Tuesday, February 04, 2014

A to Z albums - B

That's right, after almost 4 months, I've almost finished going through all the B albums in the collection.

To be honest, there's been some randoms in there along the way. I've managed to listen to just over 5000 tracks of a 12000 library now. I've been doing it by listening to a semi-random selection of albums, in between single tracks from albums. And because the "unlistened to tracks" list is done by album (because things like compilations have lots of different artists), I've been going through from A to Z on the albums.

And I've just about got through the B's now. So - what's in there ?

Well - a lot of Best Of's for a start ! Let's leave those until later.

Baby The Stars Shine Bright Tonight by Everything But The Girl. This group has all the ingredients, except for decent songs. Their Amplified Heart album had points of greatness but this one is very weak. And they just re-released it too. Glad I got it for something like £1 from Hay !

Aimee Mann's Bachelor No 2 - I need more from Aimee Mann. I like her voice. And the songs are good too.

Kate Bush's Back Sides - this is a little piece of history. It's an album from over 20 years ago that we had on vinyl. That format was lost to me until my dad got a device that can transfer from vinyl to cd. It's a TEAC machine that works fairly well, although the transport can hop and skip. There's an All About Eve b-side that I've not listened to for 20 years that's still good, shame it hops the stylus off the disc before the end.

Anyway - Back Sides - b sides will surprise you. Hopefully it's B sides that are new and fresh. Some artists just use remixes of the A-side as extra tracks. That's really bad. I prefer to listen to new tracks. And sometimes, they're better than what makes it on to albums. Take some of the Alisha's Attic B sides ... Here's one from the vaults - most B sides are definitely Too Far Forgotten.

There's game soundtracks in here too. One of the things about Good Old Games (Gog.com) is that the games are not just cheap, you get lots of extras in there too. I have all the soundtracks from the Dungeons and Dragons games, with the B's offering the Baldur's Gate soundtracks. Great games (that I never finished - lol!) with outstanding mood setting soundtracks.

Talking of a mood setting soundtrack - Band of Brothers. This series presented the horrors, the comradeship, the hardship of World War 2 from the point of view of a company of US Airborne paratroopers. If you've not seen Band Of Brothers, I'd thoroughly recommend it. It's strange, at the end you feel like you want to see more but you don't want the men to suffer more.

Soundtracks ? Barbarella will be an all time scifi classic. It's definitely a movie of its time (1968) and it has Jane Fonda at her most gorgeous. Scifi, Jane Fonda, what's not to like ? Perhaps the cheesiness. I still enjoyed it when I watched it last.

There's a bit of classical here too - Barber's Adagio for Strings will have you weeping, depending on what it's attached too. I also have a rather sizable Beethoven collection in here (bought for mebbe £1 off Amazon!). And there's the Battle Of Britain soundtrack too plus not one but two Battlestar Galactica soundtracks, the Beastmaster (yep).

Yep. I may have a music collecting addiction ;-).

Bastion is a game I bought on the strength of what people say about it but I haven't played it yet because it will need a controller I don't own (yet). The soundtrack is outstanding.

Garbage come in with two albums - Beautiful and Bleed Like Me. I like Garbage, they make strong indie rock, backed up by the sexy/vicious vocals of Shirley Mansun. Compelling.

What else ? I'll leave the Best Of's for another post maybe cos ... Wall Of Text alarm !
Suzanne Vega's - Beauty & Crime - good but not really special.
Tori Amos - The Beekeeper - like most Tori Amos, there's awesome tracks mixed in with the mediocre. The title track (The Beekeeper) is special and is guaranteed to have me try and sing along.
Beiderbeck Affair - little bit of smooooooth jazz, which formed the soundtrack for a very charming series with James Bolam and Barbara Flynn.
Avril Lavigne - The Best Damn Thing. Well, perhaps not the best but she always tries really hard and makes music that's fun to bop along to.
Beverly Craven's Beverly Craven album - some good ones here too, wouldn't mind getting some more of hers, although the songwriting can be weak again.
Beyond Good & Evil - is a game I need to finish, if only cos the incidental music is pretty good.

Morcheeba is a group I really shouldn't like but do anyway. They have two albums in here, Big Calm started them off for me, Fear And Love is a highlight. But there's also the  decent Blood Makes Lemonade album.

Goldfrapp's Black Cherry definitely isn't their best but it's more listenable to than most of their first. Quite disco-ey but not as good as Supernature. They have a film event coming up at the start of March which I'm highly likely to attend. (And probably be the only one in the cinema !)

Paramore are here too with Brand New Eyes. I think this may be their best album, they went backwards a little on their latest. No tracks of the calibre of The Only Exception.

Uhoh - I really have blown through Wall Of Text haven't I ... and that's without the Best Of's. T'Pau were a band that burned bright for a short time, Bridge Of Spies had the classic China In Your Hand.

Ellie Goulding has just entered a corner of my heart with her Bright Light's album. Interesting, may look for more.
But there's a whole side of my heart reserved for Hannah Peel, her Broken Wave album is wonderful. More !

Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms. Of course ...
Bugsy Malone soundtrack. Kids doing 1920s/30s prohibition gangsters with spud guns instead of tommy guns. Fun movie with memorable soundtrack.

And finally - Don Henley's Building the Perfect Beast. It's a very manufactured pop album with not much that really stands out. Except ... I hope I recover enough with enough in my legs to support a bit more cricket with the Boys Of Summer.

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