KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

A New Poll – Help Me Choose The Next Artist

[Update: Congratulations to Foo Fighters for winning this poll. I’ve already begun listening to their first couple of albums and I will begin posting about them later this week. Thanks to everyone for casting your votes]

Until now, the 13 artists whose catalogs I’ve revisited and written about here all began their recording careers in the ’60s or ’70s (my birth decade and formative years). There are still a lot of artists from that era whose discographies I own yet still need to delve into, but I thought now was a good time to focus on a slightly more contemporary artist. See below for a relatively diverse list of such artists. Please choose one and help me decide whose catalog I will revisit next. Thanks for your help. Eventually I’ll get to them all, along with older artists like The Kinks, Neil Young, Judas Priest, James Brown, XTC, Todd Rundgren, Alice Cooper, Jackson Browne and so many others. It’s a never-ending list…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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36 comments on “A New Poll – Help Me Choose The Next Artist

  1. Gregory Armandroff
    October 25, 2012

    I voted for Los Lobos, though I wanted Iron Maiden about the same. Damn you REM!!!

    Like

    • Los Lobos is a great choice. Didn’t we see them together several years ago, possibly at The Beacon Theater? REM may be in the lead now, but the poll will be up until next week, so results could change. Thanks for casting a vote, Greg.

      Like

  2. Heavy Metal Overload
    October 25, 2012

    Well, I’m being selfish and voting for Maiden cause they’re the only act there that I’m really interested in… been a couple of sites going through their catalogue recently but I’d love to read your take on their albums! Looks like REM are taking the lead so far though… boo! Haha

    Like

    • Maiden is a great choice, of course, and don’t worry that REM has gotten out to an early lead. I’ll keep the poll open through next week, so the results can change in that time. I will definitely get to Maiden’s catalog sooner than later, but I couldn’t decide between the five artists on this list so I thought I’d see which one garnered the most interest from my readers as well as people stumbling upon the blog. I take it you’re not much of an REM fan, eh?

      Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        October 25, 2012

        Not so much, no… 🙂 It’s a great idea using a poll to decide. I’ll guess I’ll have to get on the campaign trail and drum up some Maiden votes! Intrigued by the prospect of an Alice Cooper series too! That’s quite a varied output there.

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      • If you know anyone who might like my writing (and could boost the Maiden support, of course), I would definitely appreciate the referrals. An Alice Cooper series will definitely be a fun one, whenever I get to it. I own the entire official discography, but there are a lot of albums I’ve only listened to once or twice. He continues to make great music, although opinion seems to be split on “Welcome 2 My Nightmare.”

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        October 25, 2012

        I don’t have everything but I’ve got the majority… there are a few I’d like to add to my collection. I thought W2MN was pretty frustrating. Some of it was excellent but some of it was dreadful. It all comes with the territory of being an Alice fan though, he’s not one to stay still and thank goodness for that.

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      • I always liked Alice but only owned a handful of his albums until about 8-9 years ago. Between the career-spanning box set and his resurgence with “The Eyes Of Alice Cooper,” I realized what a great lyricist he is…and what a great band “Alice Cooper” was until they split and he kept the name. His catalog is spotty, but what artist who’s been around for 40+ years doesn’t that apply to?

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        October 25, 2012

        Exactly, and that’s why it’s so much fun going through their long careers! Alice’s career is really spotty but there’s always gold every now and again. The Box Set did a great job of pulling out the best tracks from his wilderness years I thought. And he also has some great albums that have been largely overlooked.

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      • Agreed about Alice having a lot of overlooked albums, especially some of his early ’00s albums like “Dragontown” and “Brutal Planet.” By the way, even though I’m “folowing” your blog (which is great, by the way), I don’t receive emails when you post something. I have to remember to visit the blog. Wondering if that’s a setting that needs to be changed on my end or yours.

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        October 25, 2012

        Glad you picked up on those ones. I especially liked Brutal Planet.

        Yeah, I don’t get email updates of new posts either. I tend to just scroll through my “reader” on the WP page (which is not ideal). If you go down to the footer of my main page there is a button to follow by email. Hope that helps! And thanks for the compliment… much appreciated.

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        October 25, 2012

        Actually, just noticed if you go into the “Reader” tab on WP. Click “Edit List” next to “Blogs I Follow” and then you’ll see a list of the blogs you follow with an option to receive notification of new posts by email. It’s probably set to “Never” but you can change it to “Instantly”, “Daily” or “Weekly”. 🙂

        Like

      • Good call. I just updated that, since I tend to check my email more than my “Reader” page. Glad I won’t be missing any of your posts.

