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.


 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Berlin - Love Life - 1984

This has always been a "sexy" group in my eyes.  Not just the albums per se, but the entire group, their material and their career.  It surprises me, looking at their history and career, that Crawford and Dunn were never romantically involved, as it seemed to be a fitting scenario for a love-locked couple.  I mean, look at the cover to this album!

This will probably be the only Berlin album that I post, as it's my favorite.  Moving into the Count Three sessions, and I lost interest.  They had drifted into the commercialized Pop sound the Top Gun song was the last straw.  By then, American New Wave bands were dying anyway, and Pop music was drifting into the Wang Chung/Johnny Hates Jazz/Cutting Crew era of sound.

The Berlin logo I put on the back of the cover is one from one of their singles from the album.  I love the typeface, and I'm even thinking of making a font of it.  BUT, now that I look at it, I'm not sure if I like the steel texture I gave it, as it doesn't really fit the album.  I also feel, looking at it now, that although the light and dark brown lines on the back match the colors on the front, they make the back cover look a little too much like a poop color.  But, it is what it is, now.  Maybe when I run out of albums to do, or I have a "REVISIT WEEK", I can come back and redo this one....


And tomorrow starts the "Already Deluxed Week"....  I'll see you then!

EMF song "Kill For You" - FOUND!

I'm looking for the EMF track called "Kill For You" from their Perfect Day single.  There is supposedly a regular mix, and then a "Low-Fi Mix".  I want the regular mix, but if you have either one, I would greatly appreciate it.  It is for my May 3rd post, so we have a couple weeks to get it.  Please let me know if you find it!

Thanks,

KC

PS - Aid00 and Jordan have found the two tracks I wanted!  Thank you guys for your help!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Kaiser Chiefs - Your's Truly Angry Mob - 2007

After their glorious debut, the Kaiser Chiefs followed it with a skillful and solid sophomore release.  Even though it wasn't as slammin' as their first.  Starting with the strong Ruby single, the album really doesn't disappoint.  It's a nice slice of British Pop/Rock.  They do show some maturity here, and it isn't as carefree and wild as their previous, but it holds it's own with strong pop hooks and melodies.  To me, the only "anthem" track would be Ruby, and that isn't anywhere close to I Predict A Riot.  I still like it a lot, and adds another great album to a list of incredible albums from England around that time...


Monday begins a new theme week here on AtAIML.  There have been SOOOOO many albums that I've wanted to post, but there was already a deluxe version out there.  I couldn't best them, they were a perfect set.  That being said, Monday begins....
One week of albums that have already been given that special treatment that they deserve.  There are quite a few choice nuggets that I'm sure you will enjoy.

Following that, the Monday after, will begin another themed week, back-to-back.  That theme week will be called....
This will be for all of those albums that I'd love to post, but they don't have any additional material that I can add.  These albums deserve some attention, even though I don't have anything more to make them extra AtAIML special.

Anyway, stay tuned and have a great Saturday!


Friday, April 7, 2017

The Music - Welcome To the North - 2004

I may ramble a bit here.  I'm loopy on cold medicine, and still feel like a stanky shithole after a chilifest.  So, bare with me. I mean, BEAR with me.  (What a horrendous mental image...)

Welcome To the North is an absolute stomper from the "Brit Rock Invasion" that occurred from 2004 to 2006.  I bought this one the same time I bought Bloc Party, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Art Brut, Futureheads and the Arctic Monkeys (not to mention the Brit Rock wanna-bes The Killers & The Bravery.)  This one stood out from the others in that along with it's strong Brit Rock sound, it also had Hard Rock and Classic Rock intonations as well.  I almost thought they sounded a little like a British Jane's Addiction.

It's unfortunate that they only released three albums.  At barely 20 years of age when they released this second album, they had a lifetime of great music ahead of them.  But, alas, t'was not to be.  One more album after this, and a final non-album single that was supposed to be for their fourth, and they were done.  I feel they had the potential to do so much more.  Harvey alludes to drugs and alcohol, which tends to be the reasons behind most artist failures.

At least we get some more Harvey in the D.O.T. and The Six, but they don't compare to the awesomeness of this group and THIS album.  The first five songs are the strongest, and most memorable, but it's a solid banger all the way through.  You will enjoy or my name isn't Chaos.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Jam - In the City / This Is the Modern World - 1977

 
Sorry for missing my post, yesterday.  I've had this horrible head cold and it's seeped down into my lungs.  I came home from work last night and collapsed on the couch, and fell asleep.  I got up about 11pm just to take some medicine and take my clothes off, and then went to bed.  I'm feeling better today, but I'm still in bad shape.  So, because I missed yesterday, and because these albums are so short (and because I had already planned it this way ;) ) I am posting the first two albums by our beloved Jam. 

