Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fortune's Favour

Judging from my last post I think some of you may have seen this one coming. Because I am going to see Great Big Sea tonight I thought I would post up some tunes from their most recent album which is absolutely fantastic. I highly encourage people to go out and buy this one. Also if you buy it there is an additional DVD of the making of the album. Some of you may remember that this album made my top ten list last year and I have listened to it hundreds of times already. As an additional bonus, Spirit of the West is the opening act tonight and I have also listed one of their tunes and would recommend checking them out as they are similar in musical styles. Basically if you like GBS then you'll like them.

Fortune's Favour is the 9th studio album released by Canadian folk rock band Great Big Sea which came out in June of 2008 and debuted at #5 on the Canadian charts. Thirteen years after releasing their debut album Great Big Sea’s first track, “Love Me Tonight,” from their new CD, sounds just as fresh as when the band first appeared on the music scene. This is a band that has never become complacent, and never taken for granted the careers that they have. The real treasure of Newfoundland and Labrador is its people, and out of that earthy, gregarious, and fun loving people, sprang a rock band called Great Big Sea, who continue to charm music fans throughout the United States and Canada, with their own special brand of folktales. Fortune’s Favour just adds to the growing legend, of this outstanding group. The second track, “Walk On The Moon,” serves as the inspiration to keep our dreams alive. It is a song about taking your best shot at pursuing your dreams. It is about not being afraid to walk through that door or out on that limb. At a time when America is experiencing the most significant economic crisis in most of our lifetime, Canada and the United States are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, this is the song of hope that we all need to hear. The album is chock full of easy songs to sing along with, because they have contagious melodies and they are fun songs that celebrate life, and anyone who knows Newfies will tell you they know how to do that in fine style. Now I'm off to get ready for the world's largest kitchen party (ask a newfie).

Here and Now by Great Big Sea
Oh Yeah by Great Big Sea
Buy It


Political by Spirit of the West
Buy It

Funny Toon

Monday, March 23, 2009

Up


I have often featured the tunes of Great Big Sea over the years and today and maybe even all week there will probably be more. The fact that I'm finally going to get to see these guys come Thursday night might have something to do with it. Some of you may recall that I listed their new album Fortunes Favour as a top 10 of 2008 and I really can't wait to see this show. Great Big Sea (often shortened to GBS) is a Canadian folk-rock band from Newfoundland and Labrador, best known for performing energetic rock interpretations of traditional Newfoundland folk songs including sea shanties, which draw from the island's 500-year-old Irish, English, and French heritage. The band also performs original awesome material.

Today's cuts come from the bands second album, Up, which came out in 1995 and is certified platinum in Canada. There are many raucous tunes here that would have been perfect for a St. Patricks Day party. I know a it's a few days late but better late than never and consider it a jump on next year's festivities. So I may be putting up more by GBS this coming week. I think they're amazing.

Lukey
Goin' Up
Mari-Mac
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beyond Salvation

Beyond Salvation is a 1990 album by Australian band The Angels. It became the band's first and only No. 1 album in their homeland. Produced by Terry Manning, the LP spawned five successful singles, including "Dogs are Talking" and "Backstreet Pickup". Once again as with all of the Angels releases, confusion reigns when it comes to North American releases. This album was actually released in 1989 in the states. It was released under the band name "The Angels from Angel City"(an upgrade from their previous overseas moniker Angel City). Let's get this straight they are and always will be The Angels to me. It included four new songs, three of which would later appear on the Australian version of the album, and new recordings of the classics "I Ain't The One", "Can't Shake It", "Who Rings The Bell", "City Out of Control" and "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again", none of which was made available in Australia. Confused yet? I think that's part of the reason why they could never break big in North America, despite the fact that this album was recorded in America at Ardent Studios in Memphis. This may be one of the best albums you've never heard and is damn hard to track down. How an album can be so good and be so ignored is still a mystery to me. I have the 2006 Australian import which has all the songs from the international and domestic releases. It's yummy. Good luck in trying to locate it.

Beyond Salvation
Let the Night Roll On
Take An X

Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wouldn't You Like It

Bay City Rollers
The Bay City Rollers third uk album Wouldn't You Like It was released in the UK late in 1975 and is pretty much the definitive Rollers album. The fact is guitarist Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood wrote almost every song with the exception of their second number 1 hit in the uk "give a little love". The Rollers were riding high at this time in late '75 getting ready to hit it big in america with the single Saturday Night. Having released three albums in the UK, they had yet to break in the US. Then early in 1976 the Rollers finally hit big in America and reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with "Saturday Night", a song that had missed the UK charts completely two years earlier. The Rollers gave the tune its American debut via a much-hyped satellite-link performance on Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. There some very good pop tunes on this record.

The rollers sound confident here and you can tell. In early 1976 arista records released their second US album Rock n Roll Love Letter. Of the record's 11 tracks, two were lifted from the Rollers' 1975's UK release Once Upon a Star; seven came from Wouldn't You Like It?; and two were newly-recorded singles. The cover art features the same photo as Wouldn't You Like It and the US version has never been released on CD. If you want to really wanna get a good dose of rollermania or you just like some great pop tunes, the remastered 2004 album with bonus tracks is an essential buy.

