Monday, 15 December 2014

Six Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/G Dead/Stones/Hollies/Nils Lofgren)



Dear all, I haven't written a 'proper' top five/ten for a while now - mainly because the ebooks are being worked on at a rate of knots now and goodness knows that's been giving me more than enough material to fill each week what with non-album songs and solo albums and tv appearances. We still have a lot more to come, starting with the Buffalo Springfield, but before we get on to that and our Christmas 'review of the year' special next week I thought I'd take a slight pause and fill you in with a handful of goodies I've collected in the past six months but which don't constitute a full review of their own (these will all appear in our ebooks too one day). Yes this can only mean only one thing - it's another of our occasional (biannual nowadays it seems) 'random recent purchases' issue!

1) Ray Davies "Americana" (book, 2013)

The long-delayed follow-up to 'unauthorised autobiography' 'X-Ray', 'Americana' reads on the back of the jacket like a travelogue: you too can be in the front seat with Ray as he travels America in search of the book's subtitle 'The Kinks, The Road and the Perfect Riff'. However what this book actually is is a confessional, effectively the next installment of a new autobiography. Only this being Ray it's essentially missed out all the middle section ('X-Ray kind of ended with 'Preservation'; this book starts with Ray getting shot by a mugger in New Orleans in 2004 and only occasionally goes backwards via flashback). Here's what I was expecting: Ray's usual mixture of worry and strength, that 'short term pessimism, long term optimism' that creeps into most of his music and his witty reminisces are if anything even more powerful than 'X-Ray' (which, seeing as they told 'through' as character interviewing Ray, always seemed slightly removed and distant). What I wasn't expecting is how vivid this book is: like his songs Ray has a way of summing up a complex situation without really using many words (quite unlike yours truly!) The other thing I wasn't expecting is how devastatingly sad this book is: Ray went to America in search of the 'dream' he once felt in his childhood, when American TV repeats were more glamorous than anything the BBC could do on their budget and whose music bowled him over. After a gap in the1960s (when The Kinks were banned for hi-jinks on an aeroplane), Ray and co only arrives across the Atlantic in force in the late 1970s and even then felt like they never belonged. Ray finally seeks asylum there after the end of the Kinks and after a new start with a new girlfriend in tow he leaves expecting comfort and hope. Instead he gets shot for trying to protect his girlfriend's handbag and ends up in the most backward hospital imaginable, one where the nurses shrug off heart attack inducing tests, call him 'Mr Ray' and refuse to believe he's a rock star and where 'nobody visits, nobody grieves' (even Ray's girlfriend disappears a few pages into the book, presumably still without her handbag). Lying there, feeling he's dying, Ray feels as if life is trying to tell him something - but he doesn't know what it is. He never quite finds out either, but the message is learnt along the way, not at the destination and it's Ray's reading of the small details of life a la 'Waterloo Sunset' and 'Autumn Almanac' that make this book interesting.

Written alongside the 'Other People's Lives' album (one he was about to mix when the incident with the mugger happened and whose songs haunt Ray as he enters the operating theatre), this book is one long unravelling version of 'The Lonesome Train', with Ray realising that the American dream is just a front - that he's far away from home, having run away from his problems and discovering that, actually, they aren't that big. The Kinks are mentioned in flashback, they're noticeably absent from most of this book - Dave for example is barely mentioned and according to this book never seems to have any contact while Ray lies dying in hospital (given what happened in 'X-Ray' though, this might be a re-telling of the truth...) The only musician around to help Ray is Big Star/Box Tops star Alex Chilton (who was tempted out of retirement for Ray's Godawaful duets album a few years back), who sounds like the person Ray fears becoming and yet longs to be: alone in a hotel room, living out his life without any feeling for music or need to pick up the guitar; Ray can't walk away from music, though, which supports him and runs through him even at the darkest time of his life. Along the way we get a few happier gems that we haven't heard before - Arista boss Clive Davies being thrown into a swimming pool in his business suit being about the best - but this isn't one of those 'I remember...' autobiographies, it's an 'I'm dying and I want to live because of everything that came before!' kind of autobiography. One wonders why Ray only released it relatively recently (for Christmas 2013); perhaps he felt too close to it at the time it was written or perhaps he feels happier about the book now that there's a 'happy ending' (ie he didn't die). Insightful and moving as ever, but easily the most 'serious' project Ray has ever been let the public see, it's a good strong read but be warned - your perception of the singer will almost certainly change before the end and like 'X-Ray' not always for the good. Ultimately, though, this is one of those autobiographies that isn't about 'us' - it's about the writer learning about himself and the perception of how the world works. One hopes that if Ray ever writes a third book it will find him in a much happier state of mind - till now Ray has only written books at the 'worst' times in his life; I'd love to see what a 'happy' Ray reads like. 8/10

