Music and Stuff

Hello, and welcome to this blog , the perfect place to find reviews of all types of music; rock, electronic, hip hop, and others, reviewed by a teenager completely immersed in all music. Here I will review classic albums, both famous and obscure. So, enjoy my opinions.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rattus Norvegicus: The Stranglers, 1977

This is The Stranglers' first album, and is one of the best of the punk era. Strangely, it doesn't even really seem like punk. They seem like too good musicians. This is really the only Stranglers album that is really punk. Released in 1977, it reached #4 on the UK album charts, and eventually went platinum. This is probably my favorite Stranglers album, with some of my favorite Stranglers songs (Peaches, Grip, and my favorite Stranglers song, London Lady). This album also very prominently features Jean-Jacques Burnel's amazing bass work (I especially like this, being a bassist myself). Here's the track by track review.
1. Sometimes: 9/10. A good example of early Stranglers work, this song is about a violent argument with a girlfriend.
2. Goodbye Toulouse: 9/10. A good song about Nostradamus's prediction of the destruction of the french city of Toulouse. Don't worry, it's still there.
3. London Lady: 10/10. As I said above probably my favorite Stranglers track, along with "The Raven", "5 Minutes", and "Dagenham Dave". The most punk of them all.
4. Princess of the Streets: 9/10. A good bluesy song, featuring a great bass intro by Burnel. Known as "Pre-Stranglers". A good example of how the Stranglers were usually not punk.
5. Hanging Around: 10/10. A good song about the people who came to Stranglers concerts. Not only a classic Stranglers tune, a classic rock song altogether, beloved by even those who hate The Stranglers.
6. Peaches: 10/10. One of my favorites. About walking along on a french beach. The best bass line and the best drumming of the album. Awesome to watch them do live in the 70's.
7. (Get a) Grip (On Yourself): 10/10. Another great Stranglers tune. Awesome saxophone (Although I'm a huge sucker for a sax in a rock song).
8. Ugly: 9/10. The most underrated song on the album. Not quite sure what it's about.
9. Down in the Sewer: 10/10. What most people think of when they think of the Stranglers. Comprises of four sections: Falling/Down In The Sewer/Trying To Get Out Again/Rat's Rally. About living in London, the "Sewer".
A must have for any punk or Stranglers fan. Five stars.

Hunky Dory: David Bowie, 1971

This is David Bowie’s first true masterpiece. Although his first three albums had been commercially unsuccessful (As well as this one, which didn’t chart), and he was at the time considered a one-hit wonder (That hit being “Space Oddity” in 1969, reaching #5 on the UK singles charts), Bowie persevered. This is, as Rolling Stone magazine put it, “Where Bowie goes glam”. While his first albums had been mostly folk music, this album mixed his British music hall influences (“Kooks”, “Fill Your Heart”, “Andy Warhol”), with folk rock (“Eight Line Poem”, “Quicksand”, “The Bewlay Brothers”, “Song For Bob Dylan”), pure glam rock (“Oh! You Pretty Things”, “Queen Bitch”), and mixtures of many genres (“Changes”, “Life On Mars?”). It also was the spring board for “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”, which he began work on before “Hunky Dory” was even released. Here’s the track by track review.

