Unpopular Gems

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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby Susan Butcher on Wed Feb 03, 2010 4:05 am

"I Am The Fly" by Wire is one of my favourites. I haven't heard "Pink Flag" for ages. I was in two minds about it, really.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby Steve on Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:25 pm

King Crimson- Lizard
Strawbs- Grave New World
Incredible String Band- Liquid Acrobats
Love- Da Capo
Brian Auger- Second Wind
Argent- Ring of Hands
Shawn Phillips- Contribution

just a few off the top of the old head, and I LOVE Pink Floyd's More. The song Cymboline was a concert standard in 1970.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby Steve on Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:34 pm

redrabid wrote:Hot Tuna would have been much more succesful if Jorma Kaukonen would have allowed a strong vocalist next to him in the spotlight. Too bad Marty Balin wanted to be Boz Scaggs. I've always liked Hot Tuna but most of my friends declare me crazy for doing so. That I go apeshit overJefferson Airplane, well, that is something they are willing to understand but Hot Tuna? For them the main problem is Kaukonen's vocals. Personally, I don't care very much as long as Jorma and Jack heavily mistreat their instruments. But I do understand my friends. Jorma's voice is limited and it gives the recordings a nagging, droning quality, that puts many people off. Strangely enough I think that Jorma is more convincing singing ballads than hard rocking numbers. But supporting vocals by others are usually a great improvement. For instance "Third Week In The Chelsea". The harmonies by Grace Slick improve the recording of this beautiful song (that couldn't have been sung by anyone other than Jorma) very much.
If only Marty had sung "Startrack", it would have made a great JA single.


After Jorma let Joey Covington sing some songs in 1970 Hot Tuna, he probably figured he couldn't do worse than that! :shock:
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby redrabid on Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:39 pm

Joey's singing was kind of ridiculous. Also in JA. As was his songwriting. "Give me a C, give me an O, give me a P...": Aaww, toecurling, derivative amateurism. It's beyond my comprehension that they let him do that.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby Susan Butcher on Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:54 am

"Wolf City" by Amon Duul 2. I've had this album over thirty years, and because I love it I only listen to it once a year. That way I can never get fed up with it, and it won't wear out either.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby usedtobebabson on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:04 am

Maybe going out on a limb here, but my wife and I really got into the Marshall Tucker Band.

It was still back in the vinyl days. Have "Searching for a Rainbow" and "Long Hard Ride".
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby jimmie ray on Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:43 pm

usedtobebabson wrote:Maybe going out on a limb here, but my wife and I really got into the Marshall Tucker Band.

It was still back in the vinyl days. Have "Searching for a Rainbow" and "Long Hard Ride".


They got some decent time on the radio around here, suprisingly. I know someone big on them, and even seen them a few times, myself. Some knee slappin' tunes, for sure!
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby starfire II on Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:11 am

Here are a dozen or so albums that you might like to seek out. I deliberately tried to avoid long lists of bafflingly obscure records that no one would ever be able to track down, as that would be defeating the object of the whole exercise.

Anthem Of The Sun - The Grateful Dead (1968)
Kaleidoscopically inventive, euphorically trippy and weirdly experimental - probably the ultimate psychedelic record(?)

Ptah, The El Daoud - Alice Coltrane (1970)
Terrific, spiritually connected 70's astro-jazz.

Stormcock - Roy Harper (1971)
Great eccentric English prog-folk, with a Jimmy Page guest appearance.

Big Fun - Miles Davis (1974)
Four 20-minute chunks of ethnodelic grooves, acid-fried guitar freak outs, and mass improvisation - with sitars.

Rock Bottom - Robert Wyatt (1974)
Another great English eccentric, with a record of sublime, aqueous beauty.

Time Fades Away - Neil Young (1975)
Typically wilful, ragged 70's stoner rock live LP that seems to have slipped through the cracks. Time for a reappraisal.

Blues For Allah - The Grateful Dead (1975)
A strange mix of hallucinatory incantations, evocative desert soundscapes, and sublime, jazzy songs and instrumentals.

Shiny Beast/Bat Chain Puller - Captain Beefheart (1978)
The acceptable face of rock weirdness - beguilling and at times oddly beautiful.

The Roches - The Roches (1979)
Sublime sisterly harmonies, simple arrangements and great, idiosyncratic songs. Oh, and Hammond Song, featuring Robert Fripp, is one of the most beautiful things you will ever hear.

Common One - Van Morrison (1980)
Astral Weeks is his masterpiece, of course, but this is almost as good. Musically intense and mesmerically beautiful.

