KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

About KamerTunesBlog

Mission Statement
Please join me on my journey as I re-discover artists from my vast & varied music collection (focusing on artists I’m less familiar with than my favorites). I’d like this to be an ongoing conversation with my fellow music lovers, some of whom will know a lot more about these artists than I do. But perhaps my journey will also help enlighten & inspire others. Only time will tell.

Personal Info
My name is Rich Kamerman. I was born in 1966, the year that saw the release of Pet Sounds (The Beach Boys), Aftermath (The Rolling Stones), Revolver (The Beatles), Sounds Of Silence and Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme (Simon & Garfunkel), Fresh Cream (Cream), Hold On, I’m Comin’ and Double Dynamite (Sam & Dave), Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton (John Mayall), A Quick One (The Who), Blonde On Blonde (Bob Dylan), as well as great albums by Buffalo Springfield, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, The Kinks, Frank Zappa, etc.

Your Blogger As A Young Drummer (1976?)

Of course it would be several years before I discovered the greatness of these now-considered classics. Throughout the early 70s it was Top 40 radio for me, along with my parents’ small collection of LPs (Meet The Beatles, Hank Williams’ Greatest Hits, Allan Sherman’s My Son The Folk Singer, the Fiddler On The Roof Soundtrack, a few classical compilations). By the mid-70s, between my first visit to the local record store and drum lessons that began when I was 8 years old, my obsession with music had started. Kiss & Stevie Wonder were my first two favorites. Now I can barely recall a time when I wasn’t listening to, or thinking about, music. I also had the pleasure of playing in the Staten Island Borough-Wide Orchestra when I was a teenager. I could actually read sheet music back then, until rock & roll took over.

Professional Info
After working at three different record stores (all in the same mall) throughout high school & college, I was fortunate enough to get a job at a major record label right after college. I spent 10 years at three different major labels, and another 17 years (and counting) as label manager & creative director at a classic R&B indie label and its sister label specializing in various-artist compilations and branded music.

I’ve also continued to play the drums. Gigging & recording, covers & originals, amateur & professional: too many bands to name. I never became a rock star, but I’ve had no complaints playing for fun, beer, musical satisfaction, and occasionally just for the money.

Between my jobs & drumming, I’ve worked with numerous record labels, musicians, producers, recording & mastering engineers, graphic designers, manufacturers, etc., which has given me the ability to appreciate & understand all aspects of music & the music business.

Why this blog?
For more than 40 years I’ve collected music: LPs, cassettes, a few 8-tracks, and lots of CDs. I also realized a long time ago that I’m a “completist”: I enjoy hearing everything (or close to it) by the artists I like. It’s cost me a lot of money, and taken up a lot of shelf space, but I enjoy getting a thorough overview rather than just a greatest hits compilation and one or two “key” albums. My collection now numbers over 8,000 titles. That’s a lot of music, and I’m proud to say that I’ve listened to it all.

However, recently I was thinking of all the artists whose catalogs I own but don’t know very well. I’ve spent so many years accumulating music, and once I’ve listened to an album one or two times, it tends to go on the shelf and…with the occasional exception…is rarely played again. I’ve often wanted to spend some time revisiting these lesser-known artists and albums, but I’ve only done that in very small doses.

Until now.

I’ve created this blog to document my journey of re-discovery. I will choose one artist at a time, explore their entire catalog (or at least the large portion of the catalog that I already own), and post my thoughts and observations. I will discuss my before-and-after impressions of every album after playing them several times, and I hope it will be interesting to see where my opinions on each artist have changed…or have been reinforced…as I delve into their back catalog. As mentioned in my Mission Statement, I’d like this to be an ongoing conversation with my fellow music lovers, so I look forward to hearing from you in the Comments sections.

Where to start?
I decided to start this journey with Van Morrison. Somehow I’ve accumulated over 35 of his albums, yet I only knew a handful of them relatively well. I recall enjoying certain albums more than others, but there were many of his albums where I couldn’t name a single song. Also, Astral Weeks tends to be considered his best album by fans & critics alike, yet after listening to it at least once a year for the last 15-20 years, I’ve never experienced the “genius” that others have. I enjoy it, but it always left me feeling a little cold. My plan was to save Astral Weeks for last, and perhaps after re-evaluating his other releases first, I hoped to gain a new perspective. Please read the Van Morrison posts to see how that turned out.

Where to next?
I created a poll so my readers could help me decide which artist’s catalog to revisit next, and the winner was Talking Heads. Thanks to everyone who voted. After that, I moved on to The Band, followed by Roxy Music, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell (who won the next poll), Television, David Bowie, Nick Drake, Black Sabbath, Big Star, Tom Waits, The Beach Boys, Foo Fighters (who won the following poll), Uncle Tupelo, PJ Harvey, Neil Young, Alice Cooper, XTC, Metallica, The Jayhawks, The Kinks, The Stooges, Al GreenSyd Barrett, k.d. lang, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Toto. I recently wrote about My Favorite Debut Albums in a 5-part series.

I also introduced a series called “Compilation Or Catalog?” where I revisit “Best Of”/”Greatest Hits” compilations by certain artists and ask you to help me decide if the compilation is sufficient or if I need to hear any of their individual albums. So far I’ve covered The Commodores, Montrose, Jimmy Buffett, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure in this series. In a twist on this concept I wrote about my “gateway compilations”: the ones that already convinced me to dive into each artist’s catalog. The first two posts in this mini-series can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2.

I began a series on my favorite one-album artists. Each post contains ten examples of these One And Done artists. If you enjoy that series, I followed it up with a single post on two-album artists called Two And Through (naturally).

If you’re a fan of The Eagles or The Blues Brothers, I invite you to check out the individual posts I wrote about each of them via the hyperlinks on those artist names.

Each week throughout 2016 I highlighted my favorite albums from 1986 (along with others I discovered later on) in a series called Thirty Year Thursday. Now in 2017 I’m focusing on my favorites from 1977 each week in Forty Year Friday.

I rarely know who my next artist will be until shortly before I begin each series. Feel free to subscribe so you won’t miss a post.

Thanks for stopping by!

274 comments on “About KamerTunesBlog

  1. Ned
    March 24, 2011

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the artists and albums! It sounds like it’s going to be a fun journey…

    Like

  2. Ivan Goldberg
    March 25, 2011

    Great site will let everyone I know be in the know!

    Like

  3. Brian
    March 28, 2011

    love it Rich! For the record it took me awhile to get into “Astral Weeks” as well but now I love it on almost the same level as “Moondance”. I just listened to “Tupelo Honey” again a few times as well- it’s a fantastic and underrated album. Love “Old, Old Woodstock”.

    Like

  4. Alan
    March 28, 2011

    Rich – I have always been interested in what you think about records and musicians, so I will not doubt enjoy what you have tyo say on this blog. Welcome news!

    Like

  5. Giuseppe D.
    March 30, 2011

    You are a very interesting person, and I’m interested in what your take is on all this stuff called “music”. 🙂

    Like

  6. Alan Cohen
    March 30, 2011

    .

    Like

  7. christopher Boyle
    March 30, 2011

    Love the idea for the Blog unfortunately Van Morrison not one of those artist I have that much knowledge about

    Like

  8. KamerTunesBlog
    March 31, 2011

    Thanks to everyone for their support and kind words about the blog. I’m really enjoying re-listening & sharing my thoughts. For anyone who’s not a Van Morrison fan, bear with me. I have a long list of artists whose catalogs I plan to revisit. I just picked a very big catalog to start with, so it may be a few weeks before I move on to the next artist. Keep the comments coming.
    Best wishes….
    Rich

    Like

  9. Jodi Jacobs
    April 2, 2011

    Wow, I really admire you for taking on this endeavor!! Quite a long journey ahead of you but one that I know you’re up for. You know how I feel about your collection. Hell, in the past, you’d sacrifice food, in order to purchase a rare release. I remember you angsting over where you’re going to put all your records, back in the Astoria days. A lot of water under the bridge, yes? Nice use of the pun, wouldn’t you say? Congrats and let me know when you decide to tackle the Beach Boys collection!!!

    Like

  10. Paul Ruggiero
    April 5, 2011

    Fantastic Rich!! I will forward this to a bunch of people!!! Congratulations from Astoria!

    Like

    • KamerTunesBlog
      April 5, 2011

      Thanks Paul. You’re in my old stomping grounds of Astoria? That’s great. Thanks for supporting the blog. Hope you’re well.
      Rich

      Like

  11. christopher Boyle
    April 5, 2011

    let me know about updates of other artists etc…

    Like

  12. Kevin Goins
    April 6, 2011

    Congrats on the blog-page, Rich. Enjoy the journey.

    Like

  13. Alex
    April 23, 2011

    Sounds like a long and incredible journey. I’ll be along for the ride.

    Like

    • KamerTunesBlog
      April 28, 2011

      Thanks for reading, Alex. It will certainly be a long journey, and an enjoyable one.

      Like

  14. Joshua Marc Levy
    May 4, 2011

    Hi Rich, I look forward to reading your blog. Congratulations! JML

    Like

    • KamerTunesBlog
      May 4, 2011

      Hi Joshua. Thanks for checking out the blog. Hope you enjoy reading it.
      Best…
      Rich

      Like

  15. Josh Lerman
    August 14, 2011

    Keep it coming Rich!

    Like

    • Thanks for reading, Josh. I’m really enjoying the process of revisiting these artist catalogs that I don’t know that well, and it’s been fun writing and having conversations about them, so I’ll definitely be doing this for a while.

      Like

  16. Kira
    October 18, 2011

    Hi Mr. Kamerman!

    It’s nice to make your acquaintance. I like the premise of your blog a lot. Especially the part about being a “completist.” I love to collect physical copies of recordings too. It’ll be great to learn from your stories and experiences. Your taste is certainly eclectic!

    Like

    • Hi Kira. It’s always great to hear from a fellow music addict, especially someone who loves collecting physical product. What artists are you a “completist” for? I hope you have access to actual record stores, although they’re harder to find these days. It’s not the same buying online, but it’s still better than digital downloads. Thanks for your comment. Feel free to stop by here anytime to chat about music. That’s why I’m here.

      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

      • Kira
        October 19, 2011

        Hi Rich,
        I am totally a music addict! I will give any kind of music a try at least once. As for being a ‘completist,’ pretty much any artist that I like and subsequently really get into, I will do my best to keep up with their physical product going forward. Then over time I’ll explore any material they have prior to when I started listening to them. Of course, for some groups this is a bit hard to do quickly. Dream Theater would be a prime example. And yes, thankfully I do have access to at least a couple good record stores with staff that love to fill their place with plenty of stock, new and old. 🙂

        Regards,
        Kira

        P.S. Would you mind checking out my blog and letting me know what you think? You’r exactly the kind of person I’m trying to reach out to through my writing. (http://nice-dice.blogspot.com)

        Like

      • Hi Kira. I visited your site last night and again this morning, and I really like your writing. I wish I had more free time to go back to all your previous posts, but I did manage to read a few of them. I also signed up for email updates, so I look forward to future posts.

        So, a female Dream Theater fan? I thought that was an oxymoron. Have you just recently gotten into them and having trouble exploring their catalog? It is vast, and most of the CDs are very long, so delving into their music can be a challenge. I’ve always been a completist where I’ll go back and get EVERYTHING an artist has released…which is why I prefer discovering artists early in their career…but that’s not always possible. It does make for fun record shopping though, and I always have a wish-list in my wallet.

        Again, thanks for visiting. Feel free to share your thoughts on any of the artists I’ve covered, and if you like the blog you can sign up for email alerts on any page.

        Best….
        Rich

        Like

  17. Johnny
    November 1, 2011

    what does it mean KamerTunesBlog? i am curious

    your blog is perfect! good ideais, good critics. congratulations

    i love Paul simon and Talking Heads, so i have written something about TH videoclips in my blog.
    i will find a way to translate you can read them.

    Like

    • Hi Johnny. Kamer is for my last name (Kamerman), Tunes is for music, and blog is for…well, that one’s obvious. I figured it sounded better than “Rich’s Music Blog.”

      I’m really glad you like my blog. That means a lot to me, especially since I’m guessing English is not your first language (it’s my ONLY language).

      Looking forward to being able to read your blog. At the very least I will check out the videos, many of which I probably saw on MTV back in the day.

      Like

  18. Johnny
    November 1, 2011

    OK! NOW I KNOW WHAT MEANS YOUR BLOG´S NAME.

    I AM FROM BRAZIL AND I LIKE MUSIC AS NOONE ELSE. I CAN NOT TRANSLATE MY BLOG BUT YOU CAN DO IT USING GOOGLE TRANSLATOR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY MY BLOG.

    THANKS!

    Like

  19. Johnny
    November 5, 2011

    where are you from? big man!

    Like

  20. theuglymoose
    March 18, 2012

    Hope you don’t mind. I added your blog and one other to my ‘blogroll’. Just think of the traffic this might bring, maybe 1, perhaps 2 additional views a month 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Ugly Moose (if that IS your real name). I really appreciate it. Can you explain what a blog roll is, so perhaps I can set one up here and reciprocate.

      Like

      • theuglymoose
        March 19, 2012

        I had to figure this out last night, wasn’t so straight forward as I thought. it’s a widget you add to your sidebar, you tell it how many link you need.. it pre-populates those links two from its standard list of links. Go to your ‘links’ on your dashboard, remove the supplied ones, replace with links to those blogs you like and they get picked up automatically.

        Like

      • Thanks. I think you’ve been added to my blog roll now.

        Like

      • theuglymoose
        March 19, 2012

        Very kind of you. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks

        Like

      • theuglymoose
        March 19, 2012

        Didn’t quite work from what I see, but no fear. It’s a bit evil getting it sorted out.

