Why Don't More People Know About This Album?

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Who Shot Sam?
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Why Don't More People Know About This Album?

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:49 pm

Thought it might be fun to have a thread on under-appreciated gems. These can be either obscure/forgotten albums by well-known bands or great records by bands most of us have never heard of. Tell us why you think it's deserving of more attention.

I'll start with Shack's Waterpistol. Shack is a band from Liverpool with virtually no profile here in the States. They're better known in the UK, but not by much. This album should have been their breakthrough in 1991, but due to a studio fire the tapes were thought lost. A copy was eventually located, but the album wasn't released until 1995 on the fairly obscure German label, Marina.

It's bursting with great tunes with a bit of a psychedelic edge and lyrics that are sometimes heartbreaking in their honesty (especially "Neighbours," about parents - arguably willingly - turning a blind eye blind to their son's drug addiction).

Love this disc. Their recent album, ...The Corner of Miles and Gil, is excellent too, but Waterpistol has that extra spark.

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Last edited by Who Shot Sam? on Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mr. Average
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Postby Mr. Average » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:39 am

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Slash/Warner Bros. (9 26786-2)
USA 1992

Steve Berlin, saxophones (tenor, baritone, soprano), flute, melodica, harmonica, organ, piano, synthesizer, percussion; David Hidalgo, guitars, accordion, violin, banjo, piano, percussion, vocals; Conrad R. Lozano, Fender 5-string jazz bass, 4-string precision bass, fretless bass, guitarron, background vocals; Louie Perez, drums, vocals, guitars, percussion, couch, phone; Cesar Rosas, electric and acoustic guitars, vocals; Pete Thomas, drums; Victor Bisetti, drums and percussion; Fermin Herrera, Veracruz harp; Alex Acuna, percussion; Gary Mallaber, drums; Mitchell Froom, keyboards; La Chilapena bass band

Grammy Winning Epic. I never tire of it.

Good excerpt from review:The overall mood: night-time, moody, dark, dusky, sad, angry, dreamy, contemplative, mischevous. The overall style: surreal-sounding melodies and complex, subtle, exotic rhythms. Overall genres: I can hear everything from rock to blues to samba to acoustic folk to Tex-Mex to jazz to Mexican roots music to 80s guitar rock
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Postby Mechanical Grace » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:21 pm

AGree about Kiko, and I'm putting Shack on my list, cause I recall you raving about it before, too.

Here's mine. A missed '90s trip-hop gem, great middle of the night grooves for the lovelorn:

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Postby BlueChair » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:54 pm

Jon Brion - Meaningless

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Maybe I've mentioned this before, but this underrated gem is one of my favourite albums of all-time.

If you've heard of Jon Brion, it's probably because of his production (Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, Kanye West) or film score (Magnolia, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, I Heart Huckabees) work. But Brion's also got one solo album to his name and it's really, really good. A lot of the songs are very similar to Aimee Mann circa 1993-1999, largely because Brion did so much to define her sound at the time. There's songs for every occasion on here... hard-edged rockers ("I Believe She's Lying", Meaningless"), gorgeous ballads ("Trouble", "Ruin My Day")....

The album's not available widely, but you can order it and listen to samples here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jonbrion
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Postby mood swung » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:43 pm

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Maybe lots of people have heard them - I never had until I came across Gangsters & Thugs on a Napster playlist. This is their debut, and yes there are one or two I always skip (Quick Death and One Seventeen, sometimes Romper Stomper) but the rest. Wow. Sonic heaven. Lyrically light, I can't deny, but the music goes to really interesting places.

I dare you. :lol:
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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:51 pm

Good stuff. Keep 'em coming!
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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:56 pm

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Perfect from start to finish. Heaps of power chords , lashings of Hammond B-3 and Farfisa Organ , Pharez Whitted's trumpet on "Love And Happiness" and "Whenever We Wanted" - that's it I'm sticking it on now - LOUD!

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Postby Mr. Average » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:19 pm

When was the Cougar album released? He blew his voice there for a long while and I wonder if this is post, where he was so heavily reliant on background vocal support and dubbing. I presume, since you nominated it, it was before, when his voice was strong and he remained underrated. It is interesting to see peoples reactions to a Johnny Cougar Mellonballs Mellencamp retrospective...most don't realize this guys diversity and intensity. And the mark he has left on rock and roll is a beautymark, not a blemish.
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Postby Boy With A Problem » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:22 pm

Good thread - I should check out Shack - I just need to make sure I don't pick up this by mistake -

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Surprised to see Johnny Cougar on here - I still have a tough time with him and have probably been too hard on him for too long.

