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1001 Albums: School’s Out

#265

Album: School’s Out

Artist: Alice Cooper

Year: 1972

Length: 36:56

Genre: Hard Rock / Glam Rock

“Well so long… so long
Everybody… Everybody
I hope that I would see you again… again
Goodbye… Goodbye
Everybody… Everybody
I finally grew up
They finally let me out of school”

Alma Mater

Two great albums in a row?? And It’s not even my birthday! It’s like a gift from the heavens after sitting through so many albums that just do nothing for me, they decided to throw me a bone and give me the chance to actually enjoy myself. You know it’s shifted when I go from listening to an album once and go “That’s good enough for me” to happily re listening to an album over and over. I did the latter with this one because for some reason I couldn’t get enough of it.

The title song became emblematic of 70s slackers and high schoolers, appearing in tons of movies to signify the end of school and the beginning of a summer of love, peace, drugs and teenage shenanigans and debauchery. No surprise on how that happened. The album attacks you right away with that classic riff and Alice Cooper growling away about how school’s out and it’s time for teenage rebellion. Alice Cooper embodies your typical young teen of the 70s and uses that aesthetic throughout the entire album, incorporating teen gang violence, tensions between groups, rat pack vibes, slacker undertones and the need to rebel against the system. He captures all this incredibly well and what makes it shine through is his use of both Nostalgia and Theatrics to do so.

There’s something incredibly sad about a person who constantly reminisces about their days in high school. How great those days were and how they wish they could go back. We’ve all seen this plight before, the person who peaked in high school and life just never got better since they left. They’ve clearly never grown from that state and constantly try to recapture the magic of those times and failing miserably because they’re a grown adult now and you can’t recapture that forcefully. It may seem hidden underneath it all, but there is this part that seems to underline the entire album, most noticeably on the song Alma Mater where the singer says “I hope that I would see you again…”. It’s a song about a guy reminiscing about his old school mates and times and crying in his beer over it because he can’t go back to those days. It really recontextualises the entire album, which came across as the POV of a teen but with this final song gives the sense that it’s a man reliving those moments from his youth. It’s why it seems so glamorized, why it seems so fun and thrilling. He’s looking back with rose-tinted glasses. The sadness of Alma Mater makes it seem like he’s unhappy with his current adulthood because things just never were the same again since those days and he just wishes he could relive his days of street fights and teenage debauchery. We’ve all met someone like this and it just adds a lot of nice subtext to the whole album.

Just like any great Glam Rocker, Alice Cooper incorporated a ton of theatrics into his work. Just the fact he’d cake his face in make-up for live performances and put on a whole show filled with theatrics, he was Kiss before Kiss was a thing. And this album really shows his love for broadway and old-school show tunes as he repurposes tunes from West Side Story into it, incorporating When You’re a Jet into his song Gutter Cat Vs. The Jets. It makes sense and blends well with the thematic elements of his album as the show was about two street gangs filled with teens going head to head in New York. He even uses this style in songs like Street Fight, which feels like a whole stage choreography would go to it and Blue Turk, which feels like his version of a Rat Pack song. If that isn’t convincing enough, he ends the album with a song called Grand Finale, which acts as a conclusive underture to the whole album, reusing riffs and sounds from the previous songs to give one big curtain call to the whole thing. It’s the use of theatrics and broadway stylings that really sold me to the album and had me loving it as much as I did. Alice Cooper knows his music and it’s clear he knew what he was doing with it.

School’s Out is a beautiful blend of nostalgia on youth lost and broadway theatrics mixed together to make an album that just hits hard. It’s easy to dismiss it as another shallow glam rock album and as being silly due to the theatrics of the band, but Alice Cooper manages to create an album that not only rocks hard but also has some amazing depth to it.

And I love it for that.

Favourite Song: Blue Turk

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Roxy Music

#264

Album: Roxy Music

Artist: Roxy Music

Year: 1972

Length: 42:12

Genre: Glam Rock / Art Rock / Progressive Rock

“Here’s looking at you kid
Celebrate years
Here’s looking at you kid
Wipe away tears
Long time, since we’re together
Now I hope it’s forever
Ideal love flies away now”

2HB

Now THIS is more like it! This is what I’ve been waiting for, after making my way through tons of albums that either do nothing for me or I just don’t enjoy, I finally fall on an album I absolutely love to bits. I love Roxy Music and have for a very long time. Around the age of 18/19 when I first really started getting into music, Roxy Music was one of the first bands I discovered that had a big influence on my musical tastes. How I stumbled upon them is kind of funny, it wasn’t just reading up about music and seeing recommendations for this band and how influential they were as a whole but was actually through another band.

Around that time, I had started as a big Weird Al fan and throughout his catalogue of music he had a ton of style parodies of bands. Original songs in the style of certain bands, taking their sound and crafting a completely new tune. Through this I discovered my favourite band, Devo, and a variety of others that all fell under the same musical umbrella of the New Wave genre, Talking Heads, B-52’s, Oingo Boingo, etc. Of course, loving all these bands and seeing they were a part of the same genre, it only made sense to me that I dive deeper into the New Wave genre, discovering more bands this way. How I got to Roxy Music was through Men Without Hats of all bands (Biggest hit was Safety Dance, which is an absolute banger, and fitting since they’re from my hometown of Montreal. Us Montrealers are always there for each other it seems).

Men Without Hats had a great cover of Roxy Music’s Editions of You (which to this day still stands as not only my favourite Roxy Music song but one of my favourite songs of all time). When I found out it was a cover, I knew I had to find the original and see how it compared and wouldn’t you know, the floodgates to the works of Roxy Music opened up and I never was the same again. Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure was one of the first records I bought for my collection and I’ve played it so many times. I only recently, after years of searching, finally added this one to my collection and I was so so so happy when I finally played it on my record player for the first time. It was a most delightful moment, full of joy and awe, getting to listen to it on vinyl in all it’s glory. Roxy Music truly are amazing.

What really makes this band so great is the pairing of Brian Ferry and Brian Eno. Two Brians coming together and melding their two styles to form something quite special. It’s clear how much Brian Eno brought to the band as after he left, Roxy Music just was not the same anymore. They still produced great music, but never like their two first albums. Nothing can compare to them. I feel this album truly marks the clear beginning of what would become the New Wave genre of the late 70s and early 80s. Of course, other albums before it have set up inspiration (David Bowie comes to mind) but this one is the first REAL New Wave album that would define the main attributes of the genre. Art students creating music together, the aesthetic, synthesizers as a main instrument, Brian Eno who would go on to produce a multitude of New Wave albums. It’s all here and it’s no surprise why so many of the greatest New Wave artists cited Roxy Music as a massive influence on their work.

Just listening to this, there’s no other album that sounds like this. It’s technically Glam and Art Rock but that’s because the New Wave label had not been created yet. Roxy Music are flamboyant, theatrical, over the top and just busting your stereos with fierce music that doesn’t stop blasting you down with it’s energy and style. They were bold, new and very much their own band that others could not compare to. No other band was Roxy Music, only Roxy Music could be Roxy Music and this debut of theirs exploded into music history with every bit of energy the band had to give. It’s daring, magnificent and just beautiful and one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard (other than their sophomore album, of course).

Favourite Song: Virginia Plain

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Paul Simon

#263

Album: Paul Simon

Artist: Paul Simon

Year: 1972

Length: 34:03

Genre: Folk Rock

“Holes in my confidence
Holes in the knees of my jeans
I was left without a penny in my pocket
Ooo-Weee I was about destitute as a kid could be
And I wished I wore a ring so I could hock it
I’d like to hock it”

Hey Simon, where’s Art? Where’s Garfunkel? Where is he, buddy? What did you do? Abandon him? Throw him into the discard pile because you just felt you were too good for him now? Went on and tried to make your own albums without telling him, creating work behind his back, started to treat him like he wasn’t important in your life anymore despite all your upward success is in thanks to your partnership. Is that what you do? Is that how you treat people, Simon? Tsk Tsk, not very good of you at all.

I want to enjoy this album, but knowing how Simon basically treated his partnership with Art and seeing how resentful and hurt Art was, it made it very difficult for me to enjoy Simon’s work at all. I’m sorry, but anyone who treats someone in that way, especially if they’ve called them a friend, is kind of reprehensible in my eyes. You don’t treat people like that. Everyone is human, with feelings and emotions. If Simon was at least honest with Art and there was some talk and discussion about it, it’d be a different story, but just going behind his back is a big no-no. Where’s the trust? Where’s the honesty? Where’s the communication?

As someone who has been where Art Garfunkel has been many times, it’s hard for me not to empathise with him and be on his side. People suck, there’s no denying it and many of them are willing to do anything it takes to succeed, even stabbing their friends int he back and throwing them into the trash like they’re toys they’re done playing with. Often times under the guise of “I want to do my own thing” but then go off and just do things with other people… hmmm, interesting.

What’s even more of a kick in the nuts is how much recognition Simon got when going solo and how Garfunkel just fell into the cracks and shadows. I don’t see any Garfunkel solo albums on this list, but I sure as hell see many Simon ones. Stuff like this is what makes me nihilistic and cynical. Doesn’t matter if you do bad things or good things, bad and good things happen to anyone regardless of what you do. In this case, Simon was shitty to his partner and got massive success, Garfunkel was hurt and barely got noticed. That’s just the way of the world, complete improbable randomness with no real rhyme or reason as to why anything happens, it just does.

To rub it in more, he even has a song called Me and Julio Down by The Schoolyard, as if to tell Garfunkel how much fun he’s having with other people and what Garfunkel is missing out (I know the song is not about this, but the title alone evokes that feeling to me).

So, yeah, Sorry Simon, I just can’t support you when you were pretty shitty to Garfunkel. I don’t feel it’s right. It’s not fair and even though the world is unfair, doesn’t mean I have to be. Garfunkel didn’t deserve that and neither does anyone. It’s not hard to treat people with a modicum of respect. It’s really simple, just don’t be a shitty person.

So clearly, I’m still working through some stuff, but hopefully with the next succession of albums, I’ll slowly get better with time. Like anything, time heals and you only have forward to go.

Favourite Song: Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Pink Moon

#262

Album: Pink Moon

Artist: Nick Drake

Year: 1972

Length: 28:22

Genre: Folk

“I know you
I care too
I see through
All of the pictures that you keep on the wall
All of the people that will come to the ball
But hear me calling
Won’t you give me
A free ride.”

I always find it difficult when I hit a Nick Drake album. Mainly due to the inevitability that with each approaching album his untimely death comes closer and closer. Taken from the world way too soon all because he lived during a time when mental illness and mental health issues just weren’t understood as well as they are today. A man who kept falling deeper and deeper into a darkness that over took him with no way of getting help. This darkness was often reflected in his work as there’s always this underlying eeriness to it all and this album is no exception. Being the third, he was the furthest into his deep darkness and you can feel it all throughout the album.

This album is sad. This is the saddest album I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s haunting and beautiful and this is coming from someone who doesn’t enjoy folk music. Nick Drake fuelled every emotion he had left into this compact album, that is incredibly short, under 30 minutes long! Probably because he just didn’t have the energy to make longer songs, which falls neatly in place with what he was going through at the time. Was this album purely a therapeutic album for him, a way to convey his feelings the only way he could at the time? Possibly, but that doesn’t take away the fact he created a piece of music that is harrowing, mesmerising and chilling. I’m not surprised when people call this his masterpiece.

The funny thing to me, which is something I definitely understand, and probably contributed to his depression even more, was that he didn’t even get the recognition he deserved until after he passed. All his albums didn’t sell that well and never met their audiences until years and years later. Now he’s received the accolades he so rightfully deserved, but at the time, he barely got recognition for his efforts. Almost like he was invisible to the world, just passing by, no one noticing. This often has me asking the question: Why is it something bad has to happen to someone for people to start acknowledging them?

Let’s be honest, we see it happen all the time. When a celebrity ends up committing suicide, everyone comes out of the woodwork to talk the importance of mental health awareness, numbers to suicide hotlines, telling people to reach out if they feel sick. But, these exact same people suddenly turn a blind eye when it’s happening to people in their own backyard. Anyone who has suffered who has tried to reach out has received the classic lines: “Oh jees, I don’t want to deal with this”, “Can you like not? You’re bumming me out”, “Can’t you just be happy?”, *No response, complete ignore*. Suddenly, these exact same people go from talking about the improtance of helping each other out in times of crisis to being completely shocked that someone they eprosnally knew was THAT sick.

“I had no idea” they exclaim to the world, “they seemed perfectly happy, I wish they reached out”. Umm… guess what genius, they probably did. Many times. They were probably reaching out to you very often, you just didn’t notice because you’re so self-absorbed in your own world and, this is the obvious one, because you don’t actually care about people and their mental health issues, no matter how much you share that you do to social media, the reality is when faced with it in real life, you run away because it’s much harder and darker in person than in the romanticised fantasy in your head.

I get it, we lived in a celebrity obsessed world, so when they off themselves, it’s important to share the message because celebrities are more important than the actual people in your actual life surrounding you everyday. Real people, you know personally. Want to stop being surprised? How about being there for them when they reach out to you, just LIKE YOU SAID YOU WOULD. How about stop ignoring people when they’re clearly not feeling well. How about take time to get to know people, and I mean everyone, not just people you feel you can benefit from (another aspect causing these other people to fall deeper into the darkness). In my life, you know how many times I’ve attempted to reach out to people, let out cries for help and they went unnoticed, ignored, discarded, dismissed and completely brushed to the side? MANY MANY MANY MANY TIMES. So next time someone is telling you they aren’t doing well, maybe do exactly what you said you would and talk to them, be supportive. Isn’t that what you would want? Why aren’t you lending the same actions to others as you would want to be done to yourself? This is the golden rule for a reason.

I digress, but this is important because inevitably when a celebrity is lost due to mental health issues, the hypocrites and bullshitters pop out of the caves to use these deaths as a means to show the world that they’re actually advocates and care, when in reality, they obviously don’t. Shocking right? They’re using social media to lie. Using it to “sell” themselves as better than they really are. Crazy, I know.

Actions speak louder than words. Put your money where your mouth is. If your actions don’t match what you say, than you’re just talking out of your ass.

Nick Drake deserved better than what he got when he was alive. We can do better. We all can.

Favourite Song: Which Will

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Greetings From L.A.

#261

Album: Greetings From L.A.

Artist: Tim Buckley

Year: 1972

Length: 39:38

Genre: Funk / RnB

“Lord said she got a recipe
Oh and she don’t need no fancy sauce
Yah those devil eyes
Lord they stare right through me
Those devil eyes
Look right through me
Aww melt my soul down
Long for those devil eyes”

This… this isn’t Tim Buckley. Is it? No, this can’t be… this doesn’t sound like him. You have to be pulling my leg. It is Tim?! What? If you were to ask me if I thought Tim Buckley made this album I would have had to say no because this doesn’t sound like the other two albums I heard by him on this list. This feels funkier, groovier, cooler in a lot of ways. Damn Tim, look at you, you cool cat. Not to say I didn’t enjoy his previous efforts, I just didn’t expect this kind of a change and I have to say it’s a good look on him. I like this, I like it a lot, much better than his other two efforts hands down.

We always talk about how scary change can be. when we’re so used to things being one way, the idea of all that becoming something else can be terrifying. What if the new thing isn’t as good? What if it changes and all goes to shit? What if it just falls apart causing me to yearn for the old and get it back?

But I feel we never really talk about the positive side of change. Sometimes change can be a good thing. A really good thing in certain regards. For example, if you’re removing yourself from a toxic situation and into a more positive one, that’s a good change. If you’re leaving a job that’s making you miserable to pursue one that you actually love, that’s a good change. When you cut terrible people out of your life, move on from nasty relationships, move forward from awful experiences into worlds of growth and newer positive experiences, that’s a really good change. We always see change as something to overthink, sometimes something to fear and sometimes it is those things. But sometimes, it’s the best possible thing that could happen to you and embracing change will only set you up for a successful outcome.

I know for myself these days I need to embrace change if I want to move forward. Changes in many aspects of my life, embrace different routines, different ways of looking at things. Embrace removing rituals from my life that only cause me heartache and pain, embrace new approaches to my everyday life. Part of embracing these things is knowing that it will be difficult at the beginning. It takes time to rewire your brain and get to a new place of new normal, but part of getting there is allowing yourself to commit to the change 100 percent and only then will the true positivity of the change start to reveal itself.

I realize I sound like some terrible self-help guide, but this is me more working through some things than giving advice to everyone. It’s vague what I said and sounds like it could apply to anything, but remember, only you really know what’s best for yourself and what you must do, so do the best you can for yourself.

Tim Buckley is great and this album is great and I love it.

Favourite Song: Make It Right

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Eagles

#260

Album: Eagles

Artist: Eagles

Year: 1972

Length: 37:19

Genre: Country Rock / Folk Rock / Rock and Roll

“Most of us are sad
No one lets it show
I’ve been shadows of myself
How was I to know?
Tell me scarlet sun
What will time allow?
We have brought our children
Here Who can save them now?”

I’ll be honest right away, I’m about to go on a four album streak where I basically don’t feel like I’ll have much to say about them. A mix of country rock, folk and blends of genres that just, as always, don’t do much for me and leave me without anything to say. So, I apologise in advance if the next few posts might not seem insightful in anyway. They can’t all be winners sadly. Just like these albums did for me, it might be a struggle for me to keep the next few posts relatively engaging or interesting. Can’t help it that’s what this type of music does.

I’m sure you have all been in a situation at some point where you’re asked to talk about something and you just have no idea what to say. Your mind is a blank and no words are coming to your mouth. That’s how I feel for a lot of these albums and I hate having to force something out of my head to put onto the page. Maybe I put too much pressure on myself too to say something insightful about every single album, which we all know is just not feasible. Unless you are truly a musical expert who’s studied it intricately and has a rich vocabulary when talking about it, it will be difficult to have something interesting to say about every single album you come across.

Some albums just aren’t interesting. Take this album for example. It has it’s fanbase no doubt, but for me it’s just so uninteresting that I can’t even find negative words to talk about. My spotify found it so uninteresting that right after their first song “Take it Easy”, a big hit for The Eagles, albeit a really sappy and boring one, it immediately skipped to a David Bowie song. I obviously left it on shuffle by accident, but I’m still taking it as a sign.

I know, its the Eagles, they’re big for a reason. They’ve obviously resonated with a lot of people otherwise they wouldn’t have met with the success they have. Obviously. But again, for me, just another successful band that does absolutely nothing for me. As this album plays, I have so little interest in every song that I feel like napping. Harsh, I know, but let’s remember this is MY experience with it and my experience is in no way a universal one. We can’t help the way we feel no matter how rational our brains are being.

You know, when your brain is like “Hey there’s no reason to feel this way. Look at the situation and see that rationally you don’t need to react so strongly to something like this”. But deep down in your emotional cavity it’s tugging at your heart, affecting you in a deep way, leaving you sick and miserable. You know you shouldn’t feel that way but you do and now you’re in a battle with your rational side and your irrational side, arguing away and just leaving you feeling exhausted and angry that you even have to be in this situation int he first place. You find yourself cursing the person that put you there, screaming to the heavens…

I’m diverting. I’m clearly not talking about The Eagles anymore, they definitely did not evoke this kind of response in me. I’m just working through some shit that needs attention, but music feels like a good distraction away from it all…

Quick, something humourous…

Remember what the dude said about the eagles?

“I hate the fucking eagles, man”

I don’t feel as strongly as the Dude does, but I get the sentiment, dude. I really do.

Favourite Song: Tryin’

-Bosco

PS. I know the band name isn’t The Eagles and is just Eagles, but it feels weird not saying the THE in front of it, so I’m going with that. Bite me.

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1001 Albums: American Gothic

#259

Album: American Gothic

Artist: David Ackles

Year: 1972

Length: 43:56

Genre: Singer-Songwriter / Americana

“Sunday breakfast with the Jenkins
They break the bread and cannot speak
She reads the rustling of his paper
He reads the way her new shoes squeak
And pray God to survive one more week
Ah, but are they happy?
You’d be surprised… between the bed and the booze and the shoes
They suffer least who suffer what they choose”

Talk about an album that no one ever talks about.

This is a clear example of an album I would have never heard about ever if I hadn’t started on this journey listening to this list. While a lot of the other albums I had never heard of, I feel to some capacity I might have heard them mentioned or stumbled across them in some way, but outside of this list, I’ve never heard anyone from any of the music groups or forums I am a part of ever mention this one at all. I am curious if there is a small group of people somewhere who do talk about it with love and vigor. I’d love to meet these people because this album deserves more love.

I’m not saying it should jump onto top of all time albums lists, but there should be some love thrown over to David Ackles way when it comes to American Gothic. This is the type of music that would usually do nothing for me and yet I found myself enjoying it way more than I’d ever expect to, which must mean he’s doing something right. The real heart of this album that I think either resonates or speaks to people listening is that it seems to capture a slice of american life. A snapshot of the average american and their wants and dreams. Of course, he’s not the first to do this sort of thing, but where other artists either satirically captured the ironic side of it (Randy Newman) or the seedy underground (Lou Reed), David captures something more charming, the rural everyman of America. Kind of in the same vain of how the Kinks captured small town England in albums like Face to Face, Something Else, Village Green and Arthur (essentially almost all their albums), David does with America, capturing the small town sensibilities of the normal folk (although in a very different style than the Kinks of course).

He takes on simpler ideas that affect all of us in some capacity and just like the painting of American Gothic, that shows a farmer and his daughter in front of their cottage home, so does David evoke imagery of a hard working person, who just wants the simple things in life, a warm apple pie by the window sill and someone to be by their side (A song like One Night Stand talks about the wishes of a partner being more than just that). Even the album cover evokes very similar imagery to the painting of the same name, a couple at their cottage home just living their simple lives.

