Archive for September, 2013

#7 R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant

September 26th, 2013 No comments

R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant

I return from vacation from beautiful but flooded Colorado. I do have to say that our time was well spent there, however, certain changes had to be made to our itinerary since flooding did knock out some of the roads and I guess you take it as Inspector Clouseau would in that it is all part of life’s rich pageant.

Outside of the ridiculous nature of the quote, it somewhat is thematically perfect for this album. After the difficulties of making Fables of the Reconstruction, there appears an almost newfound confidence for the band.

For all the pomp that the band got for the release of ‘Document’, and deservedly so for their first true Hit in “The One I Love” as well as the culturally significant “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”, ‘Lifes Rich Pageant’ sees the band finally putting the pieces in place as a successful rock band. Michael Stipe begins to enunciate, they create a viable message and continue down the road of writing catchy pop songs. ‘Document’ might be one of the series of coming out parties, but Lifes Rich Pageant is a stronger set of music from beginning to end. The political motivations are stronger with a strong first half consisting of the hard rocking ‘Begin the Begin’ and ‘These Days’ exhibiting the emotion behind political movements without all the historical motivations that allow for songs to lose their luster.

The melodic “Fall on Me” and “Cuyahoga” have played the role of environmental hits, although the former can also be considered an ode to “Chicken Little” ala “The Sky Is Falling, The Sky is Falling!”, and the latter to a river in Ohio with a very serious pollution problem at the time the band wrote the song. What situates albums like this so highly is not just the catchy pop music but the words by singer Michael Stipe who is the American Morrisey (or maybe Morrisey is the British Michael Stipe). At any rate, there is a definitive war brewing between the UK and the USA about this time as to what band is better: R.E.M. or the Smiths. Where R.E.M. wins is their rhythm section as Berry and Mills are clearly superior. Consider a song like “Superman”, we hear Mike Mills on lead vocals for the first time for this cover version of a tune by the 60s band The Clique and we start to hear the other strengths of this band.

For me it has been an album that has strengthened with time. It’s political motivations are just as strong in 1986 as they are now as they will be years from now. They were able to institute a purpose without the elements of the songs feeling dated. Stipe was a poet but an information source as well. If I were to recommend a starting place for R.E.M., this would probably be my personal favorite as it still has the spark of their early years, with the maturity of lyrics that you begin to see in the later years.

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#8 Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One

September 11th, 2013 No comments

I think that if there was ever an award given out to a band based on their credibility, Yo La Tengo would be your band. Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley have been there since the start and after the band had gone through several members before that, the sound truly began to gel, after James McNew had joined the band since 1992’s May I Sing With Me.

For a band that has almost been in existence for 30 years, they are the only band that I am aware of that does not have a crappy release. I do have to say that I have a preference for their material since McNew joined the band, as I think that the combination has offered something sublime. There exists, quite possibly an aura over their music, or maybe it is over me when I listen to them. They seem to have the similar problem that the Feelies have is that they spent way too much time in their parents basement as kids and so they capture a fairly endearing quality.

Also, you cannot claim that this band has sold out and now that Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon have separated, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley have become the official first couple of bands.

‘I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One’ is the definitive career album for Yo La Tengo, the moment where they have a perfect blend of rock, pop, shoegaze and noise. For me, Yo La Tengo have always had an urban feel to their music, the backgroud of the smoke-filled room, they have always created an ambiance in their music. I want to turn on lava lamps and drive boulevards lined with neon signs. The music feels fresh, with all of three of them sharing the lead vocals on some tracks.

We also see that this is a culmination that occurs between McNew signing and them starting to feel like a band with a distinct sound. While I think there are moments on both Painful and Electr-O-Pura that feel a bit more jazzy and not as garage rock-ish, it comes together on I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One.

There are some very quirky moments like ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, with McNew on vocals, which sounds more like a folksy tribute to Neil Young than an album featuring Shoegaze and Noise.

The band still keeps it real by showing their passion for their favorite tracks, taking the Beach Boys’ ‘Little Honda’, and adding a little Jesus and Mary Chain to make it their own.

Songs like ‘Autumn Sweater’ feels like it should be 40 degrees and chilly. However, it is not just the ambiance but the method at which every song feeds off each other. By the time you get to the psychedelic ‘Spec Behop’, an epic 10+ minute song that takes a page from Spaceman 3. Every song is perfectly placed and by the time you get to the final track Georgia Hubley is doing her best “Moe Tucker” impersonation with ‘My Little Corner of the World’, the second cover song on the album.

