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  1. #1
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    The Magical World of the Strands

    Any of you heard this? A few years ago I finally got around to finding a copy of the Shack debut from the early 90s, Waterpistol, and loved it so much that I sent copies to a few people around here, and of course a song or two made it onto a comp or two along the way. Though recorded years earlier, it actually didn't get a release until 1995 due to many problems, not the least being a fire that destroyed the studio and master tapes.

    But I guess after it finally got a release via the lost, and then later found, DAT backup, they got a private backer to fund a followup, and it is this one, officially by Michael Head Introducing the Strands and titled "The Magical World of the Strands". And it is a magical ride. I don't think you can buy it for anything near a reasonable price as it is long oop, and probably not many copies around, but some of you around here would probably love this, so I'll include a dropbox link if you'd like to sample. Search around and you can find some over the top, yet heartfelt hyperbole describing this one, but that aside, this is one very, very nice record that really deserves a more prominent place in pop music history, and of course a wider audience. Maybe not obvious on first listen, but give it a little time and it may just become one of your favorites too.

    The later Shack records had some of this charm, but this is the one that can really transport you back to the days of Forever Changes and Village Green and Pink Moon (albeit minus the dated lyrics that occasionally mar the Love record)

    Nick Southall review

    download flac

    BTW, Song of the Day sig link currently takes you to some Deserter's Songs Mercury Rev, and a live version of "Holes" (or will shortly). Nice song, but you probably already knew that.
    Last edited by Davey; 07-02-2011 at 01:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Indifferentist Slosh's Avatar
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    Cool, this will definitely be getting a spin very, very soon.

    I have HMS Fable, which I like a bunch. How many albums did Shack have?
    Originally Posted by Troy: She has that same kind of cleft-pallet, slightly retarded way of singing that so many other people find endearing.


  3. #3
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slosh View Post
    I have HMS Fable, which I like a bunch. How many albums did Shack have?
    I think they are still together and releasing as Shack, though the last one was a few years ago. They started as the Pale Fountains, put out a couple nice records in mid 80s, then morphed into Shack with the debut Zilch (which I've never heard - I mistakenly thought Waterpistol was the debut, as I said above), then Michael Head recorded this one as the Strands, then I think back to Shack for HMS Fable and the next two. I still need to hear that real debut and Here's Tom with the Weather, but I'm pretty sure Waterpistol and Magical World are the two main ones for me.

    The last one was very good, though mastered way too loud and a little too busy in the production, so I haven't listened to it anymore after the newness wore off. After the mid 90s, so much good music lost the relaxed sound it had. This Strands CD is mastered pretty nicely.

    BTW, I tagged the Strands flac with 1995, but it should actually be 1997. There's a couple different covers, one as Michael Head Introducing the Strands, and another as Michael Head & the Strands. Not sure about that story.

  4. #4
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing and it's exquisite.

    Very few albums are made like this anymore-music stripped to the basics. Lovely songwriting and beautiful musicianship. Imagine "Bryter Layter", "Astral Weeks", "Forever Changes" and "Harvest" and you are getting somewhere near the sound of this superb album.

    Before you start lobbing accolades for my insightful comments about this record, the above is an anonymous review on Amazon UK.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  5. #5
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    ...but I'm pretty sure Waterpistol and Magical World are the two main ones for me.
    Been a while since I last listened to H.M.S Fable, and gotta admit that I may have forgotten how good that one is. Listening now, and maybe missing a touch of the strangeness that is so endearing about Magical World, and it doesn't have the "equal parts light and darkness, joy and beauty shadowed by essential and human faculties of weakness, greed, bitterness and foolishness" that Nick Southall mentions in his review, and as a result it's a little ordinary in comparison, but so is most music, so thanks for the reminder Slosh. Funny, but H.M.S. Fable will always be closely linked to this Rave Recs board in my mind since it is one of the first, if not the first unknown to me at the time record I discovered after coming here, in this case thanks to chrisnz. Good music and good memories, this place was kind of like a gateway drug. Now sometimes a little more like handshake drugs, as we need to be discreet while spreading the word with real music samples

  6. #6
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    I listened to 3 of these records last evening...

    ...and what a pleasure! I can't say which is my favorite so far, but that Pale Fountains seemed to be the most accessible, although I certainly like Zilch and The Wonderful World of the Strands quite a lot. I'll be spinning them a lot more in the near future.

    Many thanks!
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  7. #7
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Here's a most excellent Shack tune I found whilst..

    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Ex Lion Tamer's Avatar
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    Can't open the linked download

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    Any of you heard this? A few years ago I finally got around to finding a copy of the Shack debut from the early 90s, Waterpistol, and loved it so much that I sent copies to a few people around here, and of course a song or two made it onto a comp or two along the way. Though recorded years earlier, it actually didn't get a release until 1995 due to many problems, not the least being a fire that destroyed the studio and master tapes.

