Thursday, September 19, 2019
The band has been very open about taking some musical cues from Kraftwerk for this record, and that is apparent when listening. I can't say enough good things about this record. All tracks are amazing, but the one that people are most likely to recognize is Electricity. Other strong tracks are Bunker Soldiers, Messages, The Messerschmitt Twins, Red Frame/White Light, and Dancing.
Later, the band took a more commercial route, but even then I found the music interesting. Oddly, the band enjoyed success in the UK as a pop band, getting what I think was frequent airplay. In North America, they were relegated to "alternative" status -- back when alternative meant something - and so one had to listen to college/university radio or CFNY to hear OMD.
I do remember the day when a friend of mine came over and turned the tuning dial to my dad's console stereo system from 104.5 CHUM-FM or Q107 to 102.1 CFNY, the Spirit of Radio. That was quite the day. Momentarily disoriented to the odd sounds coming fro the stereo, I eventually found a new friend though I did not give up the old staples. That little station from Brampton made an enormous impact on me, and no other radio station experience, no other forays into new music, for that matter, has ever been so important as that early exposure to a world of unique music. That station was my constant friend, until everything blew up in the late 1980s. Now, radio is in the hands of corporations and fools. "And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools..."
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Though their first LP, the whole of their early output on the Postcard label, and a few well-chosen singles are preferable to this greatest-hits sampler, this is still a great record by one of the U.K.'s best-of the unappreciated. In fact, now that they are gone, we can all take a Stalinist view (borrowing a Mick Jones phrase there) of the recordings they made after You Can't Hide Your Love Forever, while Edwyn Collins fished about trying to reinvent himself as something of a white soul singer, even if his talent meant that you still got the occasional great throwback record like What Presence?! Interestingly, the demand for this collection can be felt: in interview after interview it has become clear what an inspiration this great Scottish group has proved to be the modern scene, starting with the Smiths and moving on to acts on labels like Creation Records. Six boos to the Polydor label for dropping them (causing their breakup) then releasing this, though. What craven jerks! [source]Yeah, but I am not a fan of the crazy cover image.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Monday, September 16, 2019
Friday, September 13, 2019
"And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (Genesis 2:23 - I had to look that up, as I am not a biblical scholar and I think religion is one of the worst human inventions).
The meaning is less clear in this Orange Juice track. From Discogs:
"Some copies of the 12" release included a 10" x 10" card photo of a band member. Different prints existed for all four band members - see images. There was only one print inserted per copy and it was assigned at random."
Alas, my copy lacks the print.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
After John Lennon's murder, Yoko took her anguish into the recording studio and emerged with this raw collection of songs. From the gunshots before the cut "No, No, No" to John's bloody glasses on the cover, this is harrowing stuff indeed. But it's surprisingly good, if only for the fact that the whole world was feeling similarly at the time. One of the most essential Yoko Ono releases, it's powerful and chilling. [source]I am not a Yoko expert, but I think it's clear that this is one of her better records, along with her first Plastic Ono Band record.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Monday, September 09, 2019
Friday, September 06, 2019
Thursday, September 05, 2019
Wednesday, September 04, 2019
It's weird how the record's big break came via The Exorcist.
I prefer Tubular Bells II.