2) Bill Janovitz "Rocks Off: The 50 Tracks That Tell The True Story of The Rolling Stones" (book, 2013)

This book is a great idea - many a time I've started a Stones review only to realise that I could easily write a chapter on particular songs and yet others have no redeeming interesting features about them whatsoever (and yes, I did review 'Emotional Rescue' recently - how did you guess?!) Some of the choices are good ones too - moving up from the boring '40 licks' selection Janovitz offers us some excellent songs that never get the recognition they deserve: 'Rocks Off' itself, sadly forgotten B-side 'Play With Fire', 'Sway', even 'Plundered My Soul' (an outtake from the recent 'Exile On Main Street' deluxe CD). However, as I've learnt to my cost, the best Stones songs don't always make for the most interesting reading and all too often this book dispenses with the actual song in a sentence or two and then starts weaving in all sorts of ideas with only loose connections to the song (how much did Brian Jones contribute in 1968? How did Mick Taylor's sound change the band? How much did Keith Richards really smoke in the 1970s?!?) This is the start of an entertaining biography and Janowitz - now a regular Stones writer - knows his subject well. But unfortunately its only the 'beginnings' of one: dipped in and out of the book is fine, but taken as a whole it's slightly flimsy, the sum less than it's parts. A smaller book just on the songs or a longer one telling the whole story in the first half and then the songs in the second might have been better. Still, there's a lot to learn from this book if you're patient and Janowitz has better taste (ie closer to mine!) than most Stones biographers! 6/10

3) Jay Blakesberg "Between The Dark and Light: The Photography Of The Grateful Dead" (book, 2004)

There aren't half a lot of photograph books of the Dead out there considering that they didn't actually do that much on stage except play (they weren't even considered that great in the eye candy stakes according to quite a few fans). That's to the band's benefit in terms of their archive CD releases: we don't need to 'see' what's going on to get the 'atmosphere'. However, this book of pictures without the sounds is definitely the lesser half of the deal, especially given that Blakesberg didn't start shooting the band until 1978 (way after their heyday). All that said there are still plenty of plusses in this book's favour: Blakesberg really is a good photographer and knows how to capture Jerry Garcia in particular (there are some excellent shots of him back-stage, playing to camera - he clearly liked Blakesberg as there aren't many people Jerry would do this for). Blakesberg was there for all the big moments from the time he joined: the Egyptian gigs at the foot of the Pyramids, the various music videos, quite a few Fillmore East new year's eve parties, etc. The small nuggets of information provided for each 'chapter' are genuinely illuminating and are added sensibly: smaller than the pictures (what everyone has come to see) but not so small that fading Deadhead eyes can't read it. Bassist Phil Lesh also contributes a nice forward in which he remarks at how lovely it is that someone was there to record so many happy memories for him to look back on (although most of it is spent remarking again how in awe of Grateful Dead fans he is). The end result is that you don't really need this book - if you were there then your memories are probably more interesting than what went on and if you weren't then you didn't miss much visually (not from this period anyway). But considering all of that this is a nice book, made with a lot of love and care, and there are far worse photo-books about far worse bands clogging up our shelves out there. 4/10

4) Phil Lesh "Searching For The Sound" (book, 2005)

