Cacophony No.A

Posted on 5th October 2021

Next poll was for 1997.

For those that might not know, I used to crew for Prolapse for a while, and helped to name one of songs on The Italian Flag, and a b-side. So while I might be biased, slightly, this was still my most played album of 1997. The band are great at throwing sounds around, seeing what works, and then letting Scottish Mick and Linda just layer words on top. Watching them rehearse some of these songs was an absolute delight. Cacophony No.A is by far my favourite Prolapse, but Tunguska, Flat Velocity Curve, Visa For Violet And Van, and Slash Stroke Oblique are not far behind. The singles were pretty damn awesome too ... as always.

I've been a long time fan of Gary Numan's, since he released Are Friends Electric? with Tubeway Army. As many have noted, he did seem to lose his direction during the late 80s/early 90s, and while I still bought the records, as there were the odd standout tracks, but the albums themselves didn't really grab his fan base. That was until he release the predecessor to this album, Sacrifice, with a return to a style that should perhaps have followed Warriors and Besererker. If there was any doubt this was a return to form, Exile was proof he'd recaptured his sound. Not a duff track among them, and if wasn't for those pesky kids Prolapse, this would easily been my number one choice for the year. Dominon Day and Absolution still favourites though.

I don't remember what song I heard first by KMFDM, but it was a club the band I was working with were playing that night, and the DJ was playing some records to get himself set for the evening. But it really caught my ears, and a member of the crew told me it was KMFDM. I've since become a big fan, but it was perhaps this album, usually refered to as Symbols due to the symbols on the cover, that convinced me they were worth investing in. While Stray Bullet and Megalomaniac might be my favourites, every track is a delight.

The band Live, despite having the worst name for Google, were on a roll with Secret Samadhi. Following Throwing Copper, I had eagerly awaited to hear what they did next, and I wasn't disappointed. From the opener of Rattlesnake, continuing through with the wonderful Turn My Head and heropsychodreamer, and ending with Gas Hed Goes West, it was another great album.

Another band I crewed for over the years is IQ, having been a fan since late '83 or early '84. While Subterranea might not be my favourite IQ album, it did mark a change for them, opening up musically and thematically more than I felt they had previously. The whole album is a concept, but unlike their previous attempts at this, the pieces seemed to fit much better, and overall the songs and the narrative flows ... even if I still haven't quite figured out the full story!

1Prolapse The Italian Flag
2Gary NumanExile
3KMFDMSymbols
4LiveSecret Samadhi
5IQSubterranea
6RammsteinSehnsucht
7MogwaiYoung Team
8MarillionThis Strange Engine
9Bardo PondLapsed
10Godspeed You! Black EmperorF♯ A♯ ∞
11Veruca SaltEight Arms to Hold You
12Echo & The BunnymenEvergreen
13EchobellyLustra
14Depeche ModeUltra
15that dogRetreat from the Sun
16The SundaysStatic And Silence
17Porcupine TreeComa Divine
18Karma To BurnKarma To Burn
19SevendustSevendust
20My Life With The Thrill Kill KultA Crime For All Seasons
21Die KruppsParadise Now
22ChumbawambaTubthumper
23:wumpscut:Embryodead
24Funker VogtWe Came to Kill
25Front Line Assembly(FLA)vour of the Weak
26YesKeys to Ascension 2
27Led ZeppelinBBC Sessions
28LevellersMouth To Mouth
29TarnationMirador
30JadisSomersault
31Flying Saucer AttackNew Lands
32Jean-Michel JarreOxygène 7–13
3310,000 ManiacsLove Among the Ruins
34JamesWhiplash
35Natalie ImbrugliaLeft of the Middle
36INXSElegantly Wasted
37Duran DuranMedazzaland
38Neil Young & Crazy HorseYear of the Horse
39Foo FightersThe Colour and the Shape
40MegadethCryptic Writings
41W.A.S.P.Kill Fuck Die
42Indigo GirlsShaming of the Sun
43PrinceThe Truth
44KissCarnival of Souls: The Final Sessions
45StyxReturn to Paradise
46The EnidWhite Goddess
47Madder RoseTragic Magic
48BjörkHomogenic
49KerbdogOn The Turn
50Green DayNimrod

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Karn Evil 9

Posted on 4th October 2021

So the next fortnightly poll was for 1973.

