be back then, with a post from their "brother" band from the early 90s who was also called a one-hit wonder.  I'll make a deluxe edition of the album of your choice if you can be the first person to correctly name the "brother band" I'm talking about before I post it on Tuesday.  

See you then....

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Revenge - Gun World Porn - 1991-92

When this baby came out, I was still riding high on One True Passion and Electronic's first release.  Getting this in my hot sweaty hands, I was excited beyond belief.  And, I was not disappointed.  Whereas One True Passion seemed like a harder version of New Order, this one took a totally different approach that was a real ripper.  It paced a little quicker, pounded a little harder, and was a definite improvement on melody.  I thought so highly of it, I included it in my radio hour during college with State Of Shock.  Solid solid shit.

Rumor has it, and I can find no evidence to support this, but some say these tracks were all recorded during the OTP sessions.  Is this true?

I've read reviews online trashing this EP as junk (as well as OTP) and I don't understand.  Why can supposed music pros not see the value and quality of Revenge?  Were they expecting a New Order rip-off?  Was it too masculine for them?  I could sort of see the too sexist slant, though.  Regardless, Hooky does deserve some kudos for this one as it is definitely crafted very well.  From the cover to the lyrics, to the melodies, to the execution, to the voicemail.  It has it all.

Mind you, some of the remixes from this album suck, so be prepared.  There is some great material here, but not every mix is a winner.

This EP, along with OTP, should be considered NO canon.  I most certainly think it is.  State Of Shock's interlude with Hooky's solo and the keys and the horns scream early NO, you can't see it any other way.

Anyway, I love it.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame - 1982

 
Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame - 1982

I got this album at the behest of a girl named Crystal in my English class my junior year.  I had just moved from Chicago and still having trouble adjusting to my new environment, when this hot girl who sat in front of me would turn around and talk, and we talked music and she said this was her favorite DM album.  Music For the Masses was still in my top 5 goto albums, and I had the People are People compilation, and a couple 12-inch singles, but at that time, that was about all the DM I had.  So, I went down and bought it.  Boy, was I disappointed. 

There's nothing wrong with the album.  It's got it's own style and mood and pacing.  The songwriting is fairly solid, and the execution is pretty tight.  I like the album, in it's own way.  I was just used to MftM and then I go back in time and listen to this.  Something of a letdown. I know that Martin had just started writing the music himself, so he was still learning.  Good for him.  It's surprising that he started like this, though, and then gave us MftM and Violator within 8 years.  Incredible.

It took me some time to get used to it.  Within a year, I had it memorized and singing along with Dave.  Monument is by far my favorite song, for some reason.  (Gusgus's version of it is killer)  The rest of the tracks, quite honestly, all tie for second.  There aren't any that I like more or less than the others.

When they released their deluxe versions, again, as with all the rest, I was pissed with what they gave us.  THIS is how it should have been.

Thanks, yet again, to Dreamtime.....

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Lightning Seeds - Sense - 1992

Although this is probably either my first or second favorite Lightning Seeds album, I've always hated this cover art.  It's hard for me to even discuss this album without first pointing out my distaste of this amateurish, high-school quality, lack of proper layout cover.  Even the fonts suck.  I quite honestly made artwork of this caliber in junior high school.  It's obviously air-brushed with a traditional, old-school style with an actual brush.  You can tell by the splattering and the masking and crummy looking clouds.  The layout is abominable, with a single focal point exactly in the center of the cover, and a boring arial-black sans serif font for SENSE.  It's not even that creative.  I seriously SERIOUSLY made better work than this in junior high, about 13 or 14 years old.  Absolute junk.

NOW, I got that out of my system.

This is definitely a brilliant follow-up to Cloudcuckooland with a host of fantastic pop hooks and flares, and classic lyrics and melodies.  His whiny voice that sort of annoyed me on the first album, seems right at home on this one.  This was in my top 5 albums from 1992, right up there with Shamen's Boss Drum, Cure's Wish, and the Other Two.  Even though I was knee-deep in Techno at that time, I still had plenty of listening for other bands, and this album outlived Techno by far.

Even though the singles filled the front of the album, I always thought the back half was the better of the "two sides".  There was a feeling of cohesiveness and a common thread that pulled them together.  I would list my favorite tracks from them, but looking at the last five, I really can't decide.  Maybe Marooned is the best?  Not sure.  I can't imagine listening to one of the tracks without listening to all of them. 

