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catfood03 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2010 at 20:58
Originally posted by TheGazzardian TheGazzardian wrote:



Rating: Overall, an excellent album that I would rate as a masterpiece (5 stars).


Good choice! For me it's a tie between this and Diesel and Dust as fave Oils album.  Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2010 at 22:55
Originally posted by motrhead motrhead wrote:

 BTW, the trombone thing in school traumatised me for life. I generally do not like horns any more, unless it's something  really special (like Miles Davis).  All I wanted then was to be a drummer. Now I have a Strat, so I guess it  worked out for the best Wink

Really?  I loved playing trombone in high school, and I still like playing it on occasion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheGazzardian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2010 at 23:40
Originally posted by catfood03 catfood03 wrote:

Originally posted by TheGazzardian TheGazzardian wrote:



Rating: Overall, an excellent album that I would rate as a masterpiece (5 stars).


Good choice! For me it's a tie between this and Diesel and Dust as fave Oils album.  Clap

The Oils released a lot of good records - I'd say Red Sails in the Sunset and Blue Sky Mining are both the top contenders against 10, 9..., but Deisel and Dust (and Earth and Sun and Moon) aren't very far behind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2010 at 21:26
Originally posted by TheGazzardian TheGazzardian wrote:

 
The Oils released a lot of good records - I'd say Red Sails in the Sunset and Blue Sky Mining are both the top contenders against 10, 9..., but Deisel and Dust (and Earth and Sun and Moon) aren't very far behind.


I also love Redneck Wonderland, despite the abundance of electronic elements that seemed trendy at the time, I think the songs are really strong on it.  The early albums aren't that bad either with Head Injuries being my fave from that period.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2010 at 19:33
^^^ you guys are into Australian iconic bands! I am impressed. Midnight oil are awesome i have all their albums, best ones being Blue Sky Mining, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 and Red Sails in Sunset
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2010 at 19:56
OK I got to get into this non prog reviewing. I have some on metal archives but this is a perennial favourite!
 
 
 
HIT AND RUN - GIRLSCHOOL
 
genre: NWOBHM
 
 
year: 1981
 
lineup:
Enid Williams (Bass, Vocals) 
Kim McAuliffe (Rhythm Guitar, Vocals)
Kelly Johnson (lead guitar, vocals)
Denise Dufort (drums)
 
 
 
 
CD version
 

Tracklist

1. C'mon Let's Go (3:36)
2. The Hunter (3:14)
3. (I'm Your) Victim (2:40)
4. Kick It Down (3:01)
5. Following the Crowd (3:07)
6. Tush (2:14)
7. Hit and Run (3:07)
8. Watch Your Step (3:19)
9. Back to Start (3:30)
10. Yeah Right (3:19)
11. Future Flash (4:25)
12. 1-2-3-4 Rock 'n' Roll (3:31)
13. Furniture Fire (2:58)
14. Take It All Away (3:43)
15. Midnight Ride (3:16)
16. Race With the Devil (2:49)
17. Play Dirty (5:02)
18. Emergency (2:49)
19. Breakout (Knob in The Media) (3:20)
20. Flesh and Blood (2:13)
21. Bomber (3:36)
22. Nothing to Lose (3:13)
23. Live With Me (3:18)
24. Like It Like That (3:26)

Total Time: 78:58
 
*****
I have all the Girlschool releases from the 80s and I can say without reservation that “Hit and Run” was the best thing they ever did. Every song is killer metal with innovative lead breaks and wonderful singing from Enid, Kim and Kelly. This is the best material that Kelly would contribute to Girlschool before her departure from the band.

I saw a lot of these tracks played in a TV concert on a late night rock TV show and the next day I was in the record store buying the vinyl album. I had been waiting for an all girl band to kick some serious butt with distorted guitars and melodic singing; it was the ideal band in my teen years. I had grown up with the raucous legend Suzi Quatro and the less heavy The Runaways who were pioneers of girl metal. Girlschool took it to the next level with intense riffs and shout out loud choruses. Kelly was a master on guitar and her voice was sultry but defiant. It was love at first sight for me when I saw her on that mini special with leopard skin top and low slung axe around her hips. The band were in their best line up on this second album; Enid Williams was a bassist but had a turn at the softer vocals when needed; Kim McAuliffe was the rhythm guitar who sung some songs but took over later as lead vocalist when Kelly departed; Denise Dufort stayed hidden behind her drums but was a real rebel off stage; and the incomparable lead vocalist, lead guitarist, Kelly Johnson, was always at her best during these early years of the band.

The album begins with the glorious chugging guitar that sounds like a car engine starting up and then revving into high gear and then the drums pound in and we are on our way with a grinding Motorhead style riff. Kelly is extraordinary, singing with attitude and with clean female vocals that hit you like a ton of bricks; “Speeding down the motorway, Let slow life pass us by, Another mile another day, some action in our lives, We're on our way, Living for today, C'mon let's go (Let’s go!)” The chorus, as was the trademark for the band, was raucous shouting designed to rev up any crowd. There is a crunching scratchy guitar rhythm that mimics the drum patterns as the guitars continue to rev like motorcars. The second verse is pure 80s metal, aggressive and focussed on pressing the pedal to the metal; “Engines screaming red hot rage, We're gonna reach an all time high, Speed crazed racer rip my mind, 'Cause you know you're gonna hit the sky” Kelly’s vocals are divine when she tears out these rockers. Denise is drumming her heart out throughout this metal banging classic. Brilliant.


Kelly was also capable of softer vocals such as on ‘The Hunter’ that was always a highlight on this album. It features a ‘Born to be Wild’ style riff and tempo. The lyrics are suggestive and sultry; “Tracking her down, with a dream kind of smile, Moving up closer....but something doesn’t feel right, touching her skin... you wonder if it’s all right and how did this begin, The Hunter...” The chorus is sung in whispers with an echo. The lead break is Kelly burning it up with very bluesy lead licks and some driving bass rhythms.

