Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Cars: The Cars (1978)

you've got your nuclear boots
and your drip dry glove
and when you bite your lip
it's some reaction to love 

In my small hometown, there used to be a record store and it lasted for a while. A newer one replaced the older, but eventually, it too died, but I am not sure when. There used to be lots and lots of records stores all over the place, but now they are few and very far between. I bought lots of records in that tiny record shop in my hometown, including this one. For some reason, I have a crystal clear memory of buying it. The shop was only so big, and the stock was rather provincial, so I had to make treks to urban places farther afield to find more interesting items.

The Cars appealed to a wide range of tastes, and I think the songs still sound fresh today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Captain Sensible: Captain Sensible's Women & Captains First (1982)

On the first casual listen, this might seem to be something of a light goofy album, which seems strange for a chap who was a founding member of UK punk band, The Damned. The two most recognizable tracks are probably Wot and the cover of Rogers and Hammerstein's Happy Talk, lending some credence to the idea that this is purely a quirky album. Both of the aforementioned tunes got plenty of play in my circles back in the day. I would say that there are some serious compositions here, but I still like Wot the best of the album.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Captain Beyond: Captain Beyond (1972)

Ex-members of the Johnny Winter Band, Deep Purple, and Iron Butterfly came together to construct this sort of progressive jazz-rock album with touches of heavy metal. Sadly, this record once got wet and the jacket is wavy and wonky, which is a major irritant to me. I would never buy record with water damage, though I think this was a cheap find for me, probably in the $1-$2 range, and I bought it, as the price was irresistbale.

I am not sure I can adequately describe the music, so just have a listed to this live clip.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kate Bush: Kate Bush (1983)

Once upon a time, I owned the cassette version of this release. I guess I should look through the box and see if I still have it. It compiles a few tracks, one of them live:

Sat In Your Lap
James And The Cold Gun (Live Version)
Ne T'Enfuis Pas
Suspended In Gaffa
Un Baiser D'Enfant (The Infant Kiss)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

John Cale: Caribbean Sunset (1984)

Caribbean Sunset is the other Cale record never released on CD. Many fans would probably argue that this is Cale's least impressive outing, and I am tempted to agree. Even Walking on Locusts is better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

John Cale: John Cale Comes Alive (1984)

It used to irritate me that this record was never released on CD, but now I don't care. It's one of two Cale records that were not released on CD. The other is coming up. I think we have to thank Peter Frampton for all of the live albums that use "Comes Alive" in the title. I fairly certain that Frampton's was the first usage, and there are lots of other later examples.

Allmusic's rather savage review of this live recording is probably correct. It's pales in comparison to Sabotage. But, some fans are eager to complete their collections of favourite artists, so having this on vinyl makes my Cale collection complete, even if most of the rest of my Cale releases are on CD.

Monday, October 20, 2014

John Cale: Music for a New Society (1981)

Roll up the history books, burn the chairs
Set fire to anything, set fire to the air

It's difficult choosing favourite songs and albums, but I think my favourite John Cale record is Music for a New Society. It's a musical masterpiece. It's spare and minimal and engaging. Paris 1919 would be a close second, but I have to give this one the edge, just based on the lyrical power and the understated music. Paris 1919 is more of a pop affair, but it's great too.

In John Cale's autobiography, he wrote that he had hoped that Frank Sinatra would cover his song, (I Keep a) Close Watch. I have to agree that this would have been cool and it's too bad it never happened. I wonder of Frank even knew who John Cale was.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

John Cale: Honi Soit (1981)

Honi soit qui mal y pense

Growing up in rural Ontario meant that concert choices were slim to practically nonexistent. In fact, I can only remember one concert from any rock band in my town. I really didn't see any real concerts until I went to university. Once I moved to Toronto, the choices got even better. Finally, I saw John Cale in concert, but only once, during the Black Acetate tour.

I had heard the song Streets of Laredo many times at home. My dad was a big fan of Marty Robbins and he had lots of his records. I recall thinking that Big Iron was my favourite song at one point, but that changed later on. One has to overthrow the music of one's parents sooner or later. Cale's version of Streets of Laredo is creditable. I prefer most of the other songs on this record, but it's hard to chose a favourite.

Friday, October 17, 2014

John Cale: Sabotage/Live (1979)

And now, we come to one of my favourite musicians of all time, John Cale. He was, as many people know, a member of The Velvet Underground, along with Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Mo Tucker. Cale was classically trained on the piano and he also plays the viola, guitar, bass, sax, and a number of other instruments. I have more that 60 John Cale and associated CDs including his Velvet Underground period, his solo work, The Dream Syndicate, numerous soundtracks, collaborations with people like Terry Riley, Brian Eno, and Lou Reed, and several live recordings. On top of that, I have a number of recordings produced by Mr. Cale.

The Allmusic Guide really has an evocative summary of this record. The guide notes that Cale "was travelling the world in the company of a band of snot-nosed youngsters raised on hard rock, shrieking himself into a frenzy, wearing a hard hat on-stage, and writing songs like Chickenshit, a real-life tale of the time he beheaded a chicken (already dead) on-stage and threw the carcass into the crowd and his whole band quit in protest, set to the most merciless music he'd been a part of since White Light/White Heat."

That really sums up the record. The CD version, which I also have, contains four extra tracks, three of which come from the Animal Justice EP.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

David Byrne: Sounds from True Stories (1986)

Sounds from True Stories is the soundtrack to the Talking Heads film True Stories, and it's full of quirky and cool pieces of music from The Talking Heads continuum and guests. It's fantastic. Once again, I have to admit to not having seen a film for which I own the soundtrack. I guess I haven't seen as many movies as I should have.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kate Bush: Director's Cut (2011)

So, Kate Bush decided that she wanted to rework some of her songs. Although the reviews seemed to have been generally positive, I think I was too attached to the original versions and these never really struck a chord with me. It's not that I hate the songs, I just get the feeling like one sometimes gets when listening to a cover version that doesn't top the original.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kate Bush: The Big Sky (Meteorological Mix b/w Not This Time and The Morning Fog (1986)

This is Canadian 12" single contains three tracks: The Big Sky (Meteorological Mix), Not This Time, and The Morning Fog, the first of which appears on the anniversary edition on CD. The Big Sky is one of my favourite tracks from The Hounds of Love. Since there was no video for the extended mix, some intrepid Youtube user created a video using parts of The Dreaming and the original video for The Big Sky. The sync seems to be screwed up.