2 celebrate the new CD player working just fine, here's a ton of almost-all-new-2-me music, all from the British Isles, & from all diffrent time periods....
Florence + the Machine -- Only if for a Night, Shake it Out.
THE REAL PLAYLIST:
Madness -- One Step Beyond, My Girl, Night Boat to Cairo, Baggy Trousers, Madness, The Prince, Embarrassment, Return of the Las Palmas 7, House of Fun.
Wire -- 12XU, It's So Obvious, Mr. Suit, Three Girl Rhumba, Ex Lion Tamer, Lowdown, Straight Lines, 106 Beats That, Strange, Reuters, Field Day for the Sundays, Champs, Feeling Called Love, I Am the Fly, Dot Dash, Practise Makes Perfect, French Film Blurred.
Gang of Four -- Ether, Natural's Not in It, Not Great Men, Damaged Goods, Return the Gift, Guns Before Butter, I Found That Essence Rare, Glass, Contract, At Home He's a Tourist.
Incredible String Band -- October Song, The Tree, Chinese White, First Girl I Loved.
Nick Drake -- Cello Song, PINK MOON album: Pink Moon, Place to Be, Road, Which Will, Horn, Things Behind the Sun, Know, Parasite, Free Ride, Harvest Breed, From the Morning.
Strawbs -- Ghosts, The Battle.
Florence's 2 trax R from the recent CEREMONIALS, in case you missed me mentioning it a couple dozen times by now.
I'd heard a handful of trax by Madness back in my record store daze, but hearing "One Step Beyond" again made me wonder why I couldn't hear them BETTER way back then. Always loved "Embarrassment" & "Our House," but the rest of their stuff is lite & bouncy & silly, & they had a great sax player. My only complaint upon hearing "Embarrassment" again is that I thot it had a bigger hook. "Los Palmas 7" is a pleasant but kinda pointless instrumental. "Night Boat to Cairo" has some especially good sax sounds. "House of Fun" has some great lyrics. These guys were just a lot of bouncy fun. How come I couldn't hear them back in 1980? Oh, I remember -- I was still in my Prog Phase. All from THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION.
Wire -- Wow, Punk Rock! Very abrupt, short songs, deceptively simple-sounding. "Ex Lion Tamer" has some more lyrical guitar sounds & even backing vocals! & it breaks the 2-minute barrier! "Lowdown" breaks 2-1/2 mins! "Straight Lines" adds some clanking keyboards -- I think. "Strange"'s droning guitars push it 2 almost 4 mins! (This is how Wire got 21 songs on their debut album, PINK FLAG, way back in '77.) "Reuters" is hypnotic, & the lyrics R pretty brutal; not sure about that ending, tho.... "Field Day for the Sundays" possibly sets a record at about 15 seconds ... unless there was something shorter & I missed it. "Dot Dash" has really good rhythmic vocals. "Practise Makes Perfect" goes beyond annoying & in2 funny, with its screeching vocals followed by echoing laffter....
Not sure about this stuff Xactly, but it's obvious they were Up To Something. I'll B returning 2 this. All from their ON RETURNING best-of.
Gang of Four -- Just as stark as Wire, very clean-sounding, no feedback or show-offy gtr, but also very flat ... so their anger showed thru more clearly, I imagine. Xcellent rhythmic drumming from Hugo Burnham. Andy Gill's scratchy gtr was also pretty unique. What Wire mighta turned in2 if their songs had bn longer, I'd imagine. Very political -- the politics of everyday life. All from ENTERTAINMENT!
I was familiar with the loonies in the Incredible String Band -- their 1968 album THE HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER is spooky & funny Olde British Folk, very rustic sounding in places, but with a ton of hippy spaciness & comedy. But I'd never heard much else of their vast output Xcept 4 the opening section of the full-side "Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending" -- a title that sez a lot about this band.
The 1st 2 songs here R from their very 1st album, 1966. "The Tree" features songwriter Mike Heron's very Bob Dylan-ish vocals. "Chinese White" is carried by what sounds like a very screechy violin. "First Girl I Loved" is way more like it -- nice acoustic gtr & memorable choruses, & the lyrics R charming. I'll B investigating these guys a lot more. All from BEST OF 1966-1970.
Nick Drake's "Cello Song" is 4 mins of gorgeous cosmic bliss, from FIVE LEAVES LEFT & the WAY TO BLUE best-of.
"Pink Moon" is 2 mins of gorgeous existential terror. It & all that follow R from Nick's last album, 1972's PINK MOON -- which is regarded by some as the closest thing 2 a suicide note. Tho I hadn't planned on playing the whole thing -- & still vastly prefer Drake's gorgeous BRYTER LAYTER, 1 of the great albums of all time -- PINK MOON is soothing & lulling, & Drake's gtr-playing & vocals R beautiful.
However, it gets a bit more depressing as it goes on. "Things Behind the Sun" sounds like a profoundly sad self-portrait, especially the last verse. Several of the songs sound like very knowing self-portraits, especially "Parasite." But coming after all this stark & dark stuff, the closing "From the Morning" sounds even more uplifting -- almost optimistic. But probly not what I should B playing in the middle of a cold, dark winter.
The folk-proggy Strawbs' "Ghosts" features nice keyboards & gtr, & lotsa melodrama. As always with them, this is very visual, cinematic music. You see the videos 4 the songs in your head. "The Battle" is an early, folky track, but with keybs, strings & brass added 2 increase the impact. The song's based on a chess/war metaphor. Again, very visual -- but neither R up there with "Down by the Sea," "Where is This Dream of Your Youth?" & "Hero and Heroine" among the band's very best work. Both from the HALCYON DAYS best-of.