1. Changes: 10/10. A great song that Bowie says he wrote with the cabaret in mind. It really signifies his change in musical style.
2. Oh! You Pretty Things: 10/10. Probably the most glam song on the album, this is one of Bowie’s best. I have no clue as to what it’s about though.
3. Eight Line Poem: 7/10. The most disappointing song on the album. It’s way too folk-like, which is only a problem because he tries to be Bob Dylan, and that doesn’t work out for anyone except for Mr. Dylan himself.
4. Life On Mars? : 10/10. A great piano based song that goes great with movies. Used to it’s best extent in “The Life Aquatic” (A great Wes Anderson movie where all but one of the songs are by Bowie or are covers of Bowie songs by the ship’s musician character in Portuguese).
5. Kooks: 9/10. A good example of the effects of British music hall music on Bowie. Written for his first son.
6. Quicksand: 10/10. A surprisingly good song. Is basically this album’s “Heroes”, and is almost like an anthem.
7. Fill Your Heart: 10/10. A great cover that makes use of Bowie’s dynamic vocal range. Written by Biff Rose and Paul Williams.
8. Andy Warhol: 10/10. A tribute to Andy Warhol, a famous painter and socialite. Bowie got to play this for Warhol after he became famous. Apparently Warhol didn’t approve, thinking it made fun of him (By the way, Warhol is my favorite artist)
9. Song For Bob Dylan: 10/10. A tribute to Bob Dylan, the famous poet and singer. Sounds a lot like Dylan’s own work.
10. Queen Bitch: 10/10. A tribute to the Velvet Underground, although only in musical sound. Velvets leader Lou Reed would later become good friends with Bowie.
11. The Bewlay Brothers: 10/10. Said to be an autobiography of himself, this is a Bowie classic.

This is a must have in any album collection. Five stars of five!

Sorry Robbie!

I recently wrote a review of Rolling Stone Magazine's Top Guitarists of all time list. In it, I wrote that Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger didn't belong on the list. A few days ago, I was listening to the Doors' classic debut album, when I realized that Robbie Krieger was actually REALLY good. I could play very little of the stuff he was playing. And so I must apologize to Robbie. I have changed the post to show where he belongs on the list: Much higher up.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fear of Music: Talking Heads, 1979

This, by far, my favorite Talking Heads album. It combines the use of african music that they would use to a greater extent on "Remain In Light" (1980), and the industrial music they had used on their two previous albums, "Talking Heads: 77" (1977) and "More Songs About Buildings and Food" (1978). This is also highly regarded as one of the best albums of all time, and was given reviews of favourable to highly favourable by Rolling Stone magazine, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. It was given a 9/10 review by Spin magazine, an A minus by The Village Voice, and was given 4 and 1/2 stars by Allmusic magazine. It was produced by the master himself, Brian Eno. Here's the track by track review.
1. I Zimbra: 10/10. This a good opener using a highly african rythm. Features Robert Fripp on guitar, and Ari (Don't know who that is) and Gene Wilder (Yes, it's THE Gene Wilder, AKA Willy Wonka from the first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, the Waco Kid from "Blazing Saddles", and Dr. Frederick Frankenstein in "Young Frankenstein") on congas.
2. Mind: 10/10. A great song about how "I need something to change your mind". Play it loud in your car.
3. Paper: 10/10. This one apparently compares paper to love. I would have never guessed that. One of my favorite songs by the Talking Heads.
4. Cities: 20/10. This is probably my favorite Talking Heads song. Great guitar parts, awesome treatments by Eno. Absolutely essential.
5. Life During Wartime: 10/10. A really good song with a disco influenced beat. Gene Wilder on conags again.
6. Memories Can't Wait: 10/10. Another one of my all time favorites. I love the chorus, and I have been trying for ages to learn to play this.
7. Air: 10/10. A great example of the Talking Heads' sonwriting: It's about a world where air is toxic. I wonder where they got that song idea from...
8. Heaven: 10/10. The first Talking Heads song I ever heard, and the first I learned to play. I love the guitar.
9. Anmials: 10/10. Complains about animals. "They're never there when you need them"
10. Electric Guitar: 10/10. Another all time favorite. Seems to be about a world where the guitar is illegal.
11. Drugs: 10/10. The paranoid thoughts of a drug addict.
You must get this. It is awesome. 10/10.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Soft Bulletin: The Flaming Lips, 1999

