Running with the La's

Printable View

  • 11-20-2004, 12:40 PM
    Davey
    Running with the La's
    Out for a good long run this morning with a friend and then back home and pulled out an old favorite to tickle the eardrums. The La's. This is one of my all-time faves. I can remember many, many mornings getting ready for work with this brit-pop classic playing in the background. What a perfect feel good record to spin when you want to get your mind awake. Almost like a cup or two of some good java. Twelve first rate pop songs in a row without a single track that is even close to not good. Produced (in the end) by Steve Lillywhite and released in 1990 after many delays due to lead man Lee Mavers perfectionism, a perfectionism that led to many band changes and producer changes and re-recordings and ultimately to him disowning this brilliant album because it was not as perfect as he wanted. A true shame, because it is nearly perfect and one of the most satisfying and enjoyable albums I have ever heard. I think the single "There She Goes" was fairly successful, but the album didn't come out until a couple years later and so couldn't ride the coattails of the hit song. Many bands have since covered songs from this monumental album and Oasis kind of built a career around it, but this is the real deal.

    Picked up the 2001 Polydor UK remaster for a super low price from a Canadian source when it came out, even though the original is only from 1990 - but there are also 5 bonus tracks which clinched the deal. A golden opportunity to hear one of my all-time faves, remastered and expanded, for less than the price you would pay for most used albums. As is usually the case with me, the bonus tracks tend to detract from the flow of the album and I always skip them after the first couple listens. But the sound quality is significantly improved over my original without any negatives that I can hear. The vocals are clearer and there is more airiness around all the sounds which helps relieve the congestion of sounds in the middle on the original. Much more relaxed presentation. Never an audiophile recording by any stretch and the results will of course depend on your system and listening preferences, but well worth it on my system and fortunately they only needed to add compression to a couple of the songs to jack up the volume since most of the songs were originally mastered at a very low level so could be normalized. It has a certain honest quality missing from many modern recordings, perhaps because it was done in analog (I'm pretty sure), and I'm a sucker for most things analog.

    Next up, one of those bottles of Mission St. Pale Ale along with Graham Parker's Heat Treatment....

    <i>Heat treatment, baby, sweet treatment, baby
    Heat treatment, while the flame is burning
    Heat treatment, baby, sweet treatment, baby
    Heat treatment, while the world is turning
    around, round, around, round, around</i>

    Any cool weekend tunes taking shape in your neck of the woods?
  • 11-21-2004, 11:08 AM
    Davey
    This morning's Sunday run was like a hurricane! Little twisters coming to life behind the buildings as the winds were bent and shaped. Giant dried leaves whipped in circles, scraping across the pavement and making all kinds of eerie sounds. Bright sun and cool air. Nice :)

    So what to play after my run? Hmmm, gotta be Noon Chill by Arto Lindsay. Sounds almost like the title. Kind of an industrialized bossa nova.

    This is turning into Davey's weeked blog. Guess what I'm having for lunch today? ;)
  • 11-21-2004, 12:45 PM
    tentoze
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Davey
    This morning's Sunday run was like a hurricane! Little twisters coming to life behind the buildings as the winds were bent and shaped. Giant dried leaves whipped in circles, scraping across the pavement and making all kinds of eerie sounds. Bright sun and cool air. Nice :)

    So what to play after my run? Hmmm, gotta be Noon Chill by Arto Lindsay. Sounds almost like the title. Kind of an industrialized bossa nova.

    This is turning into Davey's weeked blog. Guess what I'm having for lunch today? ;)

    41 and raining in Las Vegas. Rain gets the twang up- NP: John Prine and friends, In Spite Of Ourselves. Wish the gear sounded better than it does today.
  • 11-21-2004, 04:27 PM
    Dusty Chalk
    Just showing how this is *not* a blog.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Davey
    Guess what I'm having for lunch today?

    Wiener?
  • 11-21-2004, 09:18 PM
    DariusNYC
    Davey, I don't have the La's album that you refer to, but I just want to take the moment to comment that this was an excellent post of yours, and I'm sorry I was so harsh on the 100 most overrated acts posting. :)

    NP: Rod Stewart, "Los Paraguayos" (from Never a Dull Moment)
  • 11-22-2004, 08:49 AM
    Davey
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DariusNYC
    Davey, I don't have the La's album that you refer to, but I just want to take the moment to comment that this was an excellent post of yours, and I'm sorry I was so harsh on the 100 most overrated acts posting. :)

    Hehehe, thanks buddy. I do kind of regret that overrated acts posting, not so much here but over at Rocky Road. It seems strange to me that most people take music talk so seriously over there. Seemed to piss off a lot of people, even though I said it was for amusement. And the irony of it is that all most of those same people normally do over at Rocky Road is argue and insult each other and try to find ways to denigrate the music that someone else likes :)

    Franz Ferdinand in the CD spinner here. Think I'm gonna pick up the new special edition of it tomorrow to replace this CD-R since it's very likely gonna be in my yearend top 10. Plus I wanna hear that new version of "This Fire" as I really like the idea of the song and its core sound but always felt it could use a little restructuring to fit in better with some of the more adventurous songs surrounding it. Be interesting to hear if they did anything radical like that to it or instead just tried to punch it up.
  • 11-23-2004, 05:59 AM
    Mike
    FF This Fire
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Davey
    Franz Ferdinand in the CD spinner here. Think I'm gonna pick up the new special edition of it tomorrow to replace this CD-R since it's very likely gonna be in my yearend top 10. Plus I wanna hear that new version of "This Fire" as I really like the idea of the song and its core sound but always felt it could use a little restructuring to fit in better with some of the more adventurous songs surrounding it. Be interesting to hear if they did anything radical like that to it or instead just tried to punch it up.

    Talking of Franz Ferdinand, the album as you know which I didn’t care for at the time it was released is now starting to dig its way into me, partly because of my 7 year old son who plays an X box game which features a version of ‘This Fire’ every time he fires it up. Funnily enough the game also features a song by the Ordinary Boys called Over the Counter Culture I guess it’s all part of the British invasion get your song into the subconscious mind of a 5+ year old and your half way there.

    Good choice on the La's but talking about favourite albums one of mine from the early 90s is James – Laid. If you can get past the album cover which features men in dresses eating bananas you’ll find a pretty good album deserving to be in anybodys collection. The latest version gives it a very nice sound apart from the extra tracks which IMO completely ruin the mood of the album. Still Brian Enos production really shines through on this recent remaster. It features some classic tracks like ‘One of the Three’ ‘Knuckle Too Far’ and ‘Say Something’ all delicately recorded with love and care by your friend Eno.

    Cheers
    Mike