I admit to the fact of being a seasonal listener or should I say, having the appreciation of music that seems to prefer cold weather, and generally, here in Chicago, our colder months outlast our warm ones so it just so happens that Hawaiian music is just not going to be all that attractive. But there is something about the warmth that this music possesses. Maybe it’s just that the voices are so warm. Sweeter than a drop of blood from a sugarcube.

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#9 Panda Bear – Person Pitch

September 10th, 2013 No comments

Looking back at 2007 in music, I still remember the plethora of music and tracks that my friend Derek had sent to me. While there were some definite standouts like Deerhunter and The National, the act that made my head spin was Panda Bear.

Panda Bear was the stage name for Noah Lennox, the drummer/multi-instrumentalist that, up to this point was more known for his work with the band Animal Collective that I had only started getting into.

I still remember the moment that I heard ‘Comfy in Nautica’ off of ‘Person Pitch’. At that first moment, I knew that I was listening to something special. While it sounds eerily familiar to the Beach Boys it felt completely foreign to me.

I remember when I saw Animal Collective at the Metro in Chicago doing a couple promotional shows for Merriweather Post Pavilion, and during the encore Avey Tare went down with a health issue and Panda Bear and Geologist came out onstage and performed a version of this that just vibrated my entire body, truly one of the great live moments of my concert-going experience.

If you listen to the tracks, it might be easy to get washed away in the beauty and missing out on the conflict that is going on in the background.

For Panda Bear, this was a breakthrough album, setting him as well as an important cog in the Animal Collective. Up until this point many would suggest that it was Avey Tare (Dave Portner’s band) or at least the one that played a significant influence in the music on the album. Panda Bear offers elements, especially sampling that feels every bit fulfilled as if he produced all the sounds himself.

But it is not just the Beach Boys but cross-generational, taking elements from Gregorian Chants to Aphex Twin. One moment you feel like you are hearing hymns in a Catholic Basilica, and the next moment it will feel like you should be standing in the midst of twenty thousand people in the extreme heat raging to the electronic beats that are being produced. Yes, sampling had been used for years but nothing, for me, ever felt this complete. ‘Comfy in Nautica’ got me hooked but the knockout punch was ‘Bros’ an epic sprawling 12:30 minute song that doesn’t feel as if it is a second too long.

That is not the only epic song. Good Girl/Carrots carries over more electronic dance elements before transitioning into something more of a Beach Boys pop song. Throughout the album, the messages are simple amidst the sonic pleasuredome. For me, it was an album that I have to admit was something of a godsend due to transitional aspects in my life at the time. Sometimes the simple messages are the best when you are going through stuff that often pushes you down a couple notches.

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#10 R.E.M. – Up

September 9th, 2013 No comments

The period after the Monster tour ended up being a huge transition for the band. They lost their longtime manager Jefferson Holt, released New Adventures in Hi-Fi, with many songs that were recorded during the Monster tour and as the band was in plans for recording Up, their longtime drummer Bill Berry had left the band.

On the surface, some might have questioned the move that the band had decided to carry on since the band had always been defined as a four-piece, however, Berry did not want it any other way as he did not want to be the one that broke up the band.

Thus, the process of making Up had considerable growing pains as the band had tried to redefine themselves in the studio. The challenges of the album had almost made it their last. After signing one of the richest record contracts in history, Up is not a single’s rich affair and was a huge commercial and critical disappointment. That being said, I have embraced the record as one of their best. It’s muddy, it is not sure what its personality wants to be and that might add to the romance. In a similar way that ‘Fables of the Reconstruction’ brought it’s own sense of mood throughout, Up does as well. It’s a band with a personality crisis, only understanding themselves as being a four-piece and attempting to morph into a three-piece. The choices they make are in some ways charming, not attempting to replace Berry with a human but an instrument, in many situations it was a drum machine. Instead of a band trying to keep things familiar, they ventured into deep waters, making an album that is unlike anything that they made before this.

The first song, “Airportman”, in its Eno-like trance suggests right from the beginning that it is a transition, if only from what the title would suggest.

