Friday, July 29, 2016

Roger Hodgson: In The Eye Of The Storm (1984)

After Supertamp's Famous Last Words, which turned out to be neither famous nor last, Hodgson recorded his first solo record. The casual listener might be convinced that this is a Supertramp record. It has a familiar voice and sounds like later Supertramp. It's just lacking the counterpoint provided by Rick Davies. Still, for a Supertramp fan (and that was me, for a while), this record is a must have. It's certainly a progressive record, and it's as good as anything Supertramp did in its later career.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rupert Hine: The Wildest Wish To Fly (1983)

"The lush production, intelligent lyrics, and precise songcrafting qualities of Hine still make it an enjoyable record, but the weird sounds, bleak atmospheres, and daring artistic choices found on the 1981 Immunity are now history." [Allmusic]

The above is probably an accurate description, especially if you are listening to the original pressing and not the bastardized pressing that was released in Canada. The Canadian pressing (and others) was mangled, with a different track listing, and it includes I Hang On To My Vertigo from Immunity. I hate it when the record company people mess around with records. Someday, I shall have to locate an original first pressing as it was intended. On this topic, Allmusic, again, notes:

"The album's release history is confusing and deserves to be straightened out. It first appeared worldwide, excluding North America, in May 1983. A different version, with one extra song ("Blue Flame") and two missing ("Victim of Wanderlust" and "The Saturation of the Video Rat") replaced by tracks from Immunity, was released in the U.S. and Canada in March 1984. A third version was released in the U.K. in February 1985 with "Blue Flame" taking the place of "Living in Sin." Other tracks had also been remixed, re-edited, and even partly re-recorded."

This is insane. In any case, I like this record, but I wish the record company had adhered to the original track listing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rupert Hine: Waving Not Drowning (1982)

Waving Not Drowning was the first Rupert Hine record I ever heard from end-to-end. I have to thank Pete, my residence-mate, who always supplied me with a constant stream of interesting music. It's a really fabulous record, and I recall being immediately captivated by track one on side one. Hine's music is filled with all sorts of bizarre moments and odd production, topped with what I can only describe as an enigmatic voice.

Sadly, I cannot find a youtube video of Eleven Faces, the track that I like best from this record.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rupert Hine: Immunity (1981)

Hine's three records from the 1980s are easy to find and bizarrely cheap. I routinely see them in bins for $2 or $3. It pains me to see them languishing in bins while so many people flip past them. I have never understood why they have no value and why Hine doesn't have more fans. It's perplexing, especially considering his success as a producer.

This record was released after Quantum Jump, Hine's previous band, disbanded. Immunity is a great record, commencing with the fabulous I Hang on to My Vertigo. If you see this record, you should buy it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Rupert Hine: Unfinished Picture (1973)

This is a great record. It's a little strange, like most of Hine's music, but there is something very captivating about it. The best thing is that I paid absolutely nothing or this record, and it is not an LP one sees very often. In fact, I have never seen it in the wilds. The LP was released in Germany (where my copy comes from), France, and the UK. It was also released on CD in Germany and Japan.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hgh School High: The Soundtrack (1996)

I have never seen the film High School High. The soundtrack contains R&B and hip hop tunes from a mix of artists like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, The Braxtons, Lil' Kim, RZA, etc. Apparently, five singles from this record charted. Allmusic says this: "Though its momentum sags in a couple of places, High School High remains a thoroughly enjoyable and surprisingly eclectic listen, and is easily one of the finest soundtracks of 1996. It's certainly more fun than the film it supports" [source] Since I have not seen the film, I am forced to accept this conclusion.

This album is not really my scene, though I certainly do like parts of it. Perhaps I need to see the film for it to coalesce.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nick Heyward: North of a Miracle (1983)

Four singles were released from this record. Sadly, none were anywhere near as good as the tracks Heyward wrote with Haircut 100, although Whistle Down the Wind comes close. I wanted another record like Pelican West, and this isn't it. There are some great moments and good songwriting, but it can't escape the shadow of Haircut 100's pop masterpiece. I paid $1 for this record.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Don Henley: Building The Perfect Beast (1984)


Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.
A little voice inside my head said:
"Don't look back, you can never look back."
I thought I knew what love was.
What did I know?
Those days are gone forever.
I should just let 'em go, but

- Boys of Summer, Don Henley

This is a strange record for me to own, since I was never a big Eagles fan. For some reason, I acquired a copy of this record, and then I lost it and a bunch of other records in a vinyl loaning experience in residence. I don't like to think about that. Years later, I found a free copy, with a cover that is a bit rough.

I think that Boys of Summer is a good track, and I think it holds up today. I think the video is pretty good too. Unfortunately, UMG has blocked youtube access to that video, so screw them.

