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Albums that get no love


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Moby Grape -- Moby Grape

Blue Cheer -- New! Improved! Blue Cheer

(Does anyone know these albums? Am I here all alone in Psychedelic-land?)

::w00t::

Holy crap ABP! Not entirely alone. I was trying to get all cute with my late 90's CCM reference and then you have to go and slap this down. Nice.

Edited by coltrane

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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[Utimate Spinach -- Ultimate Spinach (Listen to Ballad of the Hip Death Goddess!

(Does anyone know these albums? Am I here all alone in Psychedelic-land?)

No, you're not alone, and I like many of the albums you listed. But Ultimate Spinach? Wow, now there's a band that isn't mentioned every day. You know why? Because, aside from having a thoroughly dated sound (can there be any doubt that those albums were released somewhere between 1967 - 1969?), they wrote lyrics like, "Collapsed laughter, running, falling, drifting across the minefield of your thoughts, dissolve, wondering, who am I, why should I be alone, alone?" Whoa, like far out, man.

They do make me laugh, but I suspect that wasn't the intention.

By the way, the best neo-psychedelic album I've heard in years is Dungen's Ta Det Lugnt. Fuzzed guitar, organ, and flute in all its bombastic, trippy glory. Plus, they sing in Swedish. And, as is the case with most lyrics on psychedelic albums, that's a bonus.

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Here are a few more, courtesy of the Wayback machine. Some of these albums got a fair amount of attention back in the day, but don't go looking for them on your favorite Oldies station. They're long forgotten now. And they shouldn't be.

The Brooooooce wing:

Broooooooce casts a long shadow, and his influence on the rock 'n roll of the late seventies and eighties is incalculable. There would probably be no Tom Petty without Bruce. There would almost certainly be no John Cougar Mellencamp. Here are some folks who stood in that shadow, and who stepped out to make some memorable music of their own.

-- Gary "U.S." Bonds -- Dedication, On the Line

Bonds had several R&B hits in the early '60s, and Bruce covered his "Quarter to Three" in almost every one of his concerts during the first few years of his superstardom. He repaid the favor in the early '80s by resurrecting Bonds' long-dormant career, producing and playing on most of the tracks (along with the rest of the E Street band), and contributing several new songs that wouldn't officially appear in the Bruce canon until the Tracks box set many years later. Bonds' versions of "Rendezvous" and "Love's on the Line" are better than Bruce's.

-- Iron City Houserockers -- Iron City Houserockers, Have a Good Time But Get Out Alive

Led by the incomparably named Joe Grushecky, this blue-collar Pittsburgh bar band made tough, literate rock 'n roll. It wasn't better than Bruce's early '80s work. But it was better than anything the Melonhead did, at least up until Scarecrow.

-- Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes -- I Don't Want to Go Home, This Time It's For Real, Hearts of Stone

Pity poor John Lyon. Cursed to be from the same hometown as a rock 'n roll icon, his music was constantly compared to his better-known friend. Which is too bad, because Bruce wasn't really doing variations on classic R&B, and that's what Johnny did best. The albums started going south in the mid-'80s, but those first three albums are absolutely great. Hearts of Stone, in particular, is as good as anything Springsteen ever did. Five stars.

The Byrds Wing

Contrary to popular belief, REM did not invent jangly guitars. The Byrds did, with some admitted assistance from George Harrison on "Ticket to Ride." And these bands carried on in that grand tradition, often long after it was cool to do so.

-- Starry Eyed and Laughing -- Starry Eyed and Laughing, Thought Talk

The Byrds were has-beens when these albums were released in the mid-'70s. So these guys played Rickenbacker 12-strings and harmonized beautifully, and nobody cared. Disco and punk were on the horizon. But gorgeous songs with chiming guitar runs will never go out of style. These songs still sound as fresh to me as they did thirty years ago.

-- Guadalcanal Diary -- Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man, Jamboree, 2X4, Flip Flop

There was another hot band from Athens, Georgia out at the time these albums were recorded (the early '80s), so they mostly went unnoticed. They're great, and tremendously relevant examples of how to incorporate spiritual themes and Christian imagery into contemporary songwriting in a non-cheesy way. Plus, in one of their non-Byrdslike moments, they recorded an absolutely sublime punk cover of "Kumbaya." No kidding.

-- The Bangles -- All Over the Place

Yeah, I know. But I'm telling you, that first album, long before they hit their commercial peak, is absolutely great. There are jangly guitar songs galore, and the best "We Can Work It Out" knockoff (here called "Tell Me") not recorded by The Beatles.

Edited by Andy Whitman
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They do make me laugh, but I suspect that wasn't the intention.