It’s not everyday an album could capture this lesser spoken yet incredibly common aspect of American life. With everyone obsessed with big dreams and big successes, it’s easy to forget the simple life of the simpler folk, happily doing their own thing with no mind of making it to the top of the food chain. The pleasures of the small things. David Ackles provided a portrait for us to see and he did it with charm and heart.

Favourite Song: One Night Stand

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: The Slider

#258

Album: The Slider

Artist: T. Rex

Year: 1972

Length: 43:55

Genre: Glam Rock

“Metal guru could it be
You’re gonna bring my baby to me
She’ll be wild you know
A rock ‘n’ roll child

Metal guru has it been
Just like a silver-studded sabre-tooth dream
I’ll be clean you know
Pollution machine

Metal guru, is it you?
Metal guru, is it you?”

Thank you T.Rex. Thank you for breaking the cycle of overly long albums and giving me one that’s to the point. Where the last album didn’t take to heart “Brevity is the Soul of Wit”, you sure did, you suuuuuure did, T.Rex. Thank you for saving me from the monotony and giving me hope, giving me a light to shine on me. It was great to finally get to an album I loved and knew I would love. After a grueling journey, it’s always good to have a treat at the end of it, a celebration for having made it through it all.

I love when a band releases an album that is basically more of the same as their previous album but better. That isn’t sarcastic, I’m being completely serious. I loved Electric Warrior, so going into The Slider you have a certain expectation and you’re met with more of the same that T. Rex did on Electric Warrior but they understood what was so great about it and improved on the sound, made it tighter, stronger, better in every way. They took what they did on Electric Warrior and pushed it to the next level. As if they asked themselves “Ok how do we make this album again, but push it to be even better?”. Well this is the result of them asking that question.

I not only like this better than Electric Warrior but I genuinely think it’s better too. I don’t know if there’s anyone who disagrees with that or if there even is a split consensus about which one is better but this one definitely is the stronger of the two. They knew exactly what worked and decided to just do more of it, creating an album that is solid from start to finish, breezing by tune after tune, one banger after another. It’s the kind of album I love where you don’t even see the time go by, that you can listen to and not find yourself bored. There’s no part of the album that feels like it lulls at any point. Marc Bolan knew what he was doing and delivered a great album for everyone to enjoy.

There’s not much more I can add about this, mainly because my brain is fried and words are escaping me, but it’s one I loved and I wouldn’t be surprised I find myself revisiting it many, many times.

Also, love that they found a way to use the word Choogle. Haven’t seen that since CCR.

Favourite Song: Chariot Choogle

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Manassas

#257

Album: Manassas

Artist: Stephen Stills

Year: 1972

Length: 71:57

Genre: Country Rock / Roots Rock / Blues Rock / Folk Rock / Southern Rock

Lonely and winsome calling
For someone living right now
Something is shallow ugly and hollow
Doesn’t even allow you to want to know how
You might live for the living

Give for the giving moment by moment
One day at a time
It doesn’t matter
It’s nothing but dreaming anyhow

This is going to be a fun album to talk about. You know you’re in for a fun one when you can barely spell the title. Manasass… Mannasass… Manassass… Molasses? Whatever, I know I can just go up and check the name of it but what fun would that be? I don’t even know what a Manassasss is supposed to be (It’s a city in Virginia it seems). Either way, I will from now on just refer to it at Stephen Stills’ project rather than Man Ass, will just make my life easier and prevent me from creating more spelling mistakes than I need to have.

This album is too long. I know I say that a lot and I just went through a batch of long albums, but this really is too long. This album did not need to be this long, it could have easily been half the time and still delivered the exact same thing as this long version did. It’s definitely possible that this attitude is coming from a place of bias (I am willing to admit that it is) because I just don’t enjoy this style of music. The album as a whole did nothing for me, it didn’t engage me in anyway. I found myself bored for most of it, just waiting for it to end. I barely paid attention at times as it slowly became background noise to me, that’s how disengaged I became with it. I couldn’t keep my attention to it at all. This is obviously a personal opinion as I am sure there are people out there who feel the opposite of that and adore this album to no end and were at the edge of their seats listening to it intently and joyously. I am sadly just not one of those people.

The country rock sensibilities of this album had a big part to play in why it did nothing for me, but it really was the length that killed it for me. It really didn’t need to be a double LP. I feel artists need to earn the double LP with their ideas, if you’re gonna fill that much time with music, it better be worth it and make sense why it needs to be a double LP, otherwise don’t waste our time. This could have said in thirty minutes what it was trying to do in 71, an absolutely ridiculous amount of time for what the music was. It feels over-bloated and I might even say self-indulgent to dedicate this much time for music that all sounds the same. it felt like it was full of filler tunes which could have easily been cut out. This is a clear example of an album that just DID NOT need to be the length it was and would have been more effective with a shorter run time. Choose the best of the best that you did and only put those on the album. It’s said the each of the four sides were split into different sections, similar to Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything? They can say that all they want as a reason for the length, but unlike Something/Anything? there isn’t a clear distinction between all four sides. They don’t have each their own personality and I couldn’t tell when I transitioned from one section to another, which kinda defeats the purpose of having four distinct sections, doesn’t it?

William Shakespeare once said “Brevity is the soul of wit”. They should have listened to him.

Favourite song: Jet Set (Sigh)

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Talking Book

#256

Album: Talking Book

Artist: Stevie Wonder

Year: 1972

Length: 43:29

Genre: Progressive Soul / Funk / Soul / Rock / Jazz

“Will it say the love you feel for me, will it say,
That you will be by my side
To see me through,
Until my life is through

Well, in my mind, we can conquer the world,
In love you and I, you and I, you and I”

After listening to an album that was an hour and a half long, 43 minutes feels like a breeze. I was sure this was another really long, double LP, but it just zoomed by that I had to do a double take when the next album started to play. I couldn’t believe it was already done. I am unsure if that had to do with the fact that I had just come off a long ass album and my expectations were that I’d be sitting through another or if this album is just a breeze to get through. I’m willing to bet it’s a mix of both.

This album is quite a delight, but you wouldn’t expect any less from the likes of Stevie Wonder, who sings with heart and soul from start to finish. I’m always in awe of his skills, I mean, how can a blind man play the piano so damn well? Just like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder is a master of his craft and I guess relying purely on his sense of hearing to make music does have a benefit. This album is such a fine mix of funk and soul, that one second it’ll have you strutting around to some funk groove and the other will have you sitting through a heartwarming soulful tune, feeling the energy and love that Stevie Wonder is declaring. There’s not really much more I feel I can say about this album but it’s hard to dislike it, that’s for sure.

This also has his big hit Superstition, which is a funk groove and a half. How can you not dance when that groove kicks in and that sax just plays its way through that famous riff. Usually when I listen to an album on this list that includes a massive hit, I often ask the question “Is this on the list because of the massive hit or because it’s a great album?”. I think there’s no question that it’s the latter here because it includes another popular tune and come on, this is one hell of a musical endeavor on the part of Stevie Wonder. I don’t think you can even begin to question that. Although, Superstition does stick out a little in comparison to the rest of the album, it still fits into it really neatly, the highlight of an already highlight filled album. And it’s situated neatly right in the middle of the album, so it creates a nice arc of energy while listening to it. Starting the album with it would have blown their load to early, and ending it with it would have had us yearning for more. Right in the middle is the perfect spot for it.

Something I was shocked to find out was that this album was Stevie Wonder’s 15th album. 15th STUDIO ALBUM. He had 14 other albums before this one and not one of them appeared on this list. I’m guessing this is where he really hit his stride of what would become his signature sound. The start of his golden era so to say. I am unsure if his earlier work is worth checking out or not because I haven’t heard it and haven’t read anything about it to really know, but I’d be curious to see how different or similar it was and why only up to now was he considered worthy enough to be included on this list. One day, I will figure it out, but today is not that day.

In the liner notes of the album Stevie Wonder says:

Here is my music. It is all I have to tell you how I feel. Know that your love keeps my love strong.— Stevie

That sums it up nicely from the man himself. He sings with love and the music speaks for itself. You listen and you can feel what he’s conveying. You couldn’t ask for anything more from Stevie.

Favorite Song: Superstition

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

#255

Album: Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

Artist: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Year: 1972

Length: 105:55

Genre: Country Folk / Bluegrass

“Let’s go
Okay, here we go
Pick your banjo solid, John
You picked one for fifteen years, ain’t you?
Earl never did do that”

Oh. My. God.

Let me ask you something. What do you think will happen if you sit me down and have me listen to a music album. Good start, right? But what if I told you that the album was an hour and a half long? Ok, not too bad, I’ve done long albums before, seems exhausting but overall manageable. Now what if I told you it was a country album? Welcome to my nightmare.

Of course, it sounds way worse on paper. We already know my relationship with country music. I like specific sub-categories of it, outlaw country is an A Plus for me and some classic old school country is enjoyable. But for the most part I am not a fan and there’s a lot of country rock that just grinds my ears to a pulp and modern country just shrivels my brain. Going into this, knowing I had about 42 country songs to listen to was not an experience I was hoping for. And this album FEELS long. It feeeels sooooo looooong. It felt like it was never-ending. I hit a point where I couldn’t believe the album was still going. Why wouldn’t it end? Why was this so damn long? Will it ever end? What was my life before this album started? I can’t understand why a group would want to make such a long album to begin with. I had the same feeling listening to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and it was no different here. After it was done, I had called my mom and she asked why I hadn’t written the post. I had to tell her because the album just finished and she was shocked I was listening to it for that amount of time. It’s like running a marathon for your ears, I was exhausted by the end of it that I couldn’t listen to music on my daily walk and I listen to music on my daily walk every day.

Alright, there’s some good news though. I, surprisingly, despite the runtime, enjoyed this album. Even though this is country, it was more the roots of country music, Bluegrass and Country Folk, which I enjoy much more. There’s a quality to Bluegrass music I really enjoy, it might be the fiddles and banjos, that helped make this album enjoyable for me. What I liked about this album was the same thing I liked about Clube Da Esquina, it was a collaboration of artists coming together to create a piece of art. Here, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, along with a ton of special guests of big players from that era, basically made a homage, love letter to the roots of country music, playing all the folk and Bluegrass classics that defined the genre as a whole. I can get behind that and wholly respect that.

I may not be a fan of the runtime, but when you’re basically doing a catalogue of all the important tunes of a genre, it’s going to be lengthy. That’s kind of inevitable. It almost works as a digestible encyclopedia of Country Roots all packaged into one album. No need to go seek them all out separately as here they are, ready to be heard in one place. It’s a good collection of the top of the crop and provided an easily accessible way to listen to these tunes.

Favourite Song: Nashville Blues

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Something/Anything?

#254

Album: Something/Anything?

Artist: Todd Rundgren

Year: 1972

Length: 90:33

Genre: Rock / Pop / RnB / Psychedelia

Before we go any further I’d like to show you all a game I made up
This game is called sounds of the studio
And it can be played with any record including this one

You can play it, uh, with – you can even play it with your favorite record
You may be surprised
Now if you have a pair of headphones you better get ’em out and get ’em cranked up
‘Cause they’re really gonna help you on this one

I have a bone to pick with Spotify. I’ve been listening to all the records on Spotify. Obviously, sometimes, I’ll hit an album that just isn’t on there, or for whatever reasons, only portions of the album are available while some of the songs are greyed out. The latter is confusing to me but it makes sense overall, it’s a rights issue. Spotify simply doesn’t have the rights to the album so can’t have them available on their platform. I’ve experienced it with many of the albums on this list, forcing me to find other places to listen to them (not a big deal honestly). Some albums were completely elusive, like looking for pirate gold (King Crimson comes to mind, but is currently easily available on Spotify, but there was a period where I couldn’t find it anywhere). This album, however, was an odd one. It was there, no problem… but only half of it was there. And I don’t mean half of it was there but greyed out and I can’t listen to that part of the album. No, it just… wasn’t there, as if the album was only Side 1 and Side 2 and Side 3 and 4 were never a part of it. There doesn’t seem to be the complete version anywhere on Spotify, only this half version sold as the full version. It’s so odd and I’m not even sure why that’s like that. But oh well, I still managed to find the complete album anyway.

This album is a whopping 1 hour and 30 minutes long. That’s the length of your average feature film. I feel like I’m listening to a movie rather than watching one. But what this album does, that I think is pretty neat, is that instead of it being an hour and a half of the same style of music, Todd Rundgren separates the whole album into four parts, each side being it’s own little album. Almost as if you’re listening to 4 eps combined together to make one full album. This definitely makes the listening experience much easier as each side is its own trip through Todd Rundgren’s musical adventure. It gives a nice break in monotony and keeps it engaging for it’s running time.

Side 1 is called A Bouquet of Ear-Catching Melodies. Here Todd starts us off with some easy-listening. You’re average poppy, radio-friendly tunes that as is said, is a bouquet of ear-catching melodies. He eases us in to what will soon be a fun trip, giving everyone something familiar to get you accustomed to his style. It’s the most easily accessible part of the album, sure to have even the most average of music listeners enjoying it. Its a fun way to start the album and is easy on the ears.

Side 2 is called The Cerebral Side. Here Todd takes a slightly odder turn with the music. Still keeping some of those pop sensibilities but doing silly or fun things with it. Right off the top he starts with an introduction, where he just explains the rules of a music game where he asks if you can identify a variety of recording errors in any album. This includes examples of hiss, pop, bad editing and more. He claims you can find these on any record you listen to, boldly stating “yes, even your favourite”. He then busts into an upbeat and fun instrumental that incorporates the La Bamba riff in a fun way. This whole side feels wacky, with two silly songs, The Night the Carousel Burned Down (which incorporated Carnival style music) and Song of the Viking (which sounds exactly like you think it would). Of all the sides, this might be my favourite.

Side 3 is called The Kids Get Heavy. Todd hits harder on his guitar, bringing in elements of hard rock, fuzz guitar solos and drums that whack and wail. He even gets heavier with the lyrics, tackling deeper subjects that feel more heartfelt and sorrowful. If you like bands like Deep Purple, Slade, T. Rex, The Who, Rolling Stones, etc, then this side is for you to enjoy. It’s a nice change of pace from the first two sides and has a darker, grungier feel to it which makes for a nice change in the listening experience. From tapping your toes to banging your head. Todd completely embraces the change of style and rips it out wonderfully, creating another side that is worth the listen.

Side 4 is called Baby Needs a New Pair of Snakeskin Boots (A Pop Operetta). Here Todd ends the album with a mini rock opera of his own. Up until now Todd had played every single instrument on his own. All the music up to Side 4 had been completely played by Todd, making this album a true SOLO album. But on side 4, Todd employs the help of musicians to play through this Rock Opera with him, often times improvising their parts, which you wouldn’t even notice as they play together seamlessly. Its a fun way to end the album, incorporating a mix of all of the other sides, with catchy melodies, fun riffs and playful banter between songs. Todd even wrote a story element in the liner notes meant to go in between the songs to have them connect together.

The album as a whole is a fun trip. Todd manages to have enough musical styles to keep you engaged despite it’s long running time and it is quite an enjoyable album as a whole. It seems Todd has some reservations about this album being considered his greatest work as he wanted to move onto other things and didn’t want to just create another pop album. Be that as it may, he can’t deny he made something great here that resonated with an audience and it is well worth the running time.

Favourite Song: Breathless

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Clube Da Esquina

#253

Album: Clube Da Esquina

Artist: Milton Nascimento & Lo Borges

Year: 1972

Length: 64:22

Genre: MPB / Psychedelic Rock / Progressive Rock

Para quem quer se soltar
Invento o cais
Invento mais
Que a solidão me dá

Invento lua nova a clarear
Invento o amor
E sei a dor de me lançar

Eu queria ser feliz
Invento o mar

Bear with me on these next few posts, including the last album, this is a stretch of long albums, longer than 60 minutes. I don’t mind long albums, but that many in a row can get exhausting. I’ll do my best to keep my sanity through it because that’s what I’m here for, to listen to albums, a lot of them, no matter what they are. So, no exceptions to be made.

I’ve come to learn that I really like Brazilian music. No idea why but every Brazilian album I’ve been exposed to so far (not just the ones on this list) I’ve really enjoyed and loved. Can’t really explain it, maybe they just hit my tastebuds just right or maybe there’s something more beneath the surface I have yet to crack but because I don’t understand Portuguese I haven’t been able to know why. Maybe it’s been a subconscious ingestion of the lyrical content, not knowing what they’re saying but my deeper sensibilities totally gets it.

I got the same feeling with this album where I really loved it but I can’t put it into coherent words as to why I loved it. I hate to say it but this is very much a case of I have nothing more to say than I just really liked it. I don’t understand portuguese and I don’t have the time to go through every single song and find translations of them and I already know my brazilian friends won’t help me with that (I mean, let’s be real they have better things to do than translate a double LP of songs for me). I won’t sit here pretending like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to this album, dissecting it in a way as if I truly understood it. I’m stripping away all pretence and just laying bare, this is an album I really enjoyed and I can’t put into words why, I don’t know why, I just did.

That being said, I may not be able to do any of that, but I am able to do research and find out why this album was so important historically and culturally (and believe me it was). I figured, maybe through that, I can start to piece together why I enjoy Brazilian music so much. Just like any great Brazilian album on this list, this one was born out of response of the militarised dictatorship they were experiencing at the time. Of what I gathered at this point, a lot of Tropicalia’s big artists had been exiled from Brazil and they were even trying to crack down on the production of this album, trying to prevent certain songs from being made. Brazil was a madhouse and people needed a voice.

The cover of the album has been noted as becoming the face of Brazil at the time, two best friends sitting together on a dirt hill after playing around. According to what I read, through the militarised state, the youth were losing out on their youthful years, and the idea of community and getting together became an important aspect of their culture. Clube Da Esquina was exactly that, translating directly to Corner Club, a group of musicians who got together to make music. Even though main credits go to Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges, it was really a collective effort of a group of people coming together to create the music you hear, which was an important distinction for most music being made at the time. This wasn’t just one artist, but many forming a club and bringing all their influences together. A mix of old school Brazilian styles, Bossanova, Tropicalia, and western influences of Jazz and Rock, created something unheard of at the time in Brazil that became the biggest album of the MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) movement. Combining the old of their country and the new of the others to make a Brazilian pop album that would bring everyone together while shaking the steel cages of their militaristic dictatorship.

Maybe that’s why I like it so much. The idea of people coming together as a community to bring hope and joy, banding together as friends, brothers, in a united way. That’s something I can get behind for sure. The likes of Caetano Veloso and Os Mutantes beforehand all had that desire to shock and stir the pot of Brazil. Create a dent politically, scaring the likes of the dictatorship they were under. They were effective in their own way, but Clube Da Esquina bringing everyone together to to do the same thing, feels more effective. Creating a community where everyone is welcome to just be free and play is a wonderful thing. Maybe that’s why I like it so much, along with just the incredible musicianship that occurs throughout, it’s really that sense of community that attracts me to it.

There is something quite beautiful about it, that’s for sure.

Favourite Song: San Vicente

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Home is Where the Music is

#252

Album: Home is Where the Music is

Artist: Hugh Masekela

Year: 1972

Length: 76:33

Genre: Jazz / Afrobeat

The song Ingoo Pow-Pow (Children’s Song) has lyrics but they don’t seem to be cited anywhere that I search and since they are not in english I cannot cite them here either. So enjoy this message rather than the usual lyrics

Home is where the music is.

I love this play on the expression “home is where the heart is” because it still evokes the exact same feeling as it, just in a different way. Home is where things sing just right to you. Home is where the right notes play, like the perfect soundtrack to your life. Home is where your heart sings a soulful tune. Home is where everything feels just right, like sitting in the sun with a record playing, peaceful and blissful.

I recently was able to go down and visit my parents in Quebec, which I haven’t done in over a year. I’ve been stuck in my Toronto condo, slowly losing my mind, feeling isolated as all hell, the grey walls making me miserable. It was nice to visit them at their cottage and have a few days of pure mental bliss, basking in the sun by the lakeside, waking up to trees and green bushes, animals skirting around, birds chirping, the smells of the woods lingering in your nose. Didn’t realise how much I missed it until I was right there. The last day I sat on the dock, staring at the lake and soaking in the sun, it was quite a beautiful day, and I just didn’t want to leave. There was this sadness that came with it, knowing full well that when I returned to Toronto I’d be back to how I was feeling before. This moment of bliss felt so fleeting, if only it could have lasted much longer.

It made me realise how much the lockdowns have been affecting me mentally and emotionally. Staying in, day in and day out, with nothing to do or look forward to, following the exact same routine of waking up, walking around, trying to motivate myself to do things, then napping on the couch, waking up, watching tv and going to bed only to repeat it the next day and the next and the next and the next and the next, was starting to get to me. I’ve become bored. So bored. I’m bored of being bored. I’m so bored that things that brought me joy, I became bored of. Things that usually squashed my boredom, made me bored. Couldn’t figure out how to relieve myself of this boredom. I couldn’t go out, there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. Walks are good, but it was the same thing over and over. What can I do?

I had a moment when visiting my parents where we visited some family friends. It was a night of pure fun: Good food, good vibes, good people, good karaoke. I hadn’t experienced that since the lockdowns had started back in March 2020. It made me realise what exactly was missing from my life. Socialising. Socialising with people. Good People. Just letting loose with good people I get along with. For a few hours, everything my mind was worried about was out of my head, I felt at peace, not worried about anything and it felt amazing. Only problem was, returning to Toronto, how could I solve this? Can’t really force anyone to hang out with you and spend time with you.

