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"What are you listening to right now?" thread
29 March 2020
9.36am
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Dingle Lad
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Some of the most pretentious bullshit ever recorded. Perhaps the most beautiful pretentious bullshit ever recorded.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are just that, opinions. You don't have to agree, nor do I have to agree with yours - Mike Crawley

29 March 2020
10.41am
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Ron Nasty
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Stay at home, protect your nation's health services, save lives, and do...
The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

29 March 2020
4.11pm
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QuarryMan
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There is no final victory, as there is no final defeat. There is just the same battle to be fought, over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up.” - Tony Benn
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29 March 2020
4.46pm
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The Smile Sessions by The Beach Boys

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sigh butterfly
29 March 2020
8.13pm
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vonbontee
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vonbontee said

Von Bontee said

vonbontee said

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...OK, this is one schizo collection of sounds - Motown wasn't sure yet what to do with this kid's gifts. And so they try him in a variety of formats - jazz instrumentals, Ray Charles covers, straight adult standards, and even a kind of half-assed beach-themed concept. And surprisingly little of the familiar Motown sound that is sweeping the world at the time. (These were recorded between 1962 and '64) Some of this works, some of it doesn't...but all of it is worthwhile, because (no longer little) Stevland Judkins Morris of Saginaw, Michigan was and is a goddamned genius (and I want to wish him a happy 70th birthday right now, a coupla months early because life is uncertain), and he's irrepressable. And he's all over these records, moving from bongos to keyboards back to drum kit - and seemingly always with his radiant-sounding chromatic harmonica in hand. His voice (not yet changed) is ultimately still that of a child's (however staggeringly talented); and anyways, there's something kinda creepy when young adolescents sing of adult romance. For now, at least, that eternally happy-bluesy harmonica feels more like his "real" voice than his actual voice does...

All five of these are mildly-to-very-to-barely enjoyable, and none of them are classic. An interesting start to a career/discography that's about to get a lot better....

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...and we come to the second phase of Stevie's career, his mid-to late teens (1966-1970), when his voice deepens and matures, he begins writing more and participating in the production, adds the Hohner Clavinet to his arsenal and he becomes a consistent smash-hit maker. And Motown consistently churns out IN-consistent albums built on a title smash (occasionally two), assorted covers (including the Doors, Dylan, Sonny & Cher (!), Dylan-via-The Byrds, and many labelmates), passable filler, wonderful filler, and always a bit of sappy balladry that will never vanish entirely from his catalog. (It'll help him win many, many awards in future!)

Basically, all of these albums are in the range of good-to-very good, with some earth-shattering highs ("Up-Tight" is one of the finest singles of ever) along the way. And still not a truly great album in the bunch. "Signed, Sealed" and "For Once..." are possibly the standouts, for now...but the real step forward won't happen until Stevie turns 21, and renegotiates his Motown contract so he can start to make his own records his own way....

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...but first lemme take a step back a year or two or three to deal with these three weirdos. "Someday At Christmas" I only played once (nearly once), and it wasn't bad, but I'm not gonna give a second listen until December. Also pleasant and occasionally mildly exciting is the entirely instrumental Adult Contemporary debut of one "Eivets Rednow", who adds a very familiar-sounding harmonica solo style to the proceedings. Smooth! And the live album is a bit pointless, but does generate some heat when the band extends the grooves a bit. Also: an extended drum solo from the leader, as well as some cool electronic embellishments to his extended clavinet solo on "Shoo Bee Doo Bee..." - a glimpse into the future of his sound, as it approaches its flowering...

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...and behold, as Stevie (alongside Marvin Gaye) initiates Motown's belated (1971) entry into the album-as-unified-statement era! This is the one - Stevie co-writes all the songs with wife Syreeta Wright (more about her later...) and produces it all himself, letting side musicians contribute only what he's unable to (strings or horns, mostly), so it's bound to be his first masterpiece, right? Well, not quite, not yet. Stevie tries out many different approaches here (ballads, funky rockers, swinging pop-soul) that don't form a cohesive whole, even though there's nothing downright bad. He's venturing into new territory, using the mixing board to add as many voices and electronically enhanced keyboard parts as he needs to make a new kind of music, very much his own, that blends soul and R&B and rock and pop and the new frontiers of progressive/electronic sounds. Through the wonders of technology, Stevie can make his trusty clavinet sound remarkably guitar-like anytime he wants; a true one-man rocking soul band. His original songwriting is showing (dare I say it) a definite Beatle influence: combining multiple contrasting song-bits into something bigger than the parts (and occasionally letting songs go on too long, not for the last time); backing himself with a solemn string quartet or "Because "-style droning electronic classicalisms. He'll rarely be more than competent as a lyricist, and often far worse (one of the many, many reasons I'm convinced he's the African-American Paul McCartney ), but that amazing voice can redeem anything. Best Stevie Wonder album to date; not a masterpiece, but the very best stuff here (the "Superstition" prototype "Do Yourself A Favour" and the wonderful fast-then-slow hit single "If You Really Loved Me") suggests that surely a masterpiece is inevitable...

