Sunday, 12 January 2014

Better living through chemistry

Here are the runners and riders for the next @lpgrp vote. The theme is 1960s Psychedelia.

The listening session will be 9pm, Sunday 2rd February. 

You can vote for five albums by sending the numbers (not names!) of your choices to the @lpgrp Twitter account (via a direct message or an ordinary tweet mentioning @lpgrp). 

You are allowed to vote for the albums you nominated. 

The deadline for voting is 8pm, Friday 17th January.

1. 13th Floor Elevators - Bull of the Woods.
2. 13th Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere
3. 13th Floor Elevators - Psychedelic Sounds of 13th Floor Elevators
4. The Action - Rolled Gold
5. Kevin Ayers - Joy of a Toy
6. Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs
7. The Beatles – Revolver
8. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
9. The Beatles – The Beatles (The ‘White Album’)
10. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band – Gorilla
11. The Byrds - Fifth Dimension
12. The Byrds - The Notorious Byrd Brothers
13. C.A.Quintet - Trip Thru Hell
14. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica
15. Caravan – Caravan
16. Cream - Disraeli Gears
17. Deep Purple - Shades of Deep Purple
18. The Doors  - The Doors
19. Dragonfly - Dragonfly
20. Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera - Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera
21. Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
22. Golden Dawn - Power Plant
23. Grateful Dead - Live/Dead
24. Holy Modal Rounders - Indian War Whoop
25. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced
26. The Jimi Hendrix Experience  - Axis: Bold As Love
27. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland
28. Kak – Kak
29. Love - Forever Changes
30. The Monkees - Head
31. Nazz - Nazz Nazz
32. Family - Music in a Doll’s House
33. Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes
34. Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn
35. Pretty Things - SF Sorrow
36. The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake
37. The Soft Machine - The Soft Machine
38. Tomorrow - Tomorrow
39. Tyrannosaurus Rex - My People were Fair and had Sky in their Hair... But now they're Content to Wear Stars on their Brows
40. The United States of America - The United States of America
41. Various Artists - Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era
42. Caetano Veloso - Caetano Veloso (1968)
43. West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Volume 3: A Child's Guide to Good and Evil
44. The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Turn on, tune in, drop out, nominate an album or two...

The theme for @lpgrp’s February session is ‘1960s Psychedelia’.

The listening session will be 9pm, Sunday 2th February. 

First, we need to create a shortlist. Please send me the name of two 1960s Psychedelic albums you’d like to nominate. Use a direct message or a tweet mentioning 'lpgrp' to contact me. Your deadline is 6pm, Sunday 12th January. Once the shortlist is ready, I’ll publish details about how to vote. 

Thank you.


Here are some lists to help jog your memory:

Rate Your Music - a personal list from a punter.

Scaruffi - Decent list but not just 1960s.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Best of 2013 - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' - Push the Sky Away

Thank you, @oneillpaudie for singing the praises of Nick Cave's 2013 offering. 


Following 2008's raucous 'Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!', itself sandwiched between the chaos of Grinderman 1 and 2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds returned this year with the understated, slow-burning and quite frankly brilliant 'Push The Sky Away'. Their first record since Mick Harvey's departure, it's more atmospheric and darker than its immediate predecessors, deep bass lines, synths and Warren Ellis's eerie strings recalling the mood of early Bad Seeds, even Birthday Party albums. The menacing opener 'We No Who U R' sets the record's tone nicely, and 'Waters Edge' or 'We Real Cool' could fit easily on 1985's 'The First Born Is Dead'. 'Jubilee Street' builds up perfectly,  its swirling crescendo never reaching 'Mercy Seat' proportions, but hits just the right heights to create a bit of a clatter, Bad Seed-fashion. Sir Nick gets quite animated during the tumultuous 'Higgs Boson Blues' before the album closes with the powerful and stunning title track. 'Push The Sky Away' may not create the loudest racket of Nick Cave's incredible discography, and it may not be his heaviest release either, but it's a subtle, affecting and beautiful LP that holds its own against any of them, and for that it is certainly one of my albums of 2013.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Best of 2013 - Prefab Sprout's Crimson/Red

Many thanks, @iancpeacock for penning these words about the Sprouts' 2013 offering. 


I must have first heard Prefab Sprout around 1984. I remember spending one weekend listening repeatedly to their debut single, Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone). Even today it still sounds like a breath of fresh air.

Their debut album, Swoon, with its sophisticated music and clever lyrics, became and remains a firm favourite. The follow up, Steve McQueen, was almost as good. A string of other albums followed up to 1997 when their (to my mind second best) album Andromeda Heights was released.

After that releases became more sporadic – 2001's disappointing The Gunmen and Other Stories, 2003's stunning Paddy McAloon solo album, I Trawl The Megahertz, and 2009's Let's Change The World With Music, which was previously unreleased but had been recorded in 1992 (and wore its Prince influences on its sleeve).

In June last year rumours appeared on Twitter of a new Prefab Sprout album. A link produced an album's worth of new songs which blew me away. They were finally released in October as Crimson/Red. Interviews with Paddy said that the songs were recently recorded and that the album was all his own work – sadly health problems prevented him recording with others.

The album suggested that Paddy had lost none of his gift for strong melodies and intriguing lyrics. The single The Best Jewel Thief In The World could be treated as a straightforward song about a jewel thief or could be about the “borrowing” which sometimes forms a part of great songwriting. At least two songs pay tribute to other songwriters - The Songs Of Danny Galway is about Jimmy Webb and Mysterious is about Dylan who “roared out of nowheresville” and was “cryptic, elusive, smart, mysterious from the start”.

The Old Magician reflects on the parallel decline of an act's popularity and the marriage between the magician and his assistant - “the tired act that no one loves” when “there was a time we produced doves”. Best of all for me is The Devil Came-A-Calling. Paddy is approached by the Devil - “no brimstone, fire or rain, in fact I found him charming, articulate, urbane” - who offers him 50 years of success for his immortal soul. He is held to the bargain although while “my memory is hazy, I'm sure that I declined”.

A great return to form and let's hope's there more music to come from Prefab Sprou