Making friends isn’t easy, especially during a lockdown. Loneliness has been a bitter foe during this time and it’s not an easy one to combat. How do you spend time with people when you can’t go out? How do you meet people when you can’t go out? That’s why I got a cat, to have a friend with me by my side so I’m not completely alone. But the good news is, with things reopening, I am slowly starting to get that feeling back. Just yesterday, I had the busiest day I’ve had since lockdown started. Started with an in-person, live Improv show with an actual audience. Being on stage performing is always a good way to boost my mood and it was a great show too! Left it feeling exhausted in the best way possible, but my day didn’t end there! Following that I had a friend’s birthday party in the park. Another event of good vibes with good people. I slowly felt my mental health improving as I stood there talking to friends, new and old, about all sorts of things, from things I loved, things I didn’t know about, cracking jokes and just feeding off the energy of the crew. I went home feeling the good kind of tired with a sense of peace and bliss I hadn’t had in a very long time.

Hopefully that trend will continue as things open up and I will be able to get back to my old self from that. Listening to this album gave me those exact vibes of feeling at home making it aptly named. It made me think of those moments I had in the last week, and had me reminiscing about them. The whole vibe of the album is very homely and despite it’s running time, never felt too long. Another great album to put on in the background and just relax to.

Favourite Song: Maesha

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Transformer

#251

Album: Transformer

Artist: Lou Reed

Year: 1972

Length: 36:40

Genre: Glam Rock / Pop Rock

“Candy came from out on the Island
In the back room she was everybody’s darling
But she never lost her head
Even when she was giving head

She says, “Hey, babe
Take a walk on the wild side”
Said, “Hey, babe
Take a walk on the wild side”

Oh Lou Reed, you beautiful, Androgynous, devil may care, anarchist you. Singing songs about the derelict and desolate parts of New York that you became so fond of. The parts of the city you were very much a part of, living in with full enthusiasm (despite how much your face made it look like you couldn’t give a shit about anything). The desperate souls, the dirtiest filth, the bleak underground, everything that the average citizen would turn their noses up to, walk by disgusted, turn a blind eye to. You were like their prophet, bringing their likeness and message to the mainstream for everyone to see. Your love for the disparaged, the seedy underbelly of the city, the arthouse mannequins, the weird cultural outcasts hidden away in the shadows. You loved them and this album was very much an homage, a love letter to the delinquents, the disenfranchised, the freaks on the fringes of society. They couldn’t have asked for a better prophet.

Transformer very much brings to the front the crowd Lou Reed was hanging out with in Andy Warhol’s Factory. The different people he met and befriended heavily inspired the songs on this album and the lifestyle of taking part in the community at the factory became the undercurrent of the music. This album feels dirty and raw, packing a punch but sang with such flippancy that it’s clear the singer is so used to it that it’s basically the norm for him. He’s not disturbed, angry, happy or showing any type of emotion really, he’s just matter-of-factly sharing the stories that he’s come by, telling you straight faced what it’s like to live this life, know these people. It’s completely normal and should be treated as such.

Something I found interesting, and funny, was how Lou Reed became a topic of controversy on college campuses years back, mainly for his song “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”, which was easily his biggest hit. It has such an incredibly simple bassline and an infectious sing-a-long chorus (do do do do do do do do, anyone?). But it was deemed offensive for college campuses and petitioned to be banned for being… get this… Transphobic.

Now hold on a second, how does that make any sense? Lou Reed? Transphobic? Did they know who Lou Reed even was? The bisexual, androgynous dude who dated Trans people is Transphobic? The singer who was an active member of what could be considered the LGBTQ community of the day? Take a Walk on the Wild Side which was a love letter and heavily inspired by people he personally knew such as Holly WoodlawnCandy DarlingJoe DallesandroJackie Curtis and Joe Campbell. Basically telling their stories. A song that was a celebration of all these people and in true Lou Reed fashion was talking about subjects everyone was too afraid to even discuss in those days, such as transgender people, drug use, oral sex, male prostitution. Really? The funniest part to me is how everyone yelling Transphobic at this song seemed to completely ignore the part where Lou Reed goes “And all the coloured girls go “do dodo dodo dodo””. I guess outrage only pertains to what you personally feel.

No denying Lou Reed’s music, especially Transformer, is pretty controversial as a whole. He was always talking about taboo subjects, all the things no one wanted to hear about and he wasn’t afraid to talk about these things. He didn’t care what people thought, if they screamed outrage at him or tried to bring him down for his topics of music. This was the life he was living in and he was going to share it with the world. No reason keeping it hidden when it’s there as real as anything else that was going on. It’s safe to assume Lou Reed was one of the first vocal advocates of a group of people completely disregarded by society and treated like scum for just being themselves, and this was the early 70s too when it was still incredibly taboo to even think about these things. Through his music he spoke out for all these people he loved and made sure they were seen and had a voice.

Lou Reed was vicious indeed.

Favourite Song: Vicious

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Close to the Edge

#250

Album: Close to the Edge

Artist: Yes

Year: 1972

Length: 38:42

Genre: Progressive Rock

“Close to the edge, down by the river
Down at the end, round by the corner
Seasons will pass you by,
Now that it’s all over and done,
Called to the seed, right to the sun
Now that you find, now that you’re whole
Seasons will pass you by,
I get up, I get down
I get up, I get down
I get up, I get down
I get up”

YES! YEEEESSS!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

Wait.

This is the last Yes album on the list…

NO! NOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Favourite Song: Siberian Khatru

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Made in Japan

#249

Album: Made in Japan

Artist: Deep Purple

Year: 1972

Length: 76:44

Genre: Heavy Metal / Hard Rock / Live Album

Oooooo ooooooo ooooooo
Oooooo ooooooo ooooooo
Ooo, ooo ooo
Ooo ooo ooo

Aaaahh aaaahh aaaahh
Aaaahh aaaahh aaaahh
Aahh, aahh aahh
Aah, I wanna hear you sing

What can I say about Deep Purple that I haven’t already said?

Nothing. That’s what.

There is nothing more that I can say about this band. I’ve already said everything I could with the last two posts about them and I have nothing more I can add about Deep Purple without reiterating what I’ve already said. It especially doesn’t help that this is a live album and acts as a sort of greatest hits of those two albums, so I’d be talking about songs I’ve already talked about. What more can I do? WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?!

Nothing. That’s what.

All I can say is that I guess as far as Deep Purple goes, it makes sense that after their two biggest albums that we would end their story with a live album showcasing their energy and skill at it’s best with their best tunes. And Japan is ALWAYS a great audience to do that with. They show that they not only can create these songs but play them wonderfully tight onstage in a live setting. It’s a fast-paced live album that, like all good live albums of this nature, leave you out of breath by the end of it as you soak in the pure energy emanating from the musicians on stage. What more could I possible say about this?

Nothing. That’s what.

While we are on the topic of live shows, It’s nice to see that Toronto is slowly opening things up again, including live venues for theatre and concerts. Just today I found out one of my all-time favourite bands, Sparks, will be doing a show in April of next year right here in the city. I was beyond excited. I’ve been wanting to see them live for a decade now and I’m beyond happy that I will not only be able to go see a concert again but see one of my favourite bands perform as well! What else do I have to say about that?

A lot, a whole lot! But that is for another time!

Favourite Song: Space Truckin’

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Slayed?

#248

Album: Slayed?

Artist: Slade

Year: 1972

Length: 34:30

Genre: Glam Rock / Hard Rock

“we all get our kicks
playing in a rock and roll band
bring everyone back with you
we want to make you happy
spread the feeling all around the land
forget you’re in a mission
we’ve all come here to rock and rave
loosen up some more
you got to get you in the mood
get rid of all the blues that you have saved”

If I were to ask you, do you know who did the song Cum on Fell the Noize what would your answer be? If you said Quiet Riot, you’d technically be right as they have the most famous iteration of the song. If you were to say it was Oasis, again, I’d say you were technically right but I’d probably have to smack you in the face for that one. And don’t get me started if it’s the boy band, pop version you heard on the radio at some point in the naughts. Either way, all technically right but the RIGHT right answer would be Slade. I know for a lot of “metalheads” out there, they’d be shocked to hear that Quiet Riot weren’t the original band to do it and they were, in fact, just doing a cover. But Slade were the true geniuses behind the anthemic rock hit that had you wanting to feel the noise.

That song doesn’t even appear on this album, but was still an important mention as it was indeed a huge hit for the band that somehow still didn’t manage to get them noticed as Quiet Riot stole their thunder. How did these forgotten rockers not stick? Even with another hit Mama Weer All Crazee, which for some reason I think also got overshadowed by a cover version, didn’t manage to keep this band being talked about today. Of course, a lot of people do know the band, but every experience I’ve had with these so called “metalheads” seem to all be completely ignorant to this band’s mere existence, which is odd because these guys were the spirit of rock embodied in music.

We already started to touch on Glam Rock a bit with some previous bands. David Bowie had the sophistication of the genre, T. rex had the calm and cool of it, but here were Slade who were the energy of Glam Rock. They performed with flamboyance, costumes and massive rock energy that could tear a roof down. This was Glam Rock you could mosh too, let your inhibitions loose, Glam Rock you could undeniably ROCK your ass off to. From the crunchy, raw guitars, the raspy vocals of the singer wailing the lyrics, the pounding of the drums, all coming together to create music that sang about rocking, girls, sex, fun, partying and just going wild, Slade were able to take what made rock rock and personify it into their music. Their music had no depth, they weren’t political, they didn’t have anything profound to say. They just wanted to rock and rock they did and successfully did they rock.

An album like this is meant to just be pure fun. Music that will have you bang your head, dance dangerously, fling your arms left and right until you hit something, flail your shoulder length hair back and forth, and jump until jumping cannot be done anymore. What I especially love is how they spelled their song titles, Cum on Feel the Noize, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Gudbuy Gudbuy, which just adds to the aesthetic they were trying to portray. They end their album with yet another cover of the famous Let The Good Times Roll, which as the final song on the album almost asks of you to keep the party going even once the music over. Let the good times roll indeed and never have them end ever. Debatable if they were the first party rock band, that would eventually influence the likes of Andrew WK, but they were definitely one of the best, keeping the party alive and well, rocking the nite away.

Favourite Song: Mama Weer All Crazee Now

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Super Fly

#247

Album: Super Fly: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Artist: Curtis Mayfield

Year: 1972

Length: 37:05

Genre: Psychedelic Soul / Funk / Progressive Soul

“Oh, superfly
You’re gonna make your fortune by and by
But if you lose, don’t ask no questions why
The only game you know is do or die
Ah-ha-ha”

Before diving into this one, I decided it might be a good idea to check out the movie before writing about the album. Since it is a soundtrack to a film, it just made sense to see what it was accompanying and how it supported the film. Unlike Shaft, where I took a far more humouristic approach to it, I figured why not give this a deeper look to truly understand what the album was and how it made it’s effect on culture at the time. Thankfully Super Fly was an easy movie to find and after about four attempts, I finally got around to completing it.

I am not familiar with the Blaxpoitation films of the 70s. I know about them and their style overall, with a few ideas of what their tropes were, but I never watched any. My closest exposure was the movie Black Dynamite, but that was a parody homage to the genre more than a straightforward blaxpoitation film. I knew the genre more from the parodies on it than the actual genre itself, which in some ways is a good way to get to know all the classic tropes of it, but doesn’t truly give you a good idea of the genre. Well, Black Dynamite definitely got it right, from the low res camera to the guerilla street shooting, the countless driving and walking scenes, the cheesy dialogue and fight scenes, they were all here in this movie. I get the impact this movie had, specifically being the first all black film crew and fully funded film, but the movie itself just didn’t manage to hold me in. I realise this is very much a case of you had to be there when it was released to truly feel the impact, but watching it today it does feel cheesy and super 70s, but there’s definitely an endearing quality to that.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the movie but rather the soundtrack made by one Curtis Mayfield, who also appears in the film singing Pusherman. When I read that the soundtrack was one of the few movie soundtracks to outsell the movie itself, I was not surprised to hear of that. The soundtrack is far and beyond the best part of the movie. Even detached from it, it stands on it’s own as a powerful piece of black music singing about the difficulties of drugs and poverty. Where the film was rather ambiguous about how it felt about the drug dealing, Curtis Mayfield was very clear in his message that it was NOTHING he’d condone. The lyrics are much more serious than the groovy, funky music would lead you to believe, but it’s really that funky instrumentation that hits you in your soul and has you grooving along. I’m not surprised that this is a touchstone of the genre as it’s a phenomenal piece of work on Curtis Mayfield’s part, with a tight band playing strongly and Curtis himself singing soulfully, it’s a great album from start to finish.

I love how you can just tell too that it is part of one of those 70s films because it just oozes with sensuality and sexiness throughout. Even a song called Junkie Chase feels sexy and it is due in part to that wah-wah guitar that just wicka wicka’s its way through the whole album. It’s hard not to feel sexy yourself when listening to this kind of music (despite the lyrical content) as it does ask you to get up and just strut your stuff around the room. It’s almost impossible not to let it get deep into your soul and overtake you, making you just as Super Fly as the music itself. This is probably one of the greatest movie soundtracks out there, with no filler or dull moment and I love it.

Favourite Song: Pusherman

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Harvest

#246

Album: Harvest

Artist: Neil Young

Year: 1972

Length: 37:11

Genre: Folk Rock / Country Rock

“Did she wake you up
to tell you that
It was only a change of plan?
Dream up, dream up,
let me fill your cup
With the promise of a man.

Will I see you give
more than I can take?
Will I only harvest some?
As the days fly past
will we lose our grasp
Or fuse it in the sun?”

You wanna hear something funny? This is something that will probably get a little flack. Any fans of Neil Young might get insulted by this, but I think it’s too funny not to share. For the longest time, especially a good period of my life when I was about 17-25, I honestly thought that this was a Neil Diamond song. Yes, the man, the myth, the legend who sings that sing-a-long classic, Sweet Caroline. I thought that this was his album. I even thought that his classic hit, Sweet Caroline was found on this album too. When I heard the praises that were made of this album, the soaring heights it made, the acclaim shouted from the rooftops, all I could think was damn, people really consider Sweet Caroline in high regard. It’s a fun song, but hot diggity, didn’t realise it was such a significant piece of music. I was wrong, and so, so, so far off the mark that it’s honestly hilarious.

How could I make such a mix-up? Simple. They’re both called Neil which that right there should be enough to understand why I’d be confused all those years. I was incredibly familiar with Sweet Caroline (OH! OH! OOOH!) and I have this vague memory that the album it came from (whether it’s the actual studio album, the single cover or a compilation album I don’t know) had an incredibly similar looking cover to Harvest. Same colour scheme and all. It’s not crazy that I had the two confused as being the same person for as long as I did.

Obviously, Neil Young is not Neil Diamond, not by a long shot. Other than making music in similar genres, they definitely have a very different legacy. Neil Young has cemented himself in musical history as one of the greatest musicians and songwriters of all time and Neil Diamond is known as the “Sweet Caroline” guy (I think, that’s what I know him as at least). Neil Young is also a Canadian treasure, played in the super group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and was also a Devo fan (a point that probably means nothing to you but sure is significant to me). You shouldn’t mistake the two in any way… but I somehow did.

So, Harvest, eh? I’d like to say things about it but sadly this is one of those albums where I just don’t know what to say. I have nothing to say. This album didn’t do anything for me. I know, I know, this one is one of the greats. SO many people talk about this album like it’s a holy grail of albums. Neil Young’s greatest achievement in music. These are experts who are saying this so I’m just going to have to believe them. They’re probably right and I won’t say otherwise. I’ll just believe that to be true, I don’t have a strong enough opinion about this album to say otherwise, but clearly I feel like I’m missing something here. This is definitely a case where I’m not afraid to admit that I just don’t get it. I don’t. With all the acclaim it gets, I would hope it would give me some sort of feeling when I sit down to listen to it. I did, I sat down and listened to it, multiple times, every time… nothing. Just plain nothing. I don’t get it. I loved Everybody Knows This is Nowhere but it seems with each subsequent album my care and feeling for his music just lowered and lowered. I can’t explain why.

Could it be it’s the music? I guess it’s not my favourite genre, but that wouldn’t explain why Harvest is just a nothing blip to me. I guess I’m not a fan of his voice, it’s kinda irritating in some ways, but I don’t think it’s that either. I might just have to accept that this is one of those cases where there’s no clear answer as to why and I might have to accept it’s one of those albums I may never get and that’s ok. I might be missing out on something here, but we’re all missing out on something in someway and I’m honestly ok with missing out on this one. I usually experience massive FOMO, something I’ve dealt with for a vast majority of my life, especially as a young adult. But if I had to miss out on something, this is one that I don’t mind missing out on.

Sorry Neil, nothing personal.

Favourite Song: Heart of Gold

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Can’t Buy A Thrill

#245

Album: Can’t Buy a Thrill

Artist: Steely Dan

Year: 1972

Length: 40:58

Genre: Soft Rock / Folk Rock / Pop

“Times are hard
You’re afraid to pay the fee
So you find yourself somebody
Who can do the job for free
When you need a bit of lovin’
‘Cause your man is out of town
That’s the time you get me runnin’
And you know I’ll be around”

Has anyone else felt weird in regards to their productivity these days? I don’t mean the usual low slump where you feel your productivity dip and as much as you wish you could be productive, you find yourself just lazing around and not having the energy to do anything. I’m not talking about that. My productivity is weird in the sense that I feel I’ve been incredibly productive but it’s so scatterbrained and unfocused it’s almost as if I’m not. For example, the other week, I had a burst of productivity with these posts, I cranked out five in a day, which I have never done before, I always reserved to writing one sometimes two a day, but never five. But once I had that burst of energy dedicated to it, my focus shifted and I found myself instead starting to write a script. After writing a bunch of pages, my focus shifted and I was productive in a different domain, then another, then another and a continuous cycle of quick bursts of productivity on one thing and then shifting to have a quick burst of productivity onto another.

Not sure why it’s like that. I’m not complaining because at least I am getting some stuff done, I just wish I could be more focused with it. I’m starting a lot of artistic projects but not really seeing any to the end. Part of me is trying to embrace the whole idea of whatever I am enthusiastic about in that moment, I will focus my energy on and ride that high and do that, which helps in keeping productive and not hitting that cycle of wanting to do a lot but never truly doing anything, but it has also caused me to have a bunch of incomplete things. Maybe it’ll show some results in the long run, like I’ll suddenly hit a point where I complete a ton of projects at around the same time. So maybe it is beneficial, I just have to be patient to see the results of it.

I’ll just keep doing that in the meantime and since my energy is now focused on this, this is what I will do now. What better to focus my energy than writing on a band named after a steel dildo, which is funny because their music couldn’t be any more different than what you’d think steel dildo music would sound like. I feel Steely Dan are a level away from becoming Muzak, your beloved elevator music. At times, some of their tunes do feel like elevator music, but more sophisticated. It’s more lounge music, like if you were waiting at an airport to board your plane, I can picture Steely Dan playing over the intercom and it would be perfectly serviceable for that situation.

I know it sounds like I’m insulting the band by calling them elevator music, but I’m not. I like Steely Dan, I do enjoy them, but I can’t deny this is very much lounge music. You don’t put Steely Dan on to rock out, you put them on to chill out while you’re waiting to go into a meeting. That accessibility may seem like a negative aspect, but for Steely Dan it’s a good thing because they do it incredibly well. The band is filled with talented musicians who work together to make the music what it is and what it is is decent stuff. It’s smooth, chill and easy listening rock and there’s times where this is perfect music to listen to.

Steely Dan also has to be one of the Dad Rockiest bands ever. When you think of Dad Rock, I find this album perfectly encapsulates everything that defines Dad rock. This is your dad’s favourite album, whether he knows it or not. Everything that makes Dad Rock, Dad rock, can be found in this album. It’s the perfect representation of the genre and I don’t think any other album or band perfectly defines the genre as Can’t Buy A Thrill does.

Guaranteed I know my dad will like it.

Favourite Song: Reelin’ In The Years.

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Vol. 4

#244

Album: Vol. 4

Artist: Black Sabbath

Year: 42:18

Genre: Heavy Metal

“I feel unhappy
I feel so sad
I lost the best friend
That I ever had

She was my woman
I loved her so
But it’s too late now
I’ve let her go

I’m going through changes
I’m going through changes”

YEEEAAAHHHHH! ALLL ABOOOOOOARD!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Welahm erryone, dis is my fourth album wit mah band Black sabbath. YEAAAHHHHHH! We play da musahk toogethah and wrote it and I sang da toones and Iommi played guitar and the drum went boom boom boom. It rocks, we rock, rock n roooooollll.

Man, it was a smashing ole time, performing on the stage, biting the heads off bahts, spittin blood ahll ohva da audience membas, of course I don’t remembah 90% of it as I was so fahked up da whole time. HAHAHAHAHA YEAHHHH! Good times, you know I rarrda hagsh of da greaty uin if you wanna crank mah poin hall, you know? Can’t blayme me for naht yielding the skyurt wit Iommi and doin tenty laines off mah crack. Good times to be had but you gotta rmembah to stick wit all fint canosoup otherwoise you notting his plaster dump.

Look, I want to make clear, I nevah had reaosn to under silk mah yupin gord, plaster it all ovah the bills and spank mah monkey. I ahd the hammysink to mahself and couldn stahn up on me own two legs worth my six dollars and twenty cent. Stick it in, I told em and they poke it right up in the smack center of the open furg, damn bloody bastards like a beast with no head. Grab the horn and rip its insides, I say and he wants nothin to do with its juice. Can you believe it? You just walk in here like you have a bed but dont use it for rakes and flips? whats this guy’s problem.