        Like

      • Strange, it worked on my end. Where would I actually see the blog roll on my blog, outside of the dashboard?

        Like

      • theuglymoose
        March 19, 2012

        It should be a case of dragging the widget ‘links’ into your sidebar, and then it should appears along with all the other sidebar items to the right.

        Like

      • Done. It should be there now.

        Like

      • theuglymoose
        March 19, 2012

        Thanks. Why they don’t call the widget ‘blogroll’, I’ll never know.

        Like

      • No problem. I guess WordPress wants us to earn our “links.” Is it just me, or does the word “blogroll” put you in the mood for Chinese food?

        Like

      • theuglymoose
        March 19, 2012

        It does a bit 🙂 this is great, you’ve got the sweet and sour in there, but where’s my damn blogroll?

        Like

  21. GE
    April 12, 2012

    Cool blog, dude – you know you TOTALLY rip, you shred… ha ha! I do dig The Heads – always did think Stop Making Sense was a classic but you’ve swayed me to check out other stuff too. Saw them live in Sacramento, CA – 1983 I think? Probably just around the time of that Stop Making Sense tour/live recording… great stuff.

    Like

    • Hi GE. I didn’t know you had seen Talking Heads. I’m guessing it was a phenomenal show. As great as that era was, after spending time with their entire catalog I think I prefer the earlier material, including the first live album, which is a much better representation of the wide scope of their music.

      Rich

      Like

  22. scobbnino
    June 7, 2012

    Hi Rich,

    Many thanks for checking out my blog and for the follow. I’m new to this so it’s much appreciated!

    This is a great premise you have for this blog. As an avid CD/Vinyl buyer I know what it’s like to have mountains of music that you haven’t given the attention it deserves! I also worked in a record store in Scotland for many years and still support my local brick and mortar music stores.

    It’s fascinating that you consider each artists full catalogues in such depth and I can’t wait to read more. For the mean-time though I just wanted to say “Hi” and congratulate you on your excellent writing.

    Kind Regards,
    Scobb at Heavy Metal Overload

    Like

    • Hi Scobb. Consider yourself lucky that you still have brick and mortar record stores. Where I live (in Westchester, New York) there isn’t a single record store remaining, and even the number of stores in Manhattan have dwindled over the years.

      Thanks for the compliments on my writing, and I’m glad you enjoyed what you’ve read so far. This has been a labor of love for me, to finally get to know these albums that have been sitting on my shelves all these years.

      By the way, Scotland is my favorite country outside of my own. I’ve been there a few times, and even got to wear a kilt at a friend’s wedding in Loch Lomond last year. I hope all is well by you.

      Sláinte,
      Rich

      Like

  23. Phillip Helbig
    June 14, 2012

    I got to this from Every Record Tells a Story (which I got to from In the Dark). Great stuff. Anyone who can write with authority on Nick Drake and Black Sabbath is worth reading. While I’m not a Bowie or Tom Waits fan, I’m sure there is a lot of stuff of interest so me here.

    Is there an RSS feed for posts? Is there an RSS feed for comments?

    Also, having everything on one page is not very practical. Can’t you have just the first few posts and then a link to “older posts” (certainly possible with WordPress blogs)?

    Like

    • Hi Phillip. I appreciate you stopping by. I’m not an expert when it comes to RSS feeds. In fact, I don’t know much about them at all, although I’ve seen them on some sites that I visit. Do you think it’s something that would help me with my blog? I’m pretty sure WordPress has the option, but the blog has been functioning just fine without it so I’m wary of making any changes.

      As for the multiple posts on one page, the way it’s set up is that the 10 most recent posts appear on the main page. Shortly after I started the blog in March 2011, I looked into changing that (possibly to just showing a summary of all previous posts with links to those pages on the home page) but was unable to figure out how to do it. At least I have the categories on the right side of the screen, so it’s easy to sort by artist.

      Your comment has prompted me to look into the layout a little more, next time I have some free time. Thanks for your input. I hope you find another artist here that you like, but I’m certainly glad you enjoyed checking out the Nick Drake & Black Sabbath posts.

      Cheers.
      Rich

      Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        June 14, 2012

        I just reloaded the whole page. At the very bottom of a long page is the first “my blog is live” post. I don’t see this with any other blogs, even ones which look quite similar (presumably WordPress defaults). It could be that I am one of the few affected, but I don’t know. I tried two browsers; same result.

        I’m no expert on RSS feeds, but I find them quite useful. I follow around 30 blogs. Some are updated many times per day, some every few weeks. RSS feeds show me what is new; otherwise I would have to continually check them all. (OK, I have to check the RSS feeds, but that is much quicker.) Also, RSS feeds for comments are useful; new comments on an old post are something I want to check out. There is no easy way to get this information otherwise. WordPress (as opposed to Blogger) mentions the name of the post, so one sees which post it belongs to. An RSS feed also gives me the whole post with comments, which is usually what I want, rather than just the first few lines then links to the rest and/or the comments.

        I don’t think it would be that hard to set them up; many blogs have them, many by people who are certainly not experts in HTML etc. I think they would greatly increase the usefulness of your blog.

        Like

  24. Phillip Helbig
    June 18, 2012

    Love the RSS feeds! Thanks!

    Like

    • Hi Philip. I haven’t changed anything yet. After I wrap up my Tom Waits posts next week, I’ll look into revamping the blog a little. Thanks.
      Rich

      Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        June 18, 2012

        I subscribed to the RSS feeds, so perhaps they were there all along. Not sure! As to everything on one long page, that won’t bother me anymore since I’ll access new posts via the RSS feed.

        Like

  25. Mark
    August 12, 2012

    I have a question about the IMWAN Forum. I can’t contact the owner(s) of that place, so I’m relating here. I joined last Monday (I think it was last Monday) and since then, I can’t even see the forum anymore much less log into it. It doesn’t matter what browser I use either. What gives?

    Like

  26. Mark
    August 12, 2012

    Yeah, that’s the link I use. I still see nothing but what you see in this screen shot; http://nsa29.casimages.com/img/2012/08/12/120812113430425688.jpg

    I was able to see the forum using a proxy web site this morning. I think my IP was banned for some reason. This happened after I registered to join last week. Other than that, I can’t figure this out.

    Btw, I really like poking around in that forum. Lots of info.

    Like

  27. Mark
    August 12, 2012

    Oh…. that is what I see (in that screen shot) no matter what link I click at the top of the forum.

    Like

  28. Mark
    August 12, 2012

    Thanks for the help!

    I enjoyed your Black Sabbath reviews (the old metal head in me). ;-))

    Like

    • The Imwan administrator said that if you could provide the e-mail you registered under and your current IP, she can check the logs and try find out what happened. Apparently their system does automatically block signups when the IPs are too close to known spambots, but she also noted that the screenshot looks more like your browser is having trouble loading their database. Hopefully we’ll get to the bottom of it soon. It’s a great community there for music obsessives.

      Thanks for checking out the Sabbath posts. That was actually the hardest catalog for me to get through, but I’m glad I persisted. Even though there was a lot of later stuff that I never need to hear again, I still liked a lot of songs from the Tony Martin era which I had never listened to before. Still, it’s hard to top those original Ozzy-era albums.

      Like

  29. Mark
    August 12, 2012

    blueeyedtex AT gmail DOT com is the e-mail I registered under.

    My current IP is 74.5.70.223

    Yeah, the Tony Martin era is an interesting one. I own most of the CD’s from that era and I like them. I’m a fan of the Dio era mostly. Ozzy was cool but those songs have been done to death.

    Like

    • I passed along your info to Imwan, and hopefully they’ll get to the bottom of it.

      I love the first two Dio-era Sabbath albums, but didn’t think the other two (including The Devil You Know) were nearly as good. Of course, Dio’s voice was always amazing. I’m a big fan of his work with Rainbow too.

      Like

  30. Mark
    August 12, 2012

    Thanks.

    The Devil You Know actually takes a few listens before it sounds unique. I hate when that happens. An ideally good disc should catch your ears on the first listen.

    Like

    • I listened to The Devil You Know at least 4-5 times before posting my comments, so I felt like I gave it a decent amount of time. My issue with it is mostly that nearly every song has the same sludgy tempo. I know Sabbath music should be sludgy, but there needs to be some variety, and their best albums delivered that. Wasn’t Dio well into his 60s by the time they recorded that album? It’s astounding to think how good he still sang.

      Like

  31. Mark
    August 13, 2012

    Yeah, it was Mark52063.

    Like

    • Mark,
      Apparently that username was blacklisted by Imwan in the past because a known spammer attempted to use it. The administrator has cleared that username now, so if you sign up again with all the same info you should have no further problems. I hope it works. Good luck.
      Rich

      Like

  32. Mark
    August 13, 2012

    Thanks! I just re-registered…. and I can see the forum again! :-))

    Like

    • That’s great. I’m glad I was able to help. Hope to see you over there.

      Like

      • Mark
        August 13, 2012

        I just tried to log in and I was successful. Thanks for helping!

        Like

  33. Dustin
    August 30, 2012

    Rich, I just saw you responded to me on a review posting of Jellyfish’s “Live at Bogart’s” CD, where I asked about your Spikt Milk bootleg. You told me to contact you here, but I don’t see where I can PM you directly. My email will be in the credentials – thanks!

    Like

  34. Michael Martz
    March 5, 2013

    Hey Rich-
    I discovered your blog a short while ago and have followed with great interest your series on a personal favorite, Neil Young. I’m going back through some of your previous work on other artists as well and am enjoying a lot of those as well. I’m an old dude (59) but have tried to keep up with the music trends through the years and it’s interesting to see a relative ‘youngster’ do a deep dive on some of the greats I was able to see in their respective primes. Keep up the good work!

    Mike

    Like

    • Hi Mike. Thanks so much for your positive feedback. This blog has been a labor of love for me the past two years. After years of watching my collection grow and wishing I had the time to go back to some of the artists whose catalogs I had amassed, I knew I needed a “project” to keep me on track, hence the blog. I’ve been very eager to delve into Neil Young’s discography, but I knew it would be quite a task since I own 45 of his albums (and many people are surprised that I’m still missing a few). In the time I’ve spent with his music so far, I’ve become a much bigger fan and have discovered plenty of amazing songs that I had previously heard once or twice & forgotten about. That won’t be the case anymore. Since you’re a big Neil fan, I hope you’ll share your thoughts on particular albums or eras in the Comments section of those posts, since one of the main purposes of the blog is to have conversations with fellow music lovers.

      As for being an “old dude,” of course it’s all relative. I feel the same way sometimes (I’ll be 47 in a few months), but as long as I’m healthy and my hearing is still good, music continues to inspire me & keeps me feeling young. I’m also encouraged that younger music fans are discovering the joys of vinyl and music from all eras. There needs to be another generation of passionate music fans who want to know about its history, and hopefully that’s happening.

      I look forward to hearing from you again.

      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

  35. Sean Wylie
    March 8, 2013

    I see you commented about the Blue Oyster Cult Complete Columbia Albums Collection and that you were getting it from the UK…. Anyway did the DVD that came with the set turn out to be NTSC or PAL?

    Like

    • Hi Sean. The DVD included in the UK edition of the BOC box is NTSC Region 0. It played perfectly on my player. I hope that’s helpful.
      Rich

      Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        March 11, 2013

        Never The Same Colour. 🙂

        Presumably, they choose NTSC or PAL depending on where it is shipped to. Are there SECAM DVDs as well?

        Like

      • My understanding is that a lot of music DVDs pressed overseas are now NTSC Region 0 since they can be played almost anywhere. I don’t think it has to do with the shipping destination, since there’s no way for them to know that when they’re doing manufacturing. Don’t know anything about SECAM DVDs. Sorry.

        Like

  36. daniellesussingham
    May 27, 2013

    This is awesome I can’t wait to read more, I would love to get into the music industry, it’s amazing you have so much experience! If you ever need any music suggestions I am always posting new stuff on my blog. Excited to see whats next!

    Like

    • Thanks, Danielle. I checked out your blog and I like what you’re doing there (including the name of the blog, Life On Vinyl). I’m now following it & look forward to reading your posts. I really appreciate you stopping by and I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  37. Phillip Helbig
    May 31, 2013

    Just a short report on my latest Big Country gig, as I realize they are your favourite band.

    I recently saw them at a small club (room for about ca. 500 people) where I have recently seen John Mayall, Don Airey, Flying Colors, Beardfish, Magnum, Wishbone Ash, Walter Trout, The Watch etc. I was a bit surprised to see a white bloke in a kilt on bass, rather than Tony Butler. It seems the new bassist is Derek Forbes and that Tony Butler has retired. According to Wikipedia, “In 2009, Forbes was voted Scotland’s Greatest Ever Bassist by the readers of Dear Scotland“, so presumably he was the best choice.

    One of my brothers had the first album, so I had heard it a couple of times when it was new, and I had seen them last year (with Butler, but otherwise the same as the last gig) at the Cropredy festival. I recognized a few songs from radio etc, but I really don’t know much about them. However, that might give me a more objective view of the gig.

    As far as the gig itself went, it was professional and the lads seemed to be enjoying themselves. Someone seeing them for the first time couldn’t have guessed that the bassist is new. As far as the music goes, I think I’ll check out their catalogue, but I don’t see them becoming my favourite band.

    Presumably it will be a while before you revisit them on your blog, since you probably listen to them regularly.

    Like

    • Phillip, I’m glad you got to enjoy Big Country in concert, even though it’s only marginally Big Country (especially without Tony Butler). That being said, it’s great to know that their music is being exposed to new fans & kept alive for the old fans. They may never be your favorite band, but I think some of their albums could become favorites. I highly recommend “Steeltown,” which to me is not only their best album, but also the best album of the ’80s by anyone and one of the greatest musical releases of the last 30 years. It’s dark & powerful, and the musicianship is staggeringly great.