Other highlights are ‘Following the Crowd’ with a very strong drum beat and hypnotic groove. The title track is the powerful hit single with some awesome verses that stay in the head; “I was out in the cold, Alone in the night, How could I carry on? Felt so empty inside, All you gave me were promises, Nothing better than lies, Hit and run!” The single charted fairly well but they were never a singles band, though it did better than a lot of their previous singles it is fair to say.

I was always a fan of ‘Back to Start’ which is the slowest track but it has some fabulous guitar licks and one of the best lead breaks on the album. The lyrics are more thoughtful and sung with clean vocals from Enid; “Looking forward for my future, never could refuse, trying to find my motivation... nothing left for me, all I’m able to see, is I need some time, because I made up my mind, I’m back to start”. Love the way she sings this with depth and feeling.

‘Kick it Down’ is a fun song that just rocks along at a moderate pace with very distorted guitars crashing keeping a driving beat. The lyrics are again about standing up to the system and people who are against you; “Tired of people telling you what to do, Kick down the door still I gotta prove to you, I got the safe on my own, but I must get off my pride, You must keep on going till you reach the other side, Tell you what I'm going to do Kick it down!” The lead break is very good again with some fret melting licks.

‘Tush’ is a fun rocking cover version of the classic that many bands have covered and this sounds like the ZZ Top version. 'Im Your Victim' has some good melodic metal passages. 'Watch Your Step' has a memorable chorus and very cool metal guitars in the lead breaks. There is not a bad song on this.
 

One of the most popular Girlschool tracks is the raucous crazy ‘Yeah Right’ that always appeared in concert. The filmclip even featured Motorhead’s drummer appearing in ladies clothing, waving a rolling pin in the spoken section that mocks parental advice, with the standard teenage answer, and goes like this; “And don't forget, don't stop out too late again tonight... (yeah right)... I'm warning ya’...(yeah right)...And don't drink too much....(Yeah Right!)” The shout on the last part obviously means Girlschool are planning to do the opposite of the motherly advice. It is fun and has some very heavy guitars. Enid sings it very well and she is great on bass on this too. The verses basically explain the theme of rebelling against parents; “Hanging round the bar never getting very far, gonna let my sorrows drown, Leaning on the wall, 'till I start to fall, gonna get the vodka down, Better understand, gotta get it while I can, gonna have some fun tonight, I've done it all before but I still want more, gonna carry on til it's light, And they're always telling me, You can't do that, you can't do that...” This would be a running theme of Girlschool echoing the distrust and misery of their childhood years driving them to the rock scene, similar to The Runaways in many respects who also sung about leaving home despite parents pleading not to (listen to them on ‘Born to be Bad’ for a heart wrenching look at teenage runaways). I think Girlschool just wanted to have fun and rock hard and they did it without listening to what they should or should not be doing.
 

The last track on the vinyl version is the brilliant ‘Future Flash’ with a relentless guitar riff and Kelly beautifully elegant on vocals; “like a fish out of water, a scaly skin... don’t believe what they tell you, it’s only a lie, but you shouldn’t have to fight, live and let die, out to get you, they’re coming our way, out to get you!” I always loved these lyrics and I think many teens like me in the 80s, could relate to them. The lead break is scorching where Kelly performs hammer ons and speed licks to perfection. The refrain is interesting with Kelly whispering, “rock and roll rat race... they lower their voices to make us feel sad...” The ending of the song is backmasked vocals and it sounds bizarre and compelled me to play the vinyl backwards to try and hear what they are saying; and they are singing to Disney’s ‘The Aristocats’ song; “we are Siamese if you please, We are Siamese if you don’t please.” As the ending continues with strange screaming guitars and choral harmonies there is another backmasked message. I checked it out and it’s Kelly saying, “and there’s only one thing I can say about all this and that’s bollocks!” well, I tend to disagree, Kelly, this album is far from that.

It is a lot of fun to listen to on a Friday night cranked up to 10. Every track is fantastic with some of the best girl metal I have ever heard. The Cd version now has a plethora of extra tracks that are part of the greatest collecton found on most compilations including the quintessential "Girlschool Collection" anthology, such as 'Take It All Away', 'Midnight Ride', 'Race With the Devil' and 'Emergency'; all hugely popular for the band. In conclusion, it is brilliant 80s metal from the NWOBHM. Girlschool did everything right on this classic.
 
 
 
 
PROG? not a sceric, unless you count the strange structure of 'Future Flash', the ending was a lot of creativity or it may have just been to fill up the album, in any case I hold this album dear to my heart. sadly other Girlschool albums lacked the creativity and dynamism of this album.
 
RIP guitarist: Kelly Johnson
 
 
Heres a final clip put to the hilarious vision from Grindhouse Death Proof
 
 


Edited by AtomicCrimsonRush - July 30 2010 at 20:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AtomicCrimsonRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2010 at 05:00
Bump
 
someone post a cool non prog review
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2010 at 21:38
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush AtomicCrimsonRush wrote:

Bump
 
someone post a cool non prog review



I've made lots of non-prog reviews on my Amazon profile. Perhaps I'll post some from this list...



