Album Chart of 1975

<1974 1976>

  • This chart features albums released in 1975 and is limited to all of the albums in my collection which have “A-list” status.
  • The Top 30 albums are profiled, and the full chart (Top 59) is summarised, in sortable table form, on the Albums released in 1975 page, which shows the full range of albums in this sites' database, including the “B-list” records.
1975-a-patti-smith.jpg

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO PONY, LIKE BONY MORONIE?

Thanks to folks like Patti Smith, the true teen spirit of rock n roll was still chipping away at the god-awful rock mainstream of the early to mid-70s.

Intelligent, challenging and exciting, her invigorating debut, "Horses", foretold the spirit of DIY inventiveness that would brighten up the second half of the decade.

Patti’s group were far from alone as punky agitators in New York at this time – The Dictators can lay a bona-fide claim to the first Punk LP, with at least 4 tracks from their March ’75 debut being Punk by the classic ’77 definition of the term. In Europe, Klaus Dinger’s vision of what Neu! should be, was sneering and snarling at stadium rock with 2 fingers in the air – one for each chord.

‘Pon de island, U-Roy and Burning Spear took full advantage of the Wailers having a breather, and grabbed the headlines at home and abroad with their intensely exciting long-players.

Despite operating against backgrounds that were incredibly tough and oppressive, there were terrific African LPs in my chart this year from Moses Mchunu (South Africa), Ikenga Super Stars of Africa (Nigeria) and Teta Lando (Angola).

Oblivious to fashion and trend, Sir Bob Dylan was BACK this year with gravel in his guts, and spit in his eye – and that’s music to my ears ; - )

The Jukebox Rebel
28-Jun-2016

TJR says:

9.18 “A masterpiece”

The debut album from the 28-year-old arrived at the very tail end of ‘75. ‘Til recently, Patti’s work had been played out via street busking, coffee shops, book shops, churches and small theatres. She had been a spoken-word artist, a poet, an actor, a performance artist, a painter and had even dabbled in a bit of rock journalism. After hooking up again with Lenny Kaye at the tail end of ’73 (the pair had first met and played together in ’71) Patti came to the conclusion that, like Jim Morrison before her, fronting her own rock band was the best way to get her prose out there and, with Lenny’s help, this duly came to be. They garnered quite a street-level reputation for themselves in New York ’74, culminating in a well-received debut single, “Hey Joe” b/w “Piss Factory”. Clive Davis of Arista Records sensed an opportunity for his new label, and signed them up for an album, with Patti entrusting the production duties to John Cale, hoping that he could capture the happening sound of mid-70s New York. As a rock n roller, Patti was arriving fully formed; she knew her mind, she knew her music history, and she certainly knew her poetry. There’s no doubt that she was in the right place at the right time to take it all to another level. Her band are really great – they are firmly camped in with the agitators of the underground, lining up for a musical square-go with the Eagles, Genesis and their ilk. In tune with this sense of agitation, Patti’s vocal delivery bristles with all the energy of a caged and coiled bird, finally released to the wild. This powerful force of nature may not have come as such a great surprise to the street punks of CBGBs – but her intellectual lyrics were something else altogether; the whole was a real heady cocktail. Patti liked to shock – and here on her debut, the great taboos of sex and religion were high on the agenda. We don’t have to wait long for the first “blasphemous” act. “Gloria: In Excelsis Deo / Gloria (Version)” begins with a softly played piano, over which Patti quotes from “Oath”, one of her early poems: “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine”. Rock n Roll is the new religion – and so the sermon begins with a rip-roaring version of Them’s lust-laden classic. The group then deliver an unexpected, but nevertheless stupendous, reggae bed for “Redondo Beach”, upon which the singer regales the tragic tale of a broken lover turned to suicide: “Down by the ocean it was so dismal, I was just standing with shock on my face, The hearse pulled away and the girl that had died, it was you, You'll never return into my arms 'cause you were gone, gone.” Death is, again, to the fore on “Birdland”, an improvised piece which begins with a little boy who’s lost his Daddy, and goes on to hallucinate about his father’s fantastical return via UFO’s which turn out to be no more than a flock of blackbirds. Patti’s delivery reflects the inner-turmoil and portrays an incredible intensity, as she positively wails phrases such as “You are not human”, “I am not human” and “we are not human”. She would later reveal: “that's really talking about myself. From very early on in my childhood - four, five years old – I felt alien to the human race. I felt very comfortable with thinking I was from another planet, because I felt disconnected – I was very tall and skinny, and I didn't look like anybody else, I didn't even look like any member of my family.” “Free Money” is another fantasy song. Patti’s mum always dreamed about winning the lottery for the benefit of the family – even though she never ever bought a ticket! Bless. At least her heart was good! It’s a dumb little New Wave Rock n Roller which steals my heart next: “Kimberly” was Patti's youngest sister by ten and a half years. It sounds to me like the bambini was well looked after: “The palm trees fall into the sea, It doesn't matter much to me, As long as you're safe, Kimberly, And I can gaze deep into your starry eyes, baby.” Gorgeous. “Break It Up” is probably the albums one true Rock song – and tastefully shows the hairy brigade exactly how it should be done; togetherness with no showboating. “Land: Horses / Land Of A Thousand Dances / La Mer(de)” then proceeds to steal the show; a near 10 minute journey that veers between hell and heaven. It’s Patti’s paean to Jimi Hendrix which, after a wild opening narrative, revels in the simplistic and hedonistic joys of a rock n roll past. Alas, there is no happy ending as a 27-year-old ghost rises from his death bed: “in the sheets, there was a man, dancin’ around to a simple, rock n roll, song”. Ironically, the song fades away rather than burning out. It’s one of thee greatest moments in the 70s Rock n Roll story. As if seizing the moment, poignant album closer “Elegie” – deliberately recorded on the 5th anniversary of Jimi’s death – finishes with lines borrowed from the man himself: “I think it’s sad, it’s much too bad, that our friends can’t be with us today.” And so Patti ended her incredible 1975 sermon. Suddenly, Rock n Roll had a future again…

The Jukebox Rebel
10-Dec-2007


TJR says:

8.17 “Excellent”

Roots rocking is the play on U-Roys second long-player, largely down to the terrific engineering skills of Errol Thompson at Joe Gibbs Studio and the two bands who were employed for these sessions: The Skin, Flesh And Bones Band (Sly Dunbar and Lloyd Parks on the d n b) and The Soul Syndicate, the ubiquitous collective who seem to going through a golden period at this time. I suspect the sparser, dubbier cuts are handled by the former and the poppier, livelier numbers are performed by the latter. Throughout, the rhythms are deep and tough, and U-Roy commands the house magnificently, equally affecting in the pop stylings of “Dreadlocks Dread” and “Listen To The Teacher” as he is with heavy heavy manners of “Natty Don’t Fear” or “The Great Psalms”. The man unifies – the man’s a star. Good gaaawsssh.

