KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

TWO AND THROUGH – My Favorite Two-Album Artists

I had so much fun revisiting some of my favorite one-album artists in the 5-part (so far) ONE AND DONE series that I couldn’t resist highlighting those artists who managed to release two albums before closing up shop. I didn’t want to make this another multi-part series so I’ve decided to use this post to shine a spotlight on six key TWO AND THROUGH artists, with a sample from each album, and then provide a list of some others that are highly recommended to anyone who missed them during their brief existence.

Artist: JELLYFISH
Album #1 Title/Year Of Release: BELLYBUTTON (1990)
Album #2 Title/Year Of Release: SPILT MILK (1993)
Jellyfish - Bellybutton
For a brief period in the early-‘90s, Jellyfish was on the verge of stardom with a decent amount of exposure on MTV and late-night talk shows, as well as an enthusiastic & quickly-growing fan base, but they never broke through to the mainstream and within a few years it was over. This incredible melodic rock/power pop group was the brainchild of former Beatnik Beatch members Andy Sturmer (lead vocals & drums) and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (keyboards & vocals). Each of their two albums has a distinct sound, with debut Bellybutton (featuring the talents of lead guitarist Jason Falkner) more straight-forward power-pop, along with slabs of light psychedelia and kitschy ‘70s references like the homage to The Partridge Family theme song in “Baby’s Coming Back,” while follow-up Spilt Milk has a broader musical palette, notably their fixation with Queen in those huge, multi-part harmonies, and baroque pop gems like “Russian Hill.” I was fortunate to see
Jellyfish - Spilt MilkJellyfish on both of their tours and each was as different (and impressive) as their respective albums. The fact that Sturmer sang & played drums standing up at the front of the stage made for a unique concert experience, and their vocal interplay was among the best I’ve ever heard. I could rattle off key song titles but they’re all essential. The two that I’m highlighting here are excellent entry points for newcomers, but if you like instantly catchy melodies, inventive arrangements and tight harmonies, it doesn’t get much better than Jellyfish. Their influence has far outweighed their initial impact, with artists in many genres name-checking them over the last two decades. The fact that there’s a 4-CD box set devoted to them, as well as CDs of instrumental mixes and live performances, proves that this was no ordinary band.


 

Artist: DANNY WILSON
Album #1 Title/Year Of Release: MEET DANNY WILSON (1987)
Album #2 Title/Year Of Release: BEBOP MOPTOP (1989)
Danny Wilson - Meet Danny WilsonThe first time I heard “Mary’s Prayer,” the debut hit single by Scottish band Danny Wilson, I fell in love with their slick, slightly jazzy pop sound and especially the lead vocals of frontman Gary Clark. A friend of mine who was also a fan rightly described them as a cross between Steely Dan and Burt Bacharach, with hints of lounge music as well in some of the drum & keyboard sounds they used on their debut album. The other tracks on Meet Danny Wilson are in a similar vein, at least sonically speaking, but they’re stylistically diverse and they certainly don’t deserve their one-hit-wonder status. On the debut alone there are at least five songs that could/should have been hits: “Davy,” “Nothing Ever Goes To Plan,” “Steamtrains To The Milky Way,” “A Girl I Used To Know” and album closer “I Won’t Be Here When You Get Home.” Sophomore album Bebop Moptop has a fuller and more organic sound, and it’s just as jam-packed with melodies as its predecessor. How the acoustic guitar-Danny Wilson - Bebop Moptopbased stomper “The Second Summer Of Love” wasn’t at least a minor hit has baffled me for many years, and I don’t know how the trifecta of “I Can’t Wait,” “If Everything You Said Was True” and “Never Gonna Be The Same” managed to slip under the radars of radio programmers at the time. No Danny Wilson song had a bigger impact on me than “I Was Wrong.” Following an intentional scratchy-vinyl intro, its infectious harmonica refrain, bouncy rhythm and apologetic lyrics should have made this a massive hit. Instead the band split up following the album’s commercial failure, with Clark going on to record several albums before striking gold as a songwriter & musical collaborator for other artists. I still play both Danny Wilson albums frequently, and although they make me nostalgic for that era they never sound dated to me. That may not be the case, however, if you’re hearing them for the first time, but hopefully you’ll appreciate the quality of the songs.

