KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

GREAT OUT OF THE GATE – My Favorite Debut Albums Part 2

Here are ten more of my all-time favorite debut albums, in no particular order. These had the same kind of impact on me as the records featured in Part 1 of this series, and they’ve all withstood the test of time.

Artist: ASIA
Album Title/Year Of Release: ASIA (1982)
Asia - AsiaThis was a huge album for me when it was released a few months before my 16th birthday. The quartet of guitarist Steve Howe (Yes), drummer Carl Palmer (ELP), keyboardist Geoff Downes (Buggles/Yes) and bassist/vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson/UK) combined the top-notch musicianship of my favorite progressive rock bands with concise, catchy, radio-friendly songs. The result was a multi-platinum chart-topping album and single (“Heat Of The Moment”), and Roger Dean’s fantastic cover design was the perfect complement to the music. After punk & new wave turned “prog” into a 4-letter word in the music industry throughout the second half of the ‘70s, the beast awoke in 1982 and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Between their aforementioned #1 hit single and the two songs that followed (“Only Time Will Tell” and “Sole Survivor”), Asia opens with a 1-2-3 punch that’s hard to beat. They also strike the perfect balance between catchy & complicated on semi-epics like “Time Again,” “Wildest Dreams” and “Here Comes The Feeling.” This lineup would only last through one more album, but the Asia name has continued with multiple musicians throughout the years, Downes being the one constant throughout their career. Ironically, the original Asia reunited in 2006 and released three studio albums before Howe jumped ship to focus on Yes and his solo career. It’s been great to have Asia back in circulation again, but none of their subsequent recordings reached the same heights as their magnificent debut.

Artist: STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN AND DOUBLE TROUBLE
Album Title/Year Of Release: TEXAS FLOOD (1983)
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas FloodI don’t think I fully appreciated the enormity of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar prowess when I first heard “Pride And Joy” on the radio in 1983. There was so much good music being played on rock radio at the time, old & new, so it was just another cool song with excellent guitar work. It wasn’t until I heard his debut album that I understood how special he was. In addition to his instrumental abilities, he helped revitalize the mostly dormant “blues” genre by exposing it to the public via regular airplay and shining a light on specific artists who influenced him via cover versions interspersed among his original compositions. Larry Davis’ late-‘50s song “Texas Flood” is a highlight of this album (and SRV’s career), Howlin’ Wolf’s “Tell Me” is given a swinging shuffle groove and Buddy Guy’s “Mary Had A Little Lamb” is tight & funky, and features Stevie’s playful vocal performance. The vocal-free album closer “Lenny,” a jazzy tune with obvious nods to Jimi Hendrix’s ballads, shows another side to him and his underrated band, Double Trouble (drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon). Perhaps the only misstep on Texas Flood is “I’m Cryin’,” which is a nice song but a little too similar to the superior “Pride And Joy.” Otherwise, this is quite a powerful introduction to an incredible talent, and I consider myself fortunate that I got to see him in concert twice before his untimely death in 1990.

Artist: CHEAP TRICK
Album Title/Year Of Release: CHEAP TRICK (1977)
Cheap Trick - Cheap TrickLike most people in my age group, I was introduced to the music of Cheap Trick via their 1978 At Budokan live album. Two years later in May 1980, just shy of my 14th birthday, they were the first band I saw in concert, on the Dream Police tour at Madison Square Garden. By then I owned all four of their studio albums, but for some reason it took several more years before I fully appreciated their self-titled debut. It’s a little darker and rougher around the edges than the records that followed, but all the elements that would soon make the world fall in love with them are already evident: Robin Zander’s powerful & passionate vocals, Rick Nielsen’s quirky lead guitar, sneering backing vocals and uniquely twisted songs and the inventive & propulsive rhythm section of bassist Tom Petersson and drummer Bun E. Carlos. They were already delivering catchy melodies but most of the songs have a harder edge than anything on the next few records. “Elo Kiddies” has a bouncy glam-rock stomp and “Oh, Candy” is classic power-pop; these two are what most people would expect from Cheap Trick. Otherwise, “Hot Love” and “He’s A Whore” are fueled by punk energy, and both “Mandocello” & “Taxman, Mr. Thief” are intense, slow-burning rockers. This album was also my introduction to the underrated talent of Terry Reid, whose “Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace” they cover here. Cheap Trick might seem like a dark horse in their early catalog, possibly due to the fact that none of its songs were included on At Budokan (and only two were performed at the concert), but it’s every bit as strong as their most commercially successful albums.

