Posts Tagged ‘Double LP’

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LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides  –  Lee Hazlewood           2012   180g Record Store Day Special Issue

014Psychedelic Country…You gotta love that shit. Lee Hazlewood’s music is like Lou Reed performing to a Bacharach-scored spaghetti western on acid…and that can’t be bad. Mr. Hazlewood has made a long career and a lot of albums(with femme fatales like Ann Margaret and Nancy Sinatra) full of songs that are so melodic and lush they would make Neil Diamond blush and so bizarrely haunting they could have been on Tom Waits’ mid-career lp’s. This 2 lp compilation, made for this year’s Record Store Day, is full of the fucked up vibes that you feel as though you’re listening to elevator music if you swallowed a fist full of molly just before the doors closed. Side C is where it’s at with No Train To Stockholm (Scandinavian cowboy music?), Won’t You Tell Your Dreams and my favorite, Hey Cowboy in all it’s bizarre-death-dream glory.

The 180 gram double lp collection was remastered and pressed beautifully here. The strings soar and the horns almost seem to drip giving Lee and his bombshells a beautifully strange environment to dance in. And once again, packaging reigns here…the pic speaks for itself. Fuckin’ Lee Hazlewood!

Hey Cowboy

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023It’s Your World – Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson    1976 Arista Records

Side one “Just Before Sundown”

“It’s Your World” (3:52)    “Possum Slim” (6:00)    “New York City” (4:45)

Side two “Nightfall”

“17th Street” (5:45)    “Tomorrow’s Trane” (7:20)   “Must Be Something” (5:20)

Side three “Late Evening”

“Home Is Where the Hatred Is” (12:10)    “Bicentennial Blues” (8:40)

Side four “Midnight and Morning”

“The Bottle” (13:30)    “Sharing” (5:55)

024This double lp concert set was recorded on the bicentennial (July 1st-4th 1976) and reflects the mood of the United States in the truest sense…reflection being an exact opposite view. While the rich white men were busy chopping up the country, everyone else was scrappin’. This set is loaded with biting commentary that is masked only by the funky and almost airy (not soft…airy…the flutes lent a counterpoint of  lightness that was practically a necessity).  The tunes were a mix of soul, funk, spoken word and jazz that big Gil is now legendary for and considering the size of this project, it never feels lost or meandering. Cuts like side 0213’s “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” and “Bicentennial Blues” put you right in the middle of the feelings of hopelessness the non-rich, non-white, non-male’s were living with. There is also a huge vibe of NYC haze in here and all one has to do is look up the doc “NYC 77″(see next post) to see the state of things for the 5 boros(well, the Bronx/Brooklyn mainly). Remember that Daily News cover “Ford to NYC…Drop Dead”…think of that and pop these lp’s on your turntable. Allmusic writer Hal Horowitz praises the record as G.S-H’s most completely realized work, and that “its Centennial-centric time frame” makes it “lose little of its impact… These tunes have lost none of their lyrical edge or incisiveness throughout the years”. I generally disagree with everything this asshole says buy in this case, I couldn’t agree more…so today, if only today…I wouldn’t shank Hal Horowitz…Thanks Gil


010Disintegration – The Cure        1988  (reissue 180 g)

Side A “Plainsong” – 5:12  “Pictures of You” – 7:24  “Closedown” – 4:16
Side B  “Lovesong” – 3:29 “Last Dance” – 4:42  “Lullaby” – 4:08
Side C  “Fascination Street” – 5:16  “Prayers for Rain” – 6:05 “The Same Deep Water as You” – 9:19
Side D “Disintegration” – 8:18  “Homesick” – 7:06  “Untitled” – 6:30

You can’t go wrong with Disintegration (unless you are looking for a happy, pop record by the band who did Friday, I’m in Love…then you fucked). To me it has everything that makes The Cure great… Long, gothic, love tragedies that crawl, penitent over glass at a snails pace to proclaim their devotion only to find out it’s too late. I think the first side is probably one of the most beautifully depressing song cycles ever committed to vinyl (ahhh, maybe not, but you get the point). This album came out in 1989 and I heard it for the first time in the spring of 1990(sixth grade…perfect timing) and I initially got it on cd and devoured it. It (along with the Smiths/Morrissey and 10,000 maniacs) was a stand out in my large(for a 12 year old) music collection, which consisted mainly of Rock, Metal and Hip-Hop. It made me sad but in a good way and I wasn’t even sure why… then after the first few “Heart breaks”…well, I stopped listening and finally heard it. Every stubbed toe and “no” from Mom was the end of the world and this album understood that. The only reason it wouldn’t be a perfect “record the paramedics find spinning in ones room, needle popping over and over in the run-off groove, is that there are a couple of songs that sort of pick up the pace and while they are great songs, when one is taking their (truly) last sip of Bordeaux, standing on a wobbly chair, noose looking fancy and a note pinned to their shirt that says “No Funeral”…One simply doesn’t want  hope. In all seriousness, it is a gorgeous album, who’s 4 sides each play out like individual series of sonnets, letting you know that while it might NOT be ok, at least Robert Smith has it as bad as you…and that is beautiful…comforting.