This is, without a doubt, the best album of the 1990's. This is the best Flaming Lips album, and I would put this in the top 10 of the greatest albums of all time. Here's the track by track review.
The UK release included the song "Slow Motion" in place of "The Spiderbite Song", the latter appearing only on the US release. They both appeared on "The Soft Bulletin 5.1", the 5.1 surround sound remix of the album. I will review the US release, but will review "Slow Motion" at the end. Also, tracks 1, 5, & 14 are remixes by Peter Mokran. Tracks 1 & 14 also appear in their orginal form, although track 5 does not.
1. Race For The Prize (Remix): 10/10. One of the best songs of all time, and this is a cleaner, more commercial mix than the original. Great drumming.
2. A Spoonful Weighs a Ton: 10/10. A little sad at first, but get's a bit faster, and has a weird instrumental part that comes up sometimes, that doesn't really sound like the rest of the song.
3. The Spark That Bled: 10/10. I just listened to the whole song, because before this I had only listened to the beginning, and I thought the whole song was like that. By the time I heard the "I stood up, and I said yeah" part, I realized how great it was. By the time I got to the "From this moment on" part, it was my favorite.
4. The Spiderbite Song: 10/10. Better than I thought. After the first verse, it get's way better.
5. Buggin' (Remix): 10/10. Included in the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack despite not being in the movie. And I would know. I've seen that movie dozens of times. Anyway, it's a great song.
6. What Is the Light?: 10/10. A great song about...well, light.
7. The Observer: 10/10. A great instrumental that is basically "What Is the Light?" instrumentally done, with new guitars and effects.
8. Waitin' For a Superman: 10/10. The original version. Sounds a little more mono than the remix, but still is great.
9. Suddenly Everything Has Changed: 10/10. A great song with many different speeds that they play the same melody in. Great guitars.
10. The Gash: 7/10. The only bad song on here. Certain parts are really good, but the rest is weird.
11. Feeling Yourself Disintegrate: 10/10. One of my favorite Flaming Lips songs of all time. Amazingly cool voice effects.
12. Sleeping On the Roof: 10/10. A great instrumental that sounds like, well, sleeping on the roof. Sprinkler effects.
13. Race For The Prize: 10/10. The original. This shows how good the drummer, Steven Drozd, is. I believe he is the best drummer of all time. Yes, better than John Bonham.
14. Waitin' For a Superman (Remix): 10/10. A great remix of a great song.
UK Release Track 4 - Slow Motion: 10/10. This is a great song, and I like it better than some others on the US release, but it really doesn't seem to fit in with the rest because of the use of the drum machine effects. Still, it would be worth getting the 5.1 release just for this song.
This album is as close to perfect as possible. It belongs in every record collection. Get the 5.1 release. I don't own it, but I'm going to be getting it from my local library. It includes videos, interviews, and the original album (All the songs released in both the US and the UK) in 5.1 surround sound.
You must get this album.