      I don’t know if I’ll ever write about them here, since I prefer to focus on artists I haven’t listened to enough (even though I own most or all of their releases). I’m a little too close to their music to be objective, although at some point in the future it might be fun to focus on some of my favorites. Only time will tell.

      How was the Flying Colors concert? I was just listening to the album again today, and I get more into it each time I play it.

      Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        May 31, 2013

        Flying Colors:I didn’t really know what to expect, but somehow was looking for something more “progressive”. It was more-or-less straight rock. Not bad, but not breathtaking. All musicians technically proficient of course, and enjoying themselves, but somehow the spark didn’t fly over to me. However, I had not heard the album, so lack of familiarity might be important here. (Rush’s Clockwork Angels seemed a bit nondescript at first, but proved to be a grower after a few listens. That was also the case with Tull’s Stormwatch. Rush is Tuesday, Iron Maiden a week later. Recently I’ve been listening to No Prayer for the Dying. It seems that neither the band nor critics (not sure about fans) like it very much, and they rarely play anything from it. However, I think it is quite good, though perhaps other Maiden albums are better.)

        “Not Big Country without Tony Butler”. Hmmm. What makes a band member essential? Jethro Tull without Ian Anderson would be unthinkable, and I don’t think Rush could replace anyone, and neither could the Beatles (though apparently Klaus Voormann was considered as a replacement for McCartney). The post-Waters Floyd albums are not bad, though perhaps more solo Gilmour with the Floyd label.

        Of course, Big Country without Stuart Adamson is considered sacrilege by some. I learned later that his son plays in another band who was also at Cropredy last year and left the grounds out of protest when Big Country came on.

        Like

      • I was very disappointed in the Flying Colors album the first time I heard it, simply because I had certain expectations that weren’t met. Once I realized it wasn’t another prog supergroup like Transatlantic but instead something more groove & blues oriented (while still showcasing their individual talents), I came around and really started to enjoy it. The singer’s voice is really good, but that was one of the things I initially didn’t like about them.

        I like Maiden’s “No Prayer For The Dying” too. I think longtime fans probably felt like it was a step down for them, but as someone who came to their entire catalog (prior to the reunion with Dickinson) with fresh ears, I enjoyed everything without preconceived notions.

        As for Big Country, it’s certainly not them without Stuart Adamson, but when they first got together again with Mike Peters I appreciated how they were keeping the music alive so I thought of it as Mach II (I was fortunate to see them in Scotland two years ago, and it was an incredible night of music…my wife & I can be seen in the balcony on the DVD release). Without Tony Butler, the connection to the original band is tenuous. As a drummer myself who idolizes Mark Brzezicki, his work with Butler in the BC rhythm section elevated them from a great band to a legendary one in my eyes (and ears). Also, Butler’s backing vocals were an integral part of their sound, so that’s another link that’s now missing.

        I suppose every band is different, so the answer to the question, “When is it no longer the same band?” will vary? Pretenders eventually became a vehicle for Chrissie Hynde, and even though none of their later work compares to the first few albums it’s still always been Pretenders. Led Zeppelin, on the other hand, couldn’t exist as a full-time band without the original four members, and that’s what makes them a little bit more special than every other band who just replaced a musician & carried on.

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        May 31, 2013

        Let’s come up with two lists, in both cases taking the “classic” lineup as the starting point:

        Bands which couldn’t go on with a changed lineup, and didn’t (or, if they are still around, haven’t):
        The Beatles
        Rush
        ZZ Top
        Led Zeppelin
        ABBA
        U2

        Bands which did go on with a changed lineup, and shouldn’t have:
        The Doors
        The Comets
        T-Rex (yes, saw them on TV recently, even though all four classic members are dead)

        I’d be interested in your suggestions for both lists.

        In all cases, this is an “objective” call, not influenced by whether or not I like the music. (Of course, others will disagree, and some might say that Floyd just aren’t Floyd without Barrett, though I don’t think anyone will define the Beatles via Pete Best.)

        With regard to The Comets, Wikipedia says “Following Haley’s death, no fewer than six different groups have existed under the Comets name, all claiming (with varying degrees of authority) to be the official continuation of Haley’s group.” Obviously, this is somehow absurd. When asked about Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson once said that such a group would always have to contain Martin Barre, and noted that when two “descendants” of the same band are playing in the same town on the same night, something is wrong. (Nevertheless, Anderson is currently touring with a band without Martin which is Tull in all but name, with more than half the set being Tull music.)

        I don’t think there is anything wrong with former members of a group playing their old songs; the question is whether they should do so under the banner of the group’s name. (Others, like Paul Simon, at least at times want to distance themselves from their former groups.) One acceptable solution, if one does want to concentrate on the old stuff, is something like “Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle, Barclay James Harvest Featuring Les Holroyd, John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest (yes, two at the same time), The Manfreds (without the Manfred) etc: it is clear a) that it is not the original group and b) that fans expecting old songs won’t be disappointed.

        Like

      • I agree with the first list. You can’t really replace anyone in those bands. The Who is a band that might have been better off splitting when Keith Moon died, and maybe then picking things up later under a different name. I happen to like a lot of their later material, but Moon was so integral to what made them an incendiary band that it was never the same after his death. Then there are bands like Yes & Deep Purple whose careers have flourished because of the personnel changes.

        I’m not sure I like the idea of two versions of a band competing for fans’ attention, like BJH or Queensryche, but I understand that those bands need the name in order to sell tickets, and if the members don’t want to play together anymore that’s their only option. David Gilmour’s solo albums are amazing, but he had to play theaters in support of them while he could play stadiums under the Pink Floyd name. I don’t think there’s a single set of rules that every band should observe. It really comes down to what the fans want. Some people love Journey with Arnel Pineda and Styx without Dennis DeYoung, while others will never give those lineups a chance.

        Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley have said that Kiss could continue long after they’re gone. I suppose that’s true, especially with the brand they’ve created. Eventually when they’re too old to perform, they’ll probably license the songs & makeup to have official Kiss concerts with new musicians, and they can have various groups doing that around the world. Is it right? Who knows, but it won’t surprise me when it happens.

        Then there’s Lynyrd Skynyrd. They currently have one member from the original band, along with Ricky Medlocke who was in an early, pre-record-deal version of the band. Most fans who see them are just happy to have the songs performed by a group of musicians loosely associated with the original Skynyrd. As long as they sell tickets, bands like that will continue playing.

        Not sure what my conclusion is here. I guess acceptance is in the ear of the beholder.

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        May 31, 2013

        Yes, agree about The Who. They should be in the second list. And, probably, Queen as well (though Queen have never billed themselves as just Queen without Freddie Mercury. I always thought that Morrison was the worst member of The Doors, but nevertheless going on without him (as they did right after he died) somehow wasn’t right. Apparently Manzarek and Krieger wanted to use the name with just the two of them, but John Densmore didn’t allow them to.

        Like

  38. Mark
    May 31, 2013

    Very rarely can bands carry on without a integral member. Van Halen did it as did AC/DC. Those are rare cases.

    Like

    • True, but it depends on what you consider to be “integral.” Most fans tend to look only at lead singers, except in cases where the band includes a notable instrumentalist that non-musicians care about. So most of the time a band could lose their rhythm section and most people wouldn’t care. Van Halen & AC/DC are good examples of bands who replaced lead singers and had success. There’s also Genesis, Marillion, Iron Maiden & Black Sabbath, and I’m sure there are some others I’m forgetting. I do agree with your point, though. Thanks for joining in the conversation, Mark.

      Like

      • Mark
        May 31, 2013

        Yeah, others have done it but not with the success as the two I mentioned. I forgot Genesis. Some will say they got better with Collins (and I would agree). Sabbath was good with Dio but failed with Martin (even though I liked his voice).

        Like

      • Depending on your definition of success, Marillion’s career with Steve Hogarth has been even more impressive than their early work with Fish. They may not have had the huge chart hits that they did in the ’80s, but they’ve sold a boatload of records with Hogarth and their fanbase is even bigger now. I agree that Sabbath failed in the post Dio years, at least commercially, but you could put together a great compilation of the Martin era. None of the individual albums is great. Without a doubt, the standard bearers for replacing a lead singer in an already successful band are, as you pointed out, AC/DC & Van Halen.

        Like

      • Phillip Helbig
        May 31, 2013

        I heard a story that Martin once dove into the crowd and when he wanted to get back on stage, security wouldn’t let him, not believing he was the singer! A nice real-life Spinal Tap moment.

        Like

      • I’m glad it was Queen + Paul Rodgers, but I do wish they had given that group another name. Sure, they sold out stadiums around the world, but it was pretty far from the flamboyance of the real Queen. Interesting story about Martin’s Spinal Tap moment. Hilarious.

        Like

  39. engagingbystanders
    July 4, 2013

    Great blog! Looking forward to learning more about these artists, some familiar and others I’ve yet to appreciate. If you’re so inclined, feel free to check-out my own rock-and-roll ruminations: http://youmusthearthisalbum.blogspot.com/

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by. I just checked out your blog & I really like it. Since I’m not a member of any of the sites that would allow me to follow your blog, I’ve added it to my browser favorites and will check back regularly. It’s always nice to find another like-minded music lover.
      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  40. Dave
    July 13, 2013

    Rich,

    Just discovered your blog via a post on the Chalkhills Facebook page, and after browsing around a bit, it seems like you and I are most definitely coming from a similar place, musically. If you take a look at my blog, Reselect.com, you’ll see we have a notable amount of overlap in the artists we’ve covered. Not to mention that I was born in 1966 as well!

    I look forward to catching up on more of your posts and seeing what you have to say in the future! I’ll be adding you to my blogroll soon…

    Dave

    Like

    • Hi Dave. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s amazing that we seem to be musical doppelgangers. Both from New York, born in ’66, and lots of favorite artists in common. I like the approach you’ve taken with your blog, discussing a song each day. That would be harder for me since I’m such an “album guy,” which of course explains the nature of my own blog. I will definitely add you to my blogroll, as I’m sure some of my readers would love what you’re doing. Keep up the good work. Since you’re not set up on WordPress, I’ll follow you via my personal Facebook page.

      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

      • Dave
        July 15, 2013

        Not to mention that we started our blogs within mere months of each other!

        I use WordPress, but it’s of the self-hosted variety, not WordPress.com. (There’s an e-mail subscription option on the right side of the page.) You’re right that I focus on the songs, of course, but I always place them in the context of the albums they come from, because ultimately I’m an album guy too. It’s just easier sometimes to focus on a single song rather than tackling a whole album — which you seem to be doing very well! Keep it up!

        Cheers,

        Dave

        Like

      • I missed the email subscription option earlier, but I just signed up. Looking forward to your future posts. I’m sure we’ll be chatting frequently.

        Rich

        Like

  41. thomasjford
    January 23, 2014

    Great blog you have here Rich. Good to meet a fellow Kinks fan!

    Like

    • Thanks, Tom. The feeling is mutual. I love your combination of music, movies, food and basically whatever is on your mind. I’ll be checking in regularly. And yep, it’s always good to meet other Kinks fans. I haven’t listened to them regularly in many years, though, so my current series is a way of getting reacquainted with their music.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  42. joe cook
    February 19, 2014

    Just came across your blog via 45spins. Great writing about XTC, and I look forward to reading your posts on other bands in due course. Do you ever write about new bands? Regards, Joe

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by, Joe. I appreciate you checking out some of my posts, and I’m glad you enjoyed the XTC series. I don’t write about new bands. The sole purpose of this blog is for me to revisit the complete discographies of artists that I already own, most of which have been sitting on the shelves for years not being played. I figured that would be more of a challenge than writing about my favorite artists, most of which I could do without even listening to their albums.

      Are you a musician/singer/songwriter?

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  43. vinnieh
    March 12, 2014

    Excellent blog man.

    Like

    • Thanks Vinnie. I just checked out your blog as well. Excellent thorough movie reviews. I’ve already subscribed since it looks like we have similar tastes.

      Best….
      Rich

      Like

      • vinnieh
        March 12, 2014

        Thanks for the follow and positive words.

        Like

  44. Thom Hickey
    June 27, 2014

    Thanks Rich. Good blog subject. Glad to have found you. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (posts on Gloria and a series on VM).

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by and introducing me to your blog, Thom. It looks like a great one. When my schedule opens up (hopefully soon) I will visit again and read more of your posts. Hope you’re having a nice weekend.

      Best….
      Rich

      Like

      • Thom Hickey
        June 28, 2014

        Thanks. Jukebox will always be ready to play. Thom

        Like

  45. danicapiche
    July 27, 2014

    I’m so glad I came across your blog! I’ve had to streamline my album collection down to nothing and I’m still feeling the pain. The best way to listen to music is in the context of the original album. Your project seems massive and I like the depth and scope of your vision. I’m looking forward to following along, although it seems I have a bit of catching up to do first….

    Like

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Danica (I assume that’s your name based on your blog). I’m so glad you agree about complete albums being the best way to experience music. It’s really the only way I do it, with maybe a handful of exceptions when it comes to a well-selected various-artist compilation.

      Congratulations on launching your blog. You’ve already hooked me with “The Zen Of AC/DC.” I will subscribe shortly and I’ll be following along. Good luck. Looking forward to some nice conversations about music & more.

      Best wishes,
      Rich

      Like

  46. danicapiche
    July 27, 2014

    Hi Rich,

    Yes, an album is similar to a book that way, or maybe even a movie. Pulling tracks is like pulling chapters or scenes; just because it can be done doesn’t mean that it should. In the age of digital immediacy, a first exposure should be to the album from start to finish. I agree about compilations: if done well they can be a snapshot of an era, a mood, a genre.