        As for Alice, I agree that Brutal Planet is pretty great. I think that was the album where I realized what a great lyricist he is. It’s something he never gets credit for. A truly underrated songwriter, and I’m glad he’s in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, even though that institution is a joke.

        Like

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        October 25, 2012

        And I’ve done the same. I’ll get your excellent posts when they are hot off the press!

        He’s a great lyricist and, for such a heavy record, there was a great sense of melody on that album. The Hall of Fame is a farce but I definitely wouldn’t argue with his inclusion. Well deserved!

        Like

  3. Phillip Helbig
    October 26, 2012

    I’ve already got tickets (seated!) for Rush and Iron Maiden next June, a week apart and in different cities (Rush in Cologne, Maiden in Frankfurt am Main). The last 3 Rush shows were standing and I was lucky to be able to get to the front (which also means I can be glimpsed in the Rush 30 DVD). The Rush fans tend to be well behaved. Having discovered Maiden (well, I have known they exist almost since they have existed but had never heard anything from them) only recently, I didn’t want to take the risk of a standing ticket. Apart from the fact that I am getting old and it is more of a burden than it used to be, especially getting there on time, rushing in, not drinking anything for hours before the show etc, I don’t know if the Maiden gig will feature a mosh pit or a bunch of old codgers or both (or perhaps moshing codgers).

    Standing in a small club is not as bad. My next dates are Magnum, John Mayall and Uriah Heep and, a bit later, Wishbone Ash (the Powell version). Mayall must hold the record for the oldest active rock star. (Papa John Creach was born 16 years before Mayall, in 1917(!), and is certainly the rock musician with the earliest birthday (not counting blues and jazz here, obviously). However, he wasn’t even 60 when playing with Jefferson Starship in the 1070s, whereas I’ll be seeing Mayall ten days before his 79th birthday.

    Posts on any or all of these artists would be very welcome, of course.

    Like

    • Hi Phillip. I definitely understand your feelings about standing at shows. My back & legs can’t handle it anymore, as the discomfort often takes away from my enjoyment of the show. I will still do it on occasion, but grudgingly. I much prefer reserved seats, or at least a venue that offers some seating options. Then I can stand when I want to.

      I came to Maiden much later in life, as you did, so whenever I get to their catalog I imagine my perspective my be slightly different than fans who grew up with their music. As for Rush, I’m glad you’ll get to see them again next year. I’ve only seen them twice: Moving Pictures tour (1981) and Counterparts tour (1994). Not sure why I haven’t made the effort to see them since then, considering they continue to be one of my favorite bands. Maybe it’s the fact that they’ve released excellent DVDs from nearly every tour in the last decade, so I feel like I’ve experienced their live performances. It’s coming up on 20 years since my last Rush show, so I may have to make an effort the next time they come around.

      I got a Magnum compilation last year and they’re really good. Also own a bunch of Mayall albums (mostly his ’60s & ’70s recordings, with a few later ones), as well as a couple of Uriah Heep albums. Not sure I’ll be writing about any of them in the near future, since I don’t own enough of their catalogs to fit into the concept of my blog. That could change if I ever acquire more of their catalogs. Will keep you posted.

      As always, great to hear from you. Have a nice weekend.
      Rich

      Like

      • philliphelbig
        October 26, 2012

        I have just the Beano album from Mayall, just Argus and the first album from Wishbone Ash and just Wake the Sleeper (relatively new studio album) and some new compilation and live albums from Heep. Nothing from Magnum. I don’t have the 1990s Rush (i.e. stuff between Power Windows and Snakes and Arrows) except for Counterparts, which is probably the best album from this period. I have a few Maiden things but am just starting there. Thus, I was hoping for some insight from your blog! I guess you’ll get to Maiden soon and perhaps Rush as well.

        I have essentially all CDs from Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Boston. Thus, posts on these will be interesting for comparison, though not for suggestions on what to buy. On the other hand, posts on groups from which I don’t have much or anything are useful for determining what might be interesting.