5.0 out of 5 stars Prince - Controversy
5.0 out of 5 stars Various Artists - Warp20 (chosen)
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparks - Whomp That Sucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Yello - Solid Pleasure
5.0 out of 5 stars KMFDM - Xtort
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Minds - Early Gold
5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight Oil - 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1


4.0 out of 5 stars Food for Animals - Belly
4.0 out of 5 stars Clark - Turning Dragon
4.0 out of 5 stars KMFDM - Tohuvabohu
4.0 out of 5 stars Andrew Weatherall - The Bullet Catcher's Apprentice
4.0 out of 5 stars Front 242 - Geography
4.0 out of 5 stars Diagram of Suburban Chaos - Status Negatives
4.0 out of 5 stars Erasure - Live: Sheffield 03/10/05
4.0 out of 5 stars Autechre - Untilted
4.0 out of 5 stars Autechre - Oversteps
4.0 out of 5 stars Severed Heads - Haul Ass
4.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Petraeus - Mutant Theater
4.0 out of 5 stars Beans - Now, Soon, Someday
4.0 out of 5 stars B52's - Nude on the Moon
4.0 out of 5 stars Deftones - Diamond Eyes

3.0 out of 5 stars Mira Calix - Skimskitta
3.0 out of 5 stars Ministry - The Last Sucker
3.0 out of 5 stars Bibio - The Apple and The Tooth
3.0 out of 5 stars Gus Gus - 24/7
3.0 out of 5 stars Anti-Pop Consortium - Flourescent Black

3.0 out of 5 stars Yvat - Gliae

3.0 out of 5 stars Two Lone Swordsmen - The Fifth Mission
3.0 out of 5 stars Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care
3.0 out of 5 stars
Autechre - Quaristice
3.0 out of 5 stars
Depeche Mode - Construction Time Again
3.0 out of 5 stars Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
3.0 out of 5 stars Various Artists - Fullmetal Alchemist (Complete Best)
3.0 out of 5 stars Ratatat - Classics
3.0 out of 5 stars Skinny Puppy - Bites
3.0 out of 5 stars Ladytron - The Witching Hour
3.0 out of 5 stars The Cure - Faith
3.0 out of 5 stars Erasure - Cowboy


2.0 out of 5 stars Aphex Twin - Drukqs
2.0 out of 5 stars KMFDM - Don't Blow Your Top

1.0 out of 5 stars Mike and Rich - Expert Knob Twiddlers
1.0 out of 5 stars Matmos - Rat Relocation Program
1.0 out of 5 stars LFO - Sheath

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2010 at 21:45
Here's one of the above listed...




5.0 out of 5 stars Various Artists - Warp20 (chosen)

When Warp first announced it's 20 year anniversary collections I was hoping for something a bit more inclusive for a tracklist. Many of the fascinating artists that I became hooked onto Warp as a label are absent from this 2 disc set. It would take more real-estate to house them all onto one collection and even with the deluxe box-set that this release is culled from it would be a monumental task. There is simply too much good music from this one label.

As far as the selections are concerned there is little to debate about. The first CD's tracklist, determined by an open voting poll, represents mostly the "greatest hits" from each of the ten artists voted on. Warp built it's name and reputation on the strength of it's electronic artists during the 90's so its not surprising there is a heavy tilt towards that facet of the label's history. These tracks are all strong, from the sleazy vibe of Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker", the thumping tempo of Battles' "Atlas", the classic sleek sounds of "LFO", and the spastic freak-out of Autechre's "Gantz Graf". My only wish is that, at only 48 minutes, the first disc could have room for 5 or more "runner-ups" from the voting list.

The second disc is even more curious, with all selections chosen by one individual, Warp co-founder Steve Beckett. Again, these are all good choices, most of which were new to my ears upon first listen. I would not have nessecarily chosen the Broadcast or Squarepusher selections here as the best from each respective artist, but overall this disc has the fun and sense of discovery of receiving a mix-tape from a good friend. (I know I just aged myself with that last comment.) This CD runs well over an hour.

In short, this is an excellent overview of Warp's impressive 20 year run and a great sampler for the curious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2010 at 03:56

Right, I will do this somewhat 'prog-related' review. It's not prog at all, of course, but has prog artists. 


Annie Haslam - Annie in Wonderland (1977)






Tracklist:

1.Introlise/If I Was Made of Music
2.Never Believed in Love
3.If I Loved You (cover)
4.Hunioco
5.Rockalise
6.Nature Boy (cover)
7.Inside my life
8.Going Home (cover)

While it's understandable that an album, as I will shortly point out, which is not particularly great would not be much sought after among music fans in general, I don't really understand why even among Renaissance/Annie Haslam fans, this one doesn't get much attention.  Even Still Life and Blessing in Disguise seem to have been received more favourably.  Its inconsistency, which I will address, is most definitely an issue.  But, this is also the only one of Annie's solo albums recorded at her peak in the 70s and it shows. For the moment she gets some music to bite into, she is able to make something unique with it.  Further, sure, it's a pop album but really, if you are a fan of Renaissance, you don't really mind Annie Haslam singing pretty pop songs all that much, surely?  The difference between Captive Heart (from the same year on the Novella album) and If I Loved You is certainly not like night and day. If anything, I would argue Annie sounds even better on the latter, which is the case whenever this album hits the spot.  I am sure the artwork hurts too, but again, Renaissance aren't exactly renowned for that either, are they?

However, I will address the inconsistency first.  This album was produced  and largely written by Roy Wood (who also played many of the instruments) during the brief interval when John Tout needed a rest and the band (Renaissance) were neither recording and touring and it does seem a bit hastily put together.  Songs like If I Were Made of Music seem to have potential which however hasn't been brought to fruition.  Never Believed in Love and Hunioco are throwaway.  Inside my life, penned by Camp, only foreshadows the blandness to come in future Renaissance efforts (salvaged by some good guitar from Wood in the coda).  The material is also so eclectic that there is no sense of unity or a cohesive personality in the album.  This perhaps also works to its favour in a certain sense because it lets you cherry pick what you want. 

Now, the things that do work, in ascending order.  Nature Boy...the singing on the verse is pretty good but we swiftly realize this is not quite Annie's forte.  Watch out for the stunning jazz vocalizations though, she's more versatile than she's credited to be.  And some of the excursions, particularly a swiftly descending run right at the end, slay!  It's also interesting how well her voice blends with jazz guitar here and with organs and violins in Renaissance albums, all when she's vocalizing, mind.    

