Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

100 Records That Shook The World, #15

Murmur (LP)


 It was Rolling Stone's Best Album of 1983, beating Michael Jackson's Thriller, The Police's Synchronicity and U2's War.

Murmur is the debut album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released in 1983 on I.R.S. Records. Murmur drew critical acclaim upon its release for its sound, defined by singer Michael Stipe's cryptic lyrics, guitarist Peter Buck's jangly guitar style, and bassist Mike Mills' melodic basslines.

Murmur's sound characterized the quieter, introverted side of the first wave of alternative rock in the United States. The sound was new at the time, though not stepping beyond the constructs of traditional rock music. The guitars have a bright, ring-like chime that brought on comparisons to The Byrds, and the bass guitar has the bright punchy sound of the Rickenbacker favored by Mike Mills. Mills carries much of the melodic element of the music on the bass, contributing to the moody sound of early R.E.M. albums. Also contributing to this sound is the distant singing of Michael Stipe whose obscure lyrics, sung indistinctly, lend to the mystery and depth of the music.


100 Records That Shook The World, #16

The Message

Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five

This song is credited as the catalyst for the conscious Hip-Hop or political sub-genre of Hip-Hop music. It is a social narrative that details the struggles and difficulties due to living in poverty in the inner-city. In addition, it embodies the distress, anger, and sadness an individual experiences when confronting these inequalities. The description of various social and economic barriers followed by the mantra “don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head” exemplifies that it is not just the disparity in opportunity that is oppressive but also the emotional response that is debilitating. It is frequently referred to as the greatest record in hip hop history and was the first Hip-Hop record ever to be added to the United States' National Recording Registry of historic sound recordings.

As you can see from the label above, the two artists featured on the song are Melle Mel and Duke Bootee. This is because Bootee provided the music while Melle Mel rapped over it. The other members of the band, while credited on the disc, did not perform on it, nor did they want to have anything to do with it because of its political nature. However, the song proved to be the band's biggest hit and opened up a whole new world for hip-hop.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What's Up?

On November 15th 2009 I began to inject into this blog a series called 100 Records That Shook The World!, a list originally published in 1990 by the short-lived VOX magazine. The regulars amongst you will have noticed that I have done several of these in the last few days, and may have wondered what's up. Well, to tell the truth, I'm getting a bit tired of doing it so I'm trying to get the last few done before the 15th November rolls around again. I'll publish the last one on or around that date just because I am a little OCD like that.

When I think about it it is almost incomprehensible that I have been blogging for four years now. Where has the time gone? Maybe I should have an anniversary party. Ha! That'd be fun. It'd have to be a 'virtual' party or a Skype party because I think most of my regular readership comes from overseas, or at least a long way away.

Anyhoo... back to the motley.

100 Records That Shook The World, #17

Release The Bats (EP)

The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party (originally known as The Boys Next Door) were an Australian post-punk band, active from 1978 to 1983.

In 1980, The Birthday Party moved from Melbourne to London, where they were championed by broadcaster John Peel. Disillusioned by their stay in London, the band's sound and live shows became increasingly violent. They broke up soon after relocating to West Berlin in 1983. Despite limited commercial success, The Birthday Party's influence has been far-reaching, and they have been called one of "the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s." In his lyrics, Nick Cave frequently used Old Testament imagery, combining "sacred and profane" themes. Their 1981 single "Release the Bats" was particularly influential on gothic rock, a tag which the band rejected.



100 Records That Shook The World #18

Joy Division

Love Will Tear Us Apart

"Love Will Tear Us Apart" is a song by the British post-punk band Joy Division. It was written in August 1979, and debuted when the band supported Buzzcocks on their UK tour in September and October 1979. It is one of the few songs in which singer Ian Curtis played guitar (albeit somewhat minimally). The lyrics ostensibly reflect the problems in Ian Curtis's marriage to Deborah Curtis, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his suicide in May 1980. The title is an ironic reference to the song "Love Will Keep Us Together". Deborah Curtis had the phrase "Love Will Tear Us Apart" inscribed on Ian Curtis's memorial stone.


Monday, September 16, 2013

100 Records That Shook The World, #19

Cous Cous

Last time on the Puzzler I asked what Meat Loaf's original stage name was, according to the South Park episode in which he appeared? The answer, which I am sure you knew, was Cous Cous.

Next question!

In that episode of South Park "Chef Aid", what was the song that Chef wrote and Alanis Morrisette stole and recorded? Cartman couldn't get it out of his head.

Clue: it's not this.

100 Records That Shook The World, #20

Entertainment! is the debut album by English post-punk band Gang of Four, released in September 1979. This album was released on EMI in the UK and on Warner Bros. in the US.
The music on the first album shows clearly the influence of punk, yet also incorporates funk and less-obvious influences of reggae and dub, similar to other bands at the time such as Public Image Ltd., Pere Ubu, and The Pop Group. As with these other influential post-punk bands, the bass is mixed much more prominently than it typically is in rock or punk.


100 Records That Shook The World, #21

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