IUhhh… youhuknowuhuurrrruuuunooouourruunhuhuhh. Uuhhhubnuhhunnnnhohooho, hhohmuuhhurhuurhutturhurhrhruhurjr, rhhurhurhurhur. Uhruhruhohorhnorhuruh? uhruhgg, you know?

What?

What was I saying? Fuck if I remember. Don’t jimmy my splits, got a real ham tart on the phone. Would show you my nick but got no yearning for burgers,

What?

Right, Vol. 4, my new albuuuum. It rooocks, YEAAAHH! Check it out, it’s fun… where’s the toilet?

-Ozzy Osbourne

Favourite Song: Cornucopia

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: #1 Record

#243

Album: #1 Record

Artist: Big Star

Year: 1972

Length: 37:03

Genre: Power Pop

“Hanging out, down the street
The same old thing we did last week
Not a thing to do
But talk to you

Steal your car, and bring it down
Pick me up, we’ll drive around
Wish we had
A joint so bad

Pass the street light
Out past midnight”

Here’s a question that’s worth exploring. How can a band be so influential and important and yet be relatively unknown? How could a band make such an impact and yet when you ask people if they know who they are they go: Who? How has a band secured such a respected and acclaimed legacy and yet no one is talking about them?

For the most perceptive of you, I’m obviously referring to Big Star (why else would I start the post asking such a question if I was talking about a completely different band? I guess I could have done the old bait and switch playing with your expectations. You got me there. Touché). Of course, if I asked music connoisseurs if they’ve heard of Big Star, chances are pretty good they have, but if I was to ask a regular music listener if they have, they give me a definitive No. What’s more if I started to tell them about the influence they had on a large number of bands, they’d look at me like I was fucking with them. Fortunately, I am not and this band has laid quite the legacy for themselves.

I was once once one of those people who had never heard of Big Star. I also couldn’t believe it when I read about their massive legacy. Upon listening to #1 Record however, it all clicked and fell into place, the missing pieces of the proverbial puzzle were finally set neatly together to present me the full picture of Big Star and their legacy. Here is a band that sounded like a 90s indie band before the 90s ever existed, heck they sounded like a 90s indie band before violent femmes sounded like a 90s indie band before the 90s indie band came to be. Every Jangle Pop, Folk Punk and Alternative group from the late 80s and early 90s have Big Star to thank for laying the groundwork of what would eventually be their sound. The beauty of it is they all cite Alex Chilton and Big Star as a massive influence, so it’s not like I’m just assuming this, these bands have full-on come out and said Big Star were to thank.

If they made that kind of impact then why aren’t they as known? Big reason is when they first came out their distribution sucked and they only sold about 100,000 records, falling quickly into obscurity almost immediately. the band only lasted up to 1974, but it was a strong 2 years, releasing three albums that would acquire massive legacies. Another reason is that this is very much a band’s band. A band loved highly by musicians who discovered their albums way later and amassed a cult following from said musicians. So unless you were amongst real big music nerds, chances are this didn’t come across your path.

Real shame too because this album is absolutely delightful. I fell in love with it almost immediately upon first listen and bought it the first chance I found it. It was full of surprises, the biggest being that they wrote the original song that would eventually become That 70s Show theme song. When the opening lyrics of “Hanging out down the street…” cam eon, I did a double take. I always love having those moments of listening to a new album and recognizing a song and going “Shit! THAT song is on the album?!” With catchy hooks and fantastic harmonies, Alex Chilton and Chris Bell worked together in the same vain as Lennon and McCartney, a partnership they strived to have as songwriters and I dare say, they succeeded much better at doing that than Lennon and McCartney did (bold words I know).

This is an album I will talk about to people any chance I get. if someone says they love The Beatles, I will refer them to Big Star’s #1 Record, they essentially took influence from The Beatles but made better music. This band deserved way more than it received, even with their legacy firmly in tact, they should have had much more commercial success upon release because it would have been well deserved. It’s rare to come by an album where not only is there no filler but every song on this album could have been a single. It is both a collection singles and a fully conceived album at the same time. that is no easy task and Big Star managed to do it successfully.

They may not have made an impact on initial release but they left a legacy that will not only continue but will hopefully start to get noticed by more casual listeners. If me just mentioning it to someone in passing will get them to check Big Star out, then I know I’ve done some good.

Favourite Song: Don’t Lie To Me

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Machine Head

#242

Album: Machine Head

Artist: Deep Purple

Year: 1972

Length: 37:46

Genre: Hard Rock

“Ooh it’s a killing machine
It’s got everything
Like a driving power big fat tyres
And everything

I love it and I need it, I bleed it
Yeah, it’s a wild hurricane
Alright, hold tight
I’m a highway star”

I’m really starting to build a love for Deep Purple. In Rock was such a hard rocking album that won my heart and Machine just continues more of what they did best but this time in smaller sizes rather than giant ten minute opuses. It’s no surprise why this is considered one of the most influential Hard Rock albums out there because these guys wail away at their instruments while still maintaining a level of cool to create some fine ass hard rock tunes. I think, I may prefer In Rock overall, but Machine Head is no disappointment. It may not feel as grand but then again, it’s just some pure fun rock music (and that being said it shouldn’t undervalue the actual skill and talent that went into this. it’s a fine music album, no doubt about it).

A lot of the time when I go into an album like this on the list, that being one that contained THE massive hit of the album, I question if the album was only included on this list because the massive hit was on it. This is one of those times where that question didn’t even enter my head. Sure, Smoke on the Water is from this album and THAT was a massive hit. Everyone knows Smoke on the Water, it’s one of the first guitar riffs any teenager learns and it’s the bane of every guitar store employee who has to listen to some snotty kid play it. But Smoke on the Water is not even their best song here, Highway Star and Space Truckin’ definitely are contenders for that title, so there’s no doubt on my mind that this was included not because it contained their big hit but because it’s a damn good album that actually had an impact on the scene in some way.

Now, I’m no fan of Smoke on the Water. I don’t hate it, but see above for one of the many reasons I’m not crazy about it. I went to high school, I was a teenager surrounded by kids picking up guitars because they thought they’d be cool (I was always a synth boy myself). The amount of times I heard this riff played out of context from the actual song was more than my mind could handle that I couldn’t even think of the name of this song without hearing the hundred thousand terrible renditions of it. I am in no way making a comment on these teens learning the guitar, obviously when you pick up an instrument you won’t be good at it and only by practicing it will you get good! This is very much a case of quantity over quality killing it. It never bugged me they were still learning but it bugged me that every single person I heard practicing the guitar in that time would inevitably play this damn riff. Eventually you feel the need to yell “You know other songs fucking exist right??”

In recent years, I’ve developed a new found love for it though. All this time I had been so focused on that riff that I never stopped to actually listen to the lyrics (other than the main chorus of course, everyone knows the words to that. No, I won’t sing it for you right now). If I had I would have noticed this whole time the song was referencing one of my all-time favourite musicians: Frank Zappa. Actually, the whole song was about a Frank Zappa and the Mother’s of Invention show that occurred at the Montreux Casino where they literally set the place on fire. The titular Smoke on the Water referred to the fire’s smoke billowing over the lake by the Casino. Leave it to a Zappa show to have a venue be set on fire (an audience member apparently shot a flare gun at the ceiling which caused it). Knowing that Deep Purple have preserved this special event in Zappa’s history into one of the most iconic rock songs ever kind of made me like it. Zappa deserves all the recognition and now every time a snotty teen plays this riff, he is inadvertently giving homage to one of the most insane moments in Frank Zappa’s musical career and that’s just beautiful.

Deep Purple hit with another great record and did not disappoint. Always enjoy listening to them an excited for the next one!

Favourite Song: Space Truckin’

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Sail Away

#241

Album: Sail Away

Artist: Randy Newman

Year: 1972

Length: 30:07

Genre: Baroque Pop / Rock

“Sail away
It’s time to leave
Rainy days
Are yours to keep
Fade away
The night is calling my name
You will stay
I’ll sail away”

It’s funny to think how Randy Newman was actually a big part of my childhood. Having been a child through the 90s and early 2000’s, Pixar was a huge part of the media I consumed and who did the music for basically all the films? That’s right, Randy Newman. From Toy Story’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, Monsters Inc.’s Theme song, Jessie’s stupid “When Somebody Loved Me”, everyone of my generation knew his name. It’s fascinating to see how a bunch of us kids from my generation were singing his songs with incredibly exaggerated imitations of his voice (something that will never NOT be fun) to the point we loved even trying to sing other songs with his signature voice. If you had told me he had a prolific songwriting career geared towards adult with amore acerbic sense of humour, I would have had a hard time believing it and yet he somehow touched two separate generations with two wildly different styles (one for kids and one for adults). To me he was always the guy with the funny singing voice who, famously in a meme type way, always wrote about things in a very literal way… apparently (A joke I think that really took surface when he was parodied on Family Guy. Of course, leave it to garbage to really leave a mark on the youth).

It’s hard to see the guy who sang “You’ve got a friend in me” would be the same guy who would sing the songs found on the album. Gone is the hopeful joy of youth I had grown to know and here it as replaced by cynicism, negativity, anger and sarcasm. I may have a more nostalgic connection with Pixar but I definitely love this much better in terms of content. As someone who has grown into a bitter, cynical, glass half-empty type of guy, it’s always nice to see someone expressing a lot of those thoughts. Here Newman expresses biting social commentary on satire of American Life, history, culture, pop culture, celebrity life, rural life… heck a little bit of everything. He takes a nice big bite out of every slice of the proverbial American pie and what’s better is he doesn’t provide solutions or criticisms, they come across more as snapshots, sad truths, cynical observations he’s made as an outlier watching what’s happening and journaling about it for the rest of us to hear.

Probably not an album for the more naive of you who still believe the American dream is a real thing and that fairy tales do come true, but for everyone else, you can’t deny how clever and wise Randy Newman is. Although, the older generation already knew him to be such, I think it’s time for my generation to move on from his Pixar tunes and discover who he really was way back when, his earlier stuff oddly might resonate with us a lot more than his Pixar stuff. I’m just glad I was there to witness that journey from Toy Story to Sail Away (albeit a backwards journey but a more profound one for sure).

Favourite Song: You Can Leave Your Hat On

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Hunky Dory

#240

Album: Hunky Dory

Artist: David Bowie

Year: 1971

Length: 41:50

Genre: Art Pop / Pop Rock / Glam Rock

“Will you stay in our lovers’ story?
If you stay you won’t be sorry
‘Cause we believe in you
Soon you’ll grow, so take a chance
With a couple of kooks hung up on romancing”

Ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!!!

From one Glam Rock star to another, and probably the biggest one out there. Anyone who listens to any music knows David Bowie, almost impossible not too, his musical touch is so large and vast that you’ve definitely heard one of his songs. If it wasn’t from a movie than it was probably the viral video of Chris Hadfield playing Space Oddity in space! Either way, David Bowie is a powerhouse of a performer and artist that there isn’t much I can say about him that everyone already doesn’t know. He was an icon for queer and androgynous people. He was a hitmaker in glam, rock, disco, somehow touching all the “Low forms” of music and churning out fantastic tunes. He was somehow both flamboyant and refined at the same time and just an all around wild person with wild stories. Who else can actually sell you an album called Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars and have it actually be good.

I won’t bother with history or his career, it’s been done, it’s been said, it’s all out there. I want to talk about his music and how it’s leaked into my life, specifically this album, which is far and beyond my FAVOURITE Bowie album. As much as I do enjoy his other entries in his discography, this one always stood out to me as being his best (obviously that’s opinion). Life on Mars for the longest time was my absolute favourite Bowie song to the point my close friend sang it at karaoke for my birthday a few years ago. This was based on an agreement we made where he’d sing Life on Mars and I’d sing Abba’s Fernando for him on his birthday (an event that has yet to happen, but believe me, I’m ready for it when it comes). Life on Mars truly is a masterful song, the way it builds up to the chorus, his belting of Life on MAAAAAAAARS, the opening piano lines that draw you in, it’s a spectacle to behold.

That is until I truly discovered the full album and was met with way more than I would have ever hoped for. Changes starts off the album with a chorus that is almost impossible to not sing along to. One time at Karaoke, my friend decided to sing Changes and to mess with him, the rest of us on the sidelines kept going ch-ch-ch-ch-ch. It started off only at the parts where it’s actually sung, but then we kept adding it throughout. We manage to have him break and he let out a few laughs as he tried to sing it. Good memories at the old On the Rocks Karaoke Bar.

This really feels like an album for misfits, sung by one of the biggest misfits of them all. He’s singing for the outcasts, showing them they’re not alone because he’s one of us as well and it’s ok to be a misfit. As I listened to the album, it became abundantly clear what my actual favourite song was: Kooks. A tune about Kooks and love just seemed to fit with me perfectly. Asking someone to take a chance on a couple of kooks and letting them know we believe in them because that’s what us misfits do, we prop each other up, support each other, make each other feel good for who we are. Take a chance, you won’t be sorry indeed. My experiences have always been mostly positive with the group of Kooks I always hang out with and love, nothing wrong with being someone who feels like they don’t fit in, or sees things differently, because when we find each other it’s wonderful and the instrumentation of the song supports that uplifting and hopeful feel of being a bit of a kook. And yes, we’re definitely hung up on romancing, always on the look for a deeper connection, a partner, something more than just surface level love.

I’m a kook, my friends are Kooks and David Bowie is the biggest Kook of them all singing for us.

Favourite Song: Kooks

-Bosco

P.s. Another album in the list of albums I own!

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1001 Albums: Electric Warrior

#239

Album: Electric Warrior

Artist: T. Rex

Year: 1971

Length: 39:02

Genre: Glam Rock / Rock n Roll / Pop

“You’re dirty and sweet, clad in black, don’t look back
and i love you
you’re dirty and sweet, oh yeah
you dance when you walk so let’s dance, take a chance, understand me
you’re dirty sweet and you’re my girl.
get it on, bang the gong, get it on
get it on, bang the gong, get it on”

I find Glam Rock gets a bad rap for absolutely no reason. I get it that there’s a lot in the genre that is cheesy and kitschy and that can turn a lot of people off, but doesn’t ever genre have it’s group of bad apples? Why is it Glam Rock gets the whole a few bad apples spoil the bunch treatment but others don’t? That could be said about Country or Rap and Hip Hop as well, but both those genres are also over saturated with heavily blatant misogynistic songs presented with no sense of self-awareness or irony that it makes sense they’d get a bad reputation even if there’s a lot of good in them. I’m sure somewhere in Glam Rock there are problematic tunes (again every genre has it) but for the most part there’s a sense of glamour and fun that comes with the genre. It kind of reminds me of the Horror and Rom Com genres of film, that are always dismissed as terrible and campy despite having some of the greatest pieces of film to ever grace cinematic history. Glam Rock may have a bunch of cringey shit attached to it’s name but it’s also home to some of the biggest and greatest like David Bowie and today’s band, T. Rex.

Is it because Glam Rock is often associated with Drag Queens, Feminine males, androgynous characters and sexually ambiguous performers? I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with those things… for some reason, and associate it with kitsch and camp, two things often regarded as very low forms of art… again, for some reason. That never made sense to me as that style of art has led way for some fantastic, self-aware yet incredibly fun artists. The B-52’s, Divine, Aquabats, Kiss, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, the list goes on, but all of these are beloved artists and they all embody camp and kitsch in their art in some way. Part of me is really believing that it’s just a sense of discomfort, especially from Manly men, who don’t want to be seen enjoying it out of fear of being associated with that “lifestyle”… again, for some fucking reason???

For all those meatheads and anyone who finds a lot of Glam Rock too kitsch for their tastes, there’s always Marc Bolan and his band T. Rex. What I would consider the most accessible of Glam Rock purely in the sense that anyone from any background can enjoy it without that horseshit fear in the back of their heads. Marc Bolan just has such a cool, tender way of playing the guitar, it all at once feels really cool and somehow sensual (I think it’s his breathy delivery at times that does that). The solos feel so smooth like butter slowly melting over some toast that this all feels close to bedroom music without it ever really being. Electric Warrior is such a well oiled and lubricated sounding album that it’s hard not to like it at least a little.

Something I love about Marc Bolan is his choice to wear a pot on his head while performing. Not sure what compelled him to do it, but I absolutely love it. It’s the right amount of absurd that just tickles my anus. The funniest part about it is how normal it’s treated. No one seems to think it’s weird or questions it, it’s very much “oh yeah, he wears a pot on his head, makes sense” and everyone just leaves it at that. There’s something really beautiful about that. Unlike Lady Gaga who attracts way too much attention with her costumes and over the top styles, Marc Bolan manages to find the right amount that it was just subtle enough for everyone to notice but not enough to be questioned.

T. Rex somehow managed to be incredibly accessible while still managing to have their own style. It’s a great album that flows like a glistening river and has an oddly calming effect when you listen to it, almost like a mild sedative meant to put you in a calm state (or smoking a joint like my pothead friends would say). With tunes like Mambo Sun, The Motivator, Bang a Gong, Cosmic Dancer, Jeepster, and all, it’s hard not to let yourself kick back and just nod your head to the groove.

Now excuse me, I’m going to go put a Colander on my head.

Favourite Song: Mambo Sun

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Nilsson Schmilsson

#238

Album: Nilsson Schmilsson

Artist: Harry Nilsson

Year: 1971

Length: 35:17

Genre: Rock / Pop

“There was a time when we could dance until a quarter to ten
We never thought it would end then
We never thought it would end
We used to carry on and drink and do the rock and roll
We never thought we’d get older”

There’s something I find kind of special about this album and I have been trying to put my finger on what exactly that is. From the first time I heard it to today, I always quite enjoyed it, it was a pleasant surprise the first time I listened to it and continues to be pleasant every time I pop it back on. I even went so far as to buy it on Vinyl I enjoyed it that much. Harry Nilsson has a fun quality to his delivery that makes the album feel playful yet oddly mature at the same time. There’s this nice balance between jaunty pop and actual integrity in his lyricism that it feels genuine and smart. It’s not so much introspective but more reflective and I think it’s that quality that made me like it as much as I did.

This may be a wrong interpretation but I find Nilsson captures the feelings of being a Young Adult quite masterfully here. I don’t think I have been able to find an album that does that so well, it’s either focused on being a youth and staying that way or the doldrums of adult life. But Nilsson manages to find the middle ground between the two with this, still living the young lifestyle while managing an adult lifestyle at the same time. As someone who is right in that stage of life, this resonated with me in that way. With songs like Gotta Get Up and Early in the Morning that talk about late night stay-ups with the responsibilities of early morning tasks, he somehow was able to perfectly reflect that limbo state between youth and adulthood everyone my age is going through. This may not have bene his intention and I may be way off the mark, but I couldn’t help but take that away from this album.

The bouncy pop piano reflects the youthful energy of the young adult while the lyrics capture the maturity the young adult is now faced with. Even the album cover shows Nilsson in his bathrobe, having just woke up form what may have been a late night endeavour (the bedhead kind of gives that impression), something I still deal with quite a bit despite now being 29. Without You tackles love in a way only a late 20 year old might understand, having finally come to understanding what love is and being in a state being ready to settle down and not wanting to go through all this again. Despite needing to wake up and get things done, he still asks to keep the good time going and even indulges in rum and coconut. As a 29 year old, I’ve definitely calmed down quite a bit, but I still indulge in my youthful behavior once in awhile.

If this was what he was going for or not, doesn’t matter because it just felt incredibly relatable, more-so with my current age and stage in life. That’s part of the beauty of art and music, we all can have different takeaways and it resonates with us in a variety of different ways. I don’t really have any in depth analysis or profound to say about this one, it was just an album I really enjoyed that I felt captured my stage of life in this neat little 30 minute capsule, preserving it for future listens. It’s goofy, fun, silly and mature and I don’t see how we can describe young adulthood any better.

Favourite Song: Gotta Get Up

-Bosco

P.s. Another entry in the list of Albums I own on Vinyl!

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1001 Albums: John Prine

#237

Album: John Prine

Artist: John Prine

Year: 1971

Length: 44:07

Genre: Folk / Country

“I heard Allah and Buddha were singing at the Savior’s feast
And up in the sky an Arabian rabbi
Fed Quaker Oats to a priest
Pretty good, not bad, they can’t complain
‘Cause actually all them gods are just about the same
Pretty good, not bad, I can’t complain
‘Cause actually everything is just about the same”

Is it possible?

Have I actually found a country/folk album that I… like? That I enjoy? That I genuinely , whole-heartedly would listen to because I wanted to? This is like finding the Holy Grail. With the exception of Outlaw Country music, I never thought I’d ever find an album of this style of Country that I could say I unironically do enjoy. I didn’t think I would, and the first few times I did listen to this I didn’t truly appreciate the songwriting of John Prine, who I now feel is like the court jester of the country music scene. This time around I was listening, actually listening, and found myself smiling, laughing, guffawing throughout the album and it was never a sentiment I ever would have thought I’d feel in regards to Country and Folk.

John Prine is funny, like legitimately hilarious. Humour permeates throughout this entire album that I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions. John Prine has an acerbic wit that I hadn’t seen before in this style that it caught me off guard in the best way. From the first song Illegal Smile, he hooked me with his one liners, funny observations and sarcastic, dry humour, that it had me engaged enough that I was listening to the lyrics of every song intently so as not to miss out on any of it. I mean, starting the album with a song calling the idea of putting on a mask of a fake smile so as to appease people as an Illegal Smile, not only hits me right in my values but makes me feel happy inside to hear an attack on inauthenticity. Plus it ends with the wonderful non-sequitur of “well done, hot dog bun, my sister’s a nun” which is more than enough to win my heart.