    I’m glad you liked the AC/DC post. I hadn’t intended to go off in that direction. I hesitated to post it, but when it was up I realized that it did fit with the theme. Thanks for your support, I appreciate it. I’m really enjoying blogging and can’t believe this is my first venture. Where have I been?

    Sincerely,
    Danica

    P.S. Good deduction 🙂

    Like

    • One of the great things about having a blog is that you can write about anything you want and, if you’re fortunate, people will read & enjoy it. I’m glad you decided to share that AC/DC post with the rest of us and I look forward to seeing what directions your blog will go in. There’s a great community of bloggers here are FB that actually enjoy reading, commenting & sharing with others, and I’m sure you’ll encounter plenty of them as you continue writing.

      Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

      Cheers!
      Rich

      Like

  47. Alan K.
    August 10, 2014

    Hi Rich – Since you’ve expressed willingness to engage in this topic with me in the past, I wanted to share some thoughts on The Eagles.
    In 1972, The band released a record called “Take It Easy” on which band co-leader Glenn Frey sang this line that he wrote:

    Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner
    In Winslow, Arizona
    Such a fine sight to see
    It’s a girl my Lord
    in a flat-bed Ford
    Slowin’ down to take a look at me
    Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
    I gotta know if your sweet love
    Is gonna save me

    Now I’m not going to say that ALL rock fans like that song, or know that line, but I will wager that almost everyone in my age bracket (40s) knows it and likes it and can sing it. What’s so special about that song? Well, it’s country, but not too country for rock fans, and it’s rock, but not too rock for people who might not like AC/DC or Zeppelin. Furthermore, it subverted the typical “male gaze” trope that feminists of the time were unhappy about. The guy is not checking out the girl, it’s the reverse. A female friend of mine from college actually stood on a corner of Winslow, Arizona recently and had her photo taken, just to pay tribute.

    The Eagles took the hard-living vibe of country greats like Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams, and added in the glorious harmonies of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys (just listen to “Lyin’ Eyes”) , and interesting guitar textures (who can say Joe Walsh is not a good guitar player?) and came up with a sound that most American pop music fans liked. And for those who were not particularly fans of any kind of rock or country, there were those glorious ballads to win them over . Nowadays, we hear “Desperado”, or “Tequila Sunrise”, or “Best of My Love” or “I Can’t Tell You Why” or “New Kid in Town”, and they are (for my generation anyway) like oxygen – just factual realities that seem to have always existed. And yet they didn’t. Someone – members of The Eagles in fact – wrote them.

    So it was with great surprise that I received the news from certain much younger, much respected colleagues of mine, that the Eagles were regarded as a punchline, as phonies, as the epitome of corporate rock, as not cool. I have never based my opinion on what constitutes good pop music on what is cool or not, but the extent of the perceived “not-coolness” of The Eagles was an eye opener for me. I went on the web to try to get support for my view, and could only find sites like “The Eagles Suck” and “Why the Eagles Suck” and “Stop Defending the Eagles”, etc. etc. This was quite a shocker. One good friend even suggested (jokingly) that his respect for me diminished a little bit done when I said I liked them. I quickly found solace from members of my own generation. But I think people are railing against the idea of the Eagles. It’s hard for me to believe that a real fan of good pop music could say that, for example “”New Kid in Town”, is a “bad” song. You, Rich, who to me are both a voice of reason and a popular and credible/authoritative music blogger, reassured me that you felt that the songwriting partnership of Glenn Fry and Don Henley was “musical gold” and said this:

    I’ve read many comments & articles over the years by people who hate The Eagles and I’ve never quite understood it. I think the fact that they’re not as “legitimate” as other, more deserving country-rock artists but have achieved massive success makes them easy targets for hipsters who want to have a musical enemy. The bottom line is that they’ve written & recorded some of the greatest songs of the last 40+ years. A lot of people hate them because the songs are “overplayed” but I don’t buy that. Just because a song has gotten a lot of exposure doesn’t make it bad.

    I’ll end with this: listen to Don Henley’s signature honey-on-sandpaper voice singing Desperado, and tell me that all you hear is a cocaine-addled, rich, corporate-bolstered phony – and not a man with something to say about the human condition and gorgeous voice with which to articulate it. Go on, I dare you.

    Like

  48. Gary
    August 10, 2014

    I agree with much of what you wrote Alan. That said, although I love the old music of The Eagles, I fall into that group of not really liking The Eagles for some time now. I say that because, at a certain point, they seemed to become more about the money than the music.They were on the forefront of raising the bar on ticket prices years back, they teamed up with and sold one of their albums exclusively through Wal-Mart, which rubbed me the wrong way, they clearly hated each other, bickering onstage, suing each other, etc. and having seen them live a few times, they played their songs well enough but seemed bored to be there. When you have as much money as The Eagles, touring shouldn’t be about a paycheck. It’s certainly not like that for some other huge artists, like McCartney, who seem to love every minute of being onstage.

    Yes, I love hearing an old Eagles tune on the radio. Great songs. It’s just too bad they’ve come across as such bickering, hypocritical, money hungry bastards for the past 20 years.

    Like

  49. Peter Colburn
    August 11, 2014

    Great discussion! I generally agree with Alan; it would be difficult to argue that they were indeed a great band who wrote great songs. And saying that they turned into something else is not enough of a reason to hate them. Few bands don’t turn sour eventally. (contrast the vocal of “Dream On” to “Dude Looks Like a Lady”). I’m not sure why the hate, other than the reasons already discussed (the internet ‘hive’ mentality, the fact that they were so successful, the need for us all to have a common enemy, etc.) but I’ll go ahead and propose something a bit more radical –that many of these supposed Eagles haters, if they were in a bar, at night, alone, and the eagles came on, would start humming along. Now can we all please just get back to hating Creed please?

    Like

    • Thanks for the feedback, Peter. Since I’ve created a separate post for this discussion, I will copy & paste your comment in the Comments section of that post and will respond there.
      Rich

      Like

  50. Pingback: One Lovely Blog Award — Thank You! | Living a Beautiful Life

  51. danicapiche
    October 19, 2014

    I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. If you like it, please do accept 🙂
    http://danicapiche.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/one-lovely-blog-award-thank-you/

    Like

  52. marshallgu
    December 14, 2014

    Really beautiful blog, man. Hope you check out mine too

    Like

  53. Vlad Zaycev
    January 25, 2015

    You have very excellent blog! I enjoy it! Continue also! The best regards! – Vlad

    Like

    • Thanks Vlad. I finally had a chance to stop by your blog as well. Nice job, especially for a young man. Wishing you lots of success.
      Best…
      Rich

      Like

  54. Beth
    March 23, 2015

    Wow! I absolutely love your blog. You were born the year of some of my favourite albums! Really looking forward to reading more of your posts…

    Like

    • Thanks Beth. Looks like we both commented on each other’s blogs at the same time. Love that timing. I was fortunate to be born in a great year for music, and to grow up in a great era. I look forward to comparing notes with you on music & movies.

      Best…
      Rich

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth
        March 23, 2015

        Yes, I just noticed that actually! You were, I was born when Take That split up so I think that says everything… Definitely – my two passions in life! 🙂

        Like

      • Ah yes, what millennial doesn’t remember where they were when Take That broke up? Haha. I like the first few Robbie Williams solo albums so something good came out of that group, but I think most people would agree that 1966 was a more vital year for music.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Beth
        March 23, 2015

        Ooh, definitely. I have so much love for Simon & Garfunkel. It was my mum that influenced me into having such an eclectic taste in music. Something I will forever be thankful for!

        Like

      • I’m glad you didn’t rebel against your parents’ taste in music like so many kids do. We don’t always have to like the same things as the previous generation but it’s important to at least be aware of the past before judging the present & the future. Or something like that. It’s certainly the way I approach most things in my life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Beth
        March 23, 2015

        I don’t think I could have put it better myself!

        Like

      • Mark52063
        March 23, 2015

        Dang, Rich, you and Beth are making me feel old.

        By the way, my Toto disc got delayed due to Fed Ex. 😦

        Like

      • Sorry we’re making you feel old, Mark. As I approach birthday #49 in a few months, my opportunities to do so continue to dwindle. Hope your Toto disc arrives soon. Mine is due to be delivered tomorrow. I’m currently listening to the previous studio album, Falling In Between, as I prepare for my final post in that series. Hope you’re doing well and your week has gotten off to a great start.

        Liked by 1 person

  55. DanicaPiche
    July 25, 2015

    Hi Rich,
    I’ve nominated you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. I understand that your blog is awards-free, but please accept this recognition as my heartfelt thanks for your support of my blogging endeavors.
    Here is the link: https://danicapiche.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/dragons-loyalty-award-thank-you/

    Like

    • I really appreciate the nomination and you’re understanding that I don’t have the time to participate. I can’t thank you enough for your support and I look forward to checking out some of your other nominees when my schedule opens up. Thanks again.
      Rich

      Liked by 1 person

  56. DanicaPiche
    November 2, 2015

    Guess what, Rich? I’ve nominated you for the (new) Respect Award! Congratulations! You can pick it up at: https://danicapiche.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/the-respect-award-thank-you/
    There are no rules for this award so you don’t have to do anything other than enjoy it. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for the award, Danica. I feel very respected right now. Haha. I appreciate your continued support. Your blog always brings a smile to my face so there’s no doubt that you deserve this award more than anyone. I’m looking forward to visiting some of the other blogs you nominated for this award.

      Cheers.
      Rich

      Liked by 1 person

  57. DanicaPiche
    January 29, 2016

    Hi Rich! I come bearing gifts! I’ve nominated you for The Blogger Recognition Award — The Music Edition.
    You can pick it up here: https://danicapiche.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/blogger-recognition-award-thank-you-the-music-edition/
    I understand that your blog is a generally awards free zone and if this is still the case please accept this as a gesture of my appreciation.

    Like

    • Hi Danica. As I mentioned in my reply on your blog, I really appreciate the support and your work definitely deserves this recognition. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to pay it forward but I will check out the new-to-me blogs mentioned in your post, and I hope my readers will stop by and click through as well.

      Cheers.
      Rich

      Liked by 1 person

  58. Kevin
    June 15, 2016

    Hi, Rich. I came to this blog via Ian Balentine a few months ago. This is a super impressive and extensive blog! A labor of love, I’m sure. I was just perusing your ‘one and done’ section. I was thrilled to especially see Toy Matinee and The Greys.
    I am a huge Jason Falkner and Kevin Gilbert fan, and it is always exciting to come across a fellow fan (as there are way too few of us). If you haven’t already, check out Giraffe playing The Lamb Lies Down… There is a great performance of it on YouTube.

    I am also a fellow Prog fan. I was raised on Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant, National Health, Hatfield And The North, etc. I was surprised at the love you showed to GTR and ELPowell (did you ever notice how inexplicably terrible Carl Palmer plays “Touch And Go”?).

    Anyway, I just wanted to leave a message and compliment your work here. I’ll be checking in more often. I wish I had found this years ago!

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. Thanks so much for the kind words about my blog. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying it. It’s always a pleasure to meet like-minded music fans, especially those who love Toy Matinee, Jason Falkner and a whole lot of prog. I have everything Kevin Gilbert has officially released, including Giraffe’s live rendition of Lamb. It always saddens me to think of how much great music we missed out on when he died.

      As for my love of GTR and ELPowell, that might have something to do with my age when they were released. I celebrated my 20th birthday in 1986 and I was soaking up albums old & new at that time (I still do, of course, but I had a lot more free time back then). Those albums probably didn’t resonate as much with older fans who were averse to the synths & processed drum sounds of the mid-’80s, and I’m guessing people coming to them now for the first time would be disappointed, yet I still love them.

      I look forward to having more conversations with you. Thanks again for stopping by.

      Best…
      Rich

      Like

      • Kevin
        June 16, 2016

        I was 16 when ELPowell came out and I loved it. It hasn’t aged all too well with me, but I listened last night and still enjoyed it. Sorry I can’t say the same for GTR. As a prog fan, what did you think of Asia or 80’s Yes? I know a lot of prog fans were not happy with either, but I had no problem. My first concert was Yes in 1984.

        I was wondering if you could suggest some modern prog for me. I’ve has a hard time finding any post-1980 bands that I really like (besides Tool and Porcupine Tree). It seems to me that in the 80’s and on, there was a real emphasis on musicianship and not enough on melody. Bands like Dream Theater or Spock’s Beard left me cold. Also, modern digital recording seems to sap this music of it’s warmth and dynamics. If you could point me in a direction, I’d like to do some exploring.

        Like

      • Kevin, I had assumed you were a little older than me based on your apparent distaste for ELPowell and GTR, since it was usually the fans who lived through prog’s ’70s heyday that hated where those artists went in the ’80s. As a teenager in the mid-’80s I figured you would be comfortable with the over-production of that era, even if a lot of albums sound terribly date-stamped now. What was it about GTR that you don’t like? Perhaps based on expectations of two guitar greats it wasn’t a classic, but as a sleek combination of modern rock & pop with hints of prog it’s really solid. And I just like most of the songs, as well as Max Bacon’s voice.

        I was…and still am…a huge fan of Asia (especially the first two albums, as well as some of the John Payne era) and Rabin-era Yes. My first Yes concert was the 90125 tour and it blew my mind. I saw them a few other times with different lineups, including the Union tour and Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, and my mind was consistently blown. I will be seeing Anderson Rabin Wakeman later this year. Hmm, I think I might be a big Yes fan.

        There are a lot of amazing prog bands I can recommend from the ’80s & beyond. Marillion is an obvious choice. Some people prefer one era over the other (Fish vs. Hogarth) but I love both. IQ is another band from that era who continue to come up with inspiring music. In the ’90s there was a big underground resurgence in prog that continued into the semi-mainstream over the last 10+ years. Some of my favorites are Spock’s Beard (not sure which albums you’ve heard, but they’ve got a number of classics in their catalog), The Flower Kings, Echolyn, Anglagard, Anekdoten, Beardfish, Arena, Izz, Opeth, The Mars Volta, Saga, The Tangent, The Dear Hunter, Anathema. The list goes on & on.I’ll be happy to narrow down the list by key albums if you’re interested, but I would suggest checking out sound clips of any/all these artists to see what strikes you. I hope you find a few new favorites.

        Oh, and just about everything by Steven Wilson is hard to beat. You already like Porcupine Tree so from there you can go to Blackfield, Storm Corrosion, No-Man and, of course, his solo work. The Raven That Refused To Sing quickly emerged as one of my all-time favorite albums by anyone.

        Like

  59. Kevin
    June 17, 2016

    Wow. You really are a prog-head. Excellent. I, too, am planning on seeing Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman in October. I saw Jon Anderson about 5 years ago and actually met him as he was walking down the street to the show from his hotel.
    I was listening to Close To The Edge in 5th grade and about 30 years later I’m walking down a Boston street side by side with Jon Anderson. Surreal moment.

    I guess my problem with GTR was just timing. 1986 was the year my musical taste took a seismic shift. I discovered XTC!!! – just a few months before Skylarking came out. It was the year I also discovered The Smiths, The Cure, Husker Du, The Chameleons, Talk Talk, amongst others. It was out with the old (classic rock and prog) and in with the new (indie, alt, college rock). It was an exciting time. It took me about 10 years to find my way back to the old favorites.

    I have dipped my toe in the waters of some of the bands you mentioned. I remember loving the sound of the Anglagard album and thinking I need to give it more time to sink in. I do like some Marilion (love “Incommunicado”). I also like some Mars Volta (De-Loused…) but they can be a bit relentless. I haven’t given the last two Steven Wilson cd’s the attention they probably deserve (I really like Grace For Drowning).

    If you don’t mind, give me a list of 5 cd’s you think I should check out. I’m not the biggest fan of the more aggressive prog (again, except Tool and when Pocupine Tree pull it off). Also, there are two bands you should check out if you haven’t already; Big Big Train and Tin Spirits, both featuring Dave Gregory. Tin Spirits first cd is very good and contains an excellent cover of “Back In NYC” and a fantastic song called “..And Go.”

    Sorry for all the rambling!

    Like

    • We’ll have to compare notes on the ARW shows we see in October (mine will be in Durham, NC). Very cool story about bumping into Jon Anderson. I’ve heard he’s a nice man and probably very approachable.

      I understand what you mean about the timing of the GTR album for you, although I never went through a phase where I moved on from one type of music to another. I just kept accumulating genres, which explains the ridiculous size of my collection. There are times I wish I was one of those people who only likes a couple of genres, or a handful of artists. Being a fan of a wide variety AND a completist can be very expensive. As for the bands you got into at that time, I’ve come to appreciate most of them over the years but only XTC has made a huge impact on me (as you might have seen from my series on their catalog). In recent years I’ve discovered how great Talk Talk was but I need to spend more time with their music.

      I meant to mention Big Big Train in my previous list as I’ve been a fan for several years now. Their latest CD arrived in my mailbox just the other day and it’s a winner. I also have both Tin Spirits albums and love them equally. I’m so glad Dave Gregory has been so active lately. He’s one of the unsung greats.

      Hmm, it’s tough to come up with five recommendations but I’ll give it a shot. Here’s a list with a brief explanation of why I think they’re worth your time:

      Transatlantic – The Whirlwind (This supergroup features Neal Morse from Spock’s Beard, Roine Stolt from The Flower Kings, Pete Trewavas from Marillion and Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater. All of these guys have done other projects as well, but this is a good place to check them all out. I love their first two albums, which you could also check out, but this one is like a prog opus that’s one long song broken up into multiple parts that holds up to repeated listening)

      Marillion – Clutching At Straws &/or Afraid Of Sunlight (the former from the original lineup with Fish and the latter from the Steve Hogarth era. Both are among their best works)

      Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing (I can’t say enough about this album. For me it’s the pinnacle of an incredible career. Dark, moody & awesome)

      Opeth – Ghost Reveries &/or Pale Communion (They started out as death metal…or black metal…but hit their stride when they embraced their proggy side. The former album blends growling vocals, which aren’t for everyone, with normal/clean vocals. If you think of the growls as another instrument they can be really mesmerizing. On the latter album they go full-on jazz-fusion)

      IQ – Ever (They were the also-rans when Marillion signed a major label debut and actually had hit singles, which is a shame because on many levels they’re just as good. I love most of their discography but I always come back to this early-’90s release so it’s the one I would recommend you start with)

      Hope this is helpful. Enjoy the weekend.

      Like

      • Kevin
        June 20, 2016

        Rich, thanks for your time and recommendations. I look forward to checking that stuff out (although Opeth sounds a bit intimidating! – I think I’ll go with Pale Communion) and revisiting the Wilson cd. I should have figured that you would have known Tin Spirits and Big Big Train. Referring to Dave Gregory as an “unsung great” is wonderfully apt. Have you ever heard of North Atlantic Oscillation? They have a great song called “Expert With Altimeter.” It sounds like a cross between Brian Wilson and Porcupine Tree.

        When you’re in the mood to spend more time with Talk Talk, please spend it with Spirit Of Eden. It’s a challenging moody atmospheric masterpiece, miles removed from their synth-pop days. Ian Balentine has a great post about it on his 80’s blog. It might not be your cup of tea, but I think you will appreciate it on some level.

        Like

      • Hi Kevin. I hope you enjoy at least some of my recommendations. Feel free to share your thoughts whenever you have a chance to hear them.

        I have all three North Atlantic Oscillation albums, as well as the “Sand” album by their lead singer, Sam Healy, and I really like them all. I don’t remember the song you mentioned but I’ll think about that Brian Wilson/Porcupine Tree description next time I play it.

        The three Talk Talk albums I’ve played are The Colour Of Spring, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock, and I really enjoyed all of them. They just haven’t made their way into my permanent cranial jukebox…yet. I think I read Ian’s post about Spirit Of Eden, which might have reignited my interest in them. This conversation is doing the same thing. I have a big pile of new CDs I want to work my way through but once I do I’ll go back to Talk Talk. Thanks for the inspiration.

        Like

  60. Kevin
    June 22, 2016

    Of course you have all three North Atlantic Oscillation albums! Rich, I think your “cranial jukebox” might be maxed out. I just listened to Clutching At Straws and it is fantastic. When I was a teenager, my older brother had Misplaced Childhood, but it had no affect on me (I will now have to revisit that also). Sometime in the early 90’s, a friend made me a mix tape which had “Incommunicado” on it, which I loved, but mistakenly never bought the album. That song is as exciting as I remember it and I look forward to sinking into this album again. Thanks.

    Like

    • Whenever my cranial jukebox is nearly full I simply purge some old, unwanted music to make way for the new stuff. Fortunately my storage capacity is fairly large even if the hard drive isn’t as responsive as it used to be. :mrgreen:

      I’m really glad you’re enjoying Clutching At Straws. I’m guessing you’ll feel the same about Misplaced Childhood whenever you revisit it.

      Like

  61. Kevin
    June 27, 2016

    Hey Rich. I did some homework and wanted to share my results.

    IQ – Ever. I liked this, but only in pieces. It mostly made me want to go listen to Genesis and Yes’ Drama (I always felt “Machine Messiah” was a prototype for post 80’s prog). I feel this album could be a grower. I plan on going back to it.

    Transatlantic – The Whirlwind. This is where are common love of prog really goes its’ separate ways. Like some of the bands these guys are from, this music leaves me cold. I can’t even really explain it, as they make all the right moves. I feel like I should love it. Maybe I am too much of a Classic Prog Purist. I seem to have a blind spot when it comes to most of the neo-prog stuff. My loss.

    However…just listened to Opeth – Pale Communion and I really liked it! It reminded me of P-Tree at times and even Kevin Gilbert at others. There’s a lot of melody going on here for a ‘death metal’ band (and clearly, this album doesn’t fall under that label). There is even some hints of Dave Stewart’s work with National Health and Bruford. I can’t wait to sink deeper into it. Thanks.

    Like

    • Thanks for reporting back, Kevin. Sorry to hear that those first two albums didn’t have the same impact on you, but that’s the glory of personal tastes. It took me several listens to appreciate IQ when I first heard them in the ’90s, but the singer’s voice really grew on me and I think I enjoy him as much as Fish (with Marillion & solo). Sure, IQ wears their influences on their sleeves but I think they have their own unique sound. I hope it also grows on you.

      Wasn’t sure how you would feel about Transatlantic, but since you indicated that you didn’t think much of Spock’s Beard…and their original lead singer handles more than 50% of the vocals for Transatlantic, I can understand why they didn’t make much of an impact.

      Very pleased to hear that you enjoyed Opeth’s Pale Communion. Its predecessor, Heritage, would be a good place to go if you want to hear more. It’s different but doesn’t have any of the growling vocals I warned you about earlier. You may also want to check out the Storm Corrosion album, a collaboration between Opeth’s main man, Mikael Åkerfeldt, and Steven Wilson. Nice comparisons with Kevin Gilbert, National Health & Bruford. I hadn’t made those specific connections before but I can totally hear it now that you mention them.

      Good call regarding Yes’ “Machine Messiah.” Not only did it point to prog in the ’80s & beyond, I think prog-metal really grew from that album, along with late-’70s Rush. Drama is definitely in my Top 5 Yes albums.

      Hope you’re having a good week, musical & otherwise. Let me know if you hear anything that you love, and not just from the list of artists I recommended. Thanks.

      Like

      • Kevin
        June 30, 2016

        Rich, you’ve opened up a Yes can of worms (or Wurms). Drama is sooo underrated. I tried to decide if it would make my top 5 and I came up with this list;
        1. Close to the Edge. 2. Going for the One. 3. The Yes Album. 4. Fragile. 5. Drama 6. Tormato. (not a fan favorite, but I always loved it – especially “Future Times/Rejoice”). 7 Relayer. 8. Yesterdays. 9. Topographic Oceans. 10. 90125. I’d be curious to see how this matches up to your own list.

        Also, I immediately checked out Storm Corrosion. I was very surprised at how quiet it was. I was expecting a lot more noise from those guys. It’s pretty amazing. As I was listening, I thought that I am definitely going to have to listen to this several times to let it all sink in. I get the sense that it is one of those albums that reveals itself and becomes more rewarding with repeated attentive listenings (some of it reminds me of….Talk Talk!). Thanks again.

        Like

      • Kevin, it’s hard for me to rank favorite albums (by most artists) beyond the first couple since it often depends on my mood, but with Yes, Close To The Edge is my favorite by a wide margin, and the Top 5 is probably rounded out (in no particular order) by Drama, Fragile, 90125 and The Yes Album. I also have a soft spot for Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe.

        I’m glad you enjoyed the Storm Corrosion album. I agree that it’s very different (and much more mellow) than what you might expect from those two guys, but it does reveal itself with each listen.

        Like

  62. Kevin
    July 8, 2016

    Hey, Rich. Inspired recently by your Bring On The Night post, I recorded my own version of “I Burn For You” and posted it on Youtube. If you’re curious, search for it by the Kevin MacDonald Band, but keep in mind that I am no Sting, especially vocally. I even had to alter the melody to fit my limited range. I gave it a fair shot, and I think you will at least appreciate the effort. If your curiosity should lead you further to hear something I wrote, search “Today The Moon.” It’s got a prog-y feel. Hope you like it, and I promise not to self-promote again.

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. I listened to “Today The Moon” and your version of “I Burn For You” on Friday. Don’t sell yourself short…you’re a very talented musician. Really nice playing, great arrangements and you have an excellent voice. I will definitely check out more of your music as time allows. Thanks for pointing me to it. Hope you’re having a great weekend.

      Rich

      Like

      • Kevin
        July 11, 2016

        Kind words, Rich. Thank you. Now…let’s get back to some real music. I plan on spending some quality time with The Raven That Refused To Sing hopefully this week. I listened to it exactly one time when it came out and I knew it was something I would need to go back to. I’ve recently been enjoying a cd by God Is An Astronaut called Helios/Erebus. Are you familiar with them?

        Like

      • I hope The Raven That Refused To Sing lives up to the hype that I’ve created. It may be too dark for some listeners but it’s an incredibly powerful album and I rank it up there among the best of all time, prog or otherwise. Oops, there goes that hype again.

        I hadn’t heard of God Is An Astronaut before but I’ve added Helios/Erebus to my Spotify albums list and will check it out soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  63. Kevin
    July 16, 2016

    Hey, Rich. Hope you’re having a good weekend. I’ve listened to Raven a few times and I can appreciate why you’re so high on it. Although my ‘modern prog blind-spot’ prevents me from enjoying this even more, I can still tell that this is pretty spectacular. I would rate it 2nd only to P-Tree’s Blank Planet, as far as his work goes. I was especially blown away by “Watchmaker” (did you notice that the flute/guitar solo at about 4:40 sounds a lot like “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” – so much so I suspect it an homage). The title track also really moved me. Between this and Storm Corrosion, I’m now in need of some light jangly guitar pop!

    There is a fantastic video on YouTube of Big Big Train performing “Judas Unrepentant.” Check it out if you haven’t already, It is excellent. Take care.

