I have the Union album and kind of like it. It was better than that Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe stuff.
So Turkuaz broke up while I wasn’t looking, suddenly and for reasons, like bands do, which is a bummer, because they could tear it up. They put out two final albums of stuff in various stages of finished, here’s one from one of them.
They were best live:
So many musicians died too young. I had barely started getting into Michael Hedges before he was gone. Love that harp guitar.
“Because It’s There”
Oh yes, many times—I think I’ve seen Metheny live more than any other artist. Beautiful instrument, just mesmerizing to see and hear.
I’ve only seen Pat Metheny in concert twice. Once was a full concert with his Orchestrion and the other had half the evening with the Orchestrion and half with bassist Larry Grenadier. That Orchestrion was another amazing musical instrument.
It really is. I’ve only seen it in small doses—he still travels with a condensed version of it sometimes, so there were a couple of Orchestrion tunes tossed in when I saw him last year.
Other fun automated instruments:
James Taylor’s drum machine—This one’s meant to be funny, and was truly used for one song on one tour in 2006.
Wintergatan’s Marble Machine
That marble machine is an amazing thing, and it must have taken a lot of genius along with tons of trial and error to design and build, but there’s always a part of me that watches things like that and says “yeah, but it can only play one thing”.
I think he spent something like 10 years building that marble machine. At least it seems like I’ve occasionally seen the videos about him building it for that long.
He’s been working on an updated version for years, Marble Machine X. It’s incredibly complex and may or may not be a dead project.
This video shows just the updated drum module (it’s not playing all of the music).
Sure! Really disappointing, is how I remember it.
And the opening and closing songs for the quasi-musical Streets of Fire. Which, fun fact, you can pretty much segue seamlessly to or from any Steinman song to any other.
Criticisms of All Things Must Pass are that it was overproduced (I think Harrison agreed to the extent that he wanted to remix it in 2001) and the songs themselves are thin in places (e.g. “Let It Down”, “Wah-Wah” and “Hear Me Lord”). Personally, I like the “thin” songs, but I can see it.
I would probably put 1979’s “George Harrison” ahead of it, though. I think that album is flawless. Also “Cloud 9” might even be in contention.
John’s first (Plastic Ono Band) and last (Double Fantasy) are great, though the former is practically anti-commercial, and the latter is 50% Yoko by weight.
It never sticks with me long, but it’s impossible to not recognize the phenomenon that was Band on the Run, which captured the #1 spot on (I think) three different occasions.
And 1973’s “Ringo” is perfect in its own way (with 3 hit singles!), just as entertainment: Poppy hit after poppy hit performed by many of the greatest artists of the time, and also Ringo.
These days? Oh, yeah.
Just doing a lean-in a year later to say…
…well, of course, someone said it before me.
Had he lived, he would currently be despised.
The trouble you have to go through to avoid playing with others.
He did, but that was what Spector did, he even managed to over produce the Ramones and polish out some of grit from their style.
This played after he died, and I think Just George and a guitar was all this song needed.
Still a great album
Yeah, that’s one I love to play. That and “Run of the Mill”, “Beware of Darkness”, “The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp”, “Isn’t It A Pity”…I mean, I cut my teeth on that album.
I’m a fan, and having just seen The Concert For George, even I found myself surprised at how much great music he created (and then thought about all the great stuff they didn’t play).
To be fair, he’d have to shoulder past a lot of his contemporaries in this reality who are hell-bent on proving every day how awful they are.
Speaking of LPs knocked for being over produced, but still great. A Beatles solo album I didn’t like on its release but have come to appreciate in the past decade is Walls and Bridges. It’s a more funky, bluesy Lennon, and his vocals were incredible.
Ringo even helped him promote it
This one feels and sounds like a dream (Not that I dislike her, but I dislike the video they made with Yoko in it, as this was written for May Pang, and that’s her voice on the record. Lets not pretend she didn’t exist and wasn’t important to you) So here’s the song, sans vid
Grooving with Elton
And while he was trying to embrace peace and love, I like that John still had some bite.
More traditional Lennon, pretty, and dreamy
So that’s my music appreciation for this album. And thank God for discourse saving what you wrote, as I accidentally closed my browser… phew, all these words and videos were not lost.
I think he was well on his way to mellowing out. That’s why they were going after him (right up until he got shot): Because Double Fantasy was fun, poppy songs about relationships and being a parent and not Some Time In New York City.
I suspect he’d have spent the next 40 years saying BTDT on the whole protest scene, man.
ISTR a telegram from John after Ringo’s third hit single from the aforementioned 1973 album “Congratulations. How dare you? And please write me a hit song.”
In a lot of ways, the breakup encouraged the worst traits of each of the Fab Four. A master musician, Paul could get twee and also rely too heavily on that musical brilliance with just complete nonsense for lyrics. John could get super self-righteous. George could get too preachy and dreary. Ringo could get too schlocky.
And yet, I would be hard-pressed to say I didn’t like them better solo because I feel like there’s something more genuine there than the juggernaut pop hit machine could produce.
John’s output is kind of fascinating because he started with the super-simple Plastic Ono Band and followed up with the very commercial Imagine. Skipping Some Time In New York City (because we don’t dwell on disasters) we get Mind Games, which is loaded (from outta nowhere, I tells ya) with complex harmonies, and then Walls and Bridges which seem to suggest a path back to something like his former greatness. (And also that he did both his best and worst work with Yoko around.)
April 13th, one day only: