The Doctor and Clara wondering how long they have to wait for more Coffee
**This post is inspired by the weekly link up The Weekend Coffee Share originating from the Part Time Monster It is also bought to you By the letters W.H.O.**
Hey there, welcome back! Glad you enjoyed yourself so much last week that you felt you wanted to come back this week.
If we were having coffee this week, I’d probably be apologising profusely about the fact that we’d be drinking Instant Coffee and One Cup Tea. It has been an insanely busy week for all of us here. We had some new furniture delivered on Thursday and we spent the first half of the week emptying out the Living Room ready for its arrival. I don’t think anyone realises how much stuff three people can accumulate in a short space of time. If we were having coffee this weekend, I’d be chasing your mug around with brand new coasters so you didn’t leave a mug ring on the new coffee table! (more…)
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.
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.
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.
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…)
I appear to be in rant mode of late, I swear I am not Mr Angry, it just seems that things rile me up and it puts me in the mood to write, which when you have been going through a dry spell; you are grateful for. You can rest easy that this rant is not as heavy and as political as the last one, this one is more a personal bug, and needed to be released and let out and set free so I could justify some of my more obsessive tendencies. (more…)
When I was a young head banger back in the day, I was on the cusp of vinyl and cassette tapes. The tapes won out in the end due to the fact I had a Walkman and fitting an album into one of those things was a bitch to do. One of the things that I missed with tapes was art work. Looking at Derek Riggs Iron Maiden art work on tape sized covers was never the same as looking at the vinyl versions. The one concession I made to vinyl was the 10 Year Anniversary Iron Maiden singles set. I collected all of those and I still have them in storage somewhere. I think if I could have used the covers as wall art I would have. In fact as years drew on I used to buy more album art posters to decorate my bedroom walls.
This leads me to the very sad news that one of the most creative and individualistic artists I have ever come across has passed away today.
Storm Thorgerson created some of the most iconic album art work ever. If he had only created the Dark Side of the Moon cover and then gone into isolated seclusion he place in art history would have been assured.
For me DSOTM is an iconic cover, but for me the cover to The Division Bell is my favourite. The two heads talking just makes me realise that everyone has two sides and that it’s not just me that has that inner dialogue that goes on in the dark nights or the lonely hours when all you really want to do is Keep Talking.
The album cover for Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell designed by Storm Thorgerson
This is by no means an obituary, I only knew the man as an artist, but it’s just a small token to say.. thank you for realising the conflict in my head.. even though you never knew I existed. We all should just keep talking.