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  1. #1
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    Hidden Gems and Guilty Pleasures

    Hope you don't mind a newcomer crashing the party. I just managed to get one of my favorite albums of the 80s on SACD--Propaganda's A Secret Wish. I've always admired this record, on vinyl and CD, for its production and its content, for which Trevor Horn played a large role. He also supervised the SACD version, which is in glorious 5.1. And when the liner notes say that the music has been released from its original compression, they aren't kidding. This is one of the best pop (?) SACD productions and 5.1 mixes that I've heard, right up there with Dark Side and Avalon. But none of this wll mean much if you don't like the album, and I'm sure that it isn't everyone's cup of tea. This doesn't qualify as a guilty pleasure for me; I'm confident about it artistically. But maybe it's a hidden gem for some people. Anyone else have any thoughts on this one?

    While I'm at it, I'll also mention Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden, which also probably qualifies as a hidden gem. This one isn't a multi-track, but it improves on a redbook version that was already well recorded. Most people seem to recall Talk Talk from its early synth-pop days, but it slowly evolved into a group with values so different that EMI dropped them like a hot potato.

    Ed

  2. #2
    Stone Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    Hope you don't mind a newcomer crashing the party.
    Not at all. The more the merrier (and more interesting). Welcome aboard.


    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    I just managed to get one of my favorite albums of the 80s on SACD--Propaganda's A Secret Wish. I've always admired this record, on vinyl and CD, for its production and its content, for which Trevor Horn played a large role. He also supervised the SACD version, which is in glorious 5.1. And when the liner notes say that the music has been released from its original compression, they aren't kidding. This is one of the best pop (?) SACD productions and 5.1 mixes that I've heard, right up there with Dark Side and Avalon. But none of this wll mean much if you don't like the album, and I'm sure that it isn't everyone's cup of tea. This doesn't qualify as a guilty pleasure for me; I'm confident about it artistically. But maybe it's a hidden gem for some people. Anyone else have any thoughts on this one?
    I have no thoughts on it because I've never heard the album, but upon reading the write up on AMG, it sounds like something that'd be right up my alley. I just scoured the stacks of comps I have from other people on this board, and sure enough, I found a Propaganda song on one of JC's comps ("P-Machinery" is the song). I listened to that song and it sounds pretty good. Is that song representative of the rest of the album?
    And the world will turn to flowing pink vapor stew.

  3. #3
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Funny, I was just talking about Spirit of Eden on another board yesterday. It is a great one in my mind. One of those rare albums that seem to come out of nowhere, unlike anything that has come before, and usually not ever duplicated again. Kind of the same feel I get when listening to Van Morrison and Astral Weeks. Or Nick Drake and Pink Moon. Not exactly the same, but you know.

    Can't say I know what Propaganda sounds like, although I do know the name. Absolutely adore the 1974 album Propaganda from Sparks, especiall the song "At Home, At Work, At Play", but that's a completely different animal and one that is, I believe, well known and well liked around these parts.

    The one I've sometimes pulled out of my ass for threads like this in the recent past is the debut from Mink DeVille called Cabretta. Great album from 1977 that I still love today. But like I just said, that would be a recycled pick. So......

    Today I'll go with Vanessa Daou - Zipless
    Sexy, and sometimes erotic lyrics from Erica Jong with breathy, sensual vocals by Vanessa Doau and music by her husband Peter, make for a wonderful trip away from everyday life. Some ambient backgrounds mixed with dance-pop and trip-hop and a host of other electronica styles weaving their way throughout this set of songs make this one a frequent addition to my playlist. Kind of a mix of both your topics, hidden gem and guilty pleasure


  4. #4
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone
    Not at all. The more the merrier (and more interesting). Welcome aboard.




    I have no thoughts on it because I've never heard the album, but upon reading the write up on AMG, it sounds like something that'd be right up my alley. I just scoured the stacks of comps I have from other people on this board, and sure enough, I found a Propaganda song on one of JC's comps ("P-Machinery" is the song). I listened to that song and it sounds pretty good. Is that song representative of the rest of the album?
    Thanks, Stone. P-Machinery certainly belongs on the album, but you know how it is with albums that go wire to wire for you. You can't seem to pick out one cut that's representative; they all seem to require each other. But if you like the song, I recommend the SACD, having owned it in every previous incarnation; the SACD went well beyond my expectations, which were high, containing all sorts of surprises and hidden details. Unfortunately, it's hard to get in the States. I had to order directly from ZTT.