The Jukebox Rebel
10-Oct-2007


TJR says:

8.07 “Excellent”

Brilliantly, Neu! reconvened in winter ’74-’75 for one last hurrah and this time the inconsistency which plagued previous efforts is nowhere to be seen as these six fully formed nuggets reveal themselves, showing the duo to be equally powerful as ambient progenitors or punk agitators. Side 1 starts off on familiar territory with the motorik cruiser “Isi”, although the synths share space organically with some lovely piano, giving the piece a different feeling than ’73. It’s not all halligalli though – this is confirmed straight away on “Seeland” – the trance effect remains but we’ve slipped off the autobahn into slow-moving traffic due to roadworks. And it’s raining. Closing side 1 is “Leb Wohl” (“Goodbye”) which slows further down to a dream-like state and comes complete with simple, haunting piano lines, the sound of waves rolling up around your feet, and a vocals which are softly moaned and quietly spoken, as if trapped in a debilitating stupor. “Bye bye” says Klaus, almost sarcastically drawing a line under Michael’s preferred “ambient side” of the record. Side 2 is wide-awake from the get-go on “Hero” as the trance-inducing repetitive beats are presented in the new style of the day – punk rock is mos def in the air, accentuated all the more by Klaus Dinger’s snarled, incomprehensible drawl. The 10-minute instrumental “Emusik” is next, with seven minutes of up-tempo trance-beat dissipating to reveal a hazy 3 minutes film-score, all the while phased to the max with effects. “After Eight” finishes the set off in glorious fashion – let there be no doubt punk has arrived. It’s teed up on a plate for the Sex Pistols et al.

The Jukebox Rebel
14-Sep-2008


TJR says:

8.05 “Excellent”

Excellence abounds on the debut set from the 26-year-old, native to the rural village of Nkandla in the East, but now several years based more centrally in Johannesburg. After meeting with influential producer West Nkosi in 1972, Moses went from strength to strength with his music, a wonderful hybrid of the traditional maskandi style of his Zulu heartlands and the mbaqanga style so beloved of the urban township dwellers. Folk roots and zulu blues are never too far from the surface here, although the tempo is usually upbeat, with the fiddle playing of Noise Khanyile and the gospel-like plaintive wails of his female singers, Nezintombi Zengoma (who appear on 4 of these cuts) contributing authentically. Moses writes all 10 of the pieces on which he is billed; compiler West Nksoi also includes two numbers by Mbaliseni Mkhize, another traditional roots artist, who has a predilection for randomly breaking into rapid-fire fast-tongue spoken parts on his inclusions, evidenced on both “Sambamba” and “Qinisa Mkhize”. Best from Moses himself are “lnkunzi Emnyama” (“Black Bull”), “Emzini Bakhala Ngawe” (“The City Looked For You”) and “Ngizula Nomhlaba” (“Wander the Earth”). This terrific LP is out-of-print, but is available for download at Electric Jive. Get it here.

The Jukebox Rebel
08-Dec-2014


TJR says:

7.49 “Really good”

Well, his spell at Asylum Records didn’t last too long – he was straight back to Columbia after just 1 year away, and “Blood On The Tracks” was a comeback in more ways than one. There’s a folk rock jangle back in the grooves and a spit back in the vocal – it’s almost like he’s the writer, arranger and conductor who’s finally back in full control of the orchestra. Most of the lyrics on the album revolve around heartache, anger, and loneliness and the songs that make up the LP are seen by most Dylan biographers as having been inspired by his personal turmoil at the time, particularly his separation from his then-wife Sara Dylan. Told of the album’s lasting popularity, Dylan was later to say (in a radio interview by Mary Travers): “A lot of people tell me they enjoy that album. It’s hard for me to relate to that. I mean, it, you know, people enjoying that type of pain, you know?” When speaking as to how the album seems to speak of the artist’s own personal pain, Dylan replied that he didn’t write “confessional songs”. Autobiographical or not, the passion on display here lifts Dylan back up where he should be – creating brilliant, affecting music…

The Jukebox Rebel
10-Jun-2007


TJR says:

7.35 “Really good”

Ivor’s second of three mid 70’s LP’s for Virgin Records, featuring 12 songs, 11 poems and 8 stories. Once again, the set features several contributions from Phyllis King, including one of the album’s major highlights, a bizarre, disconcerting 6 minute tale entitled “The Stranger”. If anyone knows why he came do, please, let me know. Cutler is also joined on the record by Henry Cow’s Fred Frith who plays viola on several tracks. These diversions are welcome and complimentary, but ultimately unnecessary. All we really need is Ivor’s burr, his fantastical prose, and his quaint harmonium. With these in place, we’ve got the world. Following the series that had begun on last years “Dandruff”, “Velvet Donkey” contains another two episodes from the nostalgically evocative semi-autobiographical works “Life in a Scotch Sitting Room”, a series of monologues based on Cutler’s Depression-era childhood that he would finally complete in 1978. Here we get the playfully bizarre “Episode 2”, with it’s amazing tale of how much fun could be had with 3 grains of sand, and the frankly disturbing “Episode 7”, where Ivor’s draconian Grandpa and Father sound like a right couple of unreasonable old weirdoids. But without whom etc etc…

The Jukebox Rebel
03-May-2007


TJR says:

7.33 “Really good”

After two albums for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label, the vocal trio of Winston Rodney (30, lead vocals), Delroy Hines (tenor harmony vocals) and Rupert Willington (bass harmony vocals) teamed up with Ocho Rios sound system operator Lawrence “Jack Ruby” Lindo for their ground-breaking third long-player, “Marcus Garvey”, a straight-ahead say-it-loud we’re black and we’re proud statement of intent that took no prisoners. The relentless mantra is intoxicating, and is especially strong at the beginning with “Marcus Garvey”, “Slavery Days and “The Invasion”, before coming strongly again at the finish with “Red, Gold & Green” and “Resting Place”. Little wonder the Rastafari movement was gaining momentum at this time. The Black Disciples are excellent throughout – this is a big production, high quality affair with a football team’s worth of contributors providing a backing which is rich with horn and woodwind, as well as having a killer drum n bass backline. In amongst the famous line up are: Robbie Shakespeare (bass), Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass), Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace (drums) and Bobby Ellis (trumpet). As a whole, these positive vibrations are simply irresistible.

