Category ALBUM FOCUS

TOMORROW AND TOMORROW

Prior to 2017’s Tomorrow Forever, the last Matthew Sweet album of original material was 2011’s Modern Art. In between was the third volume of Under The Covers, the charming series recorded by Sweet and ex-Bangle Susanna Hoffs. Matthew Sweet’s personal circumstances had changed considerably in the intervening years: he re-located away from Los Angeles to […]

BACK TO THE PAVILION

You are a young guitarist, talented and hard-working, and join a band of school mates. It’s 1967 and everyone is forming bands, so why not? And this one has promise, it records a debut album in 1969 that is well-regarded but doesn’t sell a whole lot, possibly because of its biblical title or maybe because […]

A GAS NEW BAG

It is utterly impossible to view Led Zeppelin without filters. Their image as quintessential ‘rock gods’ of the seventies, the bombast of the music, an incredible popularity that endures to the present… in some ways they have become untouchable.  The curation of the Zeppelin catalogue has been restrained compared to some (hello Estate Hendrix!) and […]

STEVE REICH STILL HAS A PULSE

Minimalist composer Steve Reich turned 82 during 2018. (Interestingly, his musical peers Terry Riley, La Monte Young and Philip Glass all became octogenarians in the last couple of years too). So Reich has been pursuing his singular exploration of repetition and phase for a lifetime.  Pulse/Quartet was released this year on the Nonesuch label. It […]

EIGHT 1968 ALBUMS

 …I WANTED TO TELL YOU ABOUT BUT RAN OUT OF TIME Here then, in synopsis, are a batch of brilliant LPs any twenty-first century collection should be proud to include. This post should be read in the context of the entire year of 1968 features; here we have an addendum, not a summary. The ranking […]

WHITES OF THEIR EYES

I remember the first copy vividly.  Bentleigh Sewing and Records, that oddest of retail combinations, lurked down the western end of Centre Road, owned by veteran sole-trader Bill McAndrew. Those entering his domain seeking records had first to negotiate the labyrinth of sewing machines and associated paraphernalia that crammed the front of the shop. As […]

INSIDE

A while back, in response to what I perceived as heinous omissions from a well-known book, I began compiling a list of “101 More Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”. I thought this addendum could provide a focus for occasional Vinyl Connection posts. Sadly, the project stalled, largely because I couldn’t get the list […]