List Review: Rolling Stone's Top 100 Artists of All Time

Okay, this is the same deal as the guitarists list. I'm only commenting on the people I know enough about.
1. The Beatles - Definitely. No question about it.
2. Bob Dylan - Not sure. Top 10, but not #2.
3. Elvis Presley - No. He should be way lower. Somewhere in the 50's.
4. Rolling Stones - Yeah. I don't like them, but I'm sure they deserve to be here.
5. Chuck Berry - Yes. He basically invented the rock and roll style.
6. Jimi Hendrix - Best guitarist of all time. Yes.
8. Little Richard - Yes.
10. Ray Charles - Yes.
11. Bob Marley - Yes.
12. The Beach Boys - I'm not sure. If they hadn't made "Pet Sounds", they wouldn't be on this list at all. Mid 20's.
14. Led Zeppelin - Yes.
17. Muddy Waters - Yes.
19. The Velvet Underground - Much higher. Top 10. Basically every one of their songs inspired a sub-genre, and they basically started punk, noise, and alternative rock, and every sub-genre to come off of those 3.
22. U2 - Yes.
26. The Ramones - Higher. They were most likely the first punk band, and if not, the first punk band to make punk well known.
27. Nirvana - Rolling Stone loves Nirvana. They are extremely overrated, and only because Kurt Cobain killed himself. Even if Cobain was still alive, he probably would refuse to be on this list, and would probably put either the Meat Puppets, The Raincoats, or The Vaselines, or some other random indie band. I can't choose one of those, because I only listen to the Meat Puppets.
29. The Who - Higher.
30. The Clash - Higher.
38. John Lennon - I'm not quite sure. I would certainly put Paul McCartney's solo stuff before Lennon's.
39. David Bowie - Are you kidding? #2 without a doubt.
40. Simon and Garfunkel - Yes.
41. The Doors - Top 30.
43. Sly and the Family Stone - Yes.
44. Public Enemy - Not sure. My cousin thinks they're great, and he likes rock. I'll go with them being in the 70's or 80's.
47. Patti Smith - Higher. Helped inspire the british punk scene.
53. Eric Clapton - Switch him with Cream. Clapton had a wildly inconsistent solo career, in which half of his stuff was crap and the other half was sheer brilliance, and Cream was awesome all the time.
57. Aerosmith - Yes.
58. Sex Pistols - Higher. Extremely influential, and really good as a band.
63. Phil Spector - No. He's known for producing. I know he was in some band in the 50's, but no.
64. The Kinks - Yes.
66. Cream - As I said, switch with Clapton solo.
70. The Police - Higher. Great Reggae-Punk fusion.
71. Frank Zappa - Higher. Nobody realizes how great he was. Make it Frank Zappa/ Mothers of Invention, though.
72. AC/DC - Yes, although they were horrible after "For Those About To Rock We Salute You".
78. The Stooges - So much higher. So influential. So awesome. So crazy.
80. Elvis Costello - Higher. A great songwriter.
85. Black Sabbath - Yes.
88. Miles Davis - Yes. The only jazz guy on here, though. Where's John Coltrane?!
89. The Yardbirds - Yes.
90. Carlos Santana - Yes.
92. Guns n Roses - No. I hate this band. Nothing they did was good. Not even "Welcome To the Jungle".
98. Roxy Music - Higher. Inspired most punk bands. Great avant-rock.
100. Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Higher. I don't listen to him, but I know his legacy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Comparison: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "We're Only In It For the Money"

These are two very similar albums, yet are extremely different. In 1966, the Mothers of Invention recorded "Freak Out!", a satirical look at the american culture. It apparently inspired The Beatles' classic "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", an album that is regarded by some, most prominently Rolling Stone magazine, to be the best album of all time. That album in turn inspired the Mothers of Invention's third album, "We're Only In It For the Money", a direct spoof of "Sgt. Pepper". While The Beatles were into peace and the hippie movement, The Mothers made fun of the entire movement with heavily satirical songs like "Who Needs the Peace Corps?", "Absolutely Free", "Flower Punk", and "Let's Make the Water Turn Black". All of the cover art for "We're Only In It For the Money" was parodied off of the "Sgt. Pepper" artwork. In short, I will say "Sgt. Pepper" gets the upper hand, although both are great albums.

