JETHRO TULL – THIS WAS (1968)

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THIS WAS

“Won’t somebody tell me where I laid my head last night?”

Artist: Jethro Tull
Released: 25 October 1968
Genre: Blues Rock (+Jazz Rock, Folk Rock)
Label: Island
Producer: Terry Ellis, Jethro Tull
Length: 38:09
Issue Date: 1987 (CD, CDP32 1041-2)
Best Track: A Song for Jeffrey

TRACKS: 1) My Sunday Feeling; 2) Some Day the Sun Won’t Shine for You; 3) Beggar’s Farm; 4) Move On Alone; 5) Serenade to a Cuckoo; 6) Dharma for One; 7) It’s Breaking Me Up; 8) Cat’s Squirrel; 9) A Song for Jeffrey; 10) Round

Jethro Tull are a rock band from England. Aside from founding member Ian Anderson (vocals, flute), their lineup has changed many times since their initial formation in 1967. They are known for their unique brand of progressive rock, containing influences of both hard rock and folk, but they have experimented with many different styles. Their albums can be quite complex, yet accessible all the same, with lyrics that are often simultaneously mythological and tongue-in-cheek. The 43-minute single-track epic Thick as a Brick (1972) is generally considered the band’s greatest effort, and hit #1 on the US Billboard charts. Other well-regarded releases include Stand Up (1969) and Aqualung (1971).

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QUEEN – A KIND OF MAGIC (1986)

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A KIND OF MAGIC

“There can be only one”

Artist: Queen
Released: 2 June 1986
Genre: Pop Rock, Hard Rock
Label: EMI
Producer: Queen, Mack, David Richards
Length: 40:32 (53:27 w/ bonus tracks)
Issue Date: 1986 (CD, CDP 7 46267 2)
Best Track: One Vision

TRACKS: 1) One Vision; 2) A Kind of Magic; 3) One Year of Love; 4) Pain Is So Close to Pleasure; 5) Friends Will Be Friends; 6) Who Wants to Live Forever; 7) Gimme the Prize (Kurgan’s Theme); 8) Don’t Lose Your Head; 9) Princes of the Universe; [BONUS TRACKS:] 10) A Kind of ‘A Kind of Magic’; 11) Friends Will Be Friends Will Be Friends…; 12) Forever

Not only are Queen one of the best-selling rock bands of all time, they are a group whose music has firmly been ingrained in popular culture. Almost every album of theirs has a famous single in it, and some of these records are beloved in their own right, spanning heavy metal, progressive rock, synthpop, and others. Their most popular release is the glam rock opus A Night at the Opera (1975), with the ubiquitous mini-epic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. After the death of Freddie Mercury (vocals) in 1991 and the departure of John Deacon (bass) in 1998, Brian May (guitar) and Roger Taylor (drums) have performed in collaboration with singers such as Paul Rodgers.

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DAVID BOWIE – NEVER LET ME DOWN (1987)

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NEVER LET ME DOWN

“I felt a warm warm breeze that melted metal and steel”

Artist: David Bowie
Released: 20 April 1987
Recorded: 1986 – 1987
Genre: Pop Rock (+New Wave, Art Pop)
Label: EMI America
Producer: David Bowie, David Richards
Length: 52:42 (CD version)
Issue Date: 1987 (CD version)
Best Track: Never Let Me Down

TRACKS: 1) Day-In Day-Out; 2) Time Will Crawl; 3) Beat of Your Drum; 4) Never Let Me Down; 5) Zeroes; 6) Glass Spider; 7) Shining Star (Makin’ My Love); 8) New York’s in Love; 9) ’87 and Cry; 10) Too Dizzy; 11) Bang Bang

In anticipation for the upcoming box set Loving the Alien (1983-1988), I will review three of David Bowie’s 1980s records: Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987). These albums represent his commercial peak, but the latter two are considered some of his worst releases.

