Back in time…
1986 – the catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. Four hundred
times more radioactive material was released from Chernobyl than by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki together.
1986 in music – a varied palette of indie and mainstream stuff by the likes of The Fall, Talking Heads, Hüsker Dü, Peter Gabriel, A Certain Ratio, New Order, The Cramps and many more.
Turn Up The Volume‘s
25 ace tracks of 1986
NME‘s best single of 1986 – KISS by PRINCE
Rolling Stone‘s best single of 1986 – also KISS by PRINCE
2 May 2021
Band: PEARL JAM (Seattle)
Active: Since 1990 / 11 albums so far
Album: PEARL JAM – Also referred to as
The Avocado Album or simply Avocado
The band’s 8th LP
Released: 2 May 2006 – 15 years ago today
Stereogum wrote: “Pearl Jam is the first real sign of life from the band
since ‘No Code’, although I maintain that it’s not as good as its reputation…
But Pearl Jam sounds crisp and lively throughout, and some songs here —
amely “Unemployable” — rank with the band’s best, and more importantly,
don’t sound like they’re trying to reinvent Ten or Vs. They’re just strong, catchy,
upbeat tunes. Yes, from Pearl Jam!”
Turn Up The Volume: Always an aural pleasure to hear Eddie Vedder
giving it all, with heart and soul and inexhaustible vitality. But it’s the
Jam by numbers. Too average for these grunge heroes.
Singles: World Wide Suicide / Life Wasted
– WORLD WIDE SUICIDE-
– LIFE WASTED –
PEARL JAM: Facebook
30 April 2021
Band: MOGWAI (Scotland)
Active: Since 1995 / 10 albums, so far, including
this year’s splendid one As The Love Continues
Album: ROCK ACTION – 3rd LP
Released: 30 April 2021 – 20 years ago, today
Pitchfork said: “Granted, it’s not mind-blowing, and it’s not nearly as masterfully executed and affecting as their earliest work. But there are only a handful of bands out there that can put out an album as well-constructed as Rock Action and still expect people to bitch and moan about it. The fact that Mogwai can laugh at their detractors could either lead to the band pursuing brave new directions in rock, or traveling down a path of smug self-satisfaction and stagnation. Either way, Rock Action suggests that it’ll be worth sticking around to find out.” Score: 8/10.
Turn Up The Volume: Anything but rock action. One of the quietest Mogwai albums. I can’t but think they should have invited Nick Cave to sing on some symphonies on the record.
Back in time…
24 April 2021
Band: THE ROLLING STONES
Active since 1962 – 23rd British and
25th American studio albums (so far).
Album: STICKY FINGERS – 9th LP
First longplayer with Mick Taylor as official Stones member.
Released: 23 April 1971 – 50 years ago
Score: No 1 in the UK, US, Canada
and several European countries
Pitchfork wrote: “Given the weight of history behind it and its centrality to the
story of both the Rolling Stones and rock music as a whole, it can be difficult to
put on Sticky Fingers and try and hear it for what it was: the highly anticipated
new album from one of the biggest bands in the world, a group that at the time
hadn’t released a new one in two years (in 1971, that was an eternity). They were
called the World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll Band for entirely too long, but if that
designation ever applied it was here.” Full review here. Score: 10/10.
Turn Up The Volume: Nothing but sympathy for these devils.
Singles: Brown Sugar / Wild Horses
– WILD HORSES –
Back in time…
23 April 2021
Band: THIS MORTAL COIL
Who: British music project created and led
by Ivo Watts-Russell, founder of legendary
indie label 4AD.
Album: BLOOD (double LP – 21 tracks)
Released: 22 April 1991 – 30 years ago
Artists: An extended cast including guests such as Deirdre Rutkowski, Kim Deal, Caroline Crawley, Tanya Donnelly, Dominic Appleton interpreting songs by Syd Barrett, Gene Clark, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Pieter Nooten, David Roback (Mazzy Star) and many more.
Full list here.
Pitchfork wrote: “In some ways this felt like the most American record they’d done yet, given cover choices like Spirit, the Byrds, and Emmylou Harris… Listening to it again in a time when styles are so easily appropriated, it’s actually shocking to hear a band approach those sources so intent on reinterpreting them in their own image. From the opening original “The Lacemaker”, all strings, echoes, and tones, to the slow stomp and grind of “Ruddy and Wretched” and a delicate version of Mary Margaret O’Hara’s “Help Me Lift You Up”– and even the almost light breakbeats of “Loose Joints”, it’s another catch-all that holds together.” Score: 9/10.
Blood in full…
22 April 2021
Band: RAMONES (Forest Hills, Queens, New York, U.S.)
All 4 original members Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee, and Johnny
passed away. R.I.P.
Active: 1974 – 1964 / 14 studio albums
Album: RAMONES – self-titled debut LP
Released: 23 April 1976 – 45 years ago today
The Village Voice‘s Robert Christgau wrote: “While the power of the band’s
music draws from ‘fairly ominous sources’ like Nazi imagery and brutality, I
cannot deny the ‘sheer pleasure’ of the music. For me, it blows everything else
off the radio: it’s clean the way the Dolls never were, sprightly the way the Velvets
never were, and just plain listenable the way Black Sabbath never was.”
