2)Blondie, Plastic Letters: I'm sorry, but I've never understood the love for this album at all. This is maybe my second or third time going back to this to see what the hell I missed, and no matter how hard I try, I only like "Denis Denis" and "I'm On E" a little bit, at best. THESE SONGS BORE ME TO TEARS. THE MELODIES TO THEM DO NOT STICK IN MY HEAD AT ALL AND I DON'T F***ING KNOW WHY. And it's not like I'm not paying attention--they just evaporate into thin air once the album's done!! Nick E? You know this one? You're the guy I discussed Blondie with, right? What is WRONG with me?!?
3)The Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady: I like this album, I swear, always did!! But all I remembered was "Orgasm Addict." Six or seven relistens later and I'd have to rank the best as being "Why Can't I Touch It?," "Ever Fallen In Love?," "Everybody's Happy Nowadays," "Something's Gone Wrong Again," "Autonomy," "I Don't Mind," "What Do I Get" and "Orgasm Addict," in that rough order. That's enough good songs to make it a classic. It's called "THE" punk pop album, but if this is punk pop I don't think it's that far off from The Clash being "punk pop," they're a bit bubblegummier but "I Don't Mind" has a very similar vocal hook to one song on the US Clash debut, the name of which escapes me nowadays. But how'd I FORGET all these songs?!? Thank God for relistening projects like this.
4)The Pretty Things, S. F. Sorrow: REALLY glad to revisit this one--it's great!! All I remembered was "SF Sorrow, SF Sorrow, SF Sorrow is born!!!," meaning that I forgot the wonderful beauty harmonies of "Bracelets Of Fingers," the eerie urgency of "Balloon Burning," the Zombies like hook of "I See You," the hilarious military march "Baron Saturday," mmph, all those sad songs on side two before the album reaches its DEPRESSING conclusion (hilarious, for the first "rock opera," eh?) Oh, and don't forget the wonderful bonus track "Walking Through My Dreams." It's true that the Pretties may not have done this "rock opera" thing best, and that their style wasn't THAT distinct from other British Invasion psych bands (they're closest to the Zombies, IMO, though minus all the pianos)...but they did it well. Didn't they? Very glad I checked this one out again--"Bracelets Of Fingers" sounds so wondrous in the autumn morning.
5)XTC, Nonsuch: This is about as good as I remember it, which is to say it's just okay. I'd only remembered Andy going "Rook, Rook"...is it even Andy? I hadn't even remembered the two songs I singled out as big highlights, which are "Wrapped In Grey" and "Books Are Burning." Those are still pretty nice and I was glad to revisit them. The good songs I'd forgotten are "The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead," "My Bird Performs," "Holly Up On Poppy," "Omnibus," "Rook," and "Then She Appeared." Put all that together and you've got enough for about literally half a good album. What happened is that XTC took the lush style of Skylarking and the quasi-college-rock-hipster-pop style of Oranges & Lemons and pushed both into saggy aging-adult-contemporary territory, and it was the damn CD era, so the album is 63 minutes long which would have made it a double in the vinyl era. Dumb "commentary" tracks like "The Smartest Monkeys" and "War Dance" don't help. Trim twenty minutes or so and you've got a strong album. But they didn't, so you've got one where I have to REALLY separate out the goodies from the CD-bloat dross. Nonetheless...uh, is it just me or does "Omnibus" predict Sufjan Stevens?
Notes for your listens:
1)Yeah, The Nightfly IS better than the weaker Dan albums, and I say everyone here check it out and YOU check out 1993's Kamakiriad which is even better and which had Walter Becker working with him again anyway.
2)Wasn't there some song on 2AN that got attention for being about redneck incest or something? "Cousin Dupree" was it? Wasn't the big deal that they beat Eminem too, and that's like the second biggest Grammies silliness after Jethro Tull beating Metallica?
3)I thought "Voices Carry" was from the 90s. It's not!!
4)Murmur rules, obviously.
5)Quadrophenia is mostly good, but starts to pound you around with too many big bloated 5-7 minute anthems in the middle (nonetheless, the high point of the album is the last four songs.) The plot is, well it's just an alienated Mod kid in 1965. He attempts suicide at the end but fails. He's not going to grow up, he saw one of his former Mod buddies get a lame job as a bellboy. Watch the movie, it's not really about the Who but rather just a strong depiction of the Mod culture, probably more than any other movie.
5.5)I didn't know there were 82 minute CDs, probably because nobody gives a rats ass about CDs anymore, which was making me think how Zaireeka is going to be talked about EVEN LESS around here than it was.
6)MICK JAGGER plays the keyboards on "Continental Drift" by the Stones!
Next set of likely relistens:
Family, Music In A Doll's House
XTC, The Big Express
Mercury Rev, Deserter's Songs
Patti Smith, Easter