Friday, October 13, 2017

Pseudo Echo - Autumnal Park - 1984


I said what I had to say in the post right below this one.  Enjoy Pseudo Echo, a band I was never really in to.  But, that's okay.  I listen to it now on occasion.  Just listened to it last week on the road.  Not bad...


 


Where the hell have I been?!

Soooooo...

Yeah, it's been at least a week.  And, I promised I'd post twice a week.  I know.  These last two weeks have been hell with "real world" problems.  I've been out of town for 10 of the last twelve days, only getting home about two hours ago.  Last weekend, when I got home, our sewer system decided to explode, and I had old rotting food and feces floating around all three bathrooms.  Ended up having to get an entirely new sewer system from our house to the city line.  The AT&T line got dug up when they were replacing the sewer, and we were without internet for 5 days.

So, that's that.

Which leads me, then to this.

I've lost the desire.  I'm sorry, but it's just gone.  Doing this has become too much of a burden, and I'm losing that precious family time during the week, so this poor ol' blog has to go on hiatus, if not end completely.

I will finish posting the albums I've already completed.  Then, I will make and finish the essentials that I have yet to make from all of the best bands.  Even so, we should still have posts through the end of the year.  But, that will be it.  No requests, no suggestions, nothing.  I will finish what I have and what I've planned, and then I'm out.

But, that doesn't mean that the blog will go away.  I will still be here to re-up dead links and comment when I have time.  But, the collecting, converting and cover-making will end.  So sad.

Enjoy it while it lasts, folks.  Don't have much longer.....

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Phil Collins - 12"ers from No Jacket Required - 1985

Not much to add on this one.  I took the original EP/Compilation from 6 tracks up to 8.  Big deal.  But, it's Phil.  You know?

I never really appreciated Phil or Genesis during their 80s heyday.  I saw their videos, and thought them quintessential 80s material, but that was it.  It wasn't until Phil released hits that I realized what an accomplished and talented guy he really is.  As it is, though, when he went the route of soundtracks in the early aughts, I was a little disappointed in the work.  But, for the most part, Phil is "the Man."

Not much today, see you on Friday.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Roland Orzabal - Tomcats Screaming Outside - 2001

Huge expectations and desires when this one came out.  Why he chose to use his name rather than Tears For Fears is really beyond me, considering he'd been doing it that way for a decade.  I know that he and Curt were working together again, but another release of TfF would have gotten him a hell of a lot more attention than an album under his own name.

Excellent, excellent material on this one.  Absolutely fabulous.  One track after the next, we get classic Orzabal sound, with a modern flare and experimentation.  A little more electronic, drum & bass, and other styles current to this release.  Mind you, there are two songs on this one, though that I don't really care for, but for the sake of all of you, I won't tell you which ones, as I don't want to ruin it for anyone.  But, for the rest, all I can say is WOW.

It's unfortunate that it didn't get any attention or airplay.  But, when you have a name like Roland, and you are unknown to the general populace that doesn't normally pay attention much, it's bound to happen.  Wikipedia seems to blame it on 9/11, as it was released on that day, but I doubt that.  Maybe Wiki is just indirectly claiming it was cursed?  I don't know.  All I know is that it is one of Orzabal's best, and needs to be recognized for it.

Always hated the original cover, it just doesn't jive well for me.  Used the Lowlife single sleeve for this one, and seems more appropriate.

Dude, it's been one of those weeks.  Sorry for posting late, but yesterday sucked hard.  Plain and simple.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shamen - UV - 1998


 I'm sitting in a truck stop in the middle of Kansas trying to edit this as I speak.  Hopefully I can get done before it actually posts. 

 After the glory of their  last four albums, I was really looking forward to this new album when it came out.  The Universal single have been out for couple months, and I was really enjoying it. So, one would expect a spectacular album.   How wrong I was. 

 There are some awesome songs on this album, but it is a far cry from Boss Drum or Axis Mutatis.  In fact, there are a couple songs in which you almost wonder if this is the same group. They seem to have shifted from their techno pop sound back into and electronic Indie-type sound.   For the most part, though, it will probably leave you disappointed. This is here for the completists.  

 All in all, there are several songs that would definitely end up on a greatest hits selection. There are tracks worth listening to, and enjoying. And thank you for those of you who helped me find the missing mixes of U-Nations. 

 UV

 


Friday, September 22, 2017

Pet Shop Boys - Release - 2001

When this album came out, I was drowning in depression.  DROWNING.  9/11 had just happened, I had quit my job in the heat of passion, my son had just been born, and my wife and I were struggling together.  The depression was the worst.  It was my pre-medicated years, and I would try anything that I came across to self-medicate (use your imagination.)  I hadn't started seeing a shrink yet, and I would come home from work and have this strong urge to go into the kitchen, get out one of my large carving knives, and plunging it down into the suprasternal notch of my neck (look it up.)  I would get tunnel vision a lot and severe panic attacks.  I would curl up in a ball on my knees and scream.  This contributed to, and worked hand in hand with my quitting my job.  And, with 9/11 happening, I had this overwhelming feeling that the world was crashing around me, too.

For this reason, there are specific albums I can no longer listen to.  They remind me too much of that time lost to fear and anxiety.  They take me to a dark place.

But, musically, there was one shining spot of piece for me.  One album that I could listen to that helped calm me, and helped me recuperate.  Obviously, it was PSB's Release, otherwise I wouldn't be telling this story now.

Home and Dry and London, to this day, are two of my most favorite PSB songs.  Samurai In Autumn and You Choose stand out, as well.  It was a very mature and peaceful album that captured the Boys at their best, personally, since Very.  I remember it well, listening to it at home or in my car, and it being snowy, cold and overcast outside.  It would make those dark days more bearable, soothing and warming, even in the dark nights of winter.

Any doubt about my 2001 nightmare, remember these two posts - Here & Here

Anyhow, one of their best, always will be. Remix Discs to come later....


 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw & the Cooked - 1988

So, for some reason I got done with the cover of the remix discs (2) to accompany this album, but I didn't finish the back side/track side of them.  They've been sitting around for a month or more waiting for me to finish them, and here I thought they were already done.  Well, that will make for another post later on in the year.....