The Jukebox Rebel
21-Feb-2016


TJR says:

7.11 “Really good”

The 25-year-old was out to colour-in the mid-70s grey of the AOR market and this was certainly achieved on a set which oozes ambition at every turn; the result of some 14 months in the recording studio with 6 months spent on the lead-single “Born To Run” alone. Springsteen has said that he wanted to make a record that sounded like “Roy Orbison singing Bob Dylan, produced by Spector.” And I’ll be darned – that’s exactly what it sounds like, so fair play to all concerned – these 8 mini-dramas are an aural pleasure, and a welcome antidote to the mind-numbing garbage which was dominating the American rock scene at the time.

The Jukebox Rebel
27-Feb-2016


TJR says:

6.85 “Good”

Nigeria’s Ikenga Super Stars of Africa, led by Vincent Okoroego, broke through all over the continent with this release, their first on the Rogers All Stars label. The Ikengas called their style of music “Ikwokilikwo”, the implication being that it’s a mixing bowl of ingredients, including the home-grown elements of Highlife, Igbo traditional music and Soukous as well as western influences such as Funk and Jazz. The pidgin English lyrics almost certainly broadened their appeal across ethnic lines. As is normal for the form, the LP consists solely of just 2 extended pieces; “Ikenga Go Marry Me”, a humorous tale about how the group’s growing status is leading to shallow proposals and “Ikenga In Africa” which cleverly gives a shout-out to republics the continent over, undoubtedly ensuring some bonus sales. Smart operators! This neat LP is out-of-print, but it has been made available at the Global Groove. Get it here.

The Jukebox Rebel
06-Sep-2014


TJR says:

6.74 “Good”

Had I been around back in December’ 75, I’d have been pretty pissed off with Lou Reed by now. After his seminal works with the Velvets and a couple of terrific solo albums in “Transformer” and “Berlin”, he was really starting to become a bit of a bore. Live sets such as “Rock n Roll Animal” and “Lou Reed Live” were completely lame, “Sally Can’t Dance” was, at best, patchy, and his preceding effort, July’s “Metal Machine Music”, was a white-noise joke. Frankly, he was rolling all over the place, with no direction home. This latest effort was, on the surface, a “play the game” concession, as Lou is backed by a group of oh-so conventional session rockers. The one saving grace is Lou himself though; his vocal style continues to be effortlessly cool, as he drags and drawls it all around, with those affections which are uniquely his. Single-handedly, he lifts the set out of the mediocre and into the realms of a perfectly acceptable good ‘un. The album gets off to a poppy 1-2 starter with the larger-than-life chiming bells of “Crazy Feeling” and “Charley’s Girl” which comes complete with a set of ooh-la-la backing vocals which could turn perfectly healthy people sick. I rather suspect he’s in love, but Lou’s vocal is an effective antidote to the sugar. “She’s My Best Friend”, an unreleased VU-era song, gets its first recorded outing, and is re-invented as a soft-rocker, keeping in-tune with the surprisingly lovey-dovey vibe of the album. Closing side 1, “Kicks” absolutely jumps out of the speakers – it’s like an old friend has snapped out of a long period of uncharacteristic behaviour; the song, built on a lightly-funky repetitive guitar loop, seems to be set in some sort of house party, centred on a psycho who casually chats about how he likes to get his kicks through murderous gore. It’s not clear if the conversation is two-way, although there are random bursts of other conversations abruptly invading your space at TWICE the volume – an old trick which was employed to great effect on the VU’s “Lady Godiva’s Operation”. “Coney Island Baby” sums up what this album has really been about – his Coney Island Baby was Rachel, his new transgender lover who’d be around for the next couple of years: “Just remember different people have peculiar tastes and the glory of love might see you through.” Well, I never. In 1975, that was at least 50% of his potential sales gone right away.

The Jukebox Rebel
26-Oct-2008


TJR says:

6.38 “Decent enough”

Amazingly, the voice of the 25-year-old has aged some 30 years overnight, and we’re to believe he’s now a seasoned old growler who’s sampled his fair share of wine, whiskey and women. I think it’s fair to say it’s an act – but it’s a convincing one, and he has the wit, nous and charm to pull it off splendidly. Exactly in character, this album was conceptualized as an early hours jazz café experience where the ribald atmosphere is perfectly set in the dimly lit venue which glows as red as the wine. Producer Bones Howe had the great idea to capture the flavour of Tom’s stage persona by inviting a small audience to the Record Plant Studio in Los Angeles: “I got Michael Melvoin on piano, and he was one of the greatest jazz arrangers ever; I had Jim Hughart on bass, Bill Goodwin on drums and Pete Christlieb on sax. It was a totally jazz rhythm section. Herb gave out tickets to all his friends, we set up a bar, put potato chips on the tables and we had a sell-out, two nights, two shows a night, July 30 and 31, 1975. I remember that the opening act was a stripper. Her name was Dewana and her husband was a taxi driver. So for her the band played bump-and-grind music – and there's no jazz player who has never played a strip joint, so they knew exactly what to do. But it put the room in exactly the right mood. Then Waits came out and sang “Emotional Weather Report”. Then he turned around to face the band and read the classified section of the paper while they played. It was like Allen Ginsberg with a really, really good band.” As entertaining as the songs themselves are, the extended introductions in which Tom reveals a talent for comedy, all delivered with this new croaky-voice of his, raise the bar considerably in terms of entertainment value. He plays some great characters within the confines of the set, most of whom seem to be mavericks of some sort; bums, dreamers and malcontents. His self-deprecating humour is a big hit with the studio audience and with me. 75 minutes of jazz has rarely sounded so tolerable.

The Jukebox Rebel
15-Sep-2009


TJR says:

6.36 “Decent enough”

A whole lotta rhythm goin’ down… yowsa yowsa yowsa etc etc. Can’t say I was ever overly impressed by George Clinton’s hipster-approved brand of pop-funk, but “Mothership Connection” certainly had its moments – the cartoon-esque wide-eyed tongue-in-cheek humour helped some, as did the addition of disgruntled members from the JB’s horn section, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. I’ll take them over Earth, Wind & Fire anyday. Describing the album’s concept, George said: “We had put black people in situations nobody ever thought they would be in, like the White House. I figured another place you wouldn't think black people would be was in outer space. I was a big fan of Star Trek, so we did a thing with a pimp sitting in a spaceship shaped like a Cadillac, and we did all these James Brown-type grooves, but with street talk and ghetto slang.