 

Artist: TRAVELING WILBURYS
Album #1 Title/Year Of Release: VOL. 1 (1988)
Album #2 Title/Year Of Release: VOL. 3 (1990)
Traveling Wilburys - Vol. 1I don’t think there are many people from my generation who aren’t familiar with Traveling Wilburys, the pseudonymous collaboration between George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison (who sadly passed away shortly after the debut album was released), but I often wonder if younger fans of those individual artists are even aware of this supergroup and, if so, whether or not they take it seriously. Their first single, “Handle With Care,” showcased all of their distinct vocals, both individually & collectively, but most importantly you could hear how much fun the quintet (along with drummer Jim Keltner) was having in the studio. This sense of frivolity continued throughout their debut album, and it’s hard not to smile when you listen to the bouncy “Last Night,” Traveling Wilburys - Vol. 3Dylan’s homage to Bruce Springsteen, “Tweeter And The Monkey Man,” Orbison’s ageless soaring vocals on “Not Alone Anymore” and the infectious album closer, “End Of The Line.” There are few albums I can think of that are as full of pure joy as this one. The follow-up (cleverly titled Vol. 3) was a trickier beast, lacking the looseness of the debut along with one key Wilbury. The loss of Orbison hangs heavy over this album, so even though there are plenty of enjoyable & catchy songs (“Inside Out,” “The Devil’s Been Busy,” “7 Deadly Sins” and “New Blue Moon”), the lack of spontaneity keeps it from ever reaching the heights they achieved on Vol. 1. The addition of hard rock & blues guitar giant Gary Moore on leadoff single “She’s My Baby” may have added some surprising punch to their sound but it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album. I enjoy both Traveling Wilburys albums and consider them (especially the debut) as essential as just about anything else in the Harrison, Dylan, Petty, Lynne and Orbison discographies.

 

Artist: GRINDERMAN
Album #1 Title/Year Of Release: GRINDERMAN (2007)
Album #2 Title/Year Of Release: GRINDERMAN 2 (2010)
Grinderman - GrindermanOne of the great musical joys I’ve experienced in the last decade was finally discovering the music of Nick Cave, the intense Australian one-time punk rocker who later added blues & jazz to his repertoire under the name Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I was aware of him for many years but had no idea what he sounded like. Then an article in one of the U.K. music magazines I read each month (likely Mojo) struck a nerve and I knew I had to give him a listen. Within a year I owned his entire back catalog, and one of these days I’ll write a series here on that discography. His music has morphed over the years, and by the time I started listening to him his compositions were mostly based around the piano without ever losing the edge of his more aggressive earlier work. For the short-lived Grinderman project, Cave and three of his cohorts from The Bad Seeds became a growling, snarling, sneering and aggressive blues-rock band (with the emphasis on “rock”), and electric guitar became the focal point Grinderman - Grinderman 2of their music. Both of the Grinderman albums could have been released as Bad Seeds records since their earliest work had a similar raucous energy and his fans don’t have specific expectations about how the band should sound. Cave clearly felt that this was a separate entity, though, and they are quite a contrast from his more recent work. The debut features a number of instant classics like “No Pussy Blues,” “Depth Charge Ethel,” “(I Don’t Need You To) Set Me Free” and “Electric Alice.” The follow-up took a little while to grow on me, with melodies that aren’t quite as immediate but eventually work their way under your skin. “Worm Tamer,” “Evil” and “Palaces Of Montezuma” are three standouts. Cave announced that Grinderman was “over” shortly after the second album was released, but I can’t imagine that he won’t return to this project that allows him to consistently rock out like a man half his age.