Anyway, here is the complete version of FYC's 1988 album, the Raw & the Cooked.  I was somewhat of a fan of the singles when they came out, but at that time I was hip deep in collecting rare Cure, DM and New Order 12" singles, and too busy with that to notice the album itself.  Years after the fact, I found the CD at a garage sale for 50cents, and had to make the purchase.  I wonder why I waited so long....   Some of the b-sides I've never heard before now.  I have never collected this for myself, so several of the tracks are completely new.  I'm pretty sure I've got them all on here, but even Pull The Sucker Off snuck up on my out of nowhere after I had finished the back cover once, and had to redo it.

I am scheduling this post out, as I speak, and when you read it, I'll be two days into my week of traveling.  I used to think that traveling for a living would be easy, but I was wrong.  It's hard.  Sitting in the car for 8 out of 10 hours of the day, traveling through endless countrysides, trying to convince people to buy more of product they already have too much of and I'm not even interested in it.  Spending 3 to 4 nights out of the week in hotels, strange and uncomfortable beds, smelly rooms, poor internet and phone connections.  And in these small towns, there is NOTHING to do.  This last week, I spent Thursday night sitting on a curb outside of a gas station in this town out in the middle of nowhere, playing solitaire on my iPad and smoking cigarettes, all because I didn't want to go back and sit in my hotel room.  Wow, what fun!  I guess that as time goes by, I'll get used to it. But, right now it's rough.  Hate it.  All this, knowing that my wife and boys are at home without me.  So it is...  The things we do for our families.

So, I'll post the remix discs for this album later on in the year.  The cover I did for the discs is awesome, so they'll stand as a good set on their own.  Enjoy this album, though, and I'll see you on Friday.

Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw & the Cooked - 1988

PS - You will all be happy to know that with my new job, I got a new company car.  There is no CD player in the car, so I have to Bluetooth music from my iPad.  I now understand with 100% certainty the absolute necessity of proper Mp3tags and volume leveling.  So, from now on, all of your Mp3s will be properly tagged and leveled.   Also, would any of you prefer I post both MP3s and M4As?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Steve Taylor - To Forgive - 1984


I've had this song on my mind all morning.  Could be because it's Sunday, and we just got home from church.  You'd never guess I was the type to do that.  But, I do.  And I hope someday my heart will be changed...  Anyway....


Friday, September 15, 2017

Cure - The Top - 1984

Sorry about missing Tuesday's post.  I got busy on Sunday getting ready to leave for the week and didn't have time to post.  Hopefully, the extra post I made today will make up for that.

Of all of the Cure albums pre-2000, this is probably my least favorite.  Dressing Up is good, Caterpillar is good, and the b-sides aren't too bad.  But, I could never really grasp the rest of the songs.  They just didn't do it for me.  The melodies were chaotic and unattractive, the mixing wasn't the best, and the track arrangement left a lot to be desired.

I had this one on cassette forever before I finally got it on CD.  It was the last Cure album I purchased on CD when I was converting my collection (probably 1995).  I only got it on CD to complete my digital Cure set.  So sad.

When the deluxe sets came out, I was hoping for some better material hiding in the bonus disc.  But, alas, not hardly anything we didn't already have.  I mean, what sort of title is Sadacic?  How do you even pronounce it?  You Stayed... wasn't a bad track, but the rest of the material was weak.

This collection eliminates the demos of the album tracks and intermixes the b-side and unreleased song demos into the actual album, in a sad attempt to fix it.  Doesn't help.


Don't forget the bonus post, just below this one!

Depeche Mode - The Reaps Mixes - Volume One

Because I was gone for work, and missed my Tuesday post, I am giving you this extra post tonight.  It's the Reaps mixes of DM from 2012.  All are awesome, and you should get a kick out of the modern interpretations.  They are all worthy of the DM name.  Hope you enjoy!


Friday, September 8, 2017

Duran Duran - Astronaut - 2005


I had high hopes when I heard that all five of the guys were getting back together for the first time since 1985.  Ecstatic to be more precise.  Finally, a return to greatness!!!!

Then I heard Sunrise, and I grew a little worried.  Oh, no.  This better not be how they're returning to the scene after all this time.  Some mixes came out, and I grew a little less concerned, but still very cautious.  Then, they released the album.....

As a grand return to the music scene, the album was okay, pretty good, but far from perfect.  It has some really good songs on it, but then also some songs that make you think "what the hell is that?!"  After repeated listens, I grew more comfortable with it, and I settled into the fact that this was the new "them", and to accept it for what it was worth.

Then, over the course of the next year, some great things happened.  The remixes came first, then some b-sides and unreleased tracks.  Lastly, the demos.  It would appear that the best songs recorded during the sessions were left off of the actual album.  Beautiful Colours, Salt In the Rainbow, Silent Icy River...  All favorites of mine.  And there are a lot of fantastic remixes as well.  Really great stuff.

SO, I compiled it into three discs.  All of the mixes are official, all of the demos are top quality.  And, there is also one track in there that does not belong in there, but I included it anyway because this was the era I found it in, and I didn't learn until much later that it didn't belong in the set.  Too bad, so sad, in my collection, that is where it's going to stay.

Anyway, I will be gone ALL next week, but I will schedule out my posts so you won't miss a beat.  Enjoy your weekend!




Monday, September 4, 2017

Zolar X - Timeless - 1982

I leave to go out of town for work tomorrow morning, so I'm making tomorrow's post today.  I will be keeping this short and sweet, too, as my family just came back into town and I need to spend some quality time before I go out for the week.

Some may ask, "Why are you posting this?"  I'm wondering that myself.  I'm posting it though, because I've found it to be so freekin' bizarre.  It's good music, very creative.  It's got a hint of Power Pop, New Wave, Prog and Punk.  All wrapped around this weird alien theme.  It's good for a couple plays, and then drop it into your library, done.  Maybe pull it out once in a blue moon.

But, now if anyone asks if you've heard Zolar X, you can say "Yes, I have.  I have a copy, too.  Would you like to listen?"  That has been my goal in life.  Finding obscure crap to share just to say I can.  It gives me a thrill up my leg....