List Review: Top 100 Guitarists of all time

This is a highly contreversial list. Here's my opinion of whether or not the people belong there, although I only put the people I know how good or bad they are, so it skips people a bit.
1Jimi Hendrix: Yes
2 Duane Allman: Yes.
3 B.B. King: Yes.
4 Eric Clapton: Yes.
5 Robert Johnson: No.
9 Jimmy Page: Yes
10 Keith Richards: Yes.
12 Kurt Cobain: No way. He is no where near good enough to even be on this list.
13 Jerry Garcia: Yes
14 Jeff Beck: Yes .
15 Carlos Santana: Yes
16 Johnny Ramone: Yes. It's extremely hard to play all downstrokes (No strumming). If you try to play Ramones songs right, your hand hurts in about 30 seconds even if you have experience.
17 Jack White: Much lower.
21 George Harrison: Higher.
24 The Edge: Yes
25 Freddy King: Yes
27 Mark Knopfler: Higher.
29 Ron Asheton: Higher.
33 & 34 Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore: Yes to both.
37 Bo Diddley: Yes.
38 Peter Green: Yes
39 Brian May: Yes.
40 John Fogerty: Yes
42 Robert Fripp: Top 5. He is amazing.
45 Frank Zappa: Should be top 15.
46 Les Paul: A little higher.
48 Joe Perry: Yes.
50 Pete Townshend: A little higher.
52 Lou Reed: I'm not sure. The only really good guitar song I have by him is "The Blue Mask", but I've heard about an insane solo by him on the only Velvet Underground album I don't have.
56 Tom Verlaine: Should be way higher.
58 Dickey Betts: Yes.
64 Mick Ronson: Should be way higher.
70 Eddie Van Halen: Yes.
80 Robert Quine: Higher.
82 David Gilmour: Higher.
88 Dave Davies: Yes.
91 Robby Krieger: I Used to think he was average. He's really good. Higher.
92 & 93 Fred "Sonic" Smith, Wayne Kramer: Yes.
96 Angus Young: Higher.
99 Greg Ginn: He deserves better than this. Just because he was in a independent hardcore band doesn't mean he isn't good. Higher.
That's my review. If you don't like it, that's just too bad.

H to He, Who Am the Only One: Van Der Graaf Generator, 1970

This probably the best of the many virtually unknown art rock/ progressive rock albums of the seventies. Van Der Graaf Generator can be mostly compared to King Crimson (Robert Fripp guested on a few Van Der Graaf Generator albums), as both bands used woodwinds and organs more than most other bands of that time. This is a great album, and sums up the style of this band. Here's the track by track review.

1. Killer: 10/10. A killer track (Bad pun). Makes good use of singer Peter Hamill's dynamic vocal range.
2. House With No Door: 8/10. A good piano-driven song featuring great drumming and a cool melodic bass line.
3. The Emperor In His War Room: 10/10. The best song on the album. It features two parts, "The Emperor" and "The Room". Features Robert Fripp on guitar with an awesome solo.
4. Lost: 10/10. Also features two parts, "The Dance In Sand and Sea" and "The Dance In the Frost". A very good track. The beginning sounds like Gustav Holst's suite "The Planets".
5. Pioneers Over C. : 9/10. A very good song. The title refers to the speed of light.
Overall a very good album. Highly reccomended.

