Friday, February 15, 2019

Melancholia - Volume 15 - Praying

I still have a few of these to go yet.

In my senior year of high school I became a bit of a holy roller. While I wasn't one of those "in your face" fundamentalists it did affect my everyday life, including my music listening habits. I started buying more Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) and less secular music.

This phase of my life only lasted about five years before moving on and exploring other religions but I discovered lots of music that I still listen to occasionally. While I still listened to a lot of rock and hard rock it now had a religious overlay.

This comp is focused more on the softer and worshipful tracks but came out of that period. Of the artists represented here there are some that I still listen to not because of the message but because I found them to be true song craftsmen. The one common trait among those are that most of them started out with some success in the secular industry. Many of these artists also appear on other Melancholia editions.

Obviously Bob Dylan falls into this category. Amy Grant, while best known as a CCM artist, dabbled for a while in the secular market with some success. Phil Keggy first tasted fame in the band Glass Harp which had a large fanbase and opened for acts like The Allman Brothers. Dion is of course of Dion and the Belmonts fame with early rock hits like Runaround Sue, The Wanderer and Abraham Martin and John. Brothers Terry and John Michael Talbot were the core of the 70s country rock band Mason Proffit who had at a few minor hits including Two Hangmen. Stryper was an unusual crossover act. paying their dues as a secular band then breaking through as a CCM act while still appealing to a large secular audience.

Larry Norman is still one of my favorite artists. Larry came out of the band People! who had a hit with the song I Love You. Larry is considered the a pioneer and godfather of Jesus music releasing his first album in 1969 on Capitol Records. What always struck me about Larry is that I never felt that his songs were just last weeks sermon set to music. His music had humor and honest lyrics. He sang about his life and loves as well as his beliefs. Even at his preachiest he always felt honest and genuine. Unfortunately his discography is a bit of a mess. Over the years when many of his albums were reissued they were remixed with many tracks changed with additional recording or even re-recorded which makes it hard to figure out his original intentions. There might be a Larry post sometime in the future.

Audio quality varies as there is an abundance of vinyl rips. Especially with the more obscure stuff. Enjoy.

01 Lamb - The Sacrifice Lamb
02 Bob Dylan - I Believe In You
03 Steve Camp - Farther and Higher
04 Amy Grant - All I Ever Have To Be
05 2nd chapter of Acts - I Fall In Love-Change
06 John Fischer - Beggar
07 Randy Stonehill - Find Your Way To Me
08 Phil Keaggy - What A Day
09 Dion - Only Jesus
10 Ray Hidlebrand - Didn't He
11 Stryper - All Of Me
12 Fireworks - Someone's Got a Hold of Me
13 Malcolm and Alwin - Tomorrow's News
14 Terry Talbot - Lamplighter
15 Petra - More Power to Ya
16 Marijohn - Where I'm Going
17 Chuck Girard - Think About What Jesus Said
18 David and the Giants - Noah
19 John Michael Talbot - Cast Down Your Cares
20 Larry Norman - UFO
21 Keith Green - Make My Life A Prayer To You

Friday, February 8, 2019

KISS - End of the Road - Not Live

I had other plans this week but this one needed to go up instead. This is part of my now ongoing Not Live series. This was thrown together at the last minute so there might be some volume matching issues. I'll do an update if needed.

Last week KISS played the first show of their End of the Road tour. I'm not going to get into any of the "debates" that the different fan factions are having. For me this is the time to be celebrating one of my favorite bands as they say good night one more time to their fans.

KISS was my first musical obsession. My brother brought home the first KISS album in 1976 and by the time Destroyer came out he had all of the back catalog. My first KISS LP purchase of my own was Love Gun in 1977. 1977 was also when we first saw them live on the Rock and Roll Over tour which still featured the Destroyer stage set and costumes.

I had originally planned on making studio versions of their first two live albums (might still post then in the future) but someone posted the setlist for the first show of the new tour online and I decided to recreate that instead. It's a great setlist full of classic KISS from all eras. While a little light on the non-makeup era and a bit heavy on tracks from the first album and Destroyer, really, in the end the only song I could do without is Beth. It will be interesting to see if the setlist changes throughout the three year tour. Enjoy.

01 Detroit Rock City
02 Shout It Out Loud
03 Deuce
04 Say Yeah
05 Heaven's On Fire
06 War Machine
07 Lick It Up
08 100,000 Years
09 God Of Thunder
10 Cold Gin
11 Psycho Circus
12 I Love It Loud
13 Hide Your Heart
14 Let Me Go Rock 'n' Roll
15 Love Gun
16 I was Made For Lovin' You
17 Black Diamond
18 Beth
19 Do You Love Me
20 Rock And Roll All Nite

Reality Notes

I took a couple of liberties with the song sources. I chose alternate sources for three songs. Detroit Rock City and Black Diamond are the Double Platinum mixes. Detroit Rock City is minus the intro/outro vignette. It's cool when you listen to the album as a whole but gets a bit annoying after repeated listens in a mixtape setting, just get to the song already. Black Diamond, which closes the first album, has an effect at the end of the tape slowly slowing down until it stops. This goes on for at least a full minute and like the vignettes on Detroit Rock City. can get frustrating on repeated listens. The Double Platinum version does not do this.

