5-31-12 Ron’s 2012 Top 20
Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham born 1948, rapper Darryl “DMC” McDaniels born 1964; I own music by neither, but Bonzo wins.
Little has change in what I still consider my favorite recordings. Lately, I have been contemplating retirement from the blogosphere upon my 10th anniversary – at the end of July, 2012. Heck, I have to have something to write on www.ronkane.com !
I have to say “In no particular order” – just 20 fantastic titles today!
Split Enz – Mental Notes (Mushroom Australia / White Cloud NZ, 1975) – an NZ band makes the final nail in the coffin of progressive rock in the English language. And it made me go to NZ 7 x times.
Hermeto Pascoal – Slave’s Mass (Warner Brothers Brazil, 1976) – the world’s foremost multi-instrumentalist even plays a pig on this LP. Fantastic sound, great songs. Best live show I ever saw.
Hugh Hopper – Hoppertunity Box (Compendium England, 1977) – the bass player of The Soft Machine, with Dave Stewart (of Egg, Hatfield & The North, National Health and Gaskin & Stewart) – British jazz? Yes, through the Soft Machine’s 1970’s filter.
Frank Zappa / Mothers of Invention – We’re Only In It For The Money (Verve USA, 1968) – If I had to pick just one, it would be this album. I understood it exactly, at exactly the right time for myself. It changed me, and the course of my life.
Watermelon – Cool Music (Alfa Japan, 1984) – Toshio Nakanishi predicted the ‘lounge craze’ of the 90’s in 1983/4. I love the songs on this album, particularly “Sexanova”.
Procol Harum – Procol Harum (Regal Zonophone England, 1968) – I want this LP played at my funeral; that way, you’ll know I would’ve wanted to be there! Cut me, and this is what I bleed. And I still don’t ‘get’ the lyrics!
The Lodge – Smell Of A Friend (Antilles England, 1988) – One of the very few records that ever woke me up at night, demanding to hear it again immediately (“The Little Match Girl”). Peter Blegvad!
Aksak Maboul – Onze Danses Pour Combaittre Le Migraine (Kamikaze Belgium, 1977) – Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis – two of the guys behind Crammed Records! The moist beautiful album on this list. My GF thought it was classical music. It is.
Arthur Brown / Kingdom Come – Galactic Zoo Dossier (Polydor England, 1971) – For all who thought Arthur stopped at “Fire!”: this album is the bomb. Buy immediately and understand! We want your brains to pay for further education…
Family – Music In A Doll’s House (Reprise England, 1968) – I got this LP when I was about 12 years old. Roger Chapman is one of the world’s great vocalists; Family is simply one of the best British bands that ever existed; and this is their best album.
Dick Heckstall–Smith – A Story Ended (Bronze England, 1972) – My favorite record of 1972, not “Ziggy Stardust”! I love all of the songs, and I got to meet Mr. Heckstall-Smith in England, before he died – he signed his book for me (“Safest Place In The World”).
Basil Kirchin – Worlds Within Worlds Parts 3 & 4 (Island England, 1974) – I prefer this LP to Parts 1 & 2, which is also amazing. But Parts 3 & 4 are even more amazing; his masterpiece. 20th century modern classical music – but it doesn’t sound anything like that at all. Listen and believe.
Supersister – Spiral Staircase (Polydor NL, 1974) – R.I.P. Sasha van Geest! Before there was Gruppo Sportivo or The Nits – Robert-Jan Stips and Supersister ruled the Earth. Alas, we can no longer ask Sasha what any of this album is “about”. Love?
Can – Landed (EMI Germany, 1975) – I once read that this record was the alternate universe’s “Sgt. Peppers” – can’t put that thought into the mirror – As “Sgt. Peppers” is not my alternate universe’s Can “Landed”! Half Past One! (in 5.1 on the Can DVD set).
Hajime Tachibana – H (Yen Japan, 1982) – This LP didn’t sound like anyone from The Plastics. It is 100% it’s own thing. I know of at least one other person who told me, “This record changed my life!”. I met Tachibana in Tokyo, a few years ago.
John Cage / David Tudor – Indeterminacy (Folkways US, 1959) – I bought this 2LP boxed set in a Thrifty drug store for $2.- when I was a lot younger. I listened carefully to all of Mr. Cage’s stories, and wanted to know who all of those people were. I still wonder. This is a spoken word album with music.
I Am Joe’s Music – self-titled debut (Mushroom Australia, 1983) – For years, I’ve been saying that if I ever started a re-issue label, I would issue this album first. I got to meet Fane Flaws in NZ in 1987. He explained this album to me in person.
Lio – self-titled debut (Ariola France, 1980) – I fell in love with these songs as the new decade dawned. Later, I learned they were all written by Jay Alanski. The production style is 100% perfect (again, Jay Alanski). I should’ve married Lio when I had the chance!
Ivor Cutler – Dandruff (Virgin England, 1974) – It was my pleasure to live on the same planet as Ivor Cutler for roughly 32 years – actually, I was 48 when Cutler died, and he was here before me. I just knew who he was for 32 years while he was alive. I never got to meet him or see him perform live – though I ostensibly had the chance to do both.
Wally Badarou – Echoes (Island Visual Arts England, 1984) – Wally played keyboards for Grace Jones and Marianne Faithfull. This is his instrumental ’84 album that reminds me more of the 1980’s than almost any other album.