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Underrated Albums
12 April 2020
3.37pm
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QuarryMan
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Blackstar and Low are my favourite personal favourites, and I'll stand by Aladdin Sane being underrated, but I guess you could say most of the newer ones are. 

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12 April 2020
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Dingle Lad
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I don't think Bowie has an underrated album per se unless I havent heard it yet. His music can usually classified in tiers. The top tier being Hunky Dory thru Aladdin Sane (except for Pin Ups) and Low. The next tier being The Man Who Sold the World, Diamond Dogs thru Station to Station, Heroes and when I'm in a good mood, Let's Dance.  I'll be honest, I lost track of him in the mid 80's and I don't think I'll ever pick back up on him. I might finish out his 70's stuff and maybe The Lodger at some point. I had a Bowie loving girl friend just after high school and she was a psycho. It isn't right to equate the two but neither is hearing Pinups forty thousand times because she loved his version of Sorrow. The rest of the album is kinda not very good

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12 April 2020
10.24pm
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Ok this duped

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13 April 2020
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yeah i’m not sure what you mean. clearly you’re not talking about chronology but about tiers of Bowie. I do think bowie is the kind of artist you can categorize in tiers. so not a total dupe

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13 April 2020
12.15am
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sir walter raleigh
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oooooooooooooooohh

youll love a lad INSANE

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13 April 2020
9.47am
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sir walter raleigh said
yeah i’m not sure what you mean. clearly you’re not talking about chronology but about tiers of Bowie. I do think bowie is the kind of artist you can categorize in tiers. so not a total dupe

  

no i meant the thread duplicated, so I edited it. LMAO!

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13 April 2020
9.49am
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Vera Chuck and Dave said
I like Aladdin Sane more than Ziggy Stardust.

  

I live in the Detroit are so I'm kind of obligated to agree. Not only do you have Panic in Detroit but Jean Jeanie was written for Iggy

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15 April 2020
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How did I miss this Bowie discussion?! Clearly I need to waste more of my life on the Internet a-hard-days-night-paul-4

Ziggy vs Aladdin, my thoughts: They're a nice pair in that they're equally flawed in polar opposite ways (I think I stole that from @lovelyritametermaid but it's true). Just look at their covers: gritty vs clean, a shadowy scene vs a bright focused design, dark vs light.

Ziggy is raw and rambling and full of heart and has several tracks that probably altered the orbit of the planet when they came out ("Five Years", "Moonage", "Starman", "Ziggy", and "RNR Suicide" definitely hit like that). It's not underrated for sure, but it is underproduced... or badly produced... or something. The sound quality has always seemed quite lacking to me, even by 1972 standards – a drop from even the Space Oddity album, and 1969 was a whole lifetime prior.

Aladdin, on the other hand, is well produced and very polished, just like its cover. It's much more focused in general but I can see how, if you think Ziggy is perfection, Aladdin might seem to lack soul. I'd argue that it's still there, it's just cleaned up and put a suit on and tightened up its act a bit. Plus at least half the songs are magnificent and the other half ain't shabby. It's also looking forward into the future (see those wild piano extravaganzas in particular)...

So, yeah, totally different albums, but complimentary.

Anyway, I always felt more of a personal connection to S2S through "Heroes" and Heathen a bit more than glam Ziggy Bowie. I don't think Hunky is overrated in that it's David's grand singer-songwriter statement to the world – half the album is classic and the other half ain't bad. Fiddy's right about Heathen though, that's almost a symphony. Extremely underrated. Reality is a solid album as well, though I personally find the soundscape of Heathen more appealing, usually (soft grey moody rain vs gritty, angular NYC streets – I have to be in a different mood), not to mention the album cover. ahdn_george_06

I am also one of the few people who likes Black Tie White Noise – mostly for the bookend tracks and "Jump They Say", but the rest I find pleasant as well. Buddha of Suburbia is INCREDIBLY underrated, or rather underknown.

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15 April 2020
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Beatlebug said
Ziggy is raw and rambling and full of heart and has several tracks that probably altered the orbit of the planet when they came out ("Five Years", "Moonage", "Starman", "Ziggy", and "RNR Suicide" definitely hit like that). It's not underrated for sure, but it is underproduced... or badly produced... or something. The sound quality has always seemed quite lacking to me, even by 1972 standards – a drop from even the Space Oddity album, and 1969 was a whole lifetime prior.