I didn't get into the Jam until I got a two-fer album from Collector's Choice music about 15 years ago.  Back then, as the internet was just becoming popular, I started exploring different genres of music as my tastes developed.  I liked Punk, but I had always been very particular about which bands I listened to.  I had never heard The Jam before then, that I remember, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Two albums for the price of one sounded good.

As many of you already know, getting two Jam albums for the price of one is an outright steal, as these albums are like gold.  I fell in love with them almost instantly.  Every song is full of pophooks and full of energy.  Weller's voice, instantly recognizable, fits the music perfectly.  It's not whiny and nasally, and he doesn't have to scream.  He actually sings.  And you can tell, that he and the band are really having a lot of fun.

There were only a few singles from these albums, and just a couple b-sides.  I also put the non-album single All Around the World on there, too, just to give it a home.  The covers were cut-and-dried, straight forward covers.  Nothing special.

Now, back to the couch...


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Styx - Kilroy Was Here - 1983

I can already hear the groans out there, and you haven't even read the post yet.  Yes, I know I had planned to post The Railway Children today, but I didn't want to double up on Ricky's post several days ago.

This album is cheezy, it is trendy, it is dated, it is melodramatic.  But, it is great.  This brings back memories of third grade all over again.  Kids running around the playground during recess, pretending to be robots screaming Mr Roboto.  I got a copy of it as a kid from a friend who taped it off his dad's vinyl.  That, along with M's Pop Musik.  Holy Cow, did I play that thing.

But, the fact that it appealed to a third grader should tell you that the album itself really didn't have a lot to offer to a honed musical ear.  I know, after years of listening and reading up on other reviews and whatnot, that this album really was Styx at it's low end.  Although it sold a bunch of albums, the "Rock Opera" approach that DeYoung wished to pursue was not favored by the rest of the band.  To me, looking at their career and musical output, I think DeYoung had gone a little loopy and HE is the one that broke up the band.  Yeah, he's got a good voice, but DUDE!  LOOK AT WHAT YOU DID!!!

The only thing to add to this disc is the two Japanese mixes of Mr Roboto.  But, I really did a number on that logo, didn't I?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Strangelove - Self-titled - B-Sides - 1997

This is sort of a tough one to post.  I LOVE their music.  Their songs are written very well.  Their performance as a band is impeccable.  But, I hate their vocals.  Sitting behind my keyboard I find it hard to say that Patrick Duff is a talentless hack, because who am I to say that?  I've tried numerous times to pop in their CD and enjoy their music, which I do, but Duffy's vocals grate on my nerves.  Maybe that was the point? 

These are the b-sides to their last album.  There are a few little gems in there, some really fun and tongue in cheek tracks.  If you can get past the vocals, that is...

Short post tonight, not much to say about this one. I had all the tracks and thought I'd throw it together for a little late-90s Britpop post.  The weather is nice, and I'm going to go outside and smoke cigarettes.  Have a great evening....

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Manufacture - Terrorvision - 1988

I had just discovered Skinny Puppy a few weeks before, and now my eyeballs were open for anything that might be similar in style, as I was smitten.  I saw this one on vinyl, the beautiful Gilmore cover, dark brooding song titles and the same record label.  Awesome!

This was the first time I heard Sarah McLachlan, too.  As the End Draws Near is by FAR the best song on the album.  The music is good, not bad, but not close at all to SP.  I tend to think that they weren't trying to sound like SP, as SP has a sound all it's own.  I would put Manufacture's first album more in line with Front Line Assembly and the likes.

I have pretty much everything on here, let me know if I've missed anything....

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Wang Chung - Points On the Curve - 1983

SO, I liked the album after this one, better than this, and then the album before this one better than that, and then Mosaic the best.  As a sophomore release, though, they did a fantastic job and there are still a lot of great songs (and mixes) on here.  The first song I ever heard by them was Dance Hall Days, and it was the music video, to boot.  I was spending the night at John's house, we had just watched Poltergeist or Cujo or Creepshow, I can't remember which one exactly, and were watching MTV at about 2am (we'd never go to sleep when I stayed over at his house.)  I wasn't overly impressed, but I did like the song, and the memory of the video has stuck with me for more than 30 years.

As a kid, though, that sound didn't really appeal to me, yet, as I was still stuck on Break My Stride and Thriller pop trappings.  It took Mosaic before I recognized their true talent, and vinyl hunting in the 90s to grab it all and enjoy their work as a mature music aficionado.  ALL of their albums have a strong and stable foundation in classic songwriting with enough pop flare to win me over.  Their singles are obvious success points of the album, but the rest of the tracks are still solid enough to encourage repeat play.  Even the b-sides.  Ornamental Elephant is definitely intriguing.

