The Pleasure Principle, Flesh & Bood, Outlandos D'Amour Review
Even though I am using the latest audio gadgets such as the Airport Express, Apple TV, Fubar III USB Headphone DAC, Firestone Libby DAC/Headphone amp and itunes 10.1, I still am gravitated towards music of the 1975-1985 era! I now have 340GB of music and I have quite a collection.
On reflection the reason why I like the 1975-1985 period is that it due to it being the last era of Analogue before the introduction of mainstream digital recording processes. There also seems to be a great spark of creativity as muscians discovered the power of analogue synthesis and audiophile fidelity.
Today's modern popular musician lacks the creativity and innovation of that era. How can they be expected to be innovators when they are using the same technology that has been around for over a decade. Also today's music is more about mouse clicking and editing rather than real-time musicianship.
Anyway back to my reviews. These 3 albums are all before my era, and music styles changed quickly back then due to the newly emerging generation Xers and emerging music technology. As the 1970s came to a close, disco & punk were dying, disappearing just as quickly as they came. Even rock acts such as KISS came out with a Disco hit in 1979! The Generation Xers wanted to distinguish themselves differently as much as possible and were quick to use the 80s as a point of separation.
The Pleasure Principle---Gary Numan 1979
I was glad to discover this. It seems that Gary Numan disappeared from the popular conscious just as quickly as he became part of it. Coming out in 1979 this pop act help set the scene of the 1980s Synth Pop movement. Check this interview out with Molly Meldrum in 1979 when they talk about what is going to happen in the eighties!!!
The expectation of the decade had so much excitement back then!
Anyway back to the music, I was pleasantly surprised with this album. Numan had taken Bowie's obsession of the krautrockers, Kraftwerk to a more "poppy" place. Borrowing the glam look of Bowie upon sci-fi themes, Gary had changed his punk band the tubeway army to synth pop rockers! What is refreshing about this album is the use of real drums and electric bass to thick layers of moog synths!
The album opens with a lone synth and hi-hats, and then a few bars in a rocking bass line enters & an analogue synth with flange effects. Pounding drums come in next and this is the sound of Gary Numan bar vocals. Very impressive. What I like is the differentiation in sound to Kraftwerk (The most popular synth band of the 70s). The album is rocking & synthy with a heavy use of flanging & phasing.
Gary Numans vocal style is odd to say the least! Although perfect for the album, I can easily see why he faded out of popular conciousness as synth pop became more mainstream. A very listenable album that takes you to places, and reeks of nostalgia. Cars is a wonderful hit that is featured in the album and encapsulates the Numan sound.
Flesh & Bood---Roxy Music 1980
I found this album at JB-Hifi for $6!!! Not knowing what I was going to get, I was pretty sure it would be good. Having only a Bryan Ferry greatest hits and the album Avalon, I was quite confident it would be good. The other bonus is the album came out in 1980 so I knew I would hear some great analogue synths.
This album is part of the genre-breaking moves that Roxy Music made into the new era. I much prefer the smooth sounds of Roxy Music in this area than the off-tune punky antics of the 1970s. Plenty of mellow sounds here, clever use of melodic synths, and ultra-smooth bass-lines. This album is a great album to listen to do when relaxing, so mellow and it covers a lot of territory. Wonderful smooth analogue synths, cool guitar solos, sexy sax solos, cool songwriting and synth-play from ferry and this album really sets the scene for future hits such as More Than This and Avalon. Love the mellowness.
Outlandos D'Amour--The Police 1978
This was the last remaining album I needed to get to fill my collection of all The Police albums. Once again I was pleasantly surprised. I had been really disappointed with previous Police albums I have such as Regatta De Blanc 1979,expecting it to sound like Message In a Bottle & Walking On the Moon, but instead it being full of fillers.
Outlandos D'Amour is very even through out and has really cool heavy guitars, giving it a really rocky sound. Songs such as Next To You, Hole In My Life, Be My Girl are great non single tracks. A fantastic debut album from one of the best bands in history.