I added the 4 b-sides after the album tracks, and listening to them, they are as good as the album proper, and a unfortunate thing that they weren't originally on the album.  Maybe Lucifer Sam is a little different, but as a whole, the b-sides are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the album.  The remixes aren't really that good, but I have to add them to this set to make it complete and fill the disk.  Plus, you all might like them more than me.

Anyway, great Broudie material as always. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back the Clock - 1988

 
Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back the Clock - 1988

Yeah, I know, I teased Angstytimelord about this a little before I left.  Try as I might, I am a closet-fan of this album.  Around the time that I was big into Wang Chung and Duran's Big Thing and Sting and A-ha and GM's Faith album, I did have this one, too.  This wasn't my sister's album, this was me hiding in the closet with my Post Punk bands put away and I'm listening to this on my headphones.  At the time, I found it sheik to be a Post Punk/Punk who listened to NO and DM and Cure, and proud of it.  These other bands I kept on the back burner in a low profile, but didn't deny them.  JHJ, though, I completely denied, but secretly listened to them on an unmarked cassette.  What a coward.

I have often heard people lump these guys in the same category as Glass Tiger.  I firmly disagree.  Although their styles might be similar, JHJ is/was light years ahead in songwriting ability.  It's surprising to me, though, that I found the album tracks to be more of my favorites than the singles were.  As a whole, the entire album meshes well, sounds great, and is an EASY listen from beginning to end.

I didn't know and didn't research any of their mixes or b-sides until it came time for me to do this disc.  I had to hunt them down and rip them from Youtube, so the sound quality isn't 100%.  It's still good, though, and listen-able.  The mixes were tricky to identify, though, as some of them are labelled differently on the official singles, even though they are the same, and then there was even more variation in the labelling once they got on Youtube.  There are a lot of "New Mix" "Remix" "New Version" for the same mix across the board.  I originally had almost two discs worth of mixes, and narrowed it down to less than one.

It's good to be back, but I still have a variety of other projects that I'm working on, so I will try to stay on target.  I have finished posts ready through mid-July, so I still have a buffer in place.  I just want to work on my other stuff, too.  I'll see you tomorrow, though, with another "Welcome Back" post....


Erasure - Light At the End Of the World - 2007


To me, personally, I felt that after Chorus, and more so after I Say I Say I Say, Erasure began a steady decline into mediocrity.  Each album continued to get more and more progressively bland, and I was less apt to listen to them enough to even recognize melodies or lyrics.  So, after the incredibly dull Union Street, and then suddenly Andy's releasing solo stuff, I figured "Well, I guess Erasure's done..."

2007 rolls around, and I see this incredible cover that takes me back to Wild days.  Holy cow!  In 2007 around that time, I had started getting bored with the Brit Rock stuff from the previous 4-5 years, and I was in desperate need of something new.  This album fit perfectly in that slot.

It's a great album, probably my favorite in the new millenium.  All of the songs seem happy, bouncy, and full of Vince being inventive and innovative.  Of course, Andy's voice is as good as always.  The melodies he created aren't as creative as previous, but they still have that definitive pop standard that makes it easy to remember the words and melody, so you can sing along.

I have the b-sides and a couple non-album tracks, along with 2 discs of remixes under the Stormchaser cover.  This one brings fond memories for me.....  Haven't listened to the new album yet (I'm downloading it now) but I hope it's a good one, too!





Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow.....

Don't expect a grand entrance to a dramatic and spectacular return.  It will just be business as usual....

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bjork - Post Remixes - 1995-96

Another random post (no pun intended.)

I felt like posting this last night, but I held off, hoping to save this one for when I came back, working on building my buffer again, and wanting to keep my "break" up so I would be 100% when I came back.  But, I woke up this morning and this is the first thing I thought about, so I felt compelled to bring you something new.

I had really enjoyed Debut when it came out, so I really had high hopes for the original album when I knew it was going to be released.  You can read about my thoughts on it here.  Although I did like the album, I wasn't 100% impressed.  That's okay, it was more for my fiance than anything.

This album had 187,943 remixes.  Of course I'm being facetious, but it did have an awful lot.  And the singles, not limited to one version, came out in twos and threes, with a host of variations between.  It made collecting them that much more exciting, and made Bjork a hell of a lot of money, I'm sure.  Quite alright.  I've always been about what's NOT on the album more than the album itself (hence, this blog.)  AND, I did enjoy (again, no pun intended) these singles immensely.  