The Jukebox Rebel
21-Mar-2011


TJR says:

6.23 “Decent enough”

Released in June ’75 almost two years after it was recorded; how strange for a set that was considered by Neil to be the best record that he’d made to date. So relaxed was the session, that four songs which found their way to the final edit were recorded in one take without stopping. Perhaps it was initially deemed too dark for release, too lo-fi. Almost thematically, Reprises’ normal orange label was replaced by a black one. Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and Young’s friend and roadie Bruce Berry had both died of heroin overdoses in the months before most of these songs were written. The genuine grief is palpable throughout this intimate affair; evidenced immediately on the title-track which opens up the album memorably by sharing some love for the latter’s character: “Bruce Berry was a working man, He used to load that Econoline van. A sparkle was in his eye, but his life was in his hands. Well, late at night, when the people were gone, he used to pick up my guitar, and sing a song in a shaky voice, that was real as the day was long.” The band assembled for the album was known as the Santa Monica Flyers and consisted of Young, Ben Keith (pedal steel), Nils Lofgren (piano), and the Crazy Horse rhythm section of Billy Talbot (bass) and Ralph Molina (drums). Said the singer at the time: “The atmosphere was so relaxed that we began recording immediately. And it's the most honest thing I have ever done. The guys I'm playing with at the moment make me feel relaxed and that's why I can be so honest.” Danny Whitten is honoured and remembered on “Come on Baby Let's Go Downtown”; for this, Neil opts to dig back into the vaults for a live recording from 1970 which highlight’s both guitar and vocal work by Danny, who co-wrote the song with Neil. The Santa Monica Flyers line-up as stated appear on 9 of the 12 tracks; a fine exception is made for “Lookout Joe” on side 2, a high quality out-take from the “Harvest” sessions, with the band known as the Stray Gators. Following this is “Tired Eyes” which, it seems to me, is a plea to get off the road to destruction, to wake up and smell the coffee. A bad drug deal leads to a double-murder in Topanga Canyon, Neil’s own neighbourhood: “Please take my advice, open up those tired eyes.” The Santa Monica Flyers are his brothers in arms on this one and feel it with him all the way. They could have closed it right there, but chose instead to serve a reprise of “Tonight’s The Night”, this time angrier, messier and sloppier. If there was any doubt the non-glamorous nature of hard drug culture then it was surely blasted right here on Neil’s aurally diarized outpouring of grief. He took to the written word in the liner notes with an apology: “I'm sorry. You don't know these people. This means nothing to you.” Dunno about that Neil, pretty sure there’ll be more strangers than me feeling it for Bruce and Danny…

The Jukebox Rebel
27-Feb-2016


TJR says:

6.23 “Decent enough”

What with the stresses and hardships caused by the Angolan War of Independence (1961-1974), it perhaps comes as no surprise that Angola’s first recording studio only opened in 1969. Some fine recordings by Lourdes Van-Dúnem since then suggest we could have been missing out up until then. This album by Teta Lando, a relatively young folk artist in his mid-20s, launched a brand-new label, CDA Records and was perhaps viewed at the time as the dawning of a new era for Angolan music, not to mention the Republic itself. Teta’s music focused on Angolan identity, the struggles faced by the folks as a result of the conflicts, as well as everyday matters important to his people such as love and family. The original album liner notes translate as follows: “1961 marks the year of the start of the struggle against colonial oppression. The people’s desire for freedom spread through the countryside like bushfire. The grief and pain do not mean despair because the goal of independence was clear. This long play record launching CDA captures the chant and dress expression of an artist who is the voice of the people. The need to forget the harshness of the struggle and the joy of announcing victory is signalled. Teta Lando is devoted to the people, no-one better than he could sing Indepencencia.” In Angola, after the Portuguese had stopped the war in 1974, an armed conflict broke out among the nationalist movements. This war formally came to an end in January 1975 when the Portuguese government, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) signed the Alvor Agreement. Presumably “FNLA – MPLA”, the album’s excellent opener, is the first step in attempting to build bridges and heal wounds. Music-wise, my favourites here are all of the upbeat dance variety, as served up on the opener. Elsewhere, there are many pieces which are best described as a latin-brand of folk-rock; not understanding the lyrics undoubtedly hampers my enjoyment as I find little appeal in the make-up of the music itself. Generally speaking, there seems to be a tempered joy within this set; present relief and future hopefulness plays against past mourning and future uncertainty. I don’t speak a word of Portuguese mind – it’s all in the chords and the vocal intonations ; - ) Download this fine release for free at Electric Jive.

The Jukebox Rebel
16-Aug-2012


TJR says:

6.22 “Decent enough”

Following the death of Danny Whitten, the future for Crazy Horse as an independent group of their own looked to be over but, in late 1974, Neil Young, Billy Talbot, and Ralph Molina spontaneously convened at Talbot's Echo Park home with rhythm guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro, who proved to be just the right person to help resurrect Crazy Horse. “It was great”, Talbot would say of the coming together and the chemistry it evoked. “We were all soaring. Neil loved it. We all loved it. It was the first time we heard the Horse since Danny Whitten died.” After a five-year hiatus Neil Young and Crazy Horse was born again through “Zuma”, issued in November ’75. This was a full-on rock production, with Neil singing again – a whole different ball-game to the blackness which had overshadowed the preceding long-players. “Danger Bird” and “Cortez The Killer” are widely acknowledged as being highlight tracks here, with Neil’s guitar playing being cited as reaching new technical peaks, but this doesn’t do it for me I’m afraid – those winding solos are just too much. Call me a philistine, but the late 60s Californian jangle of “Don’t Cry No Tears”, a song of his which began life in his high-school days circa 1960, is my favourite, followed by “Barstool Blues” which is cut from a not too dis-similar folk-rock cloth. These are not really where his head’s at though. At the time he said: “I'm playing a lot of electric guitar and that's what I like best. Two guitars, bass and drums. And it's really flying off the ground too. Fucking unbelievable.” Nice to hear him enthused all the same – it’s easy to hear why the rock-heads love this one…

The Jukebox Rebel
08-Feb-2009


TJR says:

6.20 “Decent enough”

“Siren” was widely acclaimed, but I can’t escape the feeling that they’re slowly slipping away from me at this stage. The smoother they get, the less I’m loving them, but the edginess and inventiveness remains here and there; overall there’s enough to register as another worthwhile document in the Roxy story. As they always seem to do, they start with a cracker, “Love Is The Drug”, a huge #2 hit in the UK pop chart, with a bassline from John Gustafson which is up there with George Harrison’s “Taxman” in the great 20th century bassline stakes. “Whirlwind” kicks in with some much-needed attitude and drama at the end of side 1: “How far is Shangri-la from here, and is it this way? There she blows, tear me down tornado. Whirlpool! Drag me to the deeps below.” The only other track which takes my fancy is “Both Ends Burning”, ironically the smoothest, most-suave offering on the LP, which is New Romantic way before its time, and could easily be placed on Top of The Pops 1981, in between Japan and Duran Duran. File under evolving underground art-rockers deliver decent pop record.

