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Bee Gees – Odessa (1969)

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 555/1001]

Would you rather listen to:

a) Fingernails on a chalkboard

b) Styrofoam being rubbed together

c) The Bee Gees

As a youth, I would have begged for an option d), please, none of the above.

But after listening to Odessa, my answer is now a resounding c).

The question is, how do I explain this change of heart to my BeeGeephobic past-self?

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Sorry past-self, it gets worse: Multiple Bee Gees albums are in your future collection!

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Well I suppose, after giving my past-self sufficient time for head-shaking-in-disbelief-&/or-“you’ve- changed-man”-muttering, I’d probably say:

a) This album sounds nothing like your perception of the Bee Gees (which is likely more than a tad closed-minded…but that’s for another day!) and I doubt you’d even be able to guess this was the same group220px-OdessaBeeGees

b) The arrangements often feel like a movie score/soundtrack and the falsetto you fear is non-existent

c) Odessa is a double LP with no trace of diminishing marginal returns, which can’t be said for some of the doubles/triples in your current collection

So put the Styrofoam aside, steer clear of the chalkboard.

The Bee Gees are much better than you’d expect!

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Verbalize the Positive

I appreciate the opportunity to listen to songs in their name-checked towns, such as The Hip’s Bobcaygeon in Bobcaygeon.

I can only assume the Bee Gees were singing about the small community west of Kingston when they recorded Odessa!

Artist of the Week – Quiz #31

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, Cream, James Taylor, The Eagles, The B-52s, LL Cool J, The Dictators, Judas Priest, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, The Beta Band, Talking Heads

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified Talking Heads last week.

The results after 30 weeks:

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after 30

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Ready for Quiz #31?

Neat!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #31
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..Though this English &/or Australian (depending on birthplace/place where they were first successful) pop group has 2 albums on the 1001 list, their most popular recording was deemed ineligible for inclusion as it was a part of a movie soundtrack also featuring other artists.

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400 points………………..As Wayne Campbell observed in Wayne’s World, “I mean, Led Zeppelin didn’t write tunes that everyone liked. They left that to __________________”

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300 points…………………One of their songs is used to teach people the appropriate pace for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR); lyrically, it’s also a much more appropriate choice for that usage than Queen’s similarly-paced Another One Bites The Dust

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200 points………………….The band was comprised of brothers Barry, Maurice, and Robin

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100 points………………..The artist is The B___ G____s

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Answer: بي جيز
(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

I wouldn’t have thought this group would be the textbook definition of ‘my cuppa’ – but the pair of albums on the 1001 list have been a pleasant surprise!

Tito Puente and his Orchestra – Dance Mania (1958)

[Album 554/1001]

“He robbed the school of Tito!”
– Tito Puente, from the ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns’ episode of The Simpsons (at 2:14)

In a memorable cliffhanger, the season six finale of The Simpsons closed with the shooting of Charles Montgomery Burns.

Among the suspects?

Tito Puente!

From what I recall of the episode, Tito (playing himself) had been hired by the school following an oil discovery and then quickly fired by the school when Mr. Burns actually drilled for the oil first (thus claiming the rights to the valuable resource).

But (*spoiler alert*) as shown in the season seven opener, Tito was not the assailant; instead, he chose to get his revenge on Burns through song!

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Dance_Mania_(album)

The title is of this 1958 recording is apt, it really is a 37 minute and 50 second dance party.

The music shifts seamlessly between tracks and the emphasis on percussion is right up my street.

As I learned with Dance Mania, it turns out that I’m a fan of the Timbales, especially when performed by this particular Timbalero.

Every time the 1001 book gets revised, old albums are removed to make room for new releases.

As far as I know, Dance Mania is still in the more recent editions (I’m going through the original 2005 edition), which is right where this album ought to be.

Although I suppose the injustice of removing Dance Mania from the list would be softened somewhat by being able to modify his classic Simpsons line:

They robbed the list of Tito!

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Verbalize the Positive

Happy Civic Holiday Weekend!

Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978) & Fear of Music (1979)

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 552 & 553 /1001]

In a way, because I’m in the ‘getting-to-know-you’ stage with so many of these new-to-me albums, it feels a bit like the early stages of dating.

And through that lens, More Songs About Buildings and Food feels like a successful second date.

Successful in that:

a) Well, to begin with, there was mutual interest between fans and the band in a second date/album

b) As the album name indicates, it’s More of what worked the first time out…220px-TalkingHeadsMoreSongsAboutBuildingsandFood

c) …but instead of being all about the initial bold moves to get noticed, more effort was put into attention-sustaining (rather than just attention-grabbing), leading to a more polished & cohesive, if less individually memorable, experience

d) By adding Brian Eno, it looks like the budget increased, which is likely an advisable strategy for a second date

e) After the first two Talking Heads albums, to borrow the name of the eighth track here, I’m not in love…yet.

But so far so good and, at the risk of being too forward, I’d be happy to keep seeing them.

At the very least, I’d like to stick around to see if the third time’s the charm.

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“I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious”

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With Fear of Music, to borrow a line by Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.

For one, by picking this one up on vinyl, I’ve started to invest some money in this relationship (in addition to the previously invested time and energy).

Now that we’ve hit date number three, as foreshadowed by the album art, they’ve gotten a bit darker, more complex.

On our first two dates, they seemed more playful, more upbeat.

