Friday, April 24, 2015

The Cure: Japanese Whispers (1983)

Japanese Whispers contains all of the tracks from The Walk with two more thrown in. I remember buying my copy of this record at The Vinyl Museum back-in-the-day for an insanely low price, probably under $5. I see it regularly for $25 these days, and probably more if you shop at the Tiny Record Shop, which is the most over-priced record store I have ever been in, but that is probably a story for another day.

Who ever thought you would see The Cure with a standup bass?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Cure: The Walk (1983)

It's difficult to believe that after the gloomy Pornography, the Cure could release songs as jaunty and danceable as The Walk and Let's go to Bed. What happened? This EP (or mini LP) has 6 tracks (though there are 4 track versions and a two track 7" version). All six tracks appear on the later Japanese Whispers collection, meaning that this collection is not necessary, unless you are a Cure completionist. I suppose this record introduced a new direction for the band.

Here's The Cure lip-syncing on The Top of the Pops:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Cure: Faith (1981)

The innocence of sleeping children
Dressed in white
And slowly dreaming
Stops all time
Slow my steps and start to blur
So many years have filled my heart
I never thought I'd say those words

Faith is the Cure's third record and another one from their best period. Allmusic concludes that Faith is a "depressing record, certainly, but also one of the most underrated and beautiful albums the Cure put together." [source] I think it is a brilliant record. By the way, this is a West German pressing.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Beck: Morning Phase (2014)

I finally picked up a copy of Morning Phase. I think that the first pressing was sold out, so this is probably a second pressing. The hype sticker might also give that away. Prior to this release, I would say that my two favourite Beck albums are Sea Change and Mutations, so this one fits right into that style. After listening to this one a couple of times, I will add it to my favourite Beck albums. It's also refreshing to see classic looking labels. I am a bit tired of the endless stream of vanity labels.

Oh, and it has to be said that Kanye is an ass.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Cure: Seventeen Seconds (1980)

Seventeen Seconds opens with a subdued piano-heavy instrumental which sets a languorous tone soon to be overturned by the uplifting Play for Today.

It's not a case of doing what's right
It's just the way I feel that matters
Tell me I'm wrong
I don't really care

My favourite period of the Cure is their first four records. I didn't always feel that way. Back in the 80s, I preferred The Top onwards, and was less interested in the early period. After all of the years, I think that the sound and atmosphere they created early on is much superior to the danceable Close to Me and In Between Days, etc. There's a bit of Joy Division in the sound, perhaps. In any case, this record is amazing.

This fan video takes a too literal interpretation of A Forest, which would feature in my top ten list of Cure songs, if I had a top ten list. If you've never heard it, have a listen. The guitars, drums, bass, and keyboards are all really interesting. By the way, my copy is an import from West Germany.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Cure: Pornography (1982)

I know that Pornography is not the the next Cure record chronologically, but I will post it next just because.

I have an original UK pressing of this record. I prefer the earlier, darker, goth sound of the Cure, and I enjoy this record very much. The later more radio-friendly stuff is great, but the early albums appeal to me more. Some fans regard Pornography as the best Cure record. I have a hard time choosing, but this is right up there. It's hard to top Three Imaginary Boys/Boys Don't Cry or the later Disintegration.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The Cure: Boys Don't Cry (1980)

I have a 1988 Canadian repressing of this record. For some reason, records by the Cure are rather expensive theses days, even later represses. Back in the day, instead of buying records, I would often tape a friend's copy of whatever record I wanted and, in exchange, I loaned a copy of something I owned for them to tape. In other words, I ignored the "home taping is killing music" statements printed on the records. The record biz types really had no idea of what was coming when they launched digital music. Oh, the fools. Later, I bought some of the records I had taped on CD and even some of the LPs.

This record is a re-working of Three Imaginary Boys with a different running order. It's quite good. I'd like to have a copy of the original pressing or a copy of Three Imaginary Boys. Maybe someday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Cult: Love (1985)

This is a record I heard way too many times when it came out, mostly because a friend of mine had it. You can only hear certain music so many times before it loses something, and this was one of those records. It sounds better to my ears now, after some time had past. Although I liked certain Cult songs after this, I think this was the band's peak.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Cottage Industry: Spin (1990)

Here's another record from the end of the vinyl era. Cottage Industry were a Toronto alternative rock band. CFNY played Waiting on the 505, the band's song about the Dundas Street streetcar frequently. There's not much information on the web about them and I can't find any tracks from this record on Youtube. My copy of Spin has a spring 1990 catalogue from IKON, the record label. I suppose it's too late to get copes of the previous releases and a t-shirt?

Cowboy Junkies: Caution Horses (1990)

Caution Horses was released when vinyl was in its death throes. I had been buying CDs for at least two years by then. I saw this band in concert many times from 1987 or 1988 through to about 1993, but never since. In fact, I didn't follow the band much after this record. I recall thinking that I liked The Trinity Sessions better, and that still may be the case, but no on could argue that this record doesn't sound amazing. The vinyl mastering is fantastic.

The Junkies covered Powderfinger, my favourite Neil Young song on this record. It's OK, but I think I prefer Neil's versions (studio and live) much better.

I could be wrong, but I think that Caution Horses is not a common record. I rarely see it in the bins.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Cult: Live at the Lyceum - London - 20th May 1984 (1986)

Although recorded in 1984, this record was released after Love. I wonder if its release was in an attempt to cash-in on their new-found success. In any case, this is a good collection of live Cult songs, primary drawn from Dreamtime, with a few tracks from The Death Cult and The Southern Death Cult thrown in. If you like the Cult, you will like this.

At the bottom of the front album jacket, it says "An album for the price of a 7" single." I can't remember how much I paid.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Elvis Costello: Spike (1989)

After releasing records almost every year since the late 70s, it took Elvis three to come back with Spike. I like this record, but Allmusic doesn't:

"There are some moments that work quite well, but there's nothing connecting them, and if anything, he's trying way too hard -- and, for all of the overarching ambition of his early-'80s recordings, that criticism never applied before. Certainly, there are cuts for cultists to enjoy, but Spike's sprawl works against it, resulting in a maddeningly diffuse listen."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Elvis Costello & the Attractions: Blood and Chocolate (1986)

Elvis released two records in 1986. That's pretty good going for an old guy. And this one, in which he was reunited with the Attractions and producer Nick Lowe, is a good one, and it may be one of my favourite Costello records. I can't find any official videos on Youtube.