Zolar X - Timeless - 1982

PS - The Russians have been hitting me again.  And the Italians.  I got over 4000 page views in less than 10 minutes from Russia, last week.  Two days ago, I got 3000 page views in about 20 minutes from Italy.  Considering I usually only get about 4500-5000 page views a day, I think something was up....  And I usually don't get any visits from Russia at all....

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel 4 (Security) - 1982

Sorry for the delay last night.  It's been a busy week since last we spoke, and I actually didn't have any time until it was too late, and then I was too tired.  Hopefully the fact that it's a PG album will help you to forgive me.

Best mix on the album - the Simian Surprise mix of Shock the Monkey.  Turn that one WAY WAY UP.



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Eurythmics - Revenge - 1986

 
I must apologize for not posting last night.  Yesterday, I had to drive about 12 hours round trip to pick up my new company car from our corporate headquarters.  It made for a very long drive, and by the time I got home, it's all I could do to check the blog and answer a few comments made.  I do have note, though, that for about 2 hours yesterday, my blog was hit about 4,000 times from mainly Italy, but some Russia (who never has any visitors.)  I find it funny that someone would be trying to hack this blog, as I've put no personal information about myself in the blog or in my profile, shy of a shadow e-mail address.  Hilarious.

I've never been a HUGE fan of Eurythmics, but I DO love Missionary Man.  Not one of their most known or popular, even though it was a single, I don't know why I love it so much.  Maybe because it's so strong and fast, and the melody is catchy.  Maybe because it reminds me a bit of INXS and Midnight Oil and Big Pig, who all released albums about the same time.  It's the harmonica, dude.  Plus, that video for it kicks ass.

As for the rest of the album, it is a quality, well written and performed album.  I'm just not huge on the melodies.  They're good, don't get me wrong.  They just don't capture me like MM, and the album tends to start sounding a little too Adult Contemporary for me.  Maybe if I had been ten years older when I started listening to it, it may have grabbed me more.  But, if that was the case, I may not have liked the rest of the music released at that time as much, due to age.  Isn't it weird how your age can determine how much you like specific types of music regardless of how well they are?

Anyway, this may or may not be the only Eurythmics album I post, not counting the Tourists.  I might post 1984 or one of their first three albums, but we'll have to wait and see.  More than likely, as I mentioned in my housekeeping post, I'll get to them eventually.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Housekeeping notes....



Hello, all! I hope everyone is doing well!  My life has returned to normalcy a bit.  The chaos and confusion has lifted for a time.  So, I thought I'd do a little house keeping and let you know what's coming ahead for my posts.

My desire to work on this blog has returned all the way, now.  BUT, the time to work on it, due to my new job, is at an all time minimum.  Plus, I'm really beginning to feel the pressure from another aspect, of which I will address later in this post.  Right now, though, I am looking forward greatly to bringing you some new entries.

For those of you who would like to contact me, I've set up an email specifically for this blog, keeping it separate from my personal email.  So, from here on out, if you want to contact me, just drop me a line at - captivesystem1990@gmail.com. 

October and November are going to be two very important months of posts for fans of New Romantic/80s Pop/Synthpop.  I'm collecting a host of important groups from the genre that have a lasting and loyal fanbase, and haven't really been released in any large deluxe editions that I know of.  Bands like Talk Talk, Blancmange, Psuedo Echo, Re-Flex, Alphaville and Industry.  And those are just a few.  I've been having a lot of fun collecting these together, and I know that you'll enjoy them.

Which leads me to my next point.... or two.

1 - I am quickly running out of important bands THAT I LIKE that haven't already had a significant Deluxe Version already.  There's only so many albums out there, and I'm down to 4 or less albums by almost all of them.  Now, I could blow my wad now and just focus on those last few available, and be done within a couple months, tops.  Or, I can continue to drag them out, dropping some gems here and there, and fill in the gaps with lesser material, which I've actually been doing for months, now.

2 - Now that I am doing the lesser material, a lot of it is by groups that - if I liked - I only had maybe one album or a single or EP.  Never a complete comprehensive collection.  So, now when I make a new cover, I'm not actually just rounding up some tracks from off my hard drive and making a cover, I'm actually having to go out and look for a lot of the additional material.  A LOT.  A lot of the material I have never heard before.  And in some cases, I'll be posting deluxe editions of albums that I may not have actually listened to all the way through.....

It's become sort of a learning process in that as I start collating this material I discover a lot of new stuff that I like, but also don't like.  I know that I'll be posting groups that I may not even care for but a song or two, but I know that some of you may like it.  That's my motivation more than anything, now.  Looking for more stuff for you guys.

I am wondering if any of you out there think that there are sets that I need to revisit?  Where can I improve any of my Editions?  Am I missing tracks that need to be added?  Have new deluxe versions been released that has material that needs to be included?  Anything at all?  Are all of these versions final, or not?

Lastly, links.  PLEASE let me know if links are down.  There's nothing I hate worse than to go to a blog looking for some music that Google led me to, only to find out the link is dead.  Annoying as fuck.  If you find that a link is dead, I will be more than happy to re-up it.  In fact, I'll be grateful.

Thank you for reading this tonight.  I know I don't have any new music with it, so sorry to disappoint.  But, I will be back tomorrow with the Eurythmics.  So come back soon!

Jason

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Men At Work - Hard Luck Story - 1985

Dear fellow music lovers -

I've been delving into my incomplete sets to build new "Deluxe Versions" for all of us.  I am currently working on Men At Work's album Two Hearts.  In 1985, they released a single in Australia only for the song Hard Luck Story.  I am missing the following tracks for this song....

Hard Luck Story (Dance Mix)
Hard Luck Story (Instrumental)

As the album didn't have any new songs on b-sides, all I have are mixes to include.  Without these two mixes, my collection will be far from complete.  If ANYONE has these songs, I would greatly appreciate your help in finishing the set.  PLEASE let me know if you can find them!!!!!!

