Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday by Altered Images (1981)


Strangely I found out about this band through a children's show. A cover of their song "Happy Birthday" was featured on Yo Gabba Gabba and it sounded oddly familiar so I decided to look it up (it was also on Sixteen Candles so maybe that's why). When I read more about the group they piqued my interest so I decided to check them out. They had an interesting new wave sound that reminds me a bit of a lighter Joy Division but is also not as peppy and cheery as "Happy Birthday" would suggest. There are some interesting songs on this album and a strange darkness despite seeming light on the surface. The album is very 80s but in a good way.

- Happy Birthday
- Faithless
- Love and Kisses
- Beckoning Strings

And for fun here is the clip from Yo Gabba Gabba where The Ting Tings cover the song.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Misfits/Collection 1

Misfits/Collection 1 by Misfits (1986)


I was a huge fan of the Misfits in my early 20s and listened to them constantly. It's been awhile since I've listened to them regularly so it was good to dust this one off. I really enjoyed hearing them again. You can't help but get physically involved in the music and even though they sing about weird and terrible things (1950s B horror movies is a common theme) their music is upbeat and fun. Much of the punk I love takes itself very seriously (a side effect of loving 1980s hardcore, I suppose) and the Misfits clearly did not so it's very refreshing. I still know all the words - well, at least the ones I can make out. All Music Guide recommends this album as a good place to start for someone new to the band and I can't help but agree.

- Where Eagles Dare
- Skulls
- Ghouls Night Out
- Astro Zombies
- Earth AD
Unfortunately not much to look at with these videos but the songs are there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades by Motörhead (1980)


Motörhead definitely have a distinctive sound as they don't seem to fall under any one genre. They're not quite metal, not quite rock and not quite punk but they contain elements of all three. "Ace of Spades" was the first song I ever heard by them and it has never gotten old. The rest of this album is really good too but I don't think any other song stands out quite as much as "Ace of Spades". There are a couple other songs on the album that sound similar to it though ("The Hammer" and "Fire, Fire" for example). I would definitely recommend this album if you are looking for something energetic and straight forward - it would sound great in the car or at a party. It sounds refreshing even 35 years after its release.

- Ace of Spades
- Jailbait
- Live to Win

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spiceworld

Spiceworld by Spice Girls (1997)




Hard to believe this album came out almost 18 years ago (it came out at the end of the year)! It was a huge hit with me when I was 13 years old and I remember listening to it endlessly. I think I was so excited for it to come out that everyone knew I wanted it and I got 2 copies for Christmas that year. Unfortunately it turns out it's not really that amazing of an album. The four singles ("Spice Up Your Life", "Stop", "Too Much" and "Viva Forever") are still good and enjoyable to hear now as it's been awhile. However the rest of the album is not so great. There are 3 complete throwaway mid tempo songs that now sound incredibly dated ("Saturday Night Divas", "Do It" and "Denying"), a Pepsi commercial that still sounds like a Pepsi commercial ("Move Over") and two quirky tracks that are the best of the filler ("Never Give Up on the Good Times" and "The Lady is a Vamp"). From what I recall their first album was a pretty similar breakdown. So I would say it is not essential to own this album, especially if you are a newbie - pick up the Greatest Hits instead.

- Viva Forever (My favourite at the time and my favourite now - weird ass video though. Creepy puppet Spice Girl fairies pop out of a kinder egg, seduce a young boy (?) and trap him in a giant Rubik's cube. Then his sad friend throws the Rubik's cube in a giant toy dispenser and walks away. Seriously.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bandwagonesque

Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub (1991)



Behold the album that apparently beat Nirvana's Nevermind for the Top Album of 1991 according to Spin Magazine. It seems funny now given Nevermind's staying power but I suppose that is the advantage of hindsight. That isn't to say this is a bad album because it definitely isn't. It's another one of those albums I read about in a top albums list, acquired and then never really listened to (with 1300 albums in your collection that sometimes happens). What really struck me about this album right away was two things: it sounded very 1990s and it also sounded a lot like 70s cult band Big Star. I really enjoyed this album but I will say it made me want to go listen to some Big Star rather than seek out more of Teenage Fanclub's material. I do think I will listen to it again though because I did like it.

Links below:

- The Concept
- What You Do to Me
- Is This Music? (Instrumental at the end of the album that I like)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Back After a Teensy Absence

Of 2 1/2 years. No biggie, right?

I've always enjoyed working on this blog even if life does sometimes get in the way. Life circumstances have allowed me to pick back up where I left off (at least I think so, I suppose we will see). But I have managed to get reorganized and take stock of my collection by updating the pool of items to be reviewed. So far, since I started this blog in late 2008 I have reviewed 204 albums. I have 1088 more to review so I better get cracking. There is more variety than ever before. My collection has expanded significantly since I last posted here. You really never know what you will see pop up!

Looking back on what I wrote in the past, some of my opinions have changed but I have chosen to leave the record as it stands. Tastes evolve over time so leaving proof of the that evolution is more interesting than trying to revise the past to suit where I am at now. There's no point.

I should be up in running in the next few days. I just have to finished getting organized but the bulk of the work is done. Here's hoping I can stick to it this time!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beatles for Sale by The Beatles

Beatles for Sale by The Beatles (1964)






I have to say I was definitely less familiar with this Beatles album than I have been with many of the others. I grew up hearing Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, Rubber Soul etc all the time but I don't really recall hearing much of this one. Yes, there are the hits on here ("Eight Days a Week", "I'll Follow the Sun") but some of these songs were unfamiliar to me. There are also quite a few covers (six) which I find odd but at the same time the band was so busy when this was recorded who could blame them? They'd already released another hit album that year as well as a movie, were touring like crazy and were pretty much the world's biggest band. And even with all that going on this album is still great. Not many bands could pull that off. Sure, it's not their best but there is still lots here to enjoy. Even my 10-month-old really enjoyed it. :)

What You're Doing
- Eight Days a Week
- Rock and Roll Music