The Jukebox Rebel
27-Feb-2010


TJR says:

6.19 “Decent enough”

Arriving in October ’75 was the next instalment from the fascinating and mysterious electronic group from Düsseldorf. They now clearly identified as a quartet, with Karl Bartos having been beamed up into the mothership. In live performance, in promotional videos and, most importantly, in the studio for this new long player, they were: Ralf Hütter (29, voice, synthesizer, drum machine, electronics); Florian Schneider (28, voice, vocoder, synthesizer, electronics); Wolfgang Flür (28, electronic percussion) and Karl Bartos (23, electronic percussion). Changes which proved to be crucial to the ongoing development were also going on behind the scenes. The contract with Philips had come to an end, as had their music publishing agreement. Starting from scratch, Ralf and Florian were able to put their own deals in place, and now had complete control over their own destiny, fully free to create. Although they were now signed to EMI, they had their own imprint – Kling Klang – which was named after their own specially-built studio which was becoming ever-more complex by the month, funded by the great success of “Autobahn”, last years’ worldwide breakthrough LP. As with its predecessor, this set was themed; this time around radio broadcast, despite the in-joke titles playing around with double entendres. Radio activity? Oh, those whacksters! Sensing an appetite for the more structured and melodious aspect of their often experimental and challenging productions, “Radioaktivität”, “Radioland” and “Ohm Sweet Ohm” are positively glorious examples of this new accessible approach. The album’s only downfall is the tendency to include nothing snips like “Geigerzähler” and “Sendepause” as full tracks, and to “play with their new toys” on vocoder waste-of-time inserts such as “Die Stimme Der Energie”. It’s your own album rating your ruining Kraftwerk, I’m not bothered. In all seriousness, for those who were paying close attention, this group were bubbling with inventiveness, and momentum was building by the year. The new set-up laid the groundwork for the glory period which would soon follow.

The Jukebox Rebel
14-Jul-2006


TJR says:

6.12 “Decent enough”

During the middle of 1974, the Dubliners lost two of their five; Ciarán and Ronnie. Ciarán Bourke (tin whistler and guitarist) was having such severe headaches that one night he had to leave the stage and was rushed to hospital; it transpired he had suffered a brain haemorrhage which left him partially paralyzed. Obviously still hopeful that he might return, the Dubliners included him on the front-cover of the “Now” LP, but he never did record another album with his compadres. From 1974 until his death in 1988, he continued to be paid by the band. A fifth member of the group was not recruited until after his death. In what could be safely be described as a cataclysmic year for the Dubliners, Ronnie Drew (lead singer and guitarist) chose to leave the group, citing family concerns: “My children were growing up and I felt I was being away from home too long. We’d be away for a period of six weeks, then we’d be home for two and away for another six weeks. I didn’t want my family to be suffering for lack of contact. My children were growing up and I wanted to be there. So I decided to I’d pack it up and do something on my own. So I packed up in June or July of 1974.” 30-year-old Jim McCann (singer and guitarist), an established solo folk artist, was invited to join the group and accepted the challenge. I for one certainly miss Ronnie’s presence on this LP; aside from the simple joy of his gruff baritone, the material is decidedly conservative. Where 1973s “Plain and Simple” had confronted the troubles head-on, this years’ “Now” buries its head in the sand, seemingly contented with tales of jolly ploughboys and dewy-eyed farewells to towns that were loved so well. I don’t wish to appear too harsh, however. Aside from low points such as “Carrickfergus” and “Lord of The Dance”, there are many fine pieces on offer. Luke Kelly’s on good form with Tommy Makem’s “Farewell To Carlingford” and he finally gets a crack at “The Auld Triangle” which, I have to say, as fine as it is, sounds weaker on the LP than it does on certain live renditions that have been captured from around about the same timeline. “The Unquiet Grave”, an old English love song, is given the Kelly treatment to good effect towards the end of the set. Jim McCann’s debut is marked well by his rendition of “Matt Hyland”, which, as the liner notes tell us, is: “A lovely variation of the poor little rich girl theme. There is some confusion whether it is an Irish or Scottish song. But Jim thinks it is Irish for two reasons The word Island is mentioned, and the couple stayed up in her room for half an hour just talking.” Glad to hear there is still some humour in the camp.

The Jukebox Rebel
14-Mar-2016


TJR says:

6.09 “Decent enough”

Their tenure at Atlantic now at an end, “Physical Graffiti”, delivered in February ’75, was the first on their own label, Swan Song. Cock-rock-riffage dominates, despite the oft-repeated claims that this set is some sort of dazzling pot-pourri of pop, funk, blues and folk with several sub-genre offshoots. According to Robert Plant, of all the albums Led Zeppelin released, Physical Graffiti represented the band at its most creative and most expressive, and is his favourite Led Zeppelin album. Similarly, guitarist Jimmy Page considers this album to be a “high-water mark” for Led Zeppelin: “It’s always a case of getting together and feeling out the moods of each of us when we meet with instruments for the first time in six months. We began as always, playing around and fooling about for two days, playing anything we want, like standards, our own material or anything that comes to us, and slowly but surely we develop a feel that takes us on to the new material.” Initially intended as an 8-track single LP, the runtime was so great that it was decided that they’d be better making it a double, giving a platform for favoured tracks which had not made the cut on previous releases. There was one outtake from Led Zeppelin III, three from Led Zeppelin IV, and three from Houses of the Holy, including the unused title-track itself. Interestingly, some of the best tracks on this set stem from these afterthoughts. “Bron-Yr-Aur”, the shortest piece ever recorded by the group at just over 2 minutes, is a delightfully tranquil little thing, recorded by Jimmy back in 1970 acoustic solo, and suitably named after the cottage in the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales where they had been based for the Led Zep III sessions. Here, Jimmy reveals his inner Bert Jansch / John Martyn to great effect. “Boogie With Stu” (named after Stones manager and pianist Ian Stewart who gets a co-writer credit) was recorded way back in January ’71 at the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Said Jimmy Page: “Some of the things that happened there, like “Boogie with Stu” where Stu turns up and plays a piano that's totally unplayable, were incredible. That was too good to miss because Stu wouldn't record, he wouldn't do solo stuff. All of these things wouldn't end up on albums as far as other people were concerned, but they did with us.” This irreverence is much more like it. On the very next track, “Black Country Woman” (recorded in May ’72 during the Houses of the Holy sessions) an aeroplane can be heard above prompting recording engineer Eddie Kramer to ask “Shall we roll it Jimmy?” to which Robert Plant replies: “Nah, leave it, yeah.” Relaxed and informal, the mandolin-led stomper is a sure-fire winner all-day long. Despite my hankering for the casually glorious aspect of Led Zepp’s psyche, it’s an other-worldly Rock Epic which absolutely steals the show. “Kashmir” is utterly majestic, orchestrally fusing western rock with the richness of traditional Arabian music. Robert Plant reckons it to be the “definitive Led Zeppelin song… it possessed all the latent energy and power that wasn't heavy metal. It was something else. It was the pride of Led Zeppelin.” I usually don’t trust artists to review their own material – but I agree with Mr. Plant on that one.

