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Added by Rossjm on 2 Feb 2013 03:21
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Music Diary 2013

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People who added this item 127 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Fun House - The Stooges
25th January

The best of The Stooges three studio albums. It's equally raw and intricate. Iconic energetic performance by Iggy Pop and brilliant instrument work from Ron Asheton on guitar, Scott Asheton on drums Dave Alexander on bass, with guest saxophonist Steve Mackay being used well intermittently. As on their debut album (which I heard in 2012), the song writing is unrestrained, chaotic yet amazingly refined.

Favourite Tracks
T.V Eye
Fun House
People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Freak Out! - The Mothers of Invention, The Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa
26th January

Freak Out! was the first time Frank Zappa recorded music, at this point within the band The Mothers of Invention. A great ensemble, who were open minded and brave enough to record Zappa's wildy inventive and crazy music. Lead singer Ray Collins even helped co-write one song with the legendary guitarist/composer. It was way ahead of its time. There's interesting satire from the get go, there's sincere love songs, there's songs sung in a style that both parody and embrace earlier styles of music from the decades before. Sometimes, sincerity and spoof can be found in the same songs. This album perfectly balances parody and homage, whilst offering its own wildly unique satire and bold, unbiased political statements.

Favourite Tracks
Hungry Freaks, Daddy
Who Are the Brain Police?
Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder
How Could I Be Such a Fool?
Motherly Love
Wowie Zowie
You Didn't Try to Call Me
Any Way the Wind Blows
Trouble Every Day
Help, I'm a Rock
The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet
People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Da Capo - Love
26th January

Never quite as popular as their similar sixties coounterparts but still important to the progress of rock music. They left their stamp on music's legacy, inspiring even the bigger, more famous acts around them. A huge lot of debt is owed to Love, a band that carries the embodiment of sixties spirit even in name. If you like Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and even the hard rock of Punk music released a decade after this release, you will probably like this album. The song Revelation often gets criticised but even if, as it is mostly argued, it didn't capture the live energy of the band performing extended songs like this in gigs, it still sounds very good and interesting on record. Defending the final song is a but of an unpopular opinion but I personally liked it just as much as the rest of the album.

Favourite Tracks
Stephanie Knows Who
¡Que Vida!
7 and 7 Is
She Comes in Colours
People who added this item 126 Average listal rating (93 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Raw Power - The Stooges
30th January

This was a transitional album for Iggy Pop, the front man of The Stooges with the infamously wild and unpredictable stage presence. The Stooges had broken up, more or less, in the years between Fun House and Raw Power. However, Iggy Pop and James Williamson, a guitarist hired to tour with the band in the unschedualed and chaotic years following the release of Fun House wanted to make a new album. So the old band assembled, with Ron Asheton moving into the bass position vacated by Dave Alexander. Only this time, they had no real input in the song writing process, which was handled by Pop and Williamson. So at this point, the only link that made this a Stooges album rather than a Pop/Williamson collaboration is the irreplaceable raw power of the band, an energy that inspired the title. The structure of the band, however, isn't important when looking at this album. It's the incredible music that resulted and the legacy it left behind.

Favourite Tracks
Search and Destroy
I Need Somebody
Death Trip
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Absolutely Free - Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention
31st January

Even more experimental and surreal than its predecessor. Freak Out! was difficult to digest and this is more so. When you listen to it for the first time, listen to it and concentrate. It is not an album you can stick on and relax to. Each side of the album is essentially one long suite, with recurring motifs and riffs and a wide variety of themes. Some relate to each other, others are independent but overall, they form a larger whole. A brilliant album of two, as it is dubbed on the original record, Oratorios. It gets even better upon repeated listens.

Favourite Tracks
Plastic People
The Duke of Prunes
Amnesia Vivace
The Duke Regains His Chops
Call Any Vegetable
Invocation & Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin
Uncle Bernie's Farm
Brown Shoes Don't Make It
People who added this item 20 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Scream - Siouxsie and the Banshees
31st January

Sparse and sharp. These are the two best and most complimentary words I can use to apply to this groundbreaking album, a bridge between Punk and Post-Punk. The compositions are each amazingly produced, with the basic guitar, bass, drum, vocal set-up stripped down and interconnected to create the concentrated power this album has in spades. Amongst the nine original compositions is a cover of Beatles classic and hard-rock forerunner Helter Skelter, reworked in a way that only Siouxsie & the Banshees could pull off. They condense the original's powerful, messy and explosive sound and treat it as if it's a song of their own. That's the best approach to covering a Beatles song. Pale imitations don't cut it; to truly make a Beatles cover stand out, it needs to be envisioned differently, which is exactly the case on this album and Siouxsie's unique vocals mesh well with the lyrics. The song works amazingly, fitting in perfectly alongside the other songs. It's a consistent album but not in a boring or predictable way. It is inventive yet keeps its course, engrossing the listener.