Aladdin, on the other hand, is well produced and very polished, just like its cover. It's much more focused in general but I can see how, if you think Ziggy is perfection, Aladdin might seem to lack soul. I'd argue that it's still there, it's just cleaned up and put a suit on and tightened up its act a bit. Plus at least half the songs are magnificent and the other half ain't shabby. It's also looking forward into the future (see those wild piano extravaganzas in particular)...

If you think Ziggy Stardust is underproduced (which I don't agree but I get were you're coming from, the album sounds very raw), Aladdin Sane is ten times worst. Aladdin Sane is actually quite a cheap sounding record. To me that is the main difference between the two: Aladdin Sane just sounds... amateurish. The instrumental on the title track (with that awful neverending piano part @QuarryMan don't kill meahdn_george_08) is enough to back my point, it sounds weirdly predictable and it is recorded with a lot of... lack of energy. And then there's Let's Spend the Night Together which I won't get into but that is not better production than Ziggy Stardust, what? Ziggy sounds larger than life and epic and realized. Just listen to the closer, or Five Years, or It Ain't Easy, Soul Love, Lady Stardust badly produced? I could name more. COME ON GUYS... God . The production on Ziggy is one of its best features!! Aladdin Sane doesn't sound polished, it sounds twice as raw and harmed because of it. Damn, I really can't see your point, I'm sorry.

Of course everything I'm saying doesn't apply to both albums in their entirety. There are tracks on Aladdin Sane (to me a minority) that sound decently produced (Lady Grinning Soul is quite epic), and there tracks on Ziggy that can be underwhelming (I want to say Star? but I still love that song [the last 40 seconds don't count, those are perfect]). But as albums as a whole, I don't care which one you prefer personally, you can't praise the production on Aladdin Sane and complain about Ziggy Stardust, it feels so contradictory to me. At best, the production is just as good on BOTH, uggh YOU GUYS ARE KILLING ME OVER HERE!

Listen I love that everyone here loves Aladdin Sane, that's great. But beating up Ziggy this way was something I really never thought I'd see.

the watusi

 

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15 April 2020
10.32pm
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Would You Believe by Billy Nicholls

"Billy Nicholls was originally hired by Andrew Loog Oldham as a staff writer for Oldham's Immediate Records. Oldham was so entranced by the Beach Boys ' 1966 album, Pet Sounds that he enlisted songwriter Billy Nicholls to record a British response, which became this largely forgotten album. The Small Faces' Steve Marriott can be heard very prominently on "Would You Believe?," despite Oldham's attempts to drown him out with heavy orchestration. Oldham wanted this to be the British Pet Sounds but financial difficulties with the label caused it to be shelved (it only achieved an initial promotional run of 100 copies, as Immediate IMCP009) before it ever hit the streets."

16 April 2020
5.52am
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QuarryMan
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Clerefor Sede said

(with that awful neverending piano part @QuarryMan don't kill meahdn_george_08

Grrrrrrrra-hard-days-night-john-6One day you will appreciate how brilliant it is. I really don't know how you would call it predictable though; I would say that song is harmonically one of Bowie's much weirder tracks, or at least it doesn't have a familiar chord progression like most other pop/rock songs. 

To get back on topic, I'm gonna say that Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus  is pretty underrated, which is quite rare for a double album, which I usually find to be bloated or self indulgent. It's not disliked by fans or critics by any means but I really think it deserves to be considered one of their very best works. I absolutely adore the fusion of gritty post-punk, folk and soaring gospel that the band achieve, and of course the lyrics and vocal performances of Cave himself are as always stunning. 

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16 April 2020
9.24am
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Im going to have to take exception to the criticism of the masterful Aladdin Sane piano work.  a song I think is great that was totally influenced by cecil taylor and Aladdin Sane is Phish’s Bathtub Gin. you’ll hear it breakthrough right from the start. 

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16 April 2020
9.44am
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Clerefor Sede said

Listen I love that everyone here loves Aladdin Sane, that's great. But beating up Ziggy this way was something I really never thought I'd see.  

I'm not beating up Ziggy, I just don't think it's mic'd and mixed as cleanly as perhaps I'm accustomed to (just a year later, Pink Floyd released DSOTM, which sounds remarkably less dated -- and I realize that comparing things to Pink Floyd is detrimental, which is unfortunate because it's where my mind goes). I think it works in the context of the album, and the arrangements are of course flawless, and I'm not saying EVERYTHING in the production is bad, just some things. I have to admit the first time I heard it I didn't "get" it whereas I liked Aladdin immediately, so maybe that has something to do with my perception.