I had always assumed (possibly incorrectly) that this album was a send-up of the hippie culture. For example, the lyrics:

Plastic raincoat means you've got a plastic heart

and

Mini-skirt doesn't know where to draw the line.

I was assuming these to be critiquing the eccentricities and self-importance of the Carnaby Street "mod" style.

Maybe I'm incorrect. In which case, the album is significantly less valuable to me. Bad poetry created in an attempt to be good poetry is intolerable. But bad poetry which spoofs real bad poetry can be comic genius. Don't forget that Chevy Chase was in this band! ;)

Yours truly,

ABP

No one with a good car needs to be justified. -- Hazel Motes

In the final end, he won the wars, after losin' every battle.-- Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind

Hot Rod Anglican blog ...

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I just picked up the two-disc reissue of The Glove's Blue Sunshine. This album has long fascinated me, ever since I got a few songs on a mixtape from a friend years ago. However, I'm not quite sure why, exactly, I'm fascinated. Maybe it's just thought of The Cure and Siouxsie And The Banshees working together (okay, so its just Robert Smith and Steven Severin, but you know what I mean).

Anyhoo, there are definitely moments where it becomes way too indulgent, or just plain silly. But there are moments of brilliance, such as "Like An Animal" and "Punish Me With Kisses", which are just solid 80s synth-pop with just enough oddness (Jeanette Landray's voice, odd musical elements, gloomy atmospheres) to keep things interesting.

Or maybe it's just me; I've long found that the "sound" from the early 80s era of new wave/post-punk/synth-pop/greybeat/whatever, regardless of who makes it, really resonates with me for some reason.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
Opus, Twitter, Facebook

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Ooh no, didn't care for Monster at all, Turbulent Indigo is a good pick as is Raoul and the Kings of Spain.

OK this sorts the men from the boys, Supertramp

Yep the eponymous first album, I LOVE it to death, almost certainly listened to it more than any other record in my collection (helps that it was one of my first ever cassettes when I was about 12)

A couple of years ago I started work on a project which was a cover version of this whole album, then I decided that was pretentious nonsense, but I still harbour the ambition.

Remember how much you loved Parachutes before it was hip to hate Coldplay? This is that album 30 years early.

I regularly dig this out for unsuspecting muso's and no-one ever guesses who the band is. Reviewers gloss over it because it's not what they became, but it remains their finest work IMHO

(...and please don't call me Shirley)

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  • 4 years later...

There are a couple of Suzanne Vega album that I love, but I don't know anyone else who cares about them: <i>Days of Open Hand </i> and <i>Songs in Red and Gray</i>. The latter is one of her best works, and she's never put out a bad album. I think she's still one of the most interesting songwriters writing today, but the popularity that accompanied Solitude Standing just seemed to diminish after that. I don't get it.

Sort of related, and a decent excuse to pull this thread back up: Kurt Anderson, on this week's episode of Studio 360, just introduced a segment on Suzanne Vega by saying she's best known for Tom's Diner and Luka -- which he described as "two hip-hop songs from the 1990s."

I could see the remix of Tom's Diner being described as "hip hop" -- and the remix got a LOT of airplay, whereas the original version on Solitude Standing never did (don't know if it was ever released as a single) -- but Luka? Hip hop??

Huh-uh. [EDIT: I just listened to the stream, and Anderson called the singles "hip pop songs"! My apologies. I'm leaving this post up, because I like this thread.]

Anyway, the segment on Studio 360 is about something she cowrote with Duncan Sheik for a Broadway show, I think.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Guest Thom Jurek

Jackie Leven's entire solo catalogue, but in particular: Forbidden Songs Of The Dying West, Fairy Tales For Hard Men, Night Lilies, Defending Ancient Springs, Creatures Of The Light And Dark, and Elegy For Johnny Cash.

His album as Sir Vincent Lone--Songs For Lonely Americans--is another.

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Everyone these days seems to know Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (and if one doesn't, one should). It even got mentions last week on NBC's Parks & Recreations, some 13 years after it's release. It is a recognized classic and absolutely deserves the praise it gets.

But it's predecessor is still my favorite. On Avery Island from 1996 was the first full-length by Neutral Milk Hotel, which at that point wasn't an actual band. The record was largely the work of Jeff Mangum, with help from his childhood friend Robert Schneider (Apples In Stereo) and a few others.

From the get-go it is a delirious affair. "Song Against Sex" feels like Mangum took in a great big breath - then exhaled everything he had in him for 3 minutes and 40 seconds; with a driving beat, distorted acoustic guitar, and circus trombone as accompaniment.

