Posts Tagged ‘Velvet Underground’

features, Gallery, music

Ten great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more

By Stefano on April 5th, 2013

Not long to wait now. Record Store Day is coming a week on Saturday and I’ll be spending that day hunting down  obscure 80s indie singles and long lost psych albums.

And to celebrate – well we have got in a tad early – here is a list of ten of the greatest albums that have are vinyl only and have never had a CD reissue.

Except a few of them have – but either on dodgy low quality bootlegs or in legit reissues that have never ever turned up in the UK.

Anyhow, the best way to hear them is buying the vinyl. Here’s our list. What have we missed?

Smoke S/T £30

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Picture 10 of 10

Smoke is without a doubt the best psych album never to get a proper CD reissue. In fact you can make a pretty solid case for it being the best album ever not get the digital treatment. Before we start though I have to acknowledge that the album has been widely bootlegged on both CD and vinyl. However the sound quality of almost all the bootlegs stinks, and if you want to hear this masterpiece in its full glory you need the vinyl original. And at the moment that will set you back £30 plus. Smoke were a US band that were the brainchild of teenage music whizzkid Michael Lloyd. Even at the age of 18 he already had a pretty amazing musical pedigree in working with the West Coast Pop Art Experimental and creating his own garage psych act October Country. Let loose in the studio with a load of session hacks, Lloyd decided to create an album that would incorporate the best of his two favourite musicians Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson. So if you want to hear the missing link between Pet Sounds and Sergeant Pepper then this is it. Pretty much everything on the album is outstanding, but the best place to start is ironically enough the album’s finale Odyssey, which mixes the subtle orchestral melodies of The Left Banke with a sweeping Beach Boys Heroes And Villains style arrangement. Apparently contractual shenanigans have meant that this masterpiece has never, been reissued. If you want it the original expect to pay at least £30.

features, music

12 of the most disastrous second albums of all time – Stone Roses, Duffy and more

By Stefano on January 9th, 2013

Aaah the tricky second album syndrome, it catches a lot of bands on the hop doesn’t it? After all you have a decade or so to piece together the tunes for your first album, while the second is often flung together in a heartbeat after months of touring.

If you are smart you have saved a few great songs from your early days to tide you over. If not then you better hope that the substance induced writers block disappears and fast.

The tricky part is deciding do you simply try and replicate that first album and risk accusations that you haven’t moved on? Or take the band in a different direction and then risk alienating the fans who loved your early stuff. Either route is fraught with danger.

Here then are twelve apocryphal tales of bands whose second albums were in one way or another disastrous. Some of them, in fact many of them, are actually pretty good, but, poor reviews, a lack of hit singles and a general falling from fashion meant that they stalled, and in some instances killed, a band’s career.

So have a look through the list and tell me which ones I have missed in the comments.

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The best Psychedelic albums of 2012

12 The Thrills - Let's Bottle Bohemia

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With So Much For The City, the Irish band patented the sound of 2003, all jangly guitars and west coast harmonies. Much was expected of its follow up Let's Bottle Bohemia, but in spite of the first two tracks - Tell Me Something I Don't Know and Whatever Happened to Corey Haim? - this was a lot lighter on hummable tunes and The Thrills' audience disappeared. It is actually quite a good album, but suffers quite badly when compared with that incendiary debut - a maxim that applies to a great many of the second album flops.

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