Previous reviews include: Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984)

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DAVID BOWIE – TONIGHT (1984)

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TONIGHT

“Pray and the heathen lie will disappear”

Artist: David Bowie
Released: 24 September 1984
Recorded: May – June 1984
Genre: Pop Rock, Dance-Pop (+New Wave)
Label: EMI America
Producer: David Bowie, Derek Bramble, Hugh Padgham
Length: 35:56 (52:42 w/ bonus tracks)
Issue Date: 1995 (Virgin CDVUS97, contains bonus tracks)
Best Track: Loving the Alien

TRACKS: 1) Loving the Alien; 2) Don’t Look Down; 3) God Only Knows; 4) Tonight; 5) Neighborhood Threat; 6) Blue Jean; 7) Tumble and Twirl; 8) I Keep Forgetting; 9) Dancing With the Big Boys; [BONUS TRACKS:] 10) This Is Not America; 11) As the World Falls Down; 12) Absolute Beginners

In anticipation for the upcoming box set Loving the Alien (1983-1988), I will review three of David Bowie’s 1980s records: Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987). These albums represent his commercial peak, but the latter two are considered some of his worst releases.

Previous reviews include: Let’s Dance (1983)

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DAVID BOWIE – LET’S DANCE (1983)

Let's Dance

LET’S DANCE

“I’ll give you a man who wants to rule the world”

Artist: David Bowie
Released: 14 April 1983
Recorded: December 1982
Genre: Pop Rock, Dance-Pop (+New Wave)
Label: EMI
Producer: David Bowie, Nile Rodgers
Length: 39:41
Issue Date: 1999 (EMI, remastered)
Best Track: Let’s Dance

TRACKS: 1) Modern Love; 2) China Girl; 3) Let’s Dance; 4) Without You; 5) Ricochet; 6) Criminal World; 7) Cat People (Putting Out Fire); 8) Shake It

David Bowie (1947 – 2016) was one of the most important rock artists of the 20th century. His theatrical tendencies and constant exploration of new styles of music have earned him recognition across multiple decades, and influenced genres such as glam rock and punk rock. His most acclaimed album remains The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972), but many of his records, taking up elements of soul, funk, folk, ambient, industrial, and jazz, are well-regarded. His last effort, Blackstar (2016), came out to critical praise two days before his passing.

In anticipation for the upcoming box set Loving the Alien (1983-1988), I will review three of David Bowie’s 1980s records: Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987). These albums represent his commercial peak, but the latter two are considered some of his worst releases.

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SEPULTURA – ARISE (1991)

ARISE

“Same hand that builds destroys, same hand that relieves betrays”

Artist: Sepultura
Released: 25 March 1991
Genre: Thrash Metal (Death Metal)
Label: Roadrunner
Producer: Sepultura, Scott Burns
Length: 42:27
Issue Date: 1991
Best Track: Desperate Cry

TRACKS: 1) Arise; 2) Dead Embryonic Cells; 3) Desperate Cry; 4) Murder; 5) Subtraction; 6) Altered State; 7) Under Siege (Segnum Irae); 8) Meaningless Movements; 9) Infected Voice

Sepultura formed in 1984 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and are the most popular metal band to originate there. Their acclaimed early records, including Beneath the Remains (1989), mix thrash and death metal, and are also recognizable for their high speed and apocalyptic lyrical themes. They would hit their commercial peak in the mid-90s with groove metal efforts such as Chaos A.D. (1993). Their classic lineup comprises brothers Max (vocals, guitar) and Igor (drums) Cavalera, lead guitarist Andreas Kisser, and bassist Paulo Jr..

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SLAYER – DIVINE INTERVENTION (1994)

 Divine Intervention

DIVINE INTERVENTION

“Violence is my passion, I will never be contained”

Artist: Slayer
Released: 27 September 1994
Recorded: 1994
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: American Recordings
Producer: Rick Rubin, Toby Wright, Slayer
Length: 36:33
Issue Date: 1994 (American Recordings – CD & Vinyl)
Best Track: Divine Intervention

TRACKS: 1) Killing Fields; 2) Sex. Murder. Art.; 3) Fictional Reality; 4) Dittohead; 5) Divine Intervention; 6) Circle of Beliefs; 7) SS-3; 8) Serenity in Murder; 9) 213; 10) Mind Control

Slayer (formed in 1981) are, along with Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax, one of the “big four” bands in thrash metal. They have garnered fame and notoriety alike for their consistently fast and heavy music (more so than the rest of the big four) and their provocative lyrical matter. Their third full-length LP Reign in Blood (1986) is seen as one of the great thrash records, and has been considered an influence on the death metal genre. Their classic line-up comprised Kerry King (guitar), Tom Araya (vocals and bass), the late Jeff Hanneman (guitar), and Dave Lombardo (drums). In early 2018, Slayer have announced a farewell tour.

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