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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:28 pm 
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So from the length of this post, you can tell I'm at work and really don't want to be here. Anyway, it was something to do.

A year or two ago, there was a thread on here where Shoe and some others discussed listening to artists' entire catalogs in chronological order. I remember joining in and listening to Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, Sonic Youth and Neil Young during that time (all on MP3).

This year, I did it again but tried something different. For these artists, I only listened to physical media (CD's or albums). I only listened to one album a day and I tried to take my time and really absorb what I was hearing for better or worse. My commute pretty much allows me to listen to an entire disc with no problem, so I just took one CD with me each day.

I focused on classic rock bands that have big followings but who I generally didn't tend to like much. My thinking was, "There's got to be something here I'm missing." In the end, I found a new appreciation for a couple. Here's my list:


1. The Rolling Stones - I got two box sets last Xmas that cover everything from their debut through A Bigger Bang. While the 80's output can suck it, I pretty much loved everything else. A Bigger Bang, Bridges to Babylon and Voodoo Lounge were big surprises in how solidly they hold up against the early catalog. At the same time, I'll be perfectly happy if I never have to hear another cut from Dirty Work or Steel Wheels ever again. I also found a shit-ton of great deep cuts from the 70's-era that I'd either never heard before or never really paid attention to (like "Winter" from Goat's Head Soup).

2. Blue Oyster Cult - With the exception of Club Ninja (which suuuuuuucks) and Mirrors (which ain't great), I love pretty much everything they've ever done, but listening to everything in order really points out how great their albums were out of the gate. Pretty much from 1972 to 1978, they were on fire. After that, they were trying to chase hits and the albums suffered.

3. ZZ Top - All I'd ever owned was Fandango, [/b[b]]Deguello and Eliminator. What I found was that everything from Eliminator back is amazing. Everything after that point is pretty horrible. I feel really bad for their drummer. He's fantastic on those early records but after they had big hits in the 80's, they tied him to a click track for every album and it just sounds souless.

4. The Eagles - I've never been a big fan. I know the hits and basically had the two greatest hits albums mostly because my wife loved both of those. Listening to their catalog did nothing to change my mind. Hotel California is an amazing collection of songs for one regular release. The strength of that album is pretty surprising to me though it probably shouldn't have been. Otherwise, I wasn't really impressed.

5. Joe Walsh - I love everything from Barnstorm (his first solo record) through most of The Confessor. I know he's not for everyone, but his guitar playing really speaks to me. The song "Over and Over" from But Seriously Folks ended up stuck in my head for weeks. Unfortunately, everything after The Confessor is pretty bad. I don't have Analog Man (his last one) but I hear it's a slight return to form.

6. The Cars - I've always loved their first album and I've liked certain songs from other albums. I figured there had to be some intriguing deep cuts in here. I was wrong. Other than that debut, about half of Candy-O and the singles, I really don't like anything else. There are no hidden gems here. It's just all filler. I will say that their reunion album from a few years ago Move Like This is actually pretty good.

7. Steely Dan - Thanks to a fantastic used record store chain and a favorable exchange rate, I picked up Citizen Steely Dan for about $17.00 while in Japan this year. It has all of their initial releases but doesn't include any of their stuff since reuniting in the late 90's. I didn't expect to love this but I do. I've pretty much been converted and it's not just a few albums that I love. I like everything in this set.

8. Wilco - I used to love Wilco. I parted with them around A Ghost Is Born. I ended up picking up their last few discs for cheap at Amoeba and listening from the beginning, I found I've come around to their newer stuff also. There's nothing about this band that I don't love.

So that was it for 2018. I figure I'll probably do this some more next year with things I already have in my library. I know already that I want to do this with Old 97's, Drive-By Truckers and Rush (who are all bands I love). I'm not sure what bands I'll pick that I don't much like. That will probably be dictated by what I find on sale.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 4:29 pm 
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There aren't many groups/artists who had long careers where I can listen to the whole thing. Where you've got three albums and extra tracks from Nick Drake and they're all fantastic, the Stones was the first thing to occur to me as a band with high highs and some low lows (which you clearly plumbed).

While I don't know his whole output front to back, I've got a CD in my car that's got all Van Morrison's albums from 1968-1972 on it (5 albums despite no 1969 release). That's a really great stretch of records.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:43 pm 
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One of these days, I'll listen to the entire Beach Boys discography. That's a true parabola of quality.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:46 pm 
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brian wrote:
One of these days, I'll listen to the entire Beach Boys discography. That's a true parabola of quality.


Like how is the band that produced this:
and this

be the same band that made this?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:47 am 
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Rolling Stones from the 80s that I enjoyed:

Emotional Rescue
She's So Cold
Undercover Of The Night


And I did enjoy them in concert during the Steel Wheels tour. With a horrendously entertaining G&R opening act along with Living Colour (Cult of Personality).

During their concert they played mostly their iconic tunes that I remember, thus avoiding their newer stuff that was not charting.

I hope this does not make us enemies.