 

Artist: U.K.
Album #1 Title/Year Of Release: U.K. (1978)
Album #2 Title/Year Of Release: DANGER MONEY (1979)
U.K. - U.K.It’s no secret that I love progressive rock. Before I even knew it was a subgenre I was a fan of 70s giants Yes, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Pink Floyd and King Crimson. In the ‘80s it was bands like Asia, Rush & Marillion, and from the ‘90s through today a prog renaissance has been taking place. There were a few eras, however, when “Prog” was considered a derogatory 4-letter-word, the first of these coming in the second half of the ‘70s when punk bands did everything in their power to topple the stadium-conquering dinosaurs, many of which were prog bands. The short-lived U.K. were the bridge between the mid-‘70s edition of King Crimson and the commercially successful Asia in 1982. Singer/bassist John Wetton & drummer Bill Bruford, both members of that Crimson lineup, teamed up with former Roxy Music/Frank Zappa violinist/synth player Eddie Jobson and jazz/fusion guitar god Allan Holdsworth to form U.K. Their self-titled debut has a dark, heavy, metallic (but not “metal”) feel, with icy synths & Bruford’s hollow-sounding drums warmed by Wetton’s powerful yet soothing vocals (which he would later bring to Asia). There are also elements of synth-pop artists like Gary Numan & Ultravox, but the odd time signatures and extended running times keep it firmly in prog territory. “In The Dead Of Night” is the ideal introduction to U.K. - Danger Moneythis album, but once that draws you in you’ll want/need to hear the rest of this brilliant record that really has no contemporaries. Holdsworth & Bruford were gone for follow-up Danger Money, which found U.K. reimagined as a guitar-free three-piece with Zappa (and future Missing Persons) drummer Terry Bozzio now on board. I always enjoyed this record but it’s not in the same league as the debut. They stretch themselves with the 12-minute “Carrying No Cross,” and the moody “Rendezvous 6:02” is one of my favorite Wetton vocal performances, but there’s also a pop element here, most notably on the proto-Asia song “Nothing To Lose.” They followed this with a live album before splitting up for other musical adventures. I’ve met a lot of fellow prog fans who love U.K., but I have a feeling they’ve been overlooked by many potential fans simply because they existed at a time when prog was at a commercial & critical low point. They should certainly be mentioned in any conversations about the greatest progressive rock acts of all time.

 

Artist: CPR
Album #1 Title/Year Of Release: CPR (1998)
Album #2 Title/Year Of Release: JUST LIKE GRAVITY (2001)
CPR - CPRDavid Crosby has always been undervalued by anyone other than devoted fans of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (and various permutations of that group), The Byrds and his sporadic solo career. To comedians he’s the walrus-mustached, drug-addicted, long-haired hippie punchline who also happens to be one of the greatest singers of his generation & beyond, whether singing his own songs or providing the perfect harmony lines for his collaborators. The aptly-named CPR is as perfect a showcase for his talents as anything he’s ever been part of, and there’s an interesting back-story behind their formation. When Crosby was seeking a liver transplant in the mid-‘90s he reconnected with the son he had given up for adoption three decades earlier, James Raymond, who happened to be a talented singer/songwriter/keyboard player. The pair started collaborating on songs with noted session guitarist Jeff Pevar, resulting in their stellar self-titled debut album. Sounding like a modern version of Steely Dan’s studio-bound releases from the latter half of the ‘70s, Crosby’s voice belies his age and medical CPR - Just Like Gravityhistory, and the three vocalists intertwine like they’ve been singing together since childhood. If I have any complaints about the album it’s the 55-minute running time, as the impact diminishes by the end of the record, but that’s never taken away from my overall enjoyment. Album opener “Morrison” is the ideal place to start with CPR. If the song doesn’t touch you then you probably won’t like the rest, but for everyone else there are plenty more gems to explore. Following an excellent 2-CD live album, the group released one more studio album before calling it quits, although Raymond & Crosby have continued to work together on several subsequent projects. Just Like Gravity is nearly as strong as its predecessor, and you can hear Raymond’s confidence increasing, especially as a lead vocalist. His “Jerusalem” is the highlight of the record for me.

