Saturday, 11 May 2019

12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2... Inches

Every inch from 2 to 12 on vinyl.

Records chosen:
12" AFX - Analord 10 (picture disc)
11" Wagon Christ - London is a Country (glow in the dark ginyl)
10" Julian Cope - China Doll (picture disc)
9" Nine Inch Nails - Sin
8" Electronic Audio Research - Falling / Tail Chaser (picture disc)
7" Ultravox - Visions in Blue (picture disc)
6" Jona Lewie - Big Shot Momentarily
5" Squeeze - If I Didn't Love You
4" The Happenings - Go Away Little Girl
3" Foo Fighters - Big Me
2" Various Artists - Pea Brian Presents the ADHD EP

Friday, 10 May 2019

Selected Ambient Works Volume II

I can't "casually" listen to this album, simply allowing it to drift in the background whilst I get on with something else. It belies the "aural wallpaper" idea of ambient music - there's just too much going on and each track and, rather than becoming part of the the background, it creates it's own ambience that invites you in.

It's one of those rare albums that, even 25 years later, I can STILL hear new things in each time I listen to it. There's a remarkable depth and complexity for something so minimal.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Roxy Music

This the true Glamorous Rock - the perfect melding of pop, rock, prog and (plastic) soul, there's very few bands that can match the run of albums that Roxy Music put out. They look and sound in equal parts stunning and ridiculous, from their learning-on-the-job debut through to the sonic perfection of Avalon, they rarely put a foot wrong. I love every one of these albums.

I've always claimed that, with Remake/Remodel, the opening track from Roxy Music, the band said more in 5 minutes than most bands say in their entire career. They could've quit then and the music world would already have been in a better place, but then we wouldn't have the (to choose a song from each subsequent album) In Every Dream Home a Heartache, Mother of Pearl, Out of The Blue, Love is the Drug, Dance Away, The Same of Scene or More Than This. And especially, we wouldn't have Virginia Plain.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Ian McNabb - Star Smile Strong

Just arrived today, here's the long awaited double vinyl edition of Star Smile Strong, with new artwork and a signed print.

I've already given this two spins and it really is a stunning pressing. I knew and enjoyed the album from the original 2017 CD release, but there's a much fuller sound audible here, with the two discs allowing the tracks to breathe and really come to life. The new artwork is also much improved from the original (sorry, but I was never a fan of the original sleeve design) and we're also treated to the song lyrics on the inner sleeves.

Clarabella, the 13 minute closing opus, deservedly gets a side to itself. As requested on the inner sleeve, I cranked up the volume for this one.

Already a good Ian McNabb album, with this pressing it's just got better. A highlight in a career of highlights.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Rick Wakeman - Rock N' Roll Prophet

I've just picked up this album from Hurley Books in Mevagissey (a great selection of records), sold by the cover, allmusic review (the fans give it 1.5 out of 5) and the text on the back sleeve:
"It takes an album of music such as this to really know who your friends are...".

It's apparently a Buggles spoofing synthpop album with Rick singing on it. He didn't want it released under this name and has since gone on record to say he thinks it is "a little ahead of its time [and] a little off the wall".

I mean, how bad can it be? I'll have to wait until I'm home tomorrow to find out.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Heaven 17 - Bigger Than America RSD 2019

I must confess that, despite calling myself a fan, I'd never listened to this album before. After the brilliance of the first three albums, there was a noticeable drop in quality with subsequent releases - sure, 'Pleasure One' and 'Teddy Bear, Duke and Psycho' had their moments, but I found them more miss than hit.

But then sometimes you just can't resist the lure of translucent orange vinyl and so this debut vinyl pressing ended up in my bag as a last minute decision on record store day. It doesn't disappoint. Expecting another Temptation, Fascist Groove Thang or Let Me Go is a bit much (for ANY artist), but there's enough quality over these 12 tracks to draw me in - the band ditching their quest for a more "authentic' soulful sound over the previous two albums and instead offering up a more polished take on the electronic Penthouse side of Penthouse and Pavement.