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. Sorry your “modern prog blind spot” has prevented you from falling in love with The Raven…, I’m glad you’re appreciating it more. I don’t think I made that particular connection with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” but I think I know what you’re talking about. “Watchmaker” is one of my favorite songs on the record and it does have many Floyd-ian elements which I’m sure are all intentional. I’m currently listening to the God Is An Astronaut album you recommended and it’s excellent. Certainly in a similar vein to P-Tree and the many modern prog bands that followed in their wake. I’ve been meaning to check out some Big Big Train performances since I only know the records but haven’t had a chance yet. I’ll add them to my list so I won’t forget. Thanks for the reminder.

      Like

  64. Kevin
    July 31, 2016

    Hey, Rich. I just discovered something I need to share with you (if you aren’t already aware of, that is). When you have 20 minutes to spare, go to Youtube and check out Hermann Szobel Unfinished Work 1977. An 18 year old Austian pianist writing and playing music on par with The Mahavishnu Orchestra, or early 70’s Zappa. He completely disappeared while recording his second album. His own mother filed a missing persons report in the early 2000’s. It is rumored he is living on the streets in Israel. His first album is also on Youtube. Brilliant stuff.

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Hermann Szobel’s “Unfinished Work.” I played that YouTube clip earlier this week, along with a few other samples of his music, and I loved it. Like you said, I can hear elements of Mahavishnu and Zappa, mixed with more modern classical music and avant-garde influences. His story is really interesting. I love filling gaps in my musical knowledge so I really appreciate you sharing this.

      Cheers.
      Rich

      Like

      • Kevin
        August 6, 2016

        I thought you would like that, and I am happy you did. You are one of the very few people I “know” who would actually appreciate that music. He’s quite a find! I just got his cd in the mail and look forward to spending some quality time with it. Also, I know I said I wouldn’t self-promote again, but if you will allow me this one transgression. Your Bruford post reminded me; I wrote a song in the style of 80’s King Crimson called “Wheels Within Wheels” (a term Bruford once used to describe their music). It’s on Youtube and whenever you have the time, I’d like you to hear it. Take care.

        Like

      • No worries regarding your self-promotion. Always happy to hear something new from you. Sorry for the delay in responding but my schedule has been overwhelming lately. I really enjoyed “Wheels Within Wheels.” Other than the Belew-inspired guitar work I’m not sure I would have made a connection to ’80s Crimson. Your song has a much more direct and radio-friendly vibe. Not sure if you’ll take that as a compliment (haha) but it’s meant that way. Thanks for sharing.

        Like

  65. Kevin
    August 11, 2016

    Thanks for taking the time to listen, and you are right; it’s not the song that is Crimson-esque so much as it is just the guitars. And certainly more radio-friendly than Crimson. I just wish some of the local dj’s would also find it radio-friendly!

    Like

    • Too bad “radio-friendly” and “radio-ready” are not interchangeable. Program directors are so close-minded and it’s been that way ever since commercial stations were taken over by big corporations. I guess you have to take comfort in the knowledge that you created some impressive music.

      Like

  66. Kevin
    August 24, 2016

    Hey, Rich. I am about to embark on your Joni Mitchell series. Before I even read a word, I want to tell you that Hejira and Hissing…are my two favorites, so I am curious to see where you stand on them. Also, I was wondering if you’ve ever heard Judee Sill. She released 2 albums in the early 70’s and her story is ludicrously tragic. Her name belongs among all those 70’s singer/songwriters we know, but she has been tragically forgotten. Check out “The Kiss” or “Crayon Angels” or “The Donor.” Read what you can about her. My apologies if you already know this stuff.

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on Joni’s catalog. I think you’ll be pleased when it comes to my write-ups on Hejiri and Hissing. I know the name Judee Sill but have never heard her music. I have a giant backlog of artists/albums to check out but I will add her to that list. Thanks for the recommendation. Hope you’re having a great weekend.
      Rich

      Like

      • Kevin
        September 4, 2016

        I forgot to ask; have you ever heard Jason Falkner’s version of “Both Sides Now” or Stewart/Gaskin’s version of “Amelia”?

        Like

      • I was just listening to the Japanese 2-CD Jason Falkner collection “Everyone Says It’s On” about two weeks ago, which includes his version of “Both Sides Now.” Good stuff. I wasn’t familiar with the Stewart/Gaskin version of “Amelia” but I just found it on YouTube and it’s very pretty. Thanks for pointing me to it.

        Like

  67. Kevin
    September 10, 2016

    That CD cost me $50! Worth it, though. I love his version of “Pretty Ballerina.” That guy was an enormous influence on me.

    Like

    • I was fortunate to have a friend who bought that Falkner compilation from Japan and let me copy it. It’s certainly worth the money but sometimes it’s hard to justify spending THAT much on a 2-CD set. So many great performances. I always liked his version of Def Leppard’s “Photograph,” which I believe was included as a hidden track.

      Like

  68. 80smetalman
    September 29, 2016

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award through my Peaceful Rampage Blog. https://peacefulrampage.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/the-versatile-bloggers-award/

    Like

    • Thanks again for considering me for this award. As I mentioned on your blog, unfortunately I don’t have time to participate, but I appreciate the support. I urge anyone reading these comments to stop by your site and do some exploring…as well as checking out the other nominated blogs.

      Like

  69. Kevin
    October 8, 2016

    Rich, have you heard the Anderson/Stolt cd? It just came out last June. I am just hearing about it now, checked out a couple of excerpts on YouTube, and it sounds pretty good. I was curious if you had heard it and what you thought of it.

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. Sorry for the delayed reply. Hectic times right now as I prepare to move into my new house later this week, which will be followed by 4-6 months of renovations. The good news is that it will result in me finally having a music space again after nearly two years. I have a lot of albums I need to catch up on. As for Anderson-Stolt, I have it and love it. As a Flower Kings/Roine Stolt fan for nearly 20 years, the idea of him collaborating with Jon Anderson on an album of classic Yes-style songs had me salivating from the moment it was announced. A friend was telling me that a lot of fans have complained about the album mix but I think it sounds great.

      On a related note, I just saw ARW (Anderson Rabin Wakeman) on Sunday. It was only the third show of their tour, and they were excellent. It was the first time I’ve seen Anderson since my most recent Yes show back in the late-’90s or early-’00s. For a guy who’s about to turn 72, and who’s dealt with a lot of health issues in recent years, he sounded great. That voice is still intact. It was also fun to see Rabin again, who hasn’t toured (or played live?) in about 18 years. I saw him with Yes in ’83, solo in ’89 and on the Yes “Union” tour (in ’91, I think). What an amazing guitarist. If they come to a town near you I highly recommend it.

      Like

      • Kevin
        October 11, 2016

        No worries on delayed responses. Real life gets in the way. I was wondering if you were affected by the hurricane. Glad you’re ok.

        I knew you were a Flower Kings fan so I assumed you heard the Anderson/Stolt cd. I’m picking it up this week. I really like what I heard of it so far.

        ARW will be here next week. I planned on going, but I’m not 100%. Hopefully I’ll get the chance. Tickets are still available. Saw Anderson about 5 years ago and he sounded great. I am happy for him; this is his “Yes” and you know how happy he must be to be performing those songs. I haven’t seen Rabin since 1984! I really regret missing the Union tour.

        Like

      • I forgot that we already discussed The Flower Kings. I look forward to hearing your assessment of the Anderson-Stolt album. I also hope you decide to see ARW. I had a huge smile on my face from start to finish. I only wish they had played my two favorite songs from 90125: “Changes” and “Hearts.” Otherwise, it was a great set list and I had no complaints.

        Like

  70. Kevin
    October 13, 2016

    I listened to Anderson/Stolt twice and I really like it. “We Are Truth” and “Knowing” are especially stellar (in my head, I could hear Squire singing background on “Knowing” which made me a bit sad). My only complaint is that at 65 minutes, I think it loses some steam and sometimes the vocal melodies are stretched a bit thin – there are a lot of vocals throughout, maybe a few more instrumental interludes would have helped. That opinion may change the more I listen, though. It blows the last Yes album out of the water (Heaven And Earth is the only Yes album I actively despise – what did you make of it?).

    Are there any Flower Kings albums comparable to this?

    Like

    • I usually have an issue with albums that go on a little too long, but when it comes to sprawling prog epics I cut most artists some slack…even though they often would have more impact with an impartial person in the editing room. There are plenty of Flower Kings albums that tread similar territory. My introduction came via their first three, including Roine Stolt’s The Flower King solo album (which launched the band), Back In The World Of Adventure and Retropolis. All of them have a nice balance of vocal songs and instrumentals. After that they released two 2-CD sets, each of which exceeded 2 hours. Much as I love those albums, they wouldn’t be an ideal entry point into their catalog.

      I don’t despise Heaven And Earth but it is my least favorite Yes (or Yes-related) album. They just seemed so uninspired.

      Like

  71. Kevin
    November 13, 2016

    Have you been in touch with Ian at all? I miss his 80’s blog and was wondering if he had any real intention of resuming with it.

    Like

    • I’m friends with Ian on Facebook and he posts there on a semi-regular basis, but I’m not sure about his blog. He has a family so maybe he’s got other priorities right now. I’m always happy whenever one of his blog posts appear.

      Like

  72. DanicaPiche
    November 19, 2016

    Hi Rich! I’ve nominated you for the inaugural Treasure Trove Award! There are no rules or tasks involved. You can admire your award here: https://danicapiche.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/treasure-trove-award/
    I know that you have time constraints but I wanted you to know it was out there. Thank you for your treasure of a blog. 🙂

    Like

  73. Kevin
    November 29, 2016

    Hey Rich. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, Your Giants are a sneaky 8-3. I haven’t seen them play yet this year. Are they for real? The Patriots defense is abysmal and I believe it will be their undoing come playoffs.

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. I had a nice…and quiet…Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoyed yours. I’m surprised at the Giants’ record. Didn’t realize until this weekend that they had the 4th best record in the NFL. Not sure if they’re for real but their defense is improved over the last few years and you can never underestimate what Eli can do, especially if they make it to the playoffs. Haven’t watched the Pats yet so I can’t comment on their defense but, just like with Eli, Brady is a force in the postseason. Should be interesting. I just want to see the Cowboys come back to reality.

      Like

      • Kevin
        November 30, 2016

        I hate to say it but I think the Cowboys are for real. I watched a few games and I was really impressed by those two rookies. I, too, keep waiting for them to fall. However, I think that Eli and Odell, on a good day, can expose that defense.

        Like

      • My fingers are crossed that you’re right about Eli & Odell on a good day. I hope they have several more of them before the season ends. Prescott looks really good but it’s rare for a rookie QB to sustain this kind of success. Plus, I hate seeing Jerry Jones smile in his luxury box, so watching the Cowboys lose gives me a lot of pleasure. Haha.

        Like

  74. Kevin
    December 1, 2016

    As I was reading your new post I got the news that Rob Gronkowski is getting back surgery and is out 8 weeks. The SB is in 9 weeks, and how effective would he really be? An amazing TE, but can never stay on the field. A huge loss for the Pats. The rest of the AFC just got a huge break. Ugh.

    Like

    • Yikes, that sucks. He’s a monster and I wouldn’t put it past him to return from this injury and make an impact. I’m sure Brady will find other weapons to use.

      Like

      • Kevin
        December 12, 2016

        Congrats on beating the Cowboys. And it didn’t even take an Eli “good day” to do it (does he save his best games for the SB’s – against my team?). They won in spite of him! Great D. I don’t usually (ever) root for your team, but it was fun to watch them bring Dallas down to earth.

        Like

      • Thanks, Kevin. It was an enjoyable night of football for me. Eli is an enigma but he does have a knack for delivering the goods when they’re absolutely needed. Right now he’s letting the defense do all the work. Good luck tonight against the Ravens.

        Like

  75. Kevin
    December 19, 2016

    Back in 1989 or so, there was a little known band from Boston called East Of Eden. They had an even little-er known hit called “Mystic Love” (it wasn’t even on YT until I posted it over a year ago).The singer sounded so much like Chrissie Hynde, I don’t think she could live up to all the comparisons. The band quickly disappeared after one major label album. Also, that slick glossy 80’s sound was beginning to fall by the wayside, especially in Boston, where The Pixies were kings. It’s a cool little song that I think you might like.

    Like

    • I have that East Of Eden CD, Kevin. I liked her voice a lot and they had some good songs. I may have even seen them open for another band but I’m not sure. Thanks for reminding me about them.

      Like

      • Kevin
        December 20, 2016

        Haha. Of course you have it. i didn’t think they got much airplay outside of Boston.

        I’m getting a feeling about a Giants/Patriots rematch. The Trilogy!

        Like

      • I believe they were on Capitol Records, or one of their subsidiaries, and I had a friend who worked at their distributor. I used to hear lots of under-the-radar albums thanks to that kind of connection. I’m starting to have a vague recollection of seeing them at CBGB, believe it or not. I could be wrong. There was another female fronted band around that time, Baby Animals, who were also very good. Ever hear them?

        The Giants offense will need to kick things into a higher gear if they’re going to make it to part 3 of the trilogy. If they make the postseason it will likely be via the Wild Card, so they have to win three games to get to the SB. That’s how they did it the last two times, so it’s possible.

        Like

  76. Kevin
    December 20, 2016

    I have a vague memory of not liking Baby Animals. I’d have to go back and listen to remember why.

    There were two other very good Boston bands from that period that had brief major label stints without much fanfare; O Positive and Tribe. Either of these ring a bell?

    Like

    • Not sure how Baby Animals would hold up today, but I thought they were pretty cool back then. Never heard of either of those Boston bands. Having worked for a few major labels, it was always sad to see how many good bands got lost in the shuffle because they signed so many artists hoping some of them struck gold.