If I Loved You may be 'just' a cover of an old pop song but I would suggest you to ignore the genre and take in the singing.  This must be hands down the best version of this song.  It certainly wipes the floor with Barbara Streisand's cold and loungey take on the song.  By now, Annie's singing craft appears to have matured and peaked - contrast this with the relatively flat, emotionally, that is, singing on Let It Grow.  Four years from there, she's become an even better singer.   I haven't mentioned Roy Wood's arrangements yet but I will start now - it's absolutely gorgeous here, very dreamy and romantic, which already gives this version a headstart over the bland (imo) original even before Annie's singing kicks in.  Paul Mc Cartney was apparently in the studio when this was recorded and said her voice sent shivers down his spine. I am inclined to agree.

Going Home, of course, is a traditional funeral song based on Dvorak's New World Symphony.  Once again, beautiful arrangements, this time sparse and sombre.  The song is also paced in a very unhurried way, giving all the time in the world to Annie to lay down the mood.  And once again, she is able to come up with a very distinct and powerful interpretation of a song much sung.  There is no affectation in her singing nor any of the angst and bitterness that often comes through in rock's takes on death.  There's a solemn acceptance of fate that is yet very touching.  To my mind, this is already a better showcase of Annie's singing than any classic Renaissance song and I haven't got to Rockalise yet!

Rockalise is in my opinion the best Annie has ever sung in the studio.  I am quite baffled how this song is mentioned so less in fan circles.  On the surface, it might come across as exhibitionism - high pitched operatic singing without lyrics and with the refrain repeated several times, with drums stepping in in the second half of the song.  But pay close attention to Annie's singing and you cannot fail to be moved.  We live in times where musicians get slammed for being technical.  Well, here's an example of how to be very technical and still do it very elegantly and with feeling.  She demonstrates how to hit the soprano C off both the head voice and whistle voice but there is clearly the underlying purpose of evoking a lighter shade of voice in doing so which dispels any notion of technical exhibitionism.  Further, her vocalizations are so precise, even in terms of the exact  degree of attack she puts behind every note, that it almost sounds like an instrument playing some music rather than a voice.  Above all, it is very touching and when hitting such stratospheric notes, she sounds unexpectedly vulnerable and fragile (again, a quality I have not really come across much in her singing with Renaissance).   I would particularly pinpoint the 'variation' at 2:10 thereabouts - very delicate.  I am not too fond of opera singing (and I don't know if I can call this opera, so I will stick to saying it is sort of operatic) but Annie with her magnificent technique executes it very beautifully and effortlessly.    Instead of describing the song in so much detail, maybe I should have summed it up in one line:  if you haven't heard Rockalise, you haven't heard Annie Haslam, period. 

In summary, Annie In Wonderland, while not strictly a solo album because Annie doesn't write her own music, presents an interesting side to her singing which could have been explored further.  But I guess they didn't know then that Renaissance would slide after A Song For All Seasons.  Heaven knows this kind of pretty and polite but sincere and soulful music may not have found much favour in the 80s even if she had worked with Roy Wood.   But there's tantalizing potential here for a different direction which still remains true to the quintessence of her singing (unlike say Camera Camera).  

As for the rating, I would rate it 4.5/5 for the peaks but barely 2-2.5 for the lows.  I will give a three star on balance but would highly recommend it to fans of this singer.  If there's any solo work of Annie Haslam you need, this is the one.  












Edited by rogerthat - September 12 2010 at 04:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JJLehto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 06 2010 at 03:19
I've done a good bit of non prog reviews.
I really like your format actually. I shall use it in the future when I review more non prog albums on PA.

Too lazy to re write my old ones though LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 16 2010 at 13:57
This is cool!....just found this thread. I'm a huge funk/R&B listener as that pretty much is where my music life began.....I will only review non-prog related albums. I will try to keep them short and pretty.
Here's my first one......
 
Artist: Parliament (1977)
Album: Funkentelechy vs The Placebo Syndrome
Genre: R&B/Funk
 
 
Track Listing:
1. Bop Gun (Endangered Species) 8:32
2. Sir Nose d'Voidoffunk 10:10
3. Wizard of Finance 4:32
4. Funkentelechy 10:55
5. Placebo Syndrome 4:20
6. Flashlight 5:46
 
Well what can you say, George Clinton the master of funk and just plain weird stuff on the R&B side...the man has an imagination for sure (I'm sure helped along by some marij Wink).
Anyhow arguably Parliaments best album. The funk just runneth over on this one.....(BTW it is a concept album)
 
Bop Gun...nice little guitar diddy and beat, then turns into a fullfledge party, bop gun sound effects and addictive chorus. The Horny Horns section doing their thing on this one also.
 
Sir Nose...the title says it all. Voice alterations galor (vocoders)....the story sets Sir Nose as the all-time public enemy #1 in the Parliament world, in this case its Starchild fighting the fight.
Both are on the album cover, ofcourse Starchild operating the "Bop Gun". The song is setup to start slowly then just buildup to a frothy funk fest. Sir Nose will never dance...
 
Wizard of Finance..nice doo-wop slow song, change of pace from the first 2. The sax in the begining gives it a throwback feel, sing along chorus...Sly Stone influence here?
 
Funkentelechy..a monster of a song! Clinton uses witty lines and humor to tell us how the funk can rid us of those trying to control us. Using lines that refer to commercials of the day "you derserve a break today" and the classic " would you trade your funk for what's behind door number 3?"
 
Placebo Syndrome..slowest song on the album, cool chorus and vocals. Describes how we should not be strayed in the Syndrome....I think its a jab at the Disco clubs.
 