I only put my ultimate favorites on here.  I could have easily filled three discs, but a lot of the mixes were only marginally good.  And there was a fuckload of Army Of Me mixes that I just couldn't get into.  I mean, a Beastie Boys remix of Army Of Me?!  That's like bacon and ice cream, to quote Lou Reed.  It just don't work. There was a lot of good mixes, though, and I had to be selective on what I wanted on this mix so I could include them all, and still have it flow smoothly.

The cover I used for this compilation was actually supposed to be the original cover to Post.  The reason why they chose not to use it escapes me right now, but that's why we have Google.  Go look it up if you're interested.  I will say, upon making the cover for this, I felt that it captured more the feel of Debut than it did Post, so I figure in some sense they may have changed it to show some growth or separation from what she had previously done.

So, I'm planning on officially coming back on Friday, June 2nd, and I will be posting two great albums then, and another on Saturday the 3rd.  After that, I will be posting every Tuesday and Friday evenings, so you can mark your calendars.  For those of you in Europe, more than likely, you will be needing to check me out on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, unless you feel the need to be looking in on what I've put up at 2 or 3 in the morning.  If you choose to do that, maybe you should get some help because the shit ain't that good.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hall & Oates - Big Bam Boom - 1984

 

You have to know I'm just teasing you, playing with you, getting you all excited only to back off once again.  Or maybe I just think too highly of myself.  You decide.

I felt like posting today, so I'm posting what would have been my next post after my last, several weeks ago.  I feel it's somewhat appropriate for the situation, and a good, unique one-off post that should appeal to a broad swath of you.

A far departure from the sound and style they used to be, this is still the H&O that I remember from my childhood, with the exception of Maneater.  I still remember Maneater, but I didn't know it was them.  This one, I knew it was them, and at the time I thought it was awesome.  Now, it obviously seems dated, but the songwriting is great.  The pop hooks are still strong.  STABLU is still my favorite track from the album, and I listened to that one track about 10 times in a row while working on the cover.

The original "Deluxe" they released way back in the day only had three (maybe four?) additional remixes on it.  That's cool, but I want them all.  Unfortunately, they didn't have any new material from their b-sides, so mixes is all we have.  Plus, I have added a couple fan mixes that seem pretty good, too.

EDIT - A huge THANK YOU to Neil, who actually went a purchased a record, digitally ripped a track from vinyl, digitally cleaned the track, and sent it on to me, just to help complete this set.  You are awesome, Neil, and I really appreciate your help!!!!

I have to say, I hate that pic of Hall on the Method Of Modern Love picture sleeve.  He looks sort of like a hillbilly with acne or something.  It is not at all flattering of him.

Who knows when and if I will post again before June 1st.  In fact, I think I will be adjusting the date to June 5th, which would be a Monday, or maybe on June 2nd which is a Friday.  Not sure what I'm definitely going to do yet.  We will see....


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Let's All Take A Nap....


So I don't want to start this all off with "Some parting words..." or "Some final thoughts..." as I'm not planning for any of those.  I want you all to remember this, I am just taking a break from making posts with music and covers.  That's it.

Most of the posts on this blog are new for me.  I had made about 150 or so of my own, and thought it would be good to post them when I was done with them.  So far, I have posted well on 430 albums/collections, some of them with 2-3 discs and a few with more than that.  It was easier when I started, as I had about a 150 cover buffer to work with.  That buffer is long gone.  Right now, I could only post about 10 more days before I'd be out of covers.  And, it's not just the covers.  In a bunch of cases, the collections are new even to me.  I have to spend hours hunting down tracks that I don't have, ripping them from Youtube if I have to, whatever.  On average, any given post takes about 2-3 hours to collect and make a cover.  Sometimes longer than that.  And when you're doing one a day, and have a full time job, and a wife and two kids, well....  you get the point.

As I said, when I come back in June, it will be at a more reasonable pace.  Probably 2-3 posts a week (third time I typed 2-3 in this post.  Hmmmm)

But, as I said, I'm not going anywhere.  I will still monitor the blog every day, twice a day, or more.  I may make a post of my thoughts if I have any I want to share. I will comment or reply to your comments.  All of that.

PLEASE help me keep track of the albums that need to be re-upped.  I don't want any of them to die, if I can.  I'll need you all to continue to tell me when something goes down.

