Monthly Archives: January 2016

YMO 101: Etc.

This is part three of my guide to Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Part 1: The Studio Albums
Part 2: The Live Albums
Part 4: The Solo Records
Part 5: The Pre-Cursors and Side Projects
Part 6: The Protégés, Associates and Etc.

This is where things get tricky.

Writing about YMO’s studio albums was an easy endeavor. There aren’t that many of them and most are worth owning. Simple. Writing about the live albums was a bit more of a chore, but there’s still so much good to be found there that it was easy to decide what to recommend for everyone and what should only be sought out by the hardcore fans and collectors.

The compilations/remix albums and EPs portion of YMO’s back catalog is a bit more difficult. Mostly because it’s so massive, but also because it’s wildly uneven. Like any great band that’s a proven cash cow for a label, YMO’s music has been repackaged, remarketed, remixed (badly) and re-released about a thousand times over. Some of this stuff is great, and undoubtedly worth seeking out.

Sadly, much of it is not. And that’s why this chapter of my guide will probably be the most negative. A lot of these releases were put out as cash grabs, and they sound like it. Still, there is some great stuff to be found in here, so I hope you this is a help to someone.

And if you want the TL;DR version, buy UCYMO and the album below.

×∞Multiplies (1980)

R-359422-1290802940.jpeg Continue reading

Thirteen David Bowie Songs I Want To Write About

Had planned to write a lot this week about a lot of different things. But David Bowie died and that’s all I can think about so that’s all I’m going to write about.

A few people have asked me what my favorite David Bowie songs are. That is not this list. I couldn’t make that list if you put a gun to my head. There are too many. Instead, these are the songs I think about the most when I think about Bowie, and the ones that trigger specific memories or feelings.

No artist has ever effected me as much as David Bowie has. I suspect it will be a while before I’m able to move on from this one.

Scary Monsters

There are countless David Bowie songs for nearly every mood or activity imaginable. He has love songs ideal for slow dancing; sexy songs for getting your groove on; bitter tracks for post break-up self-loathing; political tunes for when you feel like nothing is right with the world; and upbeat dance numbers for when you just feel like dancing and having fun.

This is the only David Bowie song for kicking someone’s head in. That’s probably not why it was written, but that’s how it makes me feel.  Continue reading