Thursday, January 10, 2013
50 GREAT ALBUMS IN MY 50th YEAR (Part 2)
This is an album that is truly a classic has sold millions since its release in 1983, and yet rarely features in polls.
To my ears at least, American music was really appalling in the early 80s. Maybe I was so accustomed to the punk/post-punk/new wave/indie stuff that I was wrapped up in my student flat that I missed some things. But America was, at time, all stadium anthems from the likes of Broooooce, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac and the like.
One day, a flatmate came in and demanded we all listen to a new album he had picked up. It was from an American band called Violent Femmes. Not expecting much, the other four of us gathered round the turntable and speakers ...wow!!
This was something truly different. Songs of unrequited love, misery and suicide but not like we had heard before. These tunes were upbeat...the lyrics were funny....you could even dance to them!!
It was a truly innovative record - it was the first time that I realised a 'punk' record could be made with acoustic instruments.
Over the years, this is a record that has made it into the collections of many, and yet the band have never really gotten anything beyond cult status. Seemingly, it reached platinum status in the US ten years after its release - and remains the only record to have sold over 1,000,000 copies without ever breaking into the Billboard Top 200.
This record is now approaching its 30th anniversary and it still sounds fantastic today. The full track listing of Violent Femmes:-
01 Blister In The Sun
02 Kiss Off
03 Please Do Not Go
04 Add It Up
06 Prove My Love
08 To The Kill
09 Gone Daddy Gone
10 Good Feeling
It's almost the perfect album. There's not a single duff track on it, and the whole thing ticks over in just 36 minutes. I love it so much that I've got a vinyl copy, a CD copy and a remastered CD copy that came with extra tracks.
A groundbreaking effort in all sorts of ways. Who could have realised that angst-ridden and miserable lyrics could be so infectiously enjoyable??
The opening track, Blister In The Sun, is just a fantastic pop song - and is probably the best-known song the band have recorded, thanks to its use in the John Cusack movie Gross Pointe Blank. But I don't think that you can beat Add It Up - simply the best song ever written about not being able to have sex. I always thought it would have been great fun if, at the height of their fame, The Smiths had recorded Add It Up as a cover version.
mp3 : Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun
mp3 : Violent Femmes - Add It Up
mp3 : Violent Femmes - Prove My Love
Just for the record, the posting is an update from one written on 2 January 2008 when I previously featured the LP on TVV