THE PATTI SMITH GROUP Released ‘RADIO ETHIOPIA’ 45 Years Ago

Back in time

15 October 2021

Artist: PATTI SMITH
This was the first LP labeled as The Patti Smith Group
Active: Patti started her career in 1967 (she’s 74 now)
and produced 11 albums so far, with Banga (2012) as her
latest. She also published multiple books/poems (much
more than LPs).

Anniversary album: RADIO ETHIOPIA
Released: 15 October 1976 – 45 years ago

AllMusic said: “Producer Jack Douglas gave “the Patti Smith Group,” as it was now billed, a hard rock sound… A schizophrenic album in which the many elements that had worked so well together on Horses now seemed jarringly incompatible, with Radio Ethiopia Smith and her band encountered the same development problem the punks would — as they learned their craft and competence set in, they lost some of the unselfconsciousness that had made their music so appealing.” Full review here. Score: 3.5/5.

Turn Up The Volume: It was nearly impossible to match, let alone improve, her debut masterpiece ‘Horses’, so I’m sure ‘Radio Ethiopia’ would have been more appreciated
if it had been her debut. Anyway, it’s still one of her electr-emo-fying best. Genuine passion, genuine heart and soul turmoil.

Highlights: Ask The Angels / Pumping / Distant Fingers / Radio Ethiopia

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PATTI SMITH: All Albums

Bluesy Rockers COLD WAR KIDS Released Captivating Debut Album ‘ROBBERS & COWARDS’ 15 Years Ago

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10 October 2021

Band: COLD WAR KIDS
Who Firm indie-rockers with bluesy
colors from Long Beach, California
Active: Since 2004 / 9 studio albums so far

Anniversary album: ROBBERS & COWARDS
Released: 10 October 2006 – 15 years ago today

AllMusic wrote: “Their evocative, oddly soulful vignettes contain
shades of Spoon’s sardonic, piano-driven rock; the insistent, jittery
feel of One Time Bells-era French Kicks; the poetic, rumpled ramblings
of the Walkmen; the stripped-down bluesiness of the White Stripes; and
in their more theatrical moments, a ghostly trace of Jeff Buckley, as well
as touches of folk and gospel… An exciting, accomplished debut album.”

Turn Up The Volume: Underrated band with
a feverish passion for emo songs and trippy guitars .

Singles/clips: We Used To Vacation / Hang Me Up To Dry

– WE USED TO VACATION –

– HANG ME UP TO DRY –

Full album…

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COLD WAR KIDS: Facebook

20 Candles For STARSAILOR And DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE

Back in time

9 October 2021

Band: STARSAILOR (Warrington, England)
Who: Guitar pop quartet
Active: 2000–2009, 2014-present / 5 studio albums

Anniversary album: LOVE IS HERE – debut LP
Released: 8 October 2001 – 20 years ago
Score: #2 in the UK

AllMusic said: They didn’t go for a grand bombast of crashing guitars
and angst-ridden stories similar to Oasis and Manic Street Preachers.
They go for something more positive as well — each song soars with
intricate musicianship and melodic lushness.
Score: 4/5.

Key single: Good Souls…

Full Album…

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STARSAILOR: Facebook

Band: DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
Who: Indie rockers from Bellingham, Washington
Active: 1997–present / 9 studio albums

Anniversary album: THE PHOTO ALBUM 3rd LP
Released: 9 October 2001 – 20 years ago

AllMusic said: “For once, a band’s popularity grew commensurate
with its maturation… The world needs more superb pop with brains
and heart and emotional complexity.”
Score 3/5.

Key single: A Movie Script Ending…

Full album…

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DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Facebook

HAWKIND – Second LP ‘IN SEARCH OF SPACE’ Came Out 50 Years Ago Today

Back in time

8 October 2021

Band: HAWKIND
Who: British space rock legends feat. the late
metal punk icon Lemmy (Motörhead)
Active: 1969-present / 34 studio LPs
with this year’s LP Somnia as the
most recent one.

Anniversary album: IN SEARCH OF SPACE – 2nd LP
Released: 8 October 1971 – 50 years ago today
Score: Gold in the UK

Lester Bangs: (the late iconic Rolling Stone journalist): “Monotone jammings with
hypnotic rhythms and solos unravelling off into… well, space. The synthesizers warble,
woof and scream and gurgle like barfing computers, the drums pound, and the singers
chant Unknown Tongue rebops.”

Turn Up The Volume: Mind-boggling Krautrock escapades
causing psychedelic havoc in space. Lemmy is somewhere
in there.