I have a bunch of records that probably fall into this category, but the first one to pop into my head is Linton Kwesi Johnson's Forces of Victory from 1979. All Music Guide calls it;

"Dramatic and intense to the point of claustrophobia, Forces of Victory is not simply one of the most important reggae records of its time, it's one of the most important reggae records ever recorded."

But it's not like other reggae records - LKJ's songs are more like poems - and he doesn't really sing - but the whole thing comes off incredibly melodic....and it's not Jamaican reggae either - transplanted to England.

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Postby Jackson Monk » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:34 pm

Boy With A Problem wrote:Good thread - I should check out Shack - I just need to make sure I don't pick up this by mistake -

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Surprised to see Johnny Cougar on here - I still have a tough time with him and have probably been too hard on him for too long.

I have a bunch of records that probably fall into this category, but the first one to pop into my head is Linton Kwesi Johnson's Forces of Victory from 1979. All Music Guide calls it;

"Dramatic and intense to the point of claustrophobia, Forces of Victory is not simply one of the most important reggae records of its time, it's one of the most important reggae records ever recorded."

But it's not like other reggae records - LKJ's songs are more like poems - and he doesn't really sing - but the whole thing comes off incredibly melodic....and it's not Jamaican reggae either - transplanted to England.

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What a coincidence. For some inexplicable reason I had a hankering after some LKJ the oher day and dusted down my copy of Forces of Victory. Great stuff.
8)
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Postby pophead2k » Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:03 pm

Denzil - Pub

Any Costello fan will likely take to this fantastically wordy and incredibly catchy album, released in 1994 on the defunct Giant label. Denzil is songwriter Denzil Thomas and band, and the sound is acoustic based pop. Standout tracks include "Useless", "Fat Loose Fancies Me", "Funnymoon", and "Running the Family". I have turned a lot of people onto this album- it inevitably becomes a top ten favorite of everyone who listens and is into this type of thing.

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Postby goodbyegirl » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:57 pm

I'd like to offer: Jellyfish-"Bellybutton"

Catchy tunes, kind of has I guess what you would call a 70's vibe to it. Too bad they only put out 2 records. Put on a great live show as well.

Also: Frente- "Marvin the album"

Got this in my music buying heyday. Australian female lead singer with a great band. I'm re-discovering it all again tonight. Good thread idea, as lately it seems I've been listening to the same cd's all the time

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Postby Mike Boom » Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:30 am

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All the way from my home town in Devonport New Zealand, resident in London England, son of XTC's Barry Andrews, Finn Andrews and his band produce an album of amazing songs. Passionate, literate, melodic ,intense, moving, brilliant.

Havent heard their new album "Nux Vomica" , but it is released in the US next month. Cant wait.

"Berenice
Beneath it all you're golden
And that's all I'm feeding on"

"That I don't want to live in your side
Though the rose is vermillion
And I find it so hard to survive
Without when within you
My sweet Lavinia"

"From this hoodlum skin
I can always run to him
Undeserved, capsized
In the gutters of his eyes "

P.S They do a wicked version of Scritti's "Lions After Slumber", which isnt on the album, but you can find it on ITUNES, from some Rough Trade compilation.
echos myron like a siren
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:02 pm

Jackson Monk wrote:What a coincidence. For some inexplicable reason I had a hankering after some LKJ the oher day and dusted down my copy of Forces of Victory. Great stuff.

Fabulous record. It wasn't under-appreciated if you were an NME reader in '79, it was pretty big news, which is why I got it (that and John Peel), but it was fabulous. I think the Peel session was just the solo pieces recited by him, but the interaction of this and the heavy reggae beats was perfect, and very much English reggae, as you say. Things like this played a huge part in forging my political conscience. I recall doing a 6th form assembly thing presenting my favourite lyrics and playing Sonny's Lettah. Some twats in the audience were giggling as they'd never been exposed to anything like this before and were too thick to understand it.
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Postby martinfoyle » Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:02 pm

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Picked up a promo copy of this a while back on a whim and ripped it to my Zen Vision. Listening on random, as always, tracks from this album keep popping up and intriguing me each time. Its a grower alright, defintely must check out his other stuff.

http://www.barsuk.com/bands/johnvanderslice

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Postby bambooneedle » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:06 pm

John Brion was also involved with producing and playing on Elliott Smith's From A Basement On A Hill, that's how I came to first hear of him.

