Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A to Z albums - A

You know me,

I can never stay away from music posts for too long. (He says chuckling away to himself)

It's been almost 2 months now since the Macbook Air arrived (time flies doesn't it ?) and how much of the library have I managed to get through ? Hmm. I've managed to listen to all but 1 of the A albums in that library so far ... Wow. That's either a lot of A albums or lots of random tracks piled in there in between.

Ok. It's a bit of both actually. I started being a bit more systematic in what I choose to play through, mostly because I like listening to albums as albums. Some like most of the earlier Kate Bush albums are made like that. They tell a story as they go through, they carry a mood through the album (Madonna's are like that). If it's Cardigans or All About Eve, there's amazing track after amazing track (listener preferences may differ - lol).

And there just happens to be a lot of A albums in the library (37 not counting the odd tracks).

That's actually far too many to mention them all. What's my highlights ?

Alisha's Attic have 2 entries. There's their first album (Alisha Rules The World) which established them as something rather different. 2 sisters with complementary and a little voices. Attitude. A touch of the weird. Huge dollops of Cool coming in for free. There's a reason I went by the pseudonym Alisha's Addict for a while.

(And it did feel a little strange when we had an Aleesha turn up at work one day to join the team - we'll miss her input when she moves on, smart girl).

The second Alisha's Attic is their Attic Vaults 1 album. AA didn't last very long, just 3 albums before they packed it in. They didn't get the recognition they deserved. Classy artists tend to get left behind while manufactured GirlBand and Boyband garbage gets the attention. The Attic Vaults album was going to be the first of a few which had their unreleased stuff but sadly only one came out. A pity because most Alisha's Attic B sides are far superior to the average output of your Boyband and Girlband trash.

(I'm leaving the youtube links out of this one - although I'd love to link you Wonderful U or On The B Side. Very happy songs).

Lily Allen's making a comeback (we hope) ! She gets in here with her first album Alright Now. If AA had attitude, Lily Allen/Cooper has even more. It's fun to listen to as well, although ... swear words ... makes you choosy about where you play it - lol - silly people getting offended.

Oldest one - All About Eve's self titled debut. What can I say. They had the gorgeous Julianne Regan as lead, who in her glamour-goth style with long dark hair and the voice of a siren had me utterly entranced. No one at school could compare (yep - long time ago, last century even) although Miss Rachel came close. It's 20 years old but it's still one of my favourite albums.

Gloria Estefan is in here too with Anything For You. It's a good album and Gloria Estefan is possibly even more gorgeous than Julianne Regan but ... I dunno. The songs were more consistently better from All About Eve.

There's the usual staples of most people's libraries in here too. There's the essentials like Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way, Guns n Roses with Appetite For Destruction and R.E.M. with Automatic For The People. However, I prefer listening to the female voice. Male vocals don't grab my attention in the same way (there's a reason why the Bitchin' Betty warnings in aircraft are in a female voice, we're wired to respond to it on an instinctive level).

What's different ? What won't you recognise ? What'll be new for you ?

Lene Marlin is another singer who I've followed for years. She's Norwegian, singing in English with that Scandinavian accent. They're mostly ballads although she'll go for the boppy, rocky songs too. Her voice is another amazing voice. Well worth a listen. I'm looking forward to when the rest of her albums come up in the queue, it's just been Another Day so far.

Talking about the angels ... Craziequeen introduced me to Mindy Gledhill with the Anchor album. If you're feeling down, listen to this or her newer album Pocketful of Poetry. I wasn't going to link anything but ... I dare ya. Listen to this one (Crazy Love) and try to avoid smiling.

This is getting near Wall of Text territory so ... more in there, which are decent but not true favourites :

Tori Amos - Abnormally Attracted To Sin
Tori Amos (again!) - American Doll Posse
Abba's third hits album
Kate Bush with Aerial - her last "good" album
Smash Mouth - All Star Greatest Hits (they gave some music to Shrek)
Paramore with All We Know Is Falling (decent debut album and they've improved since)
Mark Knopfler and Emmy Lou Harris - All The Roadrunning
(been tempted to try an Emmy Lou Harris album - dunno why I haven't yet)
Arctic Monkeys - AM (recommended)
Everything But The Girl - Amplified Heart (much better than Baby... which is trash)
Clannad with Anam
Pink Floyd with Animals (Weird, has lines about sheep rising up and fighting dogs by learning karate)
Rita Coolidge - Anytime Anywhere - this lady knew how to sing
Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern - these guys made a lot of great music

And I've not even mentioned the soundtracks ... Ok. Only one. There was a Beatles tribute film that came out a few years ago called Across The Universe. Unlike the abomination which was the Mamma Mia film, the actors and actresses in Across The Universe could sing and sing extremely well.

I'll close off with a highlight - "Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play ?" If you haven't seen Across The Universe, I'd highly recommend it. Oh and here's another link, just Because.

PS The world remembered a Titan today. RIP Nelson Mandela, we won't see someone as great as you for some time.

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