Favourite Tracks
Helter Skelter
Metal Postcard
People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Jefferson Airplane Takes Off - Jefferson Airplane
1st February

The debut album by Jefferson Airplane. It's a rooted and well-written mixture of tracks, with some amazing vocal work. Along with the unique voices of Marty Balin and Paul Kanter, Signe Toly Anderson is the female vocalist here, preceding the more famous Grace Slick, who joined on the following album after Anderson left. The original tracks are great and each one has a drive and a hook that makes this album relistenable. It's a subtle album and it works well for it. The three cover songs each augment the tone and folk/blues style of the album and are done in a way that doesn't stray too much from the original source as to make it unrecognisable but allows them to put their own spin on it. One such cover, Let's Get Together is actually amongst one of the best tracks, rivalling the finely tuned original compositions.

Favourite Tracks
Blues from an Airplane
Let Me In
Let's Get Together
Don't Slip Away
People who added this item 89 Average listal rating (66 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Damaged - Black Flag
2nd February

One of the best and most renowned Punk (Hardcore Punk, specifically) albums of all time. After hearing their EPs and liking their style, I decided to listen to this. The anger is here, there is genuine and sincere emotion, as well as a dark sense of bitter-sweet humour. The vocal work by Rollins is a highlight, his voice becoming a loud instrument of its own to match the noise of the rest of the band. Whilst some songs have significant replay value, to listen to the album in full again, I would need to be in the mood the album conveys. Luckily, it appealed to my emotions the first time around, as well as being interesting as a first time listen. Six Pack and Damaged I had appeared on prior releases before the rerecorded versions found on here and I can see why they were selected to be put on here, as they are both very good, distinctive songs. Overall, this is a record that has the attitude of Punk and the brains behind it that few disapproving critics of the genre tend to notice.

Favourite Tracks
Six Pack
What I See
T.V Party
Life of Pain
Damaged I
People who added this item 141 Average listal rating (106 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Surrealistic Pillow - Jefferson Airplane
5th Febraury

Despite how good their debut album from the previous year was, this is where Jefferson Airplane truly took off. With the most well-known line-up now in place with Grace Slick as the new (and now iconic) female vocalist and Spencer Dryden as the new drummer. With wonderful song progressions, a balanced track list of both soft and harder rock and reflective, philosophical and romantic, it has rightfully become a classic album. A defining release that helped start the summer of love.

Favourite Tracks
She Has Funny Cars
Comin' Back to Me
3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
White Rabbit
People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
My War - Black Flag
5th Febraury

A gloomier release than Damaged three years prior, this album is deftly constructed. It's an album that fuses Punk and Metal, with several fantastic riffs reminiscent of pioneering heavy metal acts of the seventies (especially Black Sabbath), without ripping them off. It sounds authentic and sincere. The lyrics are as dark as they get. The first half offers similar sort of satire and emotional summaries as Damaged, whilst the second half explores the nasty and empty side to human nature. Somehow it also manages to have more of a relistenable factor than the first album, despite being more sinister.

Favourite Tracks
My War
Can't Decide
Nothing Left Inside
Three Nights
People who added this item 420 Average listal rating (291 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Kill 'Em All - Metallica
7th February

Metallica were one of the founders of the new wave of metal, Thrash Metal, that began in the early eighties. With fast, tough music, powerful lead vocals without the unnecessary inaudible screaming of lyrics and songs with dark yet moral themes, the genre and this album helped bring about a new age of Metal. A sort of mesh heavy metal's Black Sabbath and hard-rock/prog-rock's Rush. The riffs across the album are well constructed. Even when some of them begin to sound very similar as the album goes on, they are never badly recorded and each song still has its own distinct energy. The most amazing thing is, these musicians were ages 19-21 and after the release of the album, were already giants of their genre.

Favourite Tracks
Four Horsemen
(Anasthesia) Pulling Teeth
Seek & Destroy
Metal Militia
People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Gish - The Smashing Pumpkins
7th February

This album is one of the most crisp sounding albums of the nineties. Which is remarkable for two reasons. Firstly, it's a debut album. Secondly, it was by an independent band. Each instrument is perfectly performed and the parts add to the depth and emotion of Corgan's lyrics and vocals.

Favourite Tracks
I Am One
Window Paine
People who added this item 592 Average listal rating (447 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Ride the Lightning - Metallica
8th February

More distinctive riffs this time around and song writing credits include lead guitarist Kirk Hammett this time around and bassist Cliff Burton has more of an input in the process this time around. A powerful album with some very morbid themes, surrounded by fitting music.