My big fear by taking this break is that I'll lose my audience.  I hope that doesn't happen.  I get upwards of 3500 hits a day, and I don't want to lose that.  It keeps me feeling good to know that I have people from the US, Australia, Germany, England, Ireland, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, France and even an individual from Israel and one person from Tasmania (wow).  It would break my heart if you all stopped visiting.

SO PROMISE ME.  YOU'LL COME BACK.  I'm not going to be gone that long, I still have plenty more to share.

Thanks, and drop me a line if it fancies you....

JME

Guadalcanal Diary - Flip Flop - 1989 - Nothing Extra, Nothing More!

Nothing Extra, Nothing More - LAST Day - Guadalcanal Diary - Flip-flop - 1989

I got this on cassette during the second semester of my Junior year in High School.  Then, I sold it back to the music store when I was converting my collection to CDs in 1991.  Then, I bought it again, on CD, a year later.  Then, three years later, I was getting married and I needed some cash, so I sold it back to the music store.  Then I found it at a used music store in Ames, Iowa in 1998, so I bought it again.  I sold it back in 2002 shortly after my first son was born, and I needed money yet again.  Then, I bought it again in 2005 from a used music store, and decided this time, no matter what, I WOULD NOT sell it back, no matter what.  This time, I still have it.



I love this album.  You wouldn't think so, with the way I kept getting rid of it, but I kept missing it and had to have it back.  I think it's because I was updating my music a lot, and I kept thinking that American College Rock was for shit.  But, not this album.  Not then, not now, not ever.  Just when I think it's time to get rid of it, now, I take it out and play it, and I know that I could never part with it.

If you have not heard of Guadalcanal Diary, I'll give you some reference points.  Think REM, Pixies, Husker Du and the Smithereens.  They run along that vein.  The vocals though, definitely remind me of Michael Stipe, but with their own quality.  Musically, it's straight forward College Rock, with measured dose of Country twang, and a lot of Pop hooks.  Nearly every song is one you can sing along with and enjoy (except Whiskey Talk, that's the worst song on the album.)

I first heard this group when I saw their video on MTV for Always Saturday.  It's a great song.  I was getting big into the above mentioned bands, and this fell right in line with them.  Plus, I loved the Elecktra label spines at the time with the bold, black Impact typeface that every one of their cassettes had.  They looked cool.  After the first listen, I knew the album was a winner.  Why I continued to sell it back to the music store is still a mystery to me.

BUT, no b-sides mixes or unreleased tracks.  Not even a demo.  If you find any, send them my way...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beck - Sea Change - 2002 - Nothing Extra Nothing More!

Nothing Extra Nothing More - Day Six - Beck - Sea Change - 2002

I was working as the Senior Managing Chef for an Italian restaurant when this album came out in 2002.  I'd be to work by 8am and spend my morning prepping and preparing for the restaurant to open, and the sous chefs would want to listen to the local hard rock radio station with their slap-happy "shock jocks".  It was annoying as all get out, as my brain that early was still waking up, and preparing for the mental rigors of the day.  Last thing I need is obnoxious music and infantile conversation (if you could call it that.)  

So, when this puppy came out, I had listened to it a little, only a couple tracks, and I thought it would be perfect to take to work in the morning, commandeer the radio, and play some music with style and class.  I put this disc in and played it from beginning to end, non-stop, and it was fucking glorious.  Beck ala Gordon Lightfoot (you better believe it.)  Fantastically written, fantastically performed and fantastically arranged and produced.  I was in heaven.  Several times, I'd have to stop and close my eyes and just aurally ingest the music as it played and flowed.  By far, Beck's best album, hands down.

Seconds after the album ended, probably 4 or 5 seconds at most, one of the sous chefs flicked the obnoxious radio back on, and he turned to me, waving his tongs in my face like pointing a finger "Don't ever play that shit in here again, Puto."  And we all laughed.  Sometimes, when everyone else is sitting around and eating shit sandwiches, then you got to sit around and eat shit sandwiches, too.

But, I still played it again the next day, anyway.



One more post to go, folks.  And then, some parting words.  See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives - Origin Vol.1 - 2004 - Nothing Extra Nothing More!

Nothing Extra Nothing More - Day Five - TSOOL - Origin Vol. 1 - 2004
Here we have The Soundtrack Of Our Lives' fourth album Origin Vol 1.  Before this album, I had never heard of this group.  In fact, I am lucky that I even fell upon it.  I was buying the new Bloc Party album at the local record shop, and this album was on the wall of new releases next to it.  The cover intrigued me, and I had never heard of them before.  The store had the disc on sale for 10.99, so I picked it up for the hell of it.  I figured if it sucked, I'd just trade it back or something.  Come to find out, I like it BETTER than Bloc Party's album.