:(

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:16 am 
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They had a few good songs in the 80s, but their albums were mainly filler. I remember having a conversation with a bunch of musicians, probably 20 years ago, where we were discussing bands' best last albums. Like, "Abbey Road was a great way to go out." I got a laugh from them by saying Tattoo You.

The Steel Wheels tour was Vegas-Stones, but enjoyable. I remember watching a performance on TV from that one. Album sucked, though. The best Stones albums post-Tattoo You are Keith Richards's solo albums.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:57 am 
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I think I've listened to the entirety of The Residents' discography which I haven't bothered counting but runs at about 140+ releases at this point except for The King and Eye, their low-rent Elvis covers album which I've never been able to get through completely.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:00 am 
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My current chronological run through an artist's catalog -- because that's what Cary is talking about here, doing a straight run through -- has been an out of left field choice for me:

Genesis.

I just finished Wind & Wuthering, so I'm entering the late 1970s and will soon be entering the pop era.

Doing this sort of thing is always fun and always instructive, and is a great way to not only catch up on a lot of lesser albums you may not have heard from an artist, but also to hear everything in the context of an artist's career.

The longer and more varied the career, the more interesting the listening experience.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:59 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
The longer and more varied the career, the more interesting the listening experience.


While I do agree with you, there are stretches of some careers (like the Stones' or Beach Boys' 80s output) that would definitely feel like doing homework more than listening to music.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:21 am 
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Oh, no doubt. But that's part of the experience.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:26 am 
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Pender wrote:
Rolling Stones from the 80s that I enjoyed:

Emotional Rescue
She's So Cold
Undercover Of The Night


And I did enjoy them in concert during the Steel Wheels tour. With a horrendously entertaining G&R opening act along with Living Colour (Cult of Personality).

During their concert they played mostly their iconic tunes that I remember, thus avoiding their newer stuff that was not charting.

I hope this does not make us enemies.

:(


Not at all. I love those songs and the Undercover album is pretty strong overall. The main culprits are Dirty Work (which I've read was pretty much a cash grab since none of them really wanted to get back together) and Steel Wheels (which was the next album after where they realized they may actually like playing together again but didn't really have any songs). Those two are some pretty horrible records.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:28 am 
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Eric wrote:
The best Stones albums post-Tattoo You are Keith Richards's solo albums.



I would agree with that but say that A Bigger Bang is pretty good also.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:29 am 
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JFelix wrote:
I think I've listened to the entirety of The Residents' discography which I haven't bothered counting but runs at about 140+ releases at this point except for The King and Eye, their low-rent Elvis covers album which I've never been able to get through completely.


This is what I want to do with Guided By Voices at some point. I just think it'll take me the entire year to get through.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:32 am 
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A GBV listen-through won't count unless you also do all the Robert Pollard side projects.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:32 am 
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Shoe wrote:

Genesis.



I struggle with this band. I was exposed to them in the early Phil Collins years and was exposed to solo Peter Gabriel around this time. I liked them both, but when someone tried to introduce me to early Genesis, I just didn't get it. I've dabbled a little here and there trying to figure out what I'm missing but so far, it hasn't stuck.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:59 am 
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My thoughts on pre-1983/post-1986 Genesis:
https://youtu.be/GFKtTi1R4-E?t=168

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:26 am 
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Brief impressions from notes I had taken while listening through Genesis:

From Genesis to Revelation (1969) and Trespass (1970) sounded like a band that had listened to Pet Sounds on repeat, had read far too many fairy tales, and decided to combine the two. They were good records, lacking the harmonic complexities of Pet Sounds but probably a little more adventurous overall (though obviously Pet Sounds paved the way for that).

Nursery Cryme (1971) was really enjoyable, especially how exploratory the music could be. Loved the opening track.

Did not like Foxtrot (1972) at all. Huge reliance on a synth with a terrible synth sound really turned me off.

Selling England by the Pound (1973) - Hell YES. Superb. Loved it. This album was fantastic. Adventurous, well-crafted, good songs linked together by great musicianship. This is NOT the pop Genesis I knew in the '80s!

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974) - I really enjoyed most of this, it's damn near the equal to Selling England, but it's also too damn long. But the final stretch I was ready for it to be done. Still, great stuff.

A Trick of the Tail (1976) - Phil Collins on vocals. Good songs, but it's slathered in a 1970s sound I'm not fond of.

Wind & Wuthering (1976). It's very slick, very polished, with that distinctive '70s sound - and it's an aesthetic I'm not fond of. I'm often very 'texture' focused when it comes to music, the way something *sounds* is a big deal for me, often to a fault. More than once, I've failed to see how well-written a song is because I just didn't like how it sounded. This album was kind of like that. Spot a good melody here, a nice instrumental segue there, etc., but fail to fully appreciate its merits because I just don't like how it sounds. See also, ELP.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:07 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
My current chronological run through an artist's catalog -- because that's what Cary is talking about here, doing a straight run through -- has been an out of left field choice for me:

Genesis.


Are you doing side projects and solo albums, too?

Because the image of Shoe sitting there, headphones on and pencil and paper in hand, diligently dissecting "Sussudio" makes me laugh.