This cover took me almost two hours to make as I had to go back and correct almost every line.  To a point I just gave up to it as there was really no way to repair all of the imperfections.  It's harder to do covers like this with geometric shapes and lines, as the flaws stick out like pimples on a forehead.  With paintings, or photos or abstracts without geometrics, you can remove JPEG artifacts and smudge and blend and blur.  You could even use your clone tool.  Not this, you have to correct down to the pixel level, otherwise you can see the error.  And it isn't even that pretty.

Sorry about missing my post last night.  Went to a concert with my son called Winter Jam 2017.  Although it really isn't my sort of music, I actually enjoyed myself, and I'm glad I was able to spend time with my oldest boy.  He's a great kid...




Friday, March 31, 2017

Just So You Know......

I love Ricky's blog, Madchester Rave On.  I try and visit everyday, but I am there at least 5-7 times a week.  It's a GREAT SITE!

Well, yesterday he posted Railway Children's Native Place album from 1990.  I have had that album in my que and ready to post for about 2 weeks now, as I always like to stay a couple weeks ahead of myself as a buffer.  Same album, and I had already scheduled it to post on April 4th.  SAME ALBUM.  If you don't believe me, when I post it, check the date stamps on the zip file or Mp3s and you will see...

What causes this to happen?  Ricky - what were your thoughts when you decided to post this?  I've got to know, as you and I have doubled up like this on several occasions.  It's uncanny, almost scary.

If I can, I will try and rotate out a couple others that I already have done further down the road.  But, I wanted you all to know that I am in no way trying to copy or rob the ideas or posts of Ricky.  We just seem to be on the same wavelength sometimesssss.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Daniel Amos - Alarma! Chronicles Vol 1 - 1981

After yesterday's bleh review of a good album that I didn't really think was stupendous, simply because I didn't have a personal connection to it, I'm going to swing out into the other direction.  Now I've got a great review of a mediocre album that I absolutely love, simply because I did have a strong personal connection to it.

This album is Part One of the four part Alarma! series by Daniel Amos.  Daniel Amos is the name of the band, and there's no one in the band named either Daniel or Amos.  Weird, huh?  I've already posted Part Two and Part Three, previously.  Here are the links to them...



I have yet to post the fourth part, called  Fearful Symmetry, but that will come later this summer.

As a whole, listening to the albums in chronological order, the breadth of Terry Taylor's writing is admirable.  He plays across all musical genres, with an obvious Christian slant.  But, it's not overpowering or a turn-off.  The style mesh well, and the melodies are always catchy.

This first album in the series still smacks of late 70s Classic Rock/Pop Rock.  The band wouldn't head into their awesome 80s New Wave sound until the next album.  But, after a touchy start, the album picks up momentum and comes out on top.  Although I love this album, it is not as good as the other two.  I prefer Vox Humana, followed by a close second with Doppelganger.  Part One falls shortly behind that.  Part Four, on the other hand, is a little jilty to me.  But, by then I had moved back into secular Rock, and mostly forgot about Christian Rock altogether.

I do have a personal connection to this album, though, as it's one of the albums that I listened to repeatedly during my exile from mainstream Rock and Roll.  I still had (have) music in my soul, so I had to listen to a lot of Christian artists that I quickly learned to love.  Artists like Steve Taylor, Petra, Crumbacher, Rez Band, Farrell & Farrell, DeGarmo & Key, Stryper and Daniel Amos.  I often think that it was wrong for my parents to do force me into that exile, but then I sometimes am happy that it happened, as it exposed me to some more great music out there that I wouldn't have normally listened to.

Notice I went through my entire Christian Rock post without using one vulgar word?  Weird how that subconsciously happens...

Give the series a shot, and I'm sure you'll at the very least find it amusing....

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ultravox - Quartet - 1982

Admittedly, this isn't one of my favorites by Ultravox.  Admittedly, I'm only posting this as I continue to offer the full discography of their work (as I am doing with a lot of other artists, too.)  Admittedly, you will see this happen more and more often, as I am beginning to see the bottom of the well of my musical exposure from the last four decades.  So it is,,,,

It's not so much that the album's a bad album.  It's pretty good.  It just never really grabbed me.  It's difficult to make it all the way through the album without changing the disc/mp3. But, maybe it's just me.  I never knew of them when I was younger, and never heard of them until Youtube and Discogs.  So, with no real memories from when it was released, I didn't get any sort of imprint from it. Also, I think their keyboard player wasn't very inventive.  The tones sound redundant and somewhat annoying.  And their sound typifies the stereotypical 80s New Wave sound that everyone hates to love, or loves to hate.  I don't know, it's good, but it's not that good.  Am I making myself clear?  Can anyone else out there articulate what I'm trying to say?

This does have the rare and hard to find b-side called Break Your Back.  I had to rip it from Youtube to get it, though.  Always a fan of their cover art, it was hard to find flawless material to use for this.  The back frame still doesn't look too good, and you can see jpeg artifacts all over it.  I tried my best.

