Surfer Rosa is a great, great record. It was the Pixies’ first full-length album, but it’s only 32 minutes long. Perfect. Pretty much everyone I knew at the time was digging this. A year or two later when their major label debut Doolittle came out they suddenly became huge. I had a friend at the time, Bill Rogers, who was introduced to the Pixies through Doolittle, and he loved it. Then he decided to pick up Surfer Rosa, because he was, as he put it, a “completist.” In fact, I’m pretty sure I learned that term from him. Bill was not happy with Surfer Rosa. He said it was “too loosey goosey.” Bill’s music taste was broad and deep, and I really respected his opinions on music. But I couldn’t disagree more.
I was recently reminded of this great when re-watched the equally great movie, Donnie Darko. The film ends with my favorite song from the album, “Where Is My Mind?” Double greatness.
This record is at the literal end of the line on the shelf. So, I’m always staring at it, but it’s been a long time since I’ve heard it. That’s too bad because Bird Wood Cage by The Wolfgang Press is a great album. Someone reviewed it on Amazon with the title “Industrial-Strength Bootie Quake.” In addition to being funny that’s also accurate. Sure, it’s late ’80s alt music on 4A.D., the record label synonymous with “gothic” music, and no self-respecting art school student at the time would be without it. But these songs are also a lot of fun, and dance-able! My favorite is probably the last one, “Shut That Door.”
Welcome to the singles club. At least that’s what I think I’ll be posting all week. This one is a 12 inch of “Stop This Crazy Thing” (1988) by Coldcut. It’s probably the best dance single ever recorded. If you disagree with that I’d love to hear what you think is better.
Junior Reid (Black Uhuru) provides the perfect vocal complement to this jungle music which is replete with all sorts of hoots and hollers, including Tarzan’s signature wail. The sounds and samples are themselves what’s crazy here and I definitely do not want to stop them.
This is one of the most played records in our collection. Long live Coldcut!
(I found this video of “Stop This Crazy Thing.” The record cover appears to be for a 12 inch (different edition than mine), but the record itself looks like a 7 inch, and the music is shorter. The original 12 inch is seven and a half minutes of jumping.)
I really don’t know much about The Bambi Slam. My brother and I got this as a promo when (1988) we had record store. There was some buzz about this band at the time (is it just the one guy, Roy?) but I haven’t heard much about them, or him, since. Maybe I’m out of touch because he, or they, are still making music. Sounds like a less interesting version of Jesus and Mary Chain, but more hard rock. They, or he, describe their, or his, new stuff as “hard rock” and “techno.”
Thanks for the reminder, Mary. It still sounds fresh! That’s why it’s hard to believe it’s this old, not because I’m senile.
Who doesn’t love this record? If you bought it right when it was released you were probably a hipster, maybe you still are, even in your 40s. That’s because this was the major label debut for Jane’s Addiction and pretty much only fans of their first record were waiting for it to hit. At the time my brother and I had record store and a number of our regulars were excited to get their hands on Nothing’s Shocking. I know I was, being a hipster and all. The album opening pretty ditty “Up the Beach” was the perfect spacey, ethereal set up for the flat out rocking “Ocean Size” that followed it. The rest of the album is just as good, and of course it also contains what I suppose was their biggest hit, the studio version of “Jane Says.”
And check out that ticket stub. I got to see Jane’s Addiction a couple months later, with Iggy freakin’ Pop(!) for a whopping ten bucks. Yeah, I remember that too. It was a great show and the crowd was definitely there for both bands. Navarro’s shredding was even more impressive in person. No rock star silliness, just full on rocking. And it was good. Amen.
The full title of this double album is, as best I can tell, (Should We Talk About The Weather) (Should We Talk About The Government). That’s how it’s written on the spine. It was a special promo for R.E.M.’s 1988 album Green, and was something sent to record stores and radio stations. On the back cover it says “This hour long interview with R.E.M. is divided into four quarter hour segments…” But here’s the downer: instead of the two different platters this copy was packed with two copies of record one. Record one side one is an interview with Peter Buck with a couple songs from Green, and side two, called “part 3” is an interview with Michael Stipe with a couple more songs. What about Mike and Bill? Bogus. It’s somewhat interesting listening to the band talk about their experience to that point. I’m sure fans would love it. If this was a proper set I’d be tempted to keep it, but it isn’t, so I won’t. The purge continues…
Pixies. What a great band. I have to say that I don’t listen to their music a lot any more, but there was a time when I couldn’t get enough. This imported 12 inch is from 1988 and has studio versions of “Gigantic” and “River Euphrates” with live tracks of “Vamos” and “Heaven” on the flip. I suppose we’ll keep it, but there are quite a few Pixies records in the collection, some with the same studio cuts.
Most of the artwork on their record sleeves is strange, and in some cases disturbing. I’m not sure what’s going on with this one. I’m sure somewhere there’s an in depth article on this topic. I’ll do more research on the next Pixies post.
I was thinking this record was on the Delicious Vinyl label, but this is the original release which came out on Rick Rubin’s Def American. Turns out Delicious signed Masters of Reality and re-released their eponymous debut a couple years later. It’s better than I remember. There’s a weird vintage rock and roll vibe, but that’s how it sounded 20 years ago when it was new. It reminds me of Cream with a dash of Queens of The Stone Age. And there are in fact real connections to those bands. Ginger Baker would later play with the group, and singer Chris Goss has a side band with Queens front man Josh Homme.
Delicious Vinyl has one of the coolest logos of all time, but I dig the industrial looking Def American graphic on the liner pictured below.
Acquired: 1988 – At our store, RIP Records in Norfolk, VA
“The Mercy Seat” is possibly the greatest song by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. This 12 inch has a “full length” version which seems longer than the one on the LP, and a “video mix” version. There is also “New Day”, a sort of Nick Cave style gospel number. It’s another great one. Nick Cave is my girl’s favorite music artist of all time. It’s probable that we have more records by Nick Cave than any other artist, and if you include The Boys Next Door and Birthday Party it is a certainty.
And speaking of birthday parties, today is Mary’s birthday. So, today’s artist has to be Nick Cave. Like Nick, Mary marches to her own beat. It’s just one of many reasons I’m in love with her. We’ve been together a long time now, and she remains completely punk rock. Don’t change a thing baby!
Neither of us remembers, or will admit, to getting this one. I’m a lover, not a hater. So, I don’t want to sit here and pick on these guys, but I really did not enjoy this record. I did like the first song “Generator” but after that I found it hard to pay attention. It’s “curtains” for Curtains by The Balancing Act.
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