Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Devo: Theme from Doctor Detroit (1983)

Doctor Detroit is a movie that I haven't seen. Surprise. This 12" contains Theme From Doctor Detroit, Luv - Luv, and Theme From Doctor Detroit (Dance Mix).

Devo: Peek-a-Boo! b/w Find Out (1982)

Peek-a-Boo is a cool tack from Oh, No! It's Devo on a 12" single.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Devo: Oh, No! It's Devo (1982)

I don't think this is the best Devo record, but it's not the worst either. Some have argued that, on this record, Devo thought it wise to try and sound like very other new wave band. Bringing in Roy Thomas Baker, who had made some great sounding Cars songs, might convince one think that is true. And, the use of the guitar is limited on this record, but I am not sure if that is a bad or a good thing. At any rate, this record is so much better than the album that followed it. Also, I have to give a thumbs up to the cover.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Devo: New Traditionalists (1981)

This record is not bad, though one senses that the band is moving into more accessible/commercial territory. I remember reading a review that summed up the album as "predictable." I think that's a bit harsh. It's not top shelf Devo, but it's still good. Perhaps, at this point, they really were Through Being Cool.

Devo: Live (1980)

This EP (or MiniAlbum), of only six tracks, was later re-released with the full concert, of 22 tracks, on CD. I've never heard the full CD. This EP is great, though.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Devo: Freedom of Choice (1980)

I suspect that most people heard Devo the first time (and possibly the last) when they saw the video for Whip It. To me, this record is good Devo, and I suspect the video--at at time when videos were everything--made Devo more popular than they should otherwise have been.

For some reason, the official Devo YouTube channel has disabled the embedding of videos. That's stupid. But, if you want to see the video for Girl U Want, and Whip It, you can follow the links. But, here's some live stuff:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Devo: Duty Now for the Future (1979)

I've read that some people argue that Duty Now for the Future is not as good as the first Devo record. That's a common problem among most artists, but I think this record is great. Allmusic's review of this record is wacky. Sometimes, the reviewers at Allmusic simply have no idea what they are talking about. It has the same quirky, jerky rhythms and odd lyrics. This time, they do an awesome cover version of Secret Agent Man.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978)

Are Devo punk, art-rock, post-punk, new wave? Are they college rock, alternative, indie, synth pop? Who knows? They were cool, at any rate. Back in the day, I liked the guitar and was a little suspicious of synthesizers, but that probably had a lot to do with my brother's love of the disco queens. Devo put synthesizers to very good use. Some tracks sounded almost like punk, I guess.

we're pinheads now
we are not whole
we're pinheads all
jocko homo
are we not men?
monkey men all
in business suit
teachers and critics
all dance the poot
are we not men?
we are DEVO!
are we not men?

I'd pick this record as one of the best of 1978. It's always difficult to choose a favourite, and several other great records came out that year (Warren Zevon - Excitable Boy, XTC - White Music, Lou Reed - Street Hassle, Ultravox - Systems of Romance, etc.).

I don't like the cover version of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, but the rest is great. If you are looking for an interesting cover of Satisfaction, I can recommend the version by The Residents. You can find it on Youtube. Jocko Momo, in my humble opinion, is awesome.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Depeche Mode: Delta Machine (2013)

This album got decidedly mixed reviews, if I recall correctly. I only picked this up because it was impossibly cheap, so cheap that I could not turn it down. After listening to it, I hear the darkness that some people have referenced. It's not such a bad record. I am always amazed when band's keep it going for such a long time. I think long-time fans yearn for the glory days of the early eighties, but it seems like those days are over.

Depeche Mode: Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993)

It goes without saying that this is not the original vinyl release from 1993: prices for the original pressing are outrageous. Songs of Faith and Devotion was re-released on 180 gram vinyl in 2007 and again in 2014. I have the latter and it was bizarrely cheap. Prices for this version start at nearly $25 on Discogs and go up to $43. Why?

I Feel You is clearly the best track on this record.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Depeche Mode: Enjoy the Silence (1990)

This maxi-single has four versions of Enjoy the Silence plus a track called Mephisto, a rather uninspiring instrumental. Again, I have to note the prices. There are two copies for sale on Discogs for $13.87 and $16.02. Perhaps this one is more understandable, because fewer records were being made and sold in 1990. Again, I think I probably paid $1 for this, ages ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Depeche Mode: Never Let me Down Again b/w Pleasure, Little Treasure (1987)

This 12" single contains three versions of Never Let me Down Again plus two versions of Pleasure, Little Treasure. That's all you need to know.

Depeche Mode: Just Can't Get Enough (Schizomix) b/w Any Second Now (Altered) (1981?)