      Like

  77. Kevin
    January 2, 2017

    Giants + Wild Card = Dangerous. Good luck vs a very hot Green Bay. Happy New Year.

    Like

    • If their offense wakes up then they can be very dangerous. Otherwise, the defense will need to be amazing. Good luck with your Pats. Perhaps our teams will meet again next month. Happy New Year.

      Like

      • Kevin
        January 2, 2017

        What a terrifying thought! It would be epic, though. Brady only threw 2 picks this year. He’s going to have to keep that up as I still don’t really trust their D, despite their low pts against. They really didn’t face a great QB all year, and Russell Wilson hung 31 on them. Pittsburgh could be a problem. KC, too, but because of the seeding, we won’t face both of them. Should be a fun month.

        Like

      • I don’t think the Pats will have a problem in the playoffs but I understand your concern because they’re the favorites. It’s been years since the Giants were in that position. It’s easier to handle the postseason when your team is the underdog. No need to fear the Giants yet, although if they get through the first two rounds it could get interesting.

        Like

  78. Kevin
    January 8, 2017

    Sorry about your G-men. I have to say, I was hoping to see them snuff out Rodgers, and for a while, it seemed like they were going to, until that bullshit hail mary. Also, Rainey fielding that KO at the 3 yard line was a huge mistake. After that, the wheels just came off. Odell was a bit of a no-show. I was really looking forward to another NY/Dallas game, too. Sorry, man.

    Like

    • I knew they were in trouble when they dominated the first 27-1/2 minutes and only had a 6-0 lead. You can’t give Rodgers such an easy opportunity to change the momentum. In the end they simply didn’t deserve to go any further this season. Hopefully the defense can repeat their performance next season and the offense can…well, show up. Eli did everything he could but with so many dropped passes and an inconsistent running game he didn’t stand much of a chance. Good luck to your Pats. As for next weekend, I’ll certainly be rooting for the Packers against the Cowboys.

      Like

      • Kevin
        January 9, 2017

        Your defense is very good, and should be for a while seeing how young they are. How do you feel about Eli, going forward? He’s getting up there in age. Have you noticed a drop off in his play overall? He looked ok yesterday, to me.

        Like

      • Eli’s a really smart player and I think he has a few really good years left in him. If they give him any kind of consistent running game and a decent O-line to go with their very good (yet frustrating) receivers, he can pick apart defenses as well as any QB. He will be a tough act to follow for whoever they choose as his successor. I wonder if he’s a Hall Of Fame candidate. Two Super Bowl MVP’s helps his cause, and his numbers are solid, but there are several other QBs in this era who have been consistently better than him. Another SB victory would pretty much guarantee it.

        Like

  79. Kevin
    January 18, 2017

    Hey Rich. What are your thoughts on the GB/ATL and NE/PIT games. I assume you enjoyed watching Dallas lose – it was a great game. Rodgers is on another level right now. For me, PIT was the only AFC team that scared me, so, of course we have to play them. We really haven’t had a test like them all year (we played them earlier, minus Rothlisburger). I’m worried.

    Like

    • Hi Kevin. I was out of town this past weekend so I only got to see some of the highlights of each game. Yes, I was thrilled that the Cowboys were eliminated in their first playoff game yet again. I haven’t been able to follow the other teams as closely as I normally do so I have no predictions at this point. I think I heard this morning on ESPN that Matt Ryan’s stats over the last 8 weeks are even better than Aaron Rodgers’, but the latter is getting all the press. Should be an interesting game. I hope your Pats make you happy this Sunday but I understand why you’re worried.

      Like

  80. Kevin
    January 21, 2017

    I checked out Freaks and Geeks on YT. I’m 4 episodes in and totally hooked. Talk about time travelling! Unfortunately, some of the music is muted, and it’s obvious that the music is important, so I have to go get the DVD. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Like

    • That’s awesome (and not surprising). F&G should appeal to people of any age because the writing & acting is so good, but it’s especially powerful for those of us who went to high school in the ’80s. The fact that the show took place in ’80/’81, which was my first year of HS, made it the ideal show for me. I mostly identify with the geeks but I also connect with Nick the drummer (obviously). How great was the pilot episode, especially with that “Come Sail Away” ending?

      Like

      • Kevin
        January 21, 2017

        “Come Sail Away” was a victim of the muting. That’s when I knew I would have to get the DVD (just found it on ebay for $14). I thought of you when Nick was showing off his drum kit, saying it was bigger than Neil Peart’s! Lindsay is the kind of girl I would have had a huge crush on in high school. Also, I was always a Joe Flaherty fan from SCTV. Now I have to force myself to not watch anymore YT episodes and wait for the DVD. Too bad there was only one season.

        Like

      • Too bad you missed the impact of “Come Sail Away” in the pilot episode. I hope you re-watch it on the DVD. I identify with pretty much everything Nick did, for better or worse. When he mentioned John Bonham in his conversation with the other geeks near the start of the pilot I knew I had found a new favorite TV character. Since you’re a Flaherty fan, you should enjoy a sly reference to one of his SCTV characters in the Halloween episode. Although I wish there had been more seasons, I’m also glad it never had a chance to disappoint.

        Like

      • Kevin
        January 22, 2017

        Count Floyd! Didn’t Rush have him on their video screen introducing some song on one of their early 80’s tours?

        Btw, my hatred of the Steelers runs deep (maybe not as deep as your Cowboys hate), so I’m happy tonight’s game wasn’t close.

        Like

      • I think you’re right about Rush using Count Floyd at some point, but I have so many Rush DVDs that it’s hard to remember which tour it was from. I only saw them in ’81 & ’94 so I never got to experience that video in person.

        I was thinking of you last night during that lop-sided win. You have to be feeling confident now, in spite of the high-powered offense the Pats will be facing.

        Like

      • Kevin
        January 23, 2017

        I was rooting against Rodgers because he scared me. Now it’s a case of “careful what you wish for,” as Ryan looks absolutely unstoppable. The Pats haven’t faced an offense anywhere near that level this year. I’m hoping with two weeks to prepare, Belichick will come up with a few new wrinkles.

        Like

      • The Pats have SB experience which gives them the upper hand. Nothing phases Brady & Belichick. Should be a fun game.

        Like

  81. Kevin
    January 28, 2017

    Rich, I just spent a couple of hours listening to Jason Falkner and it reminded me of something I wanted to share with you. There was a Boston band called Baby Ray back in ’98 to about ’04. They drew lots of comparisons to Falkner, The Greys and “Black Sea”-era XTC, justifiably so. I saw these guys about 50 times and became very good friends with their main singer/songwriter. I consider them America’s best guitar/pop secret. If you get a chance, check out “King Kong,” “Never Know My Name,” or “Sugar Mine” on YT. If you like one, try another. I’d be really curious as to what you think.

    Like

    • dagersh
      January 29, 2017

      Funny, I knew Baby Ray’s drummer Nathan. Not well, mind you, but he was also the drummer in The Barnies, and I was good friends with their singer/guitarist, Avram. I remember seeing Baby Ray at least once — they were part of a really fun Boston scene back in the ’90s. Miss those days…

      Like

      • Thanks for the second endorsement of Baby Ray. I will certainly be checking them out soon.

        Like

      • Kevin
        January 29, 2017

        Ah! The Barnies. Another great Boston band. I saw them a couple of times. Avram was a great songwriter. Their bass player, Pete, also went on to join Baby Ray, briefly before they disbanded.

        Liked by 1 person

      • dagersh
        January 29, 2017

        Funny factoid, Kevin: Before joining the Barnies, Pete auditioned for the band I was trying to form around that time. He was a bit too confrontational for me to work well with, but he was a good musician! I never did get a band together, as it turned out…

        Like

    • Thanks for the recommendation of Baby Ray, Kevin. They are on Spotify so I will check them out this week. It’s confusing because there’s also a rapper with the same artist name so I had to sort through the albums to figure out which ones are the Boston band. You & I share a lot of music in common so I have no doubt I’ll find a lot to like.

      Like

      • Kevin
        January 29, 2017

        The name of the Baby Ray cd’s are “Monkeypuzzle” “Do I Love America” and “Low Rises.” Anything else would be the rap guy, if that helps. “Monkeypuzzle” is the best, imho.

        Like

      • Just finished listening to Monkeypuzzle and will check out Low Rises next. I love what I’ve heard so far. Thanks for the recommendation, Kevin.

        Like

      • Kevin
        January 30, 2017

        Awesome. I was excited for you to hear them. Let me know if any particular songs stand out. Also, what do think of the XTC/J.Falkner comparisons?

        Like

      • I would have to play them again to figure out which songs stood out the most. I played all three albums in succession yesterday to get an overall vibe of the band and I definitely liked what I heard. Yes, I completely agree with your XTC/Falkner comparisons. I also heard a little Kevin Gilbert and even Weezer at times, among others I can’t recall right now. But more than anything, the XTC influence was very clear.

        Like

      • Kevin
        January 31, 2017

        I appreciate you taking the time to check them out. I hope you got something out of it. I, in turn, now have to thank you for your Freaks and Geeks recommendation. I got the DVD’s today and plan on doing some binge watching soon.

        Like

      • Being able to immediately hear music you & others recommend is where Spotify has been an absolute joy. In the past I would have added the artist to my list and hoped to eventually find a CD or LP, and then checked out a clip or two on YouTube. Now I can get immediate gratification. I’m glad you got the F&G DVD set. Will you re-watch the episodes you’ve already seen on YouTube? If not, you should at least watch the final segment of the pilot with “Come Sail Away.” Enjoy your binge watching.

        Like

      • Kevin
        February 1, 2017

        Nick: “I believe in God, man. I felt his power. He plays drums for Led Zeppelin and his name is John Bonham, baby!” Yeah, I am starting from the top again, and Styx was perfect for that final scene. Good stuff.

        Like

      • The first time I saw those opening scenes, going from the freaks under the bleachers (with Nick’s homage to John Bonham) to the geeks being bullied during a discussion about “Caddyshack,” I knew I had discovered a show that would mean a lot to me. I was a combination of freak & geek in high school, likely with a 10%/90% balance. I don’t think that’s changed much. 😀

        As for the “Come Sail Away” finale, Sam’s reaction when the song shifts to upbeat just as he gets to the dance floor is priceless.

        Like

  82. Kevin
    January 31, 2017

    RIP, John Wetton. Prog legend. I noticed he stopped tweeting a few weeks ago. He was very open about his cancer battle. Sad. They’re dropping like flies, Rich. You were right in that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Like

    • That was incredibly sad news to read first thing this morning. I knew he had been ill in recent years with heart issues but wasn’t aware of his cancer battle. I hope he didn’t suffer too much or for too long. We’ve lost another great musician/singer/songwriter. He’s already been featured around here in my write-ups on Asia and UK so I’m happy I was able to pay tribute to his incredible music while he was still with us.

      Like

  83. Kevin
    February 6, 2017

    The Pats don’t score their first TD until 3 minutes left in the 3rd Q – and then MISS the extra point! That was it, Rich, it wasn’t their night. The rest is history. 25 point comeback? In the Superbowl? Un-fucking-believable!!!

    Like

    • I was thinking about how excited you must have been last night. Had you lost hope by the middle of the 3rd quarter or did you always think, “it’s Brady…he’s still got some miracles left in him”? That was an epic comeback. Congratulations and enjoy the celebration.

      Like

      • Kevin
        February 6, 2017

        Thanks, Rich. I thought it was over, honestly. To outscore Atl 31-0 after that first abysmal 40 minutes, it just seemed so improbable. It still does! We now even have our own “David Tyree” moment with that catch Edelman made an inch from the turf. Just amazing.

        Like

      • Yep, that Edelman catch was one for the ages. I was surprised when the broadcasting team chose to highlight another play from that drive as the most important.

        This game was proof that Yogi Berra was right. It ain’t over ’til it’s over. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that Tom Brady will get into the Hall Of Fame as soon as he’s eligible. 😀

        Like

      • Kevin
        February 6, 2017

        Ha! It is now my (biased) opinion that Brady should be the first player to be in the HOF while still playing! 🙂 How would you rate that game? I cannot be objective, but people are saying it might have been the best one.

        Like

      • Sorry for the delayed response. It’s been one of “those weeks.” I’m not sure how I would rate that Super Bowl. From an excitement standpoint, that comeback was as good as it gets, but the fact that one team dominated so much of the game left little drama until the 4th quarter. I personally prefer a lower-scoring game when you have great offenses & defenses so I’m not sure if it was technically a “great” game. Then again, the SB has become all about spectacle and that ending was pretty spectacular. This is my long-winded way of saying…I’ll let the historians decide if this was one of the best Super Bowls. I enjoyed it, but certainly not as much as you did. Are you still basking in the glow of the Pats’ victory?

        Like

      • Kevin
        February 9, 2017

        I watched it again on the NFL Network with my father a few nights later and still couldn’t believe they won. A storybook ending to a season that started off with Brady’s suspension (I know I sound like a homer here, but, I believe he was railroaded – the fact that the NFL still haven’t released the random PSI data they collected the last two years speaks volumes to me). This game had a cleansing effect on me. David Tyree doesn’t bother me anymore. Deflategate is over. Brady won. Goodell lost. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who hates everything Boston, conceded that Brady is better than Montana. Shannon Sharpe, another Patriot hater, said that Brady is “the best player in the 97 year history of the NFL.” Brady could retire today and that would be ok. It’s all gravy from now on. Now, if only he could beat Eli…

        Like

      • You already watched the game again? Wow, that’s hardcore. I don’t think I’ve done that with any of my teams’ championships over the years. I love watching highlight reels but can’t seem to sit through entire games. I even have a Mets DVD set with games 6 & 7 of the ’86 WS that I have yet to play (it was a gift). Not sure what that says about me as a fan. It might just be a lack of time. I’m glad you got to enjoy the latest SB with your dad. Continue to bask in the glow of the game, and I’ll cling to the memory of Eli & Co. handing Brady & Belichick their only SB losses. It’s a win-win all around. 😀

        Like

      • Kevin
        February 10, 2017

        Fair enough! I’ve noticed on sports websites comment boards that Giants fans are generally less jealous/vindictive/hateful of the Pats than other fans. You’ve got 2 feathers in your cap. 🙂

        I was pleasantly surprised to hear XTC’s “No Language In Our Lungs” in an episode of F&G the other night. Also Joe Jackson’s “I’m The Man” “Look Sharp,” and The Who’s “Slip Kid.” What a great show!