Flashlight...the most sampled song in the Parliament catalog. This is a beast of a song, clearly Parliaments signature track. Just a great synthbass beat, infectious guitar groove thru the whole song, Bootsy Collins' drumming sets the pace for this song. Listen closely you can pull out the battle between Sir Nose and Starchild......the bop gun sounds. Will Sir Nose finally dance?
"everybodys got a little light under the sun...." says Clinton signaling that we can all overcome fear.
 
Without a doubt an album which still to this day influences many in the world of R&B and probably the hip/hop world too.
 
Rating: StarStarStarStar 1/2 (4.5). A Funk classic....
Prog Appeal: (2) it certainly has a historical prescence. The nature of the long songs, story line/concept may lend some interest to the Prog world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2010 at 15:46
Sticking with R&B
 
Artist: Earth, Wind & Fire
Album: All n' All (1977)
Genre: R&B
 
 
Track Listing:
1. Serpentine Fire 3:50
2. Fantasy 4:37
3. In the Marketplace (interlude) 0:43
4. Jupiter 3:11
5. Love's Holiday 4:23
6. Brazilian Rhyme (interlude) 1:21
7. I'll Write A Song for You 5:24
8. Magic Mind 3:39
9. Runnin' 5:51
10. Brazilian Rhyme 0:53
11. Be Ever Wonderful 5:06
 
Non rock, Earth, Wind & Fire are my most listened to and without a doubt my favorite group....All due to this album. This their 9th album, show cases the amazing musical creativity of Maurice White. After the group took a long trip to Brazil and I also believe Egypt, they were inspired by the sites and sounds of both. This album has many musical references to Brazil, the album artwork is directly related to Egypt with futuristic references in the artwork too. It started with the pyramids and then ends with space flight....
 
In my desire to keep these short I will just highlight the album.
 
Serpentine Fire starts the album and sets the bar very high. The slow beat of drums, percussion, cow bells and rhythmic motion helps this one get the album going. Maurice's singing is some of the best here, and ofcourse the EW&F horn section is at its best on this one.
Fantasy, the megahit of this album. About a man who takes a ride on a spaceship to find his dreams, finds the place of Fantasy. Verdine White's bass playing is so tight, sets the pace on this one clearly and Phillip Bailey's amazing voice...just superb.
Then we get one of the many "interludes" of this album, which is kind of a EW&F trademark. This first one features Maurice playing his kalimba, which is an African finger piano, as he plucks it to make the distinctive African sound, again this becomes a trademark sound of EW&F.
Jupiter continues their theme of space/fantasy travel and features Al McKay's great rhythm guitar work and some of my favorite EW&F horn work. The whole group shows off their vocals on this one.
 
Earth, Wind & Fire are known for many things, on this album they solidified one long standing attribute of the group.....the funky, hot, mesmerizing love songs. Back in the 70's in Jr high and High School, I soooo remember doing the thang on the dance floor with that cute girl to the tunes of Earth, Wind & Fire. To this day if I play a bunch of their slow songs, the wife knows what comes next!
This album has three of the most amazingly written slow/love songs in R&B
Loves' Holiday, I'll Write A Song For You and Be Ever Wonderful.
 
The 2nd one features Phillip Bailey at his best vocally, so smooth in his falsetto voice...also some great 12 string acoustic work by Al McKay.
Maurice White sings lead on the other two, but Maurice and Phillip together is vocal harmony, literally.
 
Magic Mind, a quick funky tune featuring all the singers at their best, catchy chorus keeps this one afloat.
Runnin' (instrumental) just showcases the groups high level of instrumental talent, starting with a nice keyboard/synth entry by Larry Dunn. Much Brazilian musical influence on this one, percussion, horns, drums and the trademark EW&F vocal harmonies.
 
EW&F encompass all that is good about music....Jazz, Fusion, Blues, Rock and World musical influences. This album has it all. A perfect place to start if you have any interest in one of the most influential R&B groups of the 70' and 80's......I have seen them live 6 times, their shows are amazing, you will not sit down, your feet, body, head are moving the whole time. Back in the 70's they incorporated a lot of magic in their shows. Disappearing performers, hidden doors, floating band members, both magicians Doug Henning and David Copperfiled produced the on stage magic portion.
 
Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
Prog Appeal: (1) maybe 2 but only interest would be in the use of alternative instruments ie Kalimba and lyrics based on fantasy and the instrumentals. The album abounds with full string accompanyment on a lot of songs..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2010 at 05:30
Rip The Jacker
by Canibus
13 tracks, 44 mins
 
"If you think that you can find a better flow
I can find a dinosaur on the Galapagos archipelago"
 
"f**k ya'll, you don't impress me and no one can match me,
an emcee so ill I got AIDS scared to catch me"
 
That is not dead which can eternal rhyme...
One of the greatest lyricists of all time, Jamaica's Germaine "Canibus" Williams has not had the greatest career of all time. First coming to attention in the late 90s with a series of electrifying guest spots, the wheels quickly came off when his first two albums, hyped up as blockbusters, sold poorly due to poor production and Canibus' rhyming being too intense and complicated for most mainstream markets. A career hurting feud with the much more popular LL Cool J, and the fact that his third album actually did suck, did not help either.
With his fourth album, 2002's Mic Club, Canibus seemed to abandon his dreams of mainstream success and decided to take his formidable lyrical skills to a more hardcore approach, deliverying conceptual tracks with elaborate scientific content.
But it was 2003's Rip The Jacker where Canibus delivered his masterpiece. The key ingredient actually was not him- he had already been and would be afterwards, a phenomenal MC, able to spin off minute after minute of complex, head spinning, refreshing and jaw dropping rhymes. What was different about RTJ is that Canibus had excellent production on board, meaning for once that the album *sounded* good and wasn't just brilliant lyrics delivered in a humdrum way. All beats were handled by Stoupe from Jedi Mind Tricks and his haunting, sinister sounds are the perfect match for Canibus' academic and intense approach.
After a short intro which introduces the concept of The Ripper, the dark side of Canibus' personality, he creates the rap universe on Genabis. Love that music too, beautiful yet chilling. (Spot the Phillip Glass sample!)
 