The Jukebox Rebel
24-Feb-2016


TJR says:

6.08 “Decent enough”

The snotty debut from these delinquents with attitude was only slightly spoiled by the vaguely cartoonish nature of their attack. For me, there’s too much tomfoolery and not enough seethe to be truly effective as a punk classic, but they are blazing a trail, respect is due. The evidence is there for all to see and hear, left, right and centre; Hippies are squares with long hair and they don’t wear no underwear, Lou Reed is a creep, getting drunk, driving fast cars and screwing pretty girls is the way to go. Group leader and songwriter Andy Shernoff spoke about their image: “We shunned glam clothes for leather jackets, jeans and sneakers. We played the Coventry in Queens, where a young Joey Ramone, whom you couldn’t miss in the audience, was wearing glam platforms with bad posture.” At the time of release in March ’75 the Dictators were: Andy Shernoff (20, songwriter, vocals, bass); Ross ‘The Boss’ Friedman (21, lead guitar); Scott ‘Top Ten’ Kempner (21, rhythm guitar) and Stu Boy King (drums). As well as this lot, Richard ‘Handsome Dick’ Manitoba (21) was described as their “secret weapon”; not just a roadie, he provided backing vocals here and there, even stepping up to lead for “Two Tub Man”, one of the best tracks on the album. Being so handsome, the natural selection process dictated that he would be the cover star. Dick’s voice is actually first to appear – his trademark low-down New York drawl is emphasised from the get go with a spoken-word rant: “I don’t hafta be here, ya know? I don’t hafta show up here! With my vast financial holdings, I coulda been baskin’ in the sun in Florida! This is just a hobby for me! Nuthin’, ya hear? A hobby!” ‘Tis he who obnoxiously chants “I’m the NEXT-BIG-THING” as the album’s riff-tastic opener reveals itself. “I Got You Babe”, one of two covers on the set, is next up and is a bit disappointing, not at all necessary. The pop-punk of “Back to Africa” seems to vaguely take its cues from the Kinks “Apeman”, but all sense of cool is lost with the ill-advised “oogah chaka” chants. No wonder the black girl dumped the goon. “Master Race Rock” is clearly “Punk” in the ’77 definition and bursts in at 3:30 with “let’s go… let’s go… let’s go” which positively screams “hey-ho… hey-ho… hey-ho” on every off-beat. It won’t be long now ‘til the master race rock will be usurped by the blitzkrieg bop. The album highlight turns out to be the second cover, “California Sun”, which has just the right sneering tone to keep the party cool. This band could really play some, but I imagine the young, dumb and full of fun thing was a deal breaker for some.

The Jukebox Rebel
21-Feb-2016


TJR says:

6.07 “Decent enough”

Another solid album of hard-funk nastiness, only slightly hampered by the laws of diminishing returns. Album highlight “F.U.N.K.” is an endearing “right-on” homage to her peers including big ups to Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin and The Funkadelics. A poster on RYM (Anxiety) made me laugh with his acute observation: “Listening to this woman grunt out “Effff…yewwww….ennnn….KAAYY…”, in what must be the most erotic spelling lesson ever recorded, makes me feel a little violated afterwards.

The Jukebox Rebel
02-Feb-2011


TJR says:

5.99 “Average”

After more than 3 years of hard-slog ‘round the pub-circuit of the South East, things were beginning to happen for this Canvey Island quartet at the tail end of ’74. In November, “Roxette”, their first 45, was issued, serving notice that they were out to look back to the halcyon days of Rock n Roll, in particular the hard British R n B variant, with half-an-ear on the proto-punk / glam bands of the time. That debut single promised much inventiveness, mashing up Howlin Wolf’s “Down in the Bottom”, the Zombies “Time of the Season” with a curious brand of harmonica-led British Rhythm n Ska. By January ’75, their debut LP was in the shops – turns out it was a bullshit-free reclamation of the blues in rock, with the emphasis very much on the upbeat, coming on like a choppier, more aggressive, updated version of Canned Heat. At the time of release they were: Lee Brilleaux (22, lead vocals, guitar, harmonica); Wilko Johnson (27, guitar, piano, backing / lead vocals); John B. Sparks (21, bass guitar) and John ‘The Big Figure’ Martin (28, drums). After a slow start which includes a fairly average rendition of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”, the album finally starts to heat up by the end of side 1, with the honky-tonk blues of “That Ain't the Way to Behave”, which puts me in mind of the Stones at Chess, and the fast-paced Diddley-beat of “I Don't Mind”, which sizzles with vitality. Flipping over, “Twenty Yards Behind” takes the rhythm n ska feel of their aforementioned debut single one step beyond and positively revels in the skinhead blue beat sound that would have surely went down a storm in the Hope and Anchor. It might not be gripping throughout, but these boys were on the right side of the fence, could play some, and, by all accounts, had an electrifying live presence. I’m not convinced they were the answer to rock’s ills in the mid-70s but at least they were havin’ a bleedin’ go.