Having been around for about ten years already, I was surprised to hear such a fresh and energetic sound from this Swedish band.  The songs are hard and chug along like a train.  The melodies are sharp and catchy, without sounding poppy.  It's hard to classify such an album, as it's reminiscent of Classic Rock/Progressive Rock from the 70s, but with a 21st century alternative style.  Vocally, they are strong, and dark and "scratchy(?)".  It's hard to pinpoint what they sound like, yet they sound like someone I've heard before.  Maybe a Kurt Cobain style.

This is the only album of theirs that I ever got, though.  I haven't heard any of their other material.  Just mentioning it now makes me want to hunt it down and see if it's all as good as this gem.  Unfortunately, although there were b-sides to the singles of this album, they were all tracks from previous albums, which is disappointing, as I would have loved to have heard more from these sessions.  



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Supergrass - Road To Rouen - 2005 - Nothing Extra Nothing More!

Nothing Extra Nothing More - Day Four - Supergrass - Road To Rouen - 2005
When this album came out, I dismissed it immediately before I even listened to it.  I had heard their previous albums, and I was convinced that they were still just angry screamy boys being silly.  I never listened to the album, ever.
Then, for whatever reason I cannot remember, I decided to pull this one out.  I think I may have heard one of the tracks on it somewhere or something, and thought, "maybe I ought to give it a listen...."
Surprisingly enough, Supergrass had grown up.  They were still a little angry and screamy, but they were also more mature, and they weren't silly anymore.  The tracks showed a definite maturity and growth, and Gaz Coombes had definitely shown to be a songwriter to be reckoned with.  Doesn't he sort of have a neanderthal monkey face?  Maybe I'm just being mean.
I feel bad and angry with myself for not giving the album a chance back when it came out.  It's a great disc.

BUT, there weren't any b-sides, mixes or unreleased material.  SO here it is....



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ocean Blue - The Ocean Blue - 1989 - Nothing Extra, Nothing More!

Nothing Extra, Nothing More - Day Three - Ocean Blue - The Ocean Blue - 1989

I feel like I'm halfway cheating you guys on this post, almost feel like I'm cheating myself.  A fellow blogger posted this album several weeks ago, and now I am.  This is one of those albums that I had specifically saved for this week, though. 

It is a stellar album, awesome songwriting and production, and one that takes me back to my High School days, right before graduation.  I bought this one during the winter months of early 1990.  I was planning for going into the Air Force, yet still wanting to be a hip Post Punker and classy at the same time.  This album helped me fill that role.

It's amazing that as British as this album sounds, they are from Pennsylvania.  Cool.  I didn't think Americans, especially at that time, could even sound so sheik.  My favorite songs are, in order of appearance, Between Something and Nothing, Vanity Fair, Ask Me Jon and Myron.  Myron is probably my favorite.

I know that somewhere, out there, there is a demo of this album, along with the Laugh Tour EP, which may or may not have material on it that might be pertinent to this album.  I cannot find the Demo album, nor the EP.  All I have, and can find, is this album.  Hence, there is Nothing Extra, Nothing More.

You probably already have this, but I'll post a link anyway....


 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hooters - One Way Home - 1987 - Nothing Extra Nothing More!

Nothing Extra Nothing More - Day Two - Hooters - One Way Home - 1987
This was one of my favorite albums during my Freshman and Sophomore years in High School.  I had liked the singles from their previous album, but didn't have the money to purchase it, so this was my first one.  The first six songs are great.  The last three...meh.  It's unfortunate that they didn't make any remixes and didn't record any actual b-sides.  The only b-side they had from this album, was their live version of Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds.  But, you all know how I feel about individual live tracks.

When I bought the album, my parents were a little disturbed by the name of the group.  I think they actually thought they were calling themselves "The Titties" or something.  Funny how naive a 15 year old boy can be at times to not see that at all.

Great music, though, and one that stands high in the history of my musical life.  Doesn't have anything extra, but worth every bit that it does...


 

How Do I Put This...

After much thought and deliberation, it comes with measured sorrow to tell you that I have reached the decision to take an extended leave of absence from my postings. 

