1982… when Dead Kennedy’s were recording and releasing Plastic Surgery Disasters, Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force dropped Planet Rock (aka Don’t Stop… Planet Rock), which remains, in my humble opinion, one of the best hip-hop compositions of all time. This three track 12″ consists of the master, or hero track, a Planet Rock Bonus Beats ditty, and a 9+ minute instrumental version. An absolute must for, well, anyone, really, Planet Rock remains Bambattaa and team’s must successful adventure. This track is perfect background fodder for your next casual dinner party. Play loud and often.
I about choked on my peanut butter and pastrami sandwich when I discovered that Boys Noize was just one guy, Germany’s Alexander Ridha. The enormous amount of heard-hitting wealth found on this double LP is the stuff of pure genius. It’s raw, heavy, and filthy Euro-dance music… the very best kind in my opinion. Although released in 2007 (8 years ago already), these deep grooves have lost none of their profound impact, and if you’ve got an ear for sensual sleaze, it doesn’t get much better than Oi Oi Oi.
In 1988, I know jack about Delicious Vinyl records… but like any radio-worshiping Midwesterner, I knew every syllable to the song Wild Thing by Tone–Lōc. Produced by the legendary Matt Dike and Michael Ross (Michael Ross is the genie he’s giving us our wishes), and, not surprisingly, engineered by b-boy Mario C., this little 12” time warp is a who’s-who of Beastie Boys crossovers.
Including the aforementioned Matt Dike and Mario C. (you can’t front on that!), the illustrious credits continue with EZ Mike and King Gizmo (AKA the Dust Brothers, producers of the Beasties’ Paul’s Boutique), and none other than Wild Thing video director, and lady b-boy (Mike D’s wife), Tamra Davis.
I knew that when I discovered this album, being labeled as DV 1002, for only $4 at a small and dusty Long Beach record shop that a bit of my childhood would be reinstated. What I didn’t know, was how much of my young adult-era obsession was intimately intertwined.
Please, baby-baby, please!
Taking the day off today to read under the California sun (I’m enthralled with the 33 1/3 book series… almost finished with Piper at the Gates of Dawn, then will likely head to American Recordings… I’m a huge fan of Johnny Cash’s autobiography, Cash by Johnny Cash… thanks, High Fidelity), and to play a bit of catch (baseball) with the SO… I won’t fault her for being a Phillies fan… or maybe, yeah I will.
Bombastic big beat, baby! This 1996’s single by the Chem Bros from their 1997 full length, Dig Your Own Hole, Setting Sun features Noel Gallagher on vocals (don’t fault the band), and showcases heavy sirens and all the body movin’ dance floor glory that late 90s Chem Bros were known for. So, bump this fool to your iPod, or mobile stereo system, find a good tree, a better book, and enjoy the frills of a sunny afternoon… unless you live where it’s cold, in which case I pity your frozen soul!
There is a distinct level of sophistication found throughout the three tracks on Revolting Cocks’ debut 12” No Devotion that is only hinted at on Ministry releases from the same label (Wax Trax! Records) in the same year (1985). There is something much more nefarious and menacing here than say, Everyday (Is Halloween), or even Over the Shoulder (both Ministry releases, and both released in 1985). The Nature of Love (again, Ministry… you can see where my head has been lately) comes close, but is lacking that fiendish push into classic industrial / EBM territory. Perhaps No Devotion, with its three tracks clocking in at 22 minutes, benefits largely due to the fact that RevCo, at this time, was a bit of a Wax Trax! Records supergroup. Consisting of Front 242 head, Richard 23 and Luc Van Acker (surprisingly, Alain Jourgensen is isolated as Producer and not an official Cock), this preliminary incarnation of the ever-evolving band would only release one other record as a three piece, their first full length, 1986’s Big Sexy Land. After that, Richard 23 left, and Ministry mainstays Bill Rieflin, Paul Barker and Chris Connelly became official Cocks. The band would change again in 1993, then yet again in 2006, but that’s a topic for another time.
Every once in a blue moon I’ll get trapped amongst the early Wax Trax! Records releases, which usually leaves me with a raging headache and the smell of whiskey on my breath, but every time I’m more than happy to welcome the comfort of anger and disgust that inevitably comes along with some of the pinnacle releases of the industrial movement.
With a killer bassline and a catchy chorus, The Bangles found chart-topping success in the fall of 1986 with their #1 hit single, Walk Like an Egyptian. The fall of 1986… right around the time I was starting the 2nd grade.
I loved this track as a kid, and found a fresh new appreciation for it within the past few years, mainly due to the truck-driving bassline… not to mention that as a whole, this 80s single truly withstands the test of time.
If you haven’t in a while, Walk Like an Egyptian… you’ll have plenty of time to wait in traffic like a Los Angeleno, so why not give it a spin.
Do you own Aglio E Olio (pronounced ahl-yo ay ohl-yo) by the Beastie Boys on wax? If you don’t, discontinue reading and go here. If you do, have you ever noticed the subtle misconception with the record? It’s not a wrong impression so much as a blatant deception. Allow me to briefly explain.
Here is the record, right? Nothing out of the ordinary, at least at first glance. It plays, doesn’t skip, everyone is happy. With me? Ok, good. So, for years I thought this was an ordinary record. I’d purchased it new, kept good care of it, saw that it wasn’t colored, only the basic black, would play it from time to time, and that was it. It wasn’t until about 10 or so years later that I discovered (thanks to Beastiemania.com) that the record wasn’t black, but instead an excellently executed bit of trickery by the band.
I’m 99.9% sure every Aglio E Olio record is translucent brown, so if you own this album, and you haven’t heard of this before, check it out. While you’re at it, Check Your Head.