Favourite Tracks
Ride the Lightning
Fade to Black
Creeping Death
Call of Ktulu
People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Idiot - Iggy Pop
10th February

Iggy Pop's debut solo album after The Stooges split, this is exactly on par with the best of their material. Iggy Pop wrote this with his close friend David Bowie, right at the start of Bowie's Berlin Period. Written and produced around the same time as Bowie's Low, they share a strong connection. Experimental music inspired in part by Krautrock (especially Kraftwerk) but forging enough of its own unique style to be a breakout album of its own. Lyrically, this album is exceptional. Love songs with surreal slants and musings on his life and society at the time, sung against some inventive and mesmerising melodies. One of the finest solo albums of all time.

Favourite Tracks
Sister Midnight
China Girl
Tiny Girls
Mass Production
People who added this item 78 Average listal rating (53 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
In the Wake of Poseidon - King Crimson
11th February

Lyrically and musically a good album. The only problem is it is much of the same that their iconic and mold-breaking debut album In the Court of the Crimson King had to offer. Whilst it is definitely a pleasure to listen to, it doesn't have the same urgency and sense of collaboration that their fantastic first album had, an album which when I first heard it immediately entered my top 5. Similarities are most evident in Pictures of a City, which bares resemblance to 21st Century Schizoid Man and the title track, which sounds like it is going to unfold into Epitaph at any minute. They definitely aren't bad songs and are good showcases of talent, it's just they don't quite match up to their stylistically similar counterparts. Best track on the album is Cat Food because it extends beyond the comfort zone of Court and is a truly memorable song. Overall, despite its reliance on the pillars of the previous album, it remains a great sounding record.

Favourite Tracks
Pictures of a City
Cat Food
The Devil's Triangle
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0
Bleecker & MacDougal - Fred Neil
13th February

This is poetry. Lyrical poetry, musical poetry, beautiful, sincere, powerful folk blues. A powerful sound is retained, even without a single drum on the record. It's all acoustic guitar, perfectly placed electric guitar, harmonica, bass and of course, Neil's strong vocals. I'm surprised I had to add this album to Listal. It's shocking to me that such a classic debut CD by an acclaimed musician was absent from this site. Well either way, here it is and I can't recommend it enough.

Favourite Tracks
Bleecker & MacDougal
Blues on the Ceiling
Travelin' Shoes
Yonder Comes the Blues
Handful of Gimme
Gone Again
People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
14th February

A fantastic showcase of keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakemen, this solo album was recorded whilst he was in the progressive rock band Yes, one of my favourite groups of the genre. A well constructed solo album, capturing accurately the life and personalities of the famed monarch's six wives. Most accurate is perhaps Anne Boleyn, especially regarded the theme of execution. It even uses an excerpt from a fitting a hymn tune, written in the 19th century. Luckily, Wakeman had the foresight not to hog the whole album with keyboard sounds, so he wrote some amazing bass, drum and guitar parts to accompany his own playing. An album full of beautiful music, often mirroring 15th century music, it may only appeal to those who are fans of prog-rock and lengthy instrumental passages. If you want to listen to this album, I would suggest listening to Fragile and Close to the Edge by Yes first. You should note that the order of wives on the album is not in the same historical chronological order but this decision certainly works in terms of pacing.

Favourite Tracks
Catherine of Aragon
Anne of Cleves
Anne Boleyn
Catherine Parr
People who added this item 57 Average listal rating (40 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Lizard - King Crimson
14th February

To be honest, I found this one sort of underwhelming. Compared to their debut masterpiece and similar but powerful and catchy follow up, this one seems lacking. Maybe it was down to the short term line-up, meaning the band lacked the stability of the first two albums. It certainly isn't a bad album and with a guy as talented as Fripp leading the band, this should go without saying. The jazz influences are stronger here than on the first two albums and some passages are odd and interesting. However, none of the tracks have much of a relisten factor. The first and last track are the saving graces but even then, they lack the oomph of any track on the last two albums. The eponymous song is the best, augmented by Yes singer Jon Anderson's guest lead vocals for the first portion of the track. Ultimately, this album is pretty impenetrable. The lyrics are even further out field than before and lack clarity, even in songs with a narrative. I'm no stranger to strange and surreal themes. I love it in all the arts, including film, television, music and books. Except here, apart from a couple of strong mental images it paints, the abstract lyrics lack the urgency and structure of similarly offbeat songs like 21st Century Schizoid Man and Cat Food. Furthermore, the words don't seem to make it easy for a listener to form a connection, unlike classic earlier King Crimson songs like I Talk to the Wind, Epitaph and the Peace tracks on In the Wake of Poseidon. I'd listen to this for the sake of completion. I'm working though their albums in order of release but, despite a few appealing lyrics here and there and some good musical parts, it isn't something I would be drawn straight back to.