 

Additional Recommendations:

ANIMAL LOGICAnimal Logic (1989) and Animal Logic II (1991)
Former Police drummer Stewart Copeland and jazz bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke teamed up with singer-songwriter Deborah Holland for this short-lived band that combined pop melodies with quirky arrangements and superb musicianship.

BERNARD BUTLERPeople Move On (1998) and Friends And Lovers (1999)
Shortly after I belatedly discovered Britpop band Suede I checked out these solo albums from their original guitarist, who combined melodic rock with some psychedelic influences and (of course) amazing guitar work.

MIKE RUTHERFORDSmallcreep’s Day (1980) and Acting Very Strange (1982)
During the commercial ascent of Genesis in the early-‘80s, and several years prior to forming Mike +The Mechanics, Rutherford released these two wonderfully quirky solo albums that remain as interesting today as they were 3+ decades ago.

GIRAFFEThe Power Of Suggestion (1987) and The View From Here (1988)
The immensely talented Kevin Gilbert, who was previously discussed in Part 1 of my One And Done series as a member of Toy Matinee, introduced his talents to the world via these two modern prog-rock records that were finally re-released on CD a few years ago.

THE HOUSEMARTINSLondon 0 Hull 4 (1986) and The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death (1987)
This politically-charged but always melodic British band still sounds great today. If “Happy Hour” doesn’t bring a smile to your face you might need to seek professional help.

MANASSASManassas (1972) and Down The Road (1973)
Essentially a Stephen Stills solo project, the contributions of Chris Hillman & Al Perkins, along with a number of additional musicians, made these sprawling, diverse records something completely different than anything else in Stills’ discography. One day I’ll write a post on these records, along with a later collection of rarities & outtakes.

NOVO COMBONovo Combo (1981) and Animation Generation (1982)
Essentially a “poor man’s Police,” this reggae-influenced offbeat pop/rock band featured Hall & Oates collaborator Stephen Dees and longtime Santana drummer Michael Shrieve. “Up Periscope” got a lot of radio play in 1981 and both albums are worth seeking out if this description piqued your interest.

OCTOBER PROJECTOctober Project (1993) and Falling Farther In (1995)
A female-fronted studio project that featured the husky vocals of Mary Fahl. I saw them open up for Crash Test Dummies at a small club in New York City, where they gave out a 2-track cassette single. I was hooked immediately and both albums are lovely. They later morphed into November Project with a different singer but I still prefer these records.

THE RACONTEURSBroken Boy Soldiers (2006) and Consolers Of The Lonely (2008)
I must be in the minority of people who consider The Raconteurs to be Brendan Benson’s band which also includes Jack White. Benson had been a favorite power-pop artist of mine since I heard his debut album 10 years earlier, and I love both of these records as well. Hopefully there will be more Raconteurs in the future, but for now they’re two-and-through.

RODRIGUEZCold Fact (1970) and Coming From Reality (1971)
I still haven’t seen the movie Searching For Sugar Man, which exposed the music of this long-forgotten songwriter to a mass audience after years in the musical wilderness, but the music speaks for itself. It’s not just hype…these albums are great.

BUGGLESThe Age Of Plastic (1980) and Adventures In Modern Recording (1981)
They may only be known for “Video Killed The Radio Star” but the duo of future Yes men Trevor Horn (later a producer extraordinaire) and Geoff Downes (Asia keys maestro) crafted two synth-heavy albums of prog-pop excellence. Maybe one day they’ll get the recognition they deserve beyond their definitive song that ushered in the MTV era.

Honorable Mention:
SKYDon’t Hold Back and Sailor’s Delight
WORLD TRADEWorld Trade and Euphoria
PIPERPiper and Can’t Wait
THE KNITTERSPoor Little Critter On The Road and The Modern Sounds Of The Knitters
GAY DAD – Leisure Noise and Transmission
CASBAH CLUBEastworld and Venustrophobia
EA Man Called (E) and Broken Toy Shop
WALTER BECKER – 11 Tracks Of Wack and Circus Money


So, how many of these two-album artists do you like? Were you a fan during their limited lifespans or did you discover them later on? Which artists with only two albums to their name did I miss? I look forward to hearing from you and I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did. Thanks for reading.

