BOB DYLAN Turns 80 Next Week And His Masterpiece ‘BLONDE ON BLONDE’ Is 55 Today

Back in time…

16 May 2021


Next week – 24 May – singer-songwriter genius BOB DYLAN turns 80 and
one of his solid gold masterpieces, double LP BLONDE ON BLONDE is 55
years old today, released on 16 May 1966.

It was the final LP of a trilogy the eternal troubadour recorded in 1965/1966.
The other two being classic LPs Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61

Rolling Stone Magazine called Blonde on Blonde: “the most mysterious, majestic
and seductive of Bob Dylan albums, not to mention the greatest. It remains the pinnacle
of Dylan’s genius. It’s his most expansive music, with nothing that resembles a folk song,
just the rock & roll laments of a vanishing American, the doomed outsider who’s given
up on ever belonging anywhere.”

Turn Up The Volume: My all-time favorite singer/songwriter. Hands down.

The stunning singles: Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35 / I Want You / Just Like A Woman


– RAINY DAY WOMEN #12 & 35 –


Album in full…

BOB DYLAN: Website – Facebook – All Albums

A compilation of pictures taken by Jerry Schatzberg (who also took the blurred photo for the front sleeve) were on the gatefold sleeve of the first vinyl pressing in 1966.





Back in time…

Band: THE RACONTEURS (Jack White & Friends)
Released: 16 May 2006 – 15 years ago

Rolling Stone: “Expectations were sky-high,
but the Raconteurs exceed them all.”

Stream here…


Album: WEEZER (Green Album) – 3rd LP
Released: 15 May 2001 – 20 years ago

Entertainment’s Weekly wrote: “A return to their winning
formula of sugary power pop and smart-assed rants.”

Stream here…

WEEZER: All Albums

Album: MISSY E… SO ADDICTIVE – 3rd album
Released: 15 May 2001 – 20 years ago

Pitchfork: “Of course, to say Miss E is addictive is pushing
it. Sure, I’m having a great time experimenting with this stuff
right now.”

Stream here…


Released: 14 May 1996 – 25 years ago

AllMusic: “All This Useless Beauty doesn’t quite add up
to a major statement, but the simple pleasures it offers
makes it one of the more rewarding records of the latter
part of Costello’s career.”

Stream here…


MERCURY REV – Debut Album ‘YERSELF IS STEAM’ (Was Almost Not) Released 30 Years Ago Today

Back in time…

14 May 2021

Band: MERCURY REV (Buffalo, New York)
Active: Since 1989 / 8 studio albums (so far), including their 1998 masterpiece
Deserter’s Songs – one of the best longplayers of all time in my aural book.

Birthday album: YERSELF IS STEAM (your self-esteem) – debut LP

Released: 14 May 1991 – 30 years ago today

In an interview with Turn Up The Volume (about 5 years ago) Grasshopper (guitarist
and Rev’s musical architect) told me that, after the chaotic recordings, nobody who
was involved, exactly knew how that their far-out musical sessions actually turned
into an album.

Fortunately, a video clip was made for the opening track Chasing A Bee
to give us a clear idea of the state of hazy mind of early Mercury Rev

Also, after all these years, amnesia faded out and some early days memories came to
the surface. So here are some, as told by key members Grasshopper & Jonathan Donahue and producer Dave Fridmann in a 2015 interview with Magnet Classics

Grasshopper (real name: Sean Thomas Mackowiak / Rev’s lead guitarist and musical architect) remembers the memory breakdowns: “In the studio, we switched instruments all the time. I’d play drums, Jimy or Suzanne would play bass. But we couldn’t really do that live. So, we’d have to learn the parts that each of us played, essentially teach ourselves how to play these studio creations in a live setting. We had taken the Brian Eno ‘studio as instrument’ approach to creating these songs, then we’d be like, ‘That’s crazy, I don’t even remember playing that.’”

Jonathan Donahue (co-founder/frontman-voice) about the impact of vocalist and
the band’s spokesman back then, David Baker: “Yerself Is Steam represents a stream
of consciousness, most of that being David Baker’s. He has a timeless delivery and wasn’t operating in the same time/space continuum as you and me. Remember, he’s not a singer,
he didn’t grow up vocalizing, playing in cover bands. His otherworldliness is what leaves the main impression from that album. I can’t stress that enough.”

(Key members Jonathan and Grasshopper – photo by Turn Up The Volume – Brussels 2015)

Producer Dave Fridmann (then-student and part-time recording engineer) looks back too in the same interview: “Nobody was planning or thinking ahead. There was no band, really. It was a recording project that turned into a band. There was no set agenda, no formula—just a bunch of people stumbling around trying to figure out how to write songs, and being recorded while that’s happening.”

The band’s lawyer: “You guys should take press photos with different people in
different combinations, because I don’t know how long you’re going to last together.”

