Tag: 1987

Pink Floyd – A Momentary Lapse of Reason

ARTIST: Pink Floyd 

TITLE: A Momentary Lapse of Reason



SINGLES: Learning to Fly (#70 US, #1 Mainstream), On the Turning Away (#81 US, #1 Mainstream, #55 UK), One Slip (#5 Mainstream, #50 UK)


LINEUP: Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason. Richard Wright played some. There were lots of people helping like Bob Ezrin, Tony Levin, Jim Keltner, Bill Payne, Carmine Appice and others.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Roger Waters left the band, and amidst lawsuits and whatnot, David Gilmour and Nick Mason decide to be Pink Floyd again.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: You know, there was as much hype about this album as there was for The Final Cut, and for the most part people weren’t disappointed or sad about the result.

David Gilmour turned a third solo album into a Pink Floyd album by bringing along Nick Mason – somewhat to assuage the CBS suits and somewhat to stick a finger in Roger Waters’ eye. And the reconstituted group does…OK.

Gilmour’s guitar playing is exceptional, and some of the musical ideas catch your ear. Gilmour’s voice isn’t the same as it was in the 70’s. It’s a litter gruffer and tired, which could be expected.

But it’s not essential when all is said and done. There are nice moments like “Learning to Fly” and some that make you scratch your head as they’re heavy handed or meandering or <<shudder>> lapsing into Adult Contemporary land.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Rick Wright’s wife asked Gilmour if he could record some tracks, and he said, “Sure”.


 GRADE B-: That grade is for Gilmour’s guitar work, really.

The Long Ryders – Two Fisted Tales

ARTIST: The Long Ryders  220px-Two-FistedTales1987

TITLE: Two Fisted Tales



SINGLES: Gunslinger Man, I Want You Bad


LINEUP: Sid Griffin, Steven McCarthy, Tom Stevens, Greg Sowders. David Hidalgo, Debbie Peterson, and Vicki Peterson helped out a bit.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second major label album find them trying for a more rock-oriented sound on many tracks, and the record stalled because of record-label issues.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After praise and momentum following their last release, the Long Ryders prepared Two Fisted Tales, with an eye on radio play for the rock cuts, while maintaining a country and folk tinge on others. Ed Stasium was brought on board to produce, and his production really enhances and plays up their rock sound.  220px-Two-FistedTales1996

There are some fine cuts here, such as their cover of NRBQ’s “I Want You Bad”, and Sid Griffin’s “Baby’s in Toyland” and “Spectacular Fall”. “Gunslinger Man” was really aiming for the fences, with a driving riff and a bigger drum sound than they used to have.

Some of the tracks seem a little bit rote, as in they had a formula for tracks they needed to follow, and thus some of the surprise and intrigue weren’t there as they were in earlier releases. It’s unfortunate that Island changed over A&R folks and left them high and drive, because this record, despite its flaws, could have been one that broke them on AOR radio. Alas.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The record company really messed up their touring. They had a chance to tour with U2 but the album was delayed, and then a European tour left the band broke thanks to waning support. They broke up by the end of 1987. 220px-TwoFistedTales18

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Demos, unreleased cuts, and a 1987 California show are there on the latest re-issue.

 GRADE B+: It’s a fine record, but has a few lesser cuts. It shouldn’t have been the end of the band; they had more in them.

Jane’s Addiction – Jane’s Addiction

ARTIST: Jane’s Addiction 220px-Jane's_Addiction_album

TITLE: Jane’s Addiction




OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Pigs in Zen and Jane Says were re-done later.

LINEUP: Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, Stephen Perkins

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: “Live” record released before their major label debut

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I wasn’t too convinced I’d like this prequel to Jane’s Addiction’s proper debut, but my fears were unfounded.

Recorded live (basic tracks) with overdubs at a studio, the basic building blocks of Jane’s Addiction are here. The band is tight, and inventive, winding around Perry Farrell’s lyrics and melodies. Sometimes Farrell goes over the top, and while the cover version of the Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones had their moments, it seemed that they were just there for filler.

The songs you don’t really know are just as strong as the two they recorded later. All in all, while it’s not an essential release, for fans it’s pretty good. It even changed my mind (somewhat) on “Jane Says”.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: On the very first pressing of the disc, “Pigs in Zen” was typed as “Pigs in Ten”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a few outtakes

GRADE B+: It was a good intro to the band then, and now it’s a good document of what they were.

