Tuesday, August 14, 2012

#581: More Good Stuff (Part 2)

Continuing The Good Stuff, again in more-or-less descending order.
Coming Next: The Best! -- summa my all-time Strange Music faves.
& later, a list of all the stuff I really havta listen 2 some more B4 trying 2 rate. THAT should B Mbarrassing....
As always, let me know what you think. & thanx 4 reading here....

+ Nektar: THRU THE EARS best-of (1978) -- The shorter songs R forgotten prog classics. "Fidgety Queen," "King of Twilight," "Do You Believe in Magic?," "It's All Over," "Astral Man."
+ Yes: YESSTORY best-of (1991) -- Might do 'til I can get their YESYEARS box. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed," "Every Little Thing," "Something's Coming."
+ King Crimson: DISCIPLINE (1981) -- "Frame by Frame" is freaking brilliant, "Indiscipline" & "Elephant Talk" just 1 step down from that. I start 2 drift 1/2way thru Side 2....
+ King Crimson: STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK (1974) -- The good stuff's amazing: "Great Deceiver," "Fracture," "Night Watch." Actually, the whole 1st side's pretty great. Powerful.
+ Jethro Tull: MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY (1975) -- 2nd side's perfect. 1st side's ignorable. "Baker Street Muse," "One White Duck/Nothing at All."
+ King Crimson: RED (1974) -- Xcept 4 "Providence," pretty great. & the long, dramatic coda 2 "Starless" is probly their greatest moment ever.
+ Pete Townshend: ALL THE BEST COWBOYS HAVE CHINESE EYES (1982) -- Isn't this Strange enuf? & how bout that VOCABULARY? "Slit Skirts," "North Country Girl," "Somebody Saved Me," "Uniforms," "Face Dances Part 2," "Prelude."
+ Beach Boys: SURF'S UP (1971) -- Mostly gorgeous. 2nd side's great, 1st side's iffy. Title song, "'Til I Die," "Feel Flows," "Long Promised Road."
+ Jefferson Starship: FREEDOM AT POINT ZERO (1979) -- I'm a sucker 4 Paul Kantner's science-fiction chorales. Title song, "Fading Lady Light," "Lightning Rose," "Just the Same," "Awakening,"  "Things to Come."
+ Strawbs: STORY IN MUSIC (1980) -- Italian best-of. Lotsa great stuff. "Where is This Dream of Your Youth?," "The Man Who Called Himself Jesus (live)," "Part of the Union," "Hero and Heroine," "I'll Carry on Beside You."
+ Can: ANTHOLOGY best-of -- Wow. 2 discs of mind-scrambling early-'70s German prog. The best of it's amazing, with a drum groove like no1 else. "Father Cannot Yell," "Outside My Door," "You Doo Right," "Uphill."
+ Brian Wilson presents SMiLE (2004) -- Pretty good reconstruction. The songs we haven't actually heard B4 R pretty great. But Brian's voice is shot. "On a Holiday," "In Blue Hawaii."
+ Caravan: BEST OF single-LP (1979) -- Good starter sampler. "Memory Lain/Hugh/Headloss," the great "For Richard (live)," "Aristocracy."
+ Rush: MOVING PICTURES (1980) -- Possibly their best? "Camera Eye," "Red Barchetta."
+ Utopia: ADVENTURES IN UTOPIA (1980) -- Todd Rundgren & friends with catchy high-tech pop. "The Very Last Time," "You Make Me Crazy," "Set Me Free," "Road to Utopia," "Second Nature."
+ Weather Report: 8:30/LIVE (1979) -- They finally come alive onstage. "Bahia/Boogie Woogie Waltz" is stunning.
+ Gong: SHAMAL (1975) -- "Wingful of Eyes" is classic, + "Chandra," "Bambooji," title song.
+ Be-Bop Deluxe: SUNBURST FINISH (1976) -- 1st side's great, with lotsa Bill Nelson's flashy guitar. "Sleep That Burns," "Crying to the Sky," "Heavenly Homes," "Blazing Apostles."
+ Van Morrison: MOONDANCE (1970) -- Visionary R&B. "Into the Mystic," "Caravan."
+ Genesis: THREE SIDES LIVE (1982) -- "Paperlate," "You Might Recall," the angry "In the Cage (live)."
+ King Crimson: IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING (1969) -- Heavy Moody Blues, + the great opening blowout "21st Century Schizoid Man." & a lot of wasted space.
+ The Move: MESSAGE FROM THE COUNTRY (1972) -- The heavily-produced stuff's great, the fake-rockabilly stuff's cute. "Do Ya?," title song, "Tonight."
+ Gryphon: RAINDANCE (1975) -- 2nd side's perfect. 1st side's hit&miss. "Wallbanger," "(Ein Klein) Heldenleben," "Don't Say Go."
+ Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays: AS FALLS WICHITA, SO FALLS WICHITA FALLS (1980) -- Full-side title track is gorgeous washy mood music with an actual theme, & closes with aliens landing on a kids' playground. 2nd side peaks with the opening "Ozark," then gets quiet.
+ Roxy Music: GREATEST HITS (1976) -- My fave is the screaming "Thrill of it All." + "Love is the Drug." 2nd side's pretty strong.
+ Caravan: THE WORLD IS YOURS box-set best-of -- Pretty solid, a few suprises including a raucous, squalling cover of Soft Machine's early "Feelin' Reelin' Squealin.'" + you get almost all of their 1st 3 albums....
+ Camel: RAINBOW'S END box-set best-of -- Lotsa stuff from their jam-band early days. Pretty solid sampler. Later trax almost make me like STATIONARY TRAVELER....
+ Clannad: PASTPRESENT (1996?) -- Good sampler. You get about 1/2 of the great MACALLA (tho not "The Wild Cry"), + other standouts like "Second Nature," "Harry's Game," & that mournful thing with the long Gaelic title....
+ King Crimson: LARKS TONGUES IN ASPIC (1973) -- Trebly production, or is it just my stereo...? "Book Of Saturday," the bump&grind "Easy Money," & the lyrical "Exiles" R all mature rock songs, confident & creative. "Larks I&II" & "The Talking Drum" all sound better on the GREAT DECEIVER box....
+ Beach Boys: SUNFLOWER (1970) -- 1st side's pretty strong. "This Whole World," "It's About Time," "Slip on Through," "Add Some Music to Your Day."