Thank you

Jason 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Expanded Singles - Part II - New Order & Vince Clarke

I should have known when this single came out that the New Order I knew and loved was gone.  I got this as a cassette single the summer that it came out.  A friend and I had driven back to Chicago after graduation and spent a week running around the city.  We went to Wax Trax Records on the north side of town, and this was the only item I could find that piqued my interest.  (Hell, you'd think Wax Trax would be a goldmine.  Trust me, it wasn't.)  At first listen, I was taken aback.  What was this?  Mind you, this was also pre-Electronic, but maybe not pre-Revenge.  I listened to it a couple times and got used to it, and even thought that I liked it for a long time.  But, as time went by I realized more and more that New Order's final good album/single had been released with Technique.  It's more evident now than ever.  Sad but true.

"Such A Good Thing" was added in 1999 to the re-release of the single.  Whether or not it was from the same time period or not, it became part of this single in 1999.  If you don't like it in this set, then move it where you want it....

Do you like what I did, there, with the cover?  I was wondering what I was going to do for it, and thought it was ingenious when I flipped the cover over to the Assembly single.  Perfect.  I wonder if Vince had it designed like that on purpose?

I know that Vince did not do these on his own, but you have to know that both singles on this one single had to be his idea for the most part if not in whole.  I might be wrong.  But, if you have Vince's DM stuff, his Yaz stuff and his Erasure stuff, what do you do with his two random singles?  You do what I did here.

I like all of the songs here, as long as they are the short single versions.  Sharkey's vocals get very annoying on the long version, and the other long versions are simply repetitive more than anything.  But, Vince Clarke is Vince Clarke and you can't deny it's good.  I even threw in the extra unreleased instrumental from the same time period, just to flesh it out into a stronger EP.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Expanded Singles - Part I - Duran Duran & M|A|R|R|S

Trying something a little different this week, I am posting singles that don't have corresponding albums to go with them, and expanding them (to whatever degree I can.)

The two "new" songs for Duran2's GH album from 1989, they were never released on the GH album!  Ain't that a bitch.  And for the longest time, they were near impossible to find on CD.  Regardless of the fact that they mixed a lot of songs that weren't really meant to go together, it still came out sounding pretty well, considering the technology of the time.  I personally preferred Burning the Ground over Decadance, though.  After this single, it was a long slide down for the band to that shithole release Liberty, the worst Duran2 album EVER.

I've always been a huge fan of this single.  I have always been disappointed that they never gave us more than this.  To me, this was one of the first House singles... maybe?  At least, in my eyes.  Or should I say "in my ears".  All the mixes and a rare b-side.  A definite necessity.....


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Shamen - Universal/Beamship tracks needed....

I hate to tease you, but I am not posting this album today.  I will be posting it near the end of September.  I am still collating all of the tracks, and trying to find some missing ones.  Below is a list of the tracks I still need to complete this collection...

Universal (Sharp Vocal Remix)
Universal (1999 Extended Vocal)
Universal (1999 Dance Vocal)
Universal (Mr C. Vocal Edit)
Universal (Mr C Tech House)
U Nations (187 Lockdown Dub No 1)
Beamship (Original Mix)   
Beamship Captain Is Insane (Crazy Mr Anderson Remix)

A note on the Beamship requests - the version on the album is called "Brief Sighting".  I do not need that version.  If the tracks you have are around 43 seconds, then this is the wrong one. These two versions I need supposedly exist, but I cannot find them.  If I am mistaken, and these tracks I supposedly need are simply renamed versions of the same track, then please let me know!
  
If I could please get some help on these, I would really appreciate it!   ---Thanks!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Huey Lewis & the News - Fore! - 1986

So, the third album I ever got was Sports by HL&tN.  I got it for my 14th birthday, because I sorta liked it, and my dad liked and approved of it, so we were all good with it.  Mind you, had I REALLY had a choice in it, I probably wouldn't have gotten it.  But, you take what you can when you have controlling parents.  But, I ended up loving the album.  It brings back so much of my youth whenever I listen to it.  Pure Rock and Roll.

When HL&tN released Fore!, I was rather interested, but that was when my parents had put the kibosh on secular music, and I was wading through Petra and Steve Taylor and Servant.  The secular music was hidden and discreet, and with limited funds, I couldn't afford much.  Especially when I was spending most of it on comic books (I obviously was a geek.)  I saw the videos, heard the singles, saw Back To the Future, and that was my extent with Fore!

Over the years I was able to come back around to HL&tN and Fore!  Another nostalgic album, it takes me back to simpler times, and the times in the eighties when the economy was good, youth was adventurous, and I was loving and living Chicago to the fullest.

At times I sometimes feel as if HL&tN is too American sounding, if you know what I mean.  But Huey just has a way with melodies and delivery that truly expresses his feelings and shows a side of Americana that most people take for granted.  He truly comes across as a auto mechanic with a microphone.  A hard-working, rough and dirty man with passion and drive.  He's a guy that you could see living down on the blue-collar side of town with a small house, crummy yard in a run-down neighborhood.  The everyman.  And, he's happy.  He's got a positive outlook, and he's motivated.  He feels GOOD.  That's what this album feels like to me.

I know the cover looks better with all of them spread across the image, but I wanted to get the single sleeves in there, as they are diverse and entertaining.  So, you get the original front, and the patchwork back that I so love.  I also have said that I don't care for individual live tracks, but I took exception with I Knew The Bride, because it's really fucking good.

Huey Lewis & the News - Fore! - Part 1       Huey Lewis & the News - Fore! - Part 2

PS - How many albums have I posted so far?  I'm too damn lazy to count.  A selection of choice for "deluxing" for the first person to tell me how many.  I should be close to the 500 mark by now......

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sting - Mercury Falling - Disc Two - 1996

My best friend got Sting's Mercury Falling as a Christmas gift for my wife and I on our first Christmas.  My wife and I had been married about 6 months, and he was still struggling through medical school, so he was pretty much broke.  We appreciated that he got this for us.

Unfortunately, this was probably my least favorite Sting album for a long, long time.  I was very disappointed when it came out, after his three previous gems.  To me, this was adult contemporary elevator music.  And, in 1996, the music scene was going wild with Electronica, Britrock, American Alternative, and I'm sure some other genres that I didn't care too much about.  All I'm saying is that the music choices at that time were broad and all extremely good, Especially for someone in their mid to late 20s.  So, to decide to listen to this....  well, it wasn't high up on my list.