I have found over the past several months, that my enthusiasm has waned, and working on this blog has become more of a task than personal entertainment.  Although I thoroughly enjoy doing the blog, the schedule that I put myself on has taken it's toll, and I am now suffering from burnout.  I have also found other avenues of enjoyment that I wish to pursue, and other projects that I want to take on.

But, all is not lost.

I could never stay away forever.  This blog means way too much to me.  I plan on taking a break for just over a month, and to return on June 1st  As of that time, I will probably/possibly/maybe move to a 2-3 posts a week schedule.  Regardless, I will be back on Thursday June 1st.  I still have about 3 weeks worth of back up posts waiting, and I plan to build on that before I come back, giving myself breathing room to take it a little easier this time.  And, I still have more than 200 albums already arranged and sorted for posting, just no covers yet.  YOU KNOW there are STILL a bunch of albums by groups we all know and love that I still have yet to get to.

I will finish out this week, and my last post will be on April 23rd.  So smoke em' if you got em'.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Outfield - Voices Of Babylon - 1989 - Nothing Extra, Nothing More...

Nothing Extra, Nothing More... - Day One - Outfield - Voices Of Babylon - 1989

This one takes me back to the days during my Junior and Senior years of High School.  Working at McDonalds 3-4 nights a week, flirting and teasing the girls, hanging out with friends on the weekends.  It's weird how sometimes music can take you back, mentally and emotionally, and you actually feel just as you did when you were introduced to it.  Right now, listening to it and typing this I feel like I'm 17 again, and the feelings flood as they did then.  I remember Jen at McDonalds, who I dated for 2 months, that girl at the grocery store I asked out on a date, and then she wouldn't answer her door when I went to pick her up.  My nerves still on ultra-edge from my move from Chicago.  Making new friends in a town you can't stand is difficult.  This was when I embraced music like no other time in my life.  I felt defined by it.  I am still defined by my music............  This is an interesting post for me.

Good or bad, I could not find any b-sides, remixes or unreleased material for this album.  What we have is ten songs of American Rock perfection.  Funny, they were a British band.  Big sound, anthem-like quality, and incredible pop hooks.  Every song on this album is wonderful.  Every one of them.  Maybe it's my past relationship with the album, maybe they are really that good.

My favorites, though, are the first three songs, and the very last one.  "Just a part of your life"  magic!

If you can find any material that would constitute making this a "Deluxe" (excluding live tracks) then let me know, so I can get it updated.



Sunday, April 16, 2017

A-ha - Hunting High & Low - 1985 - Already Been Deluxed!

 
 Already Been Deluxed - Day Seven - A-ha - Hunting High & Low - 1985

This was the collection that inspired me to do the "Already Been Deluxed" week to begin with.  One of my favorite albums, A-ha has released the BEST deluxe version of any album I've ever found.  You have album tracks, b-sides, remixes, unavailable tracks, demos and early versions.  All my favorite types of tracks.  

No one can think of 80s music or consider 80s music without mentioning Take On Me.  It is quintessential 80s to the Nth degree.  The entire album is Synthpop perfection.  Even though Take On Me has been overplayed thousands of times, it is still fun to hear and sing along.  Train Of Thought is catchy and rhythmic, and The Sun Always Shines On TV is by far the best song on the album.  Fortunately, the beloved Dreamtime has remixed the crap out of it, making a mammoth 13 minute version.

I have posted the four disc set exactly as released, and added my new covers to them.  I will admit, though, that I did add material to disc one that wasn't previously on there, but the collection as a whole is so complete, I think it still qualifies for this week in particular.

As ALWAYS - I want to think our superb fan-mixers Dreamtime and McDoc for their great work, as they've made versions uniquely their own, without changing the sound and style of the original.  Wonderful job, guys!

Tomorrow starts "Nothing Extra Nothing More" week, with seven days of awesome albums that don't have any bonus material that I can add, but are definitely in my top album category, and worthy of being recognized even though they are not "Deluxed".

CD1   CD2   CD3   CD4



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Suede - Coming Up - 1996 - Already Been Deluxed!

 Already Been Deluxed - Day Five - Suede - Coming Up - 1996

Sorry for the late post.  My parents are in town for the holiday, and we just left the hotel where they're staying.  Had a big elegant supper at a fancy restaurant called Chili's.  Then, we went to their hotel to go swimming in a pool that was slightly bigger than my bathtub, with 12 fat women and 57 screaming kids....  Tomorrow should be better.