 

********** Addendum: December 23, 2014 **********

After completing this post I was reminded of a key Two-And-Through artist I had egregiously omitted. Instead of inserting it into the original post and pretending it was there all along, I’ve decided to include it here and hopefully draw attention to a short-lived band that was very important to me at the end of my teenage years. I also added one artist to the Honorable Mention section; apologies to Mr. Becker for that oversight.

Artist: THE FIRM
Album #1 Title/Year Of Release: THE FIRM (1985)
Album #2 Title/Year Of Release: MEAN BUSINESS (1986)
The Firm - The Firm
Led Zeppelin has been my favorite band since around 1979, and after the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980 I have closely followed the careers of the three surviving band members. I’ve also liked Bad Company for nearly as long, but never as passionately as with Zeppelin. When Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page partnered with longtime Bad Company (and future Queen) vocalist Paul Rodgers at the ARMS Benefit Concert in 1983 at Madison Square Garden (which also included the talents of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Joe Cocker, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Simon Phillips and many more brilliant musicians), I was fortunate to witness the seeds of The Firm that would bear fruit two years later. The lineup was completed by drummer Chris Slade (the chrome-domed skin beater for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and, later, AC/DC among many others) and bassist Tony Franklin (best known for his work with Roy Harper and as a member of Blue Murder). I’m not sure how their two albums would sound to someone The Firm - Mean Businesshearing them for the first time nearly 30 years later, but when they were released my excitement about new music from Jimmy Page allowed me to overlook some of the inconsistencies in the songwriting and production. On the self-titled debut album, “Radioactive” was an excellent choice for leadoff single, a then-modern rock track with a quirky lead guitar figure that only Page could have summoned. It reached #1 on the Album Rock Tracks chart. The rest of the album features seemingly straightforward songs, although most of them have little rhythmic or melodic twists that make them unique. Favorites include “Closer,” “Satisfaction Guaranteed,” their version of The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” (showcasing Rodgers’ soulful vocals) and the 9-minute epic “Midnight Moonlight.” Sophomore album Mean Business sounds & feels like it was written & recorded quickly. It doesn’t hold up quite as well as The Firm but there are numerous standout tracks and Page’s guitar work is more inspired. “All The King’s Horses” was a minor Pop hit that gave them their second #1 Album Rock Tracks hit. The gospel-infused “Spirit Of Love” is an inspired way to close out the album (and their brief recording career) while their version of “Live In Peace,” originally recorded by Rodgers for his 1983 solo album Cut Loose, was probably the most powerful & inspiring song in their discography. I can’t believe I had briefly forgotten about The Firm. I won’t make that mistake again.

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54 comments on “TWO AND THROUGH – My Favorite Two-Album Artists

  1. danicapiche
    December 15, 2014

    I’ll definitely be checking out Jellyfish, once I can tear myself away from Imperial Drag. “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” is one of my favorites although I prefer the Headstones version to the original; there’s a bit more of an edge that seems fitting. I’m also looking forward to checking out others on your list.

    Thanks for another great post, Rich.

    Like

    • Thanks, Danica. I’ve never heard any other versions of “Tweeter And The Monkey Man.” I will definitely seek out the Headstones version based on your recommendation. So glad you enjoyed this post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • danicapiche
        December 15, 2014

        I haven’t found a live version with audio quality that does them justice, so the album version is probably the way to go. They recently recorded an acoustic version that’s interesting. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers also do a good version, and the effect is entirely different to The Headstones.

        Like

      • Okay, I will look for the studio version. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ivan Goldberg
    December 15, 2014

    MANASSAS? I maintain that is Stephen Stills with guests more than a band unto itself.

    Like

  3. mikeladano
    December 15, 2014

    Jellyfish. Now that’s a band I’m interested in. I only know one song but it’s a damn great song.

