Abel’s 4000 Albums That Matter: Part Forty-Five
I am Gurzil, Berber God of War. I am fueled by the thousand deaths of the Punic Wars.
690. Dashiell Hedayat – Obsolete. Daniel Theron, known artistically as Dashiell Hedayat, an homage portmanteau of Dahiell Hammett and Sadegh Hedayat might’ve been better known in his native France as an author but in this lone venture into the world of early French psychedelics he hired the excellent band Gong to back him up in these two, complete-side-length tracks “Eh Mushroom, Will You Mush My Room?” and “Cello Drive/17” (19 and 21 minutes respectively). The result, an LSD-fueled sprechgesang of varying musicks is as enjoyable as the texture of the hand-pulped paper LP cover is pleasing to the touch. Solid French psych that is very French and you know what that means.
691. The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You. When my brother attended FSU over a decade ago, he used to shop religiously at the Vinyl Fever that was near the campus. That store closed a long time ago and the death-knell for its counterpart in Tampa hung it up in 2010. I visited my brother a couple of times up in Tallahassee and managed only one crate digging at the store. I remember getting this, lesser Stones’ album there from the quarter bin. What’s weird is that I also remember picking up the Radio Birdman compilation disc (Sub Pop Records) but nothing else. And I know for a fact that I dropped a bill that afternoon. What the Hell else did I buy?
692. Coheed and Cambria – Year of the Black Rainbow. Something tells me that I walked into this band ass first. I like prog rock as much as the next guy and I appreciate a good concept album. Maybe I shouldn’t’ve listened to this, their fifth full-length I believe, before the other albums. That’s my fault. Maybe I’ll get it a little better if I were to follow my own advice and generally make my starts at the beginning.
693. Artie Shaw and His Famous Orchestra – Artie Shaw Hour. Artie Shaw, good old Artie Shaw. Can’t really say much to further aggrandize the man but this here LP is a chockfull of jazzy standards performed in that swinging swing that delights and generates nostalgia for a bygone era. I’m not saying this is wholesome; it’s not. It’s hectic and fun and it’s got a good pace and the fact that the A side closes with “You Do Something To Me” and the B opens with “And So To Bed” is a fascinating use of vinyl’s tactility and the power of subversive suggestion.
694. Family – ”No Mule’s Fool” / “Good Friend of Mine”. This single by British prog band Family has more to share with folk in my opinion but it is still good. A bit restrained but a pleasant listen nonetheless. It’s a bit of a shame that they’re not bigger outside of cued-in circles in Europe and North America. They could’ve been contenders and enjoyed a long career recording so there are plenty of records for you to locate out there. Fun stuff.
695. Franco de Vita – Fantasia. De Vita’s been one of the bigger names in Venezuelan pop music since the ‘80s. I’d venture to say that he possesses all of the qualities that made Barry White a chick-magnet but at a different vocal register. I imagine that his personal collection of lady’s unmentionables must be quite large but I’m only making an educated guess there borne out of pop musical envy and for having suffered him routinely on Caracas radio while growing up. Good for him. Good for him.
696. The Smutmen – Caracoles. This Spanish band was part of a garage rock revival that went down in Spain during the mid ‘90s. They released a pair of 7”ers and vanished. They might’ve joined or formed other groups but I’m largely ignorant on the subject. I came across them on a tape a dude traded me back then that also had some tracks by another outfit of the Spanish scene in that era, the Pleasure Motherfuckers. Good stuff, fans of the Jacuzzi Boys would dig this. Esto es rocanrol.
697. Eddie Thompson – No Greater Love. I’ve always enjoyed the work of this British jazz pianist. Didn’t really record too much come to think of it but his work is buttery in grace, which I like. I like my jazz with a bit of butter. I believe he passed on to the great jam in the sky in the mid-‘80s, still young at 60 or 61 years of age. His trio, a separate recording entity that has a slightly more varied canon was pretty good on their own or when backing other players like Roy Williams and/or Spike Robinson.
698. Manu Dibango – Saxy Party. The “Lion of Africa,” Cameroonian sax player Manu Dibango has been a force of African jazz/funk/soul and World who unfortunately doesn’t get the respect a man of his stature deserves. All you mothers know “Soul Makossa” so now know that the rest of his work, spanning six decades is on equal footing. This debut album is where you need to start. Everything else that follows is a good chart of the musician finding his identity, first within his mixed Cameroonian ethnicity (Duala and Yabassi) and then as his influences and collaborators expanded.
699. Nervous Eaters – ”Get Stuffed” / “Just Head”. Simply put, one of the best things to come out of Boston in 1979. Excellent American punk rock and roll that was as self-assured as it was a spot-on delivery. This is a great, two song 7” that is sorely missed in my EP crate. But that’s my problem, not yours. You can get a rip of this from the Killed by Death website. You should do it. It’s awesome.
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