The rest of the record thankfully doesn't try to keep that pace; but instead establishes it's own eerie rhythms and melodies. Mangum's stories become more feverish in their delivery and their content. If there is anyone who (like me) romanticized the mysterious South to which Michael Stipe made so many oblique references in REM's early days...you're going to hang on every word.

Edited by Ward in SC
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<b>Scaterd-Few - <i>Sin Disease</i></b>

If more Christians had heard this album, CCM might never have been the same. It's messy, chaotic, raw, sloppy, and utterly exhilirating,

I agree, but if memory serves you just quoted Terry Taylor's description of the band's demo tape.

And Steven Delopoulos, a folk singer from NYC, kind of hybrid mix between Cat Stevens and traditional greek music. Really good stuff. <i>Me Died Blue</i> is his debut and only album currently.

Uh ... you do know he was the lead singer of Burlap to Cashmere, eh?

I nominate Steve Scott's Lost Horizon, which I think is the best album of the 1980s, although I doubt even Steve would agree with me.

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

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-- Guadalcanal Diary -- <i>Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man, Jamboree, 2X4, Flip Flop</i>

There was another hot band from Athens, Georgia out at the time these albums were recorded (the early '80s), so they mostly went unnoticed. They're great, and tremendously relevant examples of how to incorporate spiritual themes and Christian imagery into contemporary songwriting in a non-cheesy way. Plus, in one of their non-Byrdslike moments, they recorded an absolutely sublime punk cover of "Kumbaya." No kidding.

I couldn't let this go without making sure someone hears this song: Kumbaya by Guadalcanal Diary, from 1985's Walking In The Shadow Of The Big Man

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  • 2 years later...

Bumping this thread.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Wow, I was an A&F poster in 2006? AND confident enough to create threads? 

 

Here's another: Honeysuckle Strange, by Howlin' Maggie. The Columbus, Ohio band was one of the weird bands major labels were hoping would be an alt. rock hit (they weren't). Their album didn't even make a blip, but I remember hearing the song "I'm a Slut" on late night corporate radio in the mid-'90s. I only heard it that once, but I scoured used CD stores for years to find the album. Find it I did, and it's a weird, melodic gem. Frontman Harold Chichester (frequent collaborator with other Ohio bands, like the Afghan Whigs) wrote some amazing pop tunes here that straddle grunge, power pop and funk. It's weird, and I've honestly never met anyone who has even heard of the band. 

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A few months ago I scored a mint condition vinyl copy of Peter Drake's Forever on eBay. Drake, a classic Nashville writer and session man, played pedal steel through an early 60's version of the talkbox (made famous by Frampton) and the results are kitschy, creepy and downright awesome. This has been one of my most-played albums this year.  

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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  • 3 months later...

I'm not sure any of my choices 'get no love' in the sense that they're necessarily black sheep amongst their respective discographies, or even neglected — it's often more the case that no one I know knows them — but here goes:

Tangerine Dream — Electronic Meditation; Alpha Centauri; Zeit; Atem

Miles Davis — Get Up With It

Van der Graaf (Generator) — Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome; Vital (if not for Internet forums, I'd put everything in their 70s output here)

RIde — Going Blank Again (besides "Not Fazed" and "Time Machine", I love every second.)

Harmonium — En Tournée

Popol Vuh — In den Gärten Pharaos

Did George Clinton ever get a permit for the Mothership, or did he get Snoop Dogg to fetch one two decades late?

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Get Up with It is a fine contender for this category, Kinch-- maybe the best summary there is of Miles' electric period, but not usually mentioned among his classics.

 

Exactly how I feel, Hurst. Like Big Fun, it's technically a hodgepodge album, but unlike most of the sort, it feels, you know, essential.

(I do like Big Fun very much, but not as much as GUWI. One reason may be that I was introduced to it in its expanded 2CD remaster form; to be honest, the extra tracks, with the exception of "Recollections", have always felt like relative filler to me.)

 

Did George Clinton ever get a permit for the Mothership, or did he get Snoop Dogg to fetch one two decades late?

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  • 1 month later...

Shudder to Think's final album 50,000 B.C. (1997, Epic) hides in the shadow of its more famous predecessor, Pony Express Record. But the band's swan song is way easier to get into than Pony Express—the tunes on 50,000 B.C. are still arty, theatrical prog-pop, but with a more confident and hook-packed presentation. The album has been out of print for years, sadly, but I've been spinning it on Spotify quite a bit. It's pretty killer. Craig Wedron's warbly voice might be a hard sell for some, but the operatic aspects fit great in the context. 

 

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