Sunday, November 30, 2014

A to Z - R is for Recital

I mentioned before - no Q for this series, I don't actually own any Q albums ... Ok, there's 2 Queen greatest hits cds but they're in the G's. Their second greatest hits just joined the collection actually, I needed a second for a 2 for deal to introduce me to Nightwish.

How's Nightwish ? Very theatrical. Very polished. That seems to be a trend in metal music lately. Less thrash, more heavy operatic. I'm not convinced by that trend, by polishing the music, they take the raw emotion out of it. That's why I like Evanescence, because they keep that raw emotion coming through the music.

R's ?

I've found Radio 1 Live Lounge to be a good source of new artists to add to the collection and have a selection of the cd's in the library. Highlights are where artists cover other people's songs and make them truly special. Like Little Boots with Beat Again, Avril Lavigne with The Scientist and Arctic Monkeys with You Know I'm No Good. I prefer all 3 of those over the originals.

One of my teenage music influences was T'Pau and they followed a decent first album with Rage. It's one of those albums which has big highs, big lows, good bits, bad bits. I played the hell out of it and was happily singing along to tracks like Secret Garden. Carol Decker's still got it 20 years after she recorded the original.

Back to something more contemporary. I discovered Daft Punk through enjoying their soundtrack to Tron Legacy and then checked out their own stuff. Random Access Memories is their latest. It's a decent listen, not quite what I usually listen to (not enough girlie vocals) but tracks like Get Lucky still get my toes tapping.

And now backwards - I dislike U2 as people because they're a typical example of what happens when too much money make people a little loopy. But ... they still made some amazing music. Like Rattle And Hum, including tracks like All I Want Is You. Now who might "You" be ?

But I do much prefer female vocals like the ever incredible, ever evolving, ever beautiful Madonna with Ray Of Light (I almost typoed Yay of Light, which sums up what I feel when some of its tracks come on). The famous track here is Frozen but my favourite is Nothing Really Matters.

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced or reminded me about a few people, this time it's Sophie Ellis-Bextor with her collection album, Read My Lips. There's a few great tracks here, Groovejet has that characteristic dance groove, Lover makes you want to have someone feel special, Is It Any Wonder has that ethereal voice

Crowded House have stood the test of time. They're still doing well today and their R album, Recurring Dream, is full of great songs. Like ... the one that opens it, Weather With You. What's it like where you are ? Sunny here today.

Going way back to before I was born now. It's Pink Floyd with Relics. It's a collection of their music in the 60s. Floyd changed considerably with the decades, their 60s music is definitely the quirkiest music they did. I'll pick out Remember A Day here for the Richard Wright tribute.

I don't have too many collections albums in the library, I usually get the full original albums instead. Retrospective by Suzanne Vega is another of these, although it does have some different versions of the original songs, like The Queen And The Soldier.

Another collection ? All About Eve have had their back catalogue mercilessly raided over the years with albums like Return To Eden which has versions of their songs which didn't have the final production polish behind them. It's saved by Julianne Regan's voice and a wonderful cover of Devil Woman.

I have most of the Star Wars soundtracks ! And I'm proud to admit that. Ha. Most of them come under S but there's one under R - Return of the Jedi. You know this one already don't you ?

Paul Simon is another golden oldie that's still knocking around with albums like Rhythm Of The Saints, including tracks like The Obvious Child. He's still got something unique with that soft voice of his.

Franz Ferdinand keep my attention with their quirkiness. Their Right Thoughts, Right Action album is another pretty good one but make sure you get the deluxe version as it has a second cd with live versions of the album plus some of their best stuff like Ulysses.

Paramore burst into everyone's attention with their first album Riot! Love this album, it was a great introduction for another full band group. Tracks like Let The Flames Begin having the band fully complement Hayley's voice.

Chris Rea's been knocking around for a while too and one of his better known albums is Road To Hell. This one's packed with great songs too. Texas ? They got big long roads out there.

Another oldie ? Meat Loaf's been around a while too and I have his Rock N Roll Hero collection. It's ok for a collection but he's not really a favourite. Perhaps I hear the damage he's done to that incredible voice of his.

And talking of an incredible voice, here's Duffy with Rockferry. I have the special 2cd version, which I'd thoroughly recommend because the second cd has some excellent songs on it. Like the plaintive Please Stay but there's also other sad but wonderful songs like Warwick Avenue and Delayed Devotion.

Puss In Boots was a great film (well, I enjoyed it) and it introduced me to the instrumental guitar music of Rodrigo y Gabriela. I need more of their stuff alongside their self titled album with tracks like a sublime cover of Stairway to Heaven.

Last 2 ! The penultimate of Coldplay's A Rush Of Blood To The Head. I'm not sure about Coldplay, a lot of their music mushes into the same track. There's not much distinctiveness to them, outside of their Wall Of Sound technique. Favourite here is Clocks.

And ... finishing on a high note ... Fleetwood Mac's Rumours is one of the best albums of all time. It was born in a time of emotional turmoil for the band and that fire forged an incredible album with tracks like Oh Daddy, Go Your Own Way, You Make Lovin' Fun and ... The Chain.

Yep. I'm a child of the time BBC had the Grand Prix coverage and there's something that feels very Right and The Chain being the theme of Formula One.

Time to close now. S will be on the way ... sometime. But I should actually hit under 1000 tracks left to listen to by the end of today ! That's only taken ... 13 months. Cor.

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