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Thread: Zinc's Essential LP's

  1. #1

    Zinc's Essential LP's

    In this thread I'm going to compile a list of what I think are some of the best records and releases ever made. It will consist of obvious cornerstones of movements and genres as well as lesser know gems. Hopefully, if anyone reads it, they'll be able to put the records they haven't heard into the context of the awesome ones surrounding them and will be encouraged to check them out. The list will slowly become more diverse, I'm not just going to be looking at Rock or Pop alone, but I will be starting with some well known albums. There will be no particular order or organisation and I'll try to give some history and opinion on each entry.

    Starting off with a contender for the best rock album ever recorded I have:

    The Stooges - Fun House (1970)

    By 1970 rock music had developed and diverged into more than some niche outsider youth movement, acts like the MC5, The Monks, The Sonics, Stones blah blah blah etc had helped create an environment for a new generation to experiment with the more extreme side of the sonic spectrum, sprouting out of the roots rock and roll set down over the decade before. Bands like Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath we were distorting and incorporating their psychedelic influences in one direction, but proto-punk bands like The Stooges did something completely different with the same influences. The Stooges had already established themselves with their debut LP a year before, outsider weirdo's who had grown a reputation through unpredictable live performances, seen more as a joke than serious band before the self titled LP blew the hipsters away. The Stooges were part of this evolution of the genre as well as the band that would take it to some sort of conclusion, proto-punk long before the word punk was used to label a sonic style.

    Fun House was the perfect refinement of what The Stooges were - a raw outburst of energy and emotion, neanderthal rhythm, stomping repititions, buzz saw guitars squealing & squalling, unhinged vocals purging and binging on perverted aggression, a touch of demented psychedelia strewn through the racket. The record captured a visceral moment in time where the band were at their peak, all members in tow like planets aligning. Although it's a dirty and loose record it's also full of measured moments, where atmosphere rides the hysteria perfectly. It's full of blues, dirgey amplification, hints of jazz, as well hooks.

  2. #2
    Television - Marquee Moon (1977)

    A few years after Fun House punk rock became a genuine culture. In New York Television were part of the punk scene, though aesthetically and sonically they weren't entirely representative of the music being made by most bands. They had their own style, their own sound and found themselves existing in a space between proto-punk, rock and punk. Television didn't make the same kind of wide spread impact as some of their contemporaries, their music was more subtle and didn't attack the jugular in the same manner as other punk bands of the period. Over the years though, they've gained appreciation as more and more people have realised how fuckking excellent Marquee Moon is.

    It's a complex record of interwoven guitar parts which peel and ripple in a network of melodies and rhythms, locked into grooves by technical drum patterns and driving bass lines. Verlaine sings in a stricken voice, with a contorted tone and delivery. This is a guitar album for guitar nerds.

  3. #3
    Quality thread.

    Keep them coming......

  4. #4
    Love the sound of that Stooges album, I've listened to pretty much every big band from the 60's and 70's but somehow managed to avoid them, must check out their other albums

  5. #5
    Apologies about the pompous and goofy writing, I get a nerdy hard on over music. A nard on.

  6. #6

    Slint - Spiderland (1991)

    Slint started out in the mid to late 80's, originally making a pretty ropey hybrid of metal/punk rock and indie, mixing their influences into something I never really liked. They quickly evolved, focusing on a particular aesthetic hinted at on Tweez and realised on the nameless EP. Then came Spiderland. Looking at the context of north American indie and the roots of the band the often quoted birth of post rock came as a surprise to me, an average indie rock band drops from nowhere a record that changes that scene entirely, going on to heavily influence bands like Mogwai, Rodan and Rachel's who in turn gave birth to a new breed of post rock bands like Godspeed, Shipping News and Explosions In The Sky.

    The songs are slow burners with gentle melodies repeated and built upon until they evolve or explode into heavier crescendos, break downs/passages. The music is innately raw but most of it is fragile and intricate, though songs like Nosferatu man hint back at where the band came from originally. The album feels lonely and autumnal, the lyrics and vocal delivery are understated and have visual affect, the drums and bass are quite minimalistic but balanced and don't take too much attention from the wandering guitar and voice. Despite it's heavy moments it's a subdued record, a dreamy meander.

    This sounds tinny and lacking presence on youtube, but then so does any good recording:[/img]

  7. #7
    Keep going, highly enjoyable.

    That last tune was great. Suited my mood perfectly contemplating the crazy weekend I had.

    What a bender it was and this tune reset my mind.

    Thanks for that.

  8. #8
    The For Carnation - S/T (2000)

    One of the post rock bands born off the back of Slint, starting off without much focus I wasn't a huge fan of their droll shtick until they released this record.

    I guess this was concentration of what Slint and The For Carnation had been doing for over a decade, a culmination of their exploration of subtle guitar driven post rock. More minimal than anything they had ever written before, this time with the bass and drums often propelling the music forward while the guitar sparingly added melodic reference points, softly disjointed. The vocals were softer and the lyrics solemn, but there was room to expand and experiment past what started out as a quiet indie rock band.

    This is a sublte and repetitive record, good one for headphones.

  9. #9
    Had to change that For Carnation track because the first one was the worst sound quality.

  10. #10
    Slint - Spiderland (1991)

    Brilliant. Never heard that before until now. Can certainly hear the influence it had on Godspeed....

    Nice one, that's a keeper.

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