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Update June 2017


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Mott the Dog
 

Update June 24, 2017

Pink Floyd: “The Endless River” - 5 stars

The “Endless River” was released by Pink Floyd in 2014 and in a way it completed the band’s full circle.  Floyd were formed in 1965 with Syd Barrett as guitarist, singer and chief songwriter, but after one album and two brilliant singles he left and chose the life of a recluse, becoming the first high profile rock-n-roll casualty.

Roger Waters was on bass guitar at the time and took over the lyric writing.  David Gilmour had been drafted into the band in 1967 to support an ailing Syd Barrett and became a full time member when Barrett left in 1968.  Nick Mason happily played the drums all the time as a Pink Floyd band member, but Rick Wright was the keyboard player who Waters found surplus to requirements during the recording of The Wall in 1979, so he fired his old school friend and co-founder of the band - not a very nice thing to do.

Pink Floyd: (from left) Rick Wright, Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason.

Waters himself left Pink Floyd in 1985, believing the band to be a spent force and that it would fold without his leadership.  Well he had not reckoned on the determination and drive of Dave Gilmour who kept Mason in the drum seat, recalled Wright to the keyboards and on they went.

After a lengthy and bitter court battle, Gilmour won the rights to keep the Pink Floyd name and carried on with two more albums and massive world-wide tours in mega stadiums whilst Roger Waters was left trying to fill up only small venues.  Who says there is no such thing as karma?

Both studio albums released by the Gilmour led Pink Floyd were smash hits: “Momentary Lapse of Reason” in 1987 and “Division Bell” in 1994.  The concert tours were the ‘must have’ tickets and the double live albums that went with the tours, “The Delicate Sound of Thunder” in 1988 and “Pulse” in 1995 were amongst the highest selling ever.

After this it was presumed by many that Pink Floyd had simply retired and sadly, in 2008, Rick Wright passed away from cancer and that was that.  Or at least it was until rumors started spreading that some instrumental music was still lying around in cases in Dave Gilmour’s recording studios on a house boat.  No songs as such, just sounds and ambient tunes, half ideas if you like.

A think tank was assembled on the house boat and possibilities started to become realities.  With Gilmour as musical ringmaster and Andy Jackson, the sound engineer from the “Division Bell” sessions on board, along with Nick Mason, Youth, Guy Pratt, the Pink Floyd bass player, and Phil Manzanera, a good friend of Gilmour and of course lead guitarist with Roxy Music, pieces of the musical jigsaw started to come together. 

Apart from some spoken words from Rick Wright explaining the original dynamics of the band to start the album off, and words of wisdom from Stephen Hawkins, there is only one song with lyrics, the final track “Louder than Words”, which was penned by Polly Sampson, now Mrs. Gilmour. 

There’s some wonderful keyboard playing from the organ at the Royal Albert Hall by Rick Wright in 1968 and when mixed with Gilmour’s emotional solo to finish off “Louder Than Words”, or when the latter lets his guitar soar away on the wings of a bird on “Anisina” it really bring goose-bumps to the skin.

Thank goodness the time was taken to put together what has now become my favorite Pink Floyd album.  It is best played in its entirety, first thing in the morning.

Pink Floyd (on this album):

Rick Wright - keyboards and spoken words

David Gilmour - guitar and vocals

Nick Mason - drums and percussion

Guy Pratt - bass guitar

Phil Manzanera - guitar

Youth and Andy Jackson – general genius

Track List:

Things Left Unsaid

It’s What We Do

Ebb & Flow

Sum

Skins

Unsung

Anisina

The Lost Art Of Conversation

On Noodle Street

Allons-Y 1

Autumn ‘68

Allons-Y 2

Talkin Hawkin

Calling

Eyes of pearls

Surfacing

Louder Than Words

Note: Written By Mott The Dog and Hells Bells. 


Update June 10, 2017

Stone Roses: ‘Second Coming’ - four stars

The Stone Roses are certainly something of a rock’n’roll cliché.  The Manchester band’s first eponymously named album, released on 2nd May 1989, took some time to gain traction with critics and music fans alike, and with an opening track titled “I Wanna Be Adored” it rather smacked of some form of rock hedonism.  But ever so slowly it caught the public’s imagination and it wasn’t long before the Stone Roses became the de facto leaders of the ‘Madchester’ movement.  And with a million worldwide album sales behind them, who could argue?

The Stone Roses.

But then, and you could not make this up if you tried, the band, at the height of popularity and after playing just a few headline shows practically disappeared for five years, four and half of those without even playing a concert.  Legions of Roses fans were left in a virtual musical wilderness, but finally news leaked that the band was back in the studios in Owestry, Shropshire and Monmouth, Wales.  The new album took two and a half years to create with rumors abounding all the time about band splits, bust ups and new musical directions.

In December 1994 Geffen records released the Stone Roses second album, prophetically titled “Second Coming”.  Putting it mildly it does not grab you straight away and all the comparisons previously made between the Stone Roses and the Beatles, Led Zeppelin etc. all rather went out the window.  But there is still an awful lot to be said for having a strong fan base.  The album leapt up the British charts and “Second Coming” peaked at number 4 in Britain, selling another million albums.  Sadly for the Roses, the rest of the world did not appear to have such long memories.

The album has some very fine tunes as long as you give them more than one spin on your deck.  The opener “Breaking into Heaven” is a classic, starting with some rampant lead guitar chords from John Squire before changing track and ever so slowly leaving you with just rippling water rolling over stones, other furry beasts lurking in the jungle.  A drum beat comes rolling over the hill and the song carries you away while John Squire’s guitar flows in and out like a rain squall.  It’s nearly five minutes before “Breaking into Heaven” resembles anything like a rock’n’roll song, but when it does it is laden down with charm.

The other tracks on the album all have their own magical moments, with two of the songs having a delightful campfire sing-a-long feeling whilst others are sprinkled with some deep rooted psychedelic passions – funky, blues, rock, pop numbers all superbly played.

John Squire’s guitar work is never short of its unique quality, which, along with Ian Brown’s vocals, gives the Roses their distinctive sound, although if you have a fine lead vocalist I never think it is a good idea to hand the mike-stand to another member of the band. 

Having so far said only positive things about the “Second Coming”, finishing the album with the appalling noise that is “The Foz” is just about unforgivable, but despite this anomaly I’ll still dispense four stars.

Of course, as in all good rock’n’roll stories, nothing lasts.  The Stone Roses did set out on a world tour to support the album, but first drummer Reni left the band and then, disastrously, John Squire picked up his guitar and walked out too.  Replacements were drafted in but it was far too little too late.  The last Stone Roses concert of this ill-fated period was at Reading Festival in 1996 where the band members were under rehearsed, out of tune and out of their gourds.

It is, I am afraid, rather generous to call this the second Stone Roses album as it’s also currently their last.  But as the saying goes, “Never say never!”

Stone Roses:

Ian Brown - vocals and harmonica

John Squire – lead guitar

Mani - bass guitar

Reni – drums.

Track List:

Breaking into Heaven

Driving South

Ten Storey Love Story

Daybreak

Your Star will Shine

Straight To the Man

Begging You

Tightrope

Good Times

Tears

How Do You Sleep

Love Spreads

The Foz

Note: Written By Mott The Dog and Hells Bells.  Mott the Dog can usually be found in his kennel at Jameson’s Irish Pub, Nova Park, Soi AR in Pattaya.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Pink Floyd: “The Endless River” - 5 stars

Stone Roses: ‘Second Coming’ - four stars


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