Everything is Terrible

So, the album quest has reached 1965, and we seem to have hit some new ground.

This album is almost all rock standards from the 50s, but between the tempo, the distortion in the guitar, the lo-fi recording, and the edginess of the vocals, I can definitely see that this …

This is the Ronettes' debut album, and I was interested to find out the rainstorm effect in Walking in the Rain got engineer Larry Levine a Grammy. It's interesting to me how the women who made these albums are presented. Some (Patsy, Ella) are allowed to be sexual agents, while …

I think it's important, when I listen to this album, to remember that this was not aleatoric music. Stockhausen spent hours carefully processing magnetic tapes to produce the sounds he did.

What interests me in this album is the repeated transformation of the familiar to the alien and back. A …

I really love the early Beatles, but I didn't know this album very well. The line from, say, the Platters to their vocals on this album is striking (though they're also reminiscent of the Beach Boys).

A very nice soul album by the Impressions. Dedicate My Song To You is a pretty straight rip-off of Sam Cooke's "What a Wonderful World", but it works. (And Cook's influence is impossible to miss throughout this album.) The title track and Amen (from the Poitier film Lilies of the …

And in contrast to Point of Departure we have A New Perspective: a demonstration of where jazz actually went, with syncretic borrowings from roots and world music. It's hard to overcome the impression that this is still a jazz record dressed up as gospel: Kenny Burrell's guitar and Byrd's trumpet …

This is thick, and it is dense. Hill's 5th album strikes me as an example of a road not taken, if jazz had turned its eyes inward during the 1950s instead of outward.

The orchestration in particular is different from its contemporaries. This is not a small ensemble working out …

Holy crap this is good. I've always had problems getting in to James Brown, I'm ashamed to say, but I really like this. The guitar is gorgeous, and the vocals (background and lead) are so haunting. I Don't Mind is my favorite.

This is something of a ballet, and it reminds me of Stravinsky: similar sense of the grotesque.

The album has four movements, each with a title and subtitle that tell some kind of story (though I hesitate to decide which story exactly). The orchestration is lush and thick and thorny …

I can't believe this was only his second album.

I had heard his version of Girl From the North Country Fair with Johnny Cash off Nashville Skyline, but never this solo version. I like it a lot. And Don't Think Twice, It's Alright is amazing.

His voice is more bluesy …

I decided I should remind myself this blog is not just album reax. So, here is Theresa May going without even a hat in her hand to Brussels. I'm still not entirely clear what leverage the Tories imagine the UK has here, particularly with their own caucus not in line …

Duke in his sixties, playing piano without his band, accompanied by Mingus on bass and Roach on drums. A one-day session.

This disk sounds amazingly confident for a debut album. Ben doesn't waste any time getting his footing, and opens with the title track, which is spectacular.

This is a busier bassline than I've heard in any of the non-jazz American albums so far; I'm assuming this is part of what …

This album was Fitzgerald's second collaboration with Basie and her first with Quincy Jones. It's a series of standards, opening with Fats Waller's Honeysuckle Rose and continuing to tracks like Them There Eyes and Dream a Little Dream of Me (as well as Irving Caesar's monumentally silly but kind of …

This may be the earliest "concept" album. Every song is about crying.