Artist: ZEBRA
Album Title/Year Of Release: ZEBRA (1983)
Zebra - ZebraIn the years following the 1980 demise of Led Zeppelin, any artist treading similar musical ground would get airplay on rock radio stations. Billy Squier was an early beneficiary but Zebra had the best shot at becoming huge. The incredibly gifted trio of singer/guitarist/songwriter Randy Jackson, bassist Felix Hanemann and drummer Guy Gelso delivered one of the fastest-selling debut albums in the history of Atlantic Records, combining Zeppelin’s dynamic hard rock with the keyboard & synth textures of progressive rock, ticking all of my musical boxes at the time. Opening track “Tell Me What You Want” is straight-up hard rock, and “Who’s Behind The Door,” a Top 10 hit on the Rock chart, blended the mysticism of Yes’ Jon Anderson with Zeppelin-inspired music. “One More Chance” and “As I Said Before” are killer tracks that might have been more successful a few years later during the “hair metal” era, but it’s the two epics that really make this a special record: “Take Your Fingers From My Hair” and “The La La Song” are showcases for their instrumental abilities and knack for clever arrangements. They never overstay their welcome over the course of the 6- or 7-minute running times. Throughout it all, Jackson’s multi-octave range is one of the key aspects to Zebra’s sound that separates them from their contemporaries. There are three other studio albums in their discography, as well as an excellent live album, but as much as I love just about everything they’ve released, their debut is a classic that still sounds fresh to my ears all these years later.

Artist: THE SMITHEREENS
Album Title/Year Of Release: ESPECIALLY FOR YOU (1986)
The Smithereens - Especially For YouNew Jersey’s The Smithereens had been around since 1980, releasing a couple of independent EP’s, but their first full-length album is where the story officially began for anyone beyond their local scene. When the bass-driven single “Blood And Roses” hit the airwaves, it fit in perfectly with both classic rock & current music. Here was a band steeped in ‘60s British Invasion groups like The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks and The Hollies, but in lead vocalist/songwriter Pat DiNizio they had a unique talent who used those artists as inspiration for songs that sounded like no one other than The Smithereens. His bandmates (lead guitarist Jim Babjak, bassist Mike Mesaros and drummer Dennis Diken) were deceptively sophisticated, providing clever arrangements to seemingly straight-ahead songs like “Time And Time Again,” “Strangers When We Meet” and “Behind The Wall Of Sleep.” As good as their rockers are, it’s the subtler tracks that make Especially For You so special. Suzanne Vega adds sweet harmonies to the lovely “In A Lonely Place,” and the acoustic break-up song “Cigarette” is an accordion-accented delight. My college cover band played a few Smithereens songs which were always well-received, and since I went to school in New Jersey I’ve always felt a close connection to their music. They went on to release more great records but Especially For You is probably their most diverse collection of songs and it holds up extremely well nearly 3 decades later.

