Friday, January 31, 2014

The Magical Mystery Listening Tour: Day 43

The next batch of "D" albums is in the rearview mirror...

Rory Gallagher - Defender
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Gov't Mule - Deja Voodoo
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Husker Du - Demos Vol. 1 & 2
Rory Gallagher - Deuce
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs

The first of two Rory albums is "Defender," which is one of his later ones...it's solid and in some spots very good, but you can hear that his health is slipping and it's affecting his playing ever so slightly. The other album of his in this batch, "Deuce," which is his second album, is one of the all-time great albums from the early 1970s and shows Rory firing on all cylinders and showcasing the numerous styles he's adept at. Gov't Mule's "Deja Voodoo" is a killer collection of songs although the album is quite long and tends to drag near the end, not because of the quality of the songs but more because of its length. CSNY's "Deja Vu" is a classic and one of the best collections of cohesive songs you'll ever find, from any era. It's easy to hear how each song is influenced by who in the band wrote it, but they manage to still make it sound like a band and not just a songwriter and his backing band. "Demon Days" is Damon Albarn's solo masterpiece and is just a staggering piece of work; the breadth of styles and sounds he achieves (along with help from his guest stars) is a testament to his talent. Sadly, in my mind this is to date the last great album he's made although the Gorillaz follow-up "Plastic Beach" is nearly as good. The Husker Du demo collection gathers all of their early demos, non-album B-sides, fanclub and magazine giveaway tracks, and radio promos in one place and is an essential collection for any fan to have.  Finally, "Diamond Dogs," which may just be my favorite Bowie album. It's a harrowing, dark, and pretty grim and seedy concept album but Bowie delivers some of the best songs of his career with a band that is more than up to the task of translating them to record.

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