Monday, 25 August 2008

News, Views and Music Issue 1 (Intro)

Welcome everyone to Alan’s Album Archives. The website is about to be launched any day now, with an exciting batch of 101 album reviews of scintillating music to muse over. I know every site says this next sentence at some point but we really mean it—please send us any feedback, we look forward to hearing all your comments whether you’re a music maestro or a rock rookie, a sophisticated web-surfer or a reluctant luddite, a literature-loving English specialist or a text-type loving teen. If you like music, we like your comments, whatever they are (I’ll even start liking the Spice Girls if you harass me enough) (No promises mind!) Meanwhile, here’s a quick look at news happening elsewhere in the land of AAA Artists this week…

CSN: According to Ceefax CSN are working with Rick Rubin, Johnny Cash’s producer, who helped the man in black re-ignite his career towards the end of his life, on an album of covers to be recorded and released some time next year. Added to the release of the film De Ja Vu in September (a Bush-baiting documentary about the super group’s anti-Iraq war world tour in 2006) this marks a rather busy period in the lives of CSN/Y!

Grateful Dead/Jefferson Airplane/ CSN: a new DVD ‘Go Ride The Music’ has just been released featuring an hour of rare early 70s Airplane and Quicksilver with cameos from the Grateful Dead and CSN and others…

Brian Wilson’s new album ‘That Lucky Old Sun’ has just been released and is gaining four-star/ five star reviews everywhere—it’s a new concept album based around a cover of the title song, which is especially intriguing bearing in mind that Brian hasn’t tackled a ‘concept’ album properly since the days of Smile (did I ever mention how much I liked that album?!?)… Alas I can’t offer a verdict as no one near me seems to be stocking it!

Oasis prepare for the release of their new album ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ in October with the first screening of their new promo film on channel four tonight. We’ll tell you how good it was next week…

News, Views and Music Issue 1 (Top Five): Chronic Fatyigue-Fibromyalgia Songs

On similar lines, here’s the first in a semi-regular series of top 5 lists: The top 5 album archive records for Fibro sufferers:

5) “Fido” (The Byrds/ Ballad Of Easy Rider, 1969) - OK< so it’s a dog called Fido howling outside the narrator’s window that’s stopping him from sleeping, but change a hound called Fido into a pain called ‘fibro’ and you virtually have the whole song right there. No wonder the poor singer is indoors ‘feeling mighty sick’ while he’s ‘wide awake, staying up late, wishing he was not’ - that’s fibromyalgia for you.

4)(Fibro) “Fog On The Tyne” (Lindisfarne/ Fog On The Tyne, 1971) - For years we’ve assumed that this novelty item could only be about the Geordie band’s beloved homeland, but it works equally well as a lament for all those cognitive problems that come with fibro (the words never seemed to make much sense anyway!)

3)”Cold Turkey” (John Lennon/Non-Album Single, 1969) - OK, so this song is about drug withdrawal according to the ex-Beatle’s later interviews, but at the time this song about ‘head so heavy’ and ‘fever so high’ while the desperate narrator screams about not being able to get to sleep at night could have been a fibro anthem.

2) “Another Sleep Song” (Graham Nash/ Wild Tales, 1974) - ‘All I need is someone to awaken me’ sings the CSN/ Hollies legend, sleepwalking his way through a song about how life is so much easier to cope with from your bed when your mind and body feel sooooooo sleeeeeeeeeepy. Yup, agree with that one.

1) “I’m So Tired” (Beatles/ White Album, 1968)- Was John Lennon an undiagnosed sufferer or something? Here’s yet another song on the same theme, with the Beatle delivering that old fibro night time curse: “I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain, you know its three weeks, I’m going insane, I’d give you everything I got for a little peace of mind!” 

Oh well, That’s all the news for now my fellow monkeynutters...see you next time at the AAA (Album Alcoholics Anonymous!)


Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "Deja Vu Live" (2008) (News, Views and Music 1)

Available to buy in ebook format 'Change Partners - The Alan's Album Archives Guide To CSNY' by clicking here!

AAA LATEST PURCHASE:  “Let’s impeach the president for lying…” August/ September are set to see something of a CSN/Y re-birth this year. Prior to the release of the tour film-come-Bush-baiting-documentary DVD Déjà vu comes the soundtrack album released August 25th, chronicling CSNY’s ’Freedom Of Speech’ Tour of 2006(the soundtrack’s called Déjà vu Live just so you don’t confuse it with the quartet’s déjà vu album of 1970. As if you would!) This is a rather odd (not to say confusing) name to have picked, seeing as the album is all about contemporary politics with a number of old friends thrown into the mix just to show how little times and politics change and the bad news is that ithere are no new tracks, with no less than seven tracks first heard on Neil Young’s disappointingly raw and ragged Living With War album of 2006.

The good news is that only Teach Your Children has been released on a CSNY live album in the past (that’s right— amazingly the ever-present Wooden Ships wasn’t on the Four Way Street album!). The really good news are those CSNY harmonies, whilst equally raw and ragged as Neil’s album, make even those disappointing songs sound much better second time around. The confusing news is just what oldies are on this record—Album Archive Favourite Military Madness (see review no 46) I understand, old friends For What It’s Worth and Find The Cost Of Freedom could have been tailor-made for the anti-Iraq War sentiments but Teach Your Children, Wooden Ships and Déjà Vu itself have only vague links to the war concept and fill up holes where other politically-charged songs such as Ohio, Long Time Gone, Word Game, Grave Concern and even Campaigner could have slotted in. The verdict: CSNY were right to do this tour—and hearing songs like ‘Let’s Impeach The President’ is the most political this most socially conscious band of all have made in years (who said U2? Stop contaminating my site!) —but this live CD is either an hour too long or an hour too short depending on whether you like CSNY for themselves or purely for Neil Young who dominates this record.

Most loved moment: Neil’s angry but tuneful Living With War, too fast and flashy on his solo album but performed perfectly here, with CSN’s vocal support magical, moving band, audience and yours truly to tears. Most reviled moment: the ’wo-o-o-o-o-ah’ chorus stapled onto a wonky a capella rendition of Crosby’s marvelous What Are Their Names? (see review no 45), which turns one of the greatest and eeriest humanitarian pleas/political sneers of all time into empty-headed Motown pop. The verdict is out until the DVD release which, so I’ve heard, is miles better than this mixed soundtrack but on this evidence it ain’t like the good old effortless days quite yet, whatever that title of the CD. Star rating out of /10: ♫♫♫♫♫♫ (6)