The remainder of the album is uninteresting, if you ask me.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Jimi Hendrix: First Rays Of The New Rising Sun (1997)

This limited edition 2 LP set contains tracks Hendrix recorded for a double album right before his death. According to Wikipedia, many of the tracks appeared an other compilations, but in 1997, all of the tracks were assembled as Hendrix had originally conceived them. I wish I had more Hendrix on vinyl. I have many CDs. I have yet to hear a Hendrix tune that I do not like.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Heaven Seventeen: Pleasure One (1986)

This is a good record. I don't have much to say about it. It's probably a tad less interesting than the previous efforts, but Heaven 17 fans probably like this LP just as well as the early stuff.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Heaven 17: How Men Are (1984)

I guess you could say that this is more of the same synthy goodness from Heaven 17. They were never my fav 80s band, but some tracks bring back memories.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Heaven 17: The Luxury Gap (1982)

I have a first UK pressing, which is the very first pressing of the second LP from Heaven 17. There was an embellishment of sound with this record. If you lived through the 80s, you know the track Let Me Go and some others.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Heaven 17: Penthouse And Pavement (1981)

"Where the Heaven Seventeen are at number 4 in the charts with Inside."
 - Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

After Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware departed from The Human League in 1980, they formed Heaven 17 with Glenn Gregory. The first album gets off to a fantastic start with (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang, a really fantastic electro-pop tune. This record is nowhere near as good as the first two Human League records, but there are moments that I like.

I suppose I should dedicate this track to Donald Trump

Friday, July 08, 2016

Jeff Healey Band: See the Light (1988)

I was lucky enough to see Jeff Healey in concert three times. On two occasions, the concerts were in a large venue, but the last time I saw him was at Grossman's Tavern at 379 Spadina Ave. in Toronto. Jeff was just a few feet away from me. It was an intimate and interesting evening and there was no cover charge. Sadly, Jeff is another musician who died way too soon at age 41.

Many people will know Angel Eyes, a cover song, and See the Light, which might have one of the best opening riffs in the history of rock music. Confidence Man is also a great tune. I'll include a live clip (with Dr, John), because it is really interesting to see hm play the guitar. Make sure you watch the solo midway through the track.

And another live track:

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Topper Headon: Waking Up (1985)

This is a disappointing record. One would have thought that an ex-Clash member would have produced a real rocking record. However, this is not the case. Instead, Headon put out a boring record and called it quits, at least on releasing records. Maybe I am being too harsh, but I wasn't expecting this soul/jazz/R&B thing. The record sounds great (polished, professional, slick) but the style didn't do anything for me at all.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Ronnie Hawkins: A Legend In His Spare Time (1981)

Ronnie Hawkins is best known for having formed the group that would become known as The Band. The Band were, at one time, Bob Dylan's back-up band and then they had a excellent career of their own. Nevertheless this record does nothing for me. I should expunge it from my collection.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The Hawaiian Pups: Split Second Precision (1983)

The Hawaiian Pups were a kind of unknown band, unless you listened to college radio or the good old CFNY, when it was a truly great and ground-breaking radio station. The band was best known for the track Baby Judy. Others will remember Spook Opera from the year before. Split Second Precision is an EP that contains only 6 tracks, with Baby Judy appearing twice, once in extended form. The extended mix of Baby Judy was collected on volume three of Hardest Hits, which I have on CD (I have all of the Hardest Hits CDs). By the way, I was stunned to see the prices of the Hardest Hits CD compilations. Volume One is listed on Discogs for $45 to $145. That's amazing and rather perplexing.

Anyway, I really liked this band, but they only released one single and then this EP. That's too bad. This fan video is pretty good!

Monday, July 04, 2016

PJ Harvey: The Hope Six Demolition Project (2016)

This record was supposed to ship with a MP3 download code and a poster. Mine only has the poster. Other people have reported receiving only either the poster or the code. Some lucky people got both. Or, as Discogs reports:

"Comes with A1 fold-out poster and 320kbps MP3 download code. Some copies come without the poster, or without the download code, or with neither of these items at all."

I haven't had much time to soak in this record, but I like it, of course. I think PJ is really great. I have read about the complaints people have made regarding some of her perceptions about Washington DC, but I can't really comment on that.

PJ Harvey: To Bring You My Love (1995)

The original 1995 pressing of this LP sells for more than I would consider paying. On the other hand, this 2001 pressing was far more reasonable. I found a sealed copy for $15 (no tax). I also have the CD. Sometime after this record came out, I saw PJ play a show in Toronto.

On this record, she moved departed from punk to something more sophisticated.

Corey Hart: Fields of Fire (1986)

There's simply no reason to own this record. The first two records are sort of interesting, but this is uninspired and flat. Why was this record even released?

Friday, July 01, 2016

Corey Hart: Boy in the Box (1985)

Hart scored another big hit with the track Never Surrender, which appeared on Boy in the Box, his second offense. This album is similar to the first, but I don't think any of the tracks are as catchy as Sunglasses at Night. Still, it's a competent follow-up, but not one that I love. I paid nothing for this record. Once again, he couldn't resist the sappy element. Just try to make it through Everything in My Heart, a truly awful stinking pile of crap.

The title track makes me think of Duran Duran, but maybe that's just because of the video.