Full album…

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HAWKIND: Facebook – All Albums


Inner sleeves

AMY WINEHOUSE – Second And Final Album ‘BACK IN BLACK’ Released 15 Years Ago Today

Back in time

4 October 2021

Artist: AMY WINEHOUSE (London)
14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011

Anniversary album: BACK TO BLACK
Her second and final LP
Released: 4 October 2006 – 15 years ago today
Score: #1 in the UK and several European countries,
#2 in the US, #4 in Australia

The Guardian (famous British newspaper) named it (in 2019) the best album of the 21st Century: “Nothing about debut album ‘Frank’ suggested that its creator was going to make a genuinely epochal masterpiece. Something had happened to Amy Winehouse in the three years that separated her second album from her debut: skinny, covered in tattoos, dressed like a cartoon of a 60s girl-group member – complete with a vertiginous beehive modelled on that of the Ronettes’ Ronnie Spector – she was almost unrecognisable. The lyrics of its lead single suggested that whatever had happened wasn’t good – no one pleads with you to go to rehab if your life is in perfect shape – but the music was so ebullient you could easily overlook that… Her sound had changed as dramatically as her appearance: with Frank’s producer Salaam Remi joined by Mark Ronson, then a virtual unknown, Back to Black offered an update of 60s soul and girl-group pop. Characteristically self-effacing, Ronson has suggested that his primary contribution to the album was keeping Winehouse out of the pub, but in reality his decision to relocate the recording sessions to Brooklyn’s analogue Daptone studios and employ its house band, the Dap-Kings, was a masterstroke.”

Turn Up The Volume: Great voice, great tunes, great looks.
Sad story, sad addiction, sad loss.

Key single

Full album…

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AMY WINEHOUSE: Facebook

To celebrate the anniversary, a picture disc of the album will
see the day of light on 15th October. Pre-order info here.

BECK Released 10th Album ‘THE INFORMATION’ 15 Years Ago Today

Back in time

3 October 2021

Artist: BECK (Los Angeles)
Active: Since 1985 / 14 studio LPs

Anniversary album: THE INFORMATION – 10th LP
Released: 4 October 2006 – 15 years ago today
Score: #7 in the US, #6 in Canada

Rolling Stone said: “One of the best albums Beck has ever made,
starts with him going backward. “Elevator Music” is a mundane jumble
of talking blues and hip-hop bricolage that sounds like it should be on
a record called ‘More Mellow Gold’. The rest of The Information is just as
dense in its rhyme games, rhythmic details and overdub antics. But it is
a compelling overload, combining the sample-delic bloom of Beck’s best-
loved album, Odelay, and the folk-pop introspection of his least-understood,
2002’s Sea Change.”

Turn Up The Volume: Most of the critics praised and lauded the LP,
but to my ears – except for some strong moments like Elevator Music /
Nausea / Dark Star / The Information
– it’s a bit too much the Beck
we know for so long.

Singles/Clips: Nausea / Cellphone’s Dead / Think I’m In Love

– NAUSEA –

– CELLPHONE’S DEAD –

– THINK I’M IN LOVE –

Full album…

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BECK: All Albums

PUBLIC ENEMY – 30 Flaming Candles For Master Rap Work ‘APOCALYPSE 91… THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK’

Back in time

1 October 2021

Band: PUBLIC ENEMY
Active: 1985-present / 15 studio albums (so far)

Anniversary album: APOCALYPSE 91… THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK
Released: 24 September 1991 – 30 years ago, last week
Score: #4 on the USA Billbaord 200, #1 on the hip-hop-rap albums chart

AllMusic / Stephen Thomas Erlewine: “Coming down after the twin high-water marks
of ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions’ and ‘Fear of a Black Planet’, Public Enemy shifted strategy
a bit for their fourth album, Apocalypse 91… Arriving after two records where the words and music were equally labyrinthine, folding back on each other in dizzying, intoxicating ways, it
is a bit of a letdown to have Apocalypse be so direct, but there is no denying that the end result is still thrilling and satisfying, and remains one of the great records of the golden age of hip-hop.”
Full review here. Score: 5/5.

Turn Up the Volume: My all-time favorite raging-and-roaring-rap motherfuckers.
They still beat them all today and a dangerous part of white America still fears a black nation. Even a nation of millions can’t hold Public Enemy back from bringing on the noise and shut the racists, sexists, and fascists down. Chuck D. and his loudmouthed gang ruled then, rule now and will do so in the future. Raise the roof!

