Archives

Purchase log, 2021-03-16

[Utada Hikaru - One Last Kiss EP]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

CD
  • Utada Hikaru, One Last Kiss EP
Vinyl
  • Utada Hikaru, One Last Kiss EP

Catalog

CD
  • Bobby Brown, Don’t Be Cruel
  • Natalie Merchant, Ophelia
  • S’Express, Original Soundtrack
  • Talking Heads, Talking Heads ’77
  • The Alarm, Eye of the Hurricane
  • Whitney Houston, Whitney
  • Yes, 90125
  • Zero 7, Simple Things
Vinyl
  • Dionne Warwick, Dionne
  • Emmylou Harris, Profile: Best of Emmylou Harris
  • The Manhattan Transfer, Extensions
  • Soundtrack, The Gospel at Colonus

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Purchase log, 2020-11-24

[PJ Harvey - Dry]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Dirty Vegas, Dirty Vegas
  • Dixie Chicks, Wide Open Spaces
  • Hilary Hahn, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich: Violin Concertos
  • Hiroshima, Providence
  • PJ Harvey, Dry
  • The Sugarcubes, It’s-It

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball (clear vinyl)

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Purchase log, 2020-10-27

[Skid Row - Slave to the Grind]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville
  • Ned Doheny, Hard Candy
  • Outkast, Idlewild
  • The Beta Band, The Three E.P.’s
  • The Dead Betties, Summer of ’93
Vinyl
  • Elliott Sharp, Carbon

Reissues

Vinyl
  • Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um (Record Store Day)
  • Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball
  • Faith No More, The Real Thing
  • Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi (Record Store Day)
  • Skid Row, Slave to the Grind (Record Store Day)

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Looking ahead, Sept.-Oct. 2020

[Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball]

Mikami Chisako, Emergence, Oct. 7

Mikami reset her post-fra-foa solo career in 2018 with a second debut album, confidently titled I AM Ready! This album looks like a continuation of its predecessor’s brighter sound.

Kronos Quartet, Long Time Passing, Oct. 9

Subtitled “Kronos Quartet and Friends Celebrate Pete Seeger”, this album looks like a follow-up to 2017’s Folk Songs, with fewer Nonesuch label mates collaborating.

Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 9

This album didn’t take off in the same manner as Songs from the Big Chair, but I liked it nonetheless. The 4-disc super deluxe edition is tempting, but I’m fine with the 2-disc version. I don’t need the vinyl reissue because I bought it the first time around.

Sam Amidon, Sam Amidon, Oct. 23

Amidon returns to mostly traditional material on this self-titled album, described as “the fullest realization to date of his artistic vision.”

Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, Oct. 30

Mr. Bungle goes back in time to re-record their first demo tape.

U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind (Deluxe Edition), Oct, 30

I really liked this album when it came out, mostly because Pop was insufferable. I revisited it with the vinyl reissue and found it doesn’t age well. I will probably still get some version of this deluxe edition.

Duran Duran featuring Andy Wicket, Dreaming of Your Cars: 1979 Demos Pt. 2, Oct. 30

The first set of demos with Andy Wickett on vocals featured embryonic versions of what would become Duran Duran canon. On this follow-up, “Tel Aviv” is the only recognizable title, which doesn’t mean it sounds remotely familiar. Colored vinyl is already available for order, but a CD release is slated for October.

Vinyl

Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball, Oct. 16

The deluxe edition of Wrecking Ball was released during Record Store Day. This reissue serves up just the album and is available as part of Rhino’s Rocktober series.

Peter Gabriel, Secret World Live, Nov. 6

I couldn’t make the leap of following Paula Cole’s solo career, but her backing vocals on this live album is the real highlight

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Purchase log, 2019-10-29

[Betty Davis - They Say I'm Different]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Bad Brains, Bad Brains
  • Betty Davis, They Say I’m Different
  • Boris, Sound Track from Film Mabuta no Ura
  • Dreams Come True, Love Unlimited
  • Foreigner, 4
  • God Is My Co-Pilot, I Am Not This Body
  • God Is My Co-Pilot, Straight Not
  • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Hits
  • Howard Jones, Dream Into Action
  • Leila Josefowicz, Solo
  • Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
  • Swing Out Sister, Get in Touch with Yourself
  • The Jets, The Jets
Vinyl
  • Boston, Boston
  • Doctors’ Mob, Headache Machine
  • Emmylou Harris, The Angel Band Interview
  • Gabby Pahinui, Gabby
  • Kalapana, Kalapana III
  • Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV
  • Miles Davis, Bitches Brew
  • Peter Moon, Cane Fire!
  • Soundgarden, Superunknown
  • T. Rex, Electric Warrior
  • The B-52’s, Whammy
  • The Ordinaires, One
  • Yvonne Elliman, Rising Sun
  • We Are Going to Eat You, Everywhen

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 1978

[Blondie - Parallel Lines]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

Our retrospective ends at 1978 because my collection starts thinning out at this point. I was 6 years old at the time and just starting to become aware of songs on the radio. Of course, nothing on this list would have appealed to 6-year-old me.

