Thursday, April 30, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #12: Siouxsie and the Banshees 'A Kiss in the Dreamhouse'

The third in the sequence of favourite Banshees’ LPs, again it’s an aural pleasure to be reunited with the warmth of the vinyl format of the more psychedelic charms of ‘A Kiss in the Dreamhouse’, and the proper full-sized scope of its Klimt-inflected sleeve design, Side One offering a veritable carnival ride indeed, and Side Two opening with the sensual pleasures of ‘Melt’ before trailing off a little after ‘Painted Bird’ but remaining an album of many, varied wonders &, of course, another essential (re)addition to the collection. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #11: Siouxsie and the Banshees 'Juju'

Another of the Banshees' classic LPs, best experienced of course via the medium of vinyl, as it originally was, & again a delight to be re-acquainted with in such 'widescreen' form, featuring as it does such wonders as 'Into the Light', 'Arabian Nights', & the mighty monoliths 'Monitor' (which wouldn't necessarily have sounded out of place on either of the first two Siouxsie albums) & 'Nightshift', the latter worth the purchase price alone, & somehow the very epitome of gothic, exhilaratingly so, yet the band never were 'Goth' in the manner they were often lazily labelled, being so much more varied in the scope of their aesthetic, not least as can be heard & appreciated over the course of this album.
"Sit back and enjoy the real McCoy" indeed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #10: Siouxsie and the Banshees 'Kaleidoscope'

It’s been good to be reunited with a vinyl copy of ‘Kaleidoscope’, always seeming as it does the preferred medium to experience, as originally & best, albums of its era (even if they were often transferred to cassette, and as often listened-to via that format, for the purposes of portability).

Always enjoyed, time has come to prove that it was the first of the sequence of three favourite Siouxsie albums, quite different in sound from the Banshees’ two previous LPs (due to a radical change in group personnel), as had been previewed with the ‘Happy House’ & ‘Christine’ singles that preceded the release of ‘Kaleidoscope’, including even songs that didn’t feature the guitars that had so defined, along with Siouxsie’s voice, the band’s sound up to that point.
With those singles, & particularly the quietly menacing ‘Tenant’, ‘Trophy’, ‘Hybrid’, the synthesized ‘Red Light’, the swooning ‘Desert Kisses’ & searing ‘Skin’, it’s an enduringly wonderful collection, of course an absolutely essential purchase & addition to the still relatively small but increasingly perfectly-formed collection.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #9: Pavement 'Brighten the Corners'

Another recent LP purchase has been Pavement’s ‘Brighten the Corners’, an album previously owned originally on cassette & later in digital form, but now finding it’s most powerful & appropriate-to-its-aesthetic form on vinyl – excellent stuff, & another essential addition to the collection.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #8: 'Throwing Muses'

Following-on from yesterday’s entry & its idiosyncratic nature, it seems appropriate today to feature Throwing Muses’ eponymously-titled debut album, previously-owned & purchased originally on vinyl shortly after its release, on one of those rare hunches of buying something without having heard the band’s sound at all, being inspired to do so by a music paper review (something florid from, probably, the Melody Maker, quite possibly written by Chris Roberts, including a line that ran something like “a thousand tiny seahorses swimming past your window”) & the fact the record was released by 4AD, then very much the label-de-jour featuring as it did a number of then-favourite artistes.

At the time, it proved to be an astonishing listening experience, never having quite heard the like of before, often going to some very dark places, yet electrifyingly, with such curious song-structures & such a range of vocal ‘techniques’, from soft cooing to screaming (& ‘Vicky’s Box’ in particular can still send a shiver down the spine), and it remains a uniquely powerful piece of work, imperfect in the best way, again best heard via the physicality of vinyl, thus rendering it another essential purchase when opportunity presented itself.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #7: Public Image Ltd 'Second Edition'

Today the opposite of tomato is (not for the first time) 'the jagged metal bad life'

Making it another double (& why not?), Public Image Ltd’s ‘Second Edition’ was both their second album & the second-format release of the original & iconic ‘Metal Box’ 3 x 12” single collection, which was an artefact I owned back in its day, thus not requiring the investment in ‘Second Edition’ until now, when it seems it should be another essential component of the vinyl LP collection, & thus it recently came to pass when opportunity presented itself.

I blogged some years ago about ‘Metal Box’ in relation to Simon Reynolds' opinion regarding the format in which music is released playing a part in its reception, with which I concurred & still do, very much so concerning this particular suite of tracks: ‘Metal Box’ was & remains the prime physical object-form via which to experience such remarkable music (even if it's many a long year since I was able to do so), with ‘Second Edition’ somehow diminishing its effect, if only slightly, but crikey the latter is still a damn sight better than subsequent CDs or mp3s – these sounds were made to be heard on vinyl.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #6: The Smiths 'Louder Than Bombs'

Today the opposite of tomato is, of course, "Louder Than Bombs"

Another compilation double LP set today, this time one that we had previously owned back in the day in the form of all its vinyl & gatefold-sleeved glory but which proved irresistible not to invest in again for the collection when it presented itself as available. It’s the mighty Smiths’ "Louder Than Bombs" US-released collection of single & radio session tracks, absolutely essential & what’s not to love?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl LP of the Day #5: The Go-Betweens 1978-1990

Mention yesterday, in closing, of ‘another project’ has today suggested that one such might be, finally, to document the vinyl LPs that have been acquired over the course of the relatively recent timespan of the last 10-11 months, since when such a nascent feature of the blog had drifted quietly into hibernation…

Thus, to reactivate proceedings, we present a collection never previously owned on vinyl, or indeed in any other form, the gatefold-sleeved double LP set ‘The Go-Betweens 1978-1990’, a well-chosen & delightful compendium of that very wonderful & much-treasured band’s tunes selected from each of their albums from ‘Send Me a Lullaby’ to ’16 Lover’s Lane’, also including single A- & B-sides & more besides, not least some previously unreleased & not heard, of course another essential addition to the record collection, as it should be to everyone’s with ears, a heart & a soul.

Soon, of course, it will be, already, the 9th anniversary of Grant McLennan’s untimely early death, as remarked upon here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Recently-Acquired Vinyl...

A necessary re-booting of the blog today, in slight abeyance following the conclusion of the World Cup ’74 portraits project (& the temporal demands of a work-based study programme followed by domestic decorating commitments: our new ‘creative’ room is looking fabulous, at least), with evidence of the recently-invested-in Dome box set - a quite magnificent, lavishly-presented artefact comprising 5 vinyl LPs, including the original 4 recordings re-pressed & housed within sleeves that incorporate reproductions of the originals within their design and ‘antiquated’ finish, other associated artwork & fascinatingly illustrated sleevenotes, & even an inexplicable matchbox of plastic fragments - an essential addition to and component of the truly discerning record collection, here presented in photographic form for your visual delight, although of course the ultimate point is the sonic contents of the compendium, into which we have been immersing ourselves for edification & inspiration.

The year so far seems to have been spent listening to the collected Dome (obviously), most of Wire (of whom Dome were two, of course), & the complete Felt, which begs an intriguing question: might it be possible to continue in this vein, consuming only, or primarily, the music of bands with four-letter names, throughout its course? Another ‘project’, perhaps…