His Brand New Day album really changed things for him, and for me, and my wife and I saw him the summer of 2000 for that glorious tour.  The best show we saw that summer, beating out both Duran2 and Cure.  In fact, sweaty Simon and Fat Bob could hold a torch to him.  (And, Simon really was sweating through his t-shirt, leaving dark sweat marks in his pits and on his belly.  Gross.)

Having changed my thoughts on Sting after Brand New Day, I went back and gave Mercury Falling another shot.  Yes, the album isn't the most exciting one out there.  But, it is sincere, well-written, performed gracefully and succinctly, and showed Sting's growth and maturity.  The song hooks were subtle yet lasting, the mood was one of happiness and sadness, but ultimately human.

I was going to do the original album with the extra tracks, but it just worked out better to do everything BUT the album, so a disc two to be precise.  Just line this disc up beside/behind the original, and now you have everything.

Yes, this may not have been one of Sting's best ones.  But, it's still better than most out there, and still a necessity for any Sting collection.  He's not just Fields of Gold....

Friday, August 11, 2017

Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark - Architecture & Morality - 1981

 
I've been looking forward to posting this one for quite some time.  This album is quintessential OMD.  This is OMD at their most creative.  When I think of OMD, this is the album that I go to.

I've mentioned previously that If You Leave and The Pacific Age were essential listening for my Freshman and Sophomore years in High School.  This one didn't come until my Freshman year in college, and that was only because I was horribly disappointed with Sugar Tax and needed to purchase something new (to me) and different by OMD.  Sugar Tax had resparked my interest in them, and I went on a hunt after being let down by such a lousy album.

Needless to say, this album did not let me down.

SO.....

When they re-released this album back in....  2003 (?) I noticed right off the bat that their "Deluxe Version" had left off a few key points.  After years of listening and research and collecting, I realized that there was more than enough material to make two discs worth, well more than they had released on the Deluxe.  Add on to that, you had that delicious Dreamtime mix of Maid of Orleans, and then that Deno mix which isn't that bad.  So, had to gather it all up together, and put my deluxe stamp on it.  I'm not sure about the color of my version, as every version seems to change color anyway, but I held true to the design.  And, as for the bonus disc, I used some 7" sleeve graphics that are fan made and were never actually released.  Still looks pretty damn good.

Again, I'm 99% certain I have everything there, but let me know if you find something I missed.....


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Miles Kane - Don't Forget Who You Are - 2013

By the time this posts and you read it, I will be two days into my next week on the road.  I finally figured out how to schedule out the posts, that way they are available on the days I promised without being here.

Miles Kane is an anomaly to me.  Here is a young British gent with talent galore yet he's writing and singing pop songs that sound as if they were from the sixties.  It's mind blowing.  Every track sounds as if it was written more than 50 years ago, with it's upbeat, bubblegum sound, yet it still captures that flare of modern Brit Rock that I find so attractive.  He started out in 2007 with the Little Flames, then the Rascals, and then the Last Shadow Puppets with Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.  His solo releases have been spectacular and well written.  They have that perfect 3-chord magic of the sixties and very simple melodies.  And it still sound fresh and relevant.  Really incredible material. 

I have all the b-sides, some instrumentals, and even a song working with Professor Green (which is interesting unto itself.)  The cover is a better representation of his handsomeness, as the original cover makes him look sort of ugly.  He's a great guy, and someone to pay attention to in the future!!!!

I'll see you on Friday....

Part One          Part Two

Friday, August 4, 2017

Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill - 1986

I truly have to admit that I didn't get into this album enough to actually purchase it until after I moved from Chicago to Nebraska.  In Chicago, with such a wide variety of styles and cultures, I was able to explore many different genres of music unfettered and choose the ones that I liked most, and find like-minded people with whom to associate.  That's why I settled in firmly to Post Punk.  But, once I moved to Nebraska in 1988, I was faced with a dramatically different scenario.  In Nebraska in the late 80s you were only allowed to listen to four different genres of music - Classic Rock, Hair bands/Glam Rock, Country or Rap.  That was it.  If you listened to anything else, you were ostracized and sent to the wood shed.  There was no tolerance or yielding at all.  Those very few that I knew who liked the music that I did kept it very hush-hush, like we were living in Nazi Germany hiding from the SS.

So, if I went out with the guys in Nebraska to cruise the local strip, I was forced to listen to these genres repeatedly.  Now, I don't have a problem with any of those genres...  well, yes, I do.  I hate Rap and Country.  So, it wasn't all that fun.

When one of the guys put this album on, I rolled my eyes and tolerated it silently, as I didn't want to rock the boat.  I was new in town, and I was trying to find new friends, and the last thing I wanted to do was be overbearing about what music we listened to, especially when all the rest of the guys loved it.

Over the course of the next year, year and a half, I heard this album about 25-30 times.  And it grew on me.  Really grew.  I started to truly enjoy it, despite it's sexist overtones and drug references.  Not that I condoned that sort of talk or behavior (even though today's Rap music - dominated by truly liberal or left-thinking people - is chock full of sexism and drug reference.  They treat women like dogs and exploit them horrendously.  I don't know why Democrats/Leftists/Liberals tolerate it.  Heaven's to Betsy if I talk about my faith in Jesus it's a mortal sin)

This album really sees the boys starting off at their best and at their worst simultaneously.  They are raw, inexperienced and performing without thought or consideration.  They were all about the parties and the girls and the Brass Monkey.

But, this album opened up a new aspect of music that previously had been relegated to niche stations and not at all mainstream.  It explored the newly developing Rap genre in ways that hadn't been done so far.  And I feel it led to a different, more substantial take on the controversial genre.

From here on out, the Boys would only get better.  Each album progressively found them breaking new territory and sound.  It's just hard to believe they started like this.

I added their first mainstream single, some bonus cuts, and all of the remixes (I think).  And it still comes in under 80 minutes!  One disc!

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite and most iconic album covers that I know of.  Even when I didn't care for these guys, I still loved the cover and it was instantly recognizable.  It's difficult to find a good scan of it on the internet, though.  Hopefully this one meets your standards.

