Bon Jovi

Classic Album: The Division Bell

From time to time I review new music over at Scribes of Metal.  As much as I enjoy reviewing the new music that is coming out at the moment nothing beats the stuff that I grew up listening to. What bugs me though is the fact that I never got the chance to give the world my point of view when the album came out first time around.

So I thought, why not start a new “thing” here where I can review the albums that I grew up with that I now consider Classics.

I realise that everyone has a classic album in their collection that everyone else will say “THAT is NOT a classic album by ANY stretch of the imagination”. I think many people would probably think that the first Transvision Vamp album Pop Art isn’t much more than Pop pap, but to me, it is a kick-start to the emergence of the Girl Power movement and Wendy James was a figure-head, a vocal power house that helped kick that off. That first album helped that.

BUT.

I digress.

The alternative Stone Heads from The Division Bell artwork

Keep Talking

This post is about Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell.

I have mentioned before that I was already a fan of Pink Floyd before I heard The Division Bell, The Wall was my teenage angst album (isn’t it everyone’s?), but The Division Bell was the album that sealed the deal for me. It was this album that confirmed to me that music could be something that took you somewhere else and made you feel something else.

Up until I heard TDB I had been about extremes, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Bon Jovi and bands of that ilk. If I could bang my head to it, I banged my head to it. I lost more brain cells to Heavy Metal than I did to beer in those formative years (I am suffering for it now I think). Even my liking of The Wall was an extreme looking back. I took an extreme reaction to the isolating “feels” that the album offered and shared. I didn’t get the redemption that Pink got at the end of the piece (I’ll do The Wall another time).

TDB was first heard in a theatre over a professional(ish) sound system. It sounded bloody amazing, and has never quite sounded the same again. For a first listen it was pretty special. It was after a production I was working on and my best friend put the tape on and for a while it was just background music and then something caught my ear and I stopped and sat down for a cigarette break and then the music hit me. I started to sink in.

I don’t recall which track it was, I don’t know where I came in, all I know is that it was an epiphany.

A light turned on and I saw and heard something that was positive.

I was a student at the time and money was tight. More so that I was living in my own place, but the next chance I had, I had to have that album. It became a staple in my Walkman. Along with my Tobacco Tin and lighter my Walkman went everywhere with me. I had to have music pretty much everywhere I went. I guess these days a Doctor would diagnose a Social Anxiety disorder as I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) connect with the outside world if at all possible. There is more to it, but I am on an upswing with this post at the moment, I don’t want to bring you down!

I listened to that tape to death. It unravelled so many times and I hand to re-spool it many times with a pencil it grew unfunny after a while. I was too poor to own a CD player (they weren’t affordable or portable at the time) so that idea was out. After a while the tape snapped and my connection with The Division Bell drifted apart.

Well almost. In 1995 Pink Floyd released PULSE the live album from The Division Bell tour. This acquainted me with the album again and bought me a whole new world of joy and my Mum a whole new world of despair.

redblinkingledlight

On the spine of the PULSE slipcase was a blinking red LED light. I kept all of my CD’s on a shelf on the far side of my room. The PULSE disc was slap dab in the middle of the shelf with the LED facing out into the room and every time Mum came into my room the first thing she would see would be that LED flashing away. (I was unlucky I had the room that caught the sun first thing in the morning, so my blinds were very rarely opened). That LED was like the cockroaches, it would have lasted a Nuclear blast. I think the only reason it gave out in the end was an untimely accident with a cup of coffee (which I would never suggest wasn’t an accident?)

Now I am much older and the world is a much more complex place for me and the way my head processes things, the music I listen to is much more important. I need music like I need medicine . The Division Bell is in my regular rotation of albums that get played when I need to calm down and find that happy place. That is an oft used clichéd term, but I do think everyone has that list of things that takes them there, my list grows each week and changes by the day.

