Back to main "Listen" page

Listening Notes – June 2016

  • Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy [vinyl] (1973)
  • Octopus Restless Night The Complete Pop-Psych Sessions (1967-1971)(2006)
  • Battles Mirrored (2007)
  • Yes Relayer [BD 5.1 LPCM Surround 2014 Mix] (1974)
  • Phoenix Foundation, The Fandango (Sides A&B)[vinyl] (2013)
  • Phoenix Foundation, The Fandango (Sides C&D)[vinyl] (2013)
  • Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris Trio [vinyl] (1987)
  • Led Zeppelin Coda [3x vinyl edition] (1982)
  • Ultravox Ha!Ha!Ha! (1977)
  • Ween La Cucaracha (2007)
  • Rolling Stones, The Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) [vinyl] (1966)
  • Blur Parklife (1994)
  • Rolling Stones, The Some Girls [vinyl] (1978)
  • Hackett, Steve Live Rails (2011)
  • Unkle Where Did The Night Fall (2010)
  • Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart (2010)
  • Eagles, The - Desperado [vinyl] (1973)

Listening Notes – June 2016

  • 01/06 - Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy [vinyl] (1973)

Loving the Zep on vinyl. It just seems apt to listen to them on this analogue medium.
Jimmy Page's inventive playing just shines throughout - there's magic everywhere. His acoustic playing is also fantastic. The cover is an absolute stunner. They're just a bunch of hippies if you ask me. My appreciation of this great band grows daily. This helps immensely.

  • 03/06 - Octopus - Restless Night - The Complete Pop-Psych Sessions (1967-1971)(2006)

I bought a 2nd-hand version of this CD when in Hastings a couple of years ago. I knew absolutely nothing about them but liked the back story. I went out and got a remastered, expanded version. It's a great mix of 60's swirly pop and old English progressive rock. There are some really catchy songs that never out stay their welcome.

  • 04/06 - Battles - Mirrored (2007)

Noisy, nerd rockists from New York. Exponents of "math rock" - it's all very formulaic and repetitive. If you are in the mood which I sort of am this afternoon, it's a challenging, yet rewarding listen. Had great pleasure in seeing them play at their manic 2008 BDO performance. They were one of the more memorable experiences I've had.

  • 05/06 - Yes - Relayer [BD 5.1 LPCM Surround 2014 Mix] (1974)

Ok, it's a Steve Howe guitar fix I'm usually after when I listen to this totally bonkers early 70's recording.
Astounding instrumentation - as close to rock'n'jazz as you can get - these guys are definitely the real deal. What is amazing on this SW surround recording is Chris Squires brilliant bass playing - it truly is a work of genius.
The song that really kills me every time though is the "Soon" section of "Gates of Delirium". One of my funeral songs.

  • 07/06 - Pheonix Foundation, The - Fandango (Sides A & B)[vinyl] (2013)

Brilliant meandering 70's throwback - and I mean that in the most positive way. Another catchy, world class recording, that's just a perfect piece of vinyl. I can't imagine ruining things with a big fat flat digital recording. Maybe, I'm reading too many pro-vinyl books and articles lately but I'm convinced it couldn't sound any better. Thank you Wellington!

Round two tommorow.

  • 08/06 - Pheonix Foundation, The - Fandango (Sides C&D)[vinyl] (2013)

Best to listen to this gem in two sittings. Sides A&B infiltrated my auditory cortex last night and I'm definitely up for more this evening. I'm anticipating the 18 minutes of the last track on side D. Rubbished by some - I will suspend my judgement until completion. If it's half as good as the rest I'd be happy.

  • 11/06 - Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris - Trio [vinyl] (1987)

Got the big triple vinyl remaster of Led Zeppelin's "Coda" today. I'm gearing up for a listen over the next day or two. On the other end of the continuum is this gem from 3 country superstars bought at the same time. It's a beautiful record for a sunny Saturday afternoon - and definitely at it's best when all three singers share their wonderful harmonies. I can't say I've gone all country - but I do recognise a great collaboration regardless of genre. This is brilliant!