The full steam team:

Jonathan Donahue – Silver pickup guitar, vocals
Grasshopper – Unafon guitar reels
Suzanne Thorpe – Point Red Flute
Dave Fridmann – Bass Explore, Majestic Bellowphone, additional engineering
David Baker – Vocals
Jimy Chambers – Drumming, Blue-Line
C. Gavazzi – Trumpet on “Car Wash Hair”
Dean Wareham – Additional vocals, production on “Car Wash Hair”
Keith Cleversley – Engineer
Kristin Peterson – Photography Mooneyham – Artwork

Stream Yerself Is Steam here…

MERCURY REV: All AlbumsFacebook

One of the best live bands I ever witnessed (17 times)
A Rev gig is a mind-blowing spiritual happening.
Waiting desperately for a comeback.

3 Albums Released 15 Years Ago – RHCP – BEIRUT – SCOTT WALKER

Back in time…

10 May 2021

Album: GULAG ORKESTAR – debut LP
Released: 9 May 2006 – 15 years ago

AllMusic: “Ignore the clunky lyrics — easy enough to do since Condon is an
unexpectedly appealing singer with a rich, mellifluous voice that, no kidding,
recalls the great bel canto crooners of the pre-rock era (along with a little
Nick Cave) — and Gulag Orkestar is an infinitely more appealing album.”

Stream here…

BEIRUT: Facebook

Album: THE DRIFT – 13th solo LP
Released: 8 May 2006 – 15 years ago

“The sound and subject matter for the album is unrelentingly dark
and unsettling, often juxtaposing quiet sections with sudden loud
noise to induce discomfort in the listener. Subjects include torture,
disease, 9/11, Elvis Presley (and his stillborn twin brother Jesse Garon
Presley), and the Srebrenica massacre.”

Stream here…


Album: STADIUM ARCADIUM – 9th LP ( a double one)
Released: 9 May 2006 – 15 years ago

Los Angeles Times wrote: “They’ve never sounded this good as musicians.
The use of analog tape lends a raw, organic touch to the whole album and
the Chili Peppers come off more assured and confident than they ever did
back when they made a career out of bragging.”

Stream here…

RHCP: Facebook

THE CURE – ASH – ELBOW – LPs Turning 25 – 25 – 20

Back in time…

Released: 7 May 1996 – 25 years ago

Trouser Press said: “A potent and sweeping dissertation on
melancholy and tentative dreams denied. Consistently compelling.”

Stream here…

THE CURE: Facebook

Band: ASH (UK)
Album: 1977 – debut LP
Released: 6 May 1996 – 25 years ago

BBC Music
wrote: “To listeners of a certain vintage, Ash will
forever be summer holidays and half-inched hooch, stained
into the grey like a spilled alcopop.”

Stream here…

ASH: Facebook

Album: ASLEEP IN THE BACK – debut LP
Released: 7 May 2001 – 20 years ago

AllMusic: “Elbow fiddles with a battery of widescreen dynamics
and slight prog-rock tendencies, delivering an epic debut of
Manchester miserablism.”

Stream here…

ELBOW: Facebook

JEFF BECK – Second Highly Influential (Solo) LP ‘WIRED’ Released 45 Years Ago

7 May 2021


Album: WIRED
Released: 1 May 1976 – 45 years ago

AllMusic/Mark Kirschenmann: “‘Wired’ contains some of the best jazz-rock
fusion of the period. ‘Wired’ is generally more muscular, albeit less-unique than
its predecessor, ‘Blow by Blow’… Within a two-year span, the twin towers ‘Blow by
Blow’ and ‘Wired’ set a standard for instrumental rock that even Beck has found
difficult to match. On Wired, with first-rate material and collaborators on hand,
one of rock’s most compelling guitarists is in top form.”

Full review here . Score: 4.5/5.

One of the highlights of the LP (written by jazz icon Charles Mingus)

Full album…

JEFF BECK: Website

MOGWAI Released Third Longplayer ‘ROCK ACTION’ 20 Years Ago Today

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.

Key track...

Full album…

MOGWAI: Facebook

THE ROLLING STONES – Blues Rock Classic ‘STICKY FINGERS’ Released 50 Years Ago

Back in time…

24 April 2021

Active since 1962 – 23rd British and
25th American studio albums (so far).

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


Full fingers…

STONES: Facebook

Back sleeve…

Gabba Gabba Hey! Punk Icons RAMONES Released Game Changing Debut Album 45 Years Ago

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



All the glue right here…

RAMONES: All AlbumsFacebook

JULIAN COPE – Highly Acclaimed Album ‘PEGGY SUICIDE’ Turns 30

20 April 2021

Artist: JULIAN COPE (Welshmen, 63 years old)
Album: PEGGY SUICIDE – 7h solo album
Released: 22 April 1991 – 30 years ago

ALL MUSIC wrote: “Casting the ill-advised attempts at too-clean modern rock from his late-’80s days firmly aside and fulfilling the promise of Skellington and Droolian, Cope on Peggy Suicide produced his best album to date, overtopping even his Teardrop Explodes efforts. Showing a greater musical breadth and range than ever before, from funk to noise collage — and more importantly, not sounding like a dilettante at any step of the way. An absolute, stone-cold rock classic, full stop.” Score: 4.5/5 – Full review here.

TURN UP THE VOLUME‘s favorite tracks: Pristeen / Double Vegetation / East Easy Rider / Soldier Blue / Hanging Out & Hung Up On The Line / You / Beautiful Love / Las Vegas Basement

Album in full (#1- #18)

JULIAN COPE: Facebook – Website – All Albums