    Like

    • Jellyfish has been a major band for me pretty much since the first time I heard them. I saw them open for World Party and they were so amazing that I actually left halfway through WP’s set. One of those occasions when the headliner paled in comparison to the opening act. I have a feeling you would prefer Spilt Milk but both albums are masterpieces.

      Like

  4. ianbalentine
    December 15, 2014

    The Specials, and 2 Elephant 6 bands (Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control) would be on my list, but other than those I’m having a hard time coming up with any more. Of course, Jellyfish is a favorite of mine, and anything Nick Cave puts his grubby mitts on is more than OK in my book! Great list, great post, Rich.

    Like

    • I know of those Elephant 6 bands but never heard them. Good to know there are other good two-and-through artists. Didn’t realize The Specials only had two albums. I own a compilation of their music and assumed they had at least three studio albums. Glad we’re on the same page with Jellyfish and (I assume) Grinderman. Thanks for stopping by, Ian.

      Like

      • ianbalentine
        December 15, 2014

        Well, technically The Specials reformed much later, with a lineup way different from the Specials I knew, and I don’t count the one-off Special AKA, although I’m sure some will. It’s like that Queen album with Paul Rogers. Not a Queen album, in my opinion. Not bad, maybe, and maybe a collaboration between former members of Queen and Rogers, but still…not a Queen album.

        Like

      • I guess Special AKA could be considered a separate band but if The Specials released a post-reunion album that would count…even with a completely different lineup. At least Queen added Paul Rodgers to the band name, making it a separate entity.

        Like

      • ianbalentine
        December 15, 2014

        I think you might really enjoy Olivia Tremor Control, and probably NMH too, although that one tends to be a love it of hate it kind of album. Olivia tremor Control were disciples of White album era Beatles, and I think their one album (Dusk At Cubist Castle) is fantastic. Experimental, but not as precious or pretentious as their moniker’s might indicate.

        Like

      • I’ve read about both bands for many years but haven’t heard them yet. Will add them to the list of bands to explore based on your recommendation.

        Like

      • Nice list and writing. Adding to the E6 conversation, I can’t recommend the In the Aeroplane Over the Sea album enough. Like all unique albums, it is a love-it-or-hate-it type of deal (as ianbalentine said), but if you end up loving it, you’ll love it like few other albums.

        Like

      • Thanks, Ovidiu. It’s on the list of albums to check out. I really appreciate your feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

        Like

  5. ianbalentine
    December 15, 2014

    Oh, and kudos for including Gay Dad (Leasure Noise is a personal favorite!) and the wonderful Housemartins!

    Like

    • Alright, another Gay Dad fan. What a terrible band name, which probably had a lot to do with their lack of longevity & commercial success. Both records are really good. Nice to know we agree about The Housemartins. I came to their music very late, but better late than never.

      Like

  6. ianbalentine
    December 15, 2014

    Yeah, I’m sure the name didn’t help sales. Hard to tack that one on the dorm wall, eh? Still, great album, and yes I do enjoy the Grinderman albums, the first more so than the last.

    Like

  7. Daddydinorawk
    December 15, 2014

    Phenomenal!!

    The UK albums and the Rutherfords are the only ones I know from this segment. Decent pop/prog from both sides.

    Looking forward to hour upcoming three and free segment. I love a good trilogy.

    Like

    • Thanks for the feedback. Glad you also enjoy those U.K. and Rutherford albums.

      My wife and I joked about Three And Free, Four And No More and…my favorite…Cinquo And I Don’t Think-o, but Two And Through is as far as I’m taking this theme.

      Like

  8. Dean Vincent Micheli
    December 16, 2014

    Discounting their EP, The Geraldine Fibbers released two incredible albums and would be top of my list

    Like

    • Thanks for the suggestion. A friend mentioned them as well. I’ve heard of The Geraldine Fibbers but never listened to them. Will check them out soon.

      Like

  9. deKE
    December 16, 2014

    Wow Rich ..very diverse and quite frankly impressive. As you know with myself I’m basically locked into the Rock so to speak and I mentioned to this to Aaron at Keeps Me Alive that it’s cool that some peoples ranges of music go from Dizzy Gillispe to Metallica.
    Great read…..

