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2017. december 7., csütörtök

07-132-2017 20:11 FAVTRAX:MiX ~ 50 FAVOURiTE tracks 1979-1986 / 3h 34m

Brian Jackson and Gil Scott-Heron

07-132-2017 20:11 FAVTRAX:MiX ~ 50 FAVOURiTE tracks 1979-1986 / 3h 34m  >>Isotope, Soft Machine, Al Di Meola, Miles Davis, Robin Trower, Gong, Frank Zappa, Marianne Faithfull, Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, Michael Bloomfield, The Fall, The Police, Japan, Robert Wyatt, David Bowie, Cabaret Voltaire, Chris Isaak, David Sylvian, Echo & the Bunnymen, Giant Sand, R.E.M, Suzanne Vega, Tom Waits<<

M U S I C




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1979-1986



Politically charged poet and singer of enrapturing 1970s jazz/R&B polemics, and a huge influence on countless hip-hop incendiaries. / One of the most important progenitors of rap music, Gil Scott-Heron's aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry inspired a legion of intelligent rappers while his engaging songwriting skills placed him square in the R&B charts later in his career, backed by increasingly contemporary production courtesy of Malcolm Cecil and Nile Rodgers (of Chic).
Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson
Angel Dust (Gil Scott-Heron) 4:18
The Bottle (Gil Scott-Heron) 5:10
from Anthology: Messages / Recording: September, 1973 - October, 1979 (2005)
Several Gil Scott-Heron compilations were released throughout the '70s, '80s, '90s, and early 2000s, but 2005's Messages was the first to concentrate on the material released between 1973 and 1979 -- a productive phase involving seven albums, most of which were represented by a track or two on the preceding overviews. Featuring multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Brian Jackson, these albums were often filler-prone but they were never lacking at least a few moments in which everything clicked...

Brilliant 1960s blues-rock guitarist who made history with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bob Dylan. / Michael Bloomfield was one of America's first great white blues guitarists, earning his reputation on the strength of his work in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. His expressive, fluid solo lines and prodigious technique graced many other projects -- most notably Bob Dylan's earliest electric forays -- and he also pursued a solo career, with variable results. Uncomfortable with the reverential treatment afforded a guitar hero, Bloomfield tended to shy away from the spotlight after spending just a few years in it; he maintained a lower-visibility career during the '70s due to his distaste for fame and his worsening drug problems, which claimed his life in 1981.
Michael Bloomfield
Maudie (Frank Biner) 3:11
Big C Blues (Michael Bloomfield) 3:36
from Living In The Fast Lane 1980
An artist's final album always sits heavily on the shelf, and even more so when that life has been cut abruptly short, becoming an unintended epitaph to what was a still flourishing career. Thus, Living in the Fast Lane has a weighty burden to bear, one that Michael Bloomfield never meant it to shoulder, yet the set does so with remarkable ease. There's a definite joie de vivre found within, partly, one presumes, a reflection of the happiness of reuniting with myriad former cohorts, among them Mark Naftalin and Bob Jones, who both played on Bloomfield's debut solo album back in 1969, and ex-Electric Flag Roger Troy. A gospel choir and an entire band provide backing vocals and a horn section, which hints at the many styles showcased within... The musicianship is sensational, the vocalists superb, and Bloomfield is on fire, yet there's no struggle and strain to succeed, just a sublime atmosphere. Fans will insist he made much better sets, and they'd be right, but regardless, this album remains a magnificent achievement, one that's lost none of its power over the years.