Just Check the “lyrics” to Plainsong. More of a conversation, but like a dagger

“i think it’s dark and it looks like rain” you said
“and the wind is blowing like it’s the end of the
world” you said “and it’s so cold it’s like the
cold if you were dead” and then you smiled for
a second.

“i think i’m old and i’m in pain” you said
“and it’s all running out like it’s the end of the
world” you said “and it’s so cold it’s like the
cold if you were dead” and then you smiled for
a second

sometimes you make me feel like i’m living at
the edge of the world like i’m living at the edge
of the world “it’s just the way i smile” you said

Plainsong

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZoYzne9Tpg

Pictures Of You

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Marvin Gaye – Here, My Dear    1979 Tamala

016I knew Marvin made one of the most important protest albums of all time (def the most beautiful) in “What’s Going On”, some of the greatest Motown tracks ever and probably the greatest come hither song ever(and my favorite vocal performance of all time) in “Let’s Get It On”…who knew he also made a fucking 2 LP concept album about his divorce to Berry Gordy’s niece. It is a raw and vulnerable soul confessional, the likes of which have never been seen before or since. He has made better albums and better songs, but the scope and depth of this project are big and heart-wrenching. He wasn’t concerned with hits here and just poured out lyrics chronicling his courtship, marriage, divorce and eventual rebirth of love. The grooves are here though. Also, the artwork shows how serious he took the concept of the concept album on divorce and the cycle of love’s beginning and end and beginning…

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The album is an experience, to put it best. By the time you make it to side three, you are blown away by how fragile this man was. It’s hard to fathom Mr. Sexual Healing could be this insecure. The tracks are all expertly produced(as usual) and the ones that are less direct thematically(A Funky Space Reincarnation) are pure funk orchestra goodness. Still, I can’t seem to get past his artwork depicting him self as a tragic Greek figure with the house of love and justice burning down around him…the game of “judgement” monopoly is pretty ridicules too. Anyway, give this one a try. Especially on vinyl…it just adds something to it. I don’t know why.

When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You

Time To Get It Together

A Funky Space Reincarnation

MellonCollie_Standardpackshot

The amazing (almost)20th anniversary deluxe 4 lp re-master of Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness totally delivers everything it’s 90$ price tag promises and more. The packaging is lush and expansive, coming with a re-creation(albeit much larger) of the original cd lyric book as well as a book of essays about the album and song by song notes by the madman himself, Billy Corgan. Check the amazingly strange and beautiful art-work…remember this was during the height of the so-called “grunge” movement, so a double album with this bizarre psychedelic Victorian art stood out against the “we don’t give a fuck about production…cause our publicist told us not to” attitudes put forth by other big “alternative” bands of the time.

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  The detail is seen in every element, from the labels on each of the eight sides of LP’s to the liner notes and lyric sheets. Love it

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I just cant get enough of the whacked out decoupage art work.

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Still, to me the real reason I plunked down 90 beans is to hear a sonic upgrade on the only fault of the Pumpkins work…the mix. Billy was all about volume(as were many producers at the time) and this caused a muddied mid to upper range on his recordings. Thankfully, they went back in and cleaned up the masters and there is actually some discernible separation in the instruments, even though there is still some high end distortion on some of the noisier, harder tracks.

No matter the packaging, the re-master or even the 180 gram 4 lp vinyl release(thank fuck for that)…the songs are amazing. I remember skipping school(no big news here) to take the train to a record store that was gonna have this a week early, buying it, getting back on the train, heading home, running up the stairs and locking myself in my room for hours. Just listening to it over and over. This was my generation’s White Album or The Wall, even if nobody agreed with me.

Re-listening to this the other night, I was blown away all over again. The excitement came back. Maybe it was the packaging or maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t listened to this album straight through in many years but I was sitting in my room, holding the cover, and sitting there with my eyes closed just like when I was 15 or 16. What is this, the fucking wonder years? Anyway, even the overplayed hits were fresh and amazing…

Even their videos were great, if not some of the best ever…

The amazing thing is that shortly after this, they released a 5 cd set, culling the singles and the 5-6 extra, non-album songs that were on each single. They could have just as easily put out another 15 song cd and made the best triple album of all time(sorry, but Joe’s Garage is technically in 2 parts). On top of that the cd version of this re-release comes with an additional 20 songs that didn’t make the album from the same sessions.  that’s an amazing output for one band in a 6 month period. So now, years later, this still remains my favorite album of the 90’s for many reasons, but one is that if you could only buy one album, this would have you covered(except for hip hop). There is a bit of everything here, yet it is still somehow cohesive. There’s also Billy’s sheer ambition during a time where ambition was frowned upon. He didn’t give a fuck. He knew better than the public and because of that we have this monument to excess and pop song craft and metal and electronic music and gentle ballads and most things in between. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness…even the title…enough to make any Morrissey fan blush.