+ Bruce Cockburn: DANCING IN THE DRAGON'S JAWS (1979) -- Visionary but mellow Canadian singer-songwriter. Nice jazzy moods, sometimes-cosmic lyrics. "Incandescent Blue," "Badlands Flashback," "After the Rain."
+ Roxy Music: ATLANTIC YEARS best-of (1989) -- Focuses mainly on later, smoother stuff: "Over You," "Oh Yeah (On the Radio)," "Same Old Scene," "Love is the Drug."
+ Tubes: REMOTE CONTROL (1979) -- Concept album about TV addiction. 1st side's great, funny & cutting. "I Want it All Now," "Prime Time," "Love's a Mystery (I Don't Understand)."
+ Clannad: ANAM (1993?) -- Smooth, flowing Irish folk-rock. "In Fortune's Hand."
+ Florence + the Machine: CEREMONIALS (2011) -- "Shake it Out" is the best song of the 2000's so far....
+ It's a Beautiful Day: (1st) (1969) -- Hippie mysticism, lotsa mood, a few strong songs. "White Bird," "Hot Summer Day."
+ New Muzik: STRAIGHT LINES EP (1980) -- 4 Xcellent, memorable, catchy minimalist-electronic New Wave songs. But their album was disappointing. "On Islands," "Sad Film."
+ Led Zeppelin: IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR (1979) -- Hey, "Carouselambra"'s art rock! & it's great! & I love the drum&bugle-corps middle-break on "Fool in the Rain." & how bout "Hot Dog"?!
+ Roxy Music: AVALON (1980) -- Smooth! "Take a Chance With Me," "More Than This," title song.
+ Miles Davis: IN A SILENT WAY (1969) -- Title track's gorgeous. The other 3 R nice, rather leisurely sleepy-time jazz blowing.
+ Miles Davis/Bill Laswell: PANTHALASSA (1998) -- The remixes of "In a Silent Way" & "He Loved Him Madly" R pretty great. The rest sorta drifts....
+ Rick Wakeman: WHITE ROCK (1976) -- 2nd side's about perfect. "Lax'x," "Ice Run," "After the Ball," "Montezuma's Revenge," title track.
+ Lyle Mays: (1st) (1982?) -- Nice tuneful jazzy keyboard instrumentals. "Ascent" is a blowout.
+ Procol Harum: LIVE WITH THE EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (1972) -- The last 1/2 of "In Held T'was in I" is pretty freakin' great, & "A Salty Dog" is almost perfect. The horns R the best thing about "Conquistador." & the last 2 songs on Side 1 R forgettable....
+ Fifth Dimension: THE MAGIC GARDEN (1968) -- Nice lite-psychedelic pop songs. "Carpet Man," "Requiem: 820 Latham."
+ Sandy Denny: SANDY (1972) -- The best songs R so good it hurts. "Listen, Listen," "The Simple Joys of Brotherhood."
+ Bruce Cockburn: RESUME best-of (1980) -- Good sampler from 4 RCA-distributed albums. "Silver Wheels," "Dialogue with the Devil," "Outside a Broken Phone Booth...."
+ Mott the Hoople: MOTT (1973) -- Good tuneful early-'70s hard rock with an eccentric touch. "All the Way from Memphis," "Honaloochie Boogie," "Violence."
+ King Crimson: THE POWER TO BELIEVE (2002) -- Impressive & super-efficient. But not stunning. & I wanted 2 B run over.... "Level Five," "Happy With What You Have to be Happy With."
+ King Crimson: LADIES OF THE ROAD/LIVE 1972 -- WAY more lively versions of songs 1st released on ISLANDS -- + a bonus disc full of "live" "Schizoid Man" performances.
+ Barclay James Harvest: BEST OF VOLUME I -- Pretty good sampler from their 1st 4 albums 4 Harvest.
+ Barclay James Harvest: BEST OF VOLUME II -- The uncharacteristic no-frills rocker "Taking Some Time On" is the standout here -- they shoulda done more stuff like this....
+ Emerson, Lake & Palmer: THE ATLANTIC YEARS best-of (1991) -- After the hits, this actually drags. But all the essentials R here, & the 1st 1/2 of "Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression)" is freaking great! "Tarkus" didn't impress me, & there's only the badly-edited single version of "Fanfare for the Common Man" -- but "Great Gates of Kiev" is great noise! "Still, You Turn Me On," "From the Beginning," "Lucky Man," "I Believe in Father Christmas."
+ Keith Jarrett: EYES OF THE HEART (1980) -- Tense & dramatic. Listen 2 the sound of Jarrett's quartet falling apart. The 4th side's blank.
+ Hatfield and the North: THE ROTTERS CLUB (1975) -- Richard Sinclair's funny lyrics & vocals, + their magnum opus "Mumps." Lighter, more enjoyable, less frantic & busy-busy than their 1st.
+ Rick Wakeman: CRIMINAL RECORD (1978) -- Dramatic, funny -- good tunes, not overbearing. "Breathalyzer," "Judas Iscariot."
+ Doobie Brothers: STAMPEDE (1975) -- There's some rather self-consciously arty stuff hidden away here. "Neal's Fandango" is great tho rushed. Coulda done without the choirboy vocals & soundtracky strings&horns ending of "I Cheat the Hangman," but it's definitely Something Different....
+ Steve Tibbetts: THE FALL OF US ALL -- Indian/Oriental-sounding guitar instrumentals. Sometimes loud, not much in the way of memorable tunes.
+ Journey: DREAM AFTER DREAM soundtrack (1980) -- Brief soundtrack 4 Japanese film. Nice washy moods, Xcellent playing. Opener "Destiny" is probly best, with some forceful Neil Schon guitar.
+ Van der Graaf Generator: PAWN HEARTS (1971) -- Fairly scary, & some moments of real majesty in "Man-Erg" & "Lemmings." The full-side "Lighthouse Keepers" is endless, but the ending is almost worth the trip.
+ Laurie Anderson: BIG SCIENCE (1981) -- Anderson does more with the tone of her voice than any1 I've heard in a long time. Stark, funny, playful. Side 1's fascinating. On Side 2 it starts wearing off....
+ Philip Glass: KOYAANISQATSI soundtrack (1981) -- Ghostly, scary, otherworldly, trancelike, icy. Voices of disembodied horror.
+ Steve Tibbetts: EXPLODED VIEW (1980) -- Jazz-guitar instrumentals, moody but not enuf tunes....


