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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Album Review: Dire Straits - Making Movies (1980)

I've always joked that, instead of playing the same old tired, poorly selected local music over the dole department phone system, they should play Dire Straits instead.  Specifically, of course, "Money for Nothing."  And I would still dearly love to see someone actually fulfill my wish.  Even more, I would love to see people's ensuing reactions.  But there's a fat chance of that happening, unfortunately.  But as consolation for my disappointment that such a fantasy is somewhat unlikely to be realized, I nonetheless revel in my surprise and pleasure in listening to Making Movies from 1980.  I liked Brothers in Arms a lot less than I perhaps should, given some of their biggest hits are on that album, and then some.  But in listening to this album I was expecting something a bit more lethargic and less polished than the aforementioned magnum opus.  Of course I knew "Tunnel of Love", "Romeo and Juliet", "Solid Rock" and "Skateaway."  Good songs, all of them.  But I unexpectedly found myself in favor of "Expresso Love", refreshing and yet simultaneously consistent with the previous tracks, the aforementioned trio.  It took round two for me to click with "Hand in hand", but I wouldn't be fooled by the tepid opening to "Les Boys."  It reminds me, and perhaps it should serve as a reminder to everyone else, to not judge a song by the first few moments.  And "Solid Rock" is a reminder to both myself and others that Mark Knopfler, in spite of his critics, knows a good rock 'n roll ditty better than many of his peers.  A-


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Album Review: Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls (1987)

Most of my fondest memories of listening to Motley Crue involve me being maggoted on cola and bourbon with a bit of kava on the side.  That was around 12 years ago.  And they were very fond memories indeed - well, what from what I actually remember anyway.  Motley Crue was the soundtrack to a time when I (for the most part) could give a fat rat's freckle about life in general.  Of course, I was tuned in to their Greatest Hits compilation.  But here I'm writing about their 1987 album Girls, Girls, Girls.  Not too bad an album either.  I've been familiar with the title track for a long, long time now, although I couldn't put a finger on the exact number of years I've known about it.  Nonetheless I've come to see it as being representative of the quintessential Motley Crue sound that I loved when I was fitshaced, and of course, also loved when I was sober.  The opening track, "Wild Side" is the best song here, followed by the power ballad "You're All I Need" and the real reason I invested in the album in the first place, "Dancing On Glass."  "All In The Name Of..." is also pretty damn good as well.  Not too bad an album at all, I must say.  B+


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Album Review: Rod Stewart - Vagabond Heart (1991)

Rod's done it again!  Yet another great record from Rod the Mod, full of hits, and then some.  Released at a time when many artists of his generation would've have begun to falter, this album is more than just a comeback album, it is one of the best comeback albums out there.  Well, at least that's what I think anyway.  And as soon as I finished the album, I instantly declared to myself that this album was one of the best I've heard from that particular year, alongside Metallica by Metallica and Nevermind by Nirvana.  You'll recognize the brilliant "Rhythm of my Heart", "Broken Arrow", "It Takes Two", "The Motown Song", and "Have I Told You Lately", but my first love here is "Go Out Dancing" - it feels as if I've been looking for that melody for years - and my second is "Rebel Heart", which in itself is a good solid hard rock number, which some of you will know, is right up my alley.  "When a Man's in Love" is also worth a spin now and then too.  Yep, this album is one of the best 90s albums out there, no matter what others might tell you.  People will hark back to the Every Picture Tells a Story and Never a Dull Moment era and tell you that was when he was at his peak, and they may be right.  But you certainly shouldn't discount his later works, as I found out with Tonight I'm Yours, and of course, this album.  Here's my advice - go out and get it!  A