astral weeks

I went down to the demonstration to get my fair share of abuse, goin’ as much with the river as not:

DOK
Artist Album Year 2013
15 The Beatles Rubber Soul 1965 22
14 The Band The Band 1969 3
13 Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here 1975 14
12 The Beach Boys Pet Sounds 1966 15
11 The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed 1969 *
GvZ
Artist Album Year 2015
15 Radiohead Kid A 2000 26
14 The Beatles The Beatles (White Album) 1968 22
13 The Doors The Doors 1967 *
12 Genesis The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 1974 4
11 The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed 1969 9
RKH
Artist Album Year 2015
15 Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde 1966 4
14 Van Morrison Veedon Fleece 1974 20
13 Radiohead In Rainbows 2007 11
12 Van Morrison Astral Weeks 1968 3
11 Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon 1973 14

When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk; if I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel, I would probably know just how to deal with all of you:

DOK
Artist Album Year 2013
20 Genesis Selling England by the Pound 1973 7
19 The Beatles Abbey Road 1969 11
18 The Moody Blues In Search of the Lost Chord 1968 5
17 Talking Heads Remain in Light 1980 30
16 Cream Disraeli Gears 1967 23
GvZ
Artist Album Year 2015
20 The Kinks Face to Face 1966 24
19 Van Morrison Astral Weeks 1968 14
18 Genesis Selling England by the Pound 1973 6
17 Radiohead OK Computer 1997 23
16 The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers 1971 *
RKH
Artist Album Year 2015
20 Santana Abraxas 1970 31
19 Paul McCartney & Wings Band on the Run 1973 22
18 Crosby Stills Nash & Young Déjà Vu 1970 23
17 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico 1967 17
16 Genesis Selling England by the Pound 1973 10

1. B.B. King – Worry, Worry (Live at the Regal, 1965)


Starting this little trip through rock history with young Riley Ben King, a former cotton cropper and recreational gospel singer from Mississippi who turned into the number one Blues Boy from Memphis, Tennesee. King was 39 when he went to Chicago to play the Regal Theatre, packed with a dozen hit singles about desire and sorrow and his Lucille. The recordings became one of rock’s finest live albums. Someday baby Oh…someday baby.

2. Mike Oldfield – Orabidoo (Five Miles Out, 1982)

One of the disappointing albums Oldfield released after his experimental breakthrough with Tubular Bells in 1973. After nine years of doubt during which he released five more albums, Oldfield finally decides to turn away from long symphonic compositions on side 2 of this album. Not yet ready for poppy excesses like ‘Moonlight Shadow’ on the next album, Oldfield and Reilly still sing their vocals trough a vocoder on this one to give it the experimental feel.

3. Kraftwerk – The Model (Minimum-Maximum, 2005)


Back to the live stage with this album from Kraftwerk, collecting many shows from the band’s world tour in 2004. The increased tempo gave the legendary songs an even more modern sound, as this song originally appeared on 1978’s all-time classic The Man-Machine. Back then Kraftwerk already sketched us this image of the human being that has become one with his machine, although our new hands weren’t called Iphones yet.

4. Electric Light Orchestra – Standin’ in the Rain (Out of the Blue, 1977)


It took some time for Jeff Lynne to establish exactly the sound he had in mind when The Move fell apart, but after searching for three years during the early seventies, he was at full speed. Just when disco was getting ready to conquer the world, Lynne knew how he wanted to rediscover McCartney’s ‘Eleanor Rigby’ string sections and launched three successful symphonic albums in a row: Eldorado (1974), Face the Music (1975) and A New World Record (1976). For the following album he only needed a couple of weeks in a Swiss chalet, on which this is the opening song of side three: ‘Concerto for a Rainy Day’.

5. Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl (Live Rust, 1979)


More live music with this classic from Neil Young, from the Rust Never Sleeps tour. Young performed this tour together with Crazy Horse, and that’s why this track obviously couldn’t be lacking on the setlists. The original is of course to be found on 1969’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, on which Crazy Horse established its fame as Young’s legendary backing band. This was mainly due to producer David Briggs, who just like Neil (and contrary to Jack Nitschze, producer of Young’s debut) loved the raw live sound that defines that album.