    Like

    • Thanks Deke. Sometimes I curse my diverse musical tastes because it costs me so much money, but I have no control over it. Every year I get sucked down new musical wormholes. Keep rockin’…I love your enthusiasm.

      Like

  10. Phillip Helbig
    December 16, 2014

    That must be a different Sky than the one with John Williams, Trevor Pinnock, Francis Monkman, Tristan Fry, and Herbie Flowers.

    Like

    • Yep, different band named Sky…featuring Doug Fieger years before he formed The Knack. I’ve been meaning to check out the other Sky for years. Will do so soon.

      Like

  11. Phillip Helbig
    December 16, 2014

    I saw Jellyfish during the tour for their first album, at a really small club in Hamburg. I had a new girlfriend then who was 10 years older than I, so she had actually experienced 60s and 70s music when she was young. As such, the retro style of Jellyfish were spot on, and probably for the last time I got into my flared trousers which make at least part of me look like Robert Plant. 🙂 I don’t think I would fit into them now.

    I recently saw a Robert Plant interview on YouTube where the interviewer remarked that at this very minute someone somewhere in the world is “being Robert Plant” in a Led-Zeppelin tribute band. Asked what advice Plant would give the singer, he said “dress to the right”. 🙂

    Time for a Plant quote:

    I think that later that night I stood in a tree and declared
    I was the Golden God because Moonie and Roy Harper
    had driven a car between two palm trees and couldn’t
    open the fucking doors to get out. George Harrison had
    karate chopped Bonzo’s wedding cake or 30th birthday
    cake or 25th birthday cake at some party and Bonzo
    decided it was time for George Harrison to go into the
    swimming pool. We were children! And there was some
    vaginal relaxant for cows somewhere being inhaled by
    somebody
    . You want to know about what it was like?
    It was fantastic! Insanely gorgeous!

    —Robert Plant remembers the 70s

    Like

  12. Lewis Johnston
    December 16, 2014

    Another very good read and I am pretty surprised at the amount of these albums I have. A very good selection indeed. Maybe your next post could be called “Three and Free. Just a thought. 😉

    Like

    • Thanks Lewis. My wife and I joked about Three And Free, Four And No More and Cinquo And I Don’t Think-o, but Two is as far as I’ll take this theme.

      Like

  13. 1537
    December 17, 2014

    Nice one Rich. I love both of those Grinderman LPs particularly.

    Like

  14. Sarca
    December 19, 2014

    Rich, I love Danny Wilson. Mary’s Prayer was a main staple in my house the summer of 1987. Got it on .45! That says something for a 12 year old! This was a fantastic write-up!

    Like

    • Awesome, Sarca…it’s always great to find another Danny Wilson fan. You had excellent taste as a 12-year-old. I wish they had stuck together a little longer but at least they left us with two great records and a number of excellent b-sides. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. Jaap
    January 3, 2015

    Great post, made me very interested in some of these artists, especially Jellyfish and The Traveling Wilburys, who I don’t know particularly well.
    If you’re doing another of these ‘two and done’ posts, it’d be worthwhile checking out Gram Parsons (albums ‘GP’ and ‘Grievous Angel’), who made some very good music before passing away at age 26 in 1973. Seeing some of the artists you’ve covered, you should really dig his stuff.

    Like

    • Thanks for the feedback, Jaap. I’m really glad you enjoyed this post. If you end up checking out any of these artists, please let me know if they live up to the hype. Also, thanks for bringing up those two Gram Parsons albums, both of which I own and love. This was a major oversight & I should have included him in this post. Between his work with The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers I had forgotten that he only released two solo albums. I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention. Happy New Year.

      Rich

      Like

  17. Craig
    January 17, 2015

    Just pre-ordered the Jellyfish cds, being reissued on January 20th. Thanks for continuing to turn me on to music I missed over the years! Your blog is amazing! Keep up the great work. (And I’d love to see Los Lobos covered this year.)