I think we need to make a distinction between arrangements and recording when we talk about the production. Ziggy's arrangements are flawless in every way, absolutely spectacular, they perfectly convey the messages of the songs. Aladdin is a little more experimental on some songs (keyboard parts, mostly), but less experimental on others (The Jean Genie is a very straightforward bluesy rock song, arrangement-wise), and written less with a specific storyline in mind (I know I said it was more focused -- bear with me. The recording is more focused, and the individual songs, but as a whole the album is more of a buffet than a meal), and when one reaches one often overextends, but I think the recording is a little cleaner. Does that make things clearer?

I think on Ziggy he was very much concerned with creating a world and sound for his characters whereas Aladdin had more branching out into new experiments and sampling old genres in kind of a parody style. You could hear Bowie's boredom with the Ziggy character come through on Aladdin Sane, and it makes it interesting for some but lackluster for others.

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16 April 2020
1.39pm
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Redirecting from "overrated bands" thread

@Jules said in another thread

@Vera Chuck and Dave said
I don't think Led Zeppelin themselves are overrated, but I think IV is overrated. Maybe it's just overexposure of the first half.

I mean I've heard Black Dog and Stairway to Heaven enough so that by now it can be a little bit tiring, so I kinda get you.

But bro.

Just look at the tracklist. Probably one of the tightest hard rock albums ever made. Surely my top Zeppelin songs are actually on Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti, but IV to me is the only Zeppelin album that doesn't have a bad/mediocre song (II is a close second). Is there any song on that album to you that is mediocre/feels like filler? Even if some of the songs were or are overplayed, it is not without reason. Every track is at least a 7/10.

So maybe you have a point,

but I have to disagree,

it is an S tier record.  

I personally feel that IV is ever-so-slightly overrated, maybe because it was an album that really stuck out to me when I first listened to Zepp's catalogue through, but since then I've developed stronger sentimental attachments to all the others (especially III and Holy, which also stuck out to me but have retained my loyalty slightly more strongly; but, from an intellectual perspective, I can see why it's considered such a great album. It certainly came at a pinnacle of their career – I really love the live stuff from around that time, and Plant was on top of the world vocal-wise.

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16 April 2020
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Ever since Prince's Sign O the Times was released I've formed a theory that basically that both Prince and Zep's best albums were their studio doubles, but both had an earlier album that was among the most popular albums ever made. Those would be ZOSO and Purple Rain . I'd say they are their respective 2nd best albums and their influence can't be overestimated.

'

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16 April 2020
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Normies: "I love Led Zeppelin IV, it's so good"beatlemaniacs_02_gif

@Dingle Lad , an intellectual: "ZOSO"stuart-sutcliffe

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16 April 2020
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It wasn't just ZOSO tho, it was ZOSO-Celtic Knot-Circles-Feather mccartney-shrug_01_gif

(actually an archaic chemical symbol for Saturn [the ruling planet of Jimmy Page's zodiac sign, Capricorn]; a Trinity symbol to drive demons away; another Holy Trinity symbol which Bonzo thought it looked like a beer logo; and possibly the Feather of Ma'at or the Feather Symbol of Truth or something equally suitably hippy-dippy)

I love how Led Zeppelin has taken over the forum ahdn_john_08_gif

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16 April 2020
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vonbontee
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Clerefor Sede said
Normies: "I love Led Zeppelin IV, it's so good"beatlemaniacs_02_gif

@Dingle Lad , an intellectual: "ZOSO"stuart-sutcliffe

  

I usedta classify it myself for a time as "Four Sticks," cuz it's the fourth album and the guy's carrying sticks. Plus, y'know, song title. 

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GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions, Marvin Gaye. PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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17 April 2020
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vonbontee said

Clerefor Sede said
Normies: "I love Led Zeppelin IV, it's so good"beatlemaniacs_02_gif

@Dingle Lad , an intellectual: "ZOSO"stuart-sutcliffe

I usedta classify it myself for a time as "Four Sticks," cuz it's the fourth album and the guy's carrying sticks. Plus, y'know, song title. 

I could get on board

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17 April 2020
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I've always liked the way roman numerals looked, so I just call it IV. 

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