I find this set the tone of the rest of the album perfectly. I expected more of that acerbic wit and wasn’t disappointed in the least. I was met with some great lines that just suck with me like:
“Jesus Christ Died for Nothin’, I suppose”
“Your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore”
“But when they were finished there was nothing to say,
’cause mostly they made love from ten miles away.”
“Pretty good, not bad, I can’t complain
But actually everything is just about the same”

I could go on but then I’d be here writing for way too long. There’s just a plethora of great lines and fantastic storytelling that tackles a little bit of everything you’d expect from country music: religion, patriotism, love affairs, music, good times, etc. But manages to flip a lot of these ideas on their head, either critiquing them, subverting our expectations or singing with his tongue firmly placed in his cheek. It’s almost like country music that parodies country music while still being amazing country music in it’s own right. Ok, that’s not quite right, but that’s the best I can explain the sentiment I felt while listening to it and I’ll stick by that until I think of a better way to express it.

I was definitely moderately surprised by my enjoyment of it, even now I still find myself singing Sam STOOOONE in the same way he belts it out with that southern drawl of his. John Prine is a peach and this album was as ripe as any peach could be and that’s the way I like my peaches.

Favourite Song: Illegal Smile

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: White Light

#236

Album: White Light

Artist: Gene Clark

Year: 1971

Length: 34:58

Genre: Country Rock / Folk Rock

“With the raging of the sea before its height
And the strength of those whom see beyond their sight
Oh, the smithies anvil rings
And the symphony it sings
No voice nor poet’s pen can put to tune”

This album gave me a headache.

I’d like to say that this was purely circumstantial as the first time I listened to it I was on a Megabus on my way to Montreal and the circulating air in the bus always gives me a massive sinus headache. But this proved to not be the case as the second time I listened to it I also ended up getting a massive headache. As I listen to it at this moment for a third time, I’m feeling incredibly dizzy and not great at all. It’s reminiscent of staring at a bright white light for too long and the strain it causes on your eyes, which makes this album rather aptly named. Maybe that’s what he was going for, but I highly doubt it. There’s something up with this album and the effect it has on me. Either I’m doomed to just never experience this album without feeling unwell or my body just doesn’t vibe with this album at all.

This time around I tried to see if I can pinpoint a particular aspect of this album that may be causing this to happen. It does seem that certain frequencies of the music just grates on me a little and the harmonica parts screech a little too shrilly for me ears causing me to wince at the sound. But, I’m the kind of person that often loves terrible sounding music, so it couldn’t be that, at least not fully. It could be all this paired with the style of music. It’s no secret I just do not like country rock and folk in general doesn’t do anything for me. Putting those two things together, it could be a viable cause that my body is just trying to reject the sounds of this album, protecting me from an illness that isn’t there.

Whatever the reason is, I just can’t find myself enjoying this album. This is nothing against Gene Clark, he’s a mighty fine musician and I did like his work in the early days of The Byrds before they took the country music route, but I can’t sit through this album without my head wanting to explode and feeling like I need a three hour nap to relieve that pain.

I know this all sounds overly dramatic, and I do have a flair for the dramatic, but this time around I’m genuinely not embellishing it all. This is legit how I’ve felt every time I’ve listened to this album with no exaggeration. I can’t explain it and honestly, I don’t think I really want to waste my time trying to figure it out because after this, I don’t plan on seeking this album out again. Not anytime soon at least. I always hate when I feel this way towards an album because I don’t have any reason to dislike it or hate it. I don’t think it’s bad in any way and I can see a group of people out there somewhere loving it, it makes sense. It’s like when you meet someone and despite having absolutely no reason to not like them, you just don’t… and you don’t know why. I’ve experienced quite a number of people that I’ve me tin my life where my body was telling me that something felt off about them but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what. So I had no reason to full on dislike them and continued being friendly, but every time I saw them, that part of me always kicked in and it just never sat right, but there was no clear indication as to what was causing it.

Maybe that’s just how my relationship with this album is going to be. I like it fine and have no reason to dislike it, but for whatever reason every time I listen to it something just doesn’t feel right. My body is trying to tell me something, but I just can’t understand what it’s trying to say.

I guess in situations like this I might never get an answer and just have to accept that’s how it’ll be.

Favourite Song: Tears of Rage

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Teenage Head

#235

Album: Teenage Head

Artist: Flamin’ Groovies

Year: 1971

Length: 30:45

Genre: Garage Rock / Rock and Roll

“I’m a monster
got a revved up teenage head.
Teenage monster
California born and bred.
Half a boy and half a man
I’m half at sea and half on land, oh my
Bye-bye.”

I want to talk about inspiration. As an artist I have a lot of various pieces of media that I take inspiration from. From a young age I was exposed to a large variety of artists who have made an impact on me in someway. At first I was really into comedies, consuming a large variety of parody films. The stylings of Mel Brooks and the ZAZ trio taught me a lot about comedy and how to make a proper parody and I used a lot of that in future films I would make myself. From there the likes of Monty Python would influence my sketch style; Christopher Guest would show me the best way to make Mockumentaries; Edgar Wright and Taika Waititi would show me the ways of writing and directing fine crafter comedy; Andy Kaufman, George Carlin and Larry David would show me how you can push the boundaries of comedy. As I started to do more grounded work, the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson, Woody Allen, Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino, would become director/writers that I always looked to when writing more grounded, real characters with naturalistic dialogue, dealing with themes of romance, friendship, betrayal, love, fear and anything I was feeling at the moment. Plus other various artists, such as Tim Burton, would inspire me enough to want to create works as homages to them.

That’s a lot of lemons right there for me to take influence from and if you look at all my works you can definitely see their fingerprints all over in various ways. A lot of people tend to frown upon this very heavily but every artist is inspired by another in someway, some are even inspired by artists who were in turn inspired by them creating a full circle. As a budding artist it makes sense to want to emulate your favourite artists because it’s a good place to start, with something you love. From emulating you learn a lot about the craft but also about yourself as an artist. You start to develop your voice and find what works for you to the point that when you create your work, the inspiration and influence can be seen, but it’s still very much yours.

That’s really the key, taking from your favourite artists but doing it your own way. Looking up to them as role models saying “I want to do things just like they do!” and using what works for you and spicing it up with your own flavour. There’s a fine line between copying a style and being influenced by, and as long as your on the latter end of it, you’re well on your way to creating work that is truly your own. In art you can only really grow by taking what’s already done and adding to it, building on top of it, and the only way that can develop is by doing it your way. There is something to be said about artists who go their whole life just doing exactly what another artist does, but that’s not my point here and I want to stay focused on how we grow as artists through our inspiration.

This can be seen in Teenage Head. The Flamin’ Groovies took the stylings and sounds of fifties rock n roll and fed it through the lens of 70s Rock. If you ever asked the question, what would 50s rock sound like in the 70s, here it is, the perfect example of it. They were clearly heavily inspired by the 50s and created this album almost as an homage to that era of music while simultaneously updating the sound to fit neatly into the landscape of 70s music. This album is a perfect example of using your influences and inspirations but still creating something that feels new and very much its own. It’s easy to end up copying exactly what your influences did and producing something that feels more like emulation, but the Flamin’ Groovies manage to pay homage while still doing their own thing. it’s a fun and enjoyable album that will have you tapping your foot from start to finish and doesn’t try to do more than that.

Favourite Song: High Flyin’ Baby

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: A Nod is as Good as a Wink… To a Blind Horse

#234

Album: A Nod is as Good as a Wink… To a Blind Horse

Artist: Faces

Year: 1971

Length: 36:28

Genre: Rock n Roll / Boogie Rock / Blues Rock / Hard Rock / Country Rock

“Don’t stop; you make me feel much better
Tell me, my brother, do you think that’s all I need?
Yeah, yeahDon’t it make you happy?
Well, well, well, well, well

That’s all you need”

Rod Stewart, you sneaky little bastard, I see you hiding there. Thought you could creep up on me but I caught you parading around in the band. Solo career wasn’t enough? You thought you could just come back to the band after gaining huge success on your own? Two albums wasn’t enough, you also had to go rub it in their faces. “Nah-nah-nah, see? you guys neeeeeed me in the band to be successful”. How did they take it Rod? Were they happy or bitter towards you, you arrogant cock.

Ok, I have no idea if this was the case with the band at all. For all I know they had a strong sense of brotherhood amongst each other and Rod’s solo career was very much its own separate entity away from this band. This was Rod’s band before he went solo, so it does make sense he’d want to stick with them to create more music especially if he enjoyed it. I have no idea about any of this. I could search it up but I honestly don’t care about this album that much to really do a deep dive on its history. This album for me very much just exists and that’s as far as it goes for me.

Is it a good album? Sure. Is it well made? Definitely. Was it well-received? Oh yeah! Is it loved? There’s definitely a fanbase that eagerly listens to this album. Did it affect me in any way? No and there-in lies the problem for me. There’s nothing wrong with this album at all. Musically it sounds great and the tunes here are quite enjoyable. As I mentioned in Rod Stewart’s solo posts, his vocals are amazing. He sings with enough rasp in his voice that you swear he ate sand before recording. It’s soulful and comes from deep within him making him a very sympathetic narrator. All the elements are there but it just didn’t do anything for me.

I find it harder to deal with albums like this because what can you say about something that you just feel neutral about? How do you express apathy? How do you talk about something that just feels like shades of grey to you. Something that to you is forgettable, leaves you with no impression, no impact, no negative or positive feeling. I’d rather hate it, at least I’d have something to go off of, but nope I’m destined to just acknowledge this is an album that exists and is quite good. It’s kinda sad, really.

It could be its mix of country and blues rock. As much as I like the harder sounding guitars on this album, the country elements underneath it just push me away. Maybe that’s the real issue, this is somehow the perfect blend of things I moderately like and dislike. The perfect 5/10 album. And I don’t like calling it a 5/10 because again I do think it’s a great album, but if I’m basing it purely on personal feeling, I think this is it. This is the one. The perfect middle of the road album that I have been searching for (not really) my whole life. There was enough that I enjoyed and didn’t to blend together in a way to cancel each other out. Like mixing something acidic and basic, neutralising that PH balance.

Shame because I find the title of this album just nuts. Not only is it longer than it needs to be but how did they even come up with it? What does it mean? And what’s with the blind horse.

I had to search it up… it’s actually a common expression. It basically means no further explanation is needed and the inclusion of the blind horse gives the idea that no matter what non-verbal expression you do, it won’t matter because the horse won’t know what you did, it might as well mean the same thing. Am I the blind horse in regards to this album? Like it didn’t matter what elements were in this album, I can’t see them? No further explanation is required because this album just stands on its own, being what it is. Wait, is that it? It doesn’t need to connect with me because the album just is but I didn’t see it because I was trying to look for something more meaningful. Maybe it’s supposed to be this way but I was blinded by my own search for music that gave me that rush of dopamine that I forgot that sometimes you just enjoy music for what it is, music. I guess I got so caught up in finding the next best thing for myself that I stopped allowing myself to just enjoy the music.

It didn’t really do much for me but maybe that’s the point… maybe I’m supposed to just enjoy it as music and nothing more…

Or maybe I’m just talking out of my ass, who knows.

Favourite Song: Miss Judy’s Farm

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Live!

#233

Album: Live!

Artist: Fela Kuti with Ginger Baker

Year: 1971

Length: 46:50

Genre: Afrobeat / Live Album

“We’re gonna start our live recording right now
We gonna play for you our first tune tonight
It’s gonna be about four tunes
And the first tune is called
O l’oun t’awa se n’yara
Je k’abere
Now, which means…
Let’s start what we have come into the room to do”

Recognition is a fickle thing. In some way we all seek recognition of some sort. It can vary from person to person, whether it be small or big, but everyone wants recognition in one way or another. Maybe it’s recognition for their hard work at a job, recognition for some tasks they completed, the desire to be famous, respected in their field, recognized for their good behavior, for their hospitality, their gestures. Recognition from a spouse, parents, children, peers, colleagues, friends. We all desire that feeling of recognition and when it happens that we feel a lack of recognition for something that feels important to us, we can tend to start questioning ourselves. It’s not a good feeling to want to be recognized for something, only to feel like you’re not being appreciated, being taken for granted, invisible, a face in the crowd. Eventually this can feel more like a need and your attempts to regain recognition might come across as desperate or even ungrateful yourself.

I’ve personally felt like I’ve struggled with this. I’ve felt invisible for a long time and still do at times now. I’ve been active in my communities and have done quite a bit that I should be proud of and yet I sometimes feel like I somehow fall into the cracks, get lost in the shadows, just constantly overlooked or forgotten. I don’t want to give the wrong idea either, I’m not seeking fame here. I always find it difficult to open up about this feeling because it can come across as attention-seeking, as if I want to be the center of attention, all eyes on me, all the time. I don’t. But to some extent it is the seeking of attention, but not in an obnoxious way as if I need to be the center of attention, but in a way that I feel such a lack of attention that I feel I’m desperately seeking some sort of recognition… anything. It’s nice to be noticed for your work, for your skills, your talents and to constantly create and do things and feel like no one reaches out to you, no one compliments you, no one calls on you, is kind of demoralizing.

What makes it worse is when people say to your face all these compliments and proposals to do things with them because they find you talented only to never hear from them when they do do something. Even when reaching out to them, it’s as if they’ve forgotten they even talked to you. It’s incredibly disheartening to feel that way. When I was starting my career and had made business cards, I remember handing one over to someone. They looked at it and went “Aw. That’s so cute” as if I was a child that was trying to do big boy things. It was incredibly condescending and just made me feel little. That feeling of wanting to be taken seriously and recognized for that became a need and not just a want.

I started questioning myself as well. Why aren’t people noticing me? What am I doing wrong? Why do some people get recognition and others don’t? What are these people doing differently? What do they have that I don’t? Am I just not good enough? Am I just not worth it? Am I a joke to people? What is it? What’s wrong with me!? It has me overthinking anything I do, overanalyzing if something will be good enough. It stops me from following through with ideas, completing projects because of this fear that it’ll just be something else that gets thrown into the ether, a complete ghost of a project.

And before anyone says anything, yes I do have times where it does happen and it’s the greatest feeling. Having someone reach out to me, telling me I did a good job, recommending me to help someone, gives me such a dopamine rush, it makes me feel on top of the world. Now, of course you will say isn’t that a good thing? Yes and no. Yes because it feels great but no because it shouldn’t be so uncommon that when it does happen I feel like I’ve won the lottery. It should be normal for everyone to receive recognition for things and not based on some arbitrary social rules we’ve come up with based on who deserves it more because of their popularity. I just want to feel seen, is that really that much to ask?

Maybe I’m whiny, or maybe I’m being ungrateful. I understand that I shouldn’t do things just for the sake of recognition and should do things for myself because I want to do them. My self-confidence shouldn’t rely on the recognition of others but should come from within myself. I try my best to follow this but eventually something has got to give and you do hit a breaking point. It seems that sometimes you just can’t seem to do it yourself. I want to use Fela Kuti here as an example. Although he was incredibly well recognized for his music in his home country, it wasn’t until Ginger Baker played with him on this album that he finally made his breakthrough with American audiences. Fela Kuti is a master of his craft, why did he need an American drummer to finally be recognized for his talent in North America? It’s not like foreign bands and artists couldn’t do it, a ton of European and Asian artists were getting recognized, so why did Fela Kuti need to wait until Ginger Baker came over to “save the day”?

According to reviews I’ve read, a lot of people have stated that this isn’t even Fela Kuti’s best work. He produced far grander pieces before this one, but the reason this one stands above the rest is because it’s when he finally got introduced to American audiences that up this point were basically ignoring him as a whole. Someone of his scale of talent should have been able to break into the American markets purely on his skills alone and yet he needed Ginger Baker to guest on his album for people to finally start giving him the notice he deserved.

It’s not even like Ginger Baker even does anything here. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fantastic drummer, but this isn’t a collaboration of any sort. Ginger Baker merely is featured, as if he just sauntered onto the stage and joined the rest of the percussion team and started playing. There is a 17 minute track where he has a drum solo with Tony Allen, but that’s not even on the original album, only tacked on as a bonus in the re-release. If you didn’t tell me that Ginger Baker was on some of the tunes (he’s not even on all of them) I would never know. Ginger Baker adds nothing except his name to help in marketing the album for a wider audience. That worked, but really this should all be on Fela Kuti himself. He’s the mastermind behind the album, it’s all his compositions, his work, his blood, sweat and tears thrown into this. Ginger Baker may be credited on the cover of the album, but it really should just be Fela Kuti. The man deserves more than this, deserved more than this and it’s kind of infuriating that he needed some red headed American fuck to finally get him that recognition he deserved. (My apologies to Ginger Baker, I meant no disrespect).

Unfortunately, that’s how it is. If you’re not popular or aren’t associated with someone who is, then you might as well be worth nothing. Like Fela Kuti, I’ve know many talented and amazing people in my community who don’t get the recognition they deserve. They’re hard working, creative individuals wo are constantly being overshadowed by talentless, unoriginal, by the numbers people who lack any type of creativity they might as well just be gray blobs. Fela Kuti created amazing music, music that you can dance to, listen in the background, rest to. The percussive nature of his tunes are absolutely breathtaking and the songs are sweeping epics that never overstay their welcome. Discovering Fela Kuti was like discovering a golden nugget in the sand. How I haven’t heard more people talk about him or even suggest him to me is beyond my understanding and just continues to twist my knot about my feelings towards recognition. By now, he’s definitely well respected and recognized for his work, but it shouldn’t have been thanks to an American musician. It should have been because he just is great.

People suck and Fela Kuti’s a god. I will try to make efforts to make sure more people know about him, even if it is 50 years later. He deserves it.

Favourite Song: Ye Ye De Smell

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Pearl

#232

Album: Pearl

Artist: Janis Joplin

Year: 1971

Length: 34:10

Genre: Blues Rock / Soul Blues / RnB / Funk Rock

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down
Prove that you love me and buy the next round
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town”

With quarantine still going on and looking like there’s no clear end in sight, it’s starting to become a little more difficult to find things to keep myself entertained. There’s only so much you can do and I kind of don’t want to do things I love over and over again and grow fed up of them. I recently decided it would be fun to go through my entire vinyl collection and listen to every single record I own in order of how it is categorized. I grew tired of trying to pick an album to listen to and found myself uninspired. This just felt like a great way to fix that problem. I’m happy I did because it had me listening to albums I own that I haven’t heard in a long time, rediscovering albums I loved and listening to some albums I only ever listened to once. It was quite the journey, made longer by my constant vinyl purchases I kept making.

Oh yeah, I’ve been buying albums like a madman, building that collection up. Making my collection more than just New Wave and Post-punk, adding that good old fashioned variety. Bought quite a few off the 1001 Albums list that I’m happy about because they would have probably never been added to my collection if it weren’t for me starting this challenge, for which I am now incredibly grateful for. I even managed to find a personal favourite of mine for a rather fair price! I was incredibly excited to finally own it and play it (got it mint condition too!). Music truly has been keeping me sane throughout this pandemic and I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Amongst this large array of albums, I took a little time to take a break and listen to Janis Joplin’s Pearl. It’s abundantly clear why Janis Joplin went down in history as one of the greatest music artists of all-time. This album could practically be used as a Greatest Hits of Janis Joplin and it wouldn’t change at all. Janis Joplin has the voice of a rusty angel, incredibly soulful and beautiful with that distinctive rasp that makes her soar high above other vocalists at the time. She has one of the most easily recognizable voices in music and so much passion oozes from it you can see deep into her soul through her voice.

It makes it kind of eerie seeing how this album was also released posthumously. It was released three months after her death. I know my original thought after hearing that was “Is this album only getting the praise it has because the artist died right before it was released?”. I mean, we see it happen all the time with actors, musicians, artists, where the final performance/art is regarded as one of the greatest when released after their deaths. It’s definitely come up that if the artist didn’t die the work wouldn’t be as big as it became. Is that the case with Janis Joplin’s Pearl?

I would have to say, absolutely not. Whether she died or not, this would still be just as good. I listened to it before reading that piece of trivia and my feelings for it didn’t change one bit. I loved it before and knowledge of her death did not change how I saw it. Except for one small thing, the album now had an underlying layer of finality to it. A strange essence, as if Janis Joplin knew she was about to die and brought it to the music. On Mercedes Benz, an acapella song, she ends it with a small outtake going “and that’s it, that’s all I have haha” (paraphrased). It’s almost like a farewell, a send-off. There were so many moments throughout the album where I went “this should have been the final song” as it would have been the perfect way to send her off in memoriam. I came to the realization that any of them could have been and it just made the album feel like a eulogy of sorts. It’s the kind of album that brings a tear to your eye as you smile. A bittersweet moment of reminiscence and mourning.

One song on the album is an instrumental. Janis Joplin didn’t have time to record her vocals before dying. They wanted another artist to jump in and do it as an homage to her. They refused feeling this was her work and hers alone., so they kept it as is. It’s kind of funny then that it should be called Buried Alive in the Blues. With a name that evokes visuals of funerals and sadness, it almost becomes like her funeral dirge, a way to honour her as her ghost vocals play silently through the song, never to be heard again.

So maybe her death did add quite a bit to this album, but I still stand that it would have been great either way. It’s sad that the world lost Janis Joplin at such a time, especially when she was just about to release her biggest album yet. The silver lining is that she left us on a high and will always be remembered for her music, her vocals, the soul she gave to her art. You might not like this style of music, but you’d have to be an empty shell not to like this album. The world mourned the loss of a great women, but was left the gift of her final words gracefully putting us all at ease. It’s upbeat, sad, happy, morose, celebrating and grieving all at the same time. Two opposites hand in hand creating a perfect pair, come together for an amazing piece of music.

It really is quite special.

Favourite Song: Cry Baby

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Maggot Brain

#231

Album: Maggot Brain

Artist: Funkadelic

Year: 1971

Length: 36:56

Genre: Psychedelic Funk / Funk Rock / Black Rock / R&B / Acid Rock / Progressive Soul

“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time
For y’all have knocked her up.
I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe
I was not offended
For I knew I had to rise above it all
Or drown in my own shit.

Come on Maggot Brain
Go on Maggot Brain”

I could not wait to get to this one. I adore Maggot Brain. I love Maggot Brain. George Clinton is a genius and his band are masters of their instruments. There is nothing like Maggot Brain. This album broke ground, created new ideas that hadn’t been done, did things that at the time alienated people but is now seen for the classic masterpiece that is. The term perfect album isn’t thrown around a lot, but I whole-heartedly consider this to be one of the few albums that I call a perfect album. No note is wasted, everything you hear is deliberate and there is nothing that can be removed or added to this album that would make it better. This is my definition of a perfect album and you can’t change my mind.

The opener on Maggot Brain, aptly named Maggot Brain, is one hell of a way to start the album. It is a completely mind-bending, earth shattering guitar solo played by the great Edward Hazel. Here he plays with every ounce of his soul just being poured out through his guitar, the vessel through which he can safely utilize his true power. George Clinton asked Hazel to play as if his mom had died, how would he feel in that moment. That was one hell of a piece of direction he gave and it was a smart one as that seemed to give Hazel the exact feeling he needed to produce this ten minute opus. It somehow feels both apocalyptic and revitalising. Like the rebirth of a new dawning from the destruction of an old one. It’s like a supernova in space, a star exploding, sending energy and waves through the ether, only to implode and reform as a new star. It’s like floating past galaxies and universes, transcending the astral plane to the quantum realm. This is Eddie’s time to shine, made clear by Clinton fading the band low in the background so only Hazel can be heard clearly. It’s an absolute masterpiece and we’re only at the beginning of the album.

Sandwiched between this opener and the apocalyptic finale is a series of funk rock songs that are just grooving fun. Everyone comes together to create magnetic energy. You’re sucked in and can’t resist the temptation to bust your buns. It’s filled with more soul than the soul stone has to offer, with more funk than a funky onion and more grooves than a warped vinyl. It’s almost impossible to hate this string of songs. Just like seeing a baby laugh, releasing a glorious fart, eating a fresh peach, kissing your crush for the first time, lying naked on a beach, petting a dog, lathering yourself in soap, or punching a hole through the wall in a fit of anger. It’s not just that you enjoy it, but you love it. It’s bigger than rock; It’s boulder. It’s Giant Rock. It’s a mountain. It’s Everest. It’s the Earth’s crust. It’s the delicious center of a jelly doughnut, the middle of a luxurious subway sandwich, the peanut butter and jelly in the middle of the most freshly baked bread ever. It’s one of the greatest series of songs put to vinyl and CD ever.

The album ends with quite a literal bang. Aptly named Wars of Armageddon, we meet the literal end. A world crumbling apart, utter destruction, mass mayhem, complete annihilation. A pure cacophony of guitars and drum and bass with a soundscape collage of sound effects, blended together to bring you the end of the world. Armageddon is indeed upon us and it’s taking no prisoners. Can you survive the apocalypse as it descends full force onto you? Can you make it through the other side, your life still intact? No one is safe from this aural attack, no one is protected. You’re ambushed from every side, shot, bombed, hailed, nuked from left, right, up, down, front, back. If there was mercy, it was nowhere to be found. We are at the end of the album and it’s not afraid to let you know. It’s using all it’s firepower on you, everything it’s got, a savage assault that you can’t escape. It’s the greatest ending to an album ever.

Maggot Brain is a delicacy, a special treat that you savour and delight in tasting. It’s the expensive champagne at a restaurant, the 50 dollar bill you find in your jeans, the fluffy cloud in the blue sky, the warm spot in cold water, the delicious ice cream sandwich on a hot summer’s day. Maggot Brain is lightning in a bottle and is a perfect masterpiece of praise and epic proportions.

You can’t change my mind about that.

Favourite Song: Super Stupid

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Blue

#230

Album: Blue

Artist: Joni Mitchell

Year: 1971

Length: 35:41

Genre: Folk / Folk Rock

“The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in ’68
And he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe
You laugh, he said you think you’re immune, go look at your eyes
They’re full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies, pretty lies
When you gonna realize they’re only pretty lies
Only pretty lies, just pretty lies”

It’s great to see two Canadians featured back to back on this list. It really makes me proud of my country to see how much talent gets exported from our nation. Especially, when it’s BIG talent that makes a huge impact and leaves a nice dent in their artistic medium of choice. We’ve had actors (Jim Carrey, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Elliot Page, Michael Cera), Authors (Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler), bands (Rush, Tragically Hip, The Band, Arcade Fire, The freaking Safety Dance band (Men Without Hats), Musical artists (Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion) and those of other types of artistic talents (Pamela Anderson).

Joni Mitchell stands as one of the greatest exports Canada has ever given to the world. I may not be a fan of Folk music but, by god, I was invested in what Joni had to tell me. Her musical prowess was such that to this day she’s still talked about with high praise from fellow Canadians. When I originally posted the album cover parody of Blue, I had a good number of people commenting about how this was one of their favourite albums. Absolute adoration for this album and Joni were just pouring from left, right and center. I honestly didn’t realize she was held this deeply in the hearts of everyone around me, but after listening to this album, I can definitely understand why.

There’s a reason Joni Mitchell called this album Blue. Not just because one of the songs on the album shares a name with it, but because Blue is the colour of this album, sonically speaking. She sings in shades of Blue throughout the album, hitting melancholy, sorrow, longing, grief, bittersweet, cynicism… I could go on but I don’t want you to start feeling Blue yourself from reading all these emotions. It’s a sad album, there’s no doubt, but what makes it hit even harder is how honest it all is.

Pouring your heart out into your art is not easy. Joni Mitchell is one brave woman as she presents herself in the most vulnerable way possible, sharing her life with the audience in a sincere and provocative way. This is a woman sharing her deepest, darkest secrets, giving us a look into her life and soul, being completely naked for all to see. She shares events going on in her life, her relationship with James Taylor, her inner turmoil. It is at once devastating and also pure. She even had Kris Kristofferson exclaim to her to “keep something to [herself]”. This quote by Joni Mitchell says it all:

“The Blue album, there’s hardly a dishonest note in the vocals. At that period of my life, I had no personal defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world and I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there either.”

Joni Mitchell

With something this deeply emotional, it’s easy to see how it could resonate with a lot of people. We’ve all gone through difficult times in our lives and probably felt a lot of what Joni was singing about at some point or another. I could definitely relate to some of the songs off the album, found myself understanding what she was singing because I had been there before too. I knew what that feeling was, but they were also feelings of the past. Things that have gone by already and were thought of more in a “Yup, been there. I get you, Joni” kind of way. Empathizing but not falling into my own emotional well. That was, until the last song started to play. This one caught me off guard. The minute those lyrics fluttered into my ear, I was at the attention and it just hit me hard.

When it’s come to love and romance, I’ve sadly become incredibly cynical and disillusioned. 2-3 massive heartbreaks will do that to you. Most of us have had the experience of falling deeply in love with someone and that relationship ending really badly, leaving you devastated, hurt, in pain, drowning in your well of emotions. I’ve had that happen to me three times in my life. Everytime I feel like one is finally going to work, it ends up blowing up in my face. I’ve come to the point that the idea of loving someone in a romantic way just terrifies me to no end. That fear of giving 120% of myself to someone only to have it blow up in my face, my soul and heart ripped apart into tiny pieces. The constant failings have made me cold and distant towards the idea of love and romance. I already feel my mind blocking me off if I even grow close to someone as a way of protecting me. Just stuck in the same cycle over and over again. You think things will be different, but it’s always the same. You lose yourself into the other person, deceiving yourself, becoming something you detest. I’d like to be happy and to think I can meet a partner, but my experiences are making me feel otherwise. I’ve become way too cynical for my own good and Joni Mitchell’s “The Last Time I Saw Richard” just hit me differently than any of the other songs.

However, I get solace in the fact that she sings:

All good dreamers pass this way some day
Hidin’ behind bottles in dark cafes
Dark cafes
Only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings
And fly away
Only a phase, these dark cafe days

That gives me some reassurance that I will pass through the other side.

It’s only a phase. Phases don’t last forever.

Favourite Song: The Last Time I Saw Richard

-Bosco

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I Have To Do This!!!

#3: Compulsions

Let’s talk about the second half of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’s namesake: Those pesky compulsions.

Compulsions are essentially the rituals and actions someone with OCD does to alleviate the anxiety caused by the intrusive thoughts. This is the part of OCD the average folk are probably more aware of and often attribute to OCD itself. The idea that someone with OCD cleans, straightens things out, organises things in a specific way? That’s the stereotypical and very basic idea of what it is and is way more complicated and way more agonising and torturous than simply keeping things neat.

Compulsions just like Intrusive thoughts manifest themselves in different ways for each person who suffers from OCD. One factor could be based on what type of OCD they have, what the intrusive thought might be, and sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason as to why. Even two people who have cleaning compulsions, for example, may have it in very different ways and their cleaning rituals can differ incredibly. Compulsions come in a variety of different categories. There’s physical compulsions, cleaning, disinfecting, retracing steps, touching, straightening, double checking, researching, saying phrases, counting, to name a few. These are the compulsions the average person is most familiar with because it’s the ones you can physically see, but compulsions can also be invisible. Mental compulsions can include reassurance seeking, ruminating, false comforts, replaying, just to name a few. Someone with OCD could have more than one compulsion. I, for example, have cleaning, disinfecting, ruminating, reassurance seeking and double-checking compulsions.

The thing about compulsions is that a person with OCD feels like they HAVE to, NEED to do the compulsion in order to feel better. My brain has convinced me that by doing these ritualistic behaviours I am somehow protecting myself. When I feel the anxiety peak, I feel that urge to do the compulsion so I can stop feeling anxious. This is deceiving though as that’s exactly what the OCD wants you to do. OCD loves compulsions, it feeds on it. Everytime you do a compulsion it’s like your feeding the OCD a delicious snack. By feeding it with these compulsions you’re making the OCD grow, making it stronger, strong enough to take over. And the stronger it gets, the more convinced you become that these compulsions are necessary. It becomes a vicious cycle and as it grows, the compulsions become bigger, more intense, worse. When I start doing my disinfecting compulsions, what starts off as a simple lysol wipe, becomes multiple wipes, more frequent wipes, more things to wipe. The more you do your compulsions the more you’re convincing OCD that it’s right and the more control it has over you.

The trick to fighting it though is to NOT do the compulsion. Stop feeding the beast and it slowly dies. But that is so hard to do when you feel the compulsion is your only solace to peace of mind. It’s so hard to do when you’re so convinced that you need to do this thing, have to do it to feel better and if you don’t perform this compulsion something bad could happen. It’s as if it’s a magical cure to some non-existent disease, but in reality it’s a poison being pumped into your brain making you more ill.

Compulsions can take over your life. They will destroy your quality of life bringing it down so low, you don’t even feel like you’re truly living anymore. They become all you know and all you do, this constant need to do them because you constantly get those intrusive thoughts that you believe to be true. The worse they get, the more your quality of life drops. You can go from performing one small compulsion once a month, to doing 30 minute, 1 hour compulsions almost everyday. Sometimes you’re late for work, an appointment, hang out because you needed to do this compulsion before leaving. Sometimes you delay when you sleep because there was a ritual you had to do before jumping into bed. Sometimes you’re out and having a good time, then you’re OCD is triggered and you need to go home and perform your compulsions because you don’t feel like you’ll enjoy yourself if you don’t alleviate this anxiety.

When you hear someone say they have OCD because they like to keep things neat, clean and organised (which is perfectly reasonable and rational to want), remember that someone with OCD doesn’t want to do their compulsions because they like things a certain way, but because they feel like they will die, get sick, be hurt, hurt others, be contaminated, lose control, cause a cataclysmic disaster if they don’t. When I do a disinfecting compulsion, it’s not because it’s dirty, but because my brain thinks it’s contaminated. I’ve cleaned perfectly clean things just because my brain was convinced it was contaminated. Does that sound rational to you?

I don’t want to perform my compulsions. If I could, I’d choose a life where I didn’t feel like I had to do these things to feel safe. If I could choose, I’d love to live my life freely without these compulsions intruding on my good times.

It’s manageable. I can get to the point I’m not doing my compulsions anymore.

But until then,

You don’t understand, but I HAVE to do this!

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1001 Albums: Songs of Love and Hate

#229

Album: Songs of Love and Hate

Artist: Leonard Cohen

Year: 1971

Length: 44:21

Genre: Contemporary Folk

“I hear that you’re building your little house deep in the desert
You’re living for nothing now, I hope you’re keeping some kind of record”

Oh boy, I don’t know if I can handle another Leonard Cohen album. In full honesty, as much as he’s a poetic genius and a national treasure of not only my country but my hometown, there’s no denying that his work is incredibly depressing. He’s a master of the essence of melancholy and unrequited love, digging deep into the caverns of despair and the nooks and crannies of sadness. However, it’s really difficult to sit through, especially if you’re not doing the best emotionally. If you’re in a great mood, all you need to do is put this on to put you in that down mood you’ve been wanting to feel. We have pieces like Avalanche and Famous Blue Raincoat that aree absolute contemporary folk masterpieces and Leonard Cohen deserves the reverance he receives (me included). But man is it a downer.

It’s been a tough time for everyone and everytime I listen to a Cohen album I always find myself being more introspective than usual (and I’m already massively introspective). The past bunch of months have been a time of healing for me, after getting out of a toxic relationship, having my mental illness relapse and feeling disenfranchised, lost, confused and worthless, I saw myself in a state of reclaiming my sense of self. Regrowing back to who I was, rebuilding those blocks that make up me, rediscovering my values, morals, wants, needs. Thinking about myself and what makes me feel good as a person. It’s been a process these past few months but I am happy to say I feel a little better everyday. it obviously comes in waves with some down days, but my mind has been clearer, I’ve regained all the weight I lost, I feel happier, and I feel like myself again. I’ve even been finding the strength to tackle my illness and overcome it, a strength I hadn’t felt in a long time.

I find throughout these times, sometimes you can’t do it alone and need support from friends in family. My parents have been there for me, which I am eternally grateful for, but one person in particular has been checking in on me everyday (and I him), he was there for me when my relationship ended and continued. He has been my best friend for nearly 13 years and I love him to death, Vishesh. In true best friend support, I asked him if he’d like to share some thoughts on this album as he himself is a Cohen fan. I didn’t feel I could do this one alone, and just like in real life, he came to support me with this post.

Here’s what he has to say:

Songs of Love and Hate is not an easy listen.

Anyone familiar with Leonard Cohen’s oeuvre knows that he is no stranger to melancholy, but this album takes it several steps further. There is a wild exultation to his despair that is as hypnotic as it is nightmarish. Apparently he really was suicidal, depressed, and battling drug addiction at the time of recording the album and it shows. The raw self-disgust on display in Dress Rehearsal Rag and the gleeful nihilism of Diamonds in the Mine are enough to prompt you to look at Cohen’s smiling face on the cover and wonder how he ever overcame his dark night of the soul.

Yet he manages to distill the sorrow into beauty on several tracks as well. Famous Blue Raincoat takes the form of an achingly poignant letter that the narrator writes to the man who conducted an affair with his wife. He makes the difficult but liberating choice to forgive him after all the harm he has caused. The opening track Avalanche provides a meditative effect as it exhorts us to make peace with our shadows – the parts of ourselves that are hurt, that are wounded, that have been crushed by the sheer weight of the world. Dare I say there is a glimmer of hope that shines through the pain? I think so. Not even the most proficient purveyors of pessimism can hope to obliterate it entirely.”

-Vishesh

Couldn’t have said it better even if I tried. Just like Cohen, Vishesh has a way with words. Always had a rich vocabulary I’ve been envious of and is a fantastic writer. In these trying times, support from our friends and supporting them back is important. Having someone to lean on can go miles in helping you through even the darkest times. Just having that person to be there, to listen, to make you laugh, to prop you up, is enough and it goes a long way to healing.

Reach out to your friends, check in on them. I guarantee they’ll be grateful.

Favourite Song: Avalanche

-Bosco

P.S. An amusing anecdote. When I was messaging Vishesh about this, instead of typing Leonard Cohen I ended up asking him about Lesbians Cohen. A completely different post that would have been.

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1001 Albums: Pictures At An Exhibition

#228

Albums: Pictures at an Exhibition

Artist: Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Year: 1971

Length: 37:56

Genre: Progressive Rock / Classical Crossover / Live Album

“From seeds of confusion,

Illusions darks blossoms have grown.

Even now in furrows of sorrow

The dance still is sung.”

Since I wrote Tarkus I can say I have officially become an Emerson, Lake and Palmer fan. I was already loving their music but now I can say with certainty this is a band I truly and most definitely like. I found Tarkus for sale on Vinyl and grabbed it immediately. I now own three ELP albums and I can’t wait to dive into more of their music. There’s just a quality to them that I really love. Something about their sound is just pleasant to my ears and their arrangements are fantastic. They were some of the grandfathers of the Prog Rock genre and also one of the best. It seems I really enjoy anything that’s early Prog, but what these bands had that newer Prog bands don’t is a good sense of fun I find. New bands may be technically gifted but I always find myself incredibly bored with them. I’m never bored with a band like ELP and Yes, there’s never a dull moment to be found. They manage to hook you through even during slow moments and this album is a fine example of that power they have over the audience.

How fitting is it that a Prog band would take a classical suite and arrange it for their own band to play. Here we have the band performing a live performance of their arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky. I never heard of the original piece before this album so I can’t say much in terms of their adaptation of it but I get a good feeling that they really took the piece and made it their own (even adding lyrics to it). It fits so neatly with their other works I’ve heard that if you told me this was an original piece by the band I would have believed it. They play through the entire suite with delicacy and ease and you can hear that audience listening intently. The album really builds up to its exciting ending of Nutrocker, which was a live staple of theirs. The audience loses their minds when they play it. All that build up they were holding in let out with a sudden release of pure excitement! I can definitely say I was right there with them on that.

This is one I love playing in my apartment. It feels like it fits any mood for me. Whether it be background music as I do chores, lie down on the couch relaxing, listening for pure pleasure or even when I have people over for ambience. I can’t put into words how I feel about this album but know that this has quickly become a favourite. I’m always in awe of the band’s playing and I just bask in its glory everytime I put it on. It never fails to put a smile on my face and any album that can do that is a top album in my books.

Favourite Song: Nutrocker

– Bosco

Here is me with my album:

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1001 Albums: Every Picture Tells a Story

#227

Album: Every Picture Tells a Story

Artist: Rod Stewart

Year: 1971

Length: 40:31

Genre: Roots Rock

“Wait a minute
I firmly believed that I
Didn’t need anyone but me
I sincerely thought I was so complete
Look how wrong you can be”

I think Rod Stewart is starting to grow on me a little. Maybe just a little. The vague memories I have of listening to his previous album were lukewarm at best, where I recognised the talent but I don’t think it really did anything for me (I can’t remember what I said and don’t feel like checking). Whatever it was, my general feelings for Rod Stewart have been that of indifference and I felt I’d go into this with a similar yet opposite feeling from my last post, not being able to find the right words, not because I want to do the album justice but because… I don’t really have anything to say. However, after turning the music on and listening to it, lying on the couch with my eyes closed (the way we probably should truly be listening to music) I was able to take more in than previous thought. There’s a quality to Rod Stewart’s voice that I really like. That rough raspiness of his vocals sounds like a pained soul screaming its way from out of his core and there’s something quite alluring about it. But the one thing I took out of the whole experience was this overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I feel this album just oozes with this underlying nostalgic feel, which is fitting for the genre of Roots Rock, taking from old styles and reappropriating them for a modernised sensability. It truly feels like a 50s album done in the 70s which is supported by his cover of That’s All Right, a song I always linked with Elvis Presley, which ends with a rendition of Amazing Grace. He sings, evoking memories of the past, things that once were or could have been. It feels incredibly human and relatable.

I was on a bit of a nostalgia kick myself this past week. I’m not really the nostalgic type. I don’t look at media or paraphrenelia from my childhood and get this deep sense of nostalgia. I don’t hear about Disney remaking a movie from my childhood and get all gooey inside for it. But I do reminisce on past memories, good ones, and that’s probably the rare moments when I truly get nostalgic thinking of things long past and how it was being there.

I was creating a sort of collage for my Facebook cover photo. My old one had felt outdated, a picture of an old improv troupe I was a part of. I love that team, but I haven’t been with that team since March of last year. It was time for an update. I had an idea I had been sitting on for a long time and that was to do a sort of evolution of myself from baby to current age. 28 years of me. I collected as much as I could, I have a surprising amount of photos of myself as a child on my phone. The hardest was finding teenage photos of myself roughly ages 12-17. It was during the transition from developed photos to digital where we started to not have physical copies of photos anymore. There’s probably some photos somewhere on an old digital camera lost in time, but who knows. In my collection I had asked my mom if she could send me any photos of me as a baby. In doing so, it got my mom going through a ton of old photos and sending a whole bunch my way. It no longer became about my collage, it was about us and our past. Photos of me as a baby in my mom’s arms, me as a toddler on my dad’s lap, photos of all three of us smiling and enjoying ourselves, my parents being goofs, my mom and dad looking youthful and fresh. We were talking about the photos, events, outings, vacations, funny moments captured forever on these kodaks for us to always see. We looked happy and it brought a smile to my face. I got overwhelmed with that nostalgic feeling thinking of those moments, how life was as a kid, and seeing my parents as thirty year olds. It was a nice feeling that I was appreciating as it was happening.

After showing my dad, we had eventually began to reminisce about my grandmother. Me and my dad had been having dreams about her and we were talking about the fun memories we had. He shared how she was as a mom when he was youngun and I shared the funny things she used to do with me. My dad had turned to me and told me “During these times, it’s important to reminisce about these things. It makes us feel good”. He was right. It did feel good to think of these nice moments.

You know, it may be hard to create new lasting memories at the moment, but all we’ve got is memories and right now it’s those happy memories that will help us keep going. In these moments there’s nothing wrong with sitting and revelling in those things that happened long ago, laughing at the stupidities you used to get into, the feelings of love you had in moments with family and friends, those times you felt content, surprised, overjoyed, excited, filled to the brim of exctasy. Do that for yourself, a little treat. Call a friend and reminisce about that time you got drunk together. Talk to your parents about when you were a kid. Enjoy the happy memories of you and your significant other. Remind yourself of the good as a little break.

Go on, you deserve it.

Favourite Song: Every Picture Tells A Story

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Histoire De Melody Nelson

#226

Album: Histoire de Melody Nelson

Artist: Serge Gainsbourg

Year: 1971

Length: 27:57

Genre: Avant-Funk / Rock

“Ca c’est l’histoire de
Melody Nelson
Qu’à par moi-même personne
N’a jamais pris dans ses bras
Ca vous étonne
Mais c’est comme ça”

It took me a long time before I finally sat down to write this. Not because I was taking a break or because I had things going on in my life (I did but it had no affect on me in terms of this post). I’ve been wanting to crank this one out for awhile had it ready since I completed the one before this. The album was ruminating in my mind, I kept thinking about it and what I could possibly say. Sometimes it’s really difficult to find the right words to describe something, especially when its something that leaves an impression. I wanted to do this album the justice it deserved, but no matter how many times I played it around in my head, delved into my feelings, searched my mind, I just couldn’t find the right words to say. It became a frantic search, an obsession that was out of reach. I was stuck on it, wanted to perfectly encapsulate everything I had felt, wanted to convey as best as I could what this album was. It was like a little parasite stuck in my head. Everytime I saw the blank page, its as if it was mocking me, laughing at me. It kept lustfully calling my name, begging me to come and write. I couldn’t take it no more. The desire was to overwhelming and I had to just do it.

Serge Gainsbourg created a rock album that is unlike any rock album to come out at the time. This is what I live for, discovering music like this. If it weren’t for this challenge I started, I would never have heard this album, would never have even heard of it’s existence and would definitely have never sought it out, and yet it has become and album I absolutely adore to no end. My own obsession with this album had begun to parallel the obsession that the narrator has for his fictional muse, the innocent and youthful Melody Nelson. This album is lustful, sensual and dreamy, its lush instrumentation and funky bass aren’t merely there to provide rock riffs but to support the story. It’s not just the airy, almost spoken word vocals of Serge Gainsbourg and his then (also young) girlfriend, Jane Birkin, who provides the voice of the titular role, that give the impression of a sensual journey, but the music itself evokes all the raw sensual emotion you could ever want to feel. You don’t need to understand french to know what’s going on. This isn’t Serge’s first foray into this world, with his hit single “Je T’aime, Moi Non Plus”, he hits the listener’s ears with an orgasmic sighing, oozing with the utmost intimacy and sexuality. He takes that idea and stretches it over 28 minutes.

That being said, it’s not to be thought of as an erotic album from start to finish. It’s not. It may permeate with lust and sensuality throughout but this isn’t an album about sex but an album about obsession. The journey through the mind of a man obsessing for the teenage girl he’s lusting over after hitting her bike with his car. Down into the darkest depths of his internal dialogue as he pursues a relationship with her, sleeps with her and then deals with the aftermath of her death from a plane crash. It’s a massively introspective and almost semi-autobiographical album for Serge and it ends up being one of the most alluring, intriguing and mesmerizing albums I have ever heard. It begs you to listen to it. It puts you under a spell that keeps you around until the end, no matter how badly you want to go.

If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of the album being about an older man obsessing over a teenager, then you’re on the right side of this album. It’s meant to pull you in but push you away, make you feel sensual but also repulse you. This isn’t condoning the obsession but taking you on the journey through this man’s mind, showing you what it feels like. The sudden desire and disgust mixed into one. This album urges you to get lost in it’s feelings but also has you wanting to run away. It attracts and repels, hypnotises and mystifies, makes you smile and makes you sad, makes you laugh but is also a grim story. It’s an incredibly coherent concept album from start to finish, book ended by two sister pieces that tie it all together. Its always intriguing and never boring.

This albums has been stuck with me and has been relentlessly on my mind. The more I didn’t get around to writing this, the more I obsessed over it. I needed to get this out before it drove me crazy, needed to find the right words to finally get this over with. I needed to move on. It was killing me that I just couldn’t find the right words. But then again, this album was not meant to be described. This isn’t an album you talk about. This album was about evoking a feeling of taboo obsession, sensuality and intimacy, not describing to us in words what those feelings were. Keeping that in mind, it made it somewhat easier to sit down and write, to let it out. It didn’t matter the words I used, what mattered was the feeling. What was the feeling I got from listening to this album? An album I was so intrigued by, so hypnotised by that I couldn’t really put into words that sense of discovery my ears had made when I heard it. It’s quite an experience and I may never truly have the right words to describe it.

And that’s ok.

Favourite Song: Cargo Culte

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Tarkus

#224

Artist: Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Album: Tarkus

Year: 1971

Length: 38:55

Genre: Progressive Rock

“Clear the battlefield and let me see
All the profit from our victory.
You talk of freedom, starving children fall.
Are you deaf when you hear the season’s call?
Were you there to watch the earth be scorched?
Did you stand beside the spectral torch?
Know the leaves of sorrow turned their face
Scattered on the ashes of disgrace.”

I think I’m slowly becoming an Emerson, Lake and Palmer fan. Not an obsessive fan or even a big fan, but a small fan, who would enjoy their music and see them live but doesn’t need to own everything they produce. Every time I hear any music by them I grow to like them more and every time I listen to one of their albums another time, I grow to like that album even more as well. I remember really liking Tarkus the first time I heard it. I had that “What is this? This is great!” moment when you just newly discover something you previously had never heard of before. I currently own two of their albums on vinyl, one I adore and another I haven’t listened to yet because I got it in a box someone gave to me and didn’t really know who they were at the time. Their style is just so cool and their long rock suites are absolute bangers from start to finish.

They commit an entire side to one song: Tarkus. Their twenty minute rock suite that is broken down into multiple sections. A highly important moment as it would go on to influence many progressive rock bands to come. Although long songs with changes isn’t anything new, Yes had a few as well, it seems Tarkus was one of the first (or at least what’s considered the first) to have actual sections with names written out. This wasn’t just a long song, this was entire suite, a story from start to end. Kind of vague what Tarkus is specifically about, but the general idea they were going for definitely has to do with war. With sections like eruption and battlefield it’s kind of an educated guess (but I’ve heard others say so as well). If that doesn’t sell you on it, just take a look at the album artwork which is adorned with an armadillo looking tank. I have to say, this is one of my favourite album covers. It just catches your attention because it’s so odd and makes you go “what is this?” in a good way.

I always love when albums dedicate a whole side to one song. There’s a bunch of bands who have done this, who revolve the entire identity of the album based on their one song that takes up an entire side. The album name usually takes the same name as the song and the artwork always seems to be a representation of what the song is about. Kraftwerk did it with Autobahn, Rush did it with 2112, and coming soon Yes’ Close to the Edge. It’s not like this was a first, Iron Butterfly did it with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and other bands have had tracks that took up an entire side (but didn’t share the name with the album), Love’s Revelation on Da Capo, Frank Zappa’s Son of Monster Magnet on Freak Out!, heck Can on Tago Mago had two songs (Halleluwah and Augm) that took up entire sides to themselves. It’s not unusual, but I’m focused on the albums who center their entire thematic identity around the side long track. What I find funny about these albums is that after the side dedicated to this album track, the next side is always just a collection of random songs that have nothing to do with the main theme. It’s almost as if they’re treating the album as a single and the b-side songs are just that, b-sides to the side long track. It’s always interesting to me going through that long track and then flipping it over to just have a group of regular songs. Sometimes it just sounds out of place and sometime sit works.

Here it’s somehow both. The songs feel like they don’t fit the vibe of Tarkus but at the same time fit nicely in terms of sound. It still sounds like Emerson, lake and Palmer playing, stylistically it’s still all there and I honestly wouldn’t consider these b-side type songs, although they never really hit the highs that Tarkus does. I particularly love Emerson’s playing. His keyboard, organ and piano skills are amazing to listen to. Sometimes he plays so fast that I’m in awe of it all. As someone who kind of plays the keyboard, I aspire to reach this level of playing one day. He’s just shredding across those keys, playing a bunch of notes in quick succession it’s almost as if he has twenty fingers. The keys are my favourite part of every Emerson, Lake and Palmer album and they never fail to disappoint me. We have him including ragtime style piano on Jeremy Bender and 50s rock n Roll style piano on Are You ready, Eddy? (Which basically just seems like an homage to that style of rock n roll as a whole (and a really good one to! They captured the style perfectly)). We also get almost gospel like organs on the only way and Bitches Crystal just slaps hard. Yes, it might seem like a bit of a mess side B, but it’s a great mess to behold.

Funnily enough, I read that this album had a lot of negative reviews upon release and it wasn’t until retrospective reviews of it started pouring in that people started to say how great of an achievement this was. I always find that fascinating, how something doesn’t get recognized sometimes until years later, and it makes me wonder what modern day works are getting panned or ignored that will resurface as classic pieces of art in a retrospective sometime in the next decade. And the opposite as well, what modern “classic” will disappear under the radar and forgotten easily? We’ve seen it happen with a few movies that came out a few years ago, considered new classics and then just never talked about again by… well anyone. Either way, it’s great that Tarkus eventually did come out getting the praise it deserved, even if it was delayed. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to add it to my collection with the other Emerson, Lake and Palmer albums I own one day.

Favourite Song: Tarkus

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: American Pie

#223

Artist: Don McLean

Album: American Pie

Year: 1971

Length: 36:24

Genre: Folk / Folk Rock

“Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

Now THIS was a nostalgia trip for me. Not the album as a whole but the main tune of the album, the titular song, American Pie. Once again, I will refrain from cracking jokes and being immature. Yes this album and famous song shares the same name as a popular teen sex comedy franchise. No that isn’t the reason American Pie made me feel nostalgic. I did see those movies as a kid/teen, and I’ve seen a vast majority of the franchise and yes have enjoyed it. But that’s not why this album gave me nostalgic feelings. So if you’re expecting any types of jokes revolving around pie fucking, Stifler’s mom, this one time at band camp, or any declarations of the word MILF. You won’t find that here, it won’t be that kind of post.

No, this song was nostalgic for me mainly because it was a song I heard a lot in my childhood. My dad owned one of those mix cds that had a variety of old classics on it and this was one that appeared on them. I remember listening to it a whole lot, something about it just stuck with me. I listened to it so much, I used to know the song by heart and would sing it out loud for whoever would hear. I remember standing in the front lawn belting it out super loudly, I’m surprised nobody said anything at the time. They just accepted it was happening I guess. It was also the first song I ever learned by heart (it was either this or All Star, the timeline is a little skewed, my memory isn’t that great). Surprisingly I still remembered every word of it. Except for certain verses, mainly because the version I sued to hear was a shorter one that ended after the third verse. I only ever heard it up to there and didn’t even know there were more verses. I don’t know them, never bothered to learn them, but those first three have remained solid for me ever since (even if at a young age I was singing the wrong lyrics sometimes).

Looking back, it’s kind of funny how that was a first for me in terms of music as a whole because of the subject matter of the song. It’s as if it would foreshadow what was to come in terms of my love for music. I never thought about it until recently, but it’s such a perfect symbol of what was to come. For those who don’t know, American Pie is about the sudden deaths of three Rock icons, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. One of the most infamous plane crashes of music history that silenced Americans. Occurring in 1959, Don McClean was just a youngun and it was a moment that stayed with him. This song represented the feelings he felt at the time and he uses a lot of metaphors to describe the events that came after, specifically regarding music. The event is famously known as The Day the Music Died thanks to Don McClean’s American Pie as he refers to this moment as such. The first verse relates all to how he heard the news and his initial reaction to it, while the following verses recount the aftermath. Don McClean makes references to various artists, for example the king is Elvis, the jester is Bob Dylan, the quartet that practiced in the park is The Beatles.

I’m not going to do a deep analysis of the song. There’s already a ton of sources that explain every reference he makes and a quick google search will help you find that. My point with explaining that was, just as much as this is a love letter to music and is a song about musicians and the music landscape, I would eventually become heavily interested in it. I became a massive music lover many years later and have been called a walking encyclopedia of factoids when it comes to music. I delved into some music history and my love for music has grown especially with this list. To top it all off, Weird Al Yankovic (who funnily enough I’m currently listening to), did a parody of American Pie called The Saga Begins that chronicled the plot points of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. It stands as one of Weird Al’s best parodies and was my initial exposure to the funny man. I’m a big Weird Al fan and it’s really with him that my music loving journey started. I always loved songs but Weird Al is where I started to become obsessed. I downloaded all his songs, had to know every single one. Weird Al became a gateway to my eventual music tastes. Hearing his style parodies, I had to check out the original bands he mimicked and fell in love with them and from there kept discovering new bands, new genres, and eventually leading to where I am today. It all started with Weird Al, but oddly it started with American Pie in a strange way. Predicting my love for music and how I’d get there.

I know I only focused on one song here and this is an entire album, but based on how much of impact American Pie (the song) had on me, I think I can get a pass for putting all my focus on it. The rest of the album is kind of a bleak and melancholic look at Don McClean’s own disillusionment that was occurring to many people at the time. The hopefulness of the 60s was turning into the cynical 70s and that hope that Don probably felt during the 60s was turning on him, so he made an entire album following these feelings. Although we do get one jaunty little ditty with Everybody Loves Me, Baby, the upbeat tempo seems to overcompensate for the desperation of having someone like them, which is the undertone of the song. From loss, to disillusionment, to grievance and to hopelessness, Don McClean explores all these feelings and it feels that way. The rest of the album sadly didn’t do much for me and with an opener like American Pie, it’s hard to follow. His tune Vincent did garner some praise, it was a chart topper and was even included in the 1001 songs list (American Pie was NOT), so clearly it was important in some way 9I just don’t know and don’t feel like researching about this particular tune at the moment, just lack of interest).

It’s a shame, one tune had one of the biggest impacts in my life while the rest of the album just didn’t do anything for me. Funny how that happens sometimes… that being said, I will always hold American Pie in a special place in my heart and that will never change. That song was important for me, more than I realized and I thank Don for it. I wouldn’t ask for it to be any different. I feel I’ve come full circle now, starting with American Pie and arriving back, a cyclical pattern completed. I’m excited for the new one to start and see when it will come back full circle again with American Pie.

I look forward to it.

Favourite Song: American Pie

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Coat Of Many Colours

#222

Artist: Dolly Parton

Album: Coat Of Many Colours

Year: 1971

Length: 27:26

Genre: Country

“My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me”

Can you believe it?! It’s astounding that, even though, despite my disdain and hate for the country genre, how much I can’t stand it and have difficulty enjoying it as a whole (with obvious exceptions), that no matter how hard I try I just can’t find myself liking it, I actually really loved this album! No joke. this isn’t one of those joke posts where I’m acting like I love it and then suddenly throw in a twist. This isn’t being written sarcastically or sardonically. I’m not using a gimmick or stylizing this particular post. I genuinely, sincerely, honestly, I swear to God, absolutely, without a doubt, actually do love this album. Yes, this COUNTRY album. I loved. I really did.

I hope I convinced you because you can trust me on this one. I won’t pull the rug suddenly from under your feet after lulling you into a false sense of safety. I wasn’t sure if I would like this but it’s such a sweet and lovely album. Dolly Parton is an absolute peach. She sings with a purity and innocence I don’t think I’ve quite heard just yet on this journey. Just like her song “Early Morning Breeze” is about a pleasant walk outside, so was this album. It felt like a pleasant breeze caressing me as I walked in the grass under the sun. It’s just such a pleasant album all the way through and Dolly is just so lovable.

I remember, long time ago, I used to work for a broadcasting company doing captions for live tv and one evening I was captioning a program that had an interview with Dolly Parton. It was such a nice interview. Dolly Parton came across as incredibly humble and just friendly with a good head on her shoulders. It was hard not to like her. The funniest part though was the interviewer, who clearly has completely lost his grasp on reality, being in complete shock that Dolly would rather live in a cosy cottage in the country than in a giant mansion. This guy was completely flabbergasted when he heard this, loudly exclaiming and trying to figure out why she didn’t, badgering her with questions. This interviewer just couldn’t comprehend the idea that a celebrity is a person like the rest of us. What did I expect from an Entertainment Tonight show, those interviewers are idiots.

Back to the album. It has all your typical country themes that are usually found on female country singers’ albums. Love, unfaithful husbands, being a strong, independent woman. Dolly sings about a strange love triangle between her mom and a travelling man in “Travelling Man”, calls out her husband’s mistress as a whore in She Never Met a Man (She Didn’t Like) and exclaims her presence in “Here I am” asking everyone to notice her in all her glory. We notice you Dolly, oh boy we do. There’s hints of sadness and grieving in “My Blue Tears” and Dolly Parton accepts the unanswered questions of life in “The Mystery of the Mystery”. Again all these tunes are sung with a purity unlike any I’ve heard and that’s really what sets this apart from so many country albums I’ve heard so far This is relatable and resonant. And although I’m not religious (there are religious undertones throughout the album) I still find myself relating to it all. For example, in the mystery of the mystery, she accepts that there are things in life that we will never know and that’s ok, we just enjoy the beauty of it all. I’m totally into that attitude. There’s a lot of hard questions I know I will never get answers to, what happens after we die? How do coincidences and serendipity come about? Why does our intuition kick in when something good or bad might happen to a loved one? There’s so many things we just can’t answer, and although for Dolly she says that’s for God to know, I’m also happy just not knowing and letting it be a mystery. I don’t need to know, just enjoy it for what it is and embrace what comes my way without question (no matter how curious or inquisitive I get, which can be a lot).

The standout song here is the titular song, “Coat of Many Colors”. A lament of her own childhood where her mother made her a coat sewn from a bunch of rags of different colours. She looks back at this memory with fondness, her coat being her most treasured piece of her childhood. There’s lines in it stating though she was poor she felt like the richest person. There’s something incredibly special about that. I think as a society, we often forget what the important things in our lives are. Of course, you need money, but a person doesn’t need money to be rich (not in the metaphorical term). She may have been fiscally poor, but in terms of love and devotion, she was richer than anyone she could think of. Holding onto the emotions and feelings that came with the coat. On our pursuit to be rich we often look over the things that make us rich in spirit. Our family, our friends, the blessings given in our lives. Dolly Parton clearly had gratitude for everything in her life and recognized the good and this song is her masterpiece in this expression. You can’t listen to this song without thinking about your own childhood and the ways you may have felt like the richest person out there (in love and spirit) and that one memory or memento from your childhood that monetarily may be worthless but to you is the most priceless thing you own and is irreplaceable. It’s full of love, nostalgia and sincerity, giving you that warm feeling of a parent’s hug deep in your heart. It’s so lovely.

I was disappointed that Jolene wasn’t on this album. I love that song and was so excited for it to possibly appear, but it never did. Doesn’t matter that doesn’t take away points for this album in any way. I just really wanted to listen to it. I don’t think I expected to immerse myself this much into this album, but it was so damn charming that there was no way I couldn’t. I may not like the genre, but the exceptions are definitely worth it.

Favourite Song: Coat of Many Colours

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Madman Across The Water

#221

Artist: Elton John

Album: Madman Across The Water

Year: 1971

Length: 45:17

Genre: Soft Rock / Pop

“Jesus freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back, she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad
Piano man, he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on, she sings the songs
The words she knows, the tune she hums

But oh, how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you, and you can hear me
When I say softly, slowly”

Boy, 221. It’s funny, I had this weird moment where I started reminiscing about when this blog was just a baby. Just starting, taking its first steps. Just today., I found myself scrolling through all the album cover photoshops I had made. There was this feeling of accomplishment. I get a sense of pride scrolling through them, seeing all the work I’ve done. Watching it grow is another great feeling, gives me a sense of progress, especially in a time where I feel like I’m making no progress in my life as a whole (with the pandemic going on, that’s just kind of how it is for everyone). For the last three to four years a lot has changed for me. Moved cities, moved apartments, met and lost friends, went in and out of relationships, had shows start and end, changed jobs, a lot of ups and downs, new chapters of my life turning. The last four years can distinctly be separated into their own little blocks. It’s clear it hasn’t been the most stable and nothing has really been consistent through all this.

That is, except for this project. This project has been the one consistent thing I’ve been doing for the last four years. I can pinpoint an album to every period that has happened. A lot of these albums do exactly that, make me think of the first time I heard them, where I was and what I was doing. I remember the feeling of starting the first album, In the Wee Small Hours, it was winter, waiting for the bus at the metro station. it was cold, but the kind of cold that is somehow comforting, it was one of those nice winter nights. I remember listening to The Wildest around Christmas and now always associate it with the holiday. Listened to Fats Domino while the metro was broken down, Palo Congo while running home as a snow plow chased me, Dusty Springfield in a subway station waiting to go meet my girlfriend at the time, The Monks in my car driving from school, Rolling Stones and Zappa on a trip to Montreal, The Stooges waiting for a bus after a work delivery, Ravi Shankar while working out at the gym and of course, Madman Across The Water taking the subway to a rehearsal for a play I was in.

It’s funny how it took listening to this one to make me realize this. I guess it’s hard to notice in the moment and isn’t until much later when something will trigger those memories for you and you really stop to think. While listening to Madman On The Water it reminded me of when I first heard it over a year and a half ago and I started thinking about how long ago that feels and how different things were and from there it had me thinking of the next album which I listened to right after the same night, and like a chain reaction just had me thinking of all the memories I had listening to a lot of these albums and where I was the first time I did and the feelings they left on me. I always knew this would be a big journey, but it’s only now I realize how big it really is. It’s been four years since I started this journey and I’m still going. I can only imagine when I hit near the end of all this how I’m going to look back. A retrospective on my adult life based on the albums I listened to, especially since I chronicle a lot of what was going on in my life in these posts. It’s crazy to see what headspace I was in at a certain period of time and what was going on in my life. I’m glad I have these albums to help me remember and at the end, all these albums will tell a story of my life.

And that’s really what this album is, stories being told. Elton John is telling us stories of a wide variety of things, people with interesting tales to tell. This becomes a pastiche of many colours, a mosaic of various types of people all having their lives shared through song. What a perfect pairing for music, with Elton John playing the music and Bernie Taupin writing all the songs. That partnership worked out so well for them and it’s clear they meld together seamlessly, working in perfect harmony to create songs that stand the test of time. Would you expect a group of guys from my generation to excitedly belt out Tiny Dancer at karaoke? Well, that’s what my group of friends did when we went to karaoke bars. People who had a wide variety of tastes from heavy metal to punk to grunge, all getting together to belt out Tiny Dancer because Elton John is just a god amongst men. An icon, not only for the gay community, but for everyone who just wants to be themselves. It’s a true testament to his skills when he can get anyone from any background to connect with his music.

It’s interesting to note that this album did not do well in his homeland of the UK. It was the release in the US that sent it off the charts. Don’t know why that was. People in the US just recognized the genius of Elton John and Bernie Taupin and were giving him the credit he deserved. He was known in the UK already fairly well, so maybe they were expecting more of him? But what more could they really expect? I’m not a big fan of this album, but I recognize the talent and showmanship that Elton John had and I’ll always admire it.

Oh well, the rocket man himself made an impact and nobody plays the piano as hard as he does (except maybe Jerry lee Lewis).He is one hell of a piano player.

Favourite Song: Rotten Peaches

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Tago Mago

#220

Artist: Can

Album: Tago Mago

Year: 1971

Length: 73:72

Genre: KrautRock / Experimental Rock / Avant-Funk / Psychedelic Rock

“Oh, they’re all alone, man, like me
Oh, she asked me, Thursday, for her name
So she was to go where I was singing
“Mushroom Head”, “Oh Yeah”, “Paperhouse”
I wonder what I should do
It’s a game after this”

Now THIS is what I’m talking about! Something a little different for the tastebuds. A different flavour on my plate of music to digest. In the last year I’ve discovered my new-found love for the genre that can only be classified as Krautrock. Something about the music from Germany that was coming out in the 70s just did something to me that constantly had me coming back for more. As it stands I haven’t heard a Krautrock album I didn’t enjoy and I do think it all starts here with this one. I discovered it off this list as I have most albums and had originally listened to it over a year ago. It stuck with me, I remember loving it instantly even though I couldn’t remember how the songs go. I wouldn’t have been able to hum any tunes for you or even describe what it was. I just knew it made a profound impact on me and I wanted more. I was thirsty, hungry to sink my teeth into more. Should I listen to it again? Search more? Move on and then come back? I didn’t know, all I knew was that this album did something to me and it was a glorious feeling.

The irony of all this is by all accounts this shouldn’t be an album I enjoy. It has incredibly long songs and they are all heavily experimental, two things that are often factors in me tuning out or disengaging with the music. Anyone who knows me would be shocked or at the very least confused that I would enjoy this. But… would they? Would they really? Let’s think about this for one whole second. Yes, I’m not a fan of songs that are too long, yes I’m not a big fan of heavily experimental music, and there’s a good chance I won’t like the two combined. BUT! I do love weird fucking music, I love absurd sounding songs that incorporate rusty guitar sounds and kooky vocals. I love music that’s frantic and scatterbrained, oddly melodic yet a complete mess at the same time. I mean, I love Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Pere Ubu, Big Black, Nina Hagen, a lot of noise rock and hard to listen post-punk precisely for how absurd and odd it all is. There’s something I absolutely love about it that I haven’t quite put my finger on it. I think it’s the mix of high energy and dirty sounds. It just sounds RAW. A big difference between these that I love and other long experimental music is this feels purposeful. it sounds the way it does because that’s exactly how it was supposed to sound without any pretention added to it. When it starts to get to be experimental for the sake of being experimental because that’s what’s “good” then I lose all interest. These artists weren’t trying to do that, they were just making what they genuinely wanted to play and that’s the big distinction!

Can’s Tago Mago fits into that perfectly. The very deliberate screeching and oddities mixed with funky beats and oddly airy vocals were a perfect mix of absurdity for me that just tickled every pink in me. It was a journey into the mind that transcended any musical experience I’ve had so far. A downward spiral into the subconscious that took me out of my mind and swallowed me whole into the belly of the whale. An acid trip into another plain of existence. It consumed me and overtook me, strapping me into a ride through space and time, taking in all the stars and galaxies passing by. If you don’t believe me, let me take a minute to describe this journey, song by song.

The album starts with Paperhouse. A song that is as delicate as it’s name sake, slowly preparing you for the journey ahead. Beginning with chimes and a low-key beat, it’s starting you off easy. Don’t want to overwhelm you right off the bat, need to ease you into it. It builds and calms down again, giving you that little jolt of excitement, having you waiting for more. The anticipation is already building. Mushroom follows, an absurd little piece, also meant as a taste of what’s to come. This is merely the appetiser, if you think this is weird… just get ready because here we goooooo. We’re thrust into oh yeah, a high energy, funky groove that has you banging your head going Oh Yeah! throughout the whole thing. The ride has officially pushed into full gear, enough teasing, now it’s time to go. The whirling energy spins around you, but never causing you to lose your breath. It’s just the right speed to get your heart pumping. You don’t want it to end, you’re entranced by it. You know form ehre this is going to be a great ride.

Then suddenly, you’re hit with Halleluwah, the longest section of the ride. It’s the part of the ride that truly has you locked in it’s embrace, mesmerized by all sights and sounds, losing yourself in the joy. The sounds of the screeching guitars are like shooting stars passing by and that beat. that beat! It’s hypnotic, taking you in. Credit where credit is due, Jaki Liebezeit, the drummer, is an absolute fiend. Fiercely drumming his way with such precision and high energy. It drowns out the rest of the music under its presence, taking full force as it continues to hypnotize you to its power. This is it, you’ve succumbed to the siren call. You are now letting the ride take you no matter what.

But something you weren’t prepared for. You thought this ride was going to be this joyous the whole way through. But they’re taking you on a trip, a trip through the mind. To get the full experience you need to integrate your soul into the bad as well. Augm is like entering a nightmarish fever dream. it evokes imagery of early German Expressionism. From Dr. Caligari to Nosferatu, the things you fear are now coming out. Dark, sharp shadows, slanted shapes, skewed perspectives. What happened? You were in a thrilling ride but now you’re in a thriller. You’d fight but you already let the ride take you, there’s no going back, you’ve hit the point of no return. Caught in your trance Augm takes you deeper and deeper into the dark side of your mind. Will it end? You don’t know. As much as you’re filled to the brim with haunting and bone-chilling feelings, you’re also oddly mesmerized by it all, taking it in, drip by drip, never pulling your sense away, holding onto the experience.

Then you go so deep, you shatter and break. We’ve pushed into Peking O, a true state of insanity. Augm pulled you through the nightmare that your brain had to ingest and now your psyche has crack, shattered like glass. You laugh, you scream, you mutter. Nothing makes sense, but it doesn’t need to. Who am I? Where am I? Does it matter? Not any more. This is me, lost in the vapors of the universe. A mere blip, an atom, floating in the abyss of space. There is no end. There is no beginning. No middle to start or rewind to. What is this if not that? Is it can be true or not? Will I? This is it.

Suddenly, you push through as if waking up. Lights are on and everything starts to become clear again. You just experienced one hell of a ride and you’re now in the tail-end of it all. The whole experience can be incredibly intense so Bring Me Coffee or Tea is there to ease you out of it, slowly bring you back to reality and wake you up. Just like it’s name says, it’s offering you a coffee or tea (depending on your preference) to either perk you up from your sleep or calm you down from the whole ordeal. Your senses are now coming back, reforming, everything is becoming clearer, reality is setting in slowly. You sit and ponder the experience you just had, wondering if it was a crazy ride or a fever dream. Everything you just witnessed seems to fade from your mind like a dream. Either way you know in your heart that it was well worth it. This is a ride you won’t soon forget and you’re happy, glad that you took it. it may have gotten intense for a bit, but you’re glad you went through that experience. As everything slowly comes to an end and you find yourself at the final moments of the ride, you feel good. This was a trip unlike any other and you appreciate the experience that was given to you. You’ll revisit it and every time you know it’ll just get better and better. Maybe you’ll experience new things you didn’t the first time around because now you’re ready.

You unstrap yourself from the ride and walk off, the tunes forgotten but the experience stacking with you deep in your core.

Favourite Song: Oh Yeah

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: L.A. Woman

#218

Artist: The Doors

Album: L.A. Woman

Year: 1971

Length: 48:24

Genre: Blues Rock / Psychedelic Rock

“I see your hair is burnin’
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin’ down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
Never saw a woman
So alone, so alone
So alone, so alone”

I hate to say it, but I might be burning out a bit. Not in life, although an argument could be made about that, but with these posts. I made it a goal of mine to write one almost everyday. I made it a promise to myself to do it. I’ve been succeeding very well at doing it and it was bringing me a lot of joy. However, as I sit here and try to write this one out, I find myself struggling. Blanking on what to say. My mind racing for ideas, grasping at straws. I’m burning out. With nothing really going on in my life and writing a post everyday, It’s almost like I’ve run out of things to say. But that can’t be, I obviously have a ton of things to say, I’m always talking abut things. My topics on these posts usually tend to pull inspiration from the albums I listen to. Can it be that this album just didn’t inspire me in some way? Maybe I just burned out for now…

This is sadly the last Doors album to feature Jim Morrison. Only three months after it was released, Morrison was found dead. A tragic, early death for one of rock’s most controversial frontmen. I wonder what The Doors would have done if Morrison was still alive, what shenanigans would Morrison have gotten himself into? I’m glad to hear they were able to get Jim to straighten up for this album. He apparently barely drank and was pleasant to work with in the studio. That must have worked out in his favour, because his head was clear enough to write what’s heavily considered some of The Doors best material. A beloved album by fans and critics, Morrison’s lyrics still remain as poetic as they always are, but with this clear mind of his, he was able to refine them even more and create a piece of work that felt more isnightful, especially when it came to his own feelings.

Morrison shouldn’t get all the attention though. This album is very much a collaborative effort, the whole band coming together, playing the tightest they have played and it sounds like they’re having a ton of fun. They stripped down their sound and went back to their roots. A good idea, because the simpler blues rock vibe works incredibly well on this album. I was sitting here thinking to myself “Man this sounds really blues-y” and I was digging that vibe the whole way through. The album is also full of songs that they either previously recorded or had written in the 60s. They weren’t just metaphorically going back to their roots, but also literally by grabbing some of those songs and reworking them for the album. Morrison is just as theatrical as ever, but instead of the flamboyance of his early work, he’s more contained here. The rest of the band are also more concise in their playing and have also thrown away their theatricality for a more refined version of what they used to do.

There seems to be a central theme throughout the album, making it a bit of a concept album. It seems every song, in some way or another, is representative of LA. That’s the main reason they went with the tile of LA Woman for the album, because of how heavily LA is represented throughout (and because it was one of the singles they would release). In these songs they talked about love, the city, loss, relationships, night life, put into words all their feelings they had about LA (maybe not ALL their feelings, but definitely expressed a lot about it). One could say it’s a bit much, but I get the sentiment behind it.

I lived in Montreal until I was about 25. To me it will always be my home and holds a very dear and special place in my heart. I loved the city. Montreal was an amazing place to live, where the good of it beyond outweighed the bad. It was rich and character, vibrant in colour, full of life, diversity, a mosaic of cultures and ways of life. It was full of art, architecture, festivals, events, good people doing good things. It’s hard to talk ill of that city and given the chance I always talk about it. Parts of the city look like old Europe, one second you’re in a suburb, the next you’re walking down a paved street or a winding road around a mountain. I will always look back at it with fond memories (and bad ones too) and like the band, I have a lot that I can express about my city too. I could fill a whole albums worth of what I can say about Montreal. Me and Vishesh were writing a series revolving around life in Montreal. A city can have an impact on you more than you think and it sticks, boy does it stick.

Ok, so maybe I wasn’t as burnt out as I thought. I just needed to take a moment to discover something. I’m happy to know that it was just me and not that this album wasn’t inspiring enough (which I would have been dumbfounded by).I’m happy I was able to pull something out in the end and it makes me hopeful that I’m not hitting fatigue and burning out with these posts. I can march on, feeling confident I can still do it. I will not stop!

Favourite Song: The Changeling

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Fragile

#218

Artist: Yes

Album: Fragile

Year: 1971

Length: 39:52

Genre: Progressive Rock

“Long distance runaround
Long time waiting to feel the sound
I still remember the dream there
I still remember the time you said goodbye
Did we really tell lies
Letting in the sunshine
Did we really count to one hundred”

*I put album on. Suddenly my inner child (about five years old) bursts forth from inside me and comes out*

OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!

I LOVE THIS ALBUM! IT’S SO AWESOME!

I loved the first Yes album, but this one is just as good. More Yes? Yes PLEASE!!! They liek were different but the same! More of what I lvoed about them but also like they did new things and it was so coool and so awesome!!

Like it starts… it starts with Roundabout, which such a banger! Such an awesome song!!! Like what a way to start an album! it’s so fierce, a fierce song, like a T-Rex. RAWR!!! The way it builds up! Those keyboards, oh those keys sound soooo goood! What a solo! And it doesn’t stop just attacking you with fierceness. Like a hungry wolf. AWOOOOOOOOO!

And then, and then, AND THEN! They do this like classical piece on their organ thing and it’s so cool. Like I didn’t think it would be but it really was, just so cool. The absolute coolest. if it wasn’t for Roundabout I’d say this was the best song. Maybe it ties! In a fight between roundabout and this one, who would win? BATMAN! It’s so cool to listen to and like I didn’t think they’d do that and like they did and like so cooooool. It kinda reminded me of the Clap from the other album, how it followed long song and was instrumental and just a jumble of notes and I loved it for that. Like it was similar in a way but not the same at all, and that’s great!

And then I just lost myself in the album, each song just became like one! In a good way! It was just one song after anther that was just so awesome! The album was just attacking me one after the other with super awesome punches. I loved when the keyboard went doo dooo doodoo and then when it went bwuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaamm. And I loved when the guitar went Bow bow bungaboiw boom boow. It was so cool! I love how it sounds and I love how loud and fuzzy their bass is! Like it goes BOOM BOOM BOOM, and it’s like the most awesome bass sound! Like they don’t hide that bass it’s right up front with the guitars and it’s soo coooooolll.

And there was that instrumental Five Percent For Nothing, that was so weird, but I loved how weird it was. Like they were playing the guitar badly at points, but it wasn’t badly, sounded like they were trying to break it. Like playing these weird, disjointed like bik a bik sounding thing. I was like WOOOOAHHH! NO WAY! They did that!!! And then there were like these certain songs that would start slow and I would be like Oh no, I hope this doesn’t break the awesome streak but then everything would kick in and I’ be like YEAH YEAH YEAH!!!! and what a way to end the album with Heart of Sunrise, just ten minutes of super awesome that never feels like ten minutes. It’s so awesome I wet myself and had to change my underpants. Good thing I had another pair.

I LOVE THIS ALBUM! I LOVE YES!! I LOVE IT AND WANT TO LISTEN TO IT AGAIN! MORE YES! MORE YES! YES! YES! YES! YESSSSSSS!!!!

*Album ends and my inner child returns into me. I become my normal self again*

Holy shit…

Favourite Song: Roundabout

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Surf’s Up

#217

Artist: The Beach Boys

Album: Surf’s Up

Year: 1971

Length: 33:49

Genre: Progressive Pop / Psychedelic Pop

“Surf’s up
Aboard a tidal wave
Come about hard and join
The young and often spring you gave
I heard the word
Wonderful thing
A children’s song”

I can add this album to the short list of elusive albums. Albums that just seem incredibly difficult to find in their entirety that you can just listen to from start to finish without interruption. I couldn’t find it anywhere (anywhere without paying for a new subscription on a different platform (I already pay for Spotify premium, one is enough)). It appears on Spotify, but only about five of the songs are actually playable, the rest are greyed out. This has been an ongoing battle with Spotify where an album will be available but some of the songs missing for some reason. No idea why they do that, it seems to be a publishing thing, haven’t purchased the rights to the album. The reason some of the songs appear is because they’re on compilation albums that they do have the rights to play. So there.

I had to listen to it on Youtube, which wasn’t the greatest experience. With these albums I like to immerse myself in the music, really and truly listen to it. The best time to do it is when I’m driving to and from work, plug my phone into my car and just blast the music, hear it loud and clear making it easy to take in. Unfortunately, with YouTube I don’t have that luxury. Sometimes you can find full albums on the site, but this being one of those elusive albums, they had it only as a playlist. Meaning I had to listen to it song by song as individual videos. Not too bad, if it wasn’t for the incessant ads between each song that broke the flow of the album every single time. Also, the quality of some of the songs wasn’t so great, some being the old school music video that looked and sounded like it was playing off a VHS tape. This took a mix of listening to it on Youtube a couple of times and listening to the good quality versions of the few that are on Spotify. I don’t feel like I got the true experience out of this album, but I did manage to get something out of it.

I like how the title is a nod to The Beach Boys’ early work. Once one of the biggest surf rock bands, they’ve definitely made a transition into more pop-oriented music that showed off their musical talents a little better. This album couldn’t be farther from Surf Rock, which makes the title kind of ironic and tongue in cheek. It’s clear they were trying to separate themselves from their surf rock roots, heck the first song off the album is called Don’t Go Near The Water, that has to have been done on purpose. They were sending a clear message with that one. This also marks the first album that Brian Wilson wasn’t leading all the songwriting. He famously had his mental breakdown and almost drove his car of the Santa Monica Pier (which inspired him to write the song Til I Die, which is haunting in a beautiful way). Carl Wilson took the reigns as leader which allowed him to fully write a batch of solo songs and gave way for other band members to make large contributions as well. Here we see The Beach Boys making a full collaboration as a band in regards to songwriting and it works really well.

With the exception of Student Demonstration Time (which is incredibly meh for the band (and funnily enough they repeat the words There’s a Riot Goin’ On over and over, I guess that’s where Sly Stone’s zero second song went) Thankfully it’s right in the middle of the album where it’s easily forgotten) all the songs here are heartfelt, emotional and have a deeper sense of being. There’s more happening beneath the surface and there’s always this chilling air surrounding the album. Even though they departed from their surf rock roots, I still felt a presence of the ocean throughout the album, but whereas it was cheerful and fun in their early work, here it felt foreboding and dark. The water indeed is a place of introspection and vast, undiscovered terrain. It can be overwhelming how big it all is and can really put a lot into perspective.

I love some of the sounds they used in the songs. With the inclusion of sound effects (like a car driving) some of the organ sounds sound absolutely cool. On Don’t Go Near The Water, it almost sounds like synthesized rain drops, blooping through the song and I loved it! They did keep some of their usual stylings, particularly with the vocals and harmonies. Have to keep a bit of their personality, especially on Surf’s Up, we get the classic high vocals we’re so accustomed to. Lyrically the Beach Boys matured incredibly, going from fun times, to love and sorrow to more socially aware topics such as environmentalism, Social concerns and health. They were becoming more conscious and that dark feeling throughout the album shows they understand the weight of what they were talking about. Disney Gils (1957) was conceived because the band was witnessing these kids getting messed up on drugs at their concerts and wanted to reflect on a time when kids were more naive but remained in good health. For the Beach Boys, that’s pretty dark and it’s safe to say this might even be their darkest album (but hard for me to say since I haven’t listened to every single one of their albums in depth, I’m willing to make an educated bet though).

I wish I could have had the chance to truly experience this album in the way it should have been. I know for sure I’ll revisit this album in the future when I get the chance. I want to be able to listen to it from start to finish with no interruptions to fully get the depth of what is going on here. The Beach Boys really made a big change here and tackled subjects that may have seemed out of their grasp but they did it with sincerity and grace and above all they were incredibly genuine in everything they were saying. Unlike a certain someone from a previous album, I believed everything they said and felt it from them. Brian Wilson in particular really sings from the soul and everything he’s saying comes from a real place. That’s in part of what adds to the haunting nature of the album, feeling that darkness within, coming out through his music. If I got this from my listening experience, I can’t imagine what I’ll get from it when I finally get the chance to truly listen to it.

Favourite Song: Don’t Go Near The Water

-Bosco