I have often compared the album to that of the movie “Lost in Translation” and will suggest that if you play the album while watching the movie the album makes complete sense. On a more serious note, the movie deals with Bob Harris, played by Bill Murray, Charlotte, played by Scarlett Johansson, who are both not only lost in an foreign culture but in their lives as well.

The album often feels a bit unsure of itself, feeling a bit like a hangover. The subjects of the album are all over the place. In some ways, it is like a relationship going ridiculously wrong.It captures different moods almost to the extreme, with the Beach Boys inspired “At My Most Beautiful” to the downright scary “Apologist”. There are characters that are sexy such as “Lotus” and “Suspicion” and drunks, as in “Sad Professor”. There is a desperation to them all, a feeling of despondency or being lost. even the saccharine “At My Most Beautiful”, as in a person sitting there and listening to a voicemail over and over and over and over.

The sounds that are exhibited throughout at times feel a bit foreign. Peter Buck lends more feedback, and droning guitar sounds building into this mood.

When the album was released, there had been comparisons to Radiohead’s ‘Ok Computer’, however, thematically it’s a stretch as I believe that ‘Ok Computer’ is wrestling less with personal issues and more with social issues. Sonically, the only thing that they do is create their own environments but the way that they get there is much different. In many ways, the scenery in Up is derived from the song ‘Daysleeper’, ‘Florescent flat caffeine lights’. Sure, I would imagine that in both situations that the characters are lost in their worlds, but both bands are well known for their depressing subject material.

Up was R.E.M.’s last great record. It was a four-piece that made an album while their drummer was on a permanent vacation and they used whatever resources to make sure that Berry could not just be replaced and that to me was the charm. For me, it’s an easy album to defend even though it has it’s detractors. You need to make an investment into it as well, giving it a good 20-30 listens to start to understand it’s flawed beauty.

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#11 The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms

September 6th, 2013 No comments

The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms

Picture it: A wonderful summer night in the city of Chicago. The Feelies were playing a free show at Pritzker Pavilion, at Millenium Park in Chicago as part of the cities free Monday night shows that they would put on during the summer months. Pritzker is probably the best outdoor venue for sound that I have ever had the pleasure of attending.

The Feelies are an odd sort, more resembling acquaintences of Napoleon Dynamite than hip rock stars. The venue, for all it’s glory often was run like the Gestapo, tapping fans on the shoulder for taking photos in the aisle or even dancing even if everyone was only sparsely packed.

The band had been on my “Bucket List” of bands to see before I die. My appreciation for their music had been after the band had broken up and for the few times that they had reunited, the band would often stick close to the East Coast, preferring venues like Maxwell’s in Hoboken so a trip out to the Midwest was an unexpected treat.

Just to my right, I saw the big guy, Jim Derogatis, the longtime Chicago music critic and huge fan of the band.

I just remember as they were closing the first set with the title track off one of my favorite albums of all-time, the politeness ended. The crowds just started streaming to the front of the venue with security unable to hold them back. . . . and I could not hold back either and rushed the stage. I wanted to be feel that energy. I wanted to feel that perfect rock and roll moment, just like when Lou Reed eloquently wrote about “Jenny” in the song ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’: “She started dancing to that fine-fine-fine-fine music, ooh her life was saved by rock and roll”. Between Stanley Demeski’s drumming and Glenn Mercer and Bill Million shredding it onstage, this band of nerds were better than I could have ever expected. That moment, my life was being saved by rock ‘n’ roll.

And then they proceeded to play Paint it Black (Rolling Stones), Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars) (R.E.M.), What Goes On (Velvet Underground) as well as one of their originals Fa Cé-La

What sets the Feelies’ Crazy Rhythms as one of the most important works is right in the title itself: ‘Crazy Rhythms’. Anton Fier, the band’s original drummer creates one of the more important percussion albums of the era percussion, still containing the same energy as that record but without the sloppiness.

The guitar sound that the Feelies were able to display was also very unique for the time plugging their guitars directly into the recording device than into an amplifier. What we see is Bill Million and Glenn Mercer complimenting each other perfectly as they weave this tapestry of sound behind Fier’s beats.

I have always had a love of this record if not for the place that it played in my favorite band of all time: R.E.M. It is very obvious by listening to this the impact that The Feelies had on R.E.M. They were able to take the energy, the knowledge of pop music the energy of Punk and create a new “Alternative” music scene.

