Big Pig – Boink
I heard of this album because of track 12 “Devil’s Song”. I gave the entire thing a listen at a friend’s place way back when. It blew my doors off. The blues rock mix was one of the coolest things I had herd to date at the time. I later got this on CD as all of my LP’s are gone now and scattered to the winds. I ripped it to MP3 as soon as I could and listen to it at least once every month.
Boston – Boston
Track 1 “more than a feeling” was all over the radio when I picked this one up. It was a treat in a much different manner than most of the things I was listening to at the time. The smooth refined rock songs on this rather amazing album swept me away and I played it so much it started to lose its grooves. I am very glad to have gotten it on CD many years later then on Google Play Music later on than that.
Bread – Best of Greatest Hits
Track 7 “mother freedom” was how I wondered into this band. It was the kind of hippy music that I loved so much back in the day. The free spirited sound of rebellious music that your folks did not like. It was against most of the things of the time like conformity and blind obedience to the government.
Bronski Beat – Hundreds and Thousands
Track 5 “small town boy” was how I found this band in the 80’s. It was on a late night Video show and I sat there in awe of the sad and tragic lyrics. I could honestly relate as I had deep rooted fear of my parents finding out that I was at that time in a sexual relationship with another man. This is not the same album of the day, but a more modern set of remixes and remastered songs. I much enjoy every last one of them and only own this one on MP3 from Google Play Music.
Cathy Dennis – Into the Skyline
Honestly I won this CD. I had no idea what it was or who the hell she was. Then I got it home and stuffed it into the boom box and WOWSERS I was swept away with the progressive mix of many kinds of music and the exciting vocals of Cathy Dennis. Track 1 “you lied to me” is about one of the best of its kind that I have ever heard.
Clutch – Transnational Speedway League
Classic modern rock. This is a fast past band with a rough edge bar band sound. It’s the kind of thing that I am sure most people I know won’t like but this is just good. The energy level is way the hell up there and makes me want to drive 110mph down a dark highway at night. Track 7 “rats” is about the epitome of the band’s sound.
Collide – Chasing the Ghost
Track 5 “white rabbit” is how I wondered into this one. The sound is modern and smooth with an edge to it. It also has a wide range of expressions from song to song. No two CD’s are the same for this band. They change and evolve. White rabbit is in my mind way better than the original. All in all, this band is just cool.
Disturbed – Immortalized
A lot of people have heard track 11 “the sound of silence”. But I have to tell you this is not the best song on the CD and in total the high energy classic metal sound of the band drives me speakers very nicely I must say. The style is not just your Dads metal as well, it’s written with a classical music style that rolls and flows. It’s not just four cords over and over again.
Eisenfunk – Pentafunk
This is not how I wondered into the band, that was “8-bit”. Pentafunk is a very cool and very German expression of techno-industrial music. Honestly a lot of people I know can’t understand what they are saying, but oh well. There is a lot of energy in this made to dance too music. The title track is the most common and the one I like the best. The video for this has to be seen by the way. It’s just cool.
Kansas – Mayhem Symphony
Mostly know for “Carry on wayward son”, this epic rock opera is an arc of songs in a style of classic American Rock. It progresses a story. Moving from one chapter to the next in the two disc set (or two LP set). The drums and that masterful lead guitar make this one. The piano ads in a dimension that is welcomed and warm to listen to. The sound is just that warm and rather unlike any other band you will hear.
Leonard Cohen – Various Positions
I can’t believe this is from 1985. It literally seems like just a couple of years ago this came out. Maybe because I keep coming back to it time and again. It’s not an every week or every month CD but it’s played often though over the span of a year. Sometimes just for a song or two. Track 5 “Hallelujah” is about the best thing Cohen ever did. It’s in the style of classic music not rock in its flow. It references how it’s written in the song with “the minor fall, the major lift”. That about sums up the song musically. The lyrics are a bit cryptic and rather poetic. There can be several ways to look at this song. Many people see it as having religious overtones although I think it’s literally just from the title. Some I know have placed a rather D/S relationship and even bondage overtone to it. But the entire CD is worth listening to for the same reasons as Hallelujah. Even my mother liked this one.
Maclean & Maclean – Dirty Thirty
Well there is no one song on this that attracted me to it. It’s a master work of Canadian get fucked up and listen to dirty shit on the stereo played by people who can hardly play music. The songs are short and funny as hell in a drunken bathroom of the bar kind of way. What can I say I expanded my mind to the dirty side growing up and smoking pot while listening to this shit music. So I think you should at least find a few of their songs some place and give them a listen.