Firehose – If’n

ARTIST: Firehose 220px-Ifn_Firehose_Album_cover




SINGLES: Sometimes


LINEUP: Ed Crawford, Mike Watt, George Hurley

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A coalescence of the band strengths. This has the playfulness of the Minutemen, but definitely is its own thing.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After a tentative first record, Ed Crawford fits in with his bandmates and turns out an excellent album with hardly any shadow of D. Boon in it.

Crawford’s guitar now fits in fully with Watt and Hurley, and allows Crawford’s natural swing and phrasing to come through, and it opens up a lot of possibilities to the trip. They branch out into different modes and motifs seamlessly here. Crawford’s voice is more confident, and Watt’s around to growl a bit too.

This record also contains one of the all-timers of the 80’s “For the Singer of REM”. The lyrics send up and tribute Michael Stipe, and the guitar parts from Crawford are definitely Peter Buck-ian. That track is where Firehose all comes together.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The album cover shows a picture of Husker Du, who recently left their record company, SST.


GRADE A: A much better and more cohesive effort, with an all-timer in “For the Singer of REM”.

Sepultura – Schizophrenia

ARTIST: Sepultura 220px-Schizophrenia_album

TITLE: Schizophrenia




OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None unless you were a death metal head in the 80’s

LINEUP: Max Cavalera, Igor Vacalera, Paulo Jr. , Andreas Kisser

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A lineup change, better songs, and a better studio coalesces the band into a tight, taught unit.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Andreas Kisser joined Sepultura as the new lead guitarist, and almost immediately the results showed. The change moved them into more of a traditional thrash metal, which suited them greatly. The songs became tighter and more controlled. The vocals also were more suited to this style. It was a change for the better.

This record was recorded in a better studio than the previous record, and that also helped the band form its sound and vision far beyond their debut. It’s a great leap forward.

There are still some issues, though, with the songs sometimes blending together and the ideas outreaching their execution, but this album showed that path forward for Sepultura.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Kisser’s parents were European (Slovene and German), though he is a Brazilian native.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A few bonus cuts and demos

GRADE B: Much better, more focused, and the groundwork for the band going forward.


Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing

ARTIST: Suzanne Vega 220px-Pongnan21-1-

TITLE: Solitude Standing



SINGLES: Gypsy (#77 UK), Luka (#3 US, #23 UK), Tom’s Diner (#58 UK), Solitude Standing (#94 US, #79 UK)


LINEUP: Suzanne Vega, Marc Shulman, Anton Sanko, Michael Visceglia, Stephen Ferrera. Help from Shawn Colvin, Mitch Easter, and others.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The breakthrough record contained the hit, the novelty which later became a signature, and solid folk rock.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The tracks on this, the second Suzanne Vega full-length, were written during the 80’s and polished in the studio by the backing band. The musicians added a great deal of depth and adventure to the tracks, which helped this albums overall mood.

Vega’s warm alto is mixed well with the backing, and the lyrics and melody work for the songs and arrangements. Foremost is the title track, with its twists and key changes, and the big hit “Luka” which is a big-sounding song that is intimate as well.

“Tom’s Diner” was the out of left field hit – an acapella version became the basis of remixes and another album entirely. But here, it fits in well as an opener and as an instrumental coda to one of the best folk albums of the 80’s

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They tried to figure out the day Vega wrote it or was referencing, and the best guess is most of it was November 18, 1981.


GRADE A: An interesting folk album deeper than the hits and novelty.

Candlemass – Nightfall

ARTIST: Candlemass

TITLE: Nightfall



SINGLES: Samarthin, At the Gallows End

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Bewitched, The Well of Souls

LINEUP: Messiah Marcolin, Lars Johansson, Mats Bjorkman, Leif Edling, Jan Lindh. Mike Wead helped as well.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Finding their vocalist, Candlemass releases a classic Swedish doom metal record.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It didn’t take long for Messiah Marcolin to make his mark with Candlemass. The first verse of “Well of Souls” showed his power, range, and dramatics. Coupled with classic doom metal riffs, the stage was set for a doom metal classic.

Bassist Leif Edling’s songs improved from their first record as well, and the tight playing of the band, veering from pure doomy sludge to taut thrash. “The Well of Souls” was an instant classic (though not a single, for whatever reason).