Anyway, this is Suede's third album, and the first with their new guitarist, Richard Oakes.  This is where they got really good.  I think this is when most Americans heard of them.  Sad, I couldn't have been in on the ground floor, but better late than never.

This one has every possible recording out there, then some more.  This collection cannot be topped.  I would have arranged the songs differently in my own version, but I also felt that this way is their way, and to rearrange for my own benefit doesn't mean others would like it, too.  So, take it or leave it.

With it's fantastic Pop music introduction, this album is sure to please everyone.  If you haven't already acquired this wonderful album, now's your chance.

CD1   CD2


Friday, April 14, 2017

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - Self-titled (90126) - 1989 - Already Been Deluxed!

Already Been Deluxed Day Five - Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - 90126 - 1989

No matter what is said, we all know that this is a Yes album, and probably one of their best.  Due to legal reasons, they were not allowed to use the name Yes, so used their last names instead.  To be honest, I like it that way.  To me, this is the culmination of the Yes discography.  All they did before was precursor.  And everything after, well...  Let's just say that ALL of them, every single one of them, thought they were individually better than all the rest and had too much artistic integrity to bend to each other's ideas and I think they all were ultimate perfectionists.  Well, that's all well and good, but when it keeps you from making a great album, then it becomes a fuckin' problem.

With no decent demos that I could find, and the release of disc two, this album is now complete.  I can't do any more to make it better.  It's a great listen, though, if you are into the more Progressive style that they had drifted from during Yes's two 80s albums.  Brother Of Mine is an all-time favorite, and the album as a whole is brilliant.  I love it....




I Can't Wait - Movies of 2017...

I normally don't do this, but after the release of the new Star Wars trailer, I am stoked for all of the great movies coming out the rest of this year.  It's going to be an expensive movie season, as all of these are worthy of Imax viewing.  SO, let me begin....

Just came out at 11am central, today, and I am a little disappointed with the trailer, but I am still really excited....
I enjoyed the first one, once I separated my fanboy attitude enough to see the movie for what it was.  Of course it's no Original Trilogy, but these movies are still great!  And Rogue One is my second favorite SW movie, ever, behind ESB....

Because I am a comic fan, this one is really blowing my mind right now....
Even if it's all eye candy, it will be worth it.  But, having read the original French graphic novels, I know the story is going to be rich and exciting.  Definite MUST.

Again, the fanboys are shredding this even before it comes out, basing it on what they know from Prometheus.  I don't give a rat's ass.  Any Alien movie is an awesome Alien movie...


Yeah, I like Thor.  I like Marvel.  What can I say...
The best part of this trailer is Led Zepplin playing when the super-villainess shows up.  Absolutely killer.

Again, with the Marvel films...
and, it's funny.

Not a huge fan of the original, but this one looks pretty good -
Haven't found a movie yet that can actually scare me.  I'd like it if this one did....

Lastly, this one looks pretty good...


I know, they're all those trendy corporate films that lack any real artistic merit (with the exception of Valerian).  But, I could care less.  I'm there to be entertained, and these will definitely entertain me.

There are about 6 more movies that I'd like to see this year, but these are the top ones.  If you see one that you think I'd like, let me know.  I'm always a sucker for a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Horror flick.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Orbital - In Sides - 1996 - Already Been Deluxed!

 
Already Been Deluxed - Day Four - Orbital - In Sides - 1996

This was really a tough one for me to decide.  I couldn't decide whether it was already deluxed (as it would've been from day one) or if it was an album better suited for next week's Nothing Extra theme.  As it does have the Box single, and the additional Macro-Head track, I rolled the dice and put it in this week's theme.

I personally feel that this is Orbital's best and most cohesive album from their entire catalog.  My wife and I had just been married when this one came out, and it brings back the joys and pains of that first year her and I had, as we sorted our new life out and put it together with each other.  I remember listening to the Box single while laying on my couch.  From beginning to end, it put me into a trancelike state.  And when the final mix came on with Allison and Grant, it was like a snap back to reality and the song took on a surreal aspect.  Wonderful.

All that aside, if you listen to the album, seriously and with all of your attention, from beginning to end, you'll see that the album is absolutely magical.  The only single we got from this beauty was The Box, but I would have seriously considered Out There Somewhere, as well.  It's the best track(s) on the album.  But, a 24-minute song might be a little tough to release as a single.  And editing it would ruin it's overall effect.  AND, I refuse to count The Saint/The Sinner as part of this album.  It just isn't.  It's not a bad single, it's just definitely not part of this album (and neither is the LIVE stuff they released with it later...)

