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Live Rough Trade

4 Apr

Rough Trade Live!
Rough Trade
Year: 1977

Live albums are supposed to be live…From a show.
This is a live album – from a studio. The album was cut directly to the disk. No editing the master. No fix it in post.
Most live albums have quite a bit of enhancing done, even to the point where the band will rerecord bits in a studio.
So this is a more live record than most live albums, right?
Rough Trade was a interesting band that hits its peak in the late 1970s/Early 1980s. They were kind of punk – but not really. They had a very original but raunchy sound. Kinda punk… but not really. Here their sound is more refined – jazzy even. Night-clubby. Well rehearsed.
It sounds like a dress rehearsal of a band just before they go out on tour. You do not get a feel that the band is playing to an audience here – they are playing to and off each other. They do this very well but the result is a bit flat.
It’s a direct off the floor recording that has smoothed out al the jagged edges that Rough Trade had. I remember seeing them live. They were a great act that really played with the audience. This is an interesting album but not a good reflection of what Rough Trade was.

 

 

 

 

 

George Thorogood

27 Mar

Move it on Over
George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Year: 1978

This is a fun album. Seriously fun.

There is some serious music here. Serious blues music.

But man, what fun it is to listen to this album.
George Thorogood was just about peaking at this time – this was his second album released, and the guitar playing is fantastic. The album songs are mostly blues standards – by the like of Willie Dixon, Elmore James, James Moore (better known as Slim Harpo), Bo Diddley. But there is also a Hank Williams tune and Cocaine Blues a Johnny Cash standard that was written by T.J. Arnall.
The main thing that that cements this album together is the energy that Mr. Thorogood and his Destroyers unleash in every song. Whether it is an up-tempo piece like the Chuck Berry tune It wasn’t Me or the slower Elmore James classic, The Sky is Crying, the music is makes you want to groove – makes you want to go out and see some blues in a club …

2112

20 Mar

2112
Rush
Year: 1977
This album had disappeared from my collection for many years. Most of my Rush albums had vanished along with others. I must have lent them out – but to whom?
I’m listening to Rush’s 2112 because I stumbled across it in a thrift store. Good buy at two bucks. The album is in fairly good conditions so there are no problems there.
After many years of not hearing the music I was quite taken aback by the songs here – they are a lot heavier than what I remember them being. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart were masters at combining hard rock with progressive rock and nothing shows this more than the title track which takes up the whole first side of the album and clocks in at a healthy 20 minutes and 36 seconds. It is a nice piece but it differs considerably from other epic long length songs from such progressive stalwarts such as Yes or Genesis. Those bands had a more pastoral and flowing feeling to their music. Rush has a hard edge born in the age of industry. Even the quiet-contemplative bits telegraph a jarring reality that is not heard in any other prog-rock outfit. Is it Lee’s voice? Is it Peart’s brilliant drumming? Is it Lifeson’s guitar? It is Rush being Rush and being excellent at that.

Country Lovers

13 Mar

Country Hits for Lovers
Various/Unknown
Year: 1970

I have no idea why I have this album.
I remember buying it a few years ago at a thrift store. I think it cost 25 cents.
This is a album for people who like a genre of music, in this case country, but don’t care about the artists who create the music. There are no musicians listed on the album, just a list of artists who made the songs popular but do not appear on the disk. This is a total studio driven project and as it was recorded in Nashville in the late sixties, most likely. There were some very good studio musicians in Nashville so the music here is slick and well executed.
Listening to this album I can close my eyes and imagine myself in a bar in the southern United States. Closing time was half an hour ago, the place is emptying but the lights are still low. Two drunken couples are still in a dance embrace on the dance floor, with this music playing, and the bartender is mopping up the spilled beer with a rag that gets washed once a week whether it needs it or not.
That is the atmosphere of this album.

Brilliant.



RockBottom Blues

7 Mar

Rock Bottom
Various
Year: unknown – probably early 70s

This is a great double album compilation of classic blues recordings compiled by a Canadian blues guy, King Biscuit Boy, and an Australian blues guy (who was living in Canada), Ritchie Yorke.
I gather that this is a Canadian only pressing
There is no information about this album ion the Internet except for someone selling it for $29.79 US on Ebay. I got it at a garage sale for much less.
But this is not about prices of rare and/or obscure records. The music here is quite impressive You have recordings by Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Clifton Chenier, Billy Stewart, Howlin’ Wolf, Lowell Fulson, Elmor James, John Brim, Robert Nighthawk and Little Milton. There are 24 tracks on these two disks and there are a bunch that I’ve never heard before.
In the fold of this album, both Yorke and King Biscuit Boy wrote well paced notes as to why they included each track in this compilation.
It makes for fascinating reading while listening to great blues.

Weekly Vinyl – Singing and Yodeling

28 Feb

Apres-ski (potpourri) Singing and Yodeling
Franz and Toni
Year: 1972(ish)

I bought this album for the cover.
No doubt.
I love skiing and have always wanted to go ski in the Alps.
I’m assuming this is an Austrian because of the banner in front of the ski hut.
The album itself is a collection of 15 songs. The first one is the coolest…
Auf der Hutt’n is a jaunty little dirge that will get you to sing along – “Hey,hey,hey,hey… Ho,ho,ho,ho.” You gotta hear it to believe it. My daughter cringes when I put this album on, or others like it, but she does groove to the opening tune. Now if I could convince her to do a TikTok video to it.
The rest of the album is OK. Music that you would hear in a ski chalet in a German speaking part of the world. I think, never been. Waltzes, polkas and such styles abound. My one complaint is that there is not enough yodeling. There is some – but not enough to meet my expectation given the subhead of the album’s title. I was expecting it to be chock-a-block with yodeling. I was expecting a yodelocalypse.
There is some yodeling.
It is nice yodeling.
It is just not enough yodeling.

Weekly Vinyl – Banjos

28 Jul

The Thoroughly Modern Hits of Today
The Banjo Barons
(year)

I feel thoroughly ripped off.
I was expecting banjos.
I was expecting to hear duelling banjos playing the “Modern Hits of Today.”
I realise that the term “today” is relative. As is the term “hits.”
What this album is, is just your standard cheesy orchestration of a few known tunes with a bit of banjo thrown in as garnish.
What thorough disappointment.
What a thorough let down.
What thorough shite.
At least the cover is cool.