        I suppose I have about 1000 CDs and 150 vinyl albums altogether, with some overlap. I need to revisit them. If I hear one a day, I can hear each one only 10 times before I die, even less if I buy more until then. 😦

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      • Regarding Mayall, I can definitely tell you that there are some great albums beyond “Beano,” although that’s the only one of his individual ’60s albums I own. The rest of his ’60s & early ’70 output I have on two 2-CD compilations. That’s where I learned what a brilliant guitar player Peter Green was, and a couple of years later I got the early Fleetwood Mac albums and confirmed his genius. For my money, his work with Mayall was just as incredible as Clapton’s, if not as groundbreaking.

        I own a 2-CD Wishbone Ash compilation (Time Was, which is wonderful), as well as Argus and Live Dates. I still need to explore more of their individual albums.

        It’ll probably be a while before I cover Rush here, only because I’ve been a fan for so long and know their albums very well. The main purpose of this blog is to document me re-discovering the lesser-known artist catalogs that are in my collection. I could probably write a whole series on Rush without even listening to the albums, but I’d rather spend the time getting to know the CDs & LPs that have been gathering dust on my shelves for too long. I’ve been a completist for a number of years, so there are tons of artists whose whole catalogs I own but probably only listened to most of their albums once or twice.

        Your last comment could be a bit depressing, but I take the passing of time as a challenge. My goal is to listen to as much music as I can before I’m gone (or before I lose my hearing). I’m hoping there are some medical breakthroughs soon that allow us to live to 150 or 200. I have a very large collection, and it keeps growing, so I spend as much of my waking hours listening to music as possible.

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        November 20, 2012

        Just a note to say that I saw Mayall last night. Great concert. Before the show, he was selling CDs in the corner. Played for 2 hours without a break (not bad for 79!), even getting up on the drum riser once (very heavy metal!). It was a small club, full with a few hundred people. Ideally, there should be no PA in a really small venue and in a place like this it should be only for those far from the stage; those close up should hear the stuff directly from the stage. (For a really large venue, of course, essentially all listeners will hear mainly the PA.) For some reason, many groups have the PA too loud and/or send some stuff only through the PA so that it sounds weak for those close to the stage. For a big arena, this is OK (Geddy Lee has no speakers on stage anymore), and Ian Anderson has extra speakers aimed at the audience along the front of the stage, but having stuff only through the PA is bad for those who are close enough to the stage to a) hear the other stuff from the stage and b) not hear the PA loudly. Last night, at the front, I heard the drums mainly directly and the guitar, bass and Mayall’s keyboard and guitar mainly from the speakers on stage. Just the right volume level. For those farther back, there was the PA. (It was too loud at first, but Mayall asked that it be turned down after the first song.) This is how it should be. (Only gripe: There should have been extra speakers for the vocals and harmonica as the only source for these was the PA.) Strangely, Mayall had no wedge monitor (for vocals; only his keyboard came out of the one he had, and it was positioned so that both he and the people at the front could hear it) and no in-ear monitor but still managed to sing in tune. Experience, I guess. (I think it was Joe Bonamassa who recently said that Gregg Allman had never used vocal monitors until a few years ago.)

        As usual, Mayall sang and played harmonica, keyboards and guitar, often combining vocals with keyboards or guitar and harmonica with keyboards. A good mixture of songs from various eras with only some overlap from other shows I’ve seen. (I’ve seen him probably 5 or 6 times altogether, mostly in the 80s (including the time when Coco Montoya was in the band and at a couple of concerts when Walter Trout was as well) but the last concert before last night was probably about 20 years ago.)

        Recommended.

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      • Phillip, that sounds like a great show, and it’s nice to know that Mayall can still bring it as he approaches 80(!). Were there any particular standout players in his band? I have one of his late-’80s albums with Coco Montoya and remember enjoying it, but it’s been years since I played it. I will give it a spin soon to see how it’s held up. Not sure how often Mayall comes to the New York area, but I will keep my eyes open for any upcoming shows.

        Not sure how anyone can perform without a monitor, at least in most venues. As a drummer, I’ve always been at the back of a stage, and without a monitor (even one that sounds terrible) I would have a hard time doing my job. The few times I’ve recorded vocals in a studio, I’ve always needed a monitor to hear not only the music I’m singing along with but also to hear my own voice. Then again, I’m by no means a real singer, and I’m sure it comes a lot easier to people who are good at it.

        Thanks for sharing your concert experience here. I’m glad you had a great time.

        Rich

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        November 21, 2012

        I saw him once with Montoya and a couple of times with both Montoya and Walter Trout. Talk about energy!