Harsh, jagged experimentalists whose style was defined by the razor-tongued yet highly literary invective of singer Mark E. Smith. / Out of all the late-'70s punk and post-punk bands, none are longer lived or more prolific than the Fall. Throughout their career, the band underwent myriad lineup changes, but at the center of it all was vocalist Mark E. Smith. With his snarling, nearly incomprehensible vocals and consuming, bitter cynicism, Smith became a cult legend in indie and alternative rock.
The Fall
Pay Your Rates (Mark E. Smith) 2:58
English Scheme (Marc Riley / Craig Scanlon / Mark E. Smith) 2:05
New Face in Hell (Marc Riley / Craig Scanlon / Mark E. Smith) 5:39
C'N'C' -S Mithering (Steve Hanley / Craig Scanlon / Mark E. Smith) 7:43
from Grotesque (After The Gramme) 1980
The Fall are the greatest band you’ve never heard of. No, seriously. Coming out of Manchester in the United Kingdom, a locale firmly imprinted in the group’s identity, the Fall are the all-time favorite band of famous British BBC DJ John Peel. They have been consistently making music since 1976, their lineup ever shifting around sole constant member Mark E. Smith, also their founder, main songwriter, and lyricist. Grotesque is the Fall’s third album, following underground favorites Live at the Witch Trials and Dragnet, featuring a five-man lineup of the multitalented Mark E. Smith (handling vocals, tapes, guitars, and kazoos), as well as a guitarist/keyboardist, second guitarist, bass player, and drummer...



British rock trio with an innovative rock/reggae fusion, superb songwriting, and crossover appeal that shot them straight to international stardom. / Nominally, the Police were punk rock, but that's only in the loosest sense of the term. The trio's nervous, reggae-injected pop/rock was punky, but it wasn't necessarily punk. All three members were considerably more technically proficient than the average punk or new wave band. Andy Summers had a precise guitar attack that created dense, interlocking waves of sounds and effects. Stewart Copeland could play polyrhythms effortlessly. And Sting, with his high, keening voice, was capable of constructing infectiously catchy pop songs. While they weren't punk, the Police certainly demonstrated that the punk spirit could have a future in pop music. As their career progressed, the Police grew considerably more adventurous, experimenting with jazz and various world musics.
The Police
Spirits in the Material World  (Sting) 2:59
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic  (Sting) 4:20
Invisible Sun (Sting) 3:44
Rehumanize Yourself (Stewart Copeland / Sting) 3:10
from Ghost In The Machine 1981
For their fourth album, 1981's Ghost in the Machine, the Police had streamlined their sound to focus more on their pop side and less on their trademark reggae-rock. Their jazz influence had become more prominent, as evidenced by the appearance of saxophones on several tracks. The production has more of a contemporary '80s sound to it (courtesy of Hugh Padgham, who took over for Nigel Gray), and Sting proved once and for all to be a master of the pop songwriting format...

Audacious glam-inspired rockers whose sound eventually took in exotic electronic textures and art rock influences. / Japan's evolution from rather humble glam rock beginnings into stylish synth pop (and beyond) made the British group one of the more intriguing and successful artists of their era. Formed in London in 1974, Japan began its existence as a quintet comprised of singer/songwriter David Sylvian, bassist Mick Karn, keyboardist Richard Barbieri, drummer (and Sylvian's brother) Steve Jansen and guitarist Rob Dean. In their primary incarnation, the group emulated the sound and image of glam rockers like David Bowie and the New York Dolls; Sylvian's over-the-top vocals, much in the vein of Bryan Ferry, also earned Japan frequent (if derisive) comparisons to Roxy Music.
Japan
The Art of Parties (David Sylvian) 4:12
Ghosts (David Sylvian) 4:36
Sons of Pioneers (Mick Karn / David Sylvian) 7:09
from Tin Drum 1981
Partially growing out of their success in the country they were named after, as well as growing friendship and affiliation with such bands as Yellow Magic Orchestra, Japan, on Tin Drum, made its most unique, challenging, and striking album. It was also the final full studio effort from the group, and what a way to bow out -- there was practically no resemblance to the trash glam flailers on Adolescent Sex anymore. Rather than repeat the sheer restraint on Gentlemen Take Polaroids, Tin Drum is an album of energy, Sylvian's singing still the decadently joyful thing it is, but the arrangements and performances tight, full, and active. The fusion of exquisite funk courtesy of Karn and Jansen's joined-at-the-hip rhythm section and a range of Asian music influences, from instrumentation to subject matter, combined with an even wider use of technological approaches to create the dramatic, sly songs on offer...