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:36 pm 
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Shoe's too busy blasting Silent Running by Mike & The Mechanics.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:47 pm 
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If I'd kept up with posting my "albums I listened to today," you would, in fact, see side and solo projects - and yes, that includes solo Phil Collins, who for an album or two was a pop genius.

I'm not being diligent about them, though, only the main Genesis records. I'm throwing Collins, M&tM, etc. in once in a while just for fun, and I'm not doing that in order.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:48 pm 
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Oh, I enjoy Phil Collins, too. It's just that approaching his stuff in this sort of exploratory, studious manner would feel sort of like writing a dissertation on the novels of Danielle Steele.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Alright, I just went on a Sufjan Stevens bender. But like, a little deeper than probably what this thread is about. I've had some low-bitrate MP3 "rare" tracks, but now I'm trying to hunt down quality copies of all of them. And it's hard. The same low-quality MP3s from 10 years ago are still all I can find online, so I need to find the source recordings. They're rare. Not necessarily valuable - just low-run compilation discs, magazine giveaways, promo discs released overseas, and other small label stuff.

In addition to that, trying to find collaborations - I have to be a little bit loose with the definition on that since the guy played various instruments for many different musicians, so I'm focusing on tracks that feature his signature style or vocals predominately, rather than him in the background harmonizing or playing drums.

This feels like a mental illness. I've already contacted his label trying to find some things. Alas. It belongs in a museum.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:54 am 
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Nah, that sounds about right to me. At least, that's how far I go when I'm compiling an artist's catalog. I'll comb the ends of the Earth searching for some obscure compilation track from a magazine cassette giveaway just to ensure I have it all. I keep a spreadsheet of tracks I'm still looking for when it comes to artists I do this with (and I do this with a lot of artists).

In the case of, say, Genesis, I'm not going that deep because I'm just not that kind of fan of theirs, but for artists I like and who rank among my favorites?

Absolutely.

For prolific artists, it can be a huge task and result in piles and piles of music.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:06 pm 
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It's kind of fun. Kind of annoying. There's one CD i want, only place I can find it is at a record store in the UK. They don't ship to the US. However, I can use a package forwarding service. Do I spend $25 on shipping for a $10 CD for the single track I want?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:41 pm 
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No, you do not. There will be another way.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:10 pm 
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Get an invite to redacted.ch. Those guys took over for what.cd and will certainly have what you're looking for.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:25 pm 
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Chris Knight wrote:
Get an invite to redacted.ch. Those guys took over for what.cd and will certainly have what you're looking for.

Can you invite me?

I should clarify, I have all the tracks. I just want them lossless.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:38 pm 
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no, I'm not on there, and I'm not patient enough for open invites on private trackers these days. I'm sure you can find some invite codes on a subreddit.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:46 am 
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On one hand, I'm stoked that What has FINALLY been replaced. It was a godsend for tracking down rare music.

On the other hand, DAMMIT at having to hunt for an invite. Ugh.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:46 am 
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You can opt for an "interview" which takes 2 hours, and requires you to know proper torrent etiquette and how to properly transcode audio from vinyl to FLAC. What.cd had the exact same process (assuming you didn't get an invite), and I refuse to acknowledge that type of elitist bullshit.

There's a website called torrentinvites, where you can beg for or buy access to sites, but I'm not sure you can even get on redacted that way.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:52 am 
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Oh lord.

Yeah, fark that. Much as I'd like access to a resource to track down hard to find material, it's not as if I don't already have far more music than I can listen to, anyway. I'll live.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:01 am 
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The flip side - people are absolutely stupid when it comes to audio and weeding some of that out can be helpful. I was on some reddit thread where a person was asking for the source files/flac versions of Jon Brion's mix of Extraordinary Machine. One guy says he has it, and agrees to send it.

It turns out to be a crap copy, and the guy sending it reveals he took the original MP3 files, fed it through an analog tube amp, and saved as FLAC, and was defensive, saying they're somehow not transcoded.

Like... why do that?

Or when I'm looking for lossless copies, being told I can download the AAC files from itunes and export as lossless. Like, yeah, I could do that, but that's just stupid and missing the point. So there's people out there converting Mp3s to larger files and passing them off as something they're not. The whole point of FLAC is is to have some level of guaranty that they're not a generation away from the source.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:06 am 
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Yeah, that's certainly frustrating, but 1) most private sites have rules against that by default and will boot people for uploading stuff like that, so it's a pretty are occurrence and shouldn't require a while damn entrance interview, and 2) for me, hey, I'm a beggar downloading shit for free when I should be paying for it, so I've got no right to complain. Beggars choosers and all that.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:08 am 
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Shoe wrote:
Yeah, that's certainly frustrating, but 1) most private sites have rules against that by default and will boot people for uploading stuff like that, so it's a pretty are occurrence and shouldn't require a while damn entrance interview, and 2) for me, hey, I'm a beggar downloading shit for free when I should be paying for it, so I've got no right to complain. Beggars choosers and all that.


1.shouldn't require a while damn entrance interview
2.Beggars choosers and all that.

I agree with one of these statements.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:12 am 
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Good training can save you from spending time on policing and discipline, really.


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