Artist: KING CRIMSON
Album Title/Year Of Release: IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING (1969)
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson KingBy now it’s not a revelation to report that I’m a huge fan of progressive rock, and no discussion of that subgenre can start without mentioning King Crimson and their massively influential debut album. Guitarist Robert Fripp, the only constant in the ever-changing KC lineups over nearly half a century, was joined by future ELP vocalist/bassist Greg Lake, future Foreigner keyboard/woodwind player Ian McDonald, drummer Michael Giles and lyricist Pete Sinfield for a collection of five mind-blowing tracks that range from 6 to 12 minutes long. McDonald’s organ and Mellotron give these songs an orchestral grandeur, while Fripp’s groundbreaking guitar playing is still mind-blowing. I can only imagine how out-of-this world it all sounded in 1969. The album is bookended by the aggressive “21st Century Schizoid Man” and the quiet-loud dynamics of “The Court Of The Crimson King.” The jazzier “I Talk To The Wind” and “Moonchild” allow the album to breathe while taking listeners on a journey, while the gorgeous “Epitaph” has long been my favorite song here. Lake would later incorporate a portion of it during ELP’s live performances of “Tarkus.” Sporting one of the ugliest or most iconic album covers of all time (depending on your taste), In The Court Of The Crimson King is a record that grows in stature as it ages.

Artist: WEEZER
Album Title/Year Of Release: WEEZER (1994)
Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album)I didn’t immediately respond to Weezer’s music when “Undone – The Sweater Song” became their first hit. I wasn’t really into “alternative” music at the time so I probably didn’t pay much attention to them. It was the second single, “Buddy Holly,” with its Happy Days-inspired video, which first caught my eyes & ears. It was likely the combination of great melodies and their sense of humor that won me over. I bought Weezer (aka “The Blue Album) and absolutely loved it. “My Name Is Jonas,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Surf Wax America” are catchy songs with crunchy guitars, and the melancholy undertones within “The World Has Turned And Left Me Here” and “In The Garage” pack a much-needed emotional punch. They became massively successful so quickly that there continues to be backlash against their later albums, although many of them are very good (with follow-up Pinkerton belatedly receiving much-deserved praise), but a debut this strong was always going to be hard to beat. Rivers Cuomo wrote all of these memorable songs that have stood the test of time, and Cars frontman Ric Ocasek did a great job producing them to a high gloss shine.

Artist: ROBERT PLANT
Album Title/Year Of Release: PICTURES AT ELEVEN (1982)
Robert Plant - Pictures At ElevenIt should come as no surprise that I was thrilled when the lead singer of my favorite band began his solo career two years after Led Zeppelin disbanded. Aided by his friend Phil Collins on drums (former Rainbow drummer Cozy Powell played on 2 of 8 tracks), Plant collaborated with guitarist Robbie Blunt on a collection of tunes that veer from Zeppelin heaviness (“Slow Dancer” and “Like I’ve Never Been Gone”) to offbeat new-wave inspired rockers (“Burning Down One Side,” “Fat Lip” and “Pledge Pin”) and an exotic ballad (“Moonlight In Samosa”). A lot of wonderful albums were released in 1982, but I don’t think I played any of them quite as often as Pictures At Eleven. Plant’s voice was still in its prime, the musicianship is top-notch (Blunt is a sympathetic & tasteful guitarist and Collins is, of course, one of the best rock drummers of all time) and there’s not a weak song to be found. I love the majority of the dozen or so albums he’s released to date, and this one remains among my 2 or 3 favorites.

Artist: CANDY BUTCHERS
Album Title/Year Of Release: CANDY BUTCHERS (1996)
Candy Butchers - Candy ButchersHere’s a band that should have been huge. Songwriter / singer / guitarist / keyboardist Mike Viola had just provided vocals & contributed to the writing of “That Thing You Do” from the Tom Hanks film of the same name, and that song’s early-Beatles homage carries over into many of his own songs. This is no mere pastiche, however, as he blends influences like Elvis Costello, Squeeze, The Beach Boys and pretty much any melodic pop/rock artist of the preceding 25 years, on songs like “Love’s Long Sleep,” “I Will Not Be Afraid,” “What I Won’t Give” and “Love Like Her.” I also hear more than a hint of Dan Fogelberg on the pretty ballad “I’m Not Over You,” and “Truckstop Sweetheart” could be a #1 hit for a contemporary country artist. Candy Butchers were essentially a duo consisting of Viola and his childhood friend Todd Foulsham on drums and vocal harmonies. They had released an EP, Live At La Bonbonnierre, which included two songs from their upcoming debut album (“Bells On A Leper” and “Cupid Complained To Venus”) along with three other melodic gems. Sadly, their record label, Blue Thumb Records, closed its doors before the album could be released and it sat on a shelf for more than a decade before Viola released it on vinyl a few years ago. Several friends & I had connections with touring members of the band and employees at Blue Thumb in ‘96, and suddenly there was this underground scene where cassette copies were being swapped, and every sold-out Candy Butchers show in New York City had the crowd singing along to all of their unreleased songs. Viola eventually signed with Sony Music for a couple of Foulsham-free Candy Butchers albums, released several solo LPs as well as collaborations with other artists (including Ryan Adams), and contributed music to several movie soundtracks. There are numerous great albums in his catalog, but nothing as perfect from start to finish as the Candy Butchers’ debut.

