Trout Mask Replicants



This was a very bad idea. I should have stopped after The White Album and Blonde On Blonde but I had to try to be clever. It didn’t work. Captain Beefheart’s notoriously difficult/stunningly inspired double album was a step too far.

I couldn’t find a cover version for every song. The ones I could find tended to be by the same small group of people. Plus there is almost certainly a more limited audience for this one. An audience which may well have heard any available covers before. And I’m not even sure sure that’s a picture of a trout. Continue reading

50 Shades of Blonde


So – following on (belatedly) from the vexed question of whether The Beatles’ White Album could do with a bit of pruning. The equally puzzling (not to say pointless) question of whether Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde would have made a perfectly serviceable single album. Or possibly an EP.

I think there’s something like a consensus that B on B hasn’t stood up as well as Highway 61 as a coherent, self-contained piece of work. Still, everyone (who likes Dylan) has some favourite tracks. Visions of Johanna is sometimes cited as his best lyric.  Just Like a Woman was ranked at 232 in a Rolling Stone list of “Greatest Songs of All Time”. Erm… Some of the others are quite good too.

Continue reading

More a link than a post! (Is it rock yet?)



I stumbled across one of those lists of songs that preceded and maybe anticipated rock n roll. A much better and more comprehensive one than many I’ve seen. Nice introductory article too. What it was doing on a schools-choosing website I am not quite sure but well worth a perusal.

Some of the videos they posted are no longer available so I’ve made a Youtube playlist of my own for any who would like to have a listen.

Here’s the link to the site itself:

And here is the playlist.



The Off-White Album



This has been done a million times before but………

When we recently covered the year 1968 in barbryn’s Spillyears series, the subject of The Beatles’ White Album came up. I said that, much though I loved it, I wouldn’t say I loved any individual song enough to pick as a track of the year.

Not everyone agreed with that but it is one of those double albums that (according to convention) could have lost a few tracks and made a much better single album. Or an even better e.p.

I don’t think that’s right. Part of the appeal of the thing is its sprawling, insane mix of rock, pop, MOR, blues, experimental shenanigans and Ringo. Continue reading

Readers Recommend – Songs About Being In Limbo

Well, we have done survival and we did songs about uncertainty some time ago.

If you want to save time looking the uncertainty one up, the resultant playlist was:

It’s Too Soon to Know – The Orioles
I Know But I Don’t Know – Blondie
Who Will the Next Fool Be – Charlie Rich
Hanging On a String – Loose Ends
The Weakness In me – Joan Armatrading
Flood – Tool
Seriocity – The Chameleons
Can’t Be Sure – The Sundays
For Today I Am A Boy – Antony and the Johnsons
What’s Happening?!?! – The Byrds

There’s a bit of overlap but being in limbo is usually something imposed on you rather than simply being uncertain in your own mind. Probably. Not necessarily. Not always. Anyway, interpret it how you will and I’ll try to sort the wheat from the goats. (you did that joke several weeks ago – ed)
If there are, in fact, any songs about actually being in the Catholic Church’s limbo I don’t know about them and I’ll be happy to be enlightened. Songs about other dimensions may well count. Songs about doing a limbo dance will be treated with the contempt I deserve.(you’ve done that one before too – ed)

So anyway – we’re off – again. Let the merriment commence. Sharpen your pencils, show your working and ponder the Council of Trent.