Nilsson “Aerial Pandemonium Ballet”

Aerial Pandemonium Ballet

My friend actually got mad at me for not telling him about this album sooner. I had always thought it was one of those private albums, that you love but don’t really mention to anyone. But, as it turns out, this one is best shared.

So here it is, ladies and gentleman, may I present, in the center ring, Nilsson! And his mash-up album (way ahead of its time), Aerial Pandemonium Ballet. When Harry hit it big with The Point! and his rendition of Freddy Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin‘ practically scored the entirety of Midnight Cowboy, he went back in the vaults and re-released his first two albums (Pandemonium Shadow Show and Aerial Ballet), only mixed together as one.

Nilsson was the Beatles’ favorite American recording artist and he pays them a fitting tribute in the bonus tracks with “You Can’t Do That” which every Beatles fan MUST hear. Also, I heard once that Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song was about John Lennon but I’m not sure if this is true; this was recorded well before the lost weekend.

Can’t recommend this one enough, especially if you haven’t yet heard Harry’s beautiful three-octave crooning or his cyclical songwriting skills. Some folks think the original two albums are better, which is fine, but this must be the first mash-up! Go Nilsson.

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“Without Her”

One is a Number Divided By Two

Dr. John “Gris-gris”

Gris Gris

In N’awlins, Gris-gris means voodoo. And on Dr. John’s debut album, you get the feel of what voodoo sounds like pretty quickly. I’m telling you! This album is an automatic freakout waiting to be put on your stereo.

I really love this album and just about everybody wants to know more about it when it spins. This baby is a raw classic and it has that real power that only the most authentic records have got… it draws you in, and keeps you there, and kind of scares you, and then it rewards you.

There are some great sounds on this record like that smooth organ, and the well applied touch of mandolin, loud percussion, chants, and growling, haunting lyrics. Read Richie’s liner notes to get a better idea of what this one’s all about.

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They Call Me Dr. John, Known as the Night Tripper

Dr. John - Gris-Gris

The Millennium “Begin”

Begin

When I put this record on for the first time, I thought I had made a mistake. I mean, I thought I put in the wrong disc or something. I literally stopped the album, and ejected it to make sure I hadn’t put in some modern hip-hop breaks record instead.

That’s how this one opens, with that monstrous drum beat you just can’t imagine coming out of 1968. But things change fast. Curt Boettcher, a record producer who worked with The Association, The Boys and others, set out to record the album of his dreams with Begin. And it’s very psychedelic, very sunshine-happy, and very rockin’ all at the same time.

Of course, it was a commercial failure, but that hardly matters now. Check this one out as it’s the kind of album that turns heads.

Good luck finding it on its own though. You’ll need to buy Magic Time, the 3-cd bonus track ridden release, which is great really, but I still wish it was available on its own.

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“It’s You”

:) Vinyl Reissue | 2008 | Sundazed | buy from sundazed ]
:D CD Reissue | 2008 | Sundazed | buy from sundazed ]

Brian Eno “Another Green World”

Another Green World

There are four Eno albums that sort-of go together. These are his first four solo albums after leaving Roxy Music: Here Come The Warm Jets (1973), Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974), Another Green World (1975), and Before & After Science (1977). I could have chosen any one of these recently remastered digipak albums to review today (and probably will get to them all soon enough), but Another Green World jumps out at me first every time.

Don’t expect ambient, experimental, exclusively electronic non-music or anything you have previously associated with Eno’s incredible body of work. This album, as well as the others listed here, is part of Eno’s pop-rock masterpiece phase, at once a listenable rock album and a piece of certifiable Eno art.

The first time I heard this record though, I was really digging it, until Brian started singing. But rest assured, you will learn to love and appreciate his vocal style, as much as you will learn to love each “sound painting” arranged within this perfect album.

Also of note, this album synchronizes excellently (a la Dark Side of the Rainbow) with the 1984 Disney film Where The Toys Come From. I forget exactly which “roar of the lion” to sync them up with, but that doesn’t really matter.

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“Another Green World”

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Brian Eno - Another Green World

The Kinks “Face To Face”

Face to Face

There are many reasons (many songs) why Ray Davies is my favorite songwriter. The main reason is best exemplified in Face To Face, not quite a concept album, but so on-the-line it ought to count.

Each song on Face To Face is its own little polished gem, a story or a feeling. You can really get lost in this album with its cast of characters. Face To Face is a miniature universe including some of the best songs the Kinks ever recorded.

The tunes aren’t about heavy things like relationships and love, or faith, or murder. They are about daily trifles, the things in life that we face so often: a phone call, a rainy day, a vacation, a house, or just lazing around on a sunny afternoon in the summertime. It’s got a great developed sound to it, with all the fuzz left over from their (superb) previous album, Kinks Kontroversy, but rounded out with some Mellotron and SFX. This album kicks off the Kinks’ “golden age.”

The bonus tracks are all excellent, as is the case for all of the wonderful Kinks reissues. I guarantee that if you give this album the proper chance, you will love it. 

Note: if you’ve ever listened to our podcast, you might recognize the storm fx sounds from Rainy Day In June, from this album.

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The Tokens “Intercourse”

Intercourse

You definitely know who the Tokens are. Think: “….Wimoweh, a wimoweh…”

The Tokens are best known for their massive 1961 #1 hit (US/UK) recording of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” In the late 60s, influenced by the Beatles and the Boys (Smiley Smile), Mitch Margo and The Tokens recorded a wildly psychedelic selection of songs written during “a pretty blue period” in Mitch’s life.

Admittedly, some songs haven’t stood the test of time as well as the Boys’ songs. Even I have trouble playing the overtly druggy Commercial in the presence of others. But really, I have to recommend you get your hands on this album because it will likely blow you away. The songs are simply beautfiul.

If you don’t get this album, you should at least rejoice in the opening mantra: “It’s amazing to be alive, all I can say is stay alive.” Also, be aware of the cover art… I have seen two other versions that portray Intercourse as either a lo-fi/punk record or a mid-eighties Kinks record.

Tokens Albums

I got this album from the link supplied below, and I happened to receive the Oglio CD which features the original cover art crudely featured at the top of this post. It is amazing to be alive!

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“Wonderful Things”

The Tokens - Intercourse

All I Can Say Is Stay Alive!

The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”

Pet Sounds

I’ll be honest with you here. Nobody is reading this web-log today. It doesn’t even really exist. I’m the only one who knows about it and I’m just, sort-of, trying it on. The only reason I’m presenting this, the most classic and essential of all great rock albums, is to test out the site and make it look like there’s something here.

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

Please Buy Pet Sounds If You Don’t Already Have It

The Pretty Things “S.F. Sorrow”

SF Sorrow

“She Says Good Morning”

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The Pretty Things - S.F. Sorrow

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