Favourite Tracks

Edit: After a relisten in June 2014, I'm now pleased to admit that this is a great album. I'm always happy to have my opinion changed when it comes to music. As a fan of King Crimson, I'm glad this album has finally won me over.
People who added this item 68 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Aftermath - The Rolling Stones
16th February

One of the more consistent and ultimately more enjoyable albums by The Rolling Stones, this album has their famous blues influence without it being too imitative and it has some harder, rougher songs that made their later albums such a pleasure to listen to. Essentially, this is an album that has everything we love about the band but in a cleverly subtle measure. It never seems like excess and it rocks in a smooth yet intriguing path.

Favourite Tracks
Mother's Little Helper
Under My Thumb
Doncha Bother Me
Goin' Home
I am Waiting
What to Do
People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Islands - King Crimson
16th February

A step up from their previous album, which was interesting but messy at best. This album has a more clear direction. It is often calm but has well placed elements of chaos. This quiet/loud dichotomy is employed to engaging effect and can often be unsettling in nature. This is the King Crimson sound of their first two albums, yet it manages to stray away from most of what they recorded before this. Clearer themes in the lyrics and a pristine stereo recording, this is an album that has the creativity of their first album yet carves its own personality amongst their discography up to this point.

Favourite Tracks
Formentera Lady
Sailor's Tale
Ladies of the Road
People who added this item 177 Average listal rating (124 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Facelift - Alice in Chains
18th February

A lyrically dark descent into inner demons. Layne Staley isn't always singing about things that puts the narrator of the songs on the nice end of the spectrum. Instead, he sings lyrics that are honest but often brutal. It's this raw imagery, coupled with heavy riffs and an occasional use of psychedelic textures that allows the listener to delve into introspection of their own. This debut album is similar in many ways to the output of The Stooges, which is always a good thing, at least when its delivered with the sincerity of Alice in Chains.

Favourite Tracks
Man in the Box
Bleed the Freak
I Can't Remember
Love, Hate, Love
People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
19th February

After leaving Roxy Music over not having enough of a say in song compositions, Brian Eno embarked on a career that would truly distinguish him. His work on the early Roxy Music albums was essential to building their sound. However, becoming a solo artist was a career move that paid off and started him on a journey that would lead to him becoming the most famous ambient musician. Collaborating with his old band mates (except Bryan Ferry) and King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp et al, he made his first solo contribution to the world of music (I still need to hear is joint album with Fripp that preceded this album by a year). Very interesting lyrics, at times heartfelt, at others satirical, almost always surreal, backed by some music that swings from calm to chaotic in a wonderfully inconsistent and unpredictable style.

Favourite Tracks
Baby's on Fire
Cindy Tells Me
Driving Me Backwards
Blank Frank
Dead Finks Don't Talk
Some of Them Are Old
20th February

An intriguing listen, relaxing but able to stimulate your mind at the same time. It has beautiful sounds, as well as loud, unsettling textures. It's this juxtaposition that makes this one of the most defining avant-garde compositions to have ever been written. John Cage was a genius ahead of his time and this is often regarded as his magnum opus. The version I listened to was the one performed by Boris Berman (listed here) in 1998, 50 years after it was first composed. Apparently each version has variations based on how impossible it is to prepare the piano exactly the same each time. There are instructions for each performer that describe what props to use on which notes but John Cage quoted "if you enjoy playing the Sonatas and Interludes then do it so that it seems right to you" and the freedom that comes with performing this piece must be part of what makes it such an enduring work.

Favourite part
Sonata IX
through to
Interlude 4
People who added this item 299 Average listal rating (200 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Showbiz - Muse
21st February

A tremendous debut album, with fantastic pacing throughout, both in within single songs and the album as a whole. Muse sometimes get compared to Radiohead and often criticised for their similarity. As I see it, they're both very talented bands and they both know how to write good songs. So who cares if Bellamy's voice and the style of the songs are similar? Muse's songs should be judged on their own merits and as it happens, this album is full of great material. The build up in some songs creates a level of suspense as you wait for the tipping point, for the sonic explosion. Muse can always be relied upon for distinctive Chris Wolstenholme basslines too, evident throughout this album, alongside Bellamy's diverse guitar playing styles and Dominic Howard's drums adding to the power of the album. Savour the lyrics too, the venom of some songs make for great listening and conversely, Unintended is one of the most poignant songs you'll ever come across.

Favourite Tracks
Muscle Museum
People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Lumpy Gravy - Frank Zappa
22nd February

This is regarding the rarer 1967 Capitol Records version, released before the re-cut and expanded 1968 version.

Here we have evidence of Zappa's talent at composing a group of musicians, without actually playing an instrument on the album (contract with another record company forbade it). With this, Zappa created an interesting collage of sound, inspired by the likes of John Cage within the Musique Concrète genre. Without lyrics, this 22 minute piece still manages to have a satirical edge, with sounds that resemble commercials and jingles, alongside more threatening and hard rocking moments. The reason why Frank Zappa has continued to be popular amongst music enthusiasts is because he wasn't afraid to challenge convention, very often going in the exact opposite direction. This is a shining example.