    Like

    • Hi Craig. I hope you’re blown away by those Jellyfish reissues. I won’t be buying them because I already own the original CD pressings, Omnivore’s vinyl reissues of both albums and the “Fan Club” box set that includes all the bonus material on the new deluxe editions, but anyone who never had the box set is in for a treat. I appreciate your kind words about the blog. Los Lobos is definitely on my short list, although I have a couple of artists lined up after I complete my Toto series. Hopefully I’ll get to Los Lobos later this year.

      I hope you’re having a great 2015.
      Rich

      Like

  18. Danica Piche
    February 15, 2015

    Hi Rich,
    I made it to Jellyfish and thoroughly enjoying New Mistake. Whiskey and liquorice…intriguing :).
    Thanks again for your fantastic posts.
    Danica

    Like

    • Hi Danica. I’m thrilled anytime there’s a new Jellyfish fan out there. They are truly one of the top should-have-been-huge bands I can think of, and I consider myself fortunate that I was a fan during their brief lifetime and saw them twice. Those shows are indelibly stamped on my brain. Thanks for your kind words, and for pointing out those lyrics in “New Mistake.” I had never considered them before, and they’ve got me scratching my head a bit. What’s your interpretation? I hope your week has gotten off to a great start, soundtracked by some inspiring music, of course.

      Best…
      Rich

      Liked by 1 person

      • Danica Piche
        February 16, 2015

        Hi Rich,

        They must have been amazing live. I’ve found some of their performances online…Letterman, Jools Holland, various music awards shows….it’s a little mystifying that they weren’t quite the next huge thing.

        The lyrics in “New Mistake”… I’d like to believe it’s a poetic reflection on the intensity of flavours and sensations; the interplay and the analogies to life and music. I imagine aged whiskey and original black liquorice…but it was probably a half-empty bottle of bourbon from the back of someone’s cupboard and a bag of twizzlers kicking around the living room while they were writing :).

        Thanks so much, Rich, and you as well. I need to get the soundtrack going!

        Danica

        Like

      • They really were spectacular live. It’s rare that you get to see a singing drummer standing up at the front of the stage. My first Jellyfish show was when they opened for World Party, and they were significantly better than the headliner. The second show, on the Spilt Milk tour, but awe-inspiring. The best 4-part harmonies I’ve ever experienced in person, and I’ve seen The Beach Boys a couple of times.

        Hmm, I like your assessment of those lyrics. I’m trying to figure out how they fit in with the subject matter of an unplanned pregnancy.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Danica Piche
    February 16, 2015

    They seem a bit like the Eagles that way, minus the standing drummer. The comments I’ve read on youtube are unanimous — everyone wants a Jellyfish reunion.

    As to the lyrics…in context, my impression is that the priest smelled of whiskey at the baptism and used liquorice as an attempt to mask the scent. Maybe there was a bit of whiskey/liquorice perfume on his hands that trailed to the baptism water to the baby.

    What are your thoughts?

    Like

    • I think the singing drummer and super-tight harmonies might be the only things linking Jellyfish & the Eagles. Visually, Jellyfish was something to behold, and the fact that they could sound as good live as they did on record (and often better) made them even more special.

      I’m honestly stumped by those lyrics, but you’re probably right about the bourbon & twizzlers reality when they were writing the song. Maybe that’s all they had on their tour rider.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Danica Piche
        February 16, 2015

        It seems like an injustice when so much original talent isn’t properly launched into the world for everyone to enjoy.

        That made me laugh…and quite probably true! Maybe they needed to act more like the-next-great-thing and be more diva-like on their tour rider. What was their management like?

        Like

      • Jellyfish definitely had all the elements needed to be a huge band, and they were featured on MTV quite extensively at the time, but they never managed to crack through with the elusive mega-hit single. It’s amusing how many artists have cited them as influences, and how many critics use them as a reference point. What they need is a well-made documentary that raises their profile beyond geeky music collectors.

        Like

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