Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.
I was sooooo tempted to review another Dixie Chicks album, just to annoy a certain someone, but I didn't really have it in me. Though, I wasn't about to touch on Dio either. He was never my thing.

But I did think I'd stick with chick singers. I like 'em, ironically enough.

Forget the Prince-penned "Manic Monday" and the sappy "Eternal Flame" crap you probably know of the Bangles. Their first full-length album, All Over the Place, is where it's at, man.

Back when this was released in 1984, the press dubbed them to be more mod than they actually were, more Beatles-like than they actually ever could be and yet less talented than male counterparts.

All Over the Place is certainly more rock/pop (yes, in that order) oriented any of their subsequent efforts. Those seemed to be obvious attempts at radio airplay. Their single "Going Down to Liverpool" single might have gotten MTV airplay, but I don't remember hearing it on the radio at all. ..and I think it only got MTV airplay because Leonard Nimoy was in it.

That all being said, the girls played well on this album and no one had a more starring role than the other - which of course would somewhat change later when Susanna Hoffs seemingly had the lead vocal in most of their singles.

But this batch of songs were guitar heavy, some to the point of distortion - but don't get me wrong, it's not Neil Young type distortion. The playing is tight, the vocals are good and they show a good knack for harmony. I like(d) the G0-Go's too, but harmony wasn't their strong suit - not that they tried much.

Songs here are short and sweet, most all of them clocking in under three minutes. The longest song, "Dover Beach" should have co-songwriting credits by T.S. Eliot as they clearly steal lines from his The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

All of the songs are more than listenable, but there are some I like more than others: "Tell Me", "He's Got a Secret", "Live" (which does make obvious Beatles attempts), and "Restless". I like "Dover Beach" too, but I think it's mainly because I love Prufrock.

If there is a drawback to the album, it is that there are no songs written or sung by the almost always under-utilized bassist, Michael Steele. To me, she was always the strongest of the songwriters, but had limited exposure. Granted she had joined shortly before recording of this album, but still.....

There is nothing deep about this record and it's over in less than 30 minutes. But it's good mid-80s fun that kind of defies that era.

1 comment:

David Joseph said...

My inner heart is walking like an Egyptian.