Originally the drummer and vocalist of Soft Machine, Wyatt merged the avant-garde with English eccentricity.  / An enduring figure who came to prominence in the early days of the English art rock scene, Robert Wyatt has produced a significant body of work, both as the original drummer for art rockers Soft Machine and as a radical political singer/songwriter. Born in Bristol, England, Wyatt came to Soft Machine during the exciting, slightly post-psychedelic Canterbury Scene of the mid-'60s that produced bands like Gong and Pink Floyd.
Robert Wyatt
Born Again Cretin (Robert Wyatt) 3:11
Caimanera (Carlos Puebla / Traditional) 5:22
Stalin Wasn't Stallin' (Willie Johnson) 3:24
Strange Fruit (Lewis Allan) 3:38
from Nothing Can Stop Us 1982
This compilation of early-'80s singles includes some of Wyatt's finest work. Aside from "Born Again Cretin" (whose vocals recall the Beach Boys at their most experimental), all of it's non-original material that Wyatt makes his own with his sad, haunting vocals. You could hardly ask for a more diverse assortment of covers: Chic's "At Last I Am Free" (given an eerie treatment with especially mysterious, spacy keyboards), the a cappella gospel of "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'," political commentary with "Trade Union," the Billie Holiday standard "Strange Fruit," Ivor Cutler's "Grass," and a couple of songs in Spanish. The tracks have since been reissued a few times, with bonus tracks such as the "Shipbuilding" single; the best option for U.S. consumers is Compilation, which pairs Nothing Can Stop Us with Old Rottenhat.

The mercurial music icon widely considered the original pop chameleon and figurehead for countless musical movements. / The cliché about David Bowie is that he was a musical chameleon, adapting himself according to fashion and trends. While such a criticism is too glib, there's no denying that Bowie demonstrated a remarkable skill for perceiving musical trends at his peak in the '70s. After spending several years in the late '60s as a mod and as an all-around music hall entertainer, Bowie reinvented himself as a hippie singer/songwriter. Prior to his breakthrough in 1972, he recorded a proto-metal record and a pop/rock album, eventually redefining glam rock with his ambiguously sexy Ziggy Stardust persona. Ziggy made Bowie an international star, yet he wasn't content to continue to churn out glitter rock. By the mid-'70s, he'd developed an effete, sophisticated version of Philly soul that he dubbed "plastic soul," which eventually morphed into the eerie avant pop of 1976's Station to Station. Shortly afterward, he relocated to Berlin, where he recorded three experimental electronic albums with Brian Eno. At the dawn of the '80s, Bowie was still at the height of his powers, yet following his blockbuster dance-pop album Let's Dance in 1983, he slowly sank into mediocrity before salvaging his career in the early '90s. Even when he was out of fashion in the '80s and '90s, it was clear that Bowie was one of the most influential musicians in rock, for better and for worse. Each one of his phases in the '70s sparked a number of subgenres, including punk, new wave, goth rock, the new romantics, and electronica. Few rockers have ever had such lasting impact.
David Bowie
V-2 Schneider (David Bowie) 3:11
TVC 15 (David Bowie) 3:35
Heroes/Helden (David Bowie / Brian Eno) 6:03
Boys Keep Swinging (David Bowie / Brian Eno) 3:18
from Christiane F. - Wir Kinder Vom Bahnhoff Z 1982
A mid-'70s West German film about a 14 year old's descent into drug abuse, prostitution, and general sleaze led to this 1981 soundtrack, comprised entirely of previously released songs from David Bowie's "Thin White Duke" period. The bleak music of Bowie's collaborations with Brian Eno provides a fitting backdrop to the film, as his icy soul killer pose perfectly reflected the frozen and fragmented lives of Christiane and her gang: an "alternative family" taking respite in discos and underground train stations. Removed from that context, the album is still enjoyable for the sheer quality of the songs...