To date, the Dead's bass player is the only member of the band to have written an autobiography and it somehow manages to be informative and entertaining without ever telling you quite as much as you thought it was going to (perhaps because so many 'outsider' bands have covered this material so many times by now). Lesh is one of those musician-turned-authors who spends a lot of the book worrying about what his role in the band was and why the Dead are so significant, even though he explains why time and time again when the book almost giggles with glee at the delight of being part of such a great band. Slightly older than most of the group and working long hours as a postman when the Dead gig arrived, Lesh never quite lost his sense of awe as to what he and his equally wayward buddies cooked up. Along the way there are a few interesting bits and pieces: Garcia having a screaming row with him when - distracted by personal problems - Lesh lost his place in a jam and stopped playing (something he learnt never to do again!) , along with a bit more info about Mickey Hart's dad Lenny taking the band for a ride when he became their 'manager'.  Lesh is keen not to ruffle too many feathers and doesn't have a bad word to say about anybody until after Garcia's death, when the splintering of the band into different projects clearly affects him; he sounds quite bitter, in fact, when talking about 'The Other Ones' (the band Bob Weir, Billy Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart sometimes played in). Thankfully there's a happy ending the book doesn't know about yet - everyone seems to be good friends again now - but this leaves an oddly bitter aftertaste in what's actually generally a friendly, bouncy, exhilarating sort of a book. Don't come to 'Searching For The Sound' expecting too much insight, but it's a book to enjoy while you're actually reading it. 7/10

5) Nils Lofgren "Face The Music" (Box Set, 2014)

I feel I must apologise to Nils Lofgren fans out there because, sadly, It doesn't look as if I'll be able to add a 'Nils Lofgren' book to my collection of ebooks. That's my fault not his by the way - I'm a huge fan, love most of it and like many fans curse the fact that Nils isn't as widely known and celebrated as he always should have been. The fact is there isn't that much information about him out there, the audience hit rate for his reviews is the lowest of all the bands we cover and I'm physically missing quite a few of his important releases (especially given that my vinyl collection is scattered halfway across the country).
However, one last plug: the nine-CD set 'Face The Music' isn't perfect by any means (it's still missing several key Lofgren songs and spends far too long on the less interesting modern era) but it is one of the great AAA box sets and a shoe-in for an appearance on our 'review of the year' next week. Nine CDs would be too much for most artists - in truth it's about two discs too long even for Nils - but it's an excellent way of re-issuing and reviving albums long deleted from his catalogue (some of which still hasn't appeared on CD yet) and the track selection is by and large spot-on (although the 'finished' take of 'Keith Don't Go' - one of Nils' most famous songs, about Stone Keith Richards - seems a glaring omission). The first two and a half discs (covering Nils' first band 'Grin' and running up to 1979's album 'Nils') are essential for any collector who likes the poppier side of rock and has an ear for a good song and virtuoso guitar-work. The fact that I now have CD-quality copies of such great forgotten songs as 'Wonderland' 'Can't Get Closer' and 'The Sun Hasn't Set On This Boy Yet' has come close to making my year. Things get less interesting thereafter, with some very dodgy picks from later years (our AAA 'core' album 'Damaged Goods' from 1995 - a genius cathartic scream on the level of 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band' - is represented by just five songs (compared to the miserable last album 'Old School', which takes up almost all of disc six), although I'll sit through anything to finally get my hands on the delightful 'Little On Up' (from the 'Acoustic Live' album - sadly there never was a studio take).

The real winner for collectors, though, are discs seven and eight which feature a generous helping of 40 unreleased recordings. Unlike some box sets I can think of, these really are 'unreleased' - not rare, not obscure, not barely distinguishable remixes of something we've known and loved for 40 years - but unreleased and even unbootlegged as far as my collection goes (well, apart from B-side 'Beauty and the Beast', which I now own more copies of than even 'Shine Silently'!) Not everything is that interesting and you can see why so many songs (again especially the modern tracks) got left behind. But the best of this material is up to the highest standards of the set: a lovely if fast take on 'Keith Don't Go' by Grin with early supporter Neil Young guesting on guitar; a gorgeous pre-Grin piano demo 'Mist and Morning Rain'; Grin outtake 'Last Time I Saw You'  with Bob Berberich's lovely voice on lead and moving Clarence Clemons - the sax player alongside Lofgren in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band -  tribute, 'We Miss You C'. The DVD - disc nine - is a bit of a disappointment, as most of it has come out before and much of the best stuff (such as Nils' jaw-dropping set at the Rockapalast in 1979) is missing. Yes things could be better, but by and large this excellent set - hand signed by Nils himself in this first print run, which might explain why the price is currently so high - is an excellent purchase and fully does credit to one of rock and roll's greatest musicians. In short, you'll flip your flip. 8/10

5) The Hollies "More Live Hits" (CD, 2014)

