Christmas Albums – Willie Nelson – “The Classic Christmas Album” – 2012

Did a search for this on Spotify, and this showed up; pure class, and his phrasing is spot on as well.

Willie!

Some are “sophisticated” and some are just plain, old Willie with a guitar.

Personal faves were Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and just like REO Speedwagon yesterday, he for some reason includes Blue Christmas – and nails it!

Willie being Willie

The final entry, What a Wonderful World, is here for some reason? Though I’ve never understood why. It was released in September 1967 originally (by Louis Armstrong), but somehow actually fits here.

4/5

CB

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Electrelane – Rock it to the Moon – 2001

Rock it to the Moon – 2001

I remember years ago, when the indie / music scene was just so much stronger, when there were literally hundreds of young bands everywhere, employing various degrees of musicianship (Verity Susman from Electrelane is actually classically trained, and currently writes film/ TV scores – Can this be said today of any young bands?).

Theses guys (girlz) caught my eye mainly through the infamous Metro free newspaper’s gig preview, and their equally bleak album cover – so a trip to see them, that night, at King Tuts in Glasgow had a sense of urgency to it (soon after, I was to see them in Charing Cross in London (stalker?)).

They lead off with the opening track from the album, The Invisible Dog, that live, blew my mind.  Everything was there; slowness, brooding, sparse, and an organ sound with a Farfisa?  If truth be told, some of the tracks ARE too long, and sometimes unfocussed, but what a first effort, that can blend in the background for your own soundtrack in your house.  4/5

CB

Thomas Dolby – The Golden Age of Wireless – 1982

All those years ago, it was impressed on me by the music press, that Thomas Dolby was the “mature” synth-popper of the early MTV days, and I do remember the various singles that then, were played on rock radio; She Blinded me with Science, and its B-side, One of our Submarines.   

I heard them many times, and also listened to various tracks from this album, even seeing Dolby at the Filmore in San Francisco, but until this week, had never actually listened to the complete work – why did I wait so long?!

It’s a marvellous “concept” album, much like OMD’s Dazzle Ships, released a year later, where one can find intelligence and still danceability on various tracks.

Flying North – Remastered

Well recommended – 4.5 / 5

CB

Music of the Week – Happy Mondays – Wrote for Luck

Since I am listening to a lot of early 90s / late 80s music currently, and did an entire month of the Inspiral Carpets in January, I naturally came to this beauty this past week. A song that I remember bopping to at the Kes Club, in Glasgow in late 1988 (along with Elephant Stone (Stone Roses) and Gigantic (The Pixies) – What music!

At that time, very few knew of this, and of the coming Manchester explosion, though I had heard of the Mondays before, and believe (not sure) that they were on the C86 cassette (Is this correct?).

What I must say after hearing this after a LONG time, from the album Bummed , (on Spotify I might add, so Ryder and his pals will collect some money, however small), is the size of the guitars! Please keep in mind that their producer on this gem, was none other than Martin Hannett; who had also produced Joy Division, OMD and even the likes of the Durutti Column.

Let’s not beat around the bush here, these are not “indie” guitars, but full fledged 80s’ ones that are more akin to U2, Goths, Shriekback or even Killing Joke (but with casual clothing). They would pass with winkelpickers, Docs and white makeup, no problem!

Listen to this and forget about the reissue a few years later.

CB