 
Over the course of the album Canibus uses elaborate and dense wordplay, continually leaping from topic to topic, as the listener's mind races to catch up with him. They're the kind of lyrics you can appreciate for months or years as there are always new things to realise about what he's saying. This is 21st century poetry. Stoupe's gothic beats are the icing on the cake, whether using Eastern flavours and a Cirque du Soleil sample on Levitibus or going in for Feta Kuli and an epic, sweat inducing string melody (with some Fela Kuti in there too). From the nightmarish Psyche Evaluation to the oddly affecting No Return where Canibus rapidly weaves three detailed scenarios for his own death, it's quality all the way, but a real highlight is the absolutely crushing Cemantics, a lyrical masterclass with an EXCELLENT beat.
 
 
Of course the elephant in the room is the closing track, Poet Laureate II. Poet Laureate was a track on Mic Club where Canibus attempted to write the most advanced lyric he could. It was mildly successful but the following year when working on RTJ he felt he could outdo and came up with Poet Laureate II. An example of the still-in-its-infancy progressive rap/hip-hop, it is not simply Canibus's 7 minute lyrical rampage where he spits 100 bars of the most demanding lyrics on the album without a pause that puts it in this category but Stoupe's decision to have three different musical sections before returning to the opening beat for the finale that makes it resemble a prog rock song in structure. It also displays Canibus' talents to not just write these lyrics but deliver them with excellent intensity and cadence and to twist words so they rhyme when you might not expect them to. It is unstoppable.
 
 
After hearing these tracks you are officially forbidden from complaining that all rap is about bitches and drugs ever again.
Though Canibus has continued to push even further in his astonishing lyrical power, he has never made an album that *sounds* this good since as he seems to have an iffy ear for beats, making this the one to own, though those who find themselves getting hooked on his lyrical style should also pick up Mic Club, C Of Tranquility, For Whom The Beat Tolls and the 50 minute 1000 bar monstrosity that is Poet Laureate 2's successor, Poet Laureate Infinity. (Canibus, 2000 BC and Melatonin Magic are good too, but best avoid C True Hollywood Stories, Mind Control and Hip Hop For Sale, albums on which he either lyrically misfired or really dropped the ball on the beats.)
Canibus is hardly the only rapper to push rap lyrics to such advanced places but he is one of the best and deserves respect from anyone who enjoys seeing the English language pushed to its limits.
 
5/5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote seventhsojourn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2010 at 14:45

All About Eve by All About Eve

 

All About Eve

 

Tracklist

 

Flowers In Our Hair.

Gypsy Dance.

In The Clouds. 

Martha’s Harbour. 

Every Angel. 

Like Emily.

Shelter From The Rain.

She Moves Through The Fair.

Wild Hearted Woman. 

Never Promise (Anyone Forever).

Apple Tree Man.

What Kind Of Fool. 

In The Meadow.

Lady Moonlight.

 

I nearly choked on my cheeseburger when I saw John Davie’s review of ‘Heyday’ by The Church yesterday. Not that I have any issues with The Church being here on ProgArchives, very far from it in fact, but I simply didn’t know they were here! My only excuse for this oversight is that, while I’ve been a member since December 2009, the last Church review was posted a month before I joined. I just never thought to search the site for them.

 

I’ll get around to posting some reviews of The Church in the future but in the meantime I’d like to hopefully draw some attention to another fine ‘80s band, All About Eve. Funnily enough, All About Eve (AAE) have links to The Church, although they’re actually much closely associated with The Mission. AAE emerged from the UK’s musical mire during the middle of the decade with their own distinct brand of folksy Goth-rock. They started out as a trio when former ZigZag journalist Julianne Regan (vocals) joined up with Andy Cousin (bass) and Tim Bricheno (guitar), both of whom had been members of Goth band Aemotii Crii. Full-time drummer Mark Price joined later, during the recording of the first AAE album. They were originally called The Swarm but changed their name to All About Eve after Regan watched the movie of the same name at her parents’ house.

 
Not the infamous performance.
 

They recorded four studio albums before disbanding, although they subsequently reformed around the turn of the millennium and released several live albums. Bricheno was the first to jump ship when he joined The Sisters Of Mercy, with Marty Wilson Piper of The Church being his replacement. Cousin subsequently joined The Mission, while Price later worked with Del Amitri as their percussionist. Regan has kept herself busy with various offshoots and projects, notably The Eden House (a collaborative project with Tony Pettitt, formerly Fields Of The Nephilim).

 
Extended version, but basically the same as on the album. 
 

When Regan was asked by Wayne Hussey to sing backing vocals on ‘Severina’ from The Mission’s debut studio album, this initiated a series of collaborations between the two bands. AAE supported The Mission on their first tour and this was instrumental in them winning a contract with Phonogram. Between 1985-87 they recorded four singles for the independent Eden label, but they released their self-titled debut album on the major label in 1988. Regan continues to collaborate with Hussey; at present they are working on a joint venture under the name Hussey-Regan.

 
Lovely pictures with this video.
 

Paul Samwell-Smith, a founding member of The Yardbirds, produced AAE’s debut. Incidentally, he has also produced works by Jethro Tull, Renaissance and Amazing Blondel. Most of the songs were written in Regan’s bedsitter, with the band more or less working as a three-piece. As stated above, AAE had the support of The Mission for this album. Wayne Hussey reciprocated for Regan’s contribution to ‘God’s Own Medicine’ by supplying backing vocals to ‘Shelter From The Rain’. Hussey and Simon Hinkler produced ‘Lady Moonlight’, while drummer Mick Brown guests on four tracks on the album.