Best track(s): Those Memories Of You

  • 12/06 - Led Zeppelin - Coda [3x vinyl edition] (1982)

As soon as the needle hit the grooves it got heavy. Despite their influences, Led Zeppelin, always sounds like Led Zeppelin. There's a few grating tracks but I can live with that. I've suddenly become very interested in the band's history and I'm currently wading through all sorts of books and references to find out more.

  • 14/06 - Ultravox - Ha!Ha!Ha! (1977)

The wife threw an "N" so I chose Ultravox's Ha!Ha!Ha! Maybe that's what this album represents - complete non-conformity. A real oddity amongst all of the punk records of that era. It's definitely "Punk" but goes off in so many directions. It's kicks off all rock'n'roll, goes a bit ambient, then rips your ear drums out with such masterful abrasiveness and then it does jazz. All at a time when I wasd a teenage sponge mopping up the most amazing sounds on the planet. This definitely helped set my weirdness radar.

  • 15/06 - Ween - La Cucaracha (2007)

Picked this beauty up at the Hospice shop a few years back on one of my once-a-week excursions into Bridge Street.
I think it cost me $2. Money very well spent I say. Typically clever and eclectic this is another great listen. After 40 years making their brand of completely wacko music, their standards and their talent hasn't dipped one iota.

  • 17/06 - Rolling Stones, The - Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) [vinyl] (1966)

A rip snorting collection of early hits. Unbelievable that a group of long haired gits could make such amazing music! This gate-fold collection is beautifully reproduced in all of its glory.
The Stones is another band that I'm drooling at the prospect of delving into their back catalogue.

  • 18/06 - Blur - Parklife (1994)

Sounding in places like a more contemporary, and more multidimensional Jam, this is a very extraordinary and very British record. Full of English charm and frivolity, it's a relentlessly good trip from the first track to the last. The track "Parklife" is the real star though.

Best track(s): Parklife, This Is A Low

  • 19/06 - Rolling Stones, The - Some Girls [vinyl] (1978)

I warned you Nick. I said "there's a bargain if ever I saw one". $20 on this lovely slab of processed acetate sitting on those there warehouse shelves. One of the Stones best of the 70's and right smack bang in the middle of that punk explosion. I retrieved this this morning - I just couldn't see it go to waste. It's your loss Nick!

  • 22/06 - Hackett, Steve - Live Rails (2011)

Mr. Hackett shows off his considerable chops on this live outing from 2011.
During the last decade this old ex Genesis guitarist has made a bit of a comeback. As well as revisiting and reinterpreting old Genesis numbers, he's produced a couple of surprising good records of new material.
I've always admired his guitar playing which really doesn't sound like anyone else. Along with Jeff Beck, I rate this man very highly. His guitar work on Firth of Fifth is remarkable and one of my top tunes ever.

  • 24/06 - Unkle - Where Did The Night Fall (2010)

This fairly recent record is a great album to put on when you don't need to concentrate just revel in its sonic beauty. It's a bit like having a soundtrack to your own life. I wish!

  • 25/06 - Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart (2010)

I still haven't plucked up the courage yet to play Black Mountain's latest, "IV" (on sparkling white vinyl of course). I'm just waiting for the right moment. I've already had a few previews via Tidal and got completely floored by a couple devastating, goose-bump-inducing tracks. I just didn't know what to do with my hands!
This earlier record is a bit the same. Mesmerised, hypnotised, stupefied by such momentous riffage and the call and response from Amber Webber and Stephen McBean, knowing what to do with one's hands is again pondered.

I saw these neo-Psych, indie space rockers at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on their tour promoting this monster.
I've got the Shark T-shirt to prove it! Warn the neighbours I'm bringing out the white vinyl in the next few days.

  • 26/06 - Eagles, The - Desperado [vinyl] (1973)

The first time anyone EVER played an Eagles track in more than a decade of Shut Up and Listen sessions was a month ago.
Nick played "Bitter Creek" off this album. Soon afterwards I went out and promptly purchased Desperado realising I'd missed something over recent years. I got rid of all of my Eagles vinyl many years ago. Why supposedly sophisticated listeners continue to shun The Eagles I don't know. Despite artists possessing incredible talent, brilliant song writing and fantastic musicianship, popularity often does that?!

Again, vinyl absolutely rules.