Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Flesh & Blood – Roxy Music [#481]

Flesh_and_Blood_album_cover-1In an effort to destroy good music, my eldest brother made me a copy of this on a home taped cassette. If he hadn’t perhaps the music industry would still be around today.

At the time of the cassettes issue, I was in my late teens and my main interest, as for most boys, was girls. Sarah Bamber was the then girl of my dreams but my interest was spurned regularly. So, like all good teen boys, I found solace by moping about listening to music, an activity spearheaded by the music of Chris Isaak and this album.

Songs from the album such as Oh Yeah and Running Wild featured heavily in my life soundtrack of the time. I still remember trying to garner attention by listening to the album sat on the veranda at Keswick Youth Hostel during a walking holiday with the church choir.

As I grew older and I realised that a moody male attitude alone didn’t get you laid. Nor did an interest in an American guitarist (Isaak) or a wrinkly lothario and his band. My appreciation of Flesh and Blood waned and the album became just another in my vast collection. Indeed, Sarah’s interest only piqued when I became unavailable and she later ended up having a brief fling with who she thought was my best friend as a way of getting back at me
for spurning her affections. Oh how I laughed as he drew her into his own world of despair, womanising and mysogyny.

This is Roxy Music’s seventh studio album and was my introduction to Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music and originally featured on the B side of a 90 minute cassette with the A side consisting of a collection of songs by The Tubes.  Happily I now own the full album on digital media.

Which is a good thing as since home taping killed music.

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Flash Gordon OST – Queen [#480]

220px-Queen_Flash_GordonIt’s thirty five years old and still a fantastic film. I must have seen the film more times than I can count to such an extent I often find myself finishing people’s lines and quoting bits for ages.

So it’s no surprise that I have the soundtrack in my music collection. However, I’m not a Queen fan. Freddie Mercury et al did nothing for me musically with perhaps the exception of Love Kills in Moroder’s Metropolis and though Bohemian Rhapsody has its place in music history, Queen’s other output just does not feature in my collection. At school it was the rougher types that liked Queen, the Paul Midgleys and Nick Gosneys of the world who’s fathers subjected them to Queen’s greatest hits on every car journey in their Ford Sierras.  My dad played Glen Miller while my elder brothers force fed me prog and new romance from a very early age but never Queen.

Flash Gordon is a piece of its time. It should remain so and deserves no remakes or reimagining. Whedon and Abrams had better keep their mits off it. The soundtrack, like the film, remains firmly stuck in the eighties psyche like a can of Quattro and tub of Lyons Maid ice cream.

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Drama – Yes [#388]

Yes_DramaChris Squire, bass player and founding member of Yes, passed away a few weeks before I began writing this entry. His passing was about to leave a massive uncertainty with the bands future in that how can you possibly fix a giant Chris Squire sized hole in the fabric of the Yes continuum. Then came news that Squire’s colleague and former band mate and Music Project attendee, Billy Sherwood would step up to the plate.

Which is nice.

Drama arrived at an interesting point in Yes’ history. Jon Anderson had left the band to pursue projects with Vangelis. Rick Wakeman had gone too, his goal to add ice skating and twiddly keyboards to everything. That left a huge hole in the band. No singer; No keyboard player. What to do?

It was about this time that the band met producer to be, Trevor Horn and keyboard jedi, Geoff Downes. You might remember Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes from global supergroup and ground shaking behemoths the Buggles. That’s right, the band that brought you Video Killed the Radio Star.   In recognising their potential, Chris Squire invited the two to join Yes and fill the shoes of Anderson and Wakeman and history was made.

This is possibly my most favourite Yes album. I really wished that the Drama era Yes line up had produced more music like this. Contrasting between the previous Yes album Tormato and the following 90125 it’s certainly a distinctive sound. Horn struggles to reach the same pitches as Anderson, while Downes seems to lack the fingers to compete with Tony Kaye and Rick Wakeman, yet it isn’t a disaster. There are some songs on the album that were many, many years ahead of their time and it certainly shows what sort of geniuses makes up the band.

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Album #63 – All Over the World – Electric Light Orchestra

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 11.52.16 All Over the World – Electric Light Orchestra

The Very Best of, apparently.

I really liked ELO when I was a kid. I suppose the tweeness and the optimism of their tunes lent some colour to my otherwise plodding teens. I can recall listening to them (on cassette of course) while doing my evening newspaper delivery round, whistling and singing away.

The selection of tunes here are what I’d probably pick if someone said: “Do us a compilation of ELO like”. But there are a few tracks I would have added that aren’t on this mix. I often wonder what goes through the head of people who make compilation albums like this. What makes them decide “Oh this is a banging choon, lets ‘ave that one on like” and yet neglect to put a song that is far superior in quality? I will no doubt explore this further when writing the reviews for the numerous Best Of compilation albums that will feature in this project.

Curiously, it wasn’t until recently that I actually found out what lead singer Jeff Lynne looked like.

Beards.

Says it all really.

 

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