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Don't Test Me On Genre

Welcome to WEEK 198 of 4T! (Video Episode #24) Super Album Slam Jam Round 2 – Psychedelic Furs, Lou Reed, Talking Heads, Yes – (1971-1989)

Following along with last week’s housecleaning, this week is a smaller and – to me – slightly less significant batch of albums. Their greatest commonality is that they almost exactly span what would be considered my “childhood years”. Other than that it’s a damn eclectic mix of artists whom you’d be hard pressed to find listed in the same genre, let alone the same playlist. It’s how I roll. SO … off the top of my head:

Psychedelic Furs --Mirror Moves – British post-punk Romanticism at its best. And a lead vocalist who doesn’t for one second compromise or try to hide his origin – i.e. that’s a THICK ACCENT! They’re like The Cure without any Goth leanings. “The Ghost In You” and “Heaven” are forever classics. --Midnight to Midnight – It made me slightly sad, because it was obvious they were shooting for more commercialism. It worked, with “Heartbreak Beat” being their highest charting single in the US. But it lacked the quirky ambient heart of their previous works. Even Richard Butler agreed. They’d pump out two more albums before disbanding, after which Butler formed the fairly great Love Spit Love. BUT NOW the Furs are back this year with their first album since 1991, and what I’ve heard of it so far has been great.

Lou Reed --Walk on the Wild Side – The Best of Lou Reed – You can’t hate or disrespect Lou Reed. His work with Velvet Underground alone merits legend status. THEN you have this collection, which showed the genius we all now know him to be. And this only covers up to 1976!

--New York – This album is what made me buy the above album. I needed to know more about this dude who sounded like a New York version of Bob Dylan. I’ll be honest, I can only take his voice for about an album or so, so he’s not one of my top faves. But I loved this album to death, especially the single “Dirty Blvd.” The don’t-give-a-shit vocals paired with sheer poetry again show what an individual genius he was. It’s dumb that he’s dead.

Talking Heads --Remain in Light – Like I said before, TH are slightly left field for me in terms of taste. Some of their stuff I fall over for. Others I find oddly removed from passion. But through no fault of theirs. This album will always be awesome because it was made during my all-time favorite era of production values, ca. 1978-82ish. --Little Creatures – It sucks to say this, but I preferred TH when they were shooting for commercialism, because they still retained all their grit and quirkiness, but made an effort to really connect. This album and their next one (True Stories) were probably the high mark of that. The first and last tracks on here are golden.


--The Yes Album – I’ve said this before and it bears repeating: Yes was the best prog rock band. Critics may give that title to Genesis, and I 100% get why. But pound for pound, Yes was more consistent. Sure, they dipped into overindulgence in the mid-late 1970s, but what prog band didn’t. I frankly find some of early Genesis unlistenable. But that’s HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE, and largely for two reasons: A. I prefer Jon Anderson’s voice to early Peter Gabriel (he’d get way more mellifluous as he aged); and B. I’m a Romantic, and while Genesis had their brief dabblings in Romanticism once Phil Collins took the helm, Yes was Romantic from start to finish. And their vocal harmonies kicked way more ass.

--Classic Yes – It’s weird this album existed, because it’s NOT a greatest hits album, and it’s NOT a to-date career retrospective. It’s kind of the perfect prog compilation for those reasons, and the fact that Chris Squire compiled the selections explains pretty much everything. And makes it awesome.

I can’t promise this will be the last housecleaning week. Don’t you feel lucky? Also, my new EP is now on SPOTIFY & iTUNES:

iTUNES Sympathy for the Weird

Are you into any of these artists? Would you listen to the playlist I created? Could you create an even more disjointed playlist? Discuss dammit!

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