Band Bio: Roxy Music

Roxy Music was formed in 1971 by Bryan Ferry (Lead Vocals, Keyboards), Andy MacKay (Oboe, Saxaphone), Phil Manzanera (Guitar), and Paul Thompson (Drums, Percussion), and Brian Eno (Synthesizer, Electronic Treatments). In 1970, Bryan Ferry auditioned for lead singer for King Crimson, but leader Robert Fripp decided that Ferry would not fit the band's sound. He was still impressed by Ferry, so when Roxy Music began, King Crimson helped get them a record contract. Ferry put out advertisements for a keyboard player to work with him and bassist Graham Simpson (Roxy Music changed bassists frequently, and after Simpson quit, they would never have a permanent bassist), and MacKay responded, despite not being a keyboard player. He joined, and invited friend Brian Eno to join as a "Technical Adviser", as he could use a synthesizer, although Eno was a self-described non-musician. Their original guitarist was David O'List, but when O'List quit, they discovered that roadie Phil Manzanera, who had previously auditioned, would be a better guitarist than O'List would have been.
They released their self titled debut in 1972. It was an instant hit, reaching #10 in the UK charts. They soon released a non-LP single, "Virginia Plain", which reached #4 in the UK singles chart. In 1973, they released "For Your Pleasure". It was an even bigger hit than "Roxy Music", reaching #4 on the UK album charts, with a non-album single "Pyjamarama", reaching #10 on the UK singles charts. Soon after this, Eno left the band due to differences with Bryan Ferry. He would soon have an amazing solo career, and would produce albums by Devo, Talking Heads, U2, and, most recently, Coldplay (More on Eno later). To me, Roxy Music never really recovered. Although "Stranded" (1973), and "Country Life" (1974), were very good albums, they suffered from the loss of Eno's treatments. They finally recovered with "Siren" (1975), but afterwards broke up. They reunited in 1978 to record "Manifesto", but with some new members. It was not critically well-recieved. As Rolling Stone magazine put it, "Roxy Music has not gone disco. Roxy Music has not gone particularly anywhere else either." , and had similar thoughts for the following album, "Flesh + Blood", saying it was "Such a shockingly bad Roxy Music Record that it provokes a certain fascination". But, in 1982, they released "Avalon", which restored both their critical and commercial success. Sadly, they broke up once again afterwards, and would stay that way until 2001, when they reunited for a comeback tour (Albeit without Brian Eno). They have been touring ever since, and there have been rumours of a new album WITH Brian Eno, although Ferry says that it will be just another of his solo records, although he did confirm that Brian Eno does play on most of the tracks. Yay!

Song: "A" Bomb In Wardour Street

This is the first Jam song I ever heard, and is still probably my favorite. It's about the increasing amount of violence in London, and is Paul Weller's best protest song from that period. It is from the 1978 album "All Mod Cons", and features an intricate drum part that includes cowbell, ride cymbal, bass drum, and snare, showing the high skill level of their drummer. It also features one of Weller's best guitar solos, showing how underrated Weller is as a guitarist. This is an essential track, not just for fans of The Jam, but for fans of Punk and Mod music. 10/10.

The Stooges: The Stooges, 1969

This could be the first punk album of all time, and if not, directly influenced just about every punk band to follow. Released in 1969 by Elektra records, it peaked at 106 on the US Billboard charts. This has been cited as a direct influence to The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, and those are just two that I can remember the names of. Here's the track by track.
1. 1969: 10/10. Iggy doesn't care that it's 1969. Another year for him and someone else with nothing to do. This is the most basic Stooges track, but is still awesome. Best wah wah ever. I bought a wah wah pedal just to play this song.
2. I Wanna Be Your Dog: 10/10. Another typical Stooges track. Still is absolutely awesome. Listen to the one note piano line by producer John Cale.
3. We Will Fall: 8/10. This is a weird dirge. 10 minutes of "Oh gi ran ja... ran ja ja ran...", with strange vocals over it. It's still a good song, but not the best. Quoted by Sonic Youth in the beginning of "Teen Age Riot".
This would be the beginning of side two on the record, but all of these reviews are of albums on compact disc. Yes, I know what a record is. I have a record player in my room that I asked for for christmas a couple years ago, and I have probably 50 records I've collected myself.
4. No Fun: 10/10. The quintessential Stooges song. Covered by the Sex Pistols and numerous others. A cool quitar line. Ron Asheton was one of the best guitarists of all time. Listen to his improvised solos in almost every song the Stooges did.
5. Real Cool Time: 10/10. A great hidden gem. Deserves to be as well known as "No Fun". One of the best wah wah songs on the album. One of my personal favorites.
6. Ann: 8/10. A weird slow song. It's still not great.
7. Not Right: 10/10. One of my other favorite songs. Cool shuffling beat. The solo is awesome.
8. Little Doll: 10/10. The only slow song that really comes through. Another favorite of mine.
This album is an epic milestone in music. Extremely essential. Five stars of five.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Band Bio: The Sex Pistols