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Postby Mechanical Grace » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:56 am

Two people asked me about Olive. Having looked around the web some, it seems this single was very much around in the UK, so maybe this doesn't even belong here, but I do love this record. They're hard for me to classify, mostly because I'm just not hip enough to know the differences between all the dance sub-genres of the past 10 years! There's a lot of techno in it but it's too melodic for that classification.

Best just to have a listen:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=dLeP051ZHtk&mode=related&search=

This was their single, it' s a bit more straight-out R&B/disco than some of the record, which includes some almost ambient stuff, but it's not atypical. Great production, to my ears anyway. A good one for headphones.

I also saw them do an acoustic (!) set for about 50 people, thanks to a Boston radio friend of mine. I was blown away by the vocals in such a spare setting, and the band were really friendly and relaxed.

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Postby Mechanical Grace » Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:23 am

PS, the vocalist in question, Ruth-Ann Boyle, has a Durutti Column connection (vocal samples on Sex and Death) which Otis will want to note for that massive Vini Reilly family tree he's drawing on the walls of his basement in his spare time.

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Postby Mr. Average » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:57 pm

Mechanical Grace wrote:Two people asked me about Olive. Having looked around the web some, it seems this single was very much around in the UK, so maybe this doesn't even belong here, but I do love this record. They're hard for me to classify, mostly because I'm just not hip enough to know the differences between all the dance sub-genres of the past 10 years! There's a lot of techno in it but it's too melodic for that classification.

Best just to have a listen:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=dLeP051ZHtk&mode=related&search=

This was their single, it' s a bit more straight-out R&B/disco than some of the record, which includes some almost ambient stuff, but it's not atypical. Great production, to my ears anyway. A good one for headphones.

I also saw them do an acoustic (!) set for about 50 people, thanks to a Boston radio friend of mine. I was blown away by the vocals in such a spare setting, and the band were really friendly and relaxed.


Thank you
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Postby cosmos » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:06 pm

Daydreams - Joe Pisapia
Volunteered Slavery - Rahsaan Roland Kirk

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:41 pm

Mechanical Grace wrote:PS, the vocalist in question, Ruth-Ann Boyle, has a Durutti Column connection (vocal samples on Sex and Death) which Otis will want to note for that massive Vini Reilly family tree he's drawing on the walls of his basement in his spare time.

How d'you find out about that?
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Postby strangerinthehouse » Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:50 am

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Cody Chesnutt is like a Funk-Folk singer. A lot of his songs are guitar driven with many catchy riffs like on "The Seed." He made this record with a 4-track in his bedroom or what he calls the "sonic promiseland." The record ranges from Hip-Hop to Soul, gospel, folk and Pop rock.
Between the songs about sex and girls and the slacker anthems this is a fun but very reflective record. One of my favorite songs is called "Eric Burdon" I think it is just him and his guitar singing about Pressure from God to live up to His standars.
I don't think a lot of people who are not musicians have heard of him, I know mainstram acts like the Roots and even Dave chappelle know of him but he has not gotten any genuine interest.
I wish he would release another record but I've read that he has taken a break from recording after the birth of his child. he lives here in Florida, maybe I'll track him down.
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Mike Boom
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Postby Mike Boom » Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:08 am

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DIZRYTHMIA

..before Crowded House, and before Neil took over Split Enz, when the band still belonged to Tim and Phil Judd (though he had just left the band his ghostly presence is all over this record), in fact Neils first album with the band, and only the bands third, and it is their masterpiece.
A brilliant fusion of Prog/White Album Beatles /Music Hall/Gershwin all packed into brilliant rocking pop songs and ballads and winding, gear shifting epics like "Jamboree" and "Without A Doubt" , all brilliantly produced by Mr Golden Ears himself , the wonderous Geoff Emerick.

Unfortunately released in 1977 , the year when being brilliant was dismissed in favour of anything with a saftety pin through it.
echos myron like a siren

with endurance like the liberty bell

and he tells you of the dreamers

but he's cracked up like the road

and he'd like to lift us up, but we're a very heavy load

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Postby migdd » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:38 pm


Mechanical Grace
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Postby Mechanical Grace » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:25 pm

This is not a flawless album, but the good parts are so very, very good:

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