        Like

      • I hope my response didn’t seem evasive. You’re probably right that Giants fans tend to have fewer issues with the Pats than most other football fans (especially anyone rooting for the Jets).

        So glad you’re loving F&G. The soundtrack is outstanding, and it’s amazing that they managed to license all of the songs for home video. I heard they didn’t even make a profit on those sets because licensing was so expensive. One of my favorite scenes is when Joe Jackson comes on the radio and Ken says something like “turn that new wave crap off.” Nick’s response about how it’s Joe Jackson & his bass player (Graham Maby) is awesome is something I would say. Maby is one of my all-time heroes & a dream rhythm section partner.

        Like

      • Kevin
        February 10, 2017

        Rich, I LIVED that Nick scene. I specifically remember telling my friends not to change the station when “Got The Time” came on and trying to school them on the greatness of Graham Maby.

        Like

      • Once again, it’s like we were separated at birth (and approximately four years…haha). Maby is one of the all-time greats and I wish he had a higher profile.

        Like

  84. Kevin
    February 20, 2017

    Finished F&G. Love the final episode with Lindsay turning into a Dead-head (loved the scene of her dancing to “Box Of Rain”), Daniel playing D&D with the Geeks, and Nick at the disco! I would love to see just one more season to see where Feig and Apatow would take these characters. Especially the Lindsay/Nick story. Great show. Thanks for the recommendation. Now I have to go back and watch the commentaries.

    Like

    • Congratulations on wrapping up F&G. I remember feeling quite melancholy when I finished it, knowing there wouldn’t be a second season, but I took comfort in seeing a nearly perfect season of TV. I can’t hear Heatwave’s “The Grooveline” without picturing Nick on the dance floor. Isn’t it amazing how many cast members went on to successful acting careers? Other than Fast Times At Ridgemont High I can’t think of another movie or TV show with such a high percentage of actors going on to bigger (if not necessarily better) things. I hope you like the commentaries. I think I watched them all, as well as every extra, and there’s a lot to enjoy.

      Like

  85. Kevin
    February 26, 2017

    Have you ever heard Trevor Horn’s band Producers? Slick and polished 80’s style intelligent pop. If you’re curious, check out “Watching You Out There” on youtube (studio version! – to really appreciate the immaculate production). I’m sure it would’ve been a huge hit had it been written about 25 years ago. You’re one of the few people who might actually appreciate such a song (and sound) today.

    Like

    • I love that Producers album. I only have a digital copy from a friend’s CD but one of these days I’d like to own it. I believe there’s a 2-disc deluxe edition that was released in the UK. Once again we’re on the same musical wavelength. 😀

      Like

      • Kevin
        February 26, 2017

        I should know better than to ask you “have you ever heard of…” 🙂

        Like

      • Not true. I’ve got plenty of musical blind spots, and I especially love when my answer is “no” because that means I might be discovering a new favorite artist.

        Like

  86. Kevin
    March 2, 2017

    What did you think of the 2012 Zeppelin ‘Celebration Day’ performance with Jason Bonham?

    Like

    • I thought they sounded better than anyone could have predicted, especially Plant. There was a period in the ’90s when the high end of his voice was in a steep decline but he was still trying to be the “golden god.” That was the only era of his career I didn’t enjoy that much. Once he started writing songs that suited his lower register he had a career renaissance. I mention this because I didn’t think he could pull of the ’70s Plant sound but when he needed to hit a key high note he pretty much nailed them all.

      Jason did a wonderful job. I’m not one of those people who think he played as good as his dad, though. As good as he is, he’s not even close to being in the same league as his dad. It’s not a criticism but more of an objective observation. For that gig he did exactly what he needed to do, and you could tell how much the other guys loved having him there. It also kept things “in the family,” so to speak.

      What are your thoughts on that show?

      Like

      • Kevin
        March 2, 2017

        I wasn’t sure what to expect. Their Live Aid performance was disastrous and they were still relatively young then. I knew Plant wouldn’t be able to hit all the notes and that they might have to lower the key for some songs (which I am not a fan of – often, changing the key of a song can really alter it’s melodic impact on me). That said, I thought the performance was phenomenal. I got chills several times. It exceeded my expectations two-fold and I found myself smiling many times throughout. As you said, Jason did exactly what he needed to do. I think he did his dad proud and it was great to see the other guys look so happy with him. Jimmy was clearly happy – all white haired and pushing 70 years old, he still looked cool. I respect Plant not wanting to tour (and the millions upon millions he must have turned down) but they proved that they could still do it, and it would’ve been a monumental tour. Imagine?

        Like

      • I’m glad we’re…once again…on the same page with this. Even after reading all the glowing reports about the show I jut figured it was people gushing about the experience and not the actual performance. I had a decent-quality recording that I found online which I played a couple of times and was happy with that, but when Celebration Day was released and I finally heard & saw the show in all its glory, I really couldn’t believe how good they sounded. I still can’t really call it Led Zeppelin without John Bonham, but that’s as close as it gets. I’m glad Plant turned down a potential tour and the other guys never followed through on their plans to use another vocalist. All of that keeps the Zeppelin mystique intact. Also, can you imagine Plant’s voice singing those songs, like that, every night on a world tour? He did the right thing, and his solo career has benefited from that decision.

        Like

  87. Kevin
    March 2, 2017

    Plant made the right decision. But…had he made the wrong decision, I would have been first in line at the Boston Garden on show night (I haven’t seen a show there since it was actually called The Boston Garden – early 90’s). I am currently in the middle of a Zeppelin phase. It happens once every 3 years or so.

    Like

    • I would have done the same thing, especially since I never got a chance to see them. Bonham died shortly before tickets for the ’80 tour went on sale in NY. Enjoy your Zeppelin phase. Since they’ve been my favorite band for so many years, I often go a long time without listening to them, and then when I return the music sounds as fresh as it ever did. With my musical life in limbo since I moved a year and a half ago, I haven’t been able to fully enjoy the super deluxe box sets. Renovations won’t be completed until later this year, which is when I’ll finally have a music room again. I plan on locking myself inside for about 6 months to make up for lost time, and those box sets will be the first things I play.

      Like

      • Kevin
        March 2, 2017

        Zeppelin is unique to me in that, with most of my favorite bands, I know what my favorite songs are and my 2nd-tier favorite songs are, and so on. Zeppelin always surprises me. Songs stand out to me more so than they might have years ago. Even a song like “Stairway” will occasionally move me more than I expect it to (it does have my favorite guitar solo, ever). This time it was “Night Flight” (I always thought that should have been the “single” from PG), and “Down By The Seaside.” Tonight I will listen to Presence and look forward to see which song(s) might do the same. Man, you’re gonna have a good time when you can finally sit with those box sets and give them the right attention. You know it will be worth the wait.

        Like

      • I know exactly what you mean. There are several artists that have such an effect on me, and Zeppelin is one of them. You would think after 37+ years of being my #1 band I would have my favorites, but I still discover new things in their songs and my favorites continually change. I’m still as passionate about “Stairway To Heaven” as I’ve always been (and I agree about the awesomeness of that guitar solo), and I’ve had many friends mock me for that. “That song is so overplayed.” So? Does that make a good song bad? Not at all, of course.

        By the time I finally sit down with those box sets (and every other physical music product I own), it will be more than 2 years since I last had a music room to call my own. That’s why I’ll need to make up for lost time. I already told my wife she might not see me for a while.

        Enjoy the majesty of Presence tonight.

        Like

  88. DanicaPiche
    March 3, 2017

    Hi Rich, I tried posting a comment twice on your “Forty Year Friday – LYNYRD SKYNYRD “STREET SURVIVORS” and it didn’t show up. I also notice there are no other comments and only 2 likes — strange! Just letting you know in case it’s a glitch that can be resolved.
    Hope you’re enjoying a lovely Friday! 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for letting me know, Danica. When I previewed the post this morning the YouTube clips looked a little strange, where the “comments” section seemed to appear on top of one of the videos, but I figured it was just an issue with my browser. I just updated the YouTube links and the post looks a lot cleaner. It appears that I’m getting my usual amount of traffic (not much but at least it’s steady) so the issue was probably specific to likes & comments. I appreciate you looking out for me. I am enjoying my Friday, in spite of being at work. Hope your week is coming to a pleasant conclusion.

      Liked by 1 person

  89. Kevin
    March 6, 2017

    As my Zeppelin phase wound down, I found myself watching many Jimmy Page interviews that he’s done over the last 10 years or so. It appears to me that he has gotten more articulate and interesting in his golden years. He also seems very enthusiastic to talk about Zeppelin. He is clearly proud of his legacy, a bit arrogant even, but not in any off-putting way. It’s actually endearing. He is a lot more likable than I remember him from his 70’s and 80’s interviews (not that there were many – and he was probably fucked up at that time). Here is a short clip I want to show you. This is a game I could play with him for about 12 hours, at least.

    Like

    • I bet that was a fun Jimmy Page wormhole you went down. Thanks for sharing that video. I could listen to him rate guitarists for a lot longer than that. I agree with your comments about him. He has become a lot more engaging in interviews, and clearly he values the Zeppelin legacy above anything else in his professional life. He’s been speaking about a new solo project for years but always had the Zeppelin reissues excuse (along with the one-off reunion and resulting Celebration Day DVD/Blu-ray) to not move forward. Some people mock him for that but he has nothing to prove and no one to answer to. As much as I’d love to hear new material from him, I would prefer a career-spanning, “beat the boots” type box set. I have at least one bootleg recording from every tour they did, with varying sound quality, but I’m sure he’s got plenty of good-sounding shows available for release.

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      • Kevin
        March 7, 2017

        Is there any one bootleg that stands out, both performance and sound quality-wise? Did you see It Might Get Loud? There is a great scene where Jimmy straps on his Les Paul and breaks into “Whole Lotta Love,” reducing The Edge and Jack White into two giddy school kids.

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      • It’s hard to pick one Zeppelin bootleg to recommend so I’ll suggest a few. Keep in mind that the titles have probably changed over the years but this is based on CDs & LPs I’ve had for years:
        Birth Of The Gods and Killing Floor (two excellent collections of recordings from 1969, some of which feature Plant’s unearthly vocals)
        Eastern Front (an excellent 2-disc recording from Japan in 1972)
        California 1975 (self-explanatory title)
        Melancholy Danish Pageboys (a fantastic 2-disc performance from Denmark in 1979)
        The Last Day In Mannheim (one of their last shows, from Germany, just a few months before John Bonham died in 1980)

        I did see It Might Get Loud and I loved watching the other two guys gush over Page…deservedly so.

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  90. kevin
    March 19, 2017

    Here is a tweet from Andy Partridge I thought you might find as interesting as I did:

    “Just heard mix of a number I co wrote with Steven Wilson for his new album.Near took my head off! Exciting stuff.”

    Can’t wait!

    Like

    • That is very good news indeed, Kevin. Thanks for sharing. I always look forward to whatever Mr. Wilson releases but now my interest is piqued even more than usual.

      Like

  91. kevin
    April 10, 2017

    Did you see Geddy Lee playing bass with Yes on “Roundabout” at the R&R Hall of Fame? It’s on YouTube if you’re curious.

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    • I saw some fan-shot footage which was cool but the sound wasn’t very good. Looking forward to seeing the official video, although I don’t have HBO so it might be a while. I have to say it was pretty fun watching Geddy on stage with them.

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      • kevin
        April 12, 2017

        Now that Squire is gone, Anderson has the rights to the name Yes. ARW is now being called Yes – Featuring Anderson Rabin and Wakeman. Wonder what Howe thinks of that. The Yes saga never ends.

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      • Yep, there’s a lot of “drama” in the world of Yes right now, and it’s been that way for a long time. I was hoping there would be a new “union” lineup as a result of the Hall Of Fame induction but sadly that’s not the case.

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  92. kevin
    May 8, 2017

    Have you ever listened to Prefab Sprout?

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    • Oh yeah, I love those guys. Can’t remember if I got their Best Of CD first or if it was Jordan: The Comeback, but that was the era I discovered them and eventually went back into their catalog. Not a prolific bunch but every album is worth hearing. Would you agree?

      Like

  93. kevin
    May 10, 2017

    Yes! Jordan:The Comeback and Two Wheels Good are absolute masterpieces (with beautiful production by Thomas Dolby). The word “underrated” gets used a lot, but nowhere is it more appropriate than when talking about the songwriting brilliance of Paddy McAloon. I don’t know a single person who likes them! It’s maddening. Sometimes they remind me of a cross between Steely Dan and Spandau Ballet. I’m glad you like them. They are a wonderful secret.

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    • I had forgotten about the Thomas Dolby connection. Yep, those records sound great and they’re jam-packed with amazing songs. No doubt that Mr. McAloon is one of the unsung songwriting greats. Nice call with the SteelyDan/Spandau Ballet comparison. Some would scoff at the latter but you know I’m a big fan.

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