Wire, Pink FlagRelease Date: 1977 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: Wire is a British punk forefather band often name-checked in relationship to bands I enjoy (R.E.M., The Jam, The Futureheads, Devo, and the previously reviewed, Minutemen,) usually in reference to the start-stop dynamics and "angular" guitar. Somehow, I never bothered to listen to the source before. Today, I bother… "Reuters" opens with a slow riff and shouting vocal letting us know that the music will arty … Continue Reading ››
The Go Go's, Beauty and the BeatRelease Date: 1981 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes Impressions: In the early '80s, I recall a general attitude toward the Go Go's of "aw, an all-female band, that's cute." Stupid stereotypes. Even though they were on I.R.S. Records, I never really listened to this album, outside of the hits. Let's put this on…"Our Lips Are Sealed" is still a winner, with the sunny harmonies and hooks … Continue Reading ››
U2, BoyRelease Date: 1980 Previously Owned: Yes
Impressions: I come into this entry as a old fan of U2 from way back. This was the first U2 album I purchased in the eighties. It was on a cassette that, politely, was recorded with the entire album on each side, so you wouldn't have to flip the cassette halfway through. At the time, that impressed me for some reason, along with the moody, earnest post-punk songs within. Let's see how this record does today… "I Will Follow" is a still a … Continue Reading ››
Gram Parsons, Grievous Angel
Release Date: 1974
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes
Impressions: I'm not a well-informed on country music. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs in the '70s, so country music was at the time the butt of many easy jokes (think of the "Bob's Country Bunker" scene in The Blues Brothers.) It also didn't help that most of my early exposure to country was from cheeseball TV variety shows like The Mandrell Sisters or Hee Haw and that lots of today's country is completely awful. Despite all … Continue Reading ››
Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Release Date: 1978 Previously Owned: No First Time Listen: Yes Impressions: Sadly, I’ve never really considered these guys as, like, an actual band of musicians. Like ZZ Top and their long beards, their nerdy, red siren hat wearing image has overshadowed their tunes in my mind. This should be interesting… “Uncontrollable Urge” blasts out of the gate with some rocking, angular guitars and their version of punk. I’m impressed. They follow … Continue Reading ››
Echo and the Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here
Release Date: 1981 Previously Owned: Yes. On vinyl.
Impressions: Looking back at some of these entries, I'm gonna have to try to be more succinct if I want a shot at finishing all 500. Haven't listened to this one in a while. Let's throw it on... The opening bunch of songs "Show Of Strength," "With a Hip," and "Over The Wall" meld together and set up a dark, uneasy tone not unlike a John Carpenter film for Goths for the rest of the … Continue Reading ››