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Okrzyki, przyjaciel!

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Music [Dec. 13th, 2003|05:18 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
So it's 2003. I bought my first record with my own money in 1966, almost 40 years ago. I still have it -- mono version of the Beatles 'Rubber Soul.' The records threaten to take over my studio -- 4 4" shelves, several crates, more crates downstairs ...

Yet, when I was a young sprat there were a lot of records that I knew well but never actually owned. I've been seeing them on CD on Amazon.com used, cheap, so I've been on a buying spree for late-70s/early 80s. Recent (highly recommended) buys:

Gang of Four "Entertainment" -- punky songs, but a uniquely tight band. They might be going on about Capitalism or something, but the real attraction is the precise guitar slashes and metronomic drumming.

Wire "Pink Flag" -- again the playing's the thing. The songs are stripped down, no nonsense, simplistic screeds, delivered with power and conviction.

Joy Division "Closer" -- there's something wrong with Joy Division's music; a test case in point for the Oblique Strategy "find the flaw, magnify it." It's monotonous music, with huge sheets of undifferentiated noise from the guitar, and gloomy vocals. And yet ... well loads of ink have been spilled over Joy Division and a cult of personality grown up around Ian Curtis. I don't need to add to it.
Peter Hook is the anchor keeping the madness together; he is a phenomenal, underrated bass player; something he proved even more in New Order.

Pixies "Surfer Rosa" -- I never bought this when it came out because it was ubiquitous on college radio. Whatever I was buying at the time seemed more pressing. Listening to it now, the songs on this CD have a sort of pop inevitability. Their influence on nearly everything that's happened since is huge. Would there have been a Nirvana without Pixies?

Anyway, I think sometimes it's good to listen to old stuff now and then...

[User Picture]From: marmoset
2003-12-14 10:42 am (UTC)

Ooh, a thread my old ass feels perfectly at home with!

Wire -- if you like Pink Flag, definitely pick up Chairs Missing and 154, too. Of all the great bands working during that astonishing '77-'80 period, I don't think any of them had a stronger run of albums.

Closer - ow, I love that album: "Atrocity Exhibition", "Isolation"... Don't forget to give Stephen Morris his due, too, though a lot of what makes the drumming so magnetic on that record is that, as you mention, it's all "wrong". That, I imagine, was largely Martin Hannett's doing. If you ever saw the 24 Hour Party People movie, the bit with Hannett trying to get the drum sounds he wanted (including leaving poor Morris out on the roof!) is hysterical.

The funny thing about the Pixies is that, at the time, they were regarded among the crowd I was hanging with as being overrated, or whatever, but I still loved the hell out of them. It seems like they understood that being noisy and being catchy weren't mutually exclusive things far ahead of anyone else.

Other oldish things I've been caning lately: Tubeway Army's "Replicas": "Are 'Friends' Electric?", "Down In The Park", etc are just genius. Early OMD: "Genetic Engineering", "Souvenir", Dazzle Ships, etc. It's a shame that they're best remembered for their later, much weaker material. Echo and the Bunnymen: Ocean Rain, Midnight Oil 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1...

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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2003-12-14 11:34 am (UTC)
What I was really into '77-'80 was Elvis Costello, and XTC.
They both jumped the shark eventually, but 'This Year's Model', 'Armed Forces', 'Get Happy' are still the shit. And XTC's first 4 or 5 albums were revelatory, particularly 'Black Sea' and 'English Settlement.'

It's in the order of their hedgerows
it's in the way their curtains open and close
it's in the look they give you down their nose
all part of decency's jigsaw I suppose

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