Todays daily prompt is to talk about the busiest day we have had in the last decade. My busiest days in a longtime came at this years Larmer Tree Festival where I was working as a photographer whilst at the same time interviewing artists for this blog and trying to spend time with my wife :)
Here goes with day 12 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection. They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released. You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions. Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Released in 1979 by factory records at the tail end of the punk rock revolution Unknown Pleasures is quite simply a masterpiece, It was a dark, threatening, disturbing angry masterpiece. I suspect that if Ian Curtis had not hanged himself in 1980 we would now be looking back on a vast cannon of work by one of the best bands ever to emerge in the UK. As it is Joy Divisions reputation has reached legendary status. I was lucky enough to catch Peter Hook and the Light earlier this year in a set consisting almost entirely of Joy Division songs. Whilst the exquisite torture of Ian Curtis’s vocal could never be replicated the gig was one of the highlights of my band watching career.
Unknown Pleasures is an intoxicating mixture of musical triumph and personal tragedy that just sweeps you away with its power and intensity. Hooks have thumping basslines, Sumners shrieking guitar and Curtis’s tortured vocals combine to create and atmosphere quite unlike anything I have experienced before or since. Whilst I was in the Navy I served in the South Atlantic and it is no exaggeration to say that losing myself in Joy Divisions Music saved my sanity.
The album’s raw power is still gripping, most notably on the haunting ‘Day Of The Lords’ and ‘She’s Lost Control’, which Curtis, who was epileptic, wrote in sympathy after hearing that a girl he knew with the same condition had died. Even the more upbeat moments on the album make you feel every pained thought in Curtis’s tortured mind.
This album really broke the mould. 40 minutes of pain filled torturous brilliance. I doubt we will ever see its like again.
Oops just realised I accidentally included a pingback to the daily post by accident. Sorry I was trying to do too many things at once.
That Friday feeling is a place to share something with the world. It could be a song, a poem, a painting or a photograph, anything at all. There is but one rule. Whatever it is must touch you on an emotional level.
Either drop me a note with a link and I will post here or leave a comment with a ping back to your own blog. Join in and share that Friday feeling :)
Here goes with day 10 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection. They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released. You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions. Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).
Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding
It is well documented that John Wesley harding was pulled together when Dylan had hit the big time and responded by withdrawing the public eye. He claimed he was recovering from a motorcycle accident but many claimed that this was just an excuse for Dylan to spend some time out of the limelight. Whatever the truth the period he spent out of the public eye was an extremely creative period with a huge number of songs being written. In late 1967 he went to Nashville and recorded John Wesley Harding an album with more than a tinge of a Country music feel about it.
The snarling growl from Blonde on Blonde gave way to a much more laid back, tuned down and relaxed album. This was the second of Dylans reinventions of himself. The critics loved it, the fans were as confused as they had been after he went electric at Newport in 1965. ‘John Wesley Harding’ was in my view a work of genius it feels casual and relaxed but the clever lyrics, the allegory, the shuffle guitar and the biting blues harp interludes showcase an artist at the top of his game.
The title track, I dreamed I saw St Augustine and the Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest all sparkle with energy, they all throw the battle between good and evil into stark relief and in the latter Dylan produces what in my opinion is one of his greatest ever pieces of work.
‘All Along the Watchtower’ and ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’ perhaps sound a little more like the Dylan of previous albums but this was Dylans move back to exploring the roots of american music. The music is a brilliant adaption of traditional blues and country and western music.
“Dear Landlord” is a veiled pop at capitalism whilst “I Am A Lonesome Hobo” recalls Rimbaud’s travels through Europe evoking perhaps a passing nod to one of his hero’s Woody Guthrie. This really was a ground breaking album, if you don’t know it I urge you to give it a listen. It is well worth the effort and is in my view one of Dylan’s most under-rated masterpieces.