Jack's Picks Vol. 2
February 09, 2016
Written by Jack Pochop
Jack's Picks Vol. 2
Last week, I published my first of many volumes of music recommendations. Basically, I'm going to go to the record store each weekend and report back on what I find. The LPs I grab won't always be perfect, but hopefully there will be something for everyone. I don't like Country though, so there probably won't be any of that. Most weeks there won't be much of an introduction, and we'll just jump right into it.
The Logan’s Run Soundtrack from Jerry Goldsmith
Logan’s Run is a relatively classic sci-fi flick from the late seventies. I’m going to be honest in saying that I have only seen the movie once. I remember liking it, but that really isn’t any credit to the movie’s quality. When I saw the soundtrack at Laurie’s Planet of Sound (located in Chicago’s Lincoln Square), I was really drawn to the album’s artwork. It’s a pretty sweet collage of scenes from the film, with a chromed-out title perched on a faded rainbow. I really like the inner label design as well. It’s nothing crazy, but I love the color scheme.
The soundtrack itself is drenched in "futuristic" tones, early synth effects, and romantic woodwind instruments. There’s one song in particular (“Love Theme”) that is basically a cliffnotes on the movie Xanadu. One of the tracks, “Intensive Care,” is, in every sense of the word, exciting. It has horrific undertones, complete with Hitchcockian slasher-style violin.
I’m not sure if I fully endorse this album. On the one hand, it’s a unique mix of entertainingly dated orchestra from a bygone era of polished chrome and delightfully feathered hair. On the other, it’s a niche assortment of musical arrangements from an even more niche taste in film. Proceed with caution.
Paul McCartney - Ram
I am, in my own small way, infamous for listening to more solo Beatles than the actual Beatles themselves. Paul McCartney is my favorite, followed by George Harrison, and then John Lennon. I like Ringo in Caveman. Paul McCartney’s solo career is at his best during his ten-year stint with The Wings, with Speed of Sound topping my own personal charts.
Ram is the second solo album from then-ex-Beatle Paul McCartney. It was also the first collaboration with his wife Linda. Non-surprisingly, it sounds very much like a Beatles album and even a bit more like the work Paul McCartney would later produce with The Wings. My favorite songs on the album are “Too Many People” (the first track), “Long Haired Lady,” “Uncle Albert,” and “Monkberry Moon Delight.” Honestly, the whole album is pretty solid. “Monkberry Moon Delight” features more of Paul McCartney’s wild side, which I really like. He’s basically yelling at around a minute-and-a-half in. His voice can be surprisingly raspy, considering he stays relatively high-pitched and melodic most of the time.
I’m pretty sure I bought my copy used for around $10. Prices are all over the place on Discogs, so you can definitely pick one up for a reasonable amount. If you’re either a Beatles or Paul McCartney fan, I highly recommend picking it up.
The Eagles - Hotel California
Forget what I said last week about not mentioning the Eagles. I actually didn’t listen to much of them until the unfortunate news of Glenn Frey’s death. I am prone to Wikipedia binges and, after doing my compulsory research, started streaming a few of their songs on Spotify. I don’t really need to tell you this, but Hotel California is probably their best album. The title track is so solid. They totally exude 1970s California, where things were free and easy, and the top was always down.
Side one is amazing. “Hotel California” rolls into “New Kid in Town,” followed by “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Wasted Time.” I’m not a huge fan of “Wasted Time,” but the high from the first three tracks makes it tolerable. One of the only songs on I like on side two is “Victim of Love.” The latter of the two is a little generic, and not nearly as good as the tracks on side one, but the guitar is crunchy and the vocals are sultry. Can a guy be sultry?
I spent 25 clams on the 180-gram re-issue. It was a little steep, but it was new and you get what you pay for. This particular edition had a cool gatefold, with a photo of the band and a bunch of other 1970s-era humans hanging out in Hotel California. If it’s not sold out, I’m sure you can find this one in your local record store.
And that wraps up this week's picks. If you have any comments, lay it down in the comments below and let’s start talkin’. I’d also be curious to see what you picked up this weekend, or what you’re planning on playing first on your Floating Record when it arrives. Until next time.