The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, March 16, 2009

Artists who make good singles...

3-16-09 Any artists who make good singles but bad albums? Or vice versa?

That Petrol Emotion (good singles, iffy albums). The Moody Blues (wonderful albums pre-‘72, many over-exposed singles). Elvis Costello (a few good singles, never sat all the way through one of his LP’s). I could probably go as far as saying I like “Witchy Woman” by The Eagles, but nothin’ after that – and it’s either their 1st or 2nd single.

= = =

On a not completely dis-similar topic…

There are records I have not bought for one reason or another; I was never interested in the Neo-Fascist imagery of New Order – yet, I collect A Certain Ratio (another band on the Factory label) – so, I’m not anti-Factory, I’m anti-Neo-Fascist stuff. I have plenty of oddball stuff on Rough Trade, but I wouldn’t touch a Smiths record with a barge pole. “You hate Morrissey!”, I hear you cry. No, not really. I am not terribly interested in him or his work – but – gasp if you will, I once bought a Morrissey British CD Single! Actually paid cash money for it, kept it for a few years (“Suedehead”, if you must know). Yes, dear readers, I eventually dispensed with it.

Sidebar: When I was working at Poo Bah Record Shop in Pasadena, CA (mid-90’s), I sat in the back room, ordering imports and staring at a computer screen. If whoever was at the front counter couldn’t answer a customer’s question, they sent them back to me. Once a full-bore skinhead (dressed like a square, white shirt, red braces, shaved head, missing teeth et al) who ever-so-politely said, “Excuse me, sir. Can you order CD’s from England by either The Business or Skrewdriver?”. Um, I had lived in England as recently as 1990, so I knew the nature of these bands, as such. “I’m sorry, sir. There do not appear to be any CD’s by those bands available to us.” – “Thank you, sir” and he left. I had merely consulted a catalogue that I knew didn’t have hardcore skinhead music – per the instructions of the owner of the store. I guess he’d already had trouble with some of the store’s customers.

I never went for any nouveau UK 80’s mod artists: The Jam, The Merton Parkas etc. Never quite liked the look of the stuff. I did, however, buy a Japanese artist sampler CD that was billed as “25th Anniversary of Mods’ Mayday”! Nope, not really into The Modfather, Paul Weller. Dang, he has about a hundred CD’s by now! Yes, I have Robert Wyatt albums that he’s on, without incident. And I have sampler CD’s with his stuff on ‘em…probably.

One simply can’t appreciate everything! I know of at least two friends who never went near anything with Frank Zappa’s name on it – because of ‘how they looked’ (i.e. too freaky?).


Blogger Jim said...


I agree the singles are good, but I carry a torch for the Chemicrazy album. I saw Voice of the Beehive open for TPE in 1988 when they were touring behind Chemicrazy and snobbishly blew them off to chat with VOB. While I don't regret talking music with the sisters, who were real music fans, I now think that maybe I should have gone back to the show to catch TPE touring behind what's now my favorite album by them (I only have 3).

Re: Eagles

"Witchy Woman??!!" Oh, Ron! Yet, you're still my friend!!

Re: Smiths

I heard about The Smiths and when I finally heard them I was seriously repelled by Morrissey's singing. Obviously, he's in love with the sound of his voice as his adenoidal crooning fills every g*dd*mn space in the music! That said, I actually like songs by The Smiths... as long as they are cover versions*! Morrissey, for his many faults, is a great lyricist and Johnny Marr has a compelling sense of melody.

* David Bowie's horrid cover of "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday" nonwithstanding. Though technically that is a Morrissey solo single.

Re: Jam

I started buying everything with the brilliant "Going Underground" single right to the end. Then I stopped cold when the group split. Never got anything released prior to 1980. Got rid of the vinyl during the Great Vinyl Purge Mk I and to this day I have no Jam records. But I can't say why, because I thought they were great. I hated The Style Council. 2-3 singles into that I bailed. I heard some Paul Weller solo in the early 90s that sounded good to me, so I got his Wild Wood album, but that obviously wasn't what I was hearing in that antique store. I recycled it.

7:51 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home