Artist: PHIL COLLINS
Album Title/Year Of Release: FACE VALUE (1981)
Phil Collins - Face ValuePhil Collins’ first solo album has been overshadowed by its ubiquitous hit single, “In The Air Tonight” and his ridiculously successful work with Genesis & as a solo artist throughout the ‘80s (and the overexposure that came with it). By the time he released Face Value, Collins had been Genesis’ lead singer for four studio albums, each charting higher than the previous one, but he wasn’t yet a household name. There was no guarantee that a collection of personal songs written & recorded in the immediate aftermath of his divorce would have any commercial success, but it turned out to be a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. There are plenty of upbeat songs featuring Earth, Wind & Fire’s Phenix Horns (minor hit “I Missed Again,” “Hand In Hand,” “Thunder And Lightning” and a peppy re-working of the previous year’s “Behind The Lines” from Genesis’ Duke album), but it’s the downbeat ballads that give the album its defining mood: “This Must Be Love,” “The Roof Is Leaking,” “You Know What I Mean” and “If Leaving Me Is Easy.” In the future his ballads would become more sappy & predictable, but here you can still hear the raw emotions he was dealing with at the time. Collins plays most of the instruments, adding some notable guests like guitarists Daryl Stuermer & Eric Clapton and singer Stephen Bishop on certain tracks. Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of impressive drumming, but Face Value is really a showcase for his burgeoning songwriting abilities rather than an excuse to show off his chops. I know plenty of people who dismiss everything he’s ever done due to his mainstream pop material from a few years later, but they’re missing out on an excellent record that’s not only a fantastic debut but also one of the best post-breakup albums I can think of.

In my previous post I forgot to mention a couple of wonderful debut albums that I re-discovered thanks to my blog posts about those artists:
TALKING HEADS – TALKING HEADS: 77 (1977)
THE STOOGES – THE STOOGES (1969)

I’ve only scratched the surface so far. There are still plenty of classic debut albums I’ll be discussing in the next few posts. If some of your favorites still haven’t appeared, they’ll either show up soon or we have different tastes in music. Please let me know what you think of the 10 albums featured above. Thanks.

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52 comments on “GREAT OUT OF THE GATE – My Favorite Debut Albums Part 2

  1. Deke
    April 22, 2015

    What a ton of great albums Rich. Heat Of The Moment has one of most catchiest opening riffs of all time! This album was everywhere at the time and it was the first time I heard of Steve Howe!
    SRV Texas Flood another masterpiece I mean Double Trouble great band and great album. Did you ever see the Live At The El Macambo? Great performance!
    Cheap Trick I mean Ello Kiddies sets the tone for that record does it not? My brother could not believe thst was Cheap Trick when I played him thta album he was used to DONT Be Cruel and The Flame Cheap Trick ..I said Nope this is Cheap Trick….!
    Great stuff!
    Well Done….

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    • Thanks Derek. I’m glad we had similar reactions to Asia’s “Heat Of The Moment.” That riff sounded amazing to me the first time I heard it…and about a thousand times after that. As for SRV, I have seen the El Mocambo performance a few times. I think I own every official CD & DVD and they’re all spectacular. Cheap Trick’s debut is something else, isn’t it? Nice to know you turned your brother on to it. Why are those guys not in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame? I don’t believe they’ve ever been nominated. Ridiculous.

