Sunday, April 27, 2008

more quality records

oddly, Michele has just told me that the excellent High Fidelity is on tv right now. i don't think she's aware of me doing yet another vinyl update right now!!

many thanks to Steve of the magnificent Chilli Vinyl for some more rather excellent record finds!!! James and i were up at his store yesterday, i hope that James did not do all that much damage as he went running around!!

of my finds there, i am busy listening to Another Monty Python Record by, erm, Monty Python. as for the rest of the stuff i found there, well....

the original issue of the 7" of Ceremony by New Order was certainly smart. in rather good condition too, i have enjoyed giving it one or two spins already.

in the history of New Order, Ceremony was their first single, and kind of the second time they had released it that year. it was, if memory serves correct, also the last ever Joy Division single, barring the numerous appearances and re-appearances of Love Will Tear Us Apart. which is the better version of the song? they are both quality, and if you do not own either version, you should pretty much head off and get both versions as soon as possible.

and staying with New Order, having an original issue of Power, Corruption & Lies, their second album, put in front of me was only going to have one result, and that result is it proudly sitting in my collection.

it was ace to find it still in good condition, and in the original "cut out" sleeve, following the artwork style and pattern of the (rightly) celebrated Blue Monday 12".

this is the only way to hear this album as the band intended, oddly. for some inexplicable reason the CD reissues of the album dropped the track Ultraviolence, and the Americans on their version felt the need to write "New Order" on the cover, as well as just slam Blue Monday on the end of side one. go figure, and all the more reason to return to the vinyl of magic, kids - back then artists actually cared what was on the album and crafted it accordingly.

needless to say, the album is a classic in the view of your humble narrator. sure, the big hits and glamour all came after this, but here's the band finding their feet and launching to glory after a "difficult" first album as New Order. this is them, as it were, moving out of the shadow of Joy Division and casting one of their own.

in a gesture of moving away from CD and back to vinyl, i was delighted to find Steve had a gatefold copy of The Stranglers' Live (X Cert) just sat there waiting for me to pick up! i have the CD, but some things are just meant to be heard in the spreading, open sound of vinyl, and this is one of those things.

live albums, be they tape, disc or vinyl, more often than not tend to be contractually obliged fillers, and are seldom any good. this is not true of Live (X Cert). this one stands with perhaps only Live At Leeds by The Who as an essential live addition to the studio work. excellent live passion performances of some classic tracks sit alongside one or two rarities, and the exchanges between Hugh Cornwell and certain members of the audience make it a great listen.

oh, and before anyone takes me apart, read my comments with care - yes, Frampton Comes Alive is a great album, but as Mr Frampton's studio work never quite hit the heights of this one, well, that's the only album of his you really need!!

and finally, what a bonus! the 7" of the magnificent Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. aaah, to be back in the days of throwaway pop tunes that nonetheless became classics that still get played today. the overwhelming majority of music made in the last decade or so will, sadly, not live on in hearts and minds as long as this one. all things considered, the 00's will be remembered musically as the decade that few cared to make anything of consequence, the years of 60's and 70's acts returned to make fortunes off the back of the fact that the current generation of musicians cared more for being arrested to get publicity rather than be famous first and then try to see how far you can push the line.

as for Rick and Never Gonna Give You Up, i seem to recall that the interwebnet pranksters, those "all your base are belong to us" types, are using Rick and this song across the world network for a variety of reasons? if so, nice one!!!

right, time to give the 2001 : A Space Odyssey soundtrack a spin, i guess!! and as for music, well, remember this - if it is not important enough to commit to vinyl, then it is not an important enough piece of music to give consideration to. CD is disposable plastic that anyone can do, vinyl is a crafted, considered work of art.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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