Matthew McCully – And the Matter of Principle
OK I am certain most people I know will hate this with a passion. But man this is not like anything else. It’s got that coffee house sound and a drugged up feel to it. It’s poetic and from a style that tries to NOT be popular. If you want to wake up easy in the morning and get a few things done on the computer or balance your check book while drinking strong coffee – this is the CD to put on in the background. Seriously I am sure most of you have literally never heard this kind of music.
Prodigy – The Fat of the Land
OK what can I say, this CD fueled a lot of nights of drinking and talking shit to my friends. It’s techno in an 80’s kind of way but the sound is big as in wall of sound. A lot of people loved the song “breathe” from this one and it was a popular video. I on the other hand rather LOVE “Smack My Bitch Up” and “Narayan”. They have this kind of mystical sound to them. By the way you have to see the uncut version of the video for Smack My Bitch Up. It puts a tilt on the song you did not expect.
Puddles Pity Party – Live at Joe’s Pub.
OK if you have any clue who this man is, you know he is a freak show looking giant clown (6’8”) with an amazing voice. The sound you must have heard will be Royals. But all of the songs on this CD are worth a listen and the style is so very different from most modern artists. It’s more of a 1940’s feel to his way of singing. He makes the songs his. He also does Hallelujah on this CD.
Rational Youth – Future Past Tense
This is the latest expression by a band I found way back in the 1980’s and was blown away. It’s a modern version of Electro and Techno with rather poetic lyrics. The level of refinement over their old LP’s they are most known for is evident. This is a set of songs with a story to them and they say something well worth listening to. It’s something happening now but is a timeless kind of story. You might want to know that Cold War Nightlife was one of the bestselling albums in Canadian history yet the vast majority of people I know have literally never heard of this band. This is a sad expression of how we have been swept away by the US market. The one that literally inspired my to write poetry and to be an artist was Heredity (the LP that is). The poetic lyrics said something to me and changed how I thought.
Skinny Puppy – Cleanse Fold Manipulate
OK I have everything this bad has ever done. Cleanse Fold Manipulate is the album that got me hooked on them. A friend had it and we sat there listening to it. I got wrapped up in the sound and the words. “Deep Down Trauma Hounds” changed how I saw music. It was this industrial edge Electro that I had never dreamed of. The sound was droning and repetitive and the lyrics spoke to me. Later when I got this for myself I got more than a bit high and put it on the stereo. Sat there with the headphones on and my mouth hanging open. It’s like a demonic opera in a way.
Slade – Feel the Noise (Greatest Hits)
OK Slade is the rock band if you ask me. I have literally no idea how they did not go on to be superstars like AC/DC and the like. Cum on Feel the Noise and Moma Weer All Crazee Now are just some of the best rock music I have ever heard. It’s not a big wall of sound, but more that down home in the local pub kind of feel. But it does it for me and there is not one song that they have done that I disliked. To my knowledge I think their Christmas song is the bestselling Christmas song in UK history. I have to say most of the attraction is the lead singers massive voice. I mean they have to turn down his mic. He puts out the sound so well after all. I heard them live twice in my life and loved it both times.
The Clash – The Clash
Well what can I say they were in the vanguard of the punk movement in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This was in my mind their best album although by far not the most know. The sound from album to album changed and the style got more refined. This is why I do not like the later albums at all. The sound in their first album “the Clash” was raw and angry. I loved this stuff. It changed how I thought of music.
Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
A lot of people either love her work or hate the shit out of it. What got me into her was one single song that made me sit there and listen to the song over 4 times “Me and a Gun”. The story has a touch of humor to it but is tragic. I can literally feel the hurt and the hate in this song. It made me cry the first time I heard it. I could literally not believe what I was hearing. Her voice is so beautiful and so polished yet has a bit of a child like sound to it. Emotion is the hallmark of this album. Do yourself a favor and just listen to it right through with no interruptions, just you and the sound.
Various - True Blue 75 Years
OK this is a wide spanning 4 CD look at some of the best Jazz you will ever hear in your life. I can’t pick anything out on this one that stands out more than the rest to me. It’s all that good. These are masters of their art form who play it and sing it like the best of the best. Listen to it loud and let your mind wonder. It’s a joy and an inspiration. You have no idea how much art I have done while listening to these CD’s. I am sure the people next door are tired of hearing this though LOL. But they will hear it many more times. What can I say, Jazz is not a sound but an experience.