        I thought the other three guys in the band were fine—experienced, accomplished musicians. It’s hard to compare, considering who went through the Bluesbreakers: Green, Clapton, Taylor, McVie etc etc. I’m sure the current guitarist can play all of Clapton’s solos from those times. Of course, he will never achieve the fame of Clapton, but is probably technically as good.

        Mayall seemed a bit more in the spotlight than in the past, standing front and center, which wasn’t always the case in the past. He did all the singing; IIRC both Trout and Montoya did some vocals as well.

        With regard to monitors: What do most people have in them? I assume the drummer has everything (except perhaps for groups which have the amplifiers behind the drummer), but what about the people up front? Everything? Only stuff without an amp-driven speaker on stage? Only vocals? Only their vocals? When there are two wedges, is it for stereo or are there different things in them?

        Like

      • I’m glad to hear that Mayall is putting the spotlight on himself at this point of his career. I always got the sense that he enjoyed focusing on his musicians, especially the guitarists, but I guess if he doesn’t have a world class guitarist to showcase he needs to take on more responsibility. Much as I loved Clapton’s work with Mayall (and beyond), I always thought Peter Green’s Mayall recordings were much more impressive. Clapton may have been the game-changer for British guitar players, but between ’66 & ’70 I believe Green was his equal, if not superior.

        As for monitors, I think it’s up to the musician or the sound man. Most of the clubs I’ve played at didn’t have very good sound systems or engineers, so the best I could hope for was to hear a blasting mix of everyone in the band. As a drummer, I need to hear a little bit of everyone, but I’m thinking that the people at the front of the stage (guitar, bass, vocals) can already hear the drums so they probably just need to hear each other.

        Like

  4. Luci
    October 27, 2012

    FOO FIGHTERS are they best band in the world, they are amazing people (yes I’ve actually met them all) and the fans are so genuine and caring! Recently the Foo fan group Im part of raised £3200 plus flight, for my terminally ill friend to go see them for the last time 🙂 no many groups of strangers across the world would be so kind!

    Like

    • Luci, I’m sorry to hear about your friend, but that’s an amazing story about how Foo Fighters fans came through like that. Very heartwarming. It’s obvious that Foo Fighters fans are extremely loyal, as they’ve jumped out to a commanding lead in my poll. They’ve never been among my favorite bands, but I’ve liked them enough to get all of their albums, and if they win the poll I will really look forward to spending some time with their catalog and really getting to know their music. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’re having a nice weekend.
      Rich

      Like

  5. Ivan Goldberg
    October 27, 2012

    No Marillion?

    Like

    • Excellent suggestion, Ivan, but I’ve been a huge Marillion fan for many years and I’m trying to focus on artists whose catalogs I own but don’t know as well as I should. I guess eventually I’ll turn my attentions to some artists I’m more familiar with, especially if I haven’t listened to their music in a while, but for now I’m going to continue focusing on my lesser-known artists.

      I’m curious to find out who you voted for in this poll, if anyone.

      Rich

      Like

  6. Every Record Tells A Story
    October 29, 2012

    I have voted for the Foos – want to hear your take – and I’m reading Grohl’s bio This Is A Call right now…
    Great response from the poll!

    Like

    • Thanks for casting a vote. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response from Foo Fighters fans, but now I know they are a loyal bunch. I expected it to be a battle between Maiden and R.E.M. The poll will remain open until the end of the week, so the results could change. I need to comment on a couple of your recent posts, but I live in New York and we’re preparing for the hurricane so those comments will have to wait another day or two. Or if we don’t lose power, I may get to them sooner. You’ve been doing a great job.

      Like

      • Every Record Tells A Story
        November 4, 2012

        Thanks – hope the hurricane passed without giving you too much grief.

        Like

      • My wife and I were among the fortunate ones in the area. Other than some roof damage that should be repaired this week and lot of cleanup in the yard, we never lost power or had issues with flooding (which has happened in the past). Counting my blessings for sure. Thanks for checking in.

        Like

  7. Heavy Metal Overload
    October 30, 2012

    Hi Rich, hope you and your friends/family are all safe and sound over there! It’s shocking stuff I’m seeing on the news, hope you’re ok.

    Like

  8. Jon Lyness
    October 31, 2012

    +1, glad you guys are OK, Rich.

    Like

  9. Jon Lyness
    November 2, 2012

    Yep, all good. Thanks!

    Like

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2012 by in Polls and tagged , , , , .

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