Being the merciful conclusion of a multi-part wander through the Vinyl Connection year in music
Let’s cut to the chase. Here are the 2017 albums of newly recorded (or, in a couple of cases, newly released) music that found their way into the Vinyl Connection cave during the year. All had merit and brought aural enjoyment; for the sake of the exercise they are ranked roughly according to overall listener enjoyment and likelihood of on-going plays. Naturally this is totally subjective. Different tastes will produce different lists.
The links are to feature articles.
The Flaming Lips — Oczy Mlody
Beaches — Second Of Spring
Public Broadcasting Service — Every Valley
Goldfrapp — Silver Eye
Grateful Dead — July 29, 1966 (New archival release, RSD 2017)
Bill Evans — On A Monday Evening (Newly discovered 1976 performance)
David Bowie — No Plan (EP)
Subterfuge — Blind To Reason
Kraftwerk — 3D – The Catalogue
Radiohead — OK Computer—OKNOTOK 2011-2017 (Re-issue + new material)
Richard Pinhas – Reverse
Alice Coltrane — The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane
Brian Eno — Reflection
Matthew Sweet — Tomorrow Forever
Nova Collective — The Further Side
Tangerine Dream — Quantum Gate
Yazz Ahmed — La Saboteuse
Let me know if you’d like to see any of these featured at Vinyl Connection.
One I’ll certainly endeavour to write about soon is the last entry. La Saboteuse is a superb blend of funk, world, jazz and progressive sounds from a young UK trumpeter. It is my album of the year. Listen to Yazz cover Radiohead here.
There were plenty of significant deaths in the latter months of 2017, but to be honest, I’m not up for further eulogies. Suffice to say, it was a bad year for the Young family (Goodbye George and Malcolm) and for Can (Holger Czukay reconvened with Jaki Liebezeit in the great Konzerthalle in the sky) while Brother Greg Allman joined Butch Trucks at the Asgard Fillmore.
For those of you have been following—doubtless with mild disgust—the revelations of vinyl gluttony disclosed in the preceding posts, I suppose we need to tie up that particular sub-plot.
Claims in the popular press that an average of one album was added to the VC holding for every date on the calendar were absurd. Fake news! The mean was a modest 0.874 discs per day*.
It was, even so, an entirely ridiculous amount.
As I wrote this Rearview Mirror series, various strategies for reining in the nauseating excess were contemplated.
—get a bigger house
—make it compulsory to write about every new purchase
—set a monthly budget, administered by Ms Connection
—don’t buy anything at all. There’s enough music there to last the rest of your life.
This last had quite a strong pull. So much so that I kicked it around (in broad, general terms) with my mate Steven (Hendrix aficionado and Dylan supporting character). He enthusiastically supported the idea…
Well, no. He sneered.
‘So I wanted to offer you first pick at the remaining jazz albums from my father’s collection,’ he said with something approximately an evil glint in his eye. ‘No interest, I imagine.’
‘No,’ I said loftily.
’Where are they?’
There may have been muttering as I squatted on the floor blowing dust off the covers.
Too many records already…
Not enough time to listen to them…
How much jazz do I really need…
Lots of cleaning to do here…
So I went home empty-handed.
Would I lie to you?
* If you do not quite credit the final anecdote, the 31 December figure was 0.953. Still totally less than 1, right?
Happy New Year from Vinyl Connection to friends and followers world-wide. May your 2018 be filled with pleasing melodies.