R S Crabb said...

Hey Tad

As far as I remember Larks Tongue IN Aspic was poorly recorded, be it record or remastered too high on the mid and treble for sure although Starless And Bible Black was better. I still believe Red was their best album. although they never really topped 21st Century Scizco Man. Moonchild, goes on wayyyyyyyy too long.

drewzepmeister said...

Wow Tad, three new blogs up in a sort amount of time! Talk about catching up...

Here are my thoughts.

I love anything from Yes during their classic years from '71 to '79, especially their Close to the Edge album.

As for King Crimson, my picks are Lark's Tongue in Aspic, USA and Starless & Bible Black. I don't have Red, yet.

Jethro Tull's Mistrial in the Gallery is easily one of their best. I especially liked the title track.

If you liked Rush Moving Pictures (which is an awesome album) and "strange music", I get a feeling you'll like their Hemispheres album. Released in '78 it features the 20 minute title track on the first side and the killer instrumental "La Villa Strangiato" on the second side. It's a cult classic from the band.

Other than Rush, Led Zeppelin is one band I eat and breathe for.

My favorite album from ELP is Brain Salad Surgery.

Journey's Dream After Dream I played maybe twice and shelved it. Maybe a re-listen to it is an order... Maybe I'm missing something here.

A few of these albums I have, I haven't listened to yet, like Rick Wakeman's White Rock and Pete Townsend's ATBCHCE.

I will get back to ya on your other blogs soon...

R S Crabb said...

I agree with Drew that you should check out Hemispheres from Rush. Very underrated and one of their best efforts.