At first listen, many of the songs would start off with a delicate twist. In ‘The Boy With the Perpetual Nervousness’, it’s the quiet percussion sounds laid down before you start hearing the distant sound of guitar picking as the volume is slowly raised. In the first 2 minutes of ‘Loveless Love’, the quiet and slow buildup of the guitar work of Glenn Mercer and Bill Million and the tom-tom drumming of Anton Fier and before you know it your head is bopping up and down as the tempo is sped up.

‘Crazy Rhythms’ is the best album you do not own. This can be attributed to several factors.

One, the album did not sell as well as anticipated, even though it had received glowing reviews when it was released. Secondly, after Crazy Rhythms was released, both Anton Fier and Keith DeNunzio left the band, which put the band in limbo. It was not until 6 years later that they recorded ‘The Good Earth’, an equally impressive record.

Lastly, because the band never received that level of commercial reception on top of the fact that the bands music labels had either gone defunct and their music library sold off, it was years that ‘Crazy Rhythms’ was out of print. Outside of getting into a discussion about the merits of file-sharing, there were enough new music fans checking out their recordings and giving them a listen.

The Feelies are the little guys that you want to root for and ‘Crazy Rhythms’ is a record that is easy to embrace on so many levels.

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#12 R.E.M. – Fables of The Reconstruction

September 4th, 2013 No comments

I had written this back in 2010 when the band was in the midst of releasing the 25th Anniversary version of the album and thought that it was good enough to repost.

Fables of the Reconstruction – Desert Island Disc

Wed, 07/07/2010

As I sit here and mull over the streaming version of the Fables 2nd Disc, I wanted to offer some thoughts and views on Fables of the Reconstruction before it is re-released. An album that changed my life, Fables is oft forgotten in the R.E.M. canon of being an amazing rock and roll record and still holds up today as a classic.

Michael Stipe is an Asshole.

There. I said it.

I said what needed to be said. So as you sit there all uncomfortable, confused, possibly angry and wanting to throw something at me in your seat, relax and sit back while I offer some thoughts while describing in accurate detail the last 23+ years of my life.

Whenever, you have a blog devoted to one band it is a difficult sell, to try to tell the reader my love for a particular album. Why? Because how does that album differ from the other collection of songs and albums spanning 30 years? Ultimately, I am biased, but find me someone who isn’t? I am just another fanboy with another fanboy moment telling you how great something is. Truth be told, I cannot say that about every album or every song nor defend the band at great lengths for the sake of the band. Fables of the Reconstruction is an easy album to defend, however.

‘Fables of the Reconstruction’ was a slow and sometimes painful process of musical listening. It happened to be the first album that I purchased from this fabled foursome and one that continues upon the unique presence that they exhibited on their early music. If I ever create the ubiquitous “Boxed Set” of songs that mean something to me, this album or songs from it would begin the “Serious Listening Phase” of my life, when music meant something more than just Top 40 radio. And often, there are very few albums that I can actually pick up and remember the first time that I listened to it especially those that are 20+ years old.

Fables on the other hand, carries a very vivid memory. A cloudy day in mid-August on the way to Wisconsin for vacation seemed to be the perfect visionary magnet that has remained with me all these years. So, 23 years later, website and all, I sit to you writing about this album and why if you do not have it why you should.

For a 14 year old at the time listening to this album, it did not necessarily just pop out at me being pop candy. Fables is an acquired taste and particularly through a first listen, does not catch on but instead requires repeated listens and allowed to breathe like a fine wine. It’s an album that would fail today, not because it sounds dated; not at all, but for the fact that with so much music to digest, we live on gluttony and forget to taste all the flavors. This album is not going to hit you like a ton of bricks but instead focuses on the sounds of the tree limbs bending.

As the title of the album would suggest, ‘Fables of the Reconstruction” or “Reconstruction of the Fables” depending on how you read the spine, Stipe creates his own stories, his own passages from the sleepy south. Visions of Old Man Kensey catching dogs or jumping out of a casket, Brivs Mekis, the storyline behind the song “Life and How to Live It”, separating his home into two separate abodes and living in one until he tires of that one and then moving into the other. Or maybe it’s ‘Wendell Gee’ who built a trunk with Chicken Wire or Reverend Howard Finster, the subject of ‘Maps and Legends’. These are not your classic fairytale creatures but given an author’s due with sometimes discrete but dutiful expression in detail. He paints all the colors of the palette as their stories are told. This album secures them as a southern rock band but even writing this might give you the wrong idea. They are not the Allman Brothers or Skynrd but part folk song, part country, part rock and roll and a little punk thrown in there for size.

