Tag Archives: Album review

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.

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.

Weekly Vinyl – Marimba-mania

21 Jul

Baja Marimba Band
Baja Marimba Band
(year)

This is a tacky album. I think this is one of those that I picked up in Switzerland many years ago. It is an Austrian pressing.
There is really nothing to this music except fake Mexican pastiche. It is rather szmaltzy and overblown. IT is cheap and uninteresting.
The only thing that makes me want to listen to side two is the hear the song The Portuguese Washerwoman. I want to hear this because I am drinking a rather bad cheap bottle of Portuguese wine at the moment and want to see if the song will make the wine palatable or the wine will make the music sound better.
Nope.
Bad Song. Bad Wine.
Time to move on.

Weekly Vinyl – Manfred

14 Jul

Chance
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
(1980)

The liner notes at the rear of the alum say a lot about the music that is on the vinyl disk.
It lists the producer, Manfred Mann, first. Then the rest of the engineering crew. Then the locations it was recorded, London England and Portugal, and then the musicians involved.
I have no problems giving due credit to the engineering people who work on recorded music. Their work is frequently overlooked.
In this case the producer and musician is one and the same – Manfred Mann. He wrote some of the songs – One is by Bruce Springsteen incidentally.
But like the liner notes emphasise the production crew before getting to the musician’s, the music contained here is heavily over produced and very much lacking in passion. There are pop hooks all over and each song is trying to be a hit, but they all fall flat because they are overproduced.