Friday, 4 August 2017
In the past I've criticised The Kinks for releasing albums that haven't aged well. This album is still brillaint though, even after having listened to it for ten years. When I was at university in the mid 2000s I saw Ray Davies live in concert and it was a very enjoyable night-out. I can't recall if I bought this album before or after that night, but it would've been around the same time. This is the Kinks at their best, and I think the lack of singles form the album help.
Favourite Track: Johnny Thunder
When you think of '60s psychedelia, your first thoughts are not towards Scotland are they? Admit it. This probably goes a long way as to explaining why the Scottish branch of this particular kind of hip music is nothing like what we've heard from our Californian and Carnabitian friends.
There was a song early on which is basically the inspiration for ‘The Lumberjack Song’. That was alright. I enjoyed the appearance of Sweep on backing vocals during ‘A Cellular Song’, the one with Bob Dylan style harmonica was pretty good and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Water Song genuinely features a sound-recording of somebody having a bath. I am not sure how to react to ‘Swift as the Wind’ as it seems they recorded it during a medical examination – ‘Open your mouth and say ‘Aaah’.
On a side note, I originally typed 'The Hangman's Beautiful South' on this. That would be an intersting project.
I would like to begin this post by confirming that it is not easy to search for Traffic on Google, unless I want to see what roadworks are on the A14.
From start to finish I was pleasantly suprised by this album. The first song was pretty cool with some nice country-guitar licks, and the final track reminded me of Paul Weller, so it's nice to see where he got his influences from. I'd listen to this again.
Favourite Track: Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
In 1960s UK, there was an established hierarchy in pop-music. The Beatles were the kings of all they surveyed, untouchable and worshiped by most. On the rung below them were The Rolling Stones, led by the twin-talents of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with support from Brian Jones, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman.
Just as The Beatles were beginning their downward trajectory, the Rolling Stones were preparing to usurp their northern rivals. Beggars Banquet is the beginning of their golden age and features at least two of their best songs in 'Street Fighting Man' and 'Sympathy For The Devil'
Favourite Track: Street Fighting Man
In the infancy of pop music - as we know it now - there was an almost conveyor-belt release system. An artist could be expected to release at least one album per year, and possibly even two.
So we come to this, The Jimi Hendrix Experience's second album in 1967. The first was released in May 1967, the second in December. Of the two albums, this was the weaker of the two. There are relatively few stand-out songs on the album, and it doesn't seem to have aged as well as the previous release.
Favourite Track: Little Wing
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Velvet Underground's second album, and their last with founding member John Cale. After poor sales of their first album, their relationship with Andy Warhol deteriorated so they fired him and found themselves working with former Dylan producer, Tom Wilson.
The album is a cacophony of feedback and discordant guitar, spoken-word stories and seventeen minute odes to heroin and fellatio. It's not as good as the first album, but nothing they did ever would be.
Favourite Track: The Gift
I've confessed before that I enjoy country-music. Not when it seems to parody itself, but when it's authentic. This is the second of two recent Country records, and like the previous offering by Merle Haggard, LSD and feedback had yet to reach Nashville. What we have here are twelve very good songs sung by one of Country music's legends and I think I'd be rewarded by repeated listens.
Favourite Track: Saint To a Sinner
Who the hell are the Electric Prunes I hear you say? And you'd be right to. According to sources, they were young band plucked from obscurity in the USA and handed some songs to sing. The title track became the band's signature tune, but there are equally memorable songs on here - 'Onie' is a lush, simple song for example. The problem we have though is that there are too many styles for one album. The band go from psychedelic rockers to novelty songs in less than half an hour. Mind you that's exactly what Cream did.
Favourite Track: Onie