The rest of the songs suffer a bit by comparison to the outstanding beginning, and there are some instrumentals to set the mood between songs (which is fine, really). The whole album coheres and it’s great for anyone who wants some dramatic doom in their life. And who doesn’t?

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Guitarist Lars Johansson broke his arm and was replaced for a few tracks by Mike Wead. Wead joined Candlemass in the 90’s.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Demos and live tracks.

 GRADE A-: Just listen to the glory of “The Well of Souls”

Chumbawumba – Never Mind the Ballots

ARTIST: Chumbawumba                      Chumbaballots

TITLE: Never Mind the Ballots




OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hahahahah, um…no.

LINEUP: Lou Watts, Harry Hamer, Mavis Dillon, Alice Nutter, Danbert Nobacon, Boff Whalley, Dustan Bruce, Simon Lanzon, Neil Ferguson

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Politics and elections!

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: A musical play or anarchist agit-prop opera or whatever you want to call it – Chumbawumba’s second album is all about electoral politics featuring two candidates, the public, and how the two supposedly opposite sided candidates seem to want the same thing in the end

Funny how that’s appropriate now as well.

Musically, this is a much better and more commercial (sounding, commercial sounding, people) record. The band really can play well, and the arrangements are complementary to the lyrics and messages.

The messages, themes, and motifs are radical commentary on the UK’s issues in the late 80’s, but the political messages rather much fit to any political system. Candidates will be about one thing, mainly. That’s power. No matter what they say, that’s what they want.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They had promo T-shirts in English and French that said “THE VOTE CHANGES NOTHING! THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES!”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. It wasn’t streaming on some platforms, but it’s on Apple now at least.

 GRADE B+: You probably need to somewhat agree with their politics to really enjoy it, but it’s good.

Sonic Youth – Sister

ARTIST: Sonic Youth                        220px-Sonic_youth_sister

TITLE: Sister




OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Schizophrenia, (I Got A) Catholic Block

LINEUP: Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Where Sonic Youth’s promise intersects with its reality.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Finally, an album that fulfilled Sonic Youth’s vision and promise. While Evol was a great leap forward, Sister is the culmination of their SST career and put them at the precipice of greatness.

The trend towards recognizable song-structures is there, and they utilize structures to make an impact in lyrics and sound. Still, they allow Kim Gordon to recite powerful feminism over what sounds like free-form noise (but definitely isn’t). The drumming by Steve Shelley is propulsive and evocative (and really drives songs like “Stereo Sanctity”).

The band was able to construct haunting songs (“Schizophrenia”), first person observations (“Tuff Gnarl” and a combo of creepy first person songs (“Pacific Coast Hightway”). It peters out a bit at the end (after a cover of a song by Crime) but really, the cover is probably the cause of the letdown. Had they re-sequenced it and ended with the cover, it would have been nearly perfect.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The first versions, in the UK, had the final two cuts spelled “Kotton Krown” and “White Kross”, while later versions had it as “Cotton Crown” and “White Cross”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The CD version appends “Master=Dik”, the first appearance of the Ciccone Youth sound.

 GRADE A: Of course not for everyone (it IS Sonic Youth), but this is one of their must-haves. A great mix of rock song structures and avant-garde tuning and sounds.

Primal Scream – Sonic Flower Groove

ARTIST: Primal Scream                               220px-Sonic_Groove_Flower_album_cover

TITLE:  Sonic Flower Groove



SINGLES: Gentle Tuesday (#86 UK), Imperial (#86 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Streams of Whiskey

LINEUP: Bobby Gillespie, Jim Navajo, Robert Yount, Andrew Innes, Dave Morgan.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: UK band sounds like a refugee from the Paisley Underground in their debut.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sounding like they transplanted from LA in 1965 (or in 1982), Primal Scream’s debut is definitely in the jingly, psychedelic motif. The guitar jangle and swirl, the vocals are gentle, almost too gentle, and the melodies have a psychedelic, raga tinge to them.

The opening cut, “Gentle Tuesday” is quite good and promising, and a few other tracks have the same kind of edge, but most of tracks fall into a rut where the song isn’t hooky enough, and the guitar jangle blurs together from one track to another.

Even though this charted, and isn’t half bad, the band went on hold and emerged a different type of group, leaving the jangle mostly behind.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Mayo Thompson of the ‘famous’ Red Krayola produced the album.


GRADE: B-: If you are into Byrdsy stuff, it’s fine, but it’s got some great stuff and some stuff that’s just a meh genre exercise.