And on this record, it sounds a bit like the band is consciously playing hard to get.Talking_Heads-Fear_of_Music

Fear of Music reminds me a bit of In Utero, another third album that seemed like it was fearful of including too many Radio Friendly Unit Shifters (in Nirvana’s case, see the ironically-named track Radio Friendly Unit Shifter).

However, if it continues its In Utero parallels, Fear of Music will probably end up being my favourite Talking Heads recording.

Even though this date wasn’t as instantly fun, I wouldn’t be surprised if I look back on this third LP as my turning point from being a casual to a committed fan.

So yeah, I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.

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Verbalize the Positive

More Songs has a particularly terrific front cover – I gather it is made up of 529 Polaroids.

Well done by artist Jimmy De Sana!

50 Reviews in 119 days

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Countdown Timer courtesy of timeanddate.com

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As I started the 1001 albums project on December 1, 2011, theoretically I should be at album review #601 by December 1, 2017.

And yesterday I just posted review #551…so it appears I’ve got to pick up the pace to meet my rigid, self-inflicted deadlines!

Which means:

a) The artist of the week quizzes will continue, business as usual, posted on Sunday mornings

b) Each artist of the week should still have at least 1 album review during its featured week

c) Many of the reviews over the next few months will be for albums by other, non-quiz-featured artists

And life will somehow go on 🙂

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Verbalize the Positive

Thank you all for being a part of this journey!

Talking Heads – Talking Heads: 77 (1977)

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Fabulous logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

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[Album 551/1001]

“The Game is won and lost on bold moves”
– My wonderful wife &/or me, when playing a game, most recently during a cottage jenga battle this weekend

Bold Move #1: You’re about to release your major label debut single.

You have to choose an instrument to help make a first impression with new listeners.

Did you choose the steel pan?

If so, you’re likely either in Jane’s Addiction (with the track Jane Says) or in Talking Heads (with the track Uh Oh, Love Comes To Town).

By incorporating the steel pan in the lead single, while resisting the temptation to include it again elsewhere on the debut album, that’s a game-winning kind of bold move.

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jengajenga board @ extended family cottage

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Bold Move #2: It’s the late 70s & you have to release another new wave single.

You choose to make it about a challenging subject, delivered via the singer’s uniquely eccentric yet effective voice.

The question is, was your single about prostitution or serial killing?220px-Talking_Heads_77

I’ll never forget seeing Billy Joel being interviewed about his bewilderment after the first time he heard The Police’s Roxanne.

I’m not sure if the acronym ‘WTF’ was in common parlance at the time…but I imagine many would have had a similar reaction upon hearing Psycho Killer for the first time.

The chorus lyric, “Psycho Killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est, fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa fa fa,” how does one process that on the first listen?!

But it’s so bizarre that it works, the bold move paid off nicely.

And with 2 successful bold moves, there was no chance Talking Heads: 77 was going to be an overall miss.

Qu’est-ce que c’est? C’est bizarre, mais je l’aime beaucoup!

Fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa fa fa.

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Verbalize the Positive

I saw that Rich @ Kamertunes posted about this album last week, as a part of his (bold/game-winning) Forty Year Friday series.

I intentionally haven’t read it yet (I was waiting until I’d finished my review) – but I’m off to go do so now, please join me!

Artist of the Week – Quiz #30

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Magnificent logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Artists of the week (so far): Brian Eno, U2, Stevie Wonder, Everything But The Girl, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, CSNY, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, Marianne Faithfull, Cream, James Taylor, The Eagles, The B-52s, LL Cool J, The Dictators, Judas Priest, Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, The Beta Band

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My thanks to all who have participated in the “Artist of the Week” quizzes so far.

Congrats to all those who correctly identified The Beta Band last week.

The results after 29 weeks…will have to wait until next week as I’m without excel again this weekend (if you can call that a weekend ;))

Ready for Quiz #30?

The 30th of 50, the official 3/5ths of the way there quiz!

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Quiz Rules/Format
(feel free to skip to the quiz if you know the rules already)

Your Task: Name the mystery Artist, ideally with as few clues as possible.

Correctly guess the artist on the first clue? 500 points.

After scrolling down to the second clue? 400 points.

Still don’t know after the fifth clue? 0 points, but a crisp high-five for participating.

I’ll use google translate to put the correct answer at the bottom in Arabic (if you read Arabic, that’s fantastic, but no cheating by reading ahead!) and you can translate it back to the language of your choice to confirm your answer.

In the comments, please enter your POINTS earned (not the artist name) and I’ll keep track of the running totals in a spreadsheet.

In addition to eternal bragging rights, the winner at the end of the year may even get something as prestigious as a digital certificate.

Here goes!

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Artist of the Week #30
Record POINTS Earned (Not Artist Name) in the comments
(scroll down for additional clues)

For:

500 points………………..American group formed in 1975, featuring bassist Tina Weymouth

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400 points………………..In the film 13 Going on 30, as a 30 year-old, Mark Ruffalo’s character sported a t-shirt featuring this group (and as a 13 year-old, the character also danced around to this band’s hit about setting fire to one’s personal residence)

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300 points…………………Their first four albums (released in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980) are all on the 1001 list.

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200 points………………….The lead singer’s name is David Byrne & the band name is also a term used to describe pundits on TV

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100 points………………..The artist is T________ H______

 

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Answer: يتحدث رؤساء
(Please post your points earned in the comments section)

Thanks for playing!

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Verbalize the Positive

I believe this group and Led Zeppelin are the only groups to go 4 for 4 out of the gate on the 1001 list – well done to this week’s artist of the week!