6. Björk – Pluto (Homogenic, 1997)

Penultimate track on Björk’s fourth studio album, the first intense collaboration with producer Mark Bell, who produced among others this song about the primal drift to make tabula rasa of your environment. Remarkable is the unorthodox combination of classical string sections with electronic beats, characterizing the whole album and referring to the raw (natural) as well as the computed (hi-tech) side of Iceland.

7. The Beatles – Glass Onion (The Beatles, 1968)


Lennon song that finally gave the world a clue about McCartney being the walrus or not. Also the first track on the White Album with Starr on drums, as McCartney played the drums on both his own ‘Back in the USSR’ and Lennon’s ‘Dear Prudence’.

8. The White Stripes – As Ugly as I Seem (Get Behind Me Satan, 2005)

In fact the only Stripes album I did not play the life out the past year. As the folkish intro of this song already indicates, Jack White moves away a bit from collecting all the best electric riff-based songs he wrote (Elephant!) and tries out another range of instruments and rhythms.

9. Van Morrison – Cyprus Avenue (Astral Weeks, 1968)


Absolute gem, from an absolute must-have album. Listening the lyrics closely already suffices to admire this epic piece of music, that acquired its definite fame thanks to numerous legendary live versions, as the traditional closer of every performance.

10. Talking Heads – Thank You for Sending Me an Angel (Stop Making Sense, 1984)


Closing with a fourth live track, not from the original release that contained only nine (adjusted) tracks from the movie, but from the 1999-release, including all sixteen songs. The band once performed live for the first time as a support act for the Ramones, but that was about the last time that the paths of Talking Heads and punk would cross, after being noticed by Brian Eno. Just when the paths of Byrne/Eno and the Tom Tom Club also seemed to diverge, this movie from Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme was released.

Going up in our lists with another fine selection of records this week. We ran into some of them already, like The Magnolia Electric Co and Tea for the Tillerman, which are shared by DOK and RKH. The lists of GvZ and RKH to the contrary barely have anything in common to this point, best illustrated by their number of albums from  the sixties: 13 versus… 1 (The Velvet Underground & Nico).

DOK:

31. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
32. Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
33. Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick (1972)
34. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
35. Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman (1970)

GvZ:

31. (26)  The Byrds – The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968)
32. (41)  Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)
33. (31)  The Band – Music from Big Pink (1968)
34. (9)    The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)
35. (19)  The Move – Shazam (1970)

RKH:

31. (20)  Prince – Purple Rain (1984)
32. (34)  Santana – Abraxas (1970)
33. (10)  Lee Hazlewood – Cowboy in Sweden (1970)
34. (36)  Song:Ohia – The Magnolia Electric Co (2003)
35. (32)  Pixies – Doolittle (1989)

However, a similarity shows up this week, as both professors present one  of their top ten albums from last year, dropping into the lower regions. The Beatles’ Rubber Soul is one of them, together with DOK’s Sgt. Pepper being the first albums from the Fab Four. Another remarkable choice: the legendary Thick As A Brick, a personal favorite from the local record magnate. Has the 50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house recently become a victim of a powerful lobby?

We continue our lists of best all-time albums with #45-41:

RKH:

41. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
42. R.E.M. – Murmur (1983)
43. Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)
44. Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen (1993)
45. Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)

GvZ:

41. Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)
42. Tool – 10 000 Days (2006)
43. Neil Young – After The Gold Rush (1970)
44. John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band (1970)
45. Supertramp – Even in the Quietest Moments… (1977)

Some real all-time classics like Dark Side of the Moon and After the Gold Rush already show up, and mister Hofmeijer even throws in a little joke with his #42. The seventies are represented best this time with four albums and we have another album from the year 1967 from Leonard Cohen. Obviously this album is added to the poll in our quest to find the best album of this holy music year.

Jukebox

GreenRiver1969 StandUp1969 graceland1986 musicfrombigpink1968