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Old School Underground LPs High Fidelity inspired


Reverend Jax
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This is a thread for people to review some old school underground albums. I'm talking about albums from late 60s to early 90s that never got little to no airplay then and none now, but have cult followings. I'm Talking The Smiths, The Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Patti Smith, Killing Joke, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Minutemen, Stone Roses, Black Flag, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, etc. The kind of album Jack Black in High Fidelity would make fun of you if you'd never heard of them.

 

This is no place for Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Nirvana, Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Who (Pink Floyd's The Final Cut or A Saucerful Of Secrets would qualify, but not Dark Side Of The Moon or The Wall). No albums with Top 40 hits, OK? I'll kick it off with 4 of my favorites.

 

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The Velvet Underground & Nico by The Velvet Underground

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This is the underground album that every underground album ever wanted to be. Inspired so many cool artists, I'm pretty sure lots of the artists that have claimed to have been inspired by it are just saying it to sound cool and edgy. Lots of things have been said about it, but no matter what you've heard, it's an album you have to hear. And you'll have to give it several listens to really process it (like most decent albums). It can give out to a bit too much disortion at times. Lots of people don't like the distortion in Herion, I don't mind it, but the distortion in European Son usually gets to me.

 

Top Tracks: Herion, I'm Waiting For The Man, Femme Fatale, Venus In Furs.

 

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Marquee Moon by Television

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This album came out in 1977 froma NY band. In 1977, it seems everybody but Pink Floyd and Elton John was being called punk, because Television was among those that were. One things for sure. Television was doing their own thing, disregarding trends and the result was Marquee Moon. Maybe it's punk, but if it is, it's at the very least art-punk, which is sort counter-intuative to begin with, but it works. Really well. Television only released two albums. I haven't heard their follow-up Adventure.

 

Top Tracks: Marquee Mon, See No Evil, Friction.

 

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Forever Changes by Love

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One certainly has some expectations to live up to when your band's name is Love. This seminal 1968 record was Love's third and greatest album. This band could easily have become legendary if one of the members died of a drug overdose or in a plane crash, but the band wasn't that lucky, so they faded into relative obscurity after the sixties ended. This is a very peaceful very hippie very acoustic album that should be listened to when your calm and just want to chill, kinda like The Zombies. I like listening to it when I'm in the same mood as whne I listen to Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, if that gives you any idea as to what the feel of it is.

 

Top Tracks: Alone Again Or, Andmoreagain, Red Telephone, Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale, Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This.

 

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Sheik Yebouti by Frank Zappa

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Here we go. I'm a huge Zappa fan! If this thread becomes popular, you can count on me reviewing several Zappa albums. Frank Zappa is the king of musical genius we only get once every century, if we're lucky. Well, on to the album. This was a double LP (available on 1 CD now) recorded in 1979, and it was one of the four studio albums he recorded that year. This might be his balliest and most accessible albums out there. This is the album anyone looking to get into Zappa should start with. Zappa goes to even farther lengths to offend everyone one with this album, from preppy rick college boys to disco dancers to qualiod users to Jewish girls to people with broken hearts. If at any given moment the guitar solos aren't making your jaw drop and head spin, his lyrics are making your gut sore from all the laugh. This album is a must. Know many of you poster's sense of humor, you'll probably be surspised to hear music that can be so good and so funny at the same time. Download my top tracks and if you liek them, go fo the rest of the album. You won't regret it.

 

Top Tracks: Broken Hearts Are For Assholes, I'm So Cute, Bobby Brown Goes Down, Dancin' Fool, Jewish Princess, Yo' Mama.

Edited by Jack's Meandering Thoughts
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I was originally weary of adding these lp's because of the "underground" description of the topic as the bands did have a few hits offa these albums but then again the albums that have been submitted so far ain't exactly underground at least in the respect that they can be picked up in HMV next to droll like Britany Spears, but I'm rapidly veering offa the point here, so without further ado my picks...

 

The Undertones - S/T

 

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In my opinion The Undertones' created some of the most perfect pop songs ever. Veteran BBC D.J. John Peel still to this day says that "Teenage Kicks" his all-time favourite song. This is definitly their best record. They came from Northern Ireland, they crafted punk-pop songs about love and having fun, a stark contrast to the other main Northern Irish punk band at the time, the excallant Stiff Little Fingers. This is an album of 100% pure punk classics. They were Ireland's Ramones.

 

No band ever captured the innocent side of punk rock--the first generation, that is--as well as this Irish combo. Fueled by adolescent desire more than political angst, frontman Feargal Sharkey quavered and quailed about "Teenage Kicks" (to name but one of the album's multiple classics) while his bandmates pounded out incessantly pogo-friendly riffs that valued fun over fearsomeness. Each three-minute blast--from the starry "Here Comes the Summer" to the "yeah, whatever" self-deprecation of "Girls Don't Like It"--carries a depth charge of power beneath its frothy surface, a formula that would later be revived by Green Day.

 

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THE STREETS - Original Pirate Material

 

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Now this one's a deifinate "what the fuck?" from anyone who wants to keep this thread pure, but for the benifit of the U.S. folk, I'm submitting this one. You can take your Eminems and shove 'em up your ass, Mike Skinner, the man behind the streets is a true lyrical genius.

 

In a thrilling UK Garage scene, blighted only by a reliance on drippy soul cliché and tiresome braggadocio, The Streets' eminently quotable Mike Skinner may just be the voice to take it to the next level with Original Pirate Material. This debut is a staggeringly eloquent and fearlessly honest snapshot of gritty street-level existence, as experienced by an ordinary bloke. At first listen, the Birmingham-born Skinner's cheeky cockney affectations grate slightly. But for every line that makes you squirm, there are 20 that drop your jaw. "Has It Come to This?" is "A day in the life of a geezer," a seductive encapsulation of London lifestyle, presented raw as a bootleg, but bulging with sharp wit and feverish detail. "Stay Positive" weaves a fearful tale of heroin addiction, while "The Irony of It All" makes a beguiling case for legalization, presenting a fictional exchange between a beered-up, self-righteous lager lout and a fey student weed enthusiast

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I saw The Street preform on Last Call With Carson Daly (the late night talk show that airs after Conan O'Brien on NBC). They're certainly...different. I'm always a fan of different, I guess, so I certainly won't shit on 'em, but they just weren't my bag. And yes, I understand the ones I posted weren't what you would call EXTREME underground or anything. You can buy any of those albums in any big music store, but only cool people buy them. So, by underground, I'm talking under the surface, in the caves, not down in the core of the Earth.

Edited by Jack's Meandering Thoughts
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