Tokyo Jihen introduced me to Ned Doheny with a blistering cover of “Give It Up for Love”. Doheny’s original is far mellower but epitomizes his blue-eyed soul. This album wasn’t a success at the time, but the collector’s market all but demanded a reissue.
Soundtrack, Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock
When I was a kid, I dug the Schoolhouse Rock shorts between cartoons because they were catchy. As an adult, I find the Schoolhouse Rock songs rather sophisticated. Strip the didacticism from the songs, and you get pop music every bit as durable as anything in the American songbook.
PJ Harvey, 4-Track Demos
I have a TASCAM four-track recorder from 1991 that still works, but I’ve never really perceived it as a very robust tool. Then I heard this album, and I wonder if I can push it’s capabilities. I’m nowhere near the performer of Polly Jean, though.
Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo
My interest in Mr. Bungle pretty much started and ended with the self-titled debut, although I did own California for a brief time. But I couldn’t pass up hearing the band’s earliest work re-recorded with Slayer’s Dave Lombardo and Anthrax’s Scott Ian.
Propellerheads was one and done, but Decksandrumsandrockandroll was good enough to garner a Mercury Prize nomination. My introduction to the band happened in a gay bar in Chicago.
I don’t really care for the album cover, but it doesn’t take away from the music.
Camouflage, Methods of Silence
For some reason, I had it in my head that this album was boring compared to Voices and Images, but I was mistaken.
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.
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
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’m not sure other music writers would agree that 1998 is an important year in music for the ’90s. 1991 saw Guns N’ Roses cap the era of hair metal and Nirvana usher the unfortunately-named alternative rock. But it didn’t have Neutral Milk Hotel.
Igor Stravinsky, Le Sacre du Printemps/Symphony in Three Movements (Zubin Mehta, New York Philharmonic Orchestra)
Mazzy Star, She Hangs Brightly
Bill Frisell, Where in the World?
Fishbone, The Reality of My Surroundings
Kronos Quartet, Lutoslawski: String Quartet
Black Sheep, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Hamada Mari, Tomorrow
My Bloody Valentine, Loveless
Painkiller, Guts of a Virgin
Mr. Bungle, Mr. Bungle
Slint and My Bloody Valentine are additions 2004-me would have made. 1991-me would have side-eyed 2004-me.
And he would have scoffed at 2018-me for including Black Sheep, after emitting a gasp at seeing Fishbone on the list at all.
He would have begrudgingly nodded at the additions of Metallica and Hamada Mari, and he would have been curious about Electronic. And he would have gone out and found Painkiller the first chance he got.