We've waited a long time for a second Hollies live album - 38 years to be exact (to put this in context The Rolling Stones, who started recording a few months after The Hollies, are on their eleventh!) So little has changed in terms of the track listing - no less than ten of the original 15 songs from that 1976 album are repeated on this double set and most of the 'other' songs can be divided into the awful 21st century songs ('Emotions' 'Weakness') and the awful 1960s songs ('Sorry Suzanne' 'Stewball' - in fact the two worst songs The Hollies recorded up to the 1990s). There's a lot of difference in how the band sound too: only two members are the same, long-serving guitarist Tony Hicks and equally long-serving drummer Bobby Elliott. However Bobby now sounds like every other drummer out there, sad to say, while new (well, he's been with them a decade old now - but to me he's still 'new') vocalist Peter Howarth is a poor substitute for Allan Clarke, unable to work a crowd and clearly from a 'musicals' background rather than a rock and roll one. The brilliant Hollies back catalogue deserved better than the limp-kneed 'Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress', tired-sounding 'Carrie Anne' and teeth-curlingly painful versions of 'Jennifer Eccles' on show here. Howarth's attempts to get the crowd up on their feet make it sound all the more embarrassing when the crowd don't and he gets more and more frustrated - but then why should they, when one of the greatest bands of the 1960s are turned into a karaoke pub band? Tony Hicks is the only member to come out with any credit, his relatively 'new' song (actually the title track of 2010's 'Then Now Always') being one of the record's few highlights and his guitar solos are still inventive (especially on the rare live reading of Mickael Rickfors-era 'The Baby', last played in 1972 and which features a custom made 'sitar banjo'!) Two other nice re-recordings include a folky 'Look Through Any Window' (which suddenly explodes into full power midway through) and the first official live Hollies recording of the sublime 'King Midas In Reverse' (which is a little wonky, but almost there). However, for the most part this is a shocking album which would have benefitted so much more from some rarer Hollies gems and a few new arrangements - a sad waste of one of the greatest back catalogues of them all. 1/10


Right that's all for now - thanks for reading not just this article but all the others from across the year! Be sure to join us next week when we'll be dissecting the great the good and the ghastly of 2014's crop of AAA related issues. See you then!

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/news-views-and-music-issue-1-top-five.html

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-2-top-five.html

3) Credit Crunch Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-3-top-five.html

4) Songs For The Autumn
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-4-top-five.html

5) National Wombat Week
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-top-five-national.html

6) AAA Box Sets
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-6-top-five.html

7) Virus Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-7-top-five.html

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issu-8-top-five.html

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-9-top-five.html

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-9-top-five.html

11) Political Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/news-views-and-music-issue-11-top-five.html

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/news-views-and-music-top-five-totally.html

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/top-five-issue-13-40-years-of-beatles.html

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-14-top-five.html

15) AAA Existential Questions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-15-top-five.html

16) Releases Of The Year 2008
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-16-top-five.html

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-17-top-five.html

18) Notable AAA Gigs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/news-views-and-music-issue-19-top-five.html

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/news-views-and-music-issue-20-aaa-songs.html

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/news-views-and-music-issue-22-top-five.html

21) Hollies B sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-23-top-five.html

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-24-top-five.html

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-25-top-five.html

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-26-top-five.html

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-27-top-five.html

26) AAA Autobiographies
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-28-top-five.html

27) Rolling Stones B-sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-29-top-five.html

28) Beatles B-Sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-30-top-five.html

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-31-top-five.html

30) Kinks B-Sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-32-top-five.html

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-33-top-five.html

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/news-views-and-music-issue-34-top-five.html

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-35-top-five.html

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-37-top-five.html

35) Brightest Album Covers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-37-top-five.html

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-38-top-five.html

37) Songs About Superheroes
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-39-top-five.html

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-40-top-five.html

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-41-top-five.html

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-42-top-five.html

41) Music Segues
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/news-views-and-music-issue-43-top-five.html

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/news-views-and-music-issue-44-top-five.html

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/news-views-and-music-issue-45-top-five.html

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-46-top-five.html

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-47-top-five.html

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/nerws-views-and-music-issue-48-top-five.html

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-49-top-five.html

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/news-views-and-music-issue-50-top-five.html

49) Songs About Trains
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/news-views-and-music-issue-51-top-five.html

50) Songs about Winter
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/news-views-and-music-issue-52-top-five.html

