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Posted by Leon Barton at 08:29 on 10 Feb 2014
This week: Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
The autobiography of ex-Sunderland and England winger Len Shackleton, ‘The Clown Prince of Soccer’, is most famous for its chapter ‘The Average Director’s Knowledge of Football’. It consists of a single blank page.
A similar chapter could be written titled ‘The Average Record Label President’s Knowledge of Music’, with Exhibit A being this response from Asylum Records’ Joe Smith to Tom Waits regarding Swordfishtrombones in 1982: "with this record you will lose all your old fans and gain no new ones".
Maybe we should get a quote from a musician instead, so here’s PJ Harvey: "When I first listened to Swordfishtrombones it changed the way I thought about music completely. It took me on journeys, in to filmic landscapes, in to worlds, in to darkness, in to light and I played it non-stop"
I’m with Polly.
Posted by Lawrence Arbus at 18:56 on 13 Jan 2014
This week: Calibre - Musique Concrete.
Posted by Leon Barton at 17:27 on 29 Sep 2013
This Week: REM - Murmur.
The first cassette (yeah, cassette) I ever bought was the Best of REM in late December 1991 at HMV in Liverpool. I had a taped copy of Out of Time, which I’d played to death over the previous months without knowing the band had been going since the early eighties.
Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 15:53 on 01 Sep 2013
This week: Miles Davis - A Kind of Blue.
This won't be a deconstruction of how Kind of Blue was put together, it won't be a review that freely uses the terms 'modal', 'hard-bop' and 'bass vamp' as if you already know what they mean, this isn't a review for people who already know Kind of Blue inside out. This is for people who see the word 'jazz' and are terrified by it. It’s only a tiny little thing, the word 'jazz'; four letters, one of them repeated - the most fun letter in the English language in fact - but this tiny word is enough to inspire fear, ignorance, and lead huge swathes of people to disregard an entire genre of music and therefore miss out on the most beautiful and inspiring album ever recorded.
Posted by Leon Barton at 16:38 on 01 Aug 2013
This Week: Fairport Convention – Liege and Lief.
When Liege and Lief came out in 1969, people didn’t really get it. Disc and Music Echo claimed "they’ve over simplified" that it was "insipid" and "lacks life". Four and a half decades later those words seem extraordinary, especially considering how the album continues to inspire.