Michael Stipe is not an easy customer. This would not mean that he is difficult to deal with but rather I imagine that the requests, comments and suggestions he would offer up are without a doubt a painstaking process for everyone involved. I remember Mike Mills making a comment for example about the song “Swan Swan Hummingbird” written as “Swan Swan H” on the album cover for Lifes Rich Pageant and having a fit with that. His interviews around this time were like pulling teeth as the band mates would look over confusingly at him during comments to the point where he pretty much stops giving interviews altogether. And thus, the song meanings have always been up to the interpretation of the listener. As he paints the picture, we can often take a wrong turn or even bring something of ourselves into the storyline, focusing on the wrong line. For Stipe, this process is part that feeds him as the puzzle is laid in front of you with multiple answers.

Even as we listen to the album, there are still elements of his “mumbles” from previous efforts. However, this third effort moves him beyond the simple to the complex. Fables provides some of the most established lyric writing and compared to the rest of R.E.M.’s work, a true bold step, that questioned his wordplay or storytelling during a show. If earlier albums like the EP Chronic Town and Murmur would suggest, Michael Stipe was more a musical prop. On this album, he writes his first novel.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Michael Stipe the storyteller, playing the part of Uncle Remus relaying his own images of the south, albeit from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on racial issues, Stipe creates his own lore, people and images that provide a rich and deep history that is often absent in present day culture.

I am reminded of how difficult it was to characterize R.E.M.’s early music. Were, they progressive or folk rock or psychedelic or rock or Americana? What I think it came down to was that Michael Stipe is very visual and it was not about writing genre-based music but visual music. What he has always been able to convey is taking Bill, Mike and Peter’s music and putting a place or location to their work. While this is not totally unique in music, Stipe created places and people, especially in Fables, we often do not talk about.

Back to the “Asshole” comment. What I meant about my statement above about Michael being an asshole is that after 23 years of listening to this album, far more and longer than any album that is currently in my possession, I still am trying to figure it out. Not every mystery has been unleashed. I have not found certain “Secret Levels” where a clue might indicate a new fact about a particular song. My comment about him (Asshole) is out of sheer frustration . . .well frustration and gratitude. Our musicians can be our current philosophers; the good ones at least transcend our own meaning of life to ask questions to ourselves. It is not as simple as writing a love song about a broken heart but going beyond that. Writing about politics, religion, society, we focus on the simple in our media.

However, looking back at this album 25 years after it’s release looks at it from an entirely new viewpoint. For one, the argument that if ‘Fables’, if released today, but be chic and cool, is lost on me. By the time that Fables was released in 1985, R.E.M. were no longer the “Diaper Dandies” of the Progressive/College Rock community but had a loyal cult following. I would reluctantly point out it’s too trying in our data-driven environment to slow down enough to be willing to give it time.

That era did not have the gluttony of music that we have today and I have never looked at this album as necessarily having the components that would encourage repeated listens in today’s environment. While the album does not sound dated by any means it played a role during a certain era that needed an alternative to pop music.

Over the past 25 years is that we have a much different relationship with these songs than we did at first listen. This is both the blessing and curse of being in a rock band for so long is songs like “Feeling Gravity’s Pull”, “Driver 8” and “Wendell Gee” become part of who we are and we cannot escape that.

What is so genius about this album is how the stories and fables question our own motives and prophecies. This constant struggle between belief and common sense/technology is one whereby Stipe confronts head on using outcasts as his subjects.

Consider a song like Wendell Gee who becomes ungrounded in his pursuits via prophecy and it becomes his downfall. On the other hand, Maps and Legends says an equally engaging story about a man living in his prophecy and is laughed at by society for his own beliefs.

‘Life and How to Live It’ asks the question of whether conflict becomes such a polarizing affair through a man that splits his house in two and will live on one side of the house for awhile and then after tiring of that side will move onto the other side. When performed before the 2004 Presidential Elections I thought that the song was fitting for the political environment we live in.

Outside of the lore of the south is the fear of technology and capitalism. Green Grow the Rushes says it so perfectly in the line “Amber Waves of Gain”, whereby hard work is sacrificed for cheaper labor. Auctioneer (Another Engine), could almost be described as Rockville pt. 2 when it questions the motives of moving away for success and sacrificing love.