Turn Up The Volume: In my punk book, this gabba gabba hey debut
was a game-changer. Turning bubblegum pop into sickly catchy and
speeding blitzkrieg electricity was just jaw-dropping and therefore,
without a shadow of a doubt, da brudders’ best exploit. A timeless
document in rock history. Hail hail!
Singles: Blitzkrieg Bop / I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
– BLITZKRIEG BOP –
– I WANNA BE YOUR BOYFRIEND –
All the glue right here…
RAMONES: All Albums – Facebook
Back in time…
21 April 2021
Band: THE FALL (Manchester)
Active: 1976–2018 / 31 albums
Album: SHIFT-WORK – 13th LP
Released: 22 April 1991 – 30 years ago
Note: ‘The War Against Intelligence’ was the original title of the album until the outbreak of the Gulf War. Smith agreed to change the title. Then in 2003, Universal released ‘The War Against Intelligence – The Fontana Years‘, a collection of Fall songs from the LPs ‘Extricate, Shift-Work, Code: Selfish’ and related singles although the UK was involved in another Persian Gulf war.
AllMusic wrote: “Shift-Work marked the sophomore effort from a new Brix-less Fall and is a slightly more subdued effort than the raging Extricate. It also marked a new direction for Mark E. Smith and the band as what once was repetitious grooves became interspersed with pop song structures… There are hooks and melodies here, and the group ineffably remain the Fall. The following year’s Code: Selfish would return to a much harder sound, leaving this a melancholic, introspective album.” Score: 2.5/5.
Turn Up The Volume: Except for a couple of good singles this is a disappointing longplayer. But hey, even the best sports athletes have an off-day now ad then.
– WHITE LIGHTING –
THE FALL: All Albums
Back in time…
19 April 2021
Band: THE DOORS (Los Angeles)
Active: 1965–1973, 1978 / 9 albums
Album: L.A. WOMAN – 6th LP
Released: 19 April 1971 – 50 years ago today
Three months after the release, on July 3,
Morrison was found dead.
Score: #1 in Holland, #11 in Canada, #9 in the US, #28 in the UK
Review: “In terms of what they’re after here the Doors as a band never falter and there isn’t one bummer cut on the entire album obviously a first for them… It’s also the first time since “The End” and “When the Music’s Over” that they’ve been able to pull off anything interesting in the way of long cuts. And there are two of them here, “L.A. Woman” (with maybe the best Chuck Berry riffs since the Stones and a hell of a lot more Sixties Seventies American flavor) and “Riders on the Storm” (signaling the return to Del Shannon from whence the Doors’ mysterioso-hood was largely derived to begin with), both of them minor monsters. You can kick me in the ass for saying this (I don’t mind): this is the Doors’ greatest album and (including their first) the best album so far this year. A landmark worthy of dancing in the streets.
Turn Up The Volume: One of the best bands ever (as if you didn’t know this) with
one of their best albums ever (as if you didn’t know this), including two of their best
songs ever (as if you didn’t know this) with Love Her Madly and Riders On The Storm.
– RIDERS ON THE STORM –
– LOVE HER MADLY –
THE DOORS: Website – All Albums
18 April 2021
Band: THE CHARLATANS (West Midlands, UK)
Active since 1988 / 13 albums (so far)
Album: SIMPATICO – 9th LP
Released: 17 April 2006 – 15 years ago
BBC Music wrote: “When you’ve been around as long as the Charlatans, you
have to keep trying new things or your sound can become tired. Simpatico, though,
is an experiment too far. A new direction was needed, but that direction should not
have been a musical journey round the Caribbean. It’s time to set sail for home
and go back to the drawing board.”
Turn Up The Volume: Expect for a couple of top singles,
the album was anything but top.
Singles: Blackened Blue Eyes / NYC (There’s No Need to Stop)
– BLACKENED BLUE EYES –
– NCY (THERE’S NO NEED TO STOP) –
THE CHARLATANS: Facebook
R.I.P. Jon Brookes and Rob Collins
17 April 2021
Band: RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
Active: 1991–2000, 2007–2011, 2019–present
Album: EVIL EMPIRE – 2nd LP
Released: 17 April 1996 – 25 years ago
Rolling Stone wrote: “Heavy metal has never been much of a forum for political discourse… Rage Against the Machine hope to change that with their inflammatory blend of roaring guitars, barked raps and political activism. Their lyrics lambaste government corruption, media manipulation, big business, complacency and ambivalence, and the band members practice what they preach… In an era in which political candidates are weaker than Styrofoam and the American public grows more ambivalent by the minute, perhaps De La Rocha’s radical rhetoric can make a difference. As Plato said, “The introduction of a new kind of music must be shunned as imperiling the whole state, since styles of music are never disturbed without affecting the most important political institutions.”
Turn Up The Volume: ‘Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me’ Part 2.
Singles: Bulls On Parade / The Year Of Tha Boomerang / People Of The Sun / Tire Me
– BULLS ON PARADE –
– THE YEAR OF THA BOOMERNAG –
– PEOPLE OF THE SUN –
– TIRE ME –