Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 37

I'm getting there, more than 3/4 of the way through the "C" albums!

Rush - Clockwork Angels Tour Live
Pixies - Come On Pilgrim
Suede - Coming Up
Pixies - Complete B Sides
Genesis - Complete BBC Sessions
Credence Clearwater Revival - Assorted Rarities From the Complete CCR box set
The Beatles - The Complete Christmas Collection
The Stone Roses - The Complete Stone Roses

A lot of "Complete" albums! First, a bit out of order since it's a new release and was just added to my iPod, but Rush's latest live album is fantastic. The performance of their new album with a string ensemble is absolutely brilliant, although Geddy Lee's voice is finally showing signs of real strain. The Pixies are represented here first with their debut EP which is classic after classic, and then a B-sides collection that has some buried gems along with some really bizarre covers. Suede's first post-Butler album is probably the best album they made after he left the band up until this year's Bloodsports...short, concise blasts of more poppy British rock but still through Suede's slightly warped and darkened filter. Genesis' BBC sessions are very interesting...the early, pre-fame sessions are more pastoral while the sessions from 1971 onward show them flexing their newly found prog muscles.  The CCR album is the leftover non-album tracks from their box set, and while it's not essential listening, it's interesting to hear their first incarnation (as The Golliwogs) when they were trying to be a more poppy 1960s band. The Beatles' collection of all of their official fan club Christmas records from 1963-1969 is a real joy to listen to, and something I play every year around this time to get in the spirit. Off the cuff and humorous messages to fans, skits, and original Christmas songs (in addition to slightly changed versions of Christmas classics) makes for a really fun listen every year around this time. Finally, the Stone Roses' album is a collection of their non-album singles (or single edit versions) and B-sides, with many songs that probably should have been on the albums themselves! There are also some pre-debut album tracks that show how much darker and more aggressive their sound was in the early days.

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