Wednesday, October 12, 2005

This Month's Discs
As you can see, the "longings" section has been updated. "The Who By Numbers" and "The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer." Return to roots. I, despite the fact that I seem to have become Mr. Folk of late, am a slobbering fan boy for The Who. No one ever wrote music like Townshend. No one sang quite Like Daltrey (I even have his solo "Under A Raging Moon" CD and somewhere I have his "Ride a Rock Horse" on 8-track tape I think - eeesh I'm old), The Ox was much more a of a musician than his bass playing ever let on and no one ever, ever drummed like Keith Moon. Too bad he wanted desperately to be a singer because he was a lousy singer. But listen to "Quadrophenia" just for the elaborate runs and fills Moonie played. Oh my ever-loving God. Fabulous. Perfect.
But the reason for getting "...By Numbers" is not just the superb musicianship but the songs, natch. "Squeeze Box" is the "big hit" from the disc and it's sad, really, that such a weak and puerile song could take precedence over such great songs as "Slip Kid," "However Much I Booze," "Imagine A Man" and "Blue, Red and Grey." The last is, in my estimation, a vastly over looked gem in The Who's body of work. It is a small song from a band that invented the rock opera. Queen was as operatic as The Who (witness "Bohemian Rhapsody") but Pete and the lads pounded it out with much more ferocity, more concentrated fury (witness "The Real Me" on "Quadrophenia"). "Blue, Red and Grey" is involving, personal, even intimate. But in a good way because, let's face it, Pete Townshend can go TMI intimate without hardly trying ("Pictures of Lily" anyone?) That being as it may, "By Numbers" came out in my sophomore year of college and I've regretted not owning a copy ever since. One less regret to lug around.
As for EL&P, well, "From The Beginning," "Jerusalem," "Still You Turn Me On" are sufficient reason to have the disc. I like the group but I'm not such a ravening ELPhile that I'm going to own all the original discs. So the best of is a good selection and will probably handle any desire to hear classically-influenced prog-rock from England (having long ago got the best of the Moody Blues, doncha know) I can muster up. Damn good stuff it all is.
Though "Tarkus" does make me want to track down "One Toke Over The Line" from Brewer & Shipley's "Tarkio Road" album....
UPDATE: Thank you LimeWire. It looks as though the song was on a "One Hit Wonders" disc. Too bad. Brewer & Shipley were better than that.
UPDATE THE SECOND: I did a quick Google of "Tarkio Road" and checked out the Amazon page. Holy moly. There are four copies of this on vinyl (I'm pretty sure it's vinyl they're selling) from $40 to $45. Yow. I'm pretty sure that one of my sibs had this disc. But it's probably gone the way of most vinyl - down the Rue Ful Action. Alas, memory fails yet again. The album was "Tarkio" while the song was "Tarkio Road."

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