Favourite Parts
Sink Trap
Gum Joy
Gypsy Airs
Hunchy Punchy
Foamy Soaky
Teenage Grande Finale
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
After Bathing at Baxter's - Jefferson Airplane
2nd March

Initially, I wasn't as struck by this album as I was by Surrealistic Pillow or even Jefferson Airplane Takes Off but after getting addicted to certain tracks, it worked its way into my head. Now I can say with confidence that I prefer this to the latter and it's very easily on a par with the former. An incredibly diverse album and the first and only Jefferson Airplane album to feature song writing contributions from all six members. As a result, there is a more eclectic mix than their previous two records and their later Volunteers, which I heard two years ago. As far as the classic line up goes, I've only got Crown of Creation to listen to.

Favourite Tracks
Young Girl Sunday Blues
Wild Tyme
The Last Wall of the Castle
Watch Her Ride
Spare Chaynge
Two Heads
People who added this item 611 Average listal rating (423 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails
3rd March

One of the darkest albums I've heard in my life, lyrically and musically. This album is a painful and absorbing piece odyssey, a concept album that follows the downward spiral of one man. Perhaps the most startling aspect of this album for me was how relatable I found it. Not necessarily through the protagonist's explicit excess, rather through his general state of mind and depression as a whole. Not something I would listen to over and over again, with a few songs as exceptions, this isn't to do with a lack of quality at all. Rather, I see it almost like a film of sound and I don't think repeated listens to the whole thing is something I would benefit from. Just like how I don't watch some films I love over and over, the same logic applies here. A masterpiece of the nineties.

Favourite Tracks
Mr. Self Destruct
March of the Pigs
The Becoming
I Do Not Want This
A Warmer Place
The Downward Spiral
People who added this item 93 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
4th March

Another interesting album from the genius abstract mind of Iggy Pop, this is a great follow up to The Idiot. Writing the lyrics, with David Bowie writing most of the music, the combination of their respective talents made for one of the greatest partnerships the world of music has ever seen. With this and The Idiot being released in the same year, bookended by two Bowie album Low and "Heroes", they have gone down in history as an important part of Bowie's so called Berlin era. Spontaneity is common across this album and it makes for some of the most surreal work of Iggy's career. It also includes his two best known songs, the title track and The Passenger, one of two tracks without input from Bowie (Sixteen being the other, written solely by Iggy). A collection of unique tracks. Each one different than the other coming together to form one brilliant whole.

Favourite Tracks
Lust for Life
Some Weird Sin
The Passenger
Fall in Love With Me
People who added this item 185 Average listal rating (129 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
2112 - Rush_II
5th March

Rush were always great story tellers, whether it was an epic suite or a short song. Here, their lyrical integrity and musical talent is at a peak. Neil Peart wrote most of the lyrics, with themes inspired by Ayn Rand's philosophy of the importance of individualism and the dangers of too much state control. The first track is a 20 minute epic that covered the entire first side of the original LP. This song is similar in length and structure to The Fountain of Lamneth from their previous album Caress of Steel, which for some reason didn't receive much success, even though it had a lot on there to love. The second side is made up of shorter songs, all under five minutes in length, with a varied collection, ranging from hard rockers with strong riffs to more ballad orientated tracks. This range is part of what makes this album so enjoyable and enduring.

Favourite Tracks
A Passage to Bangkok
The Twilight Zone
People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
No Pussyfooting - Robert Fripp, Brian Eno
7th March

Two songs of nearly equal length, two songs of equal ingenuity, two songs that exhibit exactly what it means to experiment, still sounding fresh and original 40 years after its initial release. With two brilliant musicians collaborating, both with previous art and experimental music experience, the results were bound to be interesting. At the time it proved perhaps too interesting and was swept under the carpet by fans and critics alike. Nowadays, it has garnered more of a following. Look up ambient music in the dictionary and this is what should be used as an example. Eno and Fripp effectively made history.

Favourite Track
The Heavenly Music Corporation
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Surfin' Safari - The Beach Boys
7th March
People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Anthem of the Sun - Grateful Dead
7th March

From the same music scene as Jefferson Airplane, this San Francisco rock group have gone down in history as one of the most important bands of the late sixties/early seventies. Their second album, it is also their first to employ only original tracks. A collection of mostly long songs, often with a jamming style, it is an absorbing and brilliant album, with a true collaborative feel from a group of virtuoso musicians. Also interesting to note is the use of two drummers, that on a stereo album such as this, sounds amazing.

Favourite Tracks
That's It for the Other One
New Potato Caboose
Born Cross-Eyed
(Do Not Stop on the Tracks)
People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Surfin' U.S.A. - The Beach Boys
8th March
8th March

Following his brilliant solo debut album Here Come the Warm Jets, this is another brilliant collection of songs, with Eno's trademark abstract style. Even in the more straightforward and traditionally structured songs, there are elements of surrealism. Some of these tracks were even precursors to music styles that would develop in the following years, including Punk, serving as proof that Eno was always on top of his game and ahead of the pack. Like his debut, Eno's tendency towards ambient music can also be found within several tracks, although, also like his first, it doesn't take centre stage. Overall, this is one of the best and, sadly, overlooked albums of the seventies.

Favourite Tracks
The Fat Lady of Limbourg
Mother Whale Eyeless
The Great Pretender
Third Uncle
Put a Straw Under Baby
China My China
Taking Tiger Mountain
People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Surfer Girl - The Beach Boys
8th March
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 0
Family Man - Black Flag
9th March

Another emotionally devastating album by Black Flag, a compelling and unusual record that never fails to be interesting. As is noted on the album cover, this is a spoken word/instrumental album, which highlights the talent of each member. Vocalist/lyricist Henry Rollins covers many topics on the first side, offering profound musings on life, death and culture. A collection of existential insights that pack a powerful punch. The instrumentals sound great, proving that, like their previous album and their contemporaries Dead Kennedys, they were adept at several styles of music outside the hardcore punk rock they were initially known for. This album also has one of my favourite cover art designs.

Favourite Tracks
Family Man
Shed Reading
(Rattus Norvegicus)
Armageddon Man
I Won't Stick Any of You Unless and Until I Can Stick All of You!
The Pups are Doggin' It
People who added this item 276 Average listal rating (187 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Heroes - David Bowie
9th March

After hearing the first part of the Berlin trilogy, Low, back in July 2012 (an album that reached my top 10) I finally got around to this. The long wait was because I wanted to first delve into the music that was directly or indirectly related to this album via guest musicians (Robert Fripp) and chronological collaborations (Iggy Pop). Also after Low, I wanted to further explore the music of co-songwriter of the trilogy, Brian Eno. After doing all this to a degree I was satisfied with, I sat down and played "Heroes". As expected, I loved it. Like any person with ears already knows, Bowie is a musical genius. Even you personally don't like his work, one must accept as a objective fact that he is a great songwriter with an amazing voice. He even plays a variety of instruments, especially evident on this album (saxophone, guitars, keyboards), alongside a band that plays (and occasionally helps write) his music perfectly. There's an array of styles present here, from ambient, jazz and Krautrock amongst others. He draws on influences from bands that he too influenced. A circle of influence, that is often present in any music. As a whole, this is an multifarious album, something Bowie does best.

Favourite Tracks
Beauty and the Beast
Joe the Lion
Sons of the Silent Age
Sense of Doubt
People who added this item 50 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
In the Flat Field - Bauhaus
9th March

One of the founding bands of Gothic and adherents to the post-punk sound that developed soon after Punk itself, this is a remarkable debut by a very intriguing band. Preceded by a year by the brilliant 9 minute long single Bela Lugosi's Dead, they recorded and released this, a collection of dark and obscure songs. Thematically and symbolically rich with lyrics painting macabre imagery, these songs are often unsettling but always listenable, with some good riffs throughout, yet also unconventional. Chances are, if you like Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure, you will like Bauhaus.

Favourite Tracks
In the Flat Field
God in an Alcove
Spy in the Cab
St. Vitus Dance
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Stage - David Bowie
10th March

This is regarding the 2005 expanded version with reordered (and apparently more accurate to the set list) track listing. Note that the songs listed in the 'favourite tracks' section are based upon their form on this album, not my overall preferences of the songs.

Released in the year between "Heroes" and Lodger, the final part of his Berlin trilogy, this was a collection of songs he performed on his tour following the release of the first two albums of the trilogy. Bowie sounds great live and the songs are performed with passion. Often, they appear with a faster tempo and subtle changes, though nothing that strays too much from the original songs. Aside from songs from Low and "Heroes", there's a few from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which were great additions that elevate the quality of the album through diversion alone. Their inclusion works because of their difference from his Thin White Duke and Berlin era songs, adding a great juxtaposition. Whilst not exactly essential listening, for a completest Bowie fan, it is very enjoyable.

Favourite Tracks
What in the World
Sense of Doubt
Speed of Life
Breaking Glass
Five Years
Ziggy Stardust
Alabama Song
Station to Station
TVC 15
People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Little Deuce Coupe - The Beach Boys
10th March

A collection of catchy songs, mostly related to cars, that sound much younger than their 50 years. Whilst not as good as their previous album, Surfer Girl, it is still an enjoyable listen. Punchy songs, all under 3 minutes, on an album that 25 minutes long, makes this a convenient, fun and uplifting record, except perhaps the morose ode to James Dean A Young Man is Gone, with original lyrics set to a Bob Troupe standard.
People who added this item 70 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Lodger - David Bowie
10th March

The final instalment of the famed Berlin trilogy, it is his most accessible of the three. Whilst it is my least favourite of the trilogy, it is still a fantastic album. That's because David Bowie knows how to write songs. Once again working with writing partner Brian Eno, the two created 10 tracks full of rich textures and striking soundscapes. The final track, Red Money, uses the same music he and Carlos Alomar wrote for the Iggy Pop song Sister Midnight, except here he replaces Iggy's lyrics with his own. A fitting way to bring an end to his Berlin era, of which Iggy Pop was a part of at its beginnings. These three studio albums have rightfully earned a place of high esteem within music history and I would urge anyone with an open mind to check them out.