The last alternate version of a song is I Was Made For Loving You. For those of you that do not know, the original version from the Dynasty album was KISS' disco hit. In 2008 KISS released the album Jigoku-Retsuden, at first only in Japan, then later included as a bonus disc with Sonic Boom. The album consisted of 15 re-recorded classics. For the most part the re-recordings are faithful to the original but I Was Made For Loving You was done more in the style of how they were playing the song live. With tougher guitars and stripped of it's disco beat the song is much more listenable if not actually enjoyable.

I assembled the cover using elements from the KISS Online landing page announcing the tour.

Friday, February 1, 2019

REO Speedwagon - Not Live: You Get What You Play For

A while back I posted a Peter Frampton comp that recreated his Comes Alive! album using the studio versions. I was wondering if other live albums could be given the same treatment. Here is the first of those efforts.

In the 70s, double live albums were all the rage. For many artists, their live albums were their breakthrough moment when the general public took greater notice of them. Some breakthroughs had long lasting results pushing the band into the upper elite of rockdom, others were brief flashes of stardom that gave them their 15 minutes of fame before being sent back into near obscurity.

REO Speedwagon fell somewhere in between. Their live album gave them enough of a push to see them through at least two albums that would spawn several chart hits.The hits would slow down as they seemed to push their MOR ballads over their more snappier rock tracks. By the early 90s they were once again playing clubs and the festival circuit. They still tour and record but only the singer Kevin Cronin and keyboardist Neal Doughty are from the classic line-up and the keyboardist being the only founding member. Gary Richrath, the guitarist from the classic line-up who sparred many times with Cronin over creative control left the band in 1989 and passed away in 2015.

01 Like You Do
02 Lay Me Down
03 Any Kind Of Love
04 Being Kind (Can Hurt Someone Sometimes)
05 Keep Pushin'
06 (Only A) Summer Love
07 Son Of A Poor Man
08 (I Believe) Our Time Is Gonna Come
09 Flying Turkey Trot
10 157 Riverside Avenue
11 Ridin' The Storm Out
12 Music Man
13 Little Queenie
14 Golden Country
15 Roll With The Changes
16 Time For Me To Fly

Reality Notes

In the 70s it seemed everyone and their grandma released double live albums. Some were good, some were not so good and a few were amazing. REO's was good but I'm not sure about amazing. I think the downside of these albums is that if this was the band's breakthrough then the live versions of their songs become the definitive versions over the studio versions. This tends to minimize the importance of those studio albums that came before. Though the die hard fans will seek out anything and everything related to their favorite band the casual fan will stick with the live album or the greatest hits package.

Personally I prefer the studio over the stage. Even as a musician I prefer recording over performing. While I enjoy the immediacy and 'in the moment'-ness of performing live, the studio has an additional creative layer to it. Painting with sound as the cliche goes.

For REO, their live album was where it all came together. They had struggled through their six previous studio albums, riding out personnel changes that included three different singers. Kevin Cronin joined the band for their second album and quit while recording their third. His replacement lasted two more albums before Cronin rejoined them for the sixth album. The setlist for the album draws from four of the six studio albums. Completely ignoring albums four and five which Cronin had no input into, being recorded during the time he was away from the band.

So this comp features three different singers. Although the band has released some tracks from the third album that feature Cronin's voice before they were replaced I chose to stick with the officially released versions. As a bonus, similar to what I did with the Frampton comp, I included the hit songs from the follow up album.

I used the original album cover as a template for the cover I made. Turned out nice I think.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Melancholia - Volume 11

I wasn't sure if I was going to post the last few general editions but I already had this one uploaded for some reason so why not? I'm kind of running out of ideas at the moment and these are already put together so not much effort is needed to keep the blog running a little longer.

The remaining non-themed collections, while enjoyable and fine comps, don't hold as much emotional attachment for me which is why I hesitated on posting them. While the ones that were originally done as mixtapes can evoke a special time or feeling because of the time and effort put into them, these were created first as playlists and consist of songs that did not find a place on earlier editions or songs that are more recent discoveries. All songs still have that sound or feeling that I'm attracted to regardless of genre and they still take me somewhere else.

01 Del Fuegos - Don't Run Wild
02 The Weepies - Hideaway
03 Jimmy Buffett - One Particular Harbor
04 Blackberry Smoke - Ain't Much Left Of Me
05 Madonna - Crazy for You
06 Elton John - Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
07 Berlin - Take My Breath Away
08 Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
09 UB40 - Don't Break My Heart
10 Melanie - Pebbles in the Sand
11 Velvet Underground - Pale Blue Eyes (Closet Mix)
12 Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
13 Eric Clapton - Please Be with Me
14 Bee Gees - Islands In The Stream
15 Sheryl Crow - No One Said It Would Be Easy
16 Dimentia 13 - 108 Sacred Stages
17 Alison Moyet - It Won't Be Long (Acoustic)
18 Lenny Kravitz - Let Love Rule
19 Dionne Warwick - Walk On By

Friday, January 18, 2019

Melancholia - Volume 16 - Not Feeling Guilty

This edition is based on a series found on the Any Major Dude blog. Named after his series, Not Feeling Guilty, which currently is up to volume 8, it is chock full of middle of the road late 70s early 80s pop. Perfect for playing in the background while you sit in your comfy chair reading romance novels.

