Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Favorite Albums of 2012 (on vinyl) Part One



Due to time I am only listing three albums at a time.  And keep in mind that not all of these releases are new ones - but more what I listened to in the year 2012.  As  you can gather, I have very little interest in 'new' recordings.  But there are of course, exceptions.   All the albums are on vinyl.

As a kid, my family hung out with architects at their homes and it seems every one of them had this album.   For one, its not wild.  This is music that soothes but with a certain amount of sexual tension.  Miles is very much a sensual player and his trumpet sways like a dancer with the orchestration.  A perfect cocktail type of album where you sipping wine/martini and just floating with the haunted, but somewhat bitter melody.   I bought this at Rockaway, during their Black Friday promotion. Its a newly issued Mono version.  Really beautiful work.

There are records that you can just throw on the turntable and do something else.  Scott Walker's "Bish Bosch" is not such a record.   Once the needle hits the first track you are tied down to a chair or floor in front of the speakers, and you are not going to move an inch, because this is work that demands your full attention.   Hauntingly beautiful, this is music that takes you into today's world - all the ugliness, the bitterness, and a certain amount of beauty (or some version of it) mostly due to Scott Walker's still-incredible vocals.  Rarely do I hear new work that says 2012.   Probably the most un-bullshit album ever.  To say I love it, is like one needs water.  Without a doubt the most essential record released in the 21st Century so far.   The silence on this album is just as important as the music.

Hearing Sparks' "No 1 Song in Heaven"  on vinyl for the first time is a real 'wow' series of moments.  Released in the late 1970's this record is the shot that was heard around the world.  Without a doubt a major influence on future electro-duos like Soft Cell, Associates, Pet Shop Boys, etc.   I had this album on cassette, CD, and eventually MP3 - but the vinyl kicked me in the rear end so hard.  Its an aural masterpiece on the 12th degree.  And not one bad or weak moment.  Very rarely does one come upon such excellence.  Dreamy, hypnotic,  and sensual to the core.  A Ron and Russell masterpiece.  Do get it on vinyl!

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