Friday, February 27, 2015

Alice Cooper: Flush the Fashion (1980)


I have to say that the title of this record - Flush the Fashion - seems wildly inappropriate since Alice decided to join the musical fashion trend of the day by co-opting a new wave sound (there's even a Devo reference in one of the tracks). So, it should be more like, Hop on the Bandwagon. He brought in Roy Thomas Baker, who produced those slick Cars records. At times, the album sounds like a weak Gary Numan record, but there are a few rockers that hearken back to the old days. As a pseudo Alice Cooper fan, and someone who was really into new wave, I decided to buy this record, which I got in downtown Kitchener when it came out.

There are certain records that remind me of certain people, and this one reminds me of Philip, who lost his life just after high school in a car accident. We both bought this record at about the same time. When I hear these songs, I think of him.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Alice Cooper: Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits (1974)


I had a copy of this record on cassette when I was a young man and I played it so much that the cassette disintegrated. Years later, I found a cheap copy on vinyl and I had to buy it.

I love all of the tracks on this album, with one exception: School's Out is a ridiculous song. It's infantile and moronic and, even when I was yearning for summer break, I never identified with the song or it's juvenile delivery. On the other hand, there are some really great songs. I'm Eighteen, Under My Wheels, Muscle of Love, etc. I know, some people think that Alice is heavy metal. At this stage, there was no metal. These are well-crafted rock songs. This is the record you want if you want to hear classic Alice Cooper. I give the collection a 9.5 out of 10. It loses half a point for the ridiculous School's Out.

Ry Cooder: Get Rhythm (1987)


First, I just have to say that the album jacket of Get Rhythm is terrible. Did they intentionally try to make Cooder look like a African-American? Or, maybe he is just well-tanned. The album isn't bad, though.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ry Cooder: Crossroads (1986)


This is the motion picture soundtrack to the film of the same name. It's pretty good. I haven't seen the film.

Ry Cooder: Jazz (1978)


I am not a major Ry Cooder fan by any means, but I do appreciate his guitar work. I prefer his later releases, particularly Mambo Sinuendo. But, this is a solid piece of work.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Communards: You are My World b/w Breadline Britain & Sentimental Journey (1985)


You'll dance to anything by The Communards

After Jimmy Somerville left Bronski Beat, he formed The Communards. I find the band to be rather unremarkable, and so I am always reminded of the classic Dead Milkmen song, Instant Club Hit. I have no idea where I got this record.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Colourfield: Deception (1987)


The most bizarre thing about the album is that Terry Hall hired Raquel Welch's band to fill in when the group was reduced to a duo. I had no idea that Ms. Welch had need of a band. Weird. The lead off track - Badlands - is very good, as is the cover of Running Way, the Sly Stone cover. After this, the band was no more.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Colourfield: The Colour Field (1986)


The Colour Field is a six-track 1986 EP from The Colourfield. I get the impression that this band was not as well known as other 80s bands, and that's a shame.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Colourfield: Virgins and Philistines (1985)


The Colourfield's Virgins and Philistines is a work of genius. Much of the album consists of understated pieces, but it opens with a great cover of Can't Get Enough of You Baby and the fabulous and upbeat Pushing up the Daisies. Sadly, there are few Colourfield videos. Sometimes, Allmusic gets it right, as it does with this album: "The passing of years has only strengthened the LP's timeless appeal...an album that will never be dated because it cannot be attached to a specific era...Although the album looks to the past for inspiration, it's never retro; the music is frozen in suspended animation, always fresh whenever it's heard" [source]
http://youtu.be/-HSd8nP1Wgs

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Phil Collins: Take Me Home b/w We Said Hello Goodbye (1985)


If I had to choose, I would pick Take me Home as the best track on No Jacket Required. At first, it seems like an unassuming track, and, while the music is a bit dated, I like the way the track builds. The track on the flip side is rather boring unremarkable. The other thing to note is that the jacket does not have a close-up of Phil's face, which is a good thing.

Phil Collins: Sussudio b/w The Man with the Horn (1985)


This is the 12" single for Sussudio. The flip side has a rather forgettable track. But, if you like to hear lots of horns and synths, Sussudio might be the track for you. I'm not sure that I had ever seen this video before today. Or, maybe I just forgot. I am not sure where I got this record, but it must have been a dollar or less.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Phil Collins: No Jacket Required (1985)


No Jacket Required sounds really dated. At the time, it seemed to be in sync with the styles and sound of pop music. If you can overlook the drum machines and artificial sounds, you might be able to enjoy this record 30 years on. Phil has an uncanny ability to craft really compelling love ballads, and I suppose One More Night is a classic example, though I wouldn't say that I like this song. By the way, the only Collins record I own on CD is Face Value.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Phil Collins: Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982)


After the solid and rather dark Face Value record, Collins returned with the less solid and more upbeat Hello, I Must be Going! It has some OK songs, but generally, I feel that it is not as good as the first. Occasionally, Allmusic says something that is truly perplexing. In the brief review of this record, the reviewer states: "...in retrospect, Hello, I Must Be Going! laid the groundwork for his breakthrough album, No Jacket Required." I assume the reviewer means 'breakthrough' in terms of sales and commercial appeal, and not in terms of quality.

Incidentally, I mistyped the title as Hell, I must be Going! In hindsight, that seems like a much better title. In any case, I do like his faithful cover of You Can't Hurry Love.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Phil Collins: Face Value (1981)

[photo coming soon]
Face Value is clearly Phil's best record. What followed was a slow decline into mediocrity, much like that of Genesis during the same time period. Face Value contains some genuinely good tracks, like In the Air Tonight, I Missed Again, and an interesting cover of Tomorrow Never Knows. This is the only Phil Collins record anyone should own.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Lloyd Cole & the Commotions: Mainstream (1987)


OK, so maybe this record isn't as good as the first two records, but I still think it's very good. Sadly, this was the last Lloyd Cole & the Commotions record. I have never bought a Lloyd Cole solo release on CD or vinyl, but I have heard a few tracks. It was the end of an era.