In the meantime, here's "If You Really Love Me"...again, I don't know why, but I can imagine Paul McCartney coming up with this song in some bizarro world - reminds me of "Ram "/"Another Day ", something very 1971ish about them alll...I dunno...

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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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30 March 2020
8.52am
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QuarryMan
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I really enjoyed FKA Twigs' new album Magdalene last year, so now I'm checking out her 2014 debut, LP1.

There is no final victory, as there is no final defeat. There is just the same battle to be fought, over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up.” - Tony Benn
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30 March 2020
11.33am
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lovelyritametermaid
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I'm trying to learn "Julia " and all the fingerpicking that goes along with it on my guitar (with positive progress paul-mccartney-thumb_gif I got the fingerpicking pattern down and am just working on the chord progressions now), so I've been listening to it nonstop. It's really such a lovely song that carries such great emotion and I absolutely adore itheart It's so gosh darn pretty and I don't think I could ever get enough of sensitive, mellow Lennon a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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"....When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind...." 

"....This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around...."

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30 March 2020
12.32pm
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PurplishRain
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I'm back, and as Princely as ever

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"Dinner with Delores Must be some kind of sin
Like a Brontosaurus  She was packin' it in" -Prince

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30 March 2020
1.31pm
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Von Bontee
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PurplishRain said
I'm back, and as Princely as ever

Always a pleasure, your Purplishness, hope you're keeping yourself safe apple01...I was thinking about you just days ago, when I encountered a '60s Stevie Wonder b-side entitled "Purple Rain Drops"!

Listening to

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One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

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30 March 2020
5.44pm
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Beatlebug
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Welcome back @PurplishRain, good to see you. apple01

Was: A Hard Day's Night (the Beatles, 1964)
Am: some more #innerlight2020 challenges -

(HAHAHAHA)

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30 March 2020
6.19pm
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sigh butterfly
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Just finished my first listen to Music of My Mind @vonbontee. You're right, it is fascinating to listen in terms of knowing what is to come. I particularly enjoyed Girl Blue. Except for the singles, I didn't fully turn on to Stevie until Innervisions. After that Stevie was a welcome member of our daily 4:20 get togethers.

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You and I have memories

Longer than the road that stretches out of here

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31 March 2020
12.49am
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sigh butterfly
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HaHa VB, just realized I accidentally skipped Where I'm Coming From. Will spin that tomorrow. In the meantime I was looking for the 13th entry in the Baker's Dozen game (Beatles/Stones connections) and found this Hall of Fame clip from 1988. Among many others, a handsome Brian Wilson joining in.

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You and I have memories

Longer than the road that stretches out of here

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31 March 2020
12.51am
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WeepingAtlasCedars
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My heart, and this song:

a-hard-days-night-george-10

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31 March 2020
1.08am
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sigh butterfly
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But I know everything is okay!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....ZpBhi04IoI

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You and I have memories

Longer than the road that stretches out of here

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31 March 2020
12.22pm
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lovelyritametermaid
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WhoImage Enlarger

The Beatles-- Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

....Or as my little sister has started to call this album: Salty Pepper's Band Club a-hard-days-night-ringo-10

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"....When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind...." 

"....This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around...."

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31 March 2020
2.49pm
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Too cute. ahdn_ringo_09

Released on this day in 1976:

LedZeppelin_Presence1976.jpeg


Led Zeppelin - Presence

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31 March 2020
2.52pm
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Von Bontee
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The first Paul LP I ever bought, some 39  years ago...great collection and over 50 minutes long!

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One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

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31 March 2020
4.38pm
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meanmistermustard
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Von Bontee said
The first Paul LP I ever bought, some 39  years ago...great collection and over 50 minutes long!

That was the first Paul solo album I would have ever heard as my dad had it on cassette and we'd play it when on holiday. That was the only solo Beatles album he had in his entire music collection.

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"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

31 March 2020
4.46pm
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lovelyritametermaid
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Currently listening to Magical Mystery Tour  while doing chemistry schoolwork.

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"....When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind...." 

"....This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around...."

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31 March 2020
6.57pm
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sigh butterfly
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See the clouds adrift so far below
Everchanging as they come and go
Makes me wonder why I'm up so high
When really I am down so low

You and I have memories

Longer than the road that stretches out of here

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