The List, 2006, #80-71

Previous sections: #100-91, #90-81.

Here’s the next batch. A full 50% of the records in this section are from British musicians; then there’s a mixed Aussie/Brit band, and a set of Cubans. America needs to step it up!


80. Van Morrison : Moondance (1970)


If only for these three songs: And It Stoned Me, Moondance, Into The Mystic. It doesn’t hurt that the picture of Van on the cover looks just like my uncle Billy.

79. AC/DC : Back In Black (1980)


Another sentimental pick. Though I don’t own a copy, and haven’t since high school, I know every song front to back and consider all of them to be classics, even if I never need to hear Back In Black or You Shook Me All Night Long ever again.

78. The Colorblind James Experience – The Colorblind James Experience (1987)


A wild mix of rock, jazz, polka, country, blues, and more, with clever laconic lyrics and deadpan delivery. They were active in Rochester, NY – their home base – when I was going to college there, but somehow I managed to avoid seeing them live. I once had a cassette version of this album, which I wore out, and then lost. I’ve been trying to find a CD copy for years now, but unfortunately, it’s terribly hard to find these days. So I have to settle for the handful of songs at the front of their Greatest Hits CD.
Edit: I just found a used copy of the vinyl for this, on-line. So, in a week or so, after I’ve ripped all the songs to MP3, I’ll have a full working copy again. Yay!

77. Blonde Redhead – La Mia Vita Violenta (1995)


There’s a huge Sonic Youth and Pixies influence in early Blonde Redhead – no way around that. But, using them as starting points, Blonde Redhead adds a Japanese-accented female vocalist, an Italian-accented male vocalist, strips away a lot of the surface anger and creates a lean, clean, dreamy sound. It’s still pretty far out there into noise-rock, but here they do it with interesting melodies and an intimate feel that you don’t get from too many of their peers.

76.The Beatles : Rubber Soul (1965)


It sits just on the early side of the early/late Beatles, so it’s long on great singles about girls, but only hinting at the deeper and more psychedelic stuff, which I prefer, that they’d do on the other side of that line.

75. Rolling Stones – Some Girls (1978)


Miss You, Some Girls, Far Away Eyes, Beast Of Burden, Shattered, etc.. Probably their last great album.

74. Robyn Hitchcock : Spooked (2004)


This is his latest record of all-new songs, and was recorded with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (who also produced it). It’s got a couple of my all-time favorite Hitchcock songs : Sometimes a Blonde and Flanagan’s Song, and a good cover of a Bob Dylan song, Trying To Get To Heaven Before They Close The Door. Rawlings’ distinctive guitar playing (and the plucky sound of his old Gibson) fits well with Robyn’s folky strumming – I honestly can’t pick out what Gillian is doing. But the overall effect is very nice. Good to know Robyn can still bring it, 25 years and nearly 30 records (counting compilations and ‘rarities’ things) since he started his solo career. He did a couple of shows in Nashville with Gillian and Rawlings in support of this record, and they played the whole thing, if my info was correct. I saw him the night after, and he did very few of these songs. Sigh.

73. Buena Vista Social Club : Buena Vista Social Club (1997)


This is music by musicians who were popular in Cuba in the 50’s, recorded in 97 by Ry Cooder as part of a (fantastic) documentary. It’s my only experience with Latin music, but I love it.

72. Tortoise : Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996)


Instrumental, experimental, influential, hydromatic, minimalist, electronic, ambient, cool jazz rock. Tortoise and The Sea and Cake (which share a wicked drummer/producer) both worked in the minimalist post-rock vein. But Tortoise did it without vocals or (obvious) guitars – Tortoise was all about the cool trippy instrumental, with bass or vibes taking the lead. It’s very a clean, modern sound, and was the perfect way to rinse my palette after a long time with the noisy grime of earlier indie rock. And, since it’s not a big leap from this to traditional jazz, it was a bit of a gateway, for me.

71. PJ Harvey : Dry (1992)


First thought: “Damn… That woman is pissed!” It’s a raw, dark, angry record with a handful of truly catchy songs. She does the whispered-verse, thundering-chorus thing very well.

Be sure to stop by this Friday, for a double-shot of Canadians!

3 thoughts on “The List, 2006, #80-71

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