SO, it's Friday night.  Load this on your music format of choice and go out for a drive shortly after sunset.  Turn it up, and have a little fun like you did when you were young.....


This last week has been a week from hell for me.  I had my wife's car break down in Oklahoma City, my car got hit in OKC while I was there trying to help my wife (completely ripped off the back bumper) and the driver speeds off before the cops can get there.  Then, when we finally get back home, two days later, I find that my dog's health had declined so much that we had to take her in to get put down.  And the washer broke.  I mean, my wife still is out of work, so we are operating on half of an income, and we have to dump almost 2K in four days on shit that we weren't expecting.  What the hell am I supposed to do?!  Fortunately, we both have families that are always there to help, and they gave us some assistance, but it didn't cover everything.  So, we are still in the red and trying to find a way to make it back up.  Anyone got an extra 10 large laying around, feel free to send it my way....

Monday, July 31, 2017

Descendents - I Don't Want To Grow Up + Enjoy - 1985-86

I'm posting this one a day early, as I have to go back on the road tomorrow and I won't be back until Thursday night.  Work isn't so bad, I think I'm enjoying it.  But, time away from the family is never good in my book.  I'll miss my boys.

These two albums were the Descendents in their prime.  IDWTGU is by far my favorite of the two, as every song is a pop masterpiece (to my ever-so-sensitive ears.)  But, Enjoy is great in it's own right, as well.  I just don't like it as much.

I first heard IDWTGU in the car on the way to school, one fall morning in Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.  I was in the back seat of Carey's camaro, sitting to a skinhead with short, stubbly red hair fuzzing his scalp.  Sharon was in the front seat next to Carey, and we were driving over the commuter tracks next to the station on Main Street.  The Tivoli Theater was on my right, and I can't remember what was on my left.  The sun was coming out, and the air was crisp with a chill.  No clouds in the sky, and the leaves on the trees were brown.  Sharon turns around and begins singing along with In Love This Way, right at me, tossing her hair back and forth.  I had nothing for her, but it seemed rather pleasing to have that happen.  I felt one with the group, I felt some adoration to a degree, it made me blush.

I had a tape of a tape of a tape the first time I "got" this album, and I wore that sucker out.  I didn't actually buy the tape until my senior year, and then got the CD in about 1993.  By then, I had that album memorized forward and back.

Enjoy was another story.  I never had any real personal connection with it.  I simply got the tape about the same time I got the actual tape of IDWTGU, and listened to that in tandem with the other.  Sour Grapes, Cheer, 80s Girl and, of course, Wendy were among my favorites.  Although somewhat humorous, I never understood the necessity of the Orgofart track.  Was that how they wanted to be portrayed for the rest of forever?  Probably a precursor to Van. 

I found some bootleg demos of some unreleased tracks that fell somewhere between the two albums.  They aren't too bad, but you can tell why they weren't ever used.  Some may say that there were other tracks out there that I didn't include.  Don't worry, I have them all.  There ARE some other tracks out there with different names, but if you listen to them, they are all the same as the ones I included in this set.  As for which names were the correct names, I don't know.....

Sunday, July 23, 2017

My new job...

As many of you may know, I got a new job about 3 weeks ago.  It's now come to that time that I am going on the road to perform my duties.  Tonight, I will be traveling to Oklahoma to start working there for a week.  I will be home shortly on Friday, but leave again Saturday morning.  I probably will be back in time for my August 1st posting, but that will be questionable, as I won't know my schedule for that week until later this week.  I will continue to keep you updated.

It sucks, as I will not have a way to access my files here at home.  I have Splashtop, so may attempt to do this from my iPad, but I haven't tried that yet, so we will see.

Until then, enjoy what I've posted so far, and I will keep you up to date as the week progresses!

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Belly - Star - 1993

My worst and most embarrassing post. 

Back in the day, I did dabble some in the "grunge" thing.  I preferred to call the music that I liked "College Rock".  I was in college, it was Rock, and I would not admit to listening to grunge (although I still have some Nirvana and Soundgarden in my collection (no Pearl Jam!)).

To be completely clear, though, I liked the Pixies in the late 80s and had a lot of their music.  Obviously, Bossanova stands out as one of my favorite albums, probably in my top 200 (maybe).  So, with Frank going solo, and the Breeders taking shape, it was only natural for me to play into Kristen Hersh, Throwing Muses, Tanya Donelly, and of course, Belly.

I used to think this was a great album.  It was fun, catchy, and I loved the vocals.  Mind you, Curve and Lush were big with me at that time, too, so I was obviously drawn to those female vocals.  For the time period, though, the Breeders dominated my likes for this particular genre comparison, but Belly was a close second.

Looking back, I realize that Throwing Muses were so much better than Belly, and the Breeders were trying to hard to be different.  Of the three bands, I think Throwing Muses would be the only one that I would consider relevant.  Throwing Muses to the Breeders would be like the Beatles to Frank Zappa.  And Throwing Muses to Belly would be like Beatles to Strawberry Alarm Clock.  Fur sure.

But, Belly is still interesting to listen to every once in a while.  It brings back memories for me of simpler times in my life, when things were just starting for me and my freedoms were being fully explored.  For others who are new to them, I'm sure that it would be an interesting listen, and a definite niche for your repertoire. The pop songs are still pop songs, and they are still rather good, even though dated.

It would be interesting to see Belly get back together for a new set of tunes, just to see if they could do anything worthwhile or relevant.  Or, better yet, maybe not.  Whatever.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bennington.......

Most won't care, but you were noticed and will be missed.  Chester we hardly knew ye.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flesh For Lulu - Long Live the New Flesh - 1987

Back on June 10th I threw out a pop quiz with the promise of a choice for an extended album.  Mr Stevo answered correctly, so I promised to make a set for him.  Now, a month and a half later, I finally have his post....

To be honest, I know next to nothing about Flesh For Lulu.  Aside from their soundtrack hit I Go Crazy, I haven't heard much by them. Even their Wikipedia page doesn't really go into too much detail, other than they were a band struggling to get recognized, but always falling short.  Too bad.  Because, from what I heard as I was compiling these tracks, they are really a noteworthy band that I need to delve further into.