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  2. stephen1001
    April 22, 2015

    Nice list Rich – King Crimson and Weezer are the standouts for me here, both, as you said with KC, should continue to grow in stature as they age. They’re aging magnificently!

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    • Hi Geoff. I’m pleased to know we agree about a lot of these, especially Weezer & King Crimson. Hmm, that would be quite a double-bill, right? Thanks for the feedback.

      Like

  3. ianbalentine
    April 22, 2015

    Love this list and the fact I am only familiar with 7 out of the 10 (Zebra, Smithereens and The Candy Butchers being the one’s I need to investigate). Out of those 3 The Candy Butchers seem like the band most likely to make a permanent home in my collection. All the others are great choices; I am especially fond of the Stevie Ray Vaughn and Cheap Trick debuts! I became familiar with SRV via David Bowie and his guitar prowess on Let’s Dance (did he play on the other tracks on that album, or just the title track?). Looking forward to the next installment, thanks for taking the time to be so thorough.

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    • Wow, we had a very large percentage in common here, Ian. If you check out any of those three artists, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m not sure how easy the Candy Butchers debut is to find other than through Mike Viola’s website, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you give it a shot.

      Regarding SRV, he played lead guitar on the entire Let’s Dance album. I believe Bowie wanted him to be part of the tour, but I guess Stevie had his own career to launch. I’m glad he did.

      I already have my selections for Part 3 of this series but I’ll be out of town for a few days so that post won’t be done until late next week. I’m having a lot of fun with this subject.

      Thanks again for your input. I appreciate it.

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    • Daddydinorawk
      April 23, 2015

      Yes, SRV is all over Lets Dance. Cat People in particular has some tasty SRV lead licks. He doesn’t just play one solo on that song, he’s riffing across the entire tune. Check it out!!

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      • Good call on “Cat People.” Yep, Stevie shreds a lot on that and many other tracks. There are a couple of other guitarists on the album, but Stevie is the only one credited with “Lead Guitar.”

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  4. Vinyl Connection
    April 23, 2015

    Enthusiastic and beautifully written as always, Rich.

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    • Thanks Bruce. I’m guessing these choices might still be too FM radio for you (haha), but I appreciate you checking it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vinyl Connection
        April 23, 2015

        Always happy to read informed well-written piece my friend!

        I have been toying with the idea of attempting to knock out some companion reviews for Vinyl Connection. If it gets escape velocity, I’ll email you to ensure I don’t encroach on your turf. 🙂

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      • There’s no “turf” here in the cutthroat world of music blogging. Haha. I would be interested to see you tackle this topic or something similar. Keep me posted on that.

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      • Vinyl Connection
        April 23, 2015

        BTW, we do have one blog-snap: I tackled the debut King Crimson a little while back.

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      • I don’t remember if I read your appraisal of KC’s debut, Bruce. I’m heading out of town (and mostly off the grid) for a few days, but will check out that post when I get back.
        Cheers!
        Rich

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      • Vinyl Connection
        April 23, 2015

        No worries Rich.
        Co-incidentally, I’ve just posted my ‘Q’ album – a debut!

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      • I noticed that…Suzi Quatro. I know so little about her. She’ll always be Leather Tuscadero to me. Will check out that post when I get back. Looking forward to learning more about her.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lewis Johnston
    April 23, 2015

    I am not surprised as to how many great albums you have covered in the first two posts in this series. It just goes to show how many great debuts are out there to enjoyed, plus I am amazed as to how many of these I actually have. I am really enjoying this series a great deal, it was nice to read your take on Cheap Trick as it is one of my favourite debut albums of the 1970’s. I remember reading about it and the fact it was not available in the UK, thank goodness there was a great record shop in Edinburgh called GI Records that specialised in US imports. It was very useful indeed and I was a regular customer there, long before the days of the net. An excellent post and a great read.

