Category: Albums of the 90s

Smashing Pumpkins ‘Siamese Dream’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#880 in the Series) is Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream In my favorite film, Almost Famous, Lester Bangs, as played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, warns his young protégé, William Miller, about the trappings of writing “sanctimonious stories about the genius of rock stars.” Going on to say “they will ruin rock ‘n’ roll, and strangle everything we love about it.” Well, at the risk of sounding sanctimonious this is a piece about the genius of rock stars and one rock star in particular, Billy Corgan, and The Smashing Pumpkins 1993 masterpiece Siamese Dream. 1993 was a magical year in music and more specifically, to what many people would refer to as “college,” or “alternative”...

Aztec Camera ‘Frestonia’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#879 in the Series) is Aztec Camera, Frestonia This is not only a cool album, but a very cool “must listen to album.” Roddy Frame was the genius behind the project called Aztec Camera he started at age 17. They released six records as a band, with interchangeable parts and he was central in songwriting, playing and producing. I have all six and only discovered this early this year, even though it was released in late 1995, and is the last Aztec Camera record, but in my humble opinion, their best. If you have a short attention span, take tracks one, eight and ten for a spin and you will be hooked enough...

Squeeze ‘Some Fantastic Place’

Song Of the Day by Eric Berman – “Some Fantastic Place” by Squeeze Cool For Cats, Argybargy, East Side Story, Sweets From A Stranger and Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti — all of the above named albums are among the best records in the Squeeze catalog. For unknown reasons, Some Fantastic Place is a Squeeze record that stands head and shoulders tall amongst the others, but seldom gets mentioned in the same breath. Today, I officially add this album to the list of all-time great Squeeze albums, and if you’re a fan, so should you. Some Fantastic Place was the band’s tenth album released in 1993. It was the follow up to the album Play, which was possibly the weakest...

Paul Simon ‘The Rhythm Of The Saints’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Thelma” by Paul Simon It boggles the mind how a song this good could have been left in the can, but that was indeed the fate of the Paul Simon outtake “Thelma,” which was originally intended for his 1990 album The Rhythm Of The Saints. (The song would surface three years later on the Paul Simon 1964 – 1993 box set.) By 1988, Simon had to begin thinking about the near impossible task of creating a follow up record to his 1986 Grammy-winning smash hit album Graceland. But how do you follow up a record as dominant and successful as Graceland? For Simon, it meant fashioning a record along the same...

Neil Finn ‘Try Whistling This’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#859 in the Series) is Neil Finn, Try Whistling This By my inexact and rough estimation of my somewhere near 3000 records, CDs, 8-tracks and cassette tapes, tough as it may be, I would probably rank this my number one. I bought it in 1998 when it came out and I lived in Framingham, MA. and listened to it attentively and intensely and truly believe this is as close to a Lennon/McCartney composition that exists since that duo stopped writing and playing. I have recommended this to many and will tell you a small sample called me wrong, but I don’t care. It didn’t hurt that I got to see him do...

Todd Rundgren ‘Live at the Warfield Theater’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#845 in the Series) is Todd Rundgren, Live In Concert at the Warfield Theater It was 23 years ago today, Todd Rundgren brought his band to play.  Esoteric Recordings presents the Todd Rundgren Archive Series and if this is any indication, this is the start of something good. Todd Rundgren’s 1989 release Nearly Human was a bit of a re-visitation of his Philly Soul/R&B roots. Received to some critical acclaim, the album was recorded with a minimal amount of overdubs and this created a perfect live platform for a big 12-piece band. This recording documents the final show of this tour and has been newly mastered from the original master tapes, making...

The ‘Nirvana Baby’ is Now All Grown Up. Who is He? What Is He Doing Now?

    You’ve seen him but you probably never knew his name.  The famous three month old pee-pee baring baby on the cover of the Nirvana Nevermind album is now a 22 year old man. His name is Spencer Elden.  He told MTV News a few years back  “it’s kind of creepy that that many people have seen me naked — I feel like I’m the world’s biggest porn star.”  The shot was taken at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena, California and it’also where he “kinda” recreated the cover in 2008. Elden said that his parents were paid $200 for allowing their son to be used on the cover.  It was taken by a friend of...

Whiskeytown ‘Strangers Almanac’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#829 in the Series) is Whiskeytown, Strangers Almanac There are very few albums that I can look back on and say that it shaped what I listened to for the rest of my life.  Strangers Almanac is one of those albums.  I had a roommate that kept telling me that I needed to listen to this artist named Ryan Adams.  I kind of had a rule at the time that if the album came out in the 80’s or later I wasn’t that interested.  I finally gave it a chance and it redefined my taste in music.  Whiskeytown has had three alternative country album releases with various personnel.  The only members on...

Rosanne Cash Shares Some Insight on ‘The Wheel’ as it Marks its 20th Anniversary

  Today is the 20th anniversary of the release of Rosanne Cash’s great album titled The Wheel.  Rosanne was kind enough to share some tidbits about the album and its recording with her facebook friends today. We’ve gathered them together for you here. If you’re a fan of Ms. Cash I highly suggest that you check out her facebook page. It’s mostly run by her and she does a great job keeping every one informed about her goings on. Here’s a link. While you’re at it, her twitter account is also very lively. Here’s a link. — Larry Carta Here’s Rosanne’s tidings on The Wheel. ———————————————————— I can’t believe this, but my album The Wheel came out twenty years...

Chris Isaak ‘Speak of the Devil’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#825 in the Series) is Chris Isaak, Speak of the Devil This is the 9th record of the California rocker and for me stands out as one of his best.  His voice is an instrument in an obvious Roy Orbison tribute kind of way. His songwriting and guitar playing make these 14 songs fun to listen to in a way that makes me think, did Elvis Presley ever comes this close to being great. I know I may offend some with that thought, but put this on the old phonograph and from the first track, “Please” compare it to anything the King did and you will hear where I am coming from....

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