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/news-views-and-music-issue-53-top-five.html

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/news-views-and-music-issue-54-top-five.html

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/news-views-and-music-issue-56-top-five.html

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/news-views-and-music-issue-57-top-five.html

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/news-views-and-music-issue-58-top-five.html

56) AAA Party Political Slogans
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-60-top-five.html

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-61-top-five_21.html

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-61-top-five.html

59) AAA Artists In Song
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/news-views-and-music-issue-63-top-five.html

60) Songs About Dogs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/news-views-and-music-issue-65-top-five.html

61) Sunshiney Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-67-top-five.html

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-68-top-forty.html

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-69-top-five.html

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-issue-70-top-five.html

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-issue-72-top-ten.html

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-top-ten-aaa-stars.html

67) Songs To Tweet To
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/news-views-and-music-issue-74-top-five.html

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/news-views-and-music-issue-75-top-ten.html

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/news-views-and-music-issue-77-top-five.html

70) Songs For Halloween
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/news-views-and-music-issue-78-top-five.html

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-79-top-five.html

72) Purely Instrumental Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-81-top-five.html

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-82-top-five.html

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-83-top-five.html

76) Top Releases of 2010
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-84-top-five.html

77) Songs About Snow
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-85-top-five.html

78) Predictions For 2011
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_01_02_archive.html

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/news-views-and-music-issue-88-home.html

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/news-views-and-music-issue-89-top-five.html

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-90-top.html

83) Strange Censorship Decisions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-91-top-ten.html

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-92-top-five.html

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/news-views-and-music-issue-93-top-ten.html

86) Top AAA Music Videos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-94-top-ten.html

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-95-top.html

88) AAA Documentaries
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-top-five-aaa.html

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-97-top-ten.html

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/newsa-views-and-music-issue-98-top-ten.html

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-99-top-ten.html

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-100-top-five.html

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-101-top-five.html

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/news-views-and-music-issue-102-top-five.html

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/news-views-and-music-issue-103-top-ten.html

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-104-top-ten.html


97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-105-top.html

98) Top Songs About Sports
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-106-top-ten.html

99) AAA Conversations With God
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-107-top-ten.html

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-108-top-ten.html

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-109-top-ten.html

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-110-top-five.html

103) AAA Court Cases
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-111-top-five.html

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-112-top-five.html

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-113-top-ten.html

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-114-top.html

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-115-top-five.html

108) Classic Debut Releases
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-116-top-five.html

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-118-top-five.html

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-119-top.html

111) Part #2
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-120-top.html

112) Part #3
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-121-top.html

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-122-top-ten.html

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-123-top.html

115) AAA Instrumental Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_04_archive.html

116) Musical Tarot
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/news-views-and-music-issue-125-top-23-i.html

117) Christmas Carols
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_18_archive.html

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_25_archive.html

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/news-views-and-music-issue-128-top-five.html

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/news-views-and-music-issue-129-top-ten.html

121) #2
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_15_archive.html

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_22_archive.html

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_29_archive.html

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_19_archive.html

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_26_archive.html

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_11_archive.html

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_18_archive.html

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_25_archive.html

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_04_15_archive.html

131) Top Crooning Classics
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_04_22_archive.html

132) Funeral Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/news-views-and-music-issue-142-top-five.html

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-143-top-five.html

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-144-top-five.html

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-146-top.html
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-145-top-five.html

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-issue-147-top-five.html

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-issue-148-top-ten.html

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-149-top-eight.html

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/top-five-for-news-views-and-music-150.html

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/top-eight-aaa-desert-island-discs.html

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/news-views-and-music-issue-153-top-10.html

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/aaa-armageddon-songsalbums-top-5-for.html

What difference does a name make? Arguably not much if you’re already a collector of a certain group, for whom the names on the album sleeves just...

This week’s top ten honours the humble motor car. The death trap on wheels, the metaphor for freedom, the put-down of capitalism, a source of...

This week we’re going to have a look at the 10 AAA singles that spent the most weeks at number on the American chart ‘Billboard’ – and it makes for...

Following on from last issue’s study of the American Billboard charts, here’s a look at which AAA albums spent the most weeks on the chart. The...

There are many dying arts in our modern world: incorruptible politicians, faith that things are going to get better and the ability to make decent...