Saturday Night
Maybe I'm A Fool To Love You
Buy It


Funny Toon

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vive Le Rock

adam antIn my opinion a highly overlooked Adam Ant album. Vive Le Rock is the third solo album by Adam Ant, released in 1985. This album at first resulted with disappointing reviews and sales in the United States, peaking only at #131. One single from the album was released in the United States - the title track "Vive Le Rock." The track "Human Bondage Den" was only released on the original cassette and CD release of this album (as a bonus non-LP track). Most re-releases did not feature this track until Epic Records re-released the album in 2005 (along with seven other bonus tracks). Ant adopted a '50s-style rock & roll sound for this album. Even so, Marco's distinctive guitar is still hangin out with the Ant man. After this album his record label droped him and Adam focused on acting. Yes he did star in Love Bites and did numerous parts on television.

It was supposed to be Adam Ant's big rock record, and rock it does! The sound is huge (at least by Adam Ant standards), and almost every song is relentlessly catchy. Best of all, though, is Marco's guitar work; his playing and palette of tones are so astonishingly good on the entire record that it's difficult to pick standouts--although "Miss Thing," "Razor Keen," and "Hell's Eight Acres" are good places to start. Apparently considered a flop at the time of its release as it flopped miserably in the UK and the states. This may be due to several reasons. For instance the single Vive Le Rock underwent a mis-pressing error and the album received mixed reviews. Plus the old stand by where the record company didn't give a crap anymore and couldn't be bothered to promote the album. The 2005 re-release of this album (which is already out of print dammit) finally provided more positive reviews and sales in contrast to 1985. Based on the positive reaction the re-release has gotten, one wonders if it had been released without the promotion and mis-pressing difficulties whether it would have been a greater successat the time. Vive le Rock is simply a great, grossly underrated record.

Vive Le Rock
Hells Eight Acres
Buy It

Funny Toon

Monday, March 09, 2009

Word of Mouth

kinks
Word of Mouth is the 29th album by The Kinks which came out in 1984. It's a great album (the last great Kinks album, in fact) that for some reason is consistently overlooked in favor of the Kinks' other Arista efforts. Sure, there are 1 or 2 of tracks that might not be up to snuff. That is to say they're not quite my cup of tea(maybe the tracks"Too Hot" or "Massive Reductions"), but the highlights more than make up for them. "Do It Again," "Good Day," and "Summer's Gone" are some of Ray's very best '80s compositions, and "Living on a Thin Line" is probably the best song Dave Davies ever wrote. The "Word Of Mouth" era was a tension-filled period for the Davies brothers Ray and Dave. Ray was coping with his breakup from Chrissie Hynde, Dave was greatly frustrated at the lack of promotion by Warner Brothers for his 1983 solo album "Chosen People", the relationship between Ray and Dave was on shaky ground, and Dave was growing increasingly intolerant of drummer Mick Avory(I think Mick only played on three tracks here). Still the album is somewhat upbeat with a summery feel and not as dark as the previous two albums. Let's face one thing though, as good as the album is, the artwork for the cover is one of the most hideous ever.

Living on a Thin Line
Missing Persons
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, March 05, 2009

UHF


Weird Al Yankovic's 5th studio album, UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff, came out in 1989. Sometimes referred to simply as UHF, it is the soundtrack to the comedy cult film UHF which starred Weird Al. A true cult film in every sense of the word the film's humour is not appreciated by everyone. Personally it is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Also starring in this film is Michael Richards as Stanley Spadowski before his Seinfeld fame. The Rambo sequence in the movie is one of the funniest things I have ever seen and I always laugh out loud every time I see it. There are a couple interesting things about some of the songs on this album.

Yankovic revealed in the DVD commentary for "UHF" that the concept "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies" was originally a parody of the Prince song Let's Go Crazy. Prince refused and although an artist doesn't need permission to do parodies, Al has always asked permission and respects the artists wishes. So after the reworking of the tune to Money for Nothing, the only caveat that was attached was that Mark Knopfler insisted he be allowed to play guitar on the track. Then there is the awesome original composition Generic Blues, a blues-style song with deliberately cliched lyrics. Now here is how good a song it is. According to Yankovic in the liner notes of Permanent Record: Al in the Box collection, B.B. King has mentioned this song as one of his ten favorite blues songs of all time. Now that is high praise coming from the master and just goes to show that even though Al is famous for his parodies, his original compositions are damn good too.

Generic Blues
UHF
Buy It


Funny Toon

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

No Control


No Control was Eddie Money's fourth album, released in 1982 and I would have to say that it's his best album. A total of 11 tracks and there is not one klunker on this album. Although the album yielded only two hit singles, every track here could have been released as a single. Money found the perfect middle ground between AOR production and pop hooks, with the singles "Think I'm In Love" and "Shakin'" sending the album into platinum territory. His first album had gone double platinum due to the hits Baby Hold on and Two Tickets to Paradise but when I compare the two albums, No Control really shines brighter. Back in the day this album always ended up on the turntable at every party and whenever Shakin' was played it would send all the women in attendance into a frenzy and they would all be up dancin and shakin it. So we liked to play it a couple times, especially later after a few drinks had been consumed. I have known this song to cause articles of clothing to disappear whilst said shaking was going on. So here's a couple songs that also should have been hits for the guy who dropped out of the New York police academy and became a rocker.

No Control
It Could Happen to You
Buy It


Funny Toon

Monday, March 02, 2009

dreams

Sammy Hagar V David Lee Roth
No Contest
Sammy

This is great. Intimate setting, acoustic and emotional.
Well you just have to hear it. Thanks Sammy.


Dreams/Cabo

Funny Toon