    Ed

  5. #5
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    I love both of those albums. Haven't picked up either one on SACD yet, though. That Propaganda one is pretty rare -- I understand it's only a limited release.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  6. #6
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    Dusty. Right, A Secret Wish is a limited release only through the record company ZTT, for 19 pounds, which adds up to $30+ American--an unconscionable amount for a piece of music unless you really love it. Rarely it turns up on ebay, or half.com, but with not much of a price break, if any. Luckily, the Spirit of Eden import is more accessible but only for a few bucks less. Oddly, Talk Talk's Colour of Spring SACD, which I also like a lot, carries a price tag like Propaganda's.

    Ed

  7. #7
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Man I love that album but I have it only on cassette and a CDR I created from cassette. Didn't know it was avail. on SACD - not that I have a SACDP. Might pull that one out right after I finish up with this American Music Club boot.

    Good to have you around.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  8. #8
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    JC, if that was meant for me, thank you very much. The pleasure is entirely mine. By the way, I may have a copy of the original CD version of Secret Wish lying around. You're welcome to it if it would tide you over for a while; it would certainly sound better than the CD-R of the cassette.

    Ed

  9. #9
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    Smile Wow a blast from the past

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    The one I've sometimes pulled out of my ass for threads like this in the recent past is the debut from Mink DeVille called Cabretta. Great album from 1977 that I still love today. But like I just said, that would be a recycled pick. So......
    Just goes to show it's not always turds you pull out Davey...

    I have a comp called 70's Jukebox Rock which has mainly standard stuff and a couple of lost gems on it one of them being Spanish Stroll by Mink DeVille. I vaguely remember it at the time when it came out but whenever I give that comp a listen I always think I must check out some stuff by them.

    Well finally done it today and spotted Cabretta/Return to Magenta on a 2 for 1 disc. It sounds pretty good from the snatches I heard, timeless late 70's shuffle sounds like Lou Reed, Elvis Costello even a bit of Dion all rolled into one. I think I'll go order it now.

    Cheers
    Mike

  10. #10
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    Just goes to show it's not always turds you pull out Davey...
    Hehehe, glad I didn't get my hands too dirty on that one! Hey, that does sound like a very cool twosome. Both albums are stellar in my world, although that first one is still the king. Some great stuff on the second one and some knockout good sound on the original vinyl, but just a little short of greatness overall. Hope you like em, but I think he's got a sound you'll appreciate with the early R&B sense and the Latin rhythms and the great Jack Nitzsche at the helm.

    http://forums.audioreview.com/showth...2864#post22864

  11. #11
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    JC, if that was meant for me, thank you very much. The pleasure is entirely mine. By the way, I may have a copy of the original CD version of Secret Wish lying around. You're welcome to it if it would tide you over for a while; it would certainly sound better than the CD-R of the cassette.

    Ed
    Yeah, that was for you and thanks for the offer but it's not necessary. I pulled the disc out tonight and to be honest, it sounds really good. Not sure why, but it does. Besides, I imagine you could offer it up on ebay and score some decent dough. Maybe not enough to come clean on the SACD, but it might make a sizeable dent.

    Hope to see you 'round.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  12. #12
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edtyct
    Oddly, Talk Talk's Colour of Spring SACD, which I also like a lot...
    Just thought I'd mention -- my personal favourite of theirs.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  13. #13
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
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    now for something completely different

    Okay, here's where I interrupt the hidden treasures part for a moment and open it up to ridicule. I'm thinking specifically of Herman's Hermits' compilation on SACD, which I don't have but have flirted with buying. First of all, because they were not allowed to play on their albums, their recorded output was well performed; second, the first point wouldn't matter if many of the songs had not been composed by some of the best writers of the British Invasion era (Graham Gouldman, Ray Davies, Donovan), and Mickie Most, for the most part, chose great covers for them (Silhouette, Wonderful World, etc.). Their very first song, I'm into Something Good, is one of my favorites from the time. When they'd lost their teeny-bopper luster, the material arguably became more consistent.

    Two more SACD compilations from the 60s, without any of the knee-jerk stigma, are the Animals and the Searchers--also on my list of possible purchases. Although I never cared for their San Francisco period, the Animals started out like gangbusters, and continued to be strong throughout their middle period. Inside-Looking Out is one of the best, forgotten rave-up songs in existence. The Searchers looked rough on their covers, more like Teddy Boys than moptops, but they had a way with ballad and melody. Their twelve-string sound proved to be prescient, given the Beatles foray into that territory, which spawned the Byrds' majesty later. Needles and Pins, though written by Sonny Bono (at that time identified as a Phil Spector disciple rather than a freak in his own right), is an irresistable classic.

    Ed

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