    Cheers.

    Lewis.

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    • Thanks Lewis. I was amazed when I compiled my master list for this series, especially the number of debuts I know from start-to-finish without having to play them. Those will take up the next couple of posts, and then I might do one final post with some albums I’ll need to revisit first.

      You were there at the beginning for Cheap Trick, eh? That’s impressive considering it wasn’t released in the UK. Radio stations in the US didn’t start playing them until Heaven Tonight and At Budokan were released, and the first two albums were completely overlooked (other than the live version of “I Want You To Want Me”).

      We had stores that specialized in imports from the UK. They weren’t cheap but it was great to have access to some hard-to-find titles whenever I had the money for them.

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  6. Heavy Metal Overload
    April 23, 2015

    Another interesting list. Again, all the ones I’ve heard from the list are firm favourites. (CT, KC, Plant and Phil Collins) Asia has been on my to-do list forever! I’m sure I’ll eventually get round to that one.

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    • Thanks Scott. Glad we’re on the same page with some of these albums. Are you saying that you don’t own any Asia albums, or that you want to write a blog post about their debut but haven’t gotten around to it?

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        April 23, 2015

        Sorry! No, I don’t have any of their stuff. I’ve heard a song or two and I’m a fan of the original members so I’ve been meaning to get their albums for ages.

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      • Ahh, then you’re in for a treat, at least with the debut. They had so many lineup changes after the second album, and the songwriting consistency wasn’t always there, so it’s hard to recommend any other particular albums. I will say that there are some very good releases from the John Payne era, where Geoff Downes was the only original member.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        April 23, 2015

        Thanks for the info Rich! I’d have probably bought the debut before now but I can’t help feeling it’s due a reissue of some sort (unless there’s one I don’t know about). I hate when I buy albums just from them to get a reissue shortly after!

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      • You should pick up the 2-CD Gold set by Asia. It includes remastered versions of the first three albums plus b-sides. You don’t get Roger Dean’s artwork like you would with the individual albums, but you get a lot of music for your money.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heavy Metal Overload
        April 23, 2015

        Ooh, that’s a top tip Rich! Thanks for that. I’m going to look into that one.

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      • I’m happy to provide this public service. Haha. Only time will tell if it was a good suggestion (see what I did there?).

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        April 24, 2015

        Haha nice. It won’t be a priority purchase but if I see it cheap I’ll probably end up buying it in the heat of the moment (sorry)!

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  7. Phillip Helbig
    April 23, 2015

    Asia: Yes, it has stood the test of time. Ironically, at the time the selling point is that it is a move away from prog, with soundbites from the members saying “I would like to have been a Beatle” and so on, almost denying their proggy past. These days, it is lumped in with prog, not with other catchy tunes of the time (Go-Gos, Bangles, etc).

    I saw the re-formed lineup a few years ago at a festival. They still put on a good show, even if more recent albums have been a bit lackluster.

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    • I don’t recall the members of Asia downplaying their prog backgrounds when the debut was released, but I think they acknowledged that they tried to condense the often sprawling nature of prog into radio-friendly material…and as far as I’m concerned they struck the perfect balance.

      I was so excited when I finally got to see them on the first reunion tour, when they played the entire first album along with songs from each of their other bands. The albums they’ve released have been hit-and-miss but they can still deliver the goods in concert.

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      • Daddydinorawk
        April 23, 2015

        Oooh. Which brings me to UK. The first album is an excellent debut with Wetton, Bruford, Jobson and Allan Holdsworth. But the seecond album with a slightly different less jazzy lineup is the perfect link up to Asia imo.

        I tried to get into the John Payne years but he music just didnt connect with me. Too glossy, not good songwriting yet maintaining excellent musicianship. If I am missing something let me know. I am always up for being wrong. See Toto. 😉

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      • Yep, I agree about UK. I already featured them in my Two And Through post back in December. Had I not written that, their debut would have definitely been included in this series.

