Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Madness: One Step Beyond (1979)

I would never describe myself as a huge fan of ska music, but I like some of it very much, and I have a few ska records in my collection. As you may know, ska originated in Jamaica in the 1950s, and was reborn as part of a neo-ska revival in the late 1970s. Most people probably who were enamoured with the new ska were probably completely unaware that it was a revival. You can include me in that batch of people.

Madness was part of that scene. The new ska had a faster, harder edge. People will often refer to this era as the 2 Tone ska revival, after the 2 Tone record company founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials. That's all I'll say about that.

The first ska song I ever remember hearing was the single One Step Beyond--a cover tune from the golden days of ska--on the radio. My sister bought a copy of this record, and I recall that my dad liked it too. It's a fun record, to be sure. Like many of the seminal records of the new-ska era, it has been repressed. I have a copy of the original Canadian pressing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lust For Youth: International (2014)

This was a blind buy. Well, in truth, I had my phone with me, so I looked up some information about the group. I fell confident enough to throw down my $10 and walk away with this one, still sealed. The LPs digital download included an bonus EP. A limited edition was released on white vinyl. I have the black vinyl edition.

Lust for Youth is an electronic, experimental Danish trio. They are described as indie, pop, electronic, new wave, and synth, etc. Who knows? I hear hints of the Cure or maybe The Pet Shop Boys and possible New Order at times.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The Lucy Show: Mania (1986)

I know almost nothing about this band. They were a British pop/rock/new wave outfit who wrote some good tunes. I think it's fair to say that they were underrated and show have been more popular.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Lene Lovich: Stateless (1978)

This record really help to usher in new wave, a form of music that really appealed to me. Oddly, when I hear this record, I am reminded of Christmas. Maybe I got it around Christmas. It just makes me think of that tine of year. It's odd. So, about this record, Allmusic says:
One of Stiff Records' most stable staples, the truly alternative Lene Lovich laid much of the groundwork for an entire generation of singers left to pick up the pieces in the wasteland of the post-punk era. Her stunning debut, 1979's Stateless, was so unique, so vibrant, and her vocal stylings so unusual that the LP not only put her right at the front of the pack of nascent new wavers, it also sounded a commercial death knell of sorts, relegating her to the realms of novelty acts -- at least as far as the mainstream was concerned. ... While Stateless is certainly very much of its era, and well-placed in its time, inspired and adventurous songwriting coupled with a truly pioneering intent ensure that this LP will always remain the lit roadside marker that whispered "this way" to the hundreds of bands who followed. [source]
I think that is very well said. This is an easy record to find: I see it everywhere.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Nick Lowe: Pinker And Prouder Than Previous (1988)

Allmusic -- despite having some good things to say bout this record - complains that there is some average material here, but I like it. It's not Rockpile, but it's good.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Nick Lowe: Nick The Knife (1982)

Anything that Nick releases is worth checking out. I've always loved is voice. This record, while perhaps not as good as the preceding records, is very good.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nick Lowe: Labour of Lust (1979)

There are some songs that I have heard way too many times. Cruel to be Kind is one of them. I think I would have paid a substantial amount of cash to never hear it again, way back when. Now, after all of these years, I appreciate that it is a really fine song, and I can once again listen to it. But, it does beg the question of why certain radio stations ruin some songs by overplaying them. Another song I heard too many times was Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen. In that case, there can be no redemption, for that song truly sucks.

Labour of Lust is a really great record, packed with gems.

Lowe produced Elvis Costello's first five records, and I think we can argue that those are the best Elvis records.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Love and Rockets: No Big Deal (1989)

Here we have three tunes: No Big Deal (Extended Club Version), No Big Deal (Single Version), and No Words No More. The Spanish and UK pressings had a picture sleeve, but we Canadians got a boring sleeve with a big sticker. My copy is sealed. I remember buying it after i got rid of my turntable, and I have yet to crack the seal. Maybe I should.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Love and Rockets: Motorcycle (1989)

Motorcycle is a tune from the fourth record. The 12" contains four tracks:

I Feel Speed

For some reason, the CD single, which I also have, is worth more than the vinyl. I wonder why.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Love and Rockets: Love and Rockets (1989)

For the band's fourth record, they decided to give it the title Love and Rockets. I wonder why. I think we can state that So Alive was the band's biggest success. It's a good tune and this is a good record, but I prefer all of the prior albums to this one.

Oddly, they did not release another record until 1994, and that record was a total surprise because the band replaced its former gothic sound with an electronic sound.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Love and Rockets: No New Tale to Tell (1988)

The UK pressing of this 12" contains four tracks:

No New Tale to Tell
Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven (live)
Love Me (Live)
Earth Sun Moon

I suspect that I might have paid $1 for this.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Love and Rockets: Earth Sun Moon (1987)

The third album from Love and Rockets produced a genuine hit with No New Tale to Tell. It's a good song, but I wonder why there wasn't a hit from either of the first two records. Also, there are better songs on this record than the hit, but that is usually the case.