    But I guess after it finally got a release via the lost, and then later found, DAT backup, they got a private backer to fund a followup, and it is this one, officially by Michael Head Introducing the Strands and titled "The Magical World of the Strands". And it is a magical ride. I don't think you can buy it for anything near a reasonable price as it is long oop, and probably not many copies around, but some of you around here would probably love this, so I'll include a dropbox link if you'd like to sample. Search around and you can find some over the top, yet heartfelt hyperbole describing this one, but that aside, this is one very, very nice record that really deserves a more prominent place in pop music history, and of course a wider audience. Maybe not obvious on first listen, but give it a little time and it may just become one of your favorites too.

    The later Shack records had some of this charm, but this is the one that can really transport you back to the days of Forever Changes and Village Green and Pink Moon (albeit minus the dated lyrics that occasionally mar the Love record)

    Nick Southall review

    download flac

    BTW, Song of the Day sig link currently takes you to some Deserter's Songs Mercury Rev, and a live version of "Holes" (or will shortly). Nice song, but you probably already knew that.
    Hi Dave,

    Not sure if I've told you, or if I've told you enough - but that Shack disc you sent me has become an alltime favorite. Great, great album! I'm really anxious to listen to this latest Davey Gem. But.....
    I can't seem to access the link that you've set up, when I click on the link I'm brought here; http://search.imesh.com/web?src=404&v=0&q=api%20viglink Can you help a brother out?

    Also, once I download is there an easy way to convert your flac files to apple lossless?

    Thanks again
    "I don't know. A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." The Right Honourable JC.

  9. #9
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slosh View Post
    MAF, give me about an hour and I'll send you a link with it already transcoded to Apple Lossless.
    I just deleted it this morning Mark, so thanks Slosh Baby! You can go flac <-> alac using foobar or MedaiMonkey or dBpoweramp or some other programs. Or go flac to wav, then wav to alac. The link in my signature will take you to my song of the day page, which does have one song from that CD, just not the whole CD anymore.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Ex Lion Tamer's Avatar
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    You guys are both amazing - thanks so much. Downloading now
    "I don't know. A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." The Right Honourable JC.

  11. #11
    Rae
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    a golden ball of light Rae's Avatar
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    Hi Mark!

    ~Rae

  12. #12
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Lion Tamer View Post
    You guys are both amazing - thanks so much. Downloading now
    Might even be better than Waterpistol overall, but why even try to compare them when they are both tops for me.

    BTW, don't know if you saw it in the half gone thread, but Mike mentioned he'd been listening to a new David Kilgour so I tracked down a copy and have been listening quite a bit lately myself. As usual, nothing all that unique or different from what he's done before, but still pretty nice. We all have music like this, the kind that we're not totally sure what draws us to the music so much, while other listeners just look at us funny and walk away, but Kilgour has a sound that I really miss hearing when it's been awhile. So it's never long between Kilgour sessions for me, and so it's always nice to have something new (though not all that necessary since the allure of these type of personal artists is that the music, even that you've heard many times, always sounds fresh).

  13. #13
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    ...they got a private backer to fund a followup, and it is this one, officially by Michael Head Introducing the Strands and titled "The Magical World of the Strands". And it is a magical ride. I don't think you can buy it for anything near a reasonable price as it is long oop, and probably not many copies around, but some of you around here would probably love this, so I'll include a dropbox link if you'd like to sample. Search around and you can find some over the top, yet heartfelt hyperbole describing this one, but that aside, this is one very, very nice record that really deserves a more prominent place in pop music history, and of course a wider audience. Maybe not obvious on first listen, but give it a little time and it may just become one of your favorites too.
    Just thought I'd mention since this is such a great great record, it is no longer out of print, it was just reissued last month, and also from the same sessions, The Olde World is coming soon too. Both get deluxe vinyl and CD packaging. Sure to go down as one of the top reissues of 2015.

  14. #14
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Seriously, 2,250 views? Seriously!?!

  15. #15
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Seriously, 2,250 views? Seriously!?!
    In a magical world, it would be far more, and a lot more discussion too. Just wish this record had been in my world sooner, it's just so good, listen to it all the time, listening right now and it really does sound timeless. I'd be happy if I've helped a few people find it, that would feel good, and I'm thankful to those who did the same for me. Hopefully this reissue gets it some more of the attention it deserves. Maybe not everyone's idea of a classic, but give it a few listens and it may start to work some of that magic on you too.

    The new vinyl is kind of pricey, but I'm tempted. Probably be gone soon.

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