        As for Asia, I only got into the John Payne era a few years ago so I’m far from an expert. I would need to revisit those albums before making any recommendations, but I do recall Aura being particularly good.

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  8. Phillip Helbig
    April 23, 2015

    King Crimson’s first album? Yes, definitely a good choice. Their later work is a bit too twiddly for me, though I must check out the second album, which still has Greg Lake.

    Michael Giles is truly excellent. At least at that time, I don’t think there was a better drummer anywhere. He has remained obscure.

    Ian McDonald went on to—Foreigner. (And, yes, it is the same Phil Pickett in Sailor and Culture Club (not to be confused with another musician—now in jail—known as Philip Pickett, who, while still free, came up with the truly excellent The Bones of All Men.)

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    • Daddydinorawk
      April 23, 2015

      Check out MacDonald and Giles. They put out one album thats kind of a cross between early KC and Traffic.

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    • I completely agree about Michael Giles. When I first listened to KC, I thought Bill Bruford (a longtime hero of mine) was always their drummer. I was skeptical about hearing another drummer play with them but I was immediately won over by Giles amazing technique.

      I believe you were the person who recommended that Philip Pickett album a couple of years ago, based on a discussion about Richard Thompson. I got a copy and love it. Thanks again for the referral.

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  9. Danny Ciapura
    April 23, 2015

    The Zebra review was dead perfect. One of those great bands that that never quite broke through for no fault of their own.

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    • Hi Danny. I’m happy to meet another passionate Zebra fan. It’s too bad they were never able to capitalize on the initial success of the debut. They released two strong follow-ups but I guess radio stations & their record company eventually lost interest. At least the original trio remains active all these years later.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Rich

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  10. DanicaPiche
    April 24, 2015

    What an intriguing list, Rich! It’s a delightful mix of some of my favorites (Asia, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Cheap Trick) and some I’ve never heard (Zebra, King Crimson, Candy Butchers). I’m always interested when you include some that didn’t capture my attention.
    I’m off to listen to some Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Then maybe some Asia (or at least Heat of the Moment) and Cheap Trick. Thanks for the reminder! I’d like to check out some I haven’t heard before, but old favorites are tough competition, aren’t they?

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    • Glad we have several albums in common here, Danica. I know what you mean about the power of old favorites. They’re like comfort food.

      Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DanicaPiche
        April 25, 2015

        I enjoyed listening to some Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble…after who knows how long. Too long. Comfort food for the soul :).

        Thanks and I hope you also have a wonderful weekend, Rich.

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      • I felt the same about SRV. For some reason I hadn’t listened to him in a few years prior to last week and it sounded so fresh. Glad we had similar reactions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • DanicaPiche
        April 25, 2015

        Well, I’m glad that you did and that you included him in your post. Listening to him again made me sit back and smile, thinking, “Wow, that is some talent!”

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  11. King Crimson is one of the bands that I think never did a better album than the debut. I mean I love ‘Larks’ and ‘Red’ but I don’t think either of them creates that “whoa, where the hell did this come from?!” impression quite like ‘In the Court’ does.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ovidiu, I’m not sure I agree that Crimson’s debut was their best, but none of their other albums had that kind of impact and influence. Good point about “where the hell did this come from.” That doesn’t apply to many albums.

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  12. J.
    April 25, 2015

    That’s a fine list, Rich. A few there for me to check out and a few of my favourites there too – King Crimson, Weezer, and Texas Flood (which I only discovered last year – a really special album that one). I’ve still to pick up the Cheap Trick album and your enthusiasm for Pictures at Eleven has ensured that I’m gonna keep an eye out for that one. Candy Butchers sounds like a winner too!

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    • Thanks J. Glad we share some favorites here. I hope you enjoy some of the others if/when you check them out. Have a great weekend.

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      • J.
        April 25, 2015

        I’m sure I will – and have a great weekend also, Rich!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: GREAT OUT OF THE GATE – My Favorite Debut Albums Part 4 | KamerTunesBlog

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