 
 

The album contains no less than five singles, including the top-10 hit ‘Martha’s Harbour’. This song is of course notorious for the incident on Top Of The Pops where Regan and Bricheno sat in silence because their backing track wasn’t played through their monitors. The songs here combine folk and Goth rock, with lyrics that are inspired by nature and mysticism. These are exemplified on the chiming ‘80s guitars of the band’s nod to hippiedom, ‘Flowers In Our Hair’, and the folk magic of the lilting ‘Gypsy Dance’. Other highlights include the Byrds-inspired jangling of ‘In The Clouds’ and the vigorous rock of ‘Every Angel’. In fact the first seven songs on here must rank together as one of the best series of consecutive songs on any ‘80s album. Furthermore, the lush acoustic layers of shimmering ballads like ‘Shelter from The Rain’ and ‘Like Emily’ are perfectly matched by lyrics about emerald ships and fallen angels.
 
'kin awesome live version!

 

I don’t really like having to assign arbitrary ratings to albums but in this case the music can speak for itself via the YouTube videos. Having said that, this is a great album well worthy of 4-stars, and in fact it’s not a kick in the bahoochie off 5-stars.

 

Finally, AAE have several connections to progressive music. They recorded a cover version of ‘See Emily Play’, while David Gilmour played on two of their songs, ‘Are You Lonely’ and ‘Wishing The Hours Away’ (none of which appear on this album though - check out their ‘Keepsakes’ retrospective collection for these tracks). During the band’s mid-90s hiatus Regan occasionally performed live with Fairport Convention, and she performed on Judy Dyble’s ‘Talking With Strangers’, which also features Robert Fripp. In addition, she has contributed a track (‘Shaping The River’) to ‘Leader Of The Starry Skies’, a tribute album and fundraiser for Tim Smith of Cardiacs. This is due for release on 6th December, but check Dick Heath’s thread here for further details on pre-ordering the CD. A very worthwhile cause deserving of all our support.

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote R-A-N-M-A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2010 at 19:50
So, this new album by the band Moon Safari has been plastered all over the front page of the site for roughly the last forever. Which is nice and all, it's getting great reviews. I'm sure I'll get around to checking it out at some point. In the mean time I can't help but think of another (perhaps) even more marvellous Moon Safari. Without further ado, I give you:

Air - Moon Safari

4.5/5


Them Details:

When: 1998 (Year of the Tiger)
Where: France
What: The debut album by a pair of French dudes whose only mission in life at this point appears to be helping you get your chill on something fierce.

La femme d'argent - 7:11
Sexy Boy - 4:58
All I Need - 4:28
Kelly Watch the Stars - 3:45
Talisman - 4:17
Remember - 2:34
You Make It Easy - 4:02
Ce matin là - 3:39
New Star in the Sky - 5:41
Le voyage de Penelope - 3:11

My Two Cents (CAD):

This is easily the most chilled out album I own. It's funky catchy and a little bit weird in its own way. It's an album I liked the moment I heard it and I think you might too.

Why did I like it the moment I heard it? Because the first thing I heard was La femme d'argent. Or for the non-French inclined: The Silver Lady. Its hip, hipper than anything you've heard in the last decade; a mix of sly keyboard work with a dabble of sequencer and a mellowed out baseline. It's both riveting and relaxing. I've never really heard anything quite like it. The rest of the album is still very good, but I could stop listening after La femme and be in seventh heaven.

Sexy Boy (or for the non-French inclined: not you) was the single from the album, and I understand a pretty big hit in its own time and place. For my part, it isn't my favourite track on the album, but I can see the appeal. It's a little bit heavier (If you can call that heavy) than most other things on the album and certainly catchy. It just seems to rub me the wrong way. I think the subtly accented vocals just don't totally do the trick for me. They're better elsewhere, like New Star.

All I Need is one of the most at east tracks on an album that feels like a bean bag chair on an ocean of whipped cream. The vocals again aren't the tops, but everything else about this track elates me. Once we move away from the lyrical stuff and into the more abstract this piece is stunning. The low droning synth which comes in towards the end is superb.

Kelly Watch the Stars is one of my top picks from Moon Safari, it's short and the lyrics are exceedingly repetitive, but its all part of the hypnotic trance Air has you under. It's a little more upbeat and up tempo than many of the other tracks so it feels like it lasts a little longer than it actually does. I love it though, it's catchy as hell.

Talisman drops it down a register but keeps the up tempo and turns the funk up to 6! I know that's not crazy, but this isn't a crazy album. It's an excellent track regardless. The bass and keyboards are working in perfect harmony; this one also gets a big thumbs up from me. It does get shown up a little later though, by its sleazy counterpart Le voyage de Penelope.

Remember begins the part of the album that I don't quite like as much as the first section. The songs are still good, but the just don't catch your attention the way that La Femme or Kelly do. Remember is the shortest track on the album, and likely my least favourite. This is due again to the vocals, they are the most similar to Sexy Boy, but the balance of the track just isn't as good.

You Make It Easy, is a sexy little bit of mood music. Air, went on to be the masters of make out music. When you hear Easy, it's well... easy to hear why. It's much better than Remember and maybe on par with all I need. What makes it so romantic? Why that most sensual of all instruments, the wood block! Don't believe me, hear it for yourself.

Ce matin là (That morning there) is a song that I always forget about, but it's really cool. It's a lounge music masterpiece. It makes you want grab your lady (or dude, I don't judge) and do sweet sweet things to her. Here is more than a hint of Burt Bacharach about it. This adds to its vintage appeal. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful piece of music.

The concept behind the track New Star in the Sky is the saying every time a child is born, a new star appears in the sky. If you were doing the right things during You Make it Easy and Ce matin là, you're probably well on your way to creating your own little new star. It's a very gentle and sentimental piece. It's ok. Kinda nor here nor there. This is the most relaxed piece on the album. Very good for helping you drift off to sleep. I know a couple of people who swear by it.