The Jukebox Rebel
01-Jun-2016


TJR says:

5.95 “Average”

A major success for Willie, establishing him once and for all as a big player in his own right in the country field, and placing the artist firmly at the forefront of the rising “outlaw country” sub-genre. The sparsity of this LP underlines the old adage that, sometimes, less is more. Adorned with little more than a touch of acoustic guitar, a light bass, piano and harmonica, all the focus is on Willie’s vocals and the conceptualized story which is told from beginning to end. The album is high on entertainment value, and has appeal for folks who may, or may not, be fans of the country genre. The story of the album is explained well on the Wiki: “The story begins with “Time of the Preacher”, where the character evokes his love for his wife, whom he suspects is unfaithful. In the following song, “I Couldn't Believe It Was True”, the infidelity is revealed. This leads to a short version of “Time of the Preacher”, wherein the singer ends with the line “Now the lesson is over, and the killing’s begun”. The reaction of the husband is depicted by Nelson in a medley of “Blue Rock, Montana / Red Headed Stranger”. The first song describes the double murder of the unfaithful woman and her lover by the Stranger, who states “and they died with a smile on their faces.” This leads to the second song of the medley, which describes the grief of the Stranger. This section is followed by Nelson's cover of the 1947 Fred Rose, song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, where the fugitive laments the loss of his wife. In “Red Headed Stranger”, the protagonist commits a subsequent murder—he kills a woman he believes is stealing his horse. The horse, to which he undoubtedly holds a sentimental attachment, had belonged to the Stranger's wife. The story continues with the Stranger traveling south. In the song “Denver”, the character falls in love with a woman he meets in a bar in town. One of the lines from “Blue Rock Montana” is repeated, with a variation: “And they danced with a smile on their faces.” The following song, “Can I Sleep in Your Arms?”, shows the desire of the Stranger for redemption and love. Next is “Remember Me”, where he announces that his vows to his deceased wife are broken and he is free to love. The story ends with “Hands on the Wheel”, which depicts the Stranger as an old man who is accompanied by a child, presumably his grandson, and his new love. The song marks the end of the sorrow of the Stranger, and his redemption years later. The album ends with the instrumental song “Bandera”.”

The Jukebox Rebel
26-Feb-2016


TJR says:

5.92 “Average”

Speaking of that memorable cover shot, Loudon says: “The big picture of me on the front cover of the album with the tear rolling down my cheek (a glycerine drop I can now confess) seems to say 'look at the sad clown.' Yes, I was sad, but I was one pissed off clown, too. In 1974 my marriages to my wife Kate McGarrible, my personal manager Milton Kramer, and Columbia Records were all on the rocks. Kate and I were separated. Milt and I battled constantly about the direction of my career, and Columbia was poised to drop me from their roster. My last effort for the label, Attempted Moustache, had bombed badly in comparison with my first record for them, Album III, which had contained the hit 'Dead Skunk.' In 1974 things were't going great.” Side 1, recorded in the studio with a full-band backing, has very little to offer, excepting “Crime of Passion” which sees Loudon getting all sophisticated with it… it very much puts me in mind of the Fab 4’s “Come Together”. Speaking of which, there are signs of trouble ‘t mill on “Whatever Happened To Us” as Loudon delivers the horrific line: “You told me that I came too soon, but it was you who came too late.” Ouch. Notoriously auto-biographical, we can only assume that dirty linen is being washed in public – and that’s not attractive. Suddenly, the front cover revelation of domestic turmoil comes alive. Aside from this dodginess, at this stage, I’m thinking musically “jeez, his 3 record stint at Columbia has been less than inspiring; a grade below Paul Simon really. I’m missing the Loudon bite of the Atlantic days.” The studio side retires on a low rating of 5.07, which stands in stark contrast to side 2 (6.77) which was recorded live at the Bottom Line in New York City over the course of 3 nights in August and September ‘74. As if by some sort of magic, my plea has been heard. Here, it’s solo-acoustic action all the way, and with all of the focus back on Loudon’s characterful delivery, he’s playing to his strengths. On “Guru” Loudon is right-on when he calls out the holy cults of the day. They have: “some literature to show you the way, Yeah they’re proselytizing and it's mesmerizing, and they're making moulah everyday”. The self-deprecating “Mr. Guilty” gets the audience onside even though he admits he’s a cad and she’s been had. You can only hope it’s not a real-life tale but you fear the worst. “The Untitled” (aurally introduced as “The Hardy Boys At The Y”) reinvents an old folk traditional (the origin of which escapes me at the time of writing) as a homosexual romp between two bodybuilders at the YMCA. Re-employing an old trick first engaged with “Black Uncle Remus” back on his debut, Loudon goes so far as to name them Frank and Joe after the fictional mystery-solving Hardy boys immortalized in book and TV form. Managerial fears over a lawsuit led to the untitled title on the original LP! The audience laughs heartily or nervously, in proportion with their levels of PC sensitivities. This is Loudon being Loudon – he doesn’t care for societal barriers being erected around issues. He follows this with “Unrequited To The Nth Degree”, a tune for “all you hootenanny freaks caught in a time warp”, and the audience are invited to laugh-a-long rather than sing-a-long – I mischievously note that the tasteful ladies refuse to join in with this nonsense and refuse to sing their parts. Well done ladies, I’m proud of you. More pleasingly, the world is delighted to hear that the newly-born baby Rufus is fit, healthy and doing well; “Rufus Is A Tit Man” maybe has too much information but it’s the Wainwright family way and sometimes it’s good-natured fun!

The Jukebox Rebel
16-Sep-2011


TJR says:

5.89 “Average”

Once again, “Another Green World” seen the bold Mr Eno enter the studio with no pre-conceptions, no fore-planning, bar the notion that he would engage the studio itself as a key instrument. Somehow, he emerges again with an interesting album of work; his modus operandi seems to serve him well. It didn’t do well commercially, but it’s widely regarded as a masterpiece amongst the critics. For me, it’s a bit patchy overall, but there are plenty of worthwhile moments over the course of the busy 14-track set. The vaguely menacing “Sky Saw” gets side 1 off to a good start, with a wandering bass that can’t seem to make its’ mind up whether it wants to be jazz or new romantic. 8 of the 14 tracks are outright instrumentals – “In Dark Trees” arrives early doors and is amongst the best of these. Again, a sense of menace is in the air, and Brian Eno proves himself to be extremely adept in the art of mood creation – he alone drip feeds guitars, synthesizer, electric percussion and some sort of treated rhythm generator into the mix and emerges triumphantly in a dubby haze. Better still is “The Big Ship”, which follows in the same vein, Eno alone, this time on a bossa-nova beat and without the guitars. Best on the flip-side are 2 tracks with lead vocals; the gorgeous “Golden Hours” and the reflective “Everything Merges With The Night”. The former features old pal Robert Fripp on Wimborne guitar, new pal John Cale on viola and Brian himself on vocals, choppy organs, spasmodic percussion and uncertain piano. It all sounds several years ahead of its time, despite the choppy uncertainty. The latter is framed by some excellent high-neck / low-down bass wandering by Brian Turrington, offset by piano prettiness by the same player, played against wistful vocals and a highly melodic, effects-laden guitar by Eno.