Singles/clips: Bring The Noise / Can’t Truss It / Shut Em Down

– CAN’T TRUSS IT –

– SHUT EM DOWN –

Full album…

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PUBLIC ENEMY: Facebook – All Albums

PRINCE Released Topnotch Album ‘DIAMONDS AND PEARLS’ 30 Years Ago

Back in time

30 September 2021

Artist: PRINCE
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016
Made 40 studio albums with lost album
Welcome 2 America as the most recent one,
released last July.

Anniversary album: DIAMOND AND PEARLS – 13th LP
Released: 1 October 1991 – 30 years ago
Score: #1 in the US and Australia, #2 in the UK

Pitchfork said: “By 1991, Prince’s unsurpassed run of brilliance had ended, but he still
had a lot of great music in him. Diamonds and Pearls had a clutch of future classics along
with some odd experiments… As with all the greatest pop stars, Prince was a master at simplifying life’s most complicated emotions into catchphrases. He encompassed lust, jealousy, fear, spirituality, avarice, the impulse to run away, and the need to strip everything to its core—sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. The man who believed in everlasting love died alone and childless, adored by almost the entire world. A song like “Diamonds and Pearls” illustrates why. For all the flamboyance and idiosyncrasy, Prince just wanted the same things as everyone else.”
Full review here. Score: 8/10.

Turn Up The Volume: “One word. Genius”

Singles/clips: Get Off / Cream / Diamonds And Girls

– GET OFF –

– CREAM –

– DIAMONDS AND PEARLS –

Full album…

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PRINCE: All Albums – Website

STEVIE WONDER Released Stellar Double Album ‘SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE’ 45 Years Ago Today

Back in time

28 September 2021

Artist: STEVIE WONDER
Born Stevland Hardaway Morris on May 13, 1950
Active: Since 1961 / 23 studio albums (so far)
with 2005 LP A Time To Love as the most recent one

Anniversary album: SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE – his 18th LP
Released: 28 September 1976 – 45 years ago

Pitchfork: “Songs in the Key of Life” was the culmination of a historic period of creativity
for Stevie Wonder. Its ambition and scope were unprecedented, and he never approached
its caliber or impact again… The album—two LPs plus an additional four-song EP—was the culmination of a historic period of creativity, a concentrated burst of music matched only by a handful of artists (mid-’60s Bob Dylan, early ’70s Rolling Stones, ’80s Prince). Its ambition and scope were unprecedented, its power and resonance were timeless—and when it was done, he never approached its caliber or impact again.”
Full review here. Score: 10/10.

Turn Up The Volume: Michael Jackson called himself
the King of Pop, but Stevie Wonder is the King of Soul.

Singles in the key of life: Sir Duke / I Wish / Isn’t She Lovely

– SIR DUKE –

– I WISH –

– ISN’T SHE LOVELY –

Full album(s)

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STEVI WONDER: All Albums

NIRVANA Released Their Blustering Breakthrough LP ‘NEVERMIND’ 30 Years Ago Today

24 September 2021

Band: NIRVANA
Active: 1987-1994 / 2 studio albums

R.I.P. Kurt Cobain
Aberdeen, 20 februari 1967 – Seattle, 5 april 1994

Anniversary album: NEVERMIND
Released: 24 September 1991 – 30 years ago today

Billboard says: “Nevermind took Nirvana to an entirely different plain. It’s heavy, yes.
It’s loud and aggressive, too. But it’s the songwriting and glossy pop production courtesy
of Butch Vig that set this album far apart from its contemporaries. Cobain’s innate sense of melody was front and center; his punk, you-can’t-fire-because-I-quit ethos were in your face; and the loud-soft dynamics served as barbed hooks, drawing listeners into his world. The lyrics were personal, opaque, and often dark, but also playful, and this dynamic gave Nevermind a familiarity to listeners, who felt as if they knew Cobain… The Seattle-based alt-rock trio hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 – unseating Michael Jackson – with its major-label debut and ushered in the age of grunge.”

Turn Up The Volume: The magnum opus that made grunge a worldwide (commercial) phenomenon. Nevermind the bollocks, Cobain and his mates rocked their asses off while Kurt Cobain wrote about his life in his songs.

Singles/clips: Smells Like Teen Spirit / Come As You Are / Lithium

– SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT –

– COME AS YOU ARE –

– LITHIUM –

Full album…

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NIRVANA: HistoryAll Albums

An anniversary Deluxe Edition comes out on 27 May 2022. More info here