Marillion – Real to reel (1984)

Third time’s the charm

Marillion is one of my favourite bands all time. They are one of those bands that are great live. Even though the studio albums have high production value they still add energy and interesting stuff to the songs when they perform them live. Not all artists I follow are successful in doing that.

The first time I didn’t see Marillion live was at Frölundaborg in Gothenburg, October 12th, 1985. My friend saw them there but he didn’t call me. I lived in a small town a long way away and I think my friend actually got invited to the concert by some other friends so maybe it was not that strange that he didn’t call...

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Stephen Stills – Stephen Stills (1970)

Shut the door

Is Stephen Stills Neil Young’s friend or fiend? It is hard to know. They had played alongside each other in Buffalo Springfield, but they have also butted heads several times before and after. Already half a year after “Déjà vu” was released Stills came out with his self titled solo album.

Stephen collected seceral well known musicians around him. There was David Crosby and Graham Nash of course. Also; Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Starr, Dallas Taylor, Booker T. Jones, Rita Coolidge, John Sebastian and Mama Cass Elliot. The most notable omission is Neil. 

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Neil Young – Hawks & Doves (1980)

Bumper stickers should be issued!

And so, it begins… The new decade gave us a new Neil. If the seventies were his golden era, the eighties brought us experimentation and some crazy twists and turns. He has said in interviews that he was searching for new ways to communicate. It got so strange that he actually got sued by his record company for uncharacteristic music. The background may have been that both Neil’s sons, Zeke and Ben, have cerebral palsy. Neil tried to find ways to communicate with his children and the challenges from his personal life crept into his art. Art is life, life is art. The very last album of the new decade would become his great “come-back” album, some nine years later, but before that we got some twists and turns.

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Neil Young – Zuma (1975)

I know she’s living there

Released late 1975, this is mainly Neil and Crazy Horse. There are some great Crazy Horse tunes here folks. And then, Neil ends the album with a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young track. Curious indeed.

I have always liked the album quite a lot, but it has never been a top favourite of mine. Still, my gut feeling told me that it would be quite enjoyable to listen to. When was the last time I actually listened to it? Don’t know. On closer inspection it is better than I remembered. Slow, soft and heavy. Wooden music, country and garage rock, all mixed together. This album has some of his greatest live tunes around. Neil’s seventies is stellar all over!

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David Bowie – Glastonbury 2000 (2018)

The nice jacket

The Bowie estate is releasing a lot of concerts nowadays, six live albums since the beginning of 2017! It’s great and I love it. Hard for my bank account, but good stuff for my vinyl collection on the shelves. Glastonbury 2000 was released last November. It’s taken from a short summer tour David did in 2000. I was looking forward to this live show from June 25th as I love the BBC show recorded two days later, on the 27th, that was released on the special edition CD of the “Bowie at the Beeb”.

This was Bowie’s first return to the Glastonbury Festival since 1971, as told by Bowie from the stage. Bowie seems to have been in a really good mood and the band is great. The double LP contains 22 tracks. The older songs are stronger than the newest ones, but that is no surprise, I guess.

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Neil Young – Songs for Judy (2018)

“The Joel Bernstein tapes” redux

Bootlegs have always been a big part of my love for Neil. He has always been good at playing songs in different versions. It may be with different bands, in different genres or moods, performed acoustic or electric and so on. One of the holy grails of Neil boots was “The Joel Bernstein Tapes”. It was a private tape of favourite performances of the acoustic solo parts of The Neil Young and Crazy Horse tour late 1976 recorded from the mixing desk by sound technician Joel Bernstein.

In his Archives Performance Series these old live shows are released in chaotic order. It is a joy to be still alive to be able to experience all these releases. I love it and I give Neil two thumbs up for his generosity. And “Songs for Judy” is one of the better.

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Kate Bush – In others’ words (2018)

“…a voice on the traveling wind”

Covers can obviously be great, but quite often I am a bit disappointed. The artists want to celebrate their musical heroes themselves, sure, but is it as emotional for me? Not so often. The last album in the “Remastered in vinyl IV” box is Kate’s collection of songs not written by herself. Kate Bush being an artist that is defined by her writing skills, I find this at best a curiosity. All cats stay safe!

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Kate Bush – The other side (2018)

The stars look down upon her

“The other side” are two LPs full of b-sides and odd tracks from Kate’s career. The LP-covers have two variants of the same photo and they are among her best album art ever. We see Kate’s bare back with her arms in a pose for a mysterious signal. Lyrics from “Running up that hill” on her arms. Can the great cover pictures be an indication of the content? Are there hidden treasures here?

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