In 2003 they released a remaster of this album with 4 extra tracks on it.  As you can see, I added a hell of a lot more than that.  Partly because I added their Idol EP, which was released the year before LLtNF, so that added an additional four tracks, plus a few other odds and ends.

I've also added a "maxi-single" of I Go Crazy because I thought it would be fun, and they had a bunch of mixes, too.  I will say this is the one song of theirs that I've listened to a thousand times, because I find it's pophook to be spectacular.  I love it.  (Plus, as a child of the 80s, how could you not love any song featured in a John Hughes movie?)

Anyway, I hope I've given you something special, Stevo.  Let me know if it meets your standards..


 
PS - Stay tuned for quite possibly my worst post ever on Friday.  I just looked at it and I'm wondering what the hell I was thinking...

Friday, July 14, 2017

Duran Duran - Notorious - 1986

A little more than a year ago, I posted my best mixes from Duran2's Notorious album.  I had hoped to post this one shortly after.  But, here it is, 14 months later.  Better than never, I guess.

Nothing too personally spectacular about this one.  I was living in Chicago at the time, and was in my transition from Christian Rock and Hard Rock into Post Punk.  Duran2 was still at the top of my list, but I wasn't overwhelmingly drawn to them at the time.  This one came as a shock to me, as it was a complete departure from the Duran I was used to.  I was hoping that Arcadia + John Taylor would have come up with something a little more spectacular.  I didn't come to fully appreciate this album until well into the 90s.

On this disc, the track selection is a little tricky.  Of course, I have the regular album right up front, and the We Need You b-side shortly following.  But, there was a host of demos that could be included, but should they?

First, I have Rope and Berlin, which are definitely different songs than the rest of the album, and also are at a high recording quality, so they were a definite requirement.

Then, you have Anything For You and Take It To Me.  Both of them are unique melodies to the album sessions, so they are definitely additional songs.  But, their recording quality is for shit.  I played with them for a bit on my mixer, and couldn't get them to sound any better than what you hear in the Mp3s that I've included here.  Also, the Duran Wiki claims that Take It To Me is an instrumental.  Well, yeah, for the first 2 minutes I guess you could call it that, but then it opens into a chorus and then verses, so I don't know where they get this instrumental idea.  Do I have a version that is different than any other one out there?  Please, any Duran2 aficionados out there, please help me figure this one out!!!!!!

Lastly, there are a bunch of demos out there for this album.  But, they are all demos of existing tracks, they barely sound any different than the originals, and the recording quality is horrible.  I left these off.  So, anyone looking for One Of the Faithful, you will not find it here!

I really had a tough time finding a decent cover of this album on the internet.  This one that I've used really isn't that good, and I could probably update it if anyone has a better scan of it.  Just a thought.  I do like Simon's hat from the pics on the back.  I think that he might be the only person able to pull that one off, and he may not have pulled it off either.  Matter of opinion, I guess.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Art Of Noise - In No Sense? Nonsense! - 1987

Not a whole lot to say about this one, today.  Just another collection of AoN perfection.  When this album came out, I had heard a couple of their songs that I thought were pretty good.  But, I didn't really get into them until after I got their Best Of set, and started collecting their singles.  So, most of this album was beyond me until about the mid to late 90s. 

Although I am not a huge fan of Dragnet, I found the rest of the album to be incredible.  Great, great stuff.  And, I know that Kiss was more a part of their Best Of release, but I wanted to associate it with an album, and this was the closest one.

Please let me know if I've missed anything....

Have a great evening!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Kula Shaker - Strangefolk - 2007

 

I liked their first album, K, but I was overjoyed, mesmerized and in love with their sophomore album PP&A album in 1999.  Probably my favorite album that year.  I was greatly disappointed when they went their separate ways after that, and I was not really impressed with Crispian Mills follow-up band The Jeevas.

So, when word got out that they were back together in 2006 recording their next album, Strangefolk, for release in 2007, I waited with bated breath, hoping to God that they returned to form to bring a truly extraordinary album.  Needless to say, it was not PP&A.

But, it is still Kula Shaker, and it is still a continuation of the mystical and magical sound that they started with.  Many of the songs carry the same qualities of their previous albums, and there is also sound of growth and the wisdom of maturity throughout.  They showed themselves to be a new yet older band than they were previously.  Crispian's lyrics and melodies still carried that same youthful approach, albeit a bit weird and bizarre, but you could still tell that life had changed him, whether he realized it or not.

The album is a solid rocker and definitely a keeper.  It still carries that album-oriented sound, even as the singles stand out in their pop-hook purity.  The orchestration and harmonious instrumentation is at near perfection, and worthy of repeat listening and analyzation.  They've earned their right as leaders in the Britrock, Psychedelic and Rock genres, a band to be recognized and emulated.

They progressively get better on their next two albums, but this one stands as a much needed reunion of their sound and story.  Enjoy what we've got here.



Sorry for the delay. Still recovering. (Just call me Captain Melodrama)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A day late.... a summer reminder!!!!!!

As I was deciding on how to broach my "excuse" for missing last night's post, I looked for clipart or funny graphics to describe what happened to me.  BUT, I couldn't find anything funny, as there is nothing funny about it.

I started my new job this last week.  I am in Sales, and have always, ALWAYS been a desk jockey in a controlled climate.  In all of my jobs EVER, I have NEVER had a job requiring me to work outdoors for extended periods of time.  Call me weak, call me soft, that's just a fact about me and my career choices.  Simple as that.

My new sales job requires me to learn an entire new line of products that I am completely unfamiliar with, totaling more than 12,000 SKUs.  So, brilliance that this company is, they decide to stick me out in the warehouse to help me become familiar with the products.  Well, that's all fine and dandy if I am learning product, but not simply doing the job of the warehouse because they are short-handed.  And, they were short handed.  So, I find myself standing in a steel building with no air conditioning, just a couple large fans.  I found myself on my feet for 10 hours a day, when normally my ass is parked in a chair.  I'm pulling, wrapping, loading products that range in weight anywhere from a few ounces, to hundreds of pounds, 98% of it without any sort of mechanical assistance.

