Tag Archives: review

Weekly Vinyl – Yes Songs

7 Jul

Yessongs
Yes
(1973)

This is a great live album of Yes performing at the height of its mastery.
How do I know this was the pinnacle of YES as a band? Their drummer Bill Bruford said so – he left Yes at this point because he felt that the band achieved all it could artistically and went on to join King Crimson. Bruford appears on three tracks of this album and if you listen well you can hear his distinct drumming. Yes had a few interesting compositions after this album but in reality, looking back, this was their peak.

What I love about this album is that it is rather unpolished – it is a good depiction of what they most likely sounded like live. Some of the mixes are muddled. There are a few instances where you can hear that the band is not 100 per-cent together – this should be expected as they are playing with a new drummer. I love this as it is raw and real. Prog rock is supposed to be refined symphony-like perfection. This album shows that it is still rock.

Weekly Vinyl – Bavarian Yodelling

30 Jun

Bavarian Yodeling Songs and Polkas
Artist: Bavarian Yodellers?
(1975)

This is a rather new addition to my collection. I found it at the Salvation Army store and had to buy it.
The groans and eye rolls that I received at home when I showed my newest purchased were quite expected. When I cranked it on the turntable … well it cleared the room.
This is such a fun album.
It is jaunty.

It has accordion.
It has yodelling.

The yodelling is very much in keeping with the yodelling song from The Sound of Music. Some of the songs are slower in tempo. They are love songs I assume and some feature yodelling duets.
True love I gather.
The liner notes are about live in Bavaria and gives no clue as to who is on the album, what the songs are about, nor who performs them.
These are but a few questions this album raises. The main one is why did they misspell Yodelling with one l?

Weekly Vinyl – Barry White

23 Jun

The Best of Barry White
Barry White
(1977)

Wow!!!
K-Tel presents the best of Barry White.
You get all the hits.
20.
Count them … Twenty of Barry’s greatest hits. You can listen to them in the privacy of your recreation room with friends and loved ones.
What could be better?
Perhaps only an album titled the Very Best of Barry White.
But I don’t have that one. I just have this one.
I’ll settle for these 20 and slow groove to the funky beat, the heavy orchestration, and the golden bass-baritone voice that just drips with passion and love.
This is the 70s in a nutshell.
And it is a K-Tel record. I think this is my only one. K-Tel was a company that did hard sell commercials touting compilation albums. I have no idea what they are up to now.
But this album is so 1970s it hurts. Barry White was brilliant. 40 years ago I probably dismissed him as I was into prog-rock, punk and all that. But now I can listen to this syrypy smooth music and groove.

Weekly Vinyl – Singing Nun

16 Jun

The Singing Nun
Soeur Sourire
(1963)

When I think of singing nuns I think of Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music and that insipid song Dominique (-anique -anique). That’s the song that leads off the album.
The rest of the album is rather quiet and staid. Gentle French fol tunes waft from the speakers and through the air. It is quite a nice album after all.
The production of this album’s packaging is fantastic. It has a brilliantly illustrated 12 page book that tells the story of Soeur Sourire as she goes from Brussels to a convent with her guitar called Adele.
Where to start with these titbits.
I always thought that song Dominique-anique-anique was a French song. It’s Belgian. Like French Fries and TinTin. Who knew?
And her guitar called Adele … does Adele know that?
I searched the story of Soeur Sourire and it is actually quite a tragic tale. But that is for a different time.
This album is nice. It is in great shape and I’m glad I have it in my collection.

Weekly Vinyl – King

9 Jun

Her Greatest Hits
Carol King
(1978)

I should know some of these songs.
It is Carol King after all. I believe there is a musical that is based on her life and music.
I know that she was/is a mega-star.
The first song, Jazzman, is familiar – but more as a parody of 70s music.
I am really searching my memory banks to see why:
– I have this album
– Carol King is such a big musical presence
– what radio stations, back in the day, would play this music
I have no idea how this came into my collection. Perhaps there is redemption in Carol King’s voice, song writing, musicality that I am not getting now. I hear very dated middle-of-the-road music here. AM stations probably played this but I did not listen to AM – except when going up to cottage country where new listened to country music.
And occasionally western music.

Weekly Vinyl – Pekka Oldfield

2 Jun

The Consequences of Indecisions
Mike Oldfield
(1981)

This is a weird one.
Not musically, as it is quite pleasant.
The album is credited to Mike Oldfield but the music is composed and arranged by Finnish musician Pekka Pohjola.
The album drips of modern jazz but also of art-rock, prog-rock and the incorporation of folk arrangements which is so very Mike Oldfield. The album also has vocals by Sally Oldfield, Mike’s sister, and a great vocalist and musician in her own right.
But back to this album – it still confuses me. It sounds like Oldfield. It is credited to him – but the liner notes in the back say it is Pekka’s work.
It is great music and worth a listen to whatever the case may be.

Weekly Vinyl – Jean-Luc Ponty

26 May

Live
Jean-Luc Ponty
(1979)

I bought this album used back in the early 1980s when I was trying to make sense out of the years I was studying violin.
I never really wanted to play the violin – I wanted to play guitar. But as a child I was overruled.
This album introduced me to the fact that the violin can be more than an instrument for classical music or folk dirges. It can be quite cool. It also introduced me to the world of jazz and improvisational music.
I like this album. The violin playing by Mr. Ponty is quite incredible. The band is rock solid in backing this violin virtuoso.
I have not heard this album for many years and I’m glad I pulled it out and gave it a good listen.
I should pull my violin out and start playing that as well.