Bram Tchaikovsky ‘Strange Man, Changed Man’

 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#813 in the Series) is  Bram TchaikovskyStrange Man Changed Man

The legend says: ¨A long time ago, a bunch of bored cavemen, hungry of fun and sex, invented Rock´n´Roll…¨

It must be true, and we must be grateful:  they invented something of the same transcendence as the Ferris wheel; one of the most proteiform and free examples of contemporary art.

Did I say art? Yes, maybe the 8th form! Along there with Music, but with its own singular status. Joyously alive, always changing, the perfect constant motion machine.

This album is one of the finest examples of the genre. Sadly overlooked, it condensed in itself all of the stamina and the joie de vivre inherent in postpunk/new wave: terrific hooks, razor sharp guitar phrasing, all propelled by a powerhouse of bass and drums able of restart the planet´s motion if, someday, it gives up…

It starts with the amphetamine paced “Robber;” a short stop, and then, the anthemic song “Strange Man, Changed Man (Bram had one of the most glorious baritone in rock history, in my personal view)… the drumming never stops: the next piece, Lonely Dancer, forms some sort of ¨pendant¨ with the former: all I wanna do, when I hear this coordinated, perfectly crafted marvel, is to dance!

Maybe it sounds as hyperbole, but this album has one extraordinary quality: I could never, ever, feel bored of it. It could be played in loop mode until the end of times, and when the end of times comes, it would be in my desert island survival kit…

The beautiful song “Girl Of My Dreams,” which received some airplay during it´s time, closes side B of the vinyl LP: a joyous wonder, graced with some tubular bell playing, courtesy of Mr. Mike Oldfield…

Side two is terrific! It starts with a guitar intro which deserves a cult status on par with AC DC ¨Hell Bells¨. The song is called “Bloodline;” a trailblazer for the next to come:

“Nobody Knows,” a rare gem full of angst, and laced with the sharpest staccato riffing.

Then, a very, very fine power ballad: ¨Lady From The USA¨: a tale of stolen hearts across the sea.

And I can´t express enough praise about the magnificent rendition of a Neil Diamond´s classic song: “I´m A Believer”… Fantastic! I´m sold! I believe!

And the rest is NOT filler: “Sarah Smiles,” with dark synth notes and angular riffing, is beautiful in a melancholic and evocative way. And the album´s closer, Turn Off The Light, with its implicit, subversive invitation to rock´n´roll, is sublime.

All in all, this exceptional album exists in a time frame of its own, an everlasting 1979. It will never be a relic or an antique: as alive as anything issued today (and more alive than most), the lp maintains its restless spirit until the very last song. More yet, it begs to be played over and over, stressing the lifespan of even the hardest of diamond styli.

Federico Moreno, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Check out Bram’s Facebook Page

Track Listing

Side One

  1. Strange Man Changed Man
  2. Lonely Dancer
  3. Robber
  4. Bloodline
  5. I’m The One That’s Leaving
  6. Girl Of My Dreams
Side Two
  1. Nobody Knows
  2. Lady from the U.S.A.
  3. I’m A Believer
  4. Sarah Smiles
  5. Turn On The Light

Personnel

Bram Tchaikovsky

  • Bram Tchaikovsky – Bass, Composer, Guitar, Vocals
  • Keith Boyce – Drums, Percussion
  • Micky Broadbent – Bass, Guitar, Keyboards,Vocals

Additional Personnel

  • Nick Garvey -Bass,  Vocals,
  • Mike Oldfield – Bells, Percussion, Tubular Bells

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  • Rockpile 'Live at Montreux 1980'
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  • The Jupiter Affect ..
  • Shoes
  • Mimi Betinis
  • Cheap Trick
  • The Replacements
  • Big Country
  • Clocks
  • XTC
  • The dB's
  • Joe Jackson
  • Teenage Fan Club
  • Matthew Sweet
  • Nick Lowe "Labour of Lust"
  • Material Issue "International Pop Overthrow"

Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. Doug S. (19 Nov 2012, 15:39)
    Reply

    Totally agree!



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