Favourite Tracks
Fantastic Voyage
African Night Flight
Red Money
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 0
Shut Down Volume 2 - The Beach Boys
March 11th

Slightly more diverse than the previous album but still pretty similar in tone and style, this album has the same great arrangements as other Beach Boys releases. The only problem is it doesn't go in much of a different direction. Their next album would have further reach but this one is in pretty comfortable territory. That's not to say it is bad. In fact, its similarity to their other albums meant that it was still bound to be likeable, based on the enjoyment factor of the works that preceded this. Then there is the interesting experiment of "Cassius" Love vs. "Sonny" Wilson a mock battle of banter between cousins Mike Love and Brian Wilson over their singing abilities, with a title referencing the famous Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston fight. It feels personable and the good humour of it radiates through to the listener. People labelled it as filler but I think it is a highlight of the album and pretty unique stuff. Then again, with The Beatles now becoming popular in America, the band had to push the envelope. Also labelled filler are the final three tracks. Two instrumentals and a cover of Louie, Louie, I can see why people thought this but I think it helps pad the album out to more than just standard songs about girls and cars.
People who added this item 140 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
March 11

A more conventional rock album after his previous three experimental outputs, this is an enjoyable and engaging album from start to finish, which still has little traces of his Berlin trilogy sounds, just much less prominent than before. It also harks back to the story telling days of his late sixties/early seventies output, especially third album The Man Who Sold the World, regarding tone and themes. One highlight, Scream Like a Baby reminds me of All the Madmen from that classic and overlooked record, whilst hit single Ashes to Ashes refers to the character of Major Tom from his breakthrough single Space Oddity, a track found on his second album. Other highlights include the relative eighties sound of of the title track and the unforgettable vocals on the opening track. This was also the album that closed the curtain on the working relationship with a rhythm section that had served him well since Station to Station and, as was the case of guitarist Carlos Alomar, since Young Americans. If there was ever a final album to work, this was a great vehicle.

Favourite Tracks
It's No Game (No. 1)
Up the Hill Backwards
Scary Monsters
(And Super Creeps)
Ashes to Ashes
Scream Like a Baby
It's No Game
(No. 2)
People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
All Summer Long - The Beach Boys
March 11th

A watershed album for The Beach Boys, which kicks off with perhaps their most famous single and first national number 1, I Get Around, a song I've loved even before I really started listening to music often. With the the much loved Beach Boys formula of songs about summer, girls, cars and surf rock. It truly began to highlight the creative skill of the band and especially of Brian Wilson. Also like "Cassius" Love vs. "Sonny" Wilson from the previous studio album, we get another free flowing and insightful look into the studio relationship of the band with Out Favourite Recording Sessions, something that shines with authenticity and good spirit. This was their first real response to the British invasion, especially the popularity of The Beatles and it reminded the people of the US that they had an abundance of their own talent too and, with this band, had the biggest parallel.
People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The Next Day - David Bowie
March 11

Touted as the biggest comeback of the 21st century and definitely the most surprising, The Next Day turned out to be a monumental album that, at least in my mind, lived up to the hype. A hype I am happy to have been a part of; I woke up and got dressed for the sole reason of going up to the supermarket to buy it on the day of release here in the UK, proudly being a part of the 56,000 first day sales. Sharp sounding songs and lyrically potent, this is a great companion piece to the albums of his glory days, especially the Berlin trilogy. His voice also sounds remarkable for a 66 year old. I also love the album cover. Stark, jarring and memorable. A great tribute to his career.

Favourite Tracks
The Next Day
Dirty Boys
Love Is Lost
Where Are We Now?
I'd Rather Be High
How Does the Grass Grow?
You Feel so Lonely You Could Die
People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (57 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
A Farewell to Kings - Rush_III
16th March

Further proof that Rush are expert storytellers. This album gives us more of their sonic power and tender beauty, which goes for both their lyrics and music. An album that juxtaposes serene qualities with the hard edged and exploratory, it serves as a reminder of the talent the trio possess. Possibly the record that best showcases Geddy Lee's bass playing up to this point (still need to hear their future albums), it is also makes a strong case for underrated guitarist Alex Lifeson and the rightfully lauded drummer Neil Peart. This brims with hard-rock energy, with prog-rock support propping up the songs.

