Robbie Robertson

Next under ‘R’ is Robbie Robertson. I have as mother stand alone or mp3 his first from (1987); Storyville; Contact From Underworld of Red Boy (1998); How To Become Clairvoyant (2011); Sinematic (2019). These are adult-contemporary, as opposed to hit parade top-ten. I was obsessed with the 1987 lp & was amazed that he didn’t sound like The Band – lol. The album has a deep bass resonance I love. The songs are spiritual, emotional, a bit over-the-top but I loved the epic reach of the lyrics & the signing. I always play this one twice when I I listen to it.

The others don’t have the same sonic depth but are fine as explores his native roots, the plight of his tribes. Red Boy is an excellent mix of electronica, sampling & the bonus cd of remixes is worth tracking down. The later lps are more social commentary & not as epic as the first but they are worth having.

Rounding out the mp3 collection I added Hopkins-Bradley: Folk Rock Essentials. Early 70’s & pleasant but I can find nothing about this band expect that they released two lps. For a sonic break I added ABC: Lexicon of Love (1982) – this is a stunning albums. Trevor Horn’s production work is epic & the songs are amazing. It easily transcends its disco roots & is one of the best 80’s lps.

Another singer who stepped away from his band – Talk Talk, is Mark Hollis. I have his self-titled & only lp from 1998. By the time he left the band it has moved from synth pop to a spiritual ambient jazz that defies category. His solo lp continued in that direction & is meditative, thoughtful & blissful

The Specials spun of Fun Boy Three. Here I have their 1st (1982) , Waiting (1983). Like Robertson they changed direction from their origins into a more stripped down sound, percussive inventive. On the second they add cellos, horns & become even moodier.

Finally one of the 60’s super-groups Vanilla Fudge released a ‘new’ lp in 2015: Spirit of ’67 one which they covers songs like The Later, I Heard It Through The Grapevine. It lacks that stretched out sensibility of songs like Season Of  The Witch but is a solid, muscular rock lp that doesn’t besmirch their reputation but doesn’t add anything to it either. Perfect for nostalgia cultists like myself.

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