Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thomas Dolby: Music From The Film Gothic (1987)

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I have never seen Gothic, the film about the writing of Frankenstein. Apparently, it was directed by Ken Russell and stars Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, and Natasha Richardson in her film debut. I would include Frankenstein in a list of my favourite novels, so perhaps I should see this film since it concerns that novel and Percy and Mary Shelley.

The soundtrack has some interesting pieces, some of which sound a little too much like film music. It's a curious record, but it has never driven me to see the film and I don't listen to it very often. I'm hard pressed to even decide if this sounds like a Dolby record, apart from, perhaps, The Devil is an Englishmen, which is available on Youtube in an extended mix:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dolby's Cube [Thomas Dolby]: May the Cube be With You b/w Googooplexus & Club Creature Caviar (1985)

Though I know I have this 12" single, I cannot find it anywhere, so there is no photo. I saw it a while back, but it now eludes me. I think it must be misfiled. A photo will appear when I find it. George Clinton and Lene Lovich appear on this record. It's a pretty cool track.

Thomas Dolby: The Flat Earth (1984)

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The track most people are likely to know from this record is Hyperactive. I remember listening to that track way too many times. The video is great too, but it appears not to be on Youtube, though there is a mangled version of the video for the 12" mix. The video does not sync up with the lyrics, and that irritates me, so I can't post it here.

This record, like his first, is truly amazing, and it's a pity that so many people have not heard it, or have only heard the aforementioned single.

The live version of Hyperactive from the Old Grey Whistle Test is very good.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dolby's Cube [Thomas Dolby]: Get Out Of My Mix (Special Dance Version) b/w Get On Out Of My Mix (Special Dub Version) (1983)

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This is straight from Wikipedia:

"Beginning in 1983, Dolby collaborated with a number of artists in an occasional studio-bound project called Dolby's Cube. The project had no set line-up, and was essentially a forum for Dolby to release material that was more dance-oriented. Dolby's Cube released a single in 1983 ("Get Out of My Mix"), another in 1985 ("May The Cube Be With You"), and performed soundtrack work for the film "Howard The Duck" in 1986. Collaborators in Dolby's Cube at various junctures included Lene Lovich, George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic, Francois Kevorkian, and Lea Thompson."

I have nothing to add, except to say that perhaps this is a bit dated.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Thomas Dolby: Blinded by Science (1983)

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This EP was released after The Golden Age of Wireless. Since later pressings of The Golden Age of Wireless, were altered to include She Blinded my With Science, there is really no reason to own this record, since most of the songs are available elsewhere, but I have it anyway. I'm not sure why, but Youtube has a deficiency of official Thomas Dolby videos.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Thomas Dolby: The Golden Age of Wireless (1982)

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Original pressings of this record did not include the famous single, She Blinded Me With Science. I have a Canadian repress from 1983 that includes this song, which was a hit from the Blinded by Science EP released in January of 1983. I guess the record label decided that they could increase sales of the LP by including that song, rather than risk people not purchasing an EP.

The Golden Age of Wireless is a fantastic record even without that song. I really love the sound on the record. There are so many great tracks, like One of Our Submarines, but it's hard to choose a favourite. The odd thing is that copies of this record are easily found at affordable prices. Go get one.

And a live track:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Divine Fits: A Thing Called Divine Fits (2012)

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Divine Fits is a modern day supergroup, comprised of Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade), Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks), and someone called Alex Fischel. So far, they only made one record, and this is it. It's pretty good, but I might be biased, since I am a huge fan of Spoon and Wolf Parade.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dire Straits: On Every Street (1991)

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There comes a time when a band has to call it a day. For the Rolling Stones, that should have been 1983. I think it's a bad idea to overstay your welcome. Dire Straits should have called it quits after Brothers in Arms. Nevertheless, I have to say that, despite the weak patches in this record, there are a few good tracks. I don't mind Calling Elvis, Heavy Fuel, When it Comes to You, and The Bug. After six years, though, expectations were running high, and this record doesn't really make the cut and it can't match anything the band had released previously.

I have the subsequent live album, On the Night on CD. I have no idea if that was ever released on vinyl. Vinyl copies of On Every Street, released in the era of the death of vinyl, are hard to find, so I am happy to have a copy of this one.

There's an official Dire Straits Vevo channel on Youtube, but they don't like Canadians :(

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms (1985)

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I've always been inclined to believe that the release of this record coincidentally with the continued rise of MTV (despite the scathing message contained in Money for Nothing) and the widespread adoption of compact discs made this album far more popular than it otherwise might have been. It's a solid record, but I was stunned to see it turn Dire Straits into a huge act.

While visiting a friend for a weekend way out near Kingston back in 1986, or so, I was surprised to discover that her father had a copy of this record on cassette. When the previous generation likes your music, it makes you pause to think. I wondered if it was uncool to like Dire Straits. Perhaps the band had jumped the shark? Anyway, her father popped in the cassette on a drive to a restaurant, but it was on side two, and he complained that he needed to flip the tape to hear the "good tunes." I've always preferred side two. Brothers in Arms, the title track, is awesome, for example.

Some tracks on the LP are shorter than the CD and cassette versions, which I suppose is understandable, given the limited space, but they really should have released this as a double record.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Dire Straits: Alchemy - Dire Straits Live (1984)

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Alchemy is a double live record, offering live versions of some seminal Dire Straits tunes. If you are a Dire Straits fan, you will need no convincing. I bought this new when it cam out, somewhere.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dire Straits: ExtendeDancEPlay (1982)

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Allmusic, a site I sometimes love and sometimes hate, referred to this EP (and the title track specifically) as "the closest thing to exuberant rock & roll this seemingly humorless band had ever attempted." The same reviewer, in the same review, referred to Love Over Gold as "ponderous," [link] despite the fact that the original reviewer of Love Over Gold assessed that record 4 out of 5 stars and said that the album was "fully engaging." [link] It makes one wonder what goes on at Allmusic. Besides, how many rock bands could be called humorless? I would say most. It's simply a dumb thing to say.

In any case, there is no question that this EP is a lighthearted effort and it is fun.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dire Straits: Love Over Gold (1982)

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I bought this record because I really liked the track Industrial Disease, which had received plenty of airplay on the radio. Imagine my surprise when, upon listening to the record, I found that Industrial Disease wasn't even the best song on the record. Love Over Gold commences with what must be regarded as the best Dire Straits song of all time - Telegraph Road. It's an epic 14 minute+ track. Of course, a 14 minute tracks isn't going to leave room for too many other songs, so the album only has 5 songs, but they are all good ones. Check out the unembeddable fan video for Telegraph Road.

I suppose this record announces the end of the blues-rock thing they were doing, but on this record at least, that is fine with me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dire Straits: Making Movies (1980)

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It's hard to rank my favourite Dire Straits records, but I would say that Making Movies is probably my favourite. I don't think there is a bad song on the record. Highlights for me are the epic Tunnel of Love, Romeo and Juliet (one of my all time fav Dire Straits songs), Expresso Love, Skateaway, Solid Rock. It's really an awesome record with some great guitar work, as usual, from Mark Knopfler. If you are not familiar with the album, check out these tracks: