PJ HARVEY – Her Masterwork ‘STORIES FROM THE CITY, STORIES FROM THE SEA’ Came Out 20 Years Ago

23 October 2020

Artist: PJ HARVEY
Album: STORIES FROM THE CITY, STORIES FROM THE SEA – 6th LP

Released: 24 October 2000 – 20 years ago
Score: #23 in the UK, #7 in Ireland

NME wrote: “PJ Harvey’s sixth album purports to be a collection of songs drawn from experiences in various cities, and from her hermetic life on the English coast. In fact, from the opening chimes of ‘Big Exit’, the nervy guitars of Television recaptured, ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’ is a traditional New York record, both in texture and imagery. “Speak to me of heroin and speed/Of genocide and suicide/Of syphilis and greed”, she urges in ‘The Whores Hustle And The Hustlers Whore’, and you get the impression we sure aren’t in Dorset… when rock is so invigorating, so joyous about love, sex and living, all arguments are null and void. Hey, take a walk on her wild side.”

PJ Harvey: “There’s so much you can do with laying words on a bed of music. You
can completely change their meaning with the type of music or the way they’re sung.”

Turn Up Turn The Volume: As usual, PJ chose integrity and honesty
over commercial success. Result: a masterwork.

Singles/clips: Good Fortune / This Is Love

– GOOD FORTUNE –

– THIS IS LOVE –

Full album…

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PJ HARVEY: Facebook

PET SHOP BOYS – Fourth Album ‘BEHAVIOUR’ Came Out 30 Years Ago Today

22 October 2020

Band: PET SHOP BOYS (London)
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe
Active: since 1981

Album: BEHAVIOUR – fourth LP
Released: 22 October 1990 – 30 years ago today

Pitchfork wrote: “Like the Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ or Depeche Mode’s ‘Violator’,
the Pet Shop Boys’ fourth album transitioned their creators into the ’90s by both
refining and breaking from the past… Embracing disposable pop, they’ve created
lasting queer culture just as it was in danger of disappearing. They celebrate the
melancholia of being gay.”
– Full review here. Score: 8.5/10.

Neil Tennant: “We shouldn’t feel restricted by our sexuality,
and our sexuality doesn’t have to be a cultural choice.”

Chris Lowe: “We’d be nowhere without our looks.”

Turn Up The Volume: Actually, a Very Introspective Hotspot Nightlife album.

Key singles/clips: So Hard / Being Boring

– SO HARD

– BEING BORING –

Full album…

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PET SHOP BOYS: Facebook

BOB DYLAN Released His 11th Album NEW MORNING 50 Years Ago Today

21 October 2020

Artist: BOB DYLAN
Album: NEW MORNING – his 11th LP

AllMusic wrote: “Dylan rushed out New Morning in the wake of the commercial and critical disaster Self Portrait, and the difference between the two albums suggests that its legendary failed predecessor was intentionally flawed. New Morning expands on the laid-back country-rock of John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline by adding a more pronounced rock & roll edge… a charming, endearing record.” Score: 4.5/5

Turn Up The Volume: Robert Zimmerman is my all-time favorite singer/songwriter,
but this LP is not in my top 10 Dylan albums list.”

Note: The opening track ‘If Not For You‘ was covered by several artists including
George Harrison and Grease star Olivia Newton-John

Full album…

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BOB DYLAN: Facebook

Irish Heroes U2 Released Their Debut Album ‘BOY’ 40 Years Ago Today

20 October 2020

Band: U2
Album: BOY
Label: Island Records
Producer: Steve Lillywhite
Artwork: The ‘boy’ is Peter Rowen, the younger brother
of Guggi then a member of the Virgin Prunes and close
friend of Bono.

Released: 20 October 1980 – 40 years ago today
Score: (only) #52 in the UK

BBC Music: “U2’s debut album, was originally to be produced by Martin Hannett, but
at the last minute he withdrew, distraught over the recent death of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Imagine how the universe-gobbling careers of the four boys from Dublin would have fared
in the hands of the Mancunian experimentalist… In interviews of the time the band hinted
that their collective christianity had informed the writing. It would take a few more years
before Bono’s words matched his vaulting ambitions and messianic zeal. Also, musically,
it lacks a satisfying variety, with most songs fitting the same skittering four-four pattern
shaded by the Edge’s minimal chords, arpeggios and ringing harmonics… but all the
warning signs were here in this brave, life-affirming cry of youthful defiance.”

Bono: “God’s Spirit moves through us and the world at a pace that
can never be constricted by any one religious paradigm. I love that.”

Turn Up The Volume: The first signs of messianic stadium rock.
Bono has found what he was looking for by now, with or without
you, on the streets with no name. Hallelujah, it’s a beautiful day
when we are all ‘one’.

Key tracks: I Will Follow / Out Of Control

– I WILL FOLLOW –

– OUT OF CONTROL –
(Stunning live version)

Full album…

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U2: Facebook

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Released His Double Album ‘THE RIVER’ 40 Years Ago

18 October 2020

Artist: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Album: THE RIVER – his fifth LP

Released: 17 October 1980 – 40 years ago
Score: #1 in the US and Canada, #2 in the UK

Pitchfork wrote: “Bruce Springsteen’s fifth album gushes forth with the fury of a burst dam, delivering torrents of despair, inspiration, heartbreak, and joy… ‘The River’ brought Bruce to those heights, giving him his first number one album and Top 10 single, but it’s hard not to think of it as not a beginning but an end, the last record where he and the E-Street Band were not the biggest band in the land but merely the best.” Score: 8.5/10.

Bruce: “The E Street band casts a pretty wide net. Our influences go all the way back to the early primitive garage music, and also, we’ve had everything in the band from jazz players to Kansas City trumpet players to Nils Lofgren, one of the great rock guitarists in the world.”

The key track

Full album…

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SPRINGSTEEN: Facebook

CAST Released Their Top Guitar Pop Debut LP ‘ALL CHANGE’ 25 Years Ago

17 October 2020

Band: CAST (Liverpool)
Led by John Power who was also
a member (1986 to 1991) of the LA’S
Album: ALL CHANGE

Released: 16 October 1995 – 25 years ago
Score: #7 in the UK

AllMusic/Roch Parisien: “Cast’s All Change serves as the perfect antidote
to the inner rage fueling much American alternative rock, it would be hard
to imagine a more gloriously upbeat backbeat of a guitar pop record, one
that appeals to the eternal adolescent in each of us. The group’s pedigree
derives from good stock, founder John Power having served time with another
fine Mersey combo the La’s. But Cast transcends the hackneyed expectations
of its environment, structure, and genetics through sheer, relentless quality
of songcraft and performance.” Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Glorious pop music
still putting a big smile on your face today.

Key tracks: Fine Time / Alright

– FINE TIME –

– ALRIGHT –

CAST: Facebook

TEENAGE FANCLUB Released Seventh LP ‘HOWDY!’ 20 Years Ago Today

16 October 2020

Band: TEENAGE FANCLUB (Glasgow, Scotland)
Active: since 1989

Album: HOWDY! – their 7th LP
Released: 16 October 2000 – 20 years ago today

NME: “‘Howdy!’ demonstrates that Teenage Fanclub have attained such an
imperious mastery of their one musical trick – Beach Boys, Big Star, Beatles,
Bacharach, Byrds, Badfinger and Band imitated, assimilated and expanded,
that you can’t even be bothered to get annoyed with them anymore.”

Full review here. Score: 4/5.

Singles: I Need Direction / Dumb Dumb Dumb

– I NEED DIRECTION –

– DUMB DUMB DUMB –

Full album…

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TEENAGE FANCLUB: Facebook

Debut Album ‘NOWHERE’ By RIDE Released 30 Years Ago

15 October 2020

Band: Ride (Oxford, UK)
Active: 1988–1996, 2014–present

Album: Nowhere – debut LP
Released: 15 October 1990 – 30 years ago today
Score: #11 in the UK

Pitchfork said: “The nature of what they were trying to accomplish as a band really comes through in full. The more abrasive tones of MBV and Sonic Youth were clearly an influence as they first started to write and record, but it’s the from-the-gut pop screech of Dinosaur Jr. that sounds like their closest kin here. Ride’s music wasn’t necessarily game-changing but the songs are the kind that lasts.” Score: 9.5/10

Andy Bell: “Our development was really weird, and it was borne out of our youth, I guess. We hit on something amazing in the beginning, where I think we just basically arrived with a great sound. And then probably based on my love of the Beatles or our love of classic bands who kept developing that—the Byrds and the Beatles are the two touchstones, and the Velvets too—where everything changed every album.”

TUTV: “A sea of shoegaze waves for pop fans.”

Singles: Vapour Trail / Kaleidoscope

– VAPOUR TRAIL –

– KALEIDOSCOPE –

Full album…

RIDE: Facebook

THE TEARDROP EXPLODES Released Debut Masterstroke ‘KILIMANJARO’ 40 Years Ago Today

10 October 2020

Band: THE TEARDROP EXPLODES (Liverpool)
Active: 1978-1982
Album: KILIMANJARO – debut LP
Released: 10 October – 40 years ago today

BBC Music: “Knowing how troubled was the genesis of Kilimanjaro it’s
amazing that something so perfectly formed emerged. Like Love’s ‘Forever
Changes’ it inhabits a strange alternative universe that seems to have little
relationship with contemporary sounds. For that reason alone it remains
timeless.”

The Guardian: “LSD lover and Princess Di eulogiser
Julian Cope was once almost sunshine pop’s golden boy.”

Julian Cope: “I get twitchy if I don’t pick up a guitar or sit at the
piano every now and then… I have to do it; I don’t have a choice.

Turn Up The Volume: “Don’t shut your mouth, Julian”.

The top singles

– REWARD –

– TREASON –

– SLEEPING GAS –

Full album…

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THE TEARDROP EXPLODES: All Albums – Bio

Legendary British R & B Rockers DR. FEELGOOD Topped UK Album Charts With ‘STUPIDITY’ This Day In 1979

9 October 2020

This day in 1979 the legendary British R & B rockers DR.FEELGOOD led by the
late charismatic singer Lee Brilleaux and fabulous guitarist Wilko Johnson, who
paved the way for the punk generation, immortalized their steamy live shows with
a red-roaring live album called STUPIDITY that topped the UK albums charts this
day in 1971.

If you never heard of them, then you really
need to check out their live force here…

STUPIDITY in full…

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DR. FEELGOOD: Facebook – Bio