Pink Floyd made me much happier recently with the 20th anniversary of The Division Bell by releasing a new album of music that didn’t make it to the original album. The Endless River comprises of music that predominately features Richard Wright compositions and things that weren’t suitable for TDB then. Some have said that the release of the album s just a cash grab for old-time sake, I say, NO! I say it is a fitting epitaph to a band who wanted to say goodbye to a friend who is sorely missed and to put a end to a journey that started 50 years ago and has taken many twists , climbed many a country stile and now needs to sail off down that endless river.

So that is the start of my new thing. My first Classic Album. It isn’t my Favourite album in the world, EVER, but it is an album that left a mark in my life. There are many more.

Until Next Time…

Desert Island Discs

Image of a Beach

Stranded on an Island

I have often been fascinated by the prospect of being stranded on a desert island with no reasonable thought of being rescued. What would I do with my time? How would I survive and would I turn in to Oliver Queen and return to Sittingbourne as the Arrow (?)

One thing that has stuck with me though is the constantly changing list of music that would accompany me on the island.
The BBC has been running a show on Radio 4 (and the Home Service before hand) since 1942 called Desert Island Discs . On DID, the interviewee is allowed to choose 8 pieces of music, a book and a luxury item (it has to be inanimate and incapable of helping them escape the island). The Interviewee is automatically given the Complete Works of Shakespeare and the Bible (or any work of faith of their choice).

In all of the years that I have known and have been listening to the programme my own personal list changes on a day to day basis. Obviously there will be songs in the 8 that will remain constant, but the sheer amount of songs and music that I listen too, it has to change and long may that continue. So here is the selection that, should I be stranded today, I would have on my incredibly small iPod. (more…)

Project 39 – Week 7

Well it finally looks like summer has finally arrived and I feel like I couldn’t wish for winter to arrive quicker. Even though I have been steadily losing weight for the past few years I still detest the oppressive heat that summer brings. The close muggy feeling that midday temperatures bring.

Oh well, can’t complain all the time.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to guest edit the wonderful This World In Mentalist weekly roundup of Mentalist Blogs. I chose a blog that mentioned about getting out in the Garden and getting the grass cut and the beneficial results of doing that. Well yesterday I did just that and lo… I felt better after. I felt a sense of something accomplished. OK my arms and wrists ached, but that’s a by-product of a possible reoccurrence of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, not a great deal I can do about that. The last place we lived had a deceptively large garden that was virtually impossible for us to keep under control. It would take an hour just to get the first corner done and then we’d all be too knackered to carry on so it would get left. This garden is so much better and manageable.  It took me around 45 minutes to get the majority of the garden cut, and if it hadn’t been for the aforementioned pain I would have done the edges with the strimmer and finessed the job off. Maybe another day when the evil that is the sun has buggered off.

George Osbourne… Gonna… Wanna… ARRRGGHHHH

Last week George Osbourne gave his Spending review speech to the House Of Commons and I sat and watched in credulous along with the rest of the country, but I was dragged from my induced madness by the man’s total lack of diction. I made this post in response to a friend’s post on Facebook:

Screen Capture from Facebook

My FB post about George Osbournes Diction during the Spending Review Speech

A while later, I was skimming my Twitter feed and I saw this video tweeted:

Stephen Fry is a bit of a hero of mine. He is an open champion of Mental Health issues and has been for some time, and he happened to become the most vocal at about the same time I needed the most help understanding where I stood with my own health.

The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven’t seen the joke yet. – Oliver Herford

You know, hate is a strong word that I am trying to eliminate from my vocabulary slowly.  There is one thing that as much as I try will never be eliminated from my hatred column though:

BAGPIPES

These horrid soul sucking beasts from the netherworld create the sound of a wildebeest standing on its own scrotum and not having the dumb sense to get off of itself. Having said that, there is one, just ONE exception to this rule: AC/DC.  The track “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna To Rock ‘n’ Roll)”. That is the only justification I had until this past week for Bagpipes, that until I saw this video:

Please note: He had the sense to keep it short. “Well done that man”.