One of the most acclaimed British alternative groups of the 1980s, a band of gloomy post-punkers inspired by the darker aspects of '60s psychedelia. / Echo & the Bunnymen's dark, swirling fusion of gloomy post-punk and Doors-inspired psychedelia brought the group a handful of British hits in the early '80s, while attracting a cult following in the United States.
Echo & the Bunnymen
The Cutter  (Pete de Freitas / Ian McCulloch / Les Pattinson / Will Sergeant) 3:52
Back of Love  (Pete de Freitas / Ian McCulloch / Les Pattinson / Will Sergeant) 3:13
My White Devil (Pete de Freitas / Ian McCulloch / Les Pattinson / Will Sergeant) 4:40
from Porcupine 1983
The group's third album is a solid outing, a noticeably better listen than its predecessor, Heaven Up Here. Songs are intriguing and elaborate, often featuring swooping, howling melodic lines. Arrangements here owe a lot to 1960s psychedelia and feature lots of reverb, washed textures, intricate production touches, and altered guitar sounds. Ian McCulloch's vocals are yearning, soaring, and hyper-expressive here, almost to the point of being histrionic, most notably on "Clay," "Ripeness," and the title track. Driving bass and drums lend the songs urgency and keep the music from collapsing into self-indulgence...

Experimental, innovative English electronic outfit that formed in the 1970s, and stand as major pioneers of industrial and dance music. / Though they're one of the most important groups in the history of industrial and electronic music, Cabaret Voltaire are sometimes forgotten in the style's timeline -- perhaps because they continued recording long after other luminaries (Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, Chrome) called it quits.
24-24 (Richard H. Kirk / Stephen Mallinder) 5:55
Talking Time (Richard H. Kirk / Stephen Mallinder) 5:20
Crackdown (Richard H. Kirk / Stephen Mallinder) 6:23
from Crackdown 1983
One of Cabaret Voltaire's strongest albums, The Crackdown features the band working a number of menacing electronic textures into a basic dance/funk rhythm; the result is one of their most distinctive, challenging records.


Fronted by the charismatic Michael Stipe, one of the first alt-rock bands to make it big, maintaining their integrity and a sense of adventure over three decades. / R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon.
Harborcoat  (Bill Berry / Peter Buck / Mike Mills / Michael Stipe) 3:57
7 Chinese Brothers  (Bill Berry / Peter Buck / Mike Mills / Michael Stipe) 4:14
So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)  (Bill Berry / Peter Buck / Mike Mills / Michael Stipe) 3:16
from Reckoning 1984
R.E.M. abandoned the enigmatic post-punk experiments of Murmur for their second album, Reckoning, returning to their garage pop origins instead... On the surface, Reckoning may not be as distinctive as Murmur, but the record's influence on underground American rock in the '80s was just as strong.

Front man for Japan whose striking image and ethereal vocals made him a prominent figure in the New Romantic movement. / Following the 1982 dissolution of Japan, the group's onetime frontman David Sylvian staked out a far-ranging and esoteric career that encompassed not only solo projects but also a series of fascinating collaborative efforts and forays into filmmaking, photography, and modern art.
Pulling Punches (David Sylvian) 5:02
Nostalgia (David Sylvian) 5:43
Red Guitar (David Sylvian) 5:11
Brilliant Trees ((Jon Hassell / David Sylvian) 8:42
from Brilliant Trees 1984
Upon art-rockers Japan’s dissolution in 1982, frontman David Sylvian embarked onward to a long and fruitful solo career. To understand where Sylvian was coming from with Brilliant Trees requires the knowledge beforehand of the conflict within Japan and their artistic direction... Released in the summer of 1984, Brilliant Trees came about as the logical conclusion to Japan in general. The rhythmic grooves ever present on tracks such as ”The Art of Parties” had reached its limit; and yet ”Pulling Punches”, the opener, had all the elements that had made Japan a success – fluid, yet punchy bass work, booming drums and stellar guitar play. And that voice – that voice, jesus christ.

