Listening Log: March 1st 2010

Ardent 1974

3/1/10

Album of the Day: Big Star Radio City

Today was a great day for tunes! This right here is one of my favorite albums of all time, PERIOD. It’s actually really hard for me to pick between this and “#1 Record” sometimes, but in the end, they are both good for different occasions. “#1 Record” is good for days off when you’re chilling at home, or for date nights with the lady and whatnot. “Radio City” is for nights when you feel like taking the town to town and partying your ass off, or for days when you have to work and really, REALLY don’t want to go. Today was more of the latter, but when “O My Soul” came on with that super-bright, pummeling guitar intro, I really felt like I could take on anything, even a bunch of whiny customers at Subway. That’s a lot of strength for one song to supply one man, I tell you.

Track 1967

The Who The Who Sell Out

Again, a great day for tunes—this is my favorite Who album, and the Who have been one of my favorite bands since I was old enough to realize rock and roll was older than Nirvana. Well, I guess that took awhile for a lot of people. Let’s put it this way—I was in junior high when I heard “Live at Leeds”, and my little mind was pretty much blown. But hearing “The Who Sell Out” after that? Man, I didn’t know what to think! Especially since the live version of “Tattoo” on “Leeds” is so different from the original on “Sell Out”. I still prefer the live version, but that’s not the point—The Who may have been a great live band, and this is true (anyone who has not seen The Kids are Alright, go rent it now; it’s one of the best rock docs of all time). However, no live recording of this band, or ANY recording of them, can prepare a listener for what they were doing on “Sell Out”. Taking the suggestion of “Sgt. Peppers” to entirely new highs, the band create a world of psychedelic sensory overload, complete with hilarious faux-radio commercials and fake jingles like “Odorono” that are better than most real songs.

EMI 1976

Albums to Revisit: Queen A Day at the Races

Even more influenced by the styles of Vaudeville than their classic “A Night at the Opera”, it might be for this reason that I don’t find “A Day at the Races” as compelling. However, upon listening to it today, I found myself noticing a lot of standout sections that had not really popped out at me before. Freddie Mercury is always amazing to listen to—his playing, his singing, and his visionary ear are all wonders of nature, especially from the perspective of another musician. Listening to Queen is one thing, but trying to break it down and figure out how they did it all is another, nearly impossible task. This makes the albums fun to listen to, but it’s the music that really gives it all that kick of soul. There was awhile there where Queen’s tunes were just unfathomably good, and though this album shows Queen on the way down from their peak, they still weren’t far from the top here. I’ll be spinning this again soon.

Queen “A Day At The Races” ****
“Rushmore: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” ****
Big Star “Radio City” *****
The Who “The Who By Numbers” ***1/2
T. Rex “The Slider” ****1/2
The Who “The Who Sell Out” *****
Girls “Album” ****
Nilsson “Nilsson Sings Newman” ****

Total Albums Heard=8

***** Classic
**** Amazing
*** Good
** So-So
* Nope

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