I guess I like Reap the Wild Wind.  But, We Came To Dance is dumb.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Romeo Void - Benefactor - 1982

I've really got nothing to say about this album.  It's another 80s album that I feel deserves it's place in my collection.  I remember the neighbor kid who lived next to me when I was a boy had it.  It was his mom's tape, really, not his.  But, I remember her playing it once in the summertime in a boombox while she washed her car.  She was a divorcee, and fairly young.  Her son was a punk.  Not a real punk but a little fucking prick, to be more precise.  I also remember seeing the video of Never Say Never on MTV in the early 80s, and liking the melody. 

But, that's about all the experience I have with it.

I've since listened to it, and like it, and think it's a fine example of New Wave.  I'm also impressed with their lead singer.  She's really got it together.  For the most part, the songs are good, not spectacular, but you definitely won't be wasting your time listening to it.  It's just....  good.

As for the cover, I remember the tape when I was a kid, so I specifically stuck with the cassette cover, which looks sorta cool for a CD.  And, all the mixes as always....

Monday, March 27, 2017

Elastica - Self-titled - 1995

Here's a little rocker from the mid-90s during the peak of Brit-Rock influence across America.  Oasis and Blur were at their prime, becoming legendary before our eyes.  With them, there were a host of bands that were picked up by labels from all over as almost a clarion call to the horror that was American Grunge.  Blech!  Grunge unfortunately shifted to American Alternative, but the Brit Rock scene really put out some awesome stuff, and Elastica was in that mix.

Admittedly, the album sorta wanes toward the end, but for the most part you have some solid numbers with some catchy hooks.  And Car Song, of course, is really sexy, too.  It's unfortunate that their follow-up albums didn't share the same magic as their debut, but it was to be expected.  They had a lifetime to write their first album, and only a year or two to write their second.  That is where the talent and skill really shines through.  I'm satisfied to see them as a one-hit-wonder, not a problem. Just another CD to add to my huge collection of awesome crunchy guitars with that thick Brit accent.

I received my Hall & Oates tracks today from Neil, so we are on pace to get a big H&O deluxe edition that will one up the official deluxe, on April 24th.  I am so stoked!  I'm half-tempted to try and push out the cover some time this week and post early, but we'll see how my week goes, first.


On a side note, my wife still has not found a job, and her unemployment compensation has run out.  So, we've got about a month before things get really scary, and we're out of cash.  We will see what happens, I guess.  For any of you who believe in a higher power, drop a line for our family, and maybe a miracle will occur.  We definitely need it....

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Billy Idol - Whiplash Smile - 1985

So, I'm in a quandary on how to describe this one.  Is this the last of his good albums?  Or is this the first of his bad albums?  I will say this, it was a pivotal album in his career, and once this one was released, it was all downhill.

By the time this came out, the mainstream Pop radio record labels were trying to capture what they considered "New Wave" and putting a more radio friendly twist on it.  All while sacrificing the true intent and meaning behind it.  Imagine, only 6 or 7 years before this album, Billy was a true punk in Generation X, making some great stuff.   Then....

I think we all remember when this one came out, or at least when we started hearing it on the radio.  Regardless of what I said in the above two paragraphs, I was only 14 and it was still Billy Idol to me.  He had the killer attitude with the pretty boy looks.  Being a young shy geek with pimples and a big nose, I was very jealous of him.  The best I could do was emulate the fine lad.  As well, this was the time when my parents took my "secular" music away, so all I had was a dubbed tape from a friend.  I was still always very impressed with him, even through his next release in 1990.  I think the cyberpunk album is where he completely lost it...

But, now, I think the fanbase and respect is still out there.  I mean, it's fucking Billy Idol.  I'd be happy to meet the guy or see a show.  I guess the best I can do now, is wear an Idol t-shirt.  Good enough for me.

As always, I've got it all on this one...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Peter Gabriel - Self-Titled - 1980

So, we still have house guests, and we are making plans for tonight, so I will get today's post out a little early, so I don't miss it.

Still working through PG's awesome self-titled albums, trying to name them so you can differentiate between the three.  I love his covers for his singles, which is why I continue to use them as the actual covers for the albums.  On this one in particular, I tried to leave the wear rings from the vinyl on the sleeves, so it looks more authentic and retro.  I think they are pretty cool this way, they look like records.

I was able to find three more tracks to add to this particular set. But, still no remixes of the singles.  I think a Dreamtime remix or McDoC remix of I Don't Remember or Games Without Frontiers would be spectacular.  But, just wishful thinking.

Tonight we are going to go roller skating with the kids.  I haven't been roller skating in ten years at least, which will be exciting for everyone else but me.  Imagine a middle-aged fat man trying to roll his fat ass around on eight little wheels.  Can anyone say busted hip?