Le voyage de Penelope, brings us out of the near comatose state we've been in for the last little while for a stunning and balls to the walls finale. That is to say as close as Air's balls are gonna get to any walls. It has a well mixed combination of synth and acoustic instrumentation in a low key but up tempo set up, like Talisman as mentioned before. This is right up there with Kelly for my second favourite track.

I it is a totally consistent album thematically, but it doesn't always deliver musically. That said, nothing is worse than good and in many places it's exceptionally so. This album has gotten straight under my skin. I've probably listened to it as much as Never Hear the End of It, by Sloan when I first got it.
Alors, quatre point cinq sur cinq.

Prog-Appeal:

Actually, I've long felt that more modern electronic musicians are willing to get a lot more out there than their rock contemporaries. This is still a pop album at its heart but, the primarily instrumental tracks like La femme and Penelope kinda get a little freakay. I think someone going into this album and expecting something generic would be totally wrong headed. So yeah, it’s prog-appealing.

Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:




Now on my to do list.


Edited by R-A-N-M-A - December 02 2010 at 20:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 02 2011 at 13:14
Toto - Isolation
 
 
 

this is an album I will have difficult to keep myself neutral or objective, Toto have 12 Studio album all are solid piece of melodic rock, jazz rock, funk and everything in between. the genre within popular music Toto haven’t touched does not exist. They have not ventured into extreme metal or avant-garde, other than that they have played anything from new age music to progressive metal.

 

Isolation is one of Toto’s most heavy albums, probably the 2nd heaviest album overall after Kingdom of Desire, while KoD is more in the heavy blues territory, Isolation is heavy symphonic rock in the neo progressive vein. but shorter songs, yet very intricate, they don't hold anything back on this album. I will with hand on my hart and say that Isolation is close to be Toto’s most virtuoso album, the most brutal instrumentation, they don't wait on you before Steve Lukather or Steve Porcaro launches themselves into their solo modes, sometime even unison, most of the time counterparts, like twisting lizards.

 

I will now take track by track review

 

Carmen – Irresistible riff sets of this song, one of their most metallic song in their repertoire, and the prog rock influence is all over this song, only shorter in length, but the solo section will give you a serious whiplash, every instrument give time to shine on this album, brilliant vocals by David Paich and new guy Fergie Fredriksen, they share vocals here, Fergie takes care for the Chorus, Jeff Porcaro is without comparison here.

 

Lion - sets of with a solid low bass bite (BAM BAM ) more artsy song, different short sections, one of their most unique songs, delicious instrumentation, aggressive guitar sound as usual from Steve Lukather, this song is a semi progressive rock affair, in the neo progressive/AOR style, still solid drumming. Few bands have this solid groove in their core, it is so solid and tight, and never does it sound stale.

 

Stranger in Town - David Paich takes over the vocal duties in this cool song, this song have vocal harmonies to die for, the chorus shows Toto’s skill for vocal arrangements, in high register and perfect hitted notes, the song is in the vein of 80s Genesis, some cool sound effects from Steve Porcaros and David’s synths and keyboards, moog’s and other technical equipment. It is incredible the amount of strong vocalists there is in one band.

 

Angel Don't Cry - heavy rock song, shows the vocal range of Fergie to an impressive degree. 80s hard rock style but in Toto vein which induce more groove and control, and more abrupt and neck snapping, they venture into solo guitar and synth parts, this is how Toto in some way prove their instrumental knowledge by how fast verses and choruses flow into each other and how they without any pauses, or need to collect momentum before they goes into instrumental muscle flexing bridge sections

 

How Does It Feel - Symphonic rock ballad sung by Lukather, this song is just beautifully composed; little epic with a sweeping solo by Lukather blistering speed, this song is one of the most stunning orchestral mini suites, like a bright summer breeze

 

Endless - a Funky rock song with Mike Porcaro use some cool slap bass thumps, semi-neo progressive song, with a atmospheric bridge part. Also a nice use of Keyboard sounds.

 

Isolation - the best and most aggressive riff on the album, after staccato piano intro. 80s hard rock song in Saga vein who are instrumentally and stylistically closer to Toto then Foreigner and Journey.

 

Mr. Friendly and Change of Heart - these two songs give Toto a chance to show everyone that technically they are a force to be reckoned with. This needs to be heard to witness, it is impressive to how little time this guys needs to give is sections that would give you a serious whiplash if it was a moveable object.

 

Holyanna - a west coast rock ballad with a perfect instrumental performance every nuance fits like a glow and a nice keyboard solo as well..

 

StarStarStarStarStar easy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overmatik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2011 at 13:32
Wow, Midnight Oil are nothing short of amazing. I also have all their albums and I put them among the great were they belong. Diesel and Dust is a supernatural masterpiece! They were always flawless live too.
"Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity. Calculate what we will or will not tolerate. Desperate to control all and everything. Unable to forgive your scarlet letterman."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2011 at 22:43
Originally posted by overmatik overmatik wrote:

Wow, Midnight Oil are nothing short of amazing. I also have all their albums and I put them among the great were they belong. Diesel and Dust is a supernatural masterpiece! They were always flawless live too.


I agree. I saw them live too (touring for Earth and Sun and Moon), so much energy and life!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overmatik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2011 at 11:03
Originally posted by catfood03 catfood03 wrote:

Originally posted by overmatik overmatik wrote:

Wow, Midnight Oil are nothing short of amazing. I also have all their albums and I put them among the great were they belong. Diesel and Dust is a supernatural masterpiece! They were always flawless live too.

I agree. I saw them live too (touring for Earth and Sun and Moon), so much energy and life!


They came to Brazil in 96 but only to São Paulo so I couldn't see them.Cry  Another great album they have is Redneck Wonderland, which completely reinvented the band and is very heavy.
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