This is one of the most notourious bands of all time, although they are much better than anybody thinks. They released four singles, and one studio album before they broke up. They were active from 1975 to 1978, and originally comprised of John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten), Glen Matlock, Steve Jones, and Paul Cook. Strangely, despite the press that they were horrible. In early 1977, Matlock was replaced by John Beverly (AKA Sid Vicious). Sadly, he couldn't play the bass at all (I can proudly say I am most likely a better bass player than he ever was; and I'm younger than him), and Steve Jones played bass on all of their studio tracks. After releasing the amazing "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols", they played an american tour. At the end of their show at the San Fransisco Winterland, as an encore, they played "No Fun", by the Stooges. At the end of the song, Lydon laughed and said "Ever feel like you've been cheated? Good Night." That turned out to be the last show for the Sex Pistols, as they left Lydon in the hotel as they flew back to England. Lydon eventually got back to London, formed Public Image Ltd. , and became an avant garde legend, as well as a punk legend. Sid Vicious soon died, and Jones and Cook flew to South America to find a singer they knew of, Ronnie Biggs. They also released an album called "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle", the soundtrack to their movie. They reunited in 2007 to play a few shows and festivals, documented on "They're Always Be an England".

Song: 21st Century Schizoid Man

This is the first track on the first album by british art rock band King Crimson. From their 1969 debut " In the Court of the Crimson King", this song features heavily layered vocals from singer Greg Lake, and a layered guitar part by guitar master Robert Fripp. That part ends at about 2 minutes into it, and they start a part called "Mirrors", a jazzy instrumental with an amazing guitar solo by Fripp. This continues until 5:41 into it, when it returns to the original part. This is a legendary track, as is the rest of the album.
Five stars out of five!

Comparison: "Peter Gabriel" (AKA "Melt") to "Scary Monsters"

These are two very similar albums. Peter Gabriel's third album, again untitled, featured a melting face on the cover, hence the nickname "Melt", which hinted at the fact that he was changeing his music. Bowie's "Scary Monsters", also showed how his music had changed. Both albums peaked at #1 in the UK charts, with similar sucess in the US charts (Scary Monsters peaked at #12 in the US charts, with "Melt" peaking at #22). Both also featured hit singles (Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" peaked at #1 in the UK, as did Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers"), and other instant classics ("Fashion", by Bowie, a top five single, and Gabriel's "Biko", a top 40 hit). While Gabriel began to use more African music, while Bowie started to use a sound like the New Wave and New Romantics movements.
These are two classic albums. Five stars for each.

Station to Station: David Bowie, 1976

This is, without a doubt, the best Bowie album. Apparently he was on so much cocaine he doesn't remember the album. Nevertheless, this album takes the funk and groove of "Young Americans", and pairs it with the experimentation he would do on "Low", "Heroes", and "Lodger" with Brian Eno. Here's a track by track look.
1. Station to Station: 10/10. An amazing medley of styles, this track is one of Bowie's top ten best.
2. Golden Years: 10/10. The most "Young Americans"-like track on the album, this was the hit single (#10). Got him on the TV show "Soul Train", one of the few people to be on the show that wasn't african-american.
3. Word On a Wing: 9/10. Almost a hymn, this is the weakest track on the album, and still is stronger than many others.
4. TVC 15. 20/10. Yes, 20 out of 10. This is probably the best Bowie song. Based on a dream his pal Iggy (Yes, Iggy Pop. Bowie saved his career, and they became best friends) had where his girlfriend was eaten by a TV set. I wish it was longer...
5. Stay: 10/10. A great rocker. Great to play on the guitar. There's an awesome verison on the live album "Stage".
6. Wild Is the Wind: 10/10. An amazing cover of a song by Dimitri Tomkin and Ned Washington. Originally recorded by Johnny Mathis, and covered by Nina Simone, with the latter inspiring Bowie to do a cover.
This album could not get any better. I cannot wait for the Deluxe Edition remix, due out late 2010. Five discs, and a 5.1 stereo remix. That might make this album better. Maybe.