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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Album Review: Bob Marley & The Wailers - Catch A Fire (1973)

Ask anybody if they know of, or have heard an album by Bob Marley & The Wailers, and many are likely to tell you that they've listened to the posthumous hits compilation Legend.  Of course, it's easily the best starting point for getting into the music of Bob Marley and his group, and is easily one of the best hits records ever made.  On the other hand, if you don't want to delve too much into his music, then it's pretty much everything you will need as far as his music is concerned.  But if you're over listening to Legend and want to try one of the studio recordings for a change, then you can't go wrong with Catch a Fire.  A great album, one that you won't regret setting aside time to listen to.  The middle of the album is the sweet spot here - "Stop That Train" is my favorite here, except for the legendary "Stir It up", which sounded great on Legend and sounds just as great on the original album.  "Stir It Up" sits two tracks down, immediately after "Baby We've Got A Date (Rock It Baby), completing the central hat trick of top songs.  But it doesn't end there - indeed the album finishes with "Midnight Ravers", concluding the album on a better note than when it first started.  I checked this album out expecting great things, and I walked away from it not even slightly disappointed.  I hope you find yourself coming to the same conclusion.  A

(Note: The Spotify album is the deluxe version of the album.  CD 2 contains the original recordings, and not the "Jamaican" versions, so if you want the originals, jump directly to track #12).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Album Review: Roxy Music - Manifesto (1979)

Having a great (although somewhat acquired) admiration for Bryan Ferry alma mater Roxy Music's swansong Avalon, I have come listening with a high expectation of greatness listening to 1979's Manifesto.  And I am not disappointed at all.  I first heard this album years and years ago and was initially unimpressed, but like Avalon (and indeed, many albums) I've quickly grown to love this record.  Sure, "Angel Eyes" sounds a million times better on his Ultimate Collection compilation album, but the more noteworthy songs on this album aren't the ones everybody knows about anyway, as is the case with many great albums.  "Dance Away" is a quintessential song about heartbreak that every Ferry fan...hell, every classic hits radio fan should surely know about.  But enough about those two songs, great as they are.  There's even greater numbers to be savored here, notably the opening title track "Manifesto."  "Ain't That So" is enough to make me move - not frantically, however, but "Trash" certainly floats my boat.  "Spin Me Round" is certainly a good enough way to end the album.  All up, I can say with certainty that I'll be firing this album up on the odd occasion.  An unsurprisingly good album in which such certainty is perhaps only surpassed by the odds that somewhere, someone in the world is, or has, more than likely jacked off to the Country Life album cover.  Shudder at that thought.  Smile at the former.  A-


Album Review: Sepultura - Third World Posse EP (1992)

Fact of the day: I have listened to less EP records than pigs have flown.  Well, that may have changed recently.  Having listened to Sepultura's Third World Posse EP, I can add one more to the immensely short list of EPs that I have listened to.  And boy is it a cracker.  A death/thrash metal hybrid, this short collection is, I'm pleased to say, 100 percent filler free.  Originally an Australasian-only release, it's fair to say that us good people of the Antipodes got more than a bargain with this special release, featuring songs such as "Dead Embryonic Cells" and a brilliant live rendition of "Inner Self."  If you can find this on eBay, whatever you do, please don't hesitate to pick it up.  You won't regret it!  And to think this was sitting pretty at the bottom of one of my CD containers, waiting to be listened to.  What planet was I on?!  My final verdict - short and sweet.  A+