Her literate, artful, and intellectual brand of troubadourism rescued the singer/songwriter tradition from the clutches of sentimentality. / Suzanne Vega was the first major figure in the bumper crop of female singer/songwriters who rose to prominence during the late '80s and '90s. Her hushed, restrained folk-pop and highly literate lyrics (inspired chiefly by Leonard Cohen, as well as Lou Reed and Bob Dylan) laid the initial musical groundwork for what later became the trademark sound of Lilith Fair (a tour on which she was a regular).
Suzanne Vega
Cracking (Suzanne Vega) 2:49
Freeze Tag (Suzanne Vega) 2:35
Marlene on the Wall (Suzanne Vega) 3:39
Small Blue Thing (Suzanne Vega) 3:54
from Suzanne Vega 1985
Though early comparisons were made to Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega's true antecedents were Janis Ian and Leonard Cohen. Like Ian, she sings with a precise, frequently half-spoken phrasing that gives her lyrics an intensity that seems to suggest an unsteady control consciously held over emotional chaos. Like Cohen, Vega observes the world in poetic metaphor, her cold urban landscapes reflecting a troubled sense of love and loss. The key track is "Small Blue Thing," in which the singer pictures herself as an object "Like a marble/or an eye," "made of china/made of glass," "lost inside your pocket," and "turning in your hand." The sharply picked acoustic guitar and other isolated musical elements echo the closely observed scenes -- everything seems to be in tight close-up and sharp focus...

Influential alt country band whose sound evolved into a crisp mix of swing, country, rock and beatnik lyricism. / Giant Sand was the primary outlet for the stylistic curveballs and sun-damaged songcraft of Howe Gelb, a Pennsylvania-born singer/guitarist who formed the four-piece Giant Sandworms after relocating to Tuscon, Arizona in the mid-'70s. After releasing the EP Will Wallow and Roam After the Ruin in 1980, Gelb fired everyone but bassist Scott Gerber (although founding guitarist Rainer Ptacek returned to the fold many times in the future) and started over as simply Giant Sand, essentially a one-man band backed by a revolving cast of players.
Giant Sand
Valley of Rain (Howe Gelb) 4:17
October Anywhere (Howe Gelb) 5:08
Down on Town/Love's No Answer (Howe Gelb) 4:36
from Valley Of Rain 1985
The dry, dusty, and rambling sound that became Howe Gelb's trademark isn't much in evidence on Giant Sand's debut album, 1985's Valley of Rain. Instead, this early edition of the band recalls the distaff branch of the Paisley Underground scene that was still a big part of the Los Angeles scene when Gelb arrived there from Tuscon, as if Giant Sand were the oddball high desert cousins of Green on Red. Valley of Rain is tougher and scrappier than much of what Giant Sand would release later on, and it rocks noticeably harder, though Gelb's sense of lyrical wanderlust is very much evident here, and even when the guitars wind up and the drums crack, the melodies drift on and off path with an expressive glee...

American crooner channeled golden era Roy Orbison, became unlikely hitmaker in 1990s. / Songwriter Chris Isaak clearly loves the reverb-laden rockabilly and country of Sun Studios.
Chris Isaak
Dancin' (Chris Isaak) 3:45
Voodoo (Chris Isaak) 2:41
from Silvertone 1985
Chris Isaak's debut album, Silvertone, named after his three-piece backup group, sets the pattern for his subsequent albums in its meticulously constructed retro sound. Isaak enters a time machine and emerges around 1960, when Roy Orbison is ruling the charts with his melodramatic ballads and Elvis Presley has just returned from the Army...


A neo-beatnik songwriter who grew weirder and wilder in the '80s, earning a cult following that only grew larger as the years passed. / In the 1970s, Tom Waits combined a lyrical focus on desperate, low-life characters with a persona that seemed to embody the same lifestyle, which he sang about in a raspy, gravelly voice. From the '80s on, his work became increasingly theatrical as he moved into acting and composing.
Tom Waits
Diamonds on My Windshield (Tom Waits) 3:12
(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night (Tom Waits) 3:53
Martha (Tom Waits) 4:30
The Ghosts of Saturday Night (After Hours at Napoleone's Pizza House) (Tom Waits) 3:16
Grapefruit Moon ((Tom Waits) 4:50
from Asylum Years 1986
The second British Tom Waits compilation was a more extensive look at the 1973-1980 Asylum Records catalog than the first, Bounced Checks from 1981 (four more tracks), but it was another idiosyncratic selection... The overall unevenness of the Asylum albums cries out for a well-chosen compilation.



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