The Cure – The top (1984)

Please come back, all of you

Back in 1984 whilst in high school, I found new friends. It brought happier times and life long friends, but also an inflow of new musical influences. The Cure was one of the bands I discovered via Per and Anders and the other guys in the pack I started to run with.

I immediately fell in love with The Cure and hastily checked out their back catalogue. The new album was “The top”. It was not my favourite. After the stellar debut album they followed it up with three dark and really depressing albums, it was glorious, it was depp-rock. I still love that trio; “Seventeen seconds”, “Faith” and “Pornography”. After an off year that only produced a mini-album heavily influenced by New Order they came out with this bridge album before another impressive run of four albums beginning with “The head on the door”.

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Neil Young – Re*ac*tor (1981)

Got mashed potatoes

“Reactor” is a true Crazy Horse album but as such it is a little off, a little jarring. As the second studio album of the eighties it continues the road towards the most strange Neil records of all time. This record feels a little bit edgy, metallic, less warm, it’s an industrial feeling. You can also hear some signs of the development that will lead to the next album “Trans”… Machines at work in the background.

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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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Pink Floyd – Atom heart mother (1970)

Charlotte Pringle’s due

Is it avant-garde?” principal Snyder asked at the end of the episode “The Puppet Show” and I could say the same. Is it avant-garde?

The album “Atom heart mother” is the last album before Pink Floyd “arrived”. By the next release they would forever be among the greatest bands in history.

But here in 1970 they were still honing their skills. Their previous album “Ummagumma” was built on some great ideas that didn’t translate to the black gold. The result was really not that good. It was more psychedelic than melodic. “Atom heart mother” suffers from the same, but it is a giant leap forward and they are close to “getting there”.

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Stills-Young Band – Long may you run (1976)

Eat a peach

Neil can be many things, but easy to work with is not one of them. In 1976 he joined up with his old running mate from the the Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young times, Stephen Stills. Neil and Stephen are like cat and dog, always fighting. I think the great sadness for Stephen is to have been in Neil’s shadow his whole career. The completed a studio album but the following US Tour was suddenly ended when Neil left him and the band in the middle of it all. Neil left Stephen a note: “Dear Stephen, Funny how some things that start spontaneously end that way. Eat a peach, Neil.”

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The Rolling Stones – Let it bleed (1969)

I’m a monkey

As a Stones newbie I am now going to get to know “Let it bleed”. My friend Big Frans recently sent me two albums as gifts. Thank you my friend, and I bow my head. This was a really nice surprise. He is a nice guy, Frans.

I think I want to review the albums in celebration of the gifts. Here is the first review, the second to come soon. 

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Neil Young – Rust never sleeps (1979)

It was that great Grand Canyon rescue episode

“Rust never sleeps” came out the last year of the seventies, the decade that gave us all those concept albums, and “Rust never sleeps” is Neil’s variant of a concept album, sort of. The first side of the album is all acoustic while the second side is all glory to electric boogie. This is an album that clearly can challenge to be Neil’s best album, or in the pantheon at least.

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Neil Young – Comes a time (1978)

Down from the Misty Mountains

Neil didn’t make a sequel to his smash hit album “Harvest” until 1978. He has said he didn’t want to travel in the middle of the road, he headed for the ditch. He met more interesting people there he said. After some dark times, grieving dead friends, and a lot of guitar-based Crazy Horse sessions he finally went for the lovely and harmonious country rock that made “Harvest” what it is.

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