Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Albums Even Sally Fields Would Really, Really Love

These next few albums (No's. 83-70) are occasionally on the threshold between likeable and why-am-I-liking-this-able, or something like that. Broadly speaking, these albums have some killer material and some filler material, or are comprised of something in between those poles. My apologies for this large dose of opinion but if I want to finish this list before our kids finish high school I need to get a move on (get on a move, get moving on, on it getting with... curse you, Metrodad, and your grammarian ways!).

As a caveat to my list in its entirety I do not pay close attention to lyrics, however, if I can make out what the singer is singing and it is cloying, predictable, or otherwise offensive (and I take offence easily) the joy of the song (be there any) will vanish for me. As such, I quite enjoy instrumental pieces. Qualities which can overcome rotten lyrics: superior arrangements and/or playing, great singing, detectable self-deprecation. Ummm, a nice song about me, maybe. Stupid hippie lyrics may be ignored for the purpose of this list. I make no apologies. My list, my rules (except for the rules, which I poached from some other place). What I mean is, this is an entirely subjective exercise. I don't know how I'd react if someone said: Gee, P-man (not my real name), I really like that album too. Pee a little, probably.

83. ROBIN TROWER Bridge of Sighs (1974)

More proof (not that any was required) of wasted days/nights. My idea of the soundtrack at the smoky bar named "Ludes". Understated and reasonably atmospheric, for a power trio.

82. THE DOORS Waiting for the Sun (1968)

Denis Leary summed up the movie about Morrison as follows (this so-called direct quote is rife with inaccuracies but I really don't care enough to dig out "No Cure for Cancer" to ensure I have it right): I'm drunk I'm nobody. I'm drunk I'm famous. I'm drunk, I'm dead. Dead Fat Guy In a Bathtub. There's your movie.

The whole cult around the Lizard Thing will, with any luck, perish with the boomers. That said, I like the band behind the fat drunk guy. They played seriously in spite of the florid lyrical tendencies of the fat drunk dead guy. The tunes on this record withstand a good deal of scrutiny even if the lyrics are, um, pretty stupid half the time.

81. THE JEFF BECK GROUP Beck-Ola (1969)

Rod Stewart did not always suck. That's what I tell myself. Mr. Beck is, apparently, the model upon whom Nigel Tufnel was built. This record has a big, uncaring sound to it. Pre-metal. Stone Age. Stonehenge! I remember in Grade 6 Jose Dino brought this is to play to the class, and to offer an instructive lecture on Beck and why he was the Greatest! or something along those lines. Brother Conti made him stop.

80. ROLLING STONES Let It Bleed (1969)

I detest this band tho' I kind of enjoy this album. I attribute that to their association with Gram Parsons. This isn't too slick an album nor is it entirely self-referential. It may even have a soul. I'm pretty sure this is the record they have been trying to remake for the last 3.5 decades. Maybe not. Mick Jagger sucks. This band is liker a persistent fart in a neverending elevator ride.

79. LED ZEPPELIN II (1969)

Why I like this album: John Bonham. Johnnn Bonnnham. My list, my reasons. I used to wonder how these guys were able to produce two terrific albums in one year. Now I know. Plagiarism!

78. FRIPP & ENO Evening Star (1975)

Early ambient work. Eerie. Beautiful. Music to confuse cats. Fine aural wallpaper.

77. ENO Here Come the Warm Jets (1973)

Baby's on Fire.

I like Eno if even if he got all ambient and later worked to repopulate people's happy-thoughts brain lobes with the earnest and sucking-ever-so-hard U2 of the mid-80s. That came later, after this record. Maybe he had a large mortgage or hair plugs to pay for.

76. MIKE OLDFIELD Tubular Bells (1973)

Hmm. I was baked. The fact I still like this may suggest that this album sits in the place once occupied by brain cells sacrificed during and for the enjoyment of said album.

75. JEAN MICHEL JARRE Oxygene (1976)

I dislike most electronic music. This is an album of electronic music. I can't explain why I enjoy it. I could try... spacy and atmospheric electronic music... has a tempo, but not uptempo... forget it. See No. 76.

74. BOB & DOUG McKENZIE Great White North (1981)

Take off, this album is gold! It has Christmas music, fraternal insults, Geddy Lee without the onanistic distraction of 17/4 time and lyrics about, well, I don't know what Neil Peart is trying to say. But this record is priceless, eh. (Faddish, eh?)

73. DAVID BOWIE Scary Monsters (1981)

I don't know what it is about this record. Maybe I like clowns. Send them in.

72. MC5 Kick out the Jams (1969)

"Fuck You Everybody" put to music. I love it in all its angry, stoned, and ragged glory. These guys kicked ass. Briefly.

71. ARC ANGELS (1992)

Possibly the perfect bar band trapped in a cd.

Was Mojo Nixon correct? Was Charlie Sexton a prisoner to his hairdo? I don't know. This band could have been something, but it wasn't. Oh well.

70. THE KINKS Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

Not only is this album a source of music for HP ads but a source of inspiration for one of my favorite song writers who will appear sneakily on this list in two different places. I'm feeling devil-may-care about the listing policy. Huzzah!

In any event, this record apparently has as a theme the singer's desire to preserve what was old (and presumably good) about England. On the mean the result is neither pastoral nor urban. Perhaps it is suburban.

Ok, now we're rolling. Next time, I'll refer to even more albums I like, which is the purpose of this series. Amazing! Free shipping and handling!

P-man out.


Anonymous CroutonBoy said...

Kinks = great. Bob & Doug = really really great.

The Doors = over-rated, although largely for the reasons you highlighted.

Jeff Beck = I'm tired of people telling me how great he is, 'cause i don't hear it.

Tubular Bells = Interesting...a ballsy and perhaps justified selection.

The Rolling Stones = you and I, my friend, shall come to blows soon.

Arc Angels = talk about a band that has not been in my consciousness for a loooong time. Perhaps I should do some downloading tonight...

8:34 a.m.  
Blogger p-man said...

I can't tell if you love love love the stones or if you object to their inclusion on the list at all. It pained me to put them on the list but my record collection, truth be told, just isn't that big or that good.

8:45 a.m.  
Blogger Mr Big Dubya said...

Mike Oldfield....hmmmmmm - I'd be surprised if anyone other than you and I have that in their collection

Book of Love took Tubular Bells and mixed it with Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls - on the extended mix, they also throw in some Reagan sampled from The Exorcist - friends who did drugs told me that this wasn't always a good thing to hear - at least so they tell me

9:46 a.m.  

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