  1. Steve Reich, Music for 18 Musicians
  2. Brian Eno, Ambient 1: Music for Airports
  3. Kate Bush, The Kick Inside
  4. Emmylou Harris, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town
  5. Blondie, Parallel Lines
  6. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Variations
  7. Andy Gibb, Shadow Dancing
  8. Willie Nelson, Stardust
  9. Kate Bush, Lionheart
  10. The Police, Outlandos d’Amour

Other favorites from the year:

  • Clannad, In Concert
  • Rap Reiplinger, Poi Dog

I loved Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, but when my dad saw her perform on Solid Gold, he hated her on sight. “She looks drugged,” he would complain, so I wasn’t allowed to listen to Blondie. That didn’t stop my brother from picking up the 7-inch singles for “The Tide Is High” and “Rapture.”

I can only imagine what dad would have said if he saw Kate Bush dancing in “Wuthering Heights.”

If any album on this list would have appealed to 6-year-old me, it would be Rap Reiplinger’s Poi Dog. Local radio played Reiplinger’s skits regularly, and I enjoyed hearing “Room Service” over and over again.

I didn’t realize those skits were available on an album. I thought only radio could broadcast them, so it wasn’t until Poi Dog was reissued on CD in 1992 that I could relive that thrill.

Reiplinger forged the Honolulu stand-up comic scene, and it died when he did in 1984. Or maybe it was the humorlessness of the 1980s.

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 1979

[The Manhattan Transfer - Extensions]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

1979 is officially the year I started collecting music. And it’s all because of a post-disco hit about the Twilight Zone theme song. This list, though, couldn’t have been compiled till 2006.

  1. Gang of Four, Entertainment!
  2. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Evita
  3. Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd
  4. Philip Glass, Einstein on the Beach
  5. Midnight Oil, Head Injuries
  6. Talking Heads, Fear of Music
  7. The Clash, London Calling
  8. Michael Jackson, Off the Wall
  9. The Police, Reggatta de Blanc
  10. Emmylou Harris, Blue Kentucky Girl

Other favorites from the year:

  • The Manhattan Transfer, Extensions
  • The B-52’s, The B-52’s

The hit in question is “Twilight Tone” by the Manhattan Transfer.

Though more renowned as a jazz vocal quartet, the group wouldn’t get on my radar till “Twilight Tone” invaded the airwaves. Search YouTube for a performance of the song on a variety show — it’s amazing what people will endure for art. Or gimmickry.

My parents relented and bought the Extensions album for me. Of course, I played “Twilight Tone” to death, but I also dug the other songs on the album. Unlike “Twilight Tone”, they ranged from doo-wop to a capella. One song was a bizarre novelty with the singers voices rendered at chipmunk speed. You could say this was Manhattan Transfer’s disco album.

I’ve included it in the extended list. As fond as I am of the album, I have a better sense of what 1979 really offered as a year in music.

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 1980

[ABBA - Greatest Hits, Vol. 2]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

If my 8-year-old self were in control of this list, the soundtrack to Xanadu would occupy the top spot. The only other title he might have recognized would be Diana. And he would have questioned the inclusion of AC/DC.

  1. U2, Boy
  2. David Bowie, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
  3. Kate Bush, Never for Ever
  4. Diana Ross, Diana
  5. X, Los Angeles
  6. Grace Jones, Warm Leatherette
  7. Killing Joke, Killing Joke
  8. Talking Heads, Remain in Light
  9. AC/DC, Back in Black
  10. Emmylou Harris, Roses in the Snow

Other favorites from the year:

  • The Police, Zenyatta Mondatta
  • Soundtrack, Xanadu
  • ABBA, Super Trouper
  • The B-52’s, Wild Planet

The roots of my collecting bug are anchored in 1980.

I would bug my mom to buy me 7-inch singles. I was told I didn’t have the sufficient capacity to judge whether a full album would be worth the purchase price. My mom wasn’t about to drop cash on a set of songs if only one of them would entertain me.

