Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 13

Back at this alphabetical thing after a little break...

R.E.M. - Around the Sun
The Kinks - Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire
Humble Pie - As Safe As Yesterday Is
Suede - Astoria, London 12/24/93
The Allman Brothers Band - At Fillmore East

The R.E.M. album is, in my opinion, their absolute worst album and I remember after buying it when it came out, hoping they'd break up. Apart from a few songs (the title track, Electron Blue, Boy in the Well), it's mostly a mediocre mid-temp slog, and the rap in The Outsiders is one of the most embarrassing things I've ever heard. Luckily, they made up for this album with their final two albums. The Kinks' album is one of the all-time best albums by anyone, ever. It's from 1969 and smack dab in the middle of their incredible run of albums that started with 1966's "Face to Face" and ended with 1972's "Everybody's In Showbiz." It's a dazzling album from start to finish. The debut album from Humble Pie, featuring the twin guitar and vocal assault of Peter Frampton and Steve Marriott, is also from 1969 and is a great slice of late 60s hard rock.The Suede concert is a bootleg of a show at the tail end of 1993. It's incredibly powerful and not only contains songs from their debut album and its associated singles and B-sides, but pre-release versions of This Hollywood Life, We Are the Pigs, and New Generation, which would not be released until their second album, "Dog Man Star," in 1994. The version of He's Dead has to be heard to be believed: Bernard Butler gives an 8-minute clinic on guitar that is simply jaw-dropping (as he does throughout this show).  Finally, the Allman Brothers' live album is one of the most legendary live albums of all time, capturing them at the height of their powers onstage in 1971; no more words are necessary, it's that good.

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