Where the album comes together is in the soul of the album. This is an album longing for a band that is feeling the pains of recording across the pond, conflicted over their success and stardom, getting fed into the lore of the south but also questioning it. As the band have suggested, it was a major point when the band asked themselves if they wanted to continue on this path.

Its strength is in its conviction that they are not just words written on a piece of paper for a song but the truth about an American band from the south.

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#13 Olivia Tremor Control – Black Foliage

September 4th, 2013 No comments

On first listen, Black Foliage might sound like a bunch of random blips and gadgets strewn together with pop-centric melodies, but deeper listens will reveal a much more deliberate approach to their music. Black Foliage was my introduction to not only the Olivia Tremor Control but to the Elephant 6 Collective, which began my madness in the late 90s of attempting to purchase any and all of these bands.

There was something that Athens, Georgia gave rock and roll and that was the ability to collaborate outside of your own group. For much of the music scene you could make the argument that it just wasn’t something that was seen all that much. R.E.M., made it okay, and the Elephant 6 made it part of their livelihood.

Olivia Tremor Control did not have the benefit of Pro Tools. They embraced the idea of lo-fi psychedelic music that involved their friends providing whatever utilitarian concept they could with the entire notion of releasing an album. That might have been constructing flowchart diagrams so that each portion could be recorded on the limited amount of equipment that they had as the entire album was recorded on 4 and 8 track recorders.

For OTC, they were the unique underwater psychedelic and highly visual band of the E6. Black Foliage is 27 tracks that lay out pop nuggets in-between odd interludes that push itself more like a puppet show than a rock and roll album.

While I have felt that the band was one of the seminal acts that were able to produce substantially with very little, their concept of producing in the studio was unlike many acts today in that their shows were often unique. It might have been the band arriving on stage from the audience reminiscent if the Peanuts characters had started their own band and were marching around Charlie Brown’s backyard.

The sound would be layers of instrumentation and vocals not to mention the blips and bleeps that they would capture that would leave mesmerized and wanting more. Only in the last few years the band had reformed and there was plans to release new material but with the recent unexpected passing of Bill Doss one of the founding members who played a prominent role in it’s sound, I would imagine that those plans are tabled.

For me, there are always surprises when I listen to the album again. It might be an instrument that stands out more prominently now than the last time or just the glee of taking into account the purpose of listening to the album and that would be to imagine and dream.

As a sidenote: I have attempted at all possible to post live video of the bands that I have been discussing. In certain cases the live streaming videos would not do the band justice in posting. For a band like the Olivia Tremor Control, it makes sense to just put on a pair of headphones, turn out the lights and close your eyes.

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#14 Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother

September 3rd, 2013 No comments

When namedropping Pink Floyd’s discography, others have called out for some of Pink Floyds more popular albums (The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, .etc), however, this one always seems to be closest to my heart and yet I would imagine it is one of the more difficult to embrace. First there is the enigmatic, cow pictured on the cover looking back at the listener, almost suggesting why you are listening to this album to begin with, or at least listening while drinking a New Glaurus Spotted Cow.

The title track to this concept album, even by Pink Floyd’s standards has always reminded me of the cool autumn chilly days. The first “Side” of the album was devoted to the title track broken 6 segments including a full brass section that feels part blues, part chant part medieval rock. Spanning over 23 minutes, the track is an early precurser to the progressive direction that the band would attempt on future albums. An interesting tidbit of course is that Stanley Kubrick wanted to use the track in the movie “A Clockwork Orange” only for the band to decline due to the fact there was not certainty of what parts Kubrick would use.

The second “Side” of this album was more a catch all as Waters, Wright and Gilmour each composed one song and complete the album with ‘Alan’s Psychaedelic Breakfast’. It is a bit of a hodgepodge but the songs are still worthy enough to make this release one of my favorites.

Whenever I listen to this album there are distinct moments that I hear parts of Radiohead circa ‘Kid A’ are apparent but what always impressed me at this point was the fact that they were taking challenges at this point in their career. While the band has been generally dismissive of the record, it is one of those records that they would not have gotten to the point in their career without it and for me it just seemed to resonate. Not to be critical of the rest of their library of material but I liked the orchestral arrangements and horns that were featured. This album just felt much more organic and at the end of the day, it been the album that has stuck with me the most.

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