Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Final Cut – Pink Floyd [#469]

FloydFC-Cover01The twelfth studio album by Pink Floyd.

It still amuses me to think about a former acquaintance of mine insisting that the only Pink Floyd album available on CD was Animals and that his copy was a rare limited edition. Yet several visits to HMV  and a brandishing of a fistful of CDs in a face later I was still to hear an apology or admission that he was an idiot.  Still, I like to also imagine that he spent some time in his later life, dropping the soap in the showers at the local penitentiary.

Final Cut often comes across as a Roger Waters solo album and, indeed, legend has it that at this point in the band’s career, the other members of the group couldn’t be arsed had fallen out and eventually Waters was to go his own way leaving Gilmour to ruin or enhance the band depending on your point of view. A concept album about the futility and effects of war on those that are sent out to do the dirty while the privileged stay at home and enjoy their riches.

I really like this album. It always sends me on a journey through bitterness via anger and culminating in a shiver down my spine. I’m also of the opinion that it should be compulsory listening for MPs before voting on whether to go to war. I dream that, come the revolution, my MP, Chris Heaton-Harris (who has me blocked on Twitter), will be forced to listen to this album whilst tied naked to a chair in Daventry Country Park on a cold wet Wednesday in February.

However, the album is divisive amongst fans of the band with four camps forming, those that see it as Waters’ final push to break the band apart and hating it, those that see it as a swan song for the band and love it, and those that don’t feel strong about it either way. I sit firmly in the fourth camp, those that really like it and don’t care. What do you think?

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Essential Jean Michel Jarre – Jean Michel Jarre [#432]

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 11.55.04<sigh> I really could re-use the “Essential/Essentially” gag here too as Essential is, essentially the first Jean Michel Jarre Best of Compilation. But I won’t because re-releasing old material as new stuff is so 1990s it’s unbelievable.

And lazy.

Aero, Essential is a kind of “Best of” revisited. Nice if you want to relive the cardigan wearing, garish carpeted childhood of the 1970s. Nicer still if you just want to pop some acid with your hipster friend while staring at their Mathmos glooping and shlooping about on the table.

It’s kind of thought provoking that this music evolved into Air.

 

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Crises – Mike Oldfield [#322]

Mike_oldfield_crises_album_coverCrises is Oldfield’s eighth studio album. Released in 1983, it arrived in my CD collection in the 90s and was probably about the 5th CD I ever bought.

Three things struck me about Crises.

  1. It features a song with Jon Anderson (Yes)
  2. The title track Crises features a great deal of Oldfield tropes; his distinguishable guitar sound, lyrical references to Virgin and musical themes that would reappear in later albums.
  3. It has the hit single Moonlight Shadow

For me, this album was the start of my theory that the music I like is all interconnected somehow. Something I’m still yet to prove.

 

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Construction Time Again – Depeche Mode [#306]

Depeche_Mode_-_Construction_Time_AgainMore from Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and co, this time with their third studio album featuring the renown Everything Counts. This is a further departure from the Vince Clarke Depeche Mode era but still the fingers of Clarke linger like an audio version of a shitty smell.

It’s after this album that the more familiar Depeche Mode sound starts to flourish but this is a good stopping off point for those keen to identify the beginnings of early industrial genre music.

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9012 Live: The Solos & 90125- Yes [#20] & [#21]

9012 Live: The Solos – Yes

People that have known me for a while will no doubt agree when I say, as a youth, I was weird. When all my contemporaries were enjoying U2, Deacon Blue, Blur and Shakespear’s Sister; I was deeply entrenched in a puddle of prog. Most notably, Yes and Triumvirat.

As I reached my early teens my desire for music grew. HMV became the Minaret that called me through it’s doors to the music Mecca that was inside. Remember, this was many years before the Internetz and free musicz. You would have to go through the LPs and CDs alphabetically by artist and hope that there would be something new or exciting within your price range. If they didn’t have the album, you could ask them to order it, but they’d probably charge a fortune. Or you could just hope that on the off chance it would somehow miraculously appear in the racks.

In the day, records were out of my price range and I would use Christmas and Birthdays to boost the contents of my music library by asking grandparents to buy me the albums or by using gift vouchers. One of the albums I got during this time was this. Unfortunately the vinyl got warped somewhere between the printing press and my record player. I didn’t have a receipt. I didn’t have the courage to ask for a refund. Instead I listened to the listenable bits and made do.

This album reminds me of so much about my childhood. Probably because this and the accompanying studio album and video were on repeat

90125 – Yes

I wrote to Jimmy Peado Saville and asked him to fix it for me to sing with Yes because of this album. He was obviously too busy fiddling to Fix anything for me.

90125 is a break from the twiddly weirdness of their earlier stuff. A complete style change from Tormato and Drama. Yet it works. It works well. They even had a new guitarist. Trevor Rabin (Steve Howe had gone to play with Asia). He looked so cool I wanted long hair like his. I wanted to be dark haired so I could have long hair like his. This was new stuff and a new style that would continue to evolve and grow like me. I must have listened to this album a million times as teen and as a twenteen. With the VHS live video to accompany it too.

Incidentally, this is the album which contains Owner of a Lonely Heart; Yes’ most famous song.

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