Giddy as a 15 Year Old Kid Again

Back when I was a very VERY spotty 15 year old kid I remember eagerly coming home from school one September afternoon hoping and praying it would be there. That one thing I had been busting a gut string wishing would be mine. That was the Bon Jovi album New Jersey. That would be my first album, the first one that was all mine. When I got home from school my mum was stood by our stereo and as I opened the living room door I heard the opening sounds of “Lay Your Hands On Me“, and it was then I knew… “It was there… It was mine”. I didn’t listen to anything else for days after. I think I annoyed my family more in that week than I had bugging them about getting the album the day it came out in the weeks leading up to its release.

Yesterday Black Stone Cherry helped me relive that feeling for a while as they posted to their Facebook timeline a Fan captured video of a new track from their forthcoming new album that they played at Download last weekend. The track “Me and Mary Jane” is a certifiable BSC classic in the making. The video below isn’t the greatest, but it gave me enough goosebumps to be that 15 year old kid again.

(Video Removed Due to You Tube Take Down Inconsiderate People)

Finally, this past week we went to a local event run by the church my Brother and his family go to. I’ll be making a post about it next week as I have some stuff I want to say about the event, but as always It gave me a chance to take some photos, and I even managed to get some video using an iPhone app that gave some great results, more of that next week. This photo is one of my favourite subjects, and I think his favourite pastime is to pose for photos. This is my Nephew Gibson. I have tweaked the image in the iPhone app PhotoToaster.

Gibson.

My Nephew, Gibson

Until Next Time…

The Bon Jovi Experience

This past Friday we all went out to see a Bon Jovi tribute band. It was a good night out. The band sounded hot, the singer was not an exact copy but you could definitely give him kudos for trying… if not trying a little to hard at times. The affected American ac cent he insisted on using all night began to grate after a while. I guess he was trying to give the audience a full “Bon Jovi Experience”, but once you have heard the Jon Bon Jovi speak either in an interview or in concert then you know what he sounds like and no amount of trying is going to replicate that.

What I did dig was the use of links between songs that the band had used themselves, it bought back memories of when I had seen them live. It was uncanny at times I knew what he was going to say and, at times, sing before he did.

What pleased me more than anything though was getting to hear a live band (any band) sing Raise Your Hands and Never Say Goodbye live. Those two songs are real stand outs from the Slippery When Wet album that I have never seen or heard performed live by Bon Jovi. So when they kicked in I was clapping my ass off in thanks.

It was a great night out, something we don’t get to often. The next night out will be a Pink Floyd Tribute band Great Gig In The Sky at the end of July.

On Saturday Linda and I went to her works Lu au (I am letting spell check loose on that one). It too was an OK night.. I really don’t like thing like that especially as I knew no one there… mind you having said that.. the lovely ladies of Morrisons seem to like me as I have never been kissed as much by so many different women than I was that night… well at least since i was a cute chubby baby.. but then they just wanted to “… Just eat my cheeks up whole….”
I got to meet Linda good work friend Mary and her husband and her daughter and good friend from London Ryan. I am lousy at names but they seemed like really good people. So that was a good point of the whole eveneing.. I even got to take a snakebite bath towards the end of the night… Snake bite for those not in the know is English Cider and Beer with Blackcurrant juice mixed together and it’s lethal when drunk in large quantities… luckily I saved them a hangover when someone poured a whole pitcher of the stuff over me.

Yesterday was Lindas’ birthday and we got her a DS and a couple of Brain Training games to go with it.. that should keep her quiet and occupied when she is on her own. We had a chinese meal for dinner and we all seemed to enjoy it… even if the Pancake rolls were rank leftovers that shouldn’t be fed to a pig let alone a human being… not bad for a meal from a new takeaway that we hadn’t used before.. you live and learn as they say.

Well that me up to date for now.

Until Next Time…

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