If I have a musical guilty pleasure, this might be it. I mean, this is the stuff our parents listened to when they wanted to feel hip and contemporary. Lots of blue-eyed soul, light R&B and general middle of the road schmaltz. Enjoy.

01 Bob Welch - Sentimental Lady
02 Ace - How Long
03 Commodores, the - Easy
04 Player - Baby Come Back
05 Christopher Cross - Sailing
06 Atlanta Rhythm Section - So in to You
07 Poco - Crazy Love
08 Ambrosia - How Much I Feel
09 Dave Mason - We Just Disagree
10 Little River Band - Lady
11 Robbie Dupree - Steal Away
12 Doobie Brothers - Takin' It To The Streets
13 Orleans - Still The One
14 King Harvest - Dancing in the Moonlight
15 Paul Davis - I Go Crazy
16 Randy Vanwarmer - Just When I Needed You Most
17 Robert John - Sad Eyes
18 Elvin Bishop - Fooled Around And Fell In Love
19 Stephen Bishop - On And On
20 Firefall - You Are The Woman
21 Hall & Oates - She's Gone

Friday, January 11, 2019

Melancholia - Volume 6

I have a few more Melancholia volumes to post yet. There are two more themed editions and a few non-themed editions that I may or not post.

This edition was the first volume to be constructed from CD to tape and the last non-themed edition that was constructed on a physical medium. At the time I used a 60 minute tape and remade it every few weeks or so. This construction is a summary of sorts featuring those songs that made repeat appearances timed to fit on a single CD.

This is a good snapshot of what I was listening to at the time. All of the source CDs were new purchases with only a few being repurchases of things I once had on vinyl and most of the songs were roughly contemporary with a few old favorites thrown in. There are a few songs from the time that did not fit due to space limitations. Those songs found space on later editions.

01 Rhythm Corps - Common Ground
02 Maggie's Dream - Love and Tears
03 Soup Dragons - Divine Thing
04 Sun-60 - Out of My Head
05 King's X - It's Love
06 Michael Hedges - Spring Buds
07 Prince - The Cross
08 Chris Cornell - Seasons
09 Guns N' Roses - You're Crazy
10 Matthew Sweet - Divine Intervention
11 Julian Lennon - Rebel King
12 Queensrhyche - Gonna Get Close To You
13 The Church - Under the Milky Way
14 Hoodoo Gurus - Death Defying
15 Jesus Jones - Right Here, Right Now
16 Elvis Costello - Alison
17 Pete Townshend - The Seeker
18 Uncle Wiggly - It's Looking Good
19 Larry Norman - Looking for Footprints

Friday, January 4, 2019

Lindsey Buckingham - Tusk

Thanks to AEC for giving me a little nudge on this one. A while back I took apart Fleetwood Mac's Tusk and created a McVie/Nicks album. So here we have its companion, Lindsey Buckingham's Tusk.

Lindsey was in a frantic state of mind by the time Tusk was finished. Cracking from the pressure of following Rumors, one of the best selling records of all time, and fueled by heavy use of cocaine he was determined to deliver something different in order to compete with the younger New Wave bands of the time.

Side One
01 Not That Funny
02 Save Me A Place
03 What Makes You Think You're The One
04 That's All For Everyone #1
05 The Ledge
06 That's Enough For Me

Side Two
01 Tusk
02 Walk A Thin Line
03 I Know I'm Not Wrong
04 That's All For Everyone #2
05 Out On The Road
06 Kiss And Run

Bonus Track
Tusk (USC Version)

Reality Notes

When I first took Tusk apart to make the McVie/Nicks album I did try to collect Lindsey's songs into an album. At the time I only had a single disc of outtakes and at best I  was only able to come up with about 30 minutes of material. I've recently found more material in the form of the five disc deluxe version of Tusk. With the additional tracks I was not only able to expand the album to a more acceptable length but also swap some tracks with alternate versions with less Christine and Stevie to make it feel more like a solo album.

What Makes You Think You're The One, The Ledge, Walk A Thin Line, That's All For Everyone #2 are the original album versions. That's All For Everyone #1 is an earlier version with different lyrics. Out On The Road evolved into That's Enough For Me. This version is very different from the finished song keeping the chord structure but little else.

Kiss And Run is a proper outtake that sounds like an impromptu studio run through of a song that was never taken further. It was written by Jorge Calderon, the percussionist from the Buckingham/Nicks band and features McVie and Nicks a bit more prominently than I would like but it works. Its informality adds to the charm.

Tusk is an early take that does not have the USC marching band so I included a version that is only the USC band. as a bonus track

For the cover I rotated the image and inverted the colors on the original cover and did a few other modifications.