In 1973 I was listening mostly to the Pop and Glam Rock songs that featured on Radio One and Top Of The Pops at the time. However, a few years later, I discovered John Peel (Mon-Thu) and Tommy Vance's Friday Night Rock Show (Fri). I'd then head into record shops around Cheshire on the weekend to see what I could find. Some of those delights help shape my musical tastes.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer were a band I'd never heard the like of before, or since. Tommy Vance played Karn Evil 9 in full one night, and I was blown away. They set the scene for many advetures into what was sometimes termed Progressive Rock, at others Symphonic Rock. I bought the vinyl with the fold-out cut-away sleeve, that is probably worth a bit these days. The H.R.Giger artwork was fascinating, and I end up buying a poster of it to hang on my wall. Although Karn Evil 9 grabbed my attention, after listening to the full album, Still ... You Turn Me On became my favourite ELP song.

Argueably Genesis' finest hour, Selling England By The Pound was enthralling from start to finish. I always loved Cinema Show musically, but the imagary conjured up in the lyrics of The Battling Of Epping Forest told a whole movie in my head. And the word play in Aisle Of Plenty to round off the album, always made me smile, turn the record over, and play it all again. 

Early Black Sabbath were force to be reckoned with. Great lyrics, awesome riffs, and a powerhouse that laid a blueprint for so many rock and metal bands still to this day. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath was for me, the last release of the band at their peak in the 70s. The title track, Killing Yourself To Live and Spiral Architect still send shivers down my spine each time I hear them.

Thanks to Tommy Vance I had been listening to Yes for a while, but while in a second-hand record shop in Crewe, I picked out the live triple album Yessongs!, with a glorious fold-out cover. It was agonising waiting to get home to play it, but was absolutely worth the wait. I closed my eyes and imagined I was there. Sides five and six would frequently get repeat plays with Close To The Edge, Yours Is No Disgrace and Starship Trooper, but the whole album was an absolute delight.

For several years, House Of The Holy might get the odd play, but compared to Led Zeppelin's first four albums, it really took a long time before I really got into it. I have no idea why either, as The Song Remains The Same, The Crunge and No Quarter have become standout tracks from their repetoire for me, and I've since played it more than their first three albums.

1Emerson, Lake & PalmerBrain Salad Surgery
2GenesisSelling England By The Pound
3Black SabbathSabbath Bloody Sabbath
4YesYessongs!
5Led ZeppelinHouse Of The Holy
6BudgieNever Turn Your Back On A Friend
7The Sensational Alex Harvey BandNext
8Bruce SpringsteenGreetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
9Lynyrd Skynyrd(Pronounced 'Lěh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
10Plnk FloydThe Dark Side Of The Moon
11Jethro TullA Passion Play
12GenesisGenesis Live
13Jefferson AirplaneThirty Seconds Over Winterland
14ABBARing Ring
15The WailersBurnin'
16The WailersCatch a Fire
17Alice CooperBillion Dollar Babies
18ZZ TopTres Hombres
19Little FeatDixie Chicken
20QueenQueen
21FreeHeartbreaker
22Status QuoHello!
23NazerethRazamanaz
24MontroseMontrose
25NazerethLoud 'n' Proud
26Thin LizzyVagabonds of the Western World
27David BowieAladdin Sane
28Bruce SpringsteenThe Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
29Blue Öyster CultTyranny And Mutation
30Mike OldfieldTubular Bells
31FocusAt the Rainbow
32The StoogesRaw Power
33Paul McCartney & WingsBand on the Run
34Elton JohnGoodbye Yellow Brick Road
35Elton JohnDon't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
36AerosmithAerosmith
37Deep PurpleWho Do We Think We Are
38The WhoQuadrophenia
39Billy JoelPiano Man
40Grateful DeadWake of the Flood
41HorslipsThe Táin
42EaglesDesperado
43Neil YoungTime Fades Away
44Klaus SchulzeCyborg
45Steely DanCountdown to Ecstasy
46Roxy MusicFor Your Pleasure
47Roxy MusicStranded
4810cc10cc
49HawkwindSpace Ritual
50Creedence Clearwater RevivalLive in Europe

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The Pot

Posted on 3rd October 2021

I've been a bit behind on the poll posts, but I'm aiming to catch up over the next few days!