If you haven't already heard this, (and I'm sure most of you already have) then you're missing an absolutely fabulous masterpiece.  It's pure gold.


 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Power Station - 1985 - Already Been Deluxed!


Already Been Deluxed - Day Three - The Power Station - 1985 

When they released this expanded edition, I wasn't sure if I was overjoyed or upset.  I was overjoyed that they had finally released all of their '85 material on one disc, which is what I had always wanted.  I was upset by the fact that I couldn't make my own homemade, custom, one-of-a-kind disc to the envy of my fellow D2 friends, EMI had already done it and I was no longer the sole owner.  Now, if I ever tried to make my own version, it would be a cheap knock-off.  I mean, theirs even has a DVD!

But, it is still one of my favorite albums from the Duran Dynasty.  Even without Simon's vocals, you could hear the boys shining though - heavy bass and ripping guitars.  Obviously, Robert's vocals were MORE than adequate, and Tony's percussion was explosive.  Love it, love it, love it. I can still remember sitting in my 8th grade class talking to this girl about it, and how she was disappointed because it didn't sound like Duran.  Funny...   I used to put my headphones on and turn it up as loud as I could and play the album's first two tracks.  The thundering drums and screaming guitars nearly made my ears bleed.  I couldn't stop.

Surprisingly enough, this collection actually IS missing a track, which I proudly found and am graciously providing.  The Murderess Edit Version is not on the original Deluxe Edition, and I had to add it in at the end.  So NOW everything is on it.  Actually, I didn't "find" the track, I found it on the Burning The Ground blog, so technically, it's his to begin with.  Thank you for that!

As for the cover, I was fortunate to find some great jpegs of the original 33 1/3 cover.  The image is virtually flawless, and made it extremely easy to work with.  Overall, this cover turned out very well.

Now, I just need to get a Riptide and a Thunder post, and we can have a part two to this post!!!!!



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Blur - 13 - 1999 - Already Been Deluxed!

Already Been Deluxed - Day Two - Blur's album "13"

After the release of all of the Blur Deluxe Editions, I thought that this one was the only one that I couldn't and wouldn't tinker with.  It's complete, and has it all.  Not my favorite of theirs, it is still their most mature and best written.  It's really their most vulnerable, I feel, and definitely an example of their best production (William Orbit, of course)

Again, nothing I could add, but needed to be posted.  If you don't have it already.....


Blur - 13 - 1999 - Disc Two

Starting tomorrow, I will be normalizing all of the tracks that I post.  Makes for a better sounding album, and I just found the software to do it....


Monday, April 10, 2017

Ramones - Ramones - 1976 - Already Been Deluxed!

Already Been Deluxed - Day One - The Ramones

Before I got these remasters back in 2001, all I had as far as exposure to the Ramones was a few scattered 45s that I picked up because I loved the picture sleeves.  Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, Rock and Roll High School, and the I Wanna Be Sedated with the picture sleeve from the Times Square Soundtrack.  (Yes, I had to scroll through Discogs to get them right.)  But, that was it.

When the remasters came out, I was instantly drawn to all of the extra tracks that were on this, and all the rest of their albums.  Extra tracks are my Achilles Heel.  I have to have them.  I ended up with all of the albums that they remastered with extra tracks, and I fell in love with the Ramones like nobody's business.  They weren't just another Punk band.  They were definitely something more.

I had always thought that Punk was a British thing, but the Ramones (and Iggy Pop) showed me that they had created something that captured the spirit and energy long before England even became engaged.  I know that things were tight in Great Britain back in the 70s, and social unrest bred this genre.  But, unemployment and inflation and the energy crisis in America at that time created a new generation of people seeking to break out.  The failures and disgrace of Nixon followed by the anemic stagnation of Carter (and the disgusting monster called Disco) allowed artists to break out of their social classes and express their frustrations and express the life that America had condemned them to.  In a way, Punk was the Rap of the 70s, if you think about it.  They both reflect a life and lifestyle that others needed to identify with to ease the burden of society in their respective eras.

Maybe.  Or am I full of shit?

I would love to have been the one to compile all of the Ramones material for you, but unfortunately, they did it first.  This may possibly be the only Ramones album that I post, as it represents the academic work that was put into all of their remasters.  They did a stellar job, I couldn't have done better. So, until I post another "Already Deluxed" week, this may be all we see from them.

Maybe.