Late Night Stargazing

Posting that glorious track by 10,000 Maniacs a couple of weeks back in the Acoustic Afternoon series had the rather pleasant effect of making me go back and revisit the other records by them that I own.

King amongst them, other than the “MTV Unplugged” album, is their 1987 album “In My Tribe”, the first album I ever bought by them.

This is the closing song from that album, and it’s simply quite, quite beautiful:

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10,000 Maniacs – Verdi Cries

More soon.

“In the End, It Took Me a Dictionary to Find Out the Meaning of Unrequited” #5

Another indisputable classic tonight, but a song so often misunderstood, seemingly because the title contains the word “religion”.

I’ll allow the singer and lyricist to explain:

Michael Stipe explains…

As for the song in question…Well, those of us who had been fans for a while were well aware of how great R.E.M. were; when we heard this, though, we knew that pretty soon, everyone else would know too:

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R.E.M. – Losing My Religion

And it still sounds as great today as it did way back in 1991.

More soon.

Replenishing the Vinyl

Ask most people to name an Aztec Camera record, and I imagine the responses would be split pretty evenly between two singles: “Oblivious” and “Somewhere in My Heart”.

The rest of us will go all dewy-eyed, gaze off into space and whisper the words “High Land, Hard Rain.”

Released in 1983, “High Land, Hard Rain” is one of those albums: the sort that it’s impossible to find fault with, the sort that stays with you throughout a lifetime, the sort that when asked (as I often have been) to name your favourite albums will always feature somewhere in the top ten, the sort that I have probably recommended to friends more than any other.

The sort of album that, when it’s your debut album, sets the bar so high, anything that follows is bound to pale in comparison.

And sure enough, whilst what followed had its’ moments, nothing, but nothing, comes anywhere close to the majesty of “High Land…”.

(Have I bigged this record up enough yet…? No….?)

The sort that it’s almost impossible for me to choose which songs to post from it. There are ten songs on “High Land…” and each is utterly flawless.

But choose I must, for I’m not really one for posting whole albums; I’d much rather you went out and bought a copy yourself and fell in love with it in the same way as I did when I first heard it.

So I figured the best way to decide which ones to feature was this: firstly, remove “Oblivious” from the running, as you will all already know that one. And secondly, play the four that I’ve played the most, according to my iTunes account. That way, if you do the smart thing and seek out a copy of the album yourself, you’ll still have 50% of the album to discover for yourself.

Oh, and thirdly, hope to God that “This Boy Wonders”, my favourite track, is one of the four I get to post features, or I’ll have to change the rules, and that never looks good:

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Aztec Camera – The Boy Wonders (Phew!)

Aztec Camera – The Bugle Sounds Again

Aztec Camera – Pillar To Post

Aztec Camera – Back On Board

Go on, give your ears a treat.

More soon.