The Jukebox Rebel
23-Feb-2016


TJR says:

5.88 “Average”

An absorbing 66 minutes from one man and a piano, with occasional moans and grunts in all the right places, resulting in the biggest selling solo-piano album of all-time. The set, performed by the 29-year-old at the Opera House in Köln on January 24th 1975, is completely improvised and the end-results are highly impressive, especially given the back-story as told via Wiki: “The concert was organized by 17-year-old Vera Brandes, then Germany’s youngest concert promoter. At Jarrett's request, Brandes had selected a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand piano for the performance. However, there was some confusion by the opera house staff and instead they found another Bösendorfer piano backstage – a much smaller baby grand – and, assuming it was the one requested, placed it on the stage. Unfortunately, the error was discovered too late for the correct Bösendorfer to be delivered to the venue in time for the evening's concert. The piano they had was intended for rehearsals only and was in poor condition and required several hours of tuning and adjusting to make it playable. The instrument was tinny and thin in the upper registers and weak in the bass register, and the pedals did not work properly. Jarrett arrived at the opera house late in the afternoon and was tired after an exhausting long drive from Zürich, Switzerland, where he had performed a few days earlier. He had not slept well in several nights and was in pain from back problems and had to wear a brace. After trying out the substandard piano and learning a replacement instrument was not available, Jarrett nearly refused to play and Brandes had to convince him to perform as the concert was scheduled to begin in just a few hours. The concert took place at the unusually late hour of 23:30, following an earlier opera performance. This late-night time slot was the only one the administration would make available to Brandes for a jazz concert – the first ever at the Köln Opera House. The show was completely sold out and the venue was filled to capacity with over 1,400 people at a ticket price of 4 DM ($1.72). During the set, Jarrett used ostinatos and rolling left-hand rhythmic figures to give the effect of stronger bass notes, and concentrated his playing in the middle portion of the keyboard. Despite the obstacles, Jarrett's performance was enthusiastically received by the audience and the subsequent recording was acclaimed by critics. It remains his most popular recording and continues to sell well, decades after its initial release.

The Jukebox Rebel
24-Feb-2016


TJR says:

5.75 “Average”

More conventional than their preceding works, “Landed” can be viewed as the first Can album to look backwards; a confusing step for those who loved the trail-blazing nature of the group’s catalogue to date. The first two tracks were co-written by their live sound mixer, Peter Gilmour. “Full Moon On The Highway” gets the album off to a surprising, but decent, start, regressing by some 8 or 9 years, back to the days of garage psychedelia. To be fair, it had been a live staple of theirs for many years, which perhaps explains a lot. The fantastic “Half Past One” is next and is mind-blowing in its approach – again it’s a psychedelic trip, this time with latin-flavoured rhythms juxtaposed with the deadpan European accent of Irmin Schmidt’s vocal – a rare event in itself – in which he earnestly delivers corny lines such as “And I like your hairdo and your lipstick too, babe” and totally gets away with it. His Manzarek-esque keyboards seal the deal on this fully arresting track. The amazingly regressive start continues with “Hunters And Collectors”, an avant-pop romp which sounds exactly as if Syd Barrett was in the house, directing operations in maverick fashion – it’s interesting if not entirely thrilling. Better, is “Red Hot Indians”, a chipper little afro-funk number which positively clops like a racing camel. Again, shades of late 60s psychedelic guitar garnish the serving. Unfortunately, this is sandwiched between the prog-rock fussiness of “Vernal Equinox” and 13 boring minutes of “Unfinished”, an avant-garde soundscape which bypasses with very little appeal.

The Jukebox Rebel
20-Mar-2007


TJR says:

5.73 “Average”

It’s exceedingly difficult to get a good grasp of Selda Bağcan’s complete discography – I spent a long-time having a go, and reckon her to have released 19 “A-list” albums between 1975-2011. The most difficult area seems to be at the very start i.e. the mid-70s. From what I can ascertain, the Türküola label, founded in Germany, was first to showcase Selda’s work on albums, and I think that German-produced cassettes were first on the scene in 1975, initially serving as round-up compilations of single sides recorded in the first-half of the 70s. “Selda 4” was the first of these cassettes to break the mould and include “hot-off-the-press” recordings of new material in 1975. 12 of these 15 recordings would be released on her first long-player, “Selda” released in Turkey in 1976 on Türküola (Turkey) LP 304. If anyone with deep expertise on the subject could clarify my reading of the situation then I’d be delighted to hear from you. By ’75, Selda had left behind her acoustic-guitar-led brand of middle-eastern folk, and had radicalised her sound, collaborating with cutting-edge young Turks such as Moğollar, fusing the exotic folklore heritage of Anatolia with western pop and rock, enthusiastically embracing new synthesizer technologies. The results here are highly interesting, even if I’m rarely over-excited. Her voice is a constant force of nature itself, and the overall mix keeps me engaged for 50 minutes; the flat “Euro-Pop” moments are overcome with plenty of edgy highs such as “Gitme”, “Yaylalar”, “Mehmet Emmi” and the excellent closer, “Bad-I Sabah”. Notably, my two favourite tracks are the ones which sound most Turkish; make of that what you will.

The Jukebox Rebel
20-Aug-2016


TJR says:

5.63 “Average”

What a cracking album cover! It was based on a famous photograph by Margaret Bourke-White and published in Life Magazine in February 1937. Snapped at the height of the great depression, her picture captured African Americans in Louisville, Kentucky, lining up seeking food and clothing from a relief station, in front of a billboard ironically proclaiming “World's Highest Standard of Living.” The unspoken black and white divide is clear for all to see – and the implication from Curtis is that the image is as relevant now as it was then – a recurring complaint which has noticeably intensified within African-American music from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. The dark-funk of “Billy Jack” is the big keeper for me, lamenting the cold-blooded murder of a hustler and, more importantly, the sad inevitability of it all. Alas, the set fails to grip as well as this on a consistent basis; tracks such as “Blue Monday People” and “Love To The People” might be right-on lyrics-wise, but the message is lost on me, delivered as it is in a namby-pamby R n B styling which foretells a grim future direction for African-American soul music.

The Jukebox Rebel
25-Feb-2016


TJR says:

5.55 “Average”

The all-important 17th album must be eponymously titled. Also, it must be the one which contains the most cover versions so far. Eh? Que? Quoi? Strange factuality’s aside, “Chuck Berry” contains a few good tunes, including his cover of Jimmy Reed’s “Baby, What You Want Me To Do”, co-sung by his daughter Ingrid, whilst “Don’t You Lie To Me” is the best of his 5 self-penned numbers. This was Chuck’s final LP for Chess Records and, in many ways, it was the end of an era. There have been no new ideas for years. Beethoven shall have his revenge… come on Chuck, time to roll over, let the punks take over…

The Jukebox Rebel
23-Feb-2008

chart first published 28 Jun 2016; last edited 21 Aug 2016

Album Charts

by year…

1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

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