This is a re-released 12" single that was originally released in 1981. The cover has no date, so I have no idea when it was re-released. The Schizomix is fairly predictable, but kind of interesting. The flip side is a curious and not uninteresting instrumental track.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Depeche Mode: Black Celebration (1986)

This is a good DM record, perhaps even the band's best LP. Black Celebration, Fly On The Windscreen - Final, A Question of Lust, A Question of Time, Stripped, etc. are all really strong tracks, plus the lesser-known tracks are also pretty good. Maybe I am a fan of the band after all. I have a Canadian pressing with an embossed jacket.

Depeche Mode: Catching Up With Depeche Mode (1985)

Catching Up With Depeche Mode is a compilation LP, drawn from the first four records. It's not bad, especially if you like DM. I have a Canadian pressing. I remember that I bought this second-hand, and there are a few scuffs and surface scratches, which is always irritating, but it plays well enough.

Depeche Mode: People are People (Different Mix) b/w People are People (On--USound) & In Your Memory (Silk Edit Mix) (1984)

So, this 12" maxi-single has two versions of People are People and a mix of In Your Memory. For some reason, DM records now sell for more than I would have guessed. For example, there are 10 copies of this 12" for sale on Discogs right now, with the cheapest being $12.21 CDN and the most expensive being $24.54 CDN. That's surprising to me since I probably paid a buck for this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward (1984)

Some Great Reward was probably the first Depeche Mode album I heard in its entirety. It seemed like everyone in my residence had a copy on vinyl or cassette. I will go on record and say that I hate the song Somebody. I have never liked it. On the other hand, People are People, Master and Servant, and Blasphemous Rumours are interesting songs and I think they have stood the test of time. Personally, I think there are far better 80s bands, but DM is OK.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Depeche Mode: Get The Balance Right! (1983)

Side one contains the nearly eight minute long Get The Balance Right! (Combination Mix). Side B has three tracks: The Great Outdoors!, Tora! Tora! Tora! (Live), and Get The Balance Right! (Edited Mix).

All and all, I would say that this 12" single is either an homage to the exclamation point or a flagrant abuse of the exclamation point. I favour the latter.

Depeche Mode: See You (1982)

This UK 12" contains See You (Extended Version) b/w Now, This Is Fun (Extended Version).

Depeche Mode: A Broken Frame (1982)

I would argue that this record is less satisfying that the first. Maybe that was because Vince Clarke split. See You was the big hit, as I recall. I just get the sense that they didn't really have a direction, but I could be wrong. It's an OK record, but there are far better DM records.

Depeche Mode: Speak & Spell (1981)

In hindsight, it seems odd that Vince Clarke left Depeche Mode after this, their first record. On the other hand, I like Yazoo (or Yaz) much better than Depeche Mode. But, I never really liked Erasure very much. I think the debut DM record isn't too bad. I'm not crazy about the band, and I think I liked them much better at the time. A few songs still sound good to me. New Life still sounds OK. The big hit from this record was Just Can't Get Enough, which has a measure of nostalgia to it, as does Dreaming of Me.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Derek & The Dominos: Laylas and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)

Sometimes, I remember exactly where I bought a record. I purchased this, along with a handful of other records, at a lawn sale in Wasaga Beach. I sold most of the others in the pile (Traffic, Humble Pie, Grand Funk Railroad, etc.). I decided to keep this one, and I am glad that I did. This is not a really expensive record, you would probably have to pay at least $25 for a copy in good condition, but that's no so bad for a double album. I probably paid $1.

Layla is a great song, but I will go on record here and say that the anaemic unplugged version is terrible. I hate it and I simply cannot explain why it was so popular.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Deerhoof: Reveille (2002)

The musical style of Deerhoof has been described as freestyle, no wave, lo-fi, skronk, space rock, alternative, indie rock, noise pop, noise rock, post-rock, and/or classic rock and roll. Allmusic's description of this record is intersting: "...helter-skelterish flare-ups with primitive Casio-like bloops and bleeps, angular fizz-pop guitars, and epileptic drum freakouts." It might be more accurate to call Deerhoof weird...or cool.

Reveille is the fourth album, which was re-released on blue marbled vinyl in 2012. This is the copy that I have. The only other Deerhoof release I have heard is a free live download that was offered a few years back called 99% Upset Feeling.

The following is an interesting track, and parts of it really remind me of Do Make Say Think.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Deep Purple: 24 Carat Purple (1975)

The cover of 24 Carat Purple is ugly. Really.

I suppose if you only know one Deep Purple song, it's probably Smoke on the Water. It's included on this record. Back when I thought I could learn how to play the guitar, I learned how to play the riff. This is probably the only Deep Purple record a casual fan needs, although your probably don't really need it.

Sometimes, fan-made music videos are good, though this is a tad predictable.