This really wouldn't be an issue for me, because I am not allergic to work.  I am more than willing, mentally, to do the job.  I've always been a hard worker and a team player.  But, my body began to tell me otherwise.

The temperature here over the past week has averaged about 95 degrees a day.  My soft body is simply not used to that sort of climate and physical exertion, and it let me know.  It started on the very first day with sore feet and legs, followed by heat.  By the end of the week, yesterday, it felt as if my body had been beaten with baseball bats all over.  Yesterday, I drank 12 bottled waters while I worked, and didn't pee a single time.  Within 20 minutes, I would be drenched in sweat, pouring down my face.  by lunch time, my body was done.  Unfortunately, the work was not.  I continued to work through for 5 more hours in these dangerous heat conditions.

Research states that the human body will acclimate to whatever climate/environment it has to work in over time.  In heat/cold related environments, it is expected to take the body 7-10 days to adjust.  Until that time, you shouldn't start working 100%, take frequent breaks, and stop when your body says it's time to stop.  ALL of the men I am working with in the warehouse have been there for years, and they were pounding through the day without a pause for consideration.  When I complained about the heat, I felt they took it as an excuse that I was either lazy or soft.  Fuck that. 

So, yesterday, I was determined that I was not going to "let the team down," and I wanted them to see that despite it all, I was willing to put in the effort that they did.  By 4:45 pm, my body overrode my brain, and shut itself down.  I got dizzy, almost fainted.  I felt like throwing up.  My heart started racing and I got shaky.  My hands felt numb.  I got angry and emotional, and very confused.  I kept making the same simple mistakes over and over again, and my performance showed it.  When my body finally said enough is enough, I stumbled into the break room, in the dark, grabbed 3 bottled waters - one to drink and the other two to hold and roll across my neck, head and torso - took off my shirt and laid on the floor.  I thought I was going to die.

One prick walked in while I was laying on the floor and said "what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger."  Well, that's right, mother fucker.  It almost killed me.

I drove myself home, which was a challenge itself, and rather dangerous.  I had this emotional issue going on, feeling like I wanted to cry.  I was disoriented and dizzy, even in the air-conditioned car.  When I got home, my wife had prepared a cool bath for me, and I got into that and lay there for 45 minutes.  Even though my body had begun to cool down, I still felt physically sick, with a severe headache, nausea, disorientation, lack of fine motor skills, exhaustion, inability to string words together in an articulate sentence without effort, heart racing....  It was fucking scary.  

I fell asleep about 630, woke up at 815, fell back asleep about 10pm, woke up at 11pm, only to get my ass into bed and sleep until 930 this morning.  I got about 10-11 hours of sleep.  I normally only sleep 7 hours.

My time in the warehouse, fortunately, is done.  Now I will move into the office, to learn their computer systems, and begin helping their clients.  Honestly, if I knew that I had to be in the warehouse anymore, I'd have to say something about it.

Heat exhaustion is a real and very serious thing.  I've never gotten that overheated before, so this was a real eye-opener to me.  If I get this hot again, I will say something.  Fuck anyone who thinks I'm a puss or lazy.  Just because I'm not built for heavily physical manual labor in extreme heat, doesn't make me less of a man.  If anyone thinks that, they are just ignorant, not stronger.

Keep yourself safe in the heat this summer.  Take care to notice warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Take them seriously!  Don't worry about what other people think, even if they can endure it.  Only care about what your body needs, to keep yourself from getting hurt or dying. 

I will make my post for yesterday later tonight, so you will get some music from me today.  I'll talk more at you then!!!!!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Flock Of Seagulls - Self-titled Debut - 1981

 
Happy 4th of July, one and all!  To my international friends, this day probably means nothing to you (I don't want to speak for everyone, though) but it is my second favorite holiday behind Christmas.  I consider myself a true patriot for my country.  I'm a Originalist Conservative, who believes strongly in our founding, and our freedoms and benefits to all mankind.  I understand that some of you may feel that our founding was immoral and wrong.  I agree that America has done some evil things in the past.  But, in the 21st century, we have and are working through issues to rectify our wrong doings and to bring our country together.  Despite all of our differences, we are Americans and should be proud of the positive accomplishments that we've made.  Because, if it weren't for our independence and freedom, we wouldn't be able to right the wrongs that we've done.

It bothers me that I have to even acknowledge our wrongs on this day.  Our political landscape has become so toxic, it's impossible for sides to find common ground to discuss issues and our future without killing each other.  We've become so polarized we are on the verge of destroying the freedoms that were given to us more than 200 years ago.  Again, we need to come together and work together to make our country the best it possibly can be.

On to AFoS....

I Ran is in the top 20 videos I remember watching as a kid.  It was bizarre and weird, but the song was magnetic.  I had the 7" 45RPM as a kid, and played it over and over and over.  I didn't get the album until well into the 90s, as back then we had to pay money for our music, and at the time I wasn't a big enough fan to justify purchasing the album.  That was because I hadn't heard it.  Had I known the spectacular tunes on that magic disc, I would have had it well before I did.

Even though there were only 4 or 5 singles on this album (which is a large number anyway), listening to the album is almost like a greatest hits, as every song is superb.  A classic slice of New Wave, you can get sucked into the New Wave pablum with ease, and enjoy every minute of it.

Although most of the band members either set the style for fashion in the early 80s or reflected the style, Paul Reynolds really stood out to me as almost ruining the image of the band.  I hate to pick on the guy....  Well, no I don't hate it.  He really REALLY should have gotten rid of those stupid-ass glasses.  They are true Birth Control Glasses.  Meaning, when he wears those glasses, ain't no one gonna fuck him.  I don't know what he was thinking, as they did nothing to enhance his image.

Separated into two discs, my version is slightly different than the 2011 version, picking the best and arranging somewhat differently.  I really had to get the Deno version of I Ran on there, as he mixed and extended the crap out of it.  You could really loop that track for an hour, and not get tired of it.  I apologize for the cover of the album proper, as there really isn't any decent scans of the cover online that I could find.  This was the best I could do.

Enjoy the album, enjoy the holiday, and I'll see you on Friday.

PS - Started the new job yesterday.  Interesting.  Not what I expected, and can't wait to get out of training and on the road.