So I amassed quite a lot of singles — “Tell It Like Is” by Heart, “A Lover’s Holiday” by Change, “Stomp!” by the Brothers Johnson.

I was, however, a pest about ABBA. The age of eight seems to be the right level of maturity for ABBA to sink its sugary hooks into an impressionable mind. My niece was crazy for Mamma Mia, the movie musical, right around the age I bugged my parents to get me their Greatest Hits, Vol. 2. The first volume didn’t have “Chiquitita.”

Video games interrupted my interest in music for four years, so it makes me wonder in how much more trouble I’d be today without that disruption.

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 1987

[Sonic Youth - Sister]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

I go on and on about how much I love 1987 that I should just shut up and let the list speak for itself. Unsurprisingly, the Favorite 10 hasn’t changed, saved one correction.

  1. U2, The Joshua Tree
  2. Sting, … Nothing Like the Sun
  3. 10,000 Maniacs, In My Tribe
  4. Sinéad O’Connor, The Lion and the Cobra
  5. Bulgarian State TV & Radio Women’s Choir, Le Mystère de Voix Bulgares
  6. John Adams, The Chairman Dances
  7. Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera
  8. Wendy & Lisa, Wendy & Lisa
  9. Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction
  10. R.E.M., Document

Other favorites from the year:

  • Kronos Quartet, White Man Sleeps
  • Depeche Mode, Music for the Masses
  • Dolly Parton / Linda Ronstadt / Emmylou Harris, Trio
  • The Art of Noise, In No Sense? Nonsense!
  • Swing Out Sister, It’s Better to Travel
  • Hiroshima, Go
  • The Smiths, Strangeways, Here We Come
  • Eurythmics, Savage
  • INXS, Kick
  • Sonic Youth, Sister
  • The Dukes of the Stratosphear, Psonic Psunspot
  • Dead Can Dance, Within the Realm of a Dying Sun
  • Icehouse, Man of Colours
  • In Tua Nua, Vaudeville
  • Johnny Hates Jazz, Turn Back the Clock

I originally listed the cast recording of Into the Woods in the Favorite 10, but I discovered it was actually released in 1988.

The extended list is shorter than the one for 1988, but I’ve actually added fewer titles from 1987 since the original list was compiled. I think I also like these albums more intensely because I had discovered them at the time, and they’ve made a lasting impression.

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Favorite Edition Rewind: 1989

[De La Soul - 3 Feet And and Rising]

A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.

It shouldn’t be a surprise the largest expansion in my collection focuses on the late 1980s, i.e. my high school years. The Favorite 10 list from these years won’t see much change, as 1989 demonstrates, but the expanded lists risk becoming ridiculously long.

  1. The B-52’s, Cosmic Thing
  2. Camper Van Beethoven, Key Lime Pie
  3. Julee Cruise, Floating Into the Night
  4. Faith No More, The Real Thing
  5. Steve Reich, Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint
  6. Fugazi, 13 Songs
  7. Emmylou Harris, Bluebird
  8. Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love
  9. Madonna, Like a Prayer
  10. Janet Jackson, Rhythm Nation 1814

Other favorites from the year:

  • The Replacements, Don’t Tell a Soul
  • Hoodoo Gurus, Magnum Cum Louder
  • All About Eve, Scarlet and Other Stories
  • XTC, Oranges and Lemons
  • De La Soul, 3 Feet High and Rising
  • Nirvana, Bleach
  • Pixies, Doolittle
  • Wayne Horvitz / The President, Bring Yr Camera
  • John Zorn, Spy Vs. Spy
  • Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir, Le Mystère de Voix Bulgares, Vol. 2
  • Nakamori Akina, CRUISE
  • Depeche Mode, 101

Fugazi displaces The Replacements, who made a shot for the charts by cleaning up their sound.

I saw this ad in Pulse magazine and scoffed at it:

[I came in for U2. I came out with De La Soul]

Today, I nod my head and say, “Yeah, that’s about right.” But it took 30 years before I had enough life experience to understand how breathtaking 3 Feet High and Rising is.

Nevermind introduced me to Nirvana like the rest of the world, but I prefer Bleach.

The events in Nakamori Akina’s life at the time CRUISE was released overshadowed the maturity of the album. It’s not ground-breaking the way Fushigi is, but it’s an album that could have only been recorded after it.

I saw Depeche Mode in concert in 2017, and 101 ruined my experience of it. I had been listening to 101 in the weeks leading up to the concert, and understandably, the band stacked the set list more toward recent work than “the hits”.

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