Deep Purple: Deep Purple In Rock (1970)

I am somewhat surprised that it took until 1970 for a band to use Mt. Rushmore on the cover with their heads superimposed. Why did that take so long? There seems to be a debate about when heavy metal started, with this being one record under consideration as the spark. Personally, I'd have to go with Led Zeppelin I, though I really don't think that is a metal record. So, I'll avoid that topic.

This is certainly a hard rock record. It will keep your toe tapping.

Monday, June 08, 2015

The Dead Weather: Dodge And Burn (2015)

The most surprising thing about The Dead Weather is that Jack White plays the drums, not the guitar. I had not idea that he plays drums, until I checked out this band a few years back. In any case, The Dead Weather is really a supergroup, featuring the aforementioned Jack (from The White Stripes, etc.), Alison Mosshart (from The Kills), Dean Fertita (from Queens of the Stone Age), and Jack Lawrence (from the Raconteurs and City an Colour). It's a pretty effective combination. I like everything they have released and this is a great record.

Deee-Lite: Groove is in the Heart / What is Love? (1990)

Deee-Lite is either club, dance, or house music with a psychedelic 1960s visual flavour, at least in this track. You tell me. This 12" contains three mixes of each track. I admit that I liked Deee-Lite and, with Bootsy Collins in the mix, what's not to like?

Death Cult: Gods Zoo (1983)

When Ian Astbury dissolved the Southern Death Cult, he formed Death Cult. Later, of course, he shortened the name even further to the Cult, a band from my record collection that we have already covered. Death Cult, unlike the Southern Death Cult, included Billy Duffy, who would stay with Astbury when the Cult was born.

Again, many people think that they can simply ignore apostrophes. Do they think that by pledging not to use them, they will simply disappear? Why couldn't they print it as God's Zoo? Would the apostrophe have cost them extra? Anyway, at least this Youtube uploader used the apostrophe, on a live version of Gods [sic] Zoo.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Dead or Alive: Youthquake (1985)

Well, this is another record that I just can't quite account for. It's almost disco, though I suspect dance pop is a better description. No, wait, it really is almost disco. The singer, Pete Burns, dressed in an androgynous manner, but we should remember that Boy George did that first, though I detest Culture Club. I suppose that there are certain memories attached to some of these songs and that I can appreciate it on some level. But, it is kind of stupid.

Friday, June 05, 2015

The Dead Milkmen: Bucky Fellini (1987)

The only way to describe the message of Instant Club Hit, the big track from this record, is to include the lyrics.

You'll dance to anything
You'll dance to anything
You'll dance to anything
You'll dance to anything

Oh, baby, look at you
Don't you look like Siouxsie Sioux
How long'd it take to get that way?
What a terrible waste of energy

You wear black clothes say you're poetic
The sad truth is you're just pathetic
Get into the groove just get out of my way
I came here to drink not to get laid

So, "Why don't you just go on home?"
'Cause if you want to moan you'll have to moan alone
You'll dance to anything
You'll dance to anything

Don't try to tell me that you're an intellectual
'Cause you're just another boring bi-sexual
I met Andy Warhol at a really chic party
Blow it out your hairdo 'cause you work at Hardees
80 pounds of make up on your art school skin
80 points of I.Q. located within'

Know what you are? You're a bunch of
Artfags, Artfags, Artfags, Artfags
Choke on this you dance-a-teria types

You'll dance to anything by The Communards
You'll dance to anything by Book of Love
You'll dance to anything by The Smiths
You'll dance to anything by Depeche Commode

You'll dance to anything by Public Image Limited
You'll dance to anything by Naked Truth
You'll dance to anything by any bunch of stupid Europeans

Who come over here with their big hairdos
Intent on taking our money instead of giving your cash
Where it belongs, to a decent American artist like myself!
You'll dance to anything!

Of course, the ironic thing is that I was a regular at a club that played the kind of music lampooned by this song, and I still thought this song was hilarious. And, I have at least one record from each of the artists (except for Naked Truth) name-dropped in the latter part of the song. The Dead Milkmen were often described as jokers or sophomoric or even juvenile, and sometimes even satirical. Sadly, I don't think that there is a video for Instant Club Hit.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Chris de Burgh: Spanish Train and Other Stories (1976)

Once upon a time, Chris de Burgh wrote some interesting songs. In later years, he turned his hand to penning some absolutely abysmal pieces of shlock, like The Lady In Red, which now seems to be fodder for weddings. Spanish Train and Other Stories, his second album, contains some compelling tracks, like the title track, though I have to admit that this song has lost some of its appeal as the years have passed. That track, in combination with A Spaceman Came Travelling, gives the impression that de Burgh is a confirmed Christian, and that usually causes me some concern. In any case, in the year 2015, there is probably no good reason for anyone to own this or any other de Burgh record, which is probably why this one shows up in thrift stores all of the time.