Favourite Tracks
A Farewell to Kings
Cygnus X-1
People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Beach Boys Today! - The Beach Boys
23rd March

The first Beach Boys album to truly expand its scope across an album rather than just the odd deviation here and there like on previous albums, it's a more focused album and has rightfully become not only one of the most respected Beach Boys album but also one of the most respected of all time. It also gave birth to the brilliant song Help Me Ronda, which would go on to be re-recorded and released as a slightly different version in two forms: as a single, their second number 1 and as a track on their follow up album, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). The split of rockier songs and bitter sweet ballads is part of what makes this album so great, mixing two forms of songwriting that Brian Wilson does best. Two cover songs are also given a fantastic Beach Boys redo, the opening track and the eight track respectively. Still, it's the band's own compositions that stand out the most.
People who added this item 73 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Forever Changes - love_vi
25th March

One of the finest albums of all time. A classic sixties album that still sounds fresh and striking, with a power that is deeply affecting. Possibly the most lyrically clever albums to be released, backed by music that is out of this world. Beautiful, harsh, surreal, real. It has social criticisms, love songs, strange forays into the absurd, a whole mixture of topics, complimented incredibly by melodies and riffs and vocal ingenuity. What's amazing about this album, released at the height of the summer of love, is that whilst it enjoys some of the prevalent upbeat themes of love and beauty found at the height of '67, it also ended up being remarkably prophetic of the disillusionment that would occur post-Altamont. It's hard to believe this is an album that was recorded before that infamous festival in 1969. Unfortunately, the band and their albums, despite critical acclaim, are often lost amongst The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience etc and you may well encounter people who claim to love the sixties but know nothing of the band Arthur Lee lead so well. That's not to sound pompous, it's just a shame. Listening to this album, one can hear stylistic qualities that are also found on established classics like Sgt. Pepper released the same year, proving that there's more to the times than Lennon-McCartney compositions. As a huge Beatles fan myself, I'm glad I have worked my way outside the core groups of the sixties and become acquainted with this masterpiece. Opening with a Bryan MacLean track, this album starts at a high point and never sinks below it. Whilst lesser known today, their influence is immeasurable and this album is proof.

Favourite Tracks
Alone Again Or
A House Is Not a Motel
The Daily Planet
Old Man
The Red Telephone
Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale
Live and Let Live
The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This
Bummer in the Summer
You Set the Scene
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
28th March

On the surface, this is more of a return to the fun loving sounds of their first six studio albums, part of which was at the behest of their record label, Capitol. However, underneath it all, there is a level of complexity that is typical of Brian Wilson and his ever increasing studio know-how. His employment of production techniques inspired in part by Phil Spector, the now famous Wall of Sound technique, came to higher prominence on Today and the trend is continued here. There is even a cover version of a song produced and co-written by Phil Spector for The Crystals. Originally released by the girl group under the title Then He Kissed Me, Wilson changed the title and slightly altered the lyrics to tell the song from a guy's point of view. Then I Kissed Her proves just how adept Wilson was at achieving the sounds of a man he admired. However, once again, it's their own songs that steal the spotlight. With classics like California Girls, the different version of Help Me, Rhonda (with added H in the name, the version that would be their second chart topper) and comedic and lyrically inventive I'm Bugged at My Ol' Man (which, knowing the history of the Wilson brothers father, makes it somewhat sad at the same time), this album is full of essential Beach Boys tracks.
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0
The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp... - Giles Giles and Fripp, Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Peter Giles
2nd April

I first attempted to listen to this when I was drunk after a party but realising I was too drunk to pay much attention, I stopped it and started over the next day. An interesting and pretty unique album, if very uneven and inconsistent. With two of the three members going on to record the King Crimson monumental masterpiece In the Court of the Crimson King, this sounds much more like a warm up. However, that's no to say there isn't an array of songs, themes and ideas to love here. There are two spoken word pieces interspersed over each side. Fripp's The Saga of Rodney Toady on side one is a thought provoking tragi-comedy, whereas Michael Giles' Just George is more abstract. These inclusions add a unique slant to the album. The songs themselves are good too, with each member getting a moment to shine. An enjoyable record with some catchy songs and worth listening to for the spoken word pieces alone. As with his later work, Fripp doesn't do show his voice once, leaving Michael Giles to do the stories and both brothers to do their share of the singing. Nothing spectacular but for fans of Fripp and King Crimson, it's worth a listen.

Note: For my favourite tracks, I won't be including the two spoken word pieces that appear across the album.

Favourite Tracks
North Meadow
One in a Million
Elephant Song
Suite no. 1
Erudite Eyes
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A list of albums I have heard so far in 2013. I don't tend to rate my albums but I will give my thoughts in the description without a rating.

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