So the next poll year is 2006.

First off, topping my list was Tool with 10,000 Days. I came to this album late, as I think it had already been out for a at least a year before I picked up on it. Since then, it has grown on me, as on first listen I didn't appreciate it as much as I do now. It was a step ahead of their previous albums, although the next one was going to be a massive leap. How little did we know. 

I have been a fan of Ministry for a very long time now. Since their early days, their sound has changed dramatically, and their lyrics much most politicised. The album Rio Grande Blood, part of a trilogy regarding GWB, sees their aggressive industrial metal fit neatly into the verbal attack on the the American political system at the time. As can be heard on later abums, the ammunition Uncle Al had to fight with became much needed with subsequent Rebuplican complacency.

Like many of my generation, and musical interests, my first exposure to Gary Numan was Replicas and Are Friends Electric? Having been a big fan initially, towards the end of the 80s and through the 90s, although I still enjoyed his music, it wasn't as ground breaking as it had been. Jagged was a massive return to form (thanks in no small measure to his wife Gemma). It firmly put Gary back on a course that was more of a continuation from Beserker, than intervening albums had ever been. His musical output has only gone from strength to strength.

Porcupine Tree are sadly a band I didn't get initially, which is surprising considering how much I enjoy the Prog Rock scene of the 80s/90s. I don't remember what song or album I first heard, but for whatever reason it didn't grab me. Then, somewhere around 2011, someone played me some songs and I had to ask who they were. I was gutted to discover that they'd recently disbanded and I'd missed the opportunity to see them live several times. This live album, Arriving Somewhere... is a pure delight from start to finish, and features a selection of gems from the previous few albums.

Bruce Springsteen is a phenonmenal songwriter and performer. His ability to write such a strong volume of output is probably only matched by Neil Young, Prince, and Bob Dylan. However, for this album, he neatly side-stepped his own canon of work, and looked back at the songs of Pete Seeger. Several have since become very well known through the years, but Bruce's take on them, gave a complete new lease of life to them all. Dropping the E Street Band, and assembling a new group of musicians to perform with, 

 

 

1 Tool 10,000 Days
2 Ministry Rio Grande Blood
3 Gary Numan Jagged
4 Porcupine Tree Arriving Somewhere...
5 Bruce Springsteen We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
6 Bruce Springsteen Hammersmith Odeon London '75
7 Front Line Assembly Artificial Soldier
8 NFD Dead Pool Rising
9 Russian Circles Enter
10 Oomph! GlaubeLiebeTod
11 Mogwai Mr Beast
12 Muse Black Holes And Revelaions
13 Jadis Photoplay
14 Motörhead Kiss Of Death
15 Killing Joke Hosannas from the Basements of Hell
16 Lacuna Coil Karmacode
17 Katatonia The Great Cold Distance
18 Dio Holy Diver – Live
19 Iron Maiden A Matter of Life and Death
20 Prince 3121
21 Therapy? One Cure Fits All
22 Seether One Cold Night
23 Fightstar Grand Unification
24 Blackmore's Night The Village Lanterne
25 Live Songs from Black Mountain
26 Clan Of Xymox Breaking Point
27 Evanesence The Open Door
28 Styx One with Everything: Styx and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra
29 Killswitch Engage As Daylight Dies
30 Breaking Benjamin Phobia
31 Billy Joel 12 Gardens Live
32 Neil Young Living With War
33 Indigo Girls Despite Our Differences
34 Matthew Sweet & Susannah Hoffs Under the Covers, Vol. 1
35 Dream Theater Score
36 Foo Fighters Skin And Bones
37 Three Days Grace One-X
38 Apoptygma Berzerk You And Me Against The World
39 Kiss Alive! The Millennium Concert
40 David Gilmour On an Island
41 Frost* Milliontown
42 The Wonder Stuff Suspended By Stars
43 Snow Patrol Eyes Open
44 Audioslave Revelations
45 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam
46 UFO The Monkey Puzzle
47 Mogwai Zidane
48 Veruca Salt IV
49 Tanya Donnelly This Hungry Life
50 Paul Weller Catch-Flame!

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