This week we’ve decided to dedicate our top ten to those unsung heroes of music, the session musicians, whose playing often brings AAA artists (and...

Naturally we hold our AAA bands in high esteem in these articles: after all, without their good taste, intelligence and humanity we’d have nothing to...

What do you do when you’ve left a multi-million selling band and yet you still feel the pull of the road and the tours and the playing to audiences...

‘The ATOS Song’ (You’re Not Fit To Live)’ (Mini-Review) Dear readers, we don’t often feature reviews of singles over albums or musicians who aren’t...

In honour of this week’s review of an album released to cash in on a movie soundtrack (only one of these songs actually appears in ‘Easy Rider’...and...

Hic! Everyone raise a glass to the rock stars of the past and to this week’s feature...songs about alcolholic beverages! Yes that’s right, everything...

154) The human singing voice carries with it a vast array of emotions, thoughts that cannot be expressed in any other way except opening the lungs and...

Everyone has a spiritual home, even if they don’t actually live there. Mine is in a windy, rainy city where the weather is always awful but the...

Having a family does funny things to some musicians, as we’ve already seen in this week’s review (surely the only AAA album actually written around...

Some artists just have no idea what their best work really is. One thing that amazes me as a collector is how consistently excellent many of the...

159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-not-that-short-guide-to-15-of-best.html%20%0d160


160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-greatest-aaa-drum-solos-or-near.html%20%0d161


161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/aaa-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame.html%20%0d162


162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/aaa-re-recordings-of-past-songs-news.html%20%0d163


163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/a-coalition-christmas-news-views-and.html%20%0d164


164) AAA Songs About Islands http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/aaa-songs-about-islands-news-views-and.html%20%0d165


165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2012-news-views.html



166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-best-aaa-concerts-i-attended-news.html


167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/tributes-to-10-aaa-stars-who-died.html



168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-first-10-aaa-songs-if-listed.html


171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’ http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-best-of-two-nuggets-psychedelia.html%20%0d172

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/girls-names-in-aaa-song-titles-from.html 








180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/first-





185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-tribute-to-hipgnosis-via-five-aaa.html



188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/celebrating-300-album-reviews-10.html


190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/comparatively-obscure-debut.html



193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/evolution-of-band-comparing-1st-lyric.html







200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/university-dissertation-monkees-in.html


202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew? http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/carly-simons-youre-so-vain-was-it-about.html















217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/aaa-christmas-presents-wed-most-like-to.html




221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/dr-who-and-five-musical-links-to-alans.html

222) Five Random Recent Purchases http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/five-random-recent-purchases-news-views.html

223) AAA Grammy Nominees http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/aaa-grammy-nominees-top-twelve-news.html

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/ten-aaa-songs-that-are-better-unedited.html

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-shortest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-longest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html

227) Top ten AAA drummers http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-drummers-news-views-and.html

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides) http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-singles-and-b-sides-news.html

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-stories-behind-six-aaa-logos.html

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-best-aaa-screams-top-ten-news-views.html

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-songs-about-horses-top-ten-news.html

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-anagrams-news-views-and-music-issue.html

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-surnames-and-their-meanings-news.html

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/twenty-erroneous-aaa-album-titles-news.html

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/fifteen-great-aaa-string-parts-news.html

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/top-thirty-hilariously-misheard-aaa.html

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ten-controversial-aaa-sackings-news.html

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/a-critique-on-critiquing-in-response-to.html

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-ten-musicians-whove-played-on-most.html

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/thoughts-on-cameronmustgo.html

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/six-random-recent-purchases-kinksg.html 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-christmas-number-ones.html 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-review-of-year-2014.html

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/mecfs-awareness-week-at-alans-album.html

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/why-tory-victory-seems-deeply.html

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/a-plea-for-peace-and-toleration.html

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2015.html

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-fifty-most-read-aaa-posts-2008-2015.html

249) The Revised AAA Crossword! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2016_07_10_archive.html


251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/an-aaa-covers-tribute-to-chuck-berry.html

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown  https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/guest-post-skids-joy-1981.html


254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/06/guest-review-supertramp-some-things.html

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2018.html

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-alans-album-archives-review-of-year.html


257) Tiermaker https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/06/alans-album-archives-on-tiermaker.html

258) #Coronastock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/04/coronastock.html

259) #Coronadocstock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/05/coronadocstock.html


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