The Raven - Lou Reed (2003)
Everyone seemed to hate this bizarre, 2CD set of ranting, Poe-inspired poetry, deranged bursts of musical diversity and odd collaborations ( David Bowie, Ornette Coleman, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, The McGarrigle sisters, and Steve Buscemi/Willem Dafoe), but I love its bravura oddness. I think it was edited down to a single CD for the less, erm, adventurous.

The Milk Eyed Mender - Joanna Newsom (2004)
Get past the spooky, little-girl-lost voice (which is maturing nicely now, thank you very much), and you'll find gorgeous songs and great oddball lyrics which sound like nothing else out there.
Last edited by starfire II on Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby okeedoe on Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:17 am

Would you be so kind to make your long lists of bafflingly obscure records for me?I am interested in that stuff. :)
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby starfire II on Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:11 pm

Okeedoe -
Thanks for expressing an interest in the murkier depths of my record collection. "Bafflingly obscure" is a purely subjective term, of course, but I think it's safe to say that none of the following ever troubled the top 100.

The New York Art Quartet - Same (1965)
Jazz, improvisation, poetry and race. Disproves the notion that all the mid 60's radical, free-thinking progressive stuff was happening on the west coast.

Village Of The Pharoahs - Pharoah Sanders (1973)
Bells, flutes, chants, tamburas - more great spiritual jazz.

Nosferatu - Popol Vuh (1979)
Appropriately creaky, spooky, yet oddly beautiful soundtrack to the Herzog/Kinski arthouse vampire flick.

Live, Love, Larf And Loaf - French, Frith, Kaiser And Thompson (1987)
Oddball collaboration of folkies, art rockers and avant-gardists. More fun than it sounds, with the great Richard Thompson singing a (very catchy) traditional song in the Okinawan dialect.

If'n - Firehose(1987)
Much missed (by me, at least) jazz/punk/funk/art-rock trio with a great record of short, sharp, and ever so slightly quirky songs. Oh, and Mike Watt is surely the post-punk Jack Casady. Listen to him go on From One Cums One.

The Word - Jonas Hellborg (1991)
Virtuoso acoustic bassist, backed by a string quartet, and late, great drummer Tony Williams, who mostly sounds like a six-armed hyperactive child trying to hammer his way out of a locked wardrobe - albeit a child with uncanny rhythmic timing and stunning technical ability.

Weird Nightmare - Hal Wilner (1992)
A musical tribute to Charles Mingus, featuring the home made instruments of Harry Partch,and a truly eclectic cast featuring Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Vernon Reid, Bill Frisell, Diamanda Galas, Robbie Robertson and Elvis Costello, amongst others.

Miracle - Bim Sherman (1996)
Smoky, soulful vocals set against a backdrop of acoustic guitars, tablas, and an Indian string orchestra to create something life-affirmingly mellow, and so utterly gorgeous, it would even melt Dick Cheney's heart. (Probably).

Jazzactuel - Various (2001)
"A collection of avant-garde/free jazz/psychedelia from the BYG/Actuel catalogue of 1969-71"
Says it all, really. With Steve Lacy, Archie Shepp, Gong, Daevid Allen, and a monumental piece from Alan Silva. Triple LP.

The Lark Descending - Chris Wood (2005)
Beautiful contemporary English folk. Genuinely great songs.

Like Love, Lust, And The Open Halls Of The Soul - Jesse Sykes And The Sweet Hereafter (2007)
Lovely laid back country/folk/rock with a nice 70's vibe.

Alone In The Dark Wood - Fursaxa (2007)
In which a one-woman band performs what sounds like a peyote-fuelled shamanistic ritual in the desert at night, while coyotes howl and prowl in the surrounding darkness. Those people discussing the meaning of psychedelia elsewhere on this forum may care to check this out.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby Susan Butcher on Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:25 pm

Thanks, starfire. That's reminded me to mention "Leg End" by Henry Cow. Cow got a bit serious on later records (this is English understatement!), but "Leg End" is serious fun.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby okeedoe on Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:57 pm

Thanx,starfire.I see you have got an interesting-almost exotic collection of rarities.Now I know about Tara Burke.I wonder if her mother knew Skip Spence.I've been on a little piracy raid these days and 'Alone In The Dark Wood' - Fursaxa(I LIKE IT!) is among the loot.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby EmbryonicRabbit68 on Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:33 am

I think it's time someone updates this... I'll add a few rarities I've heard lately that I recommend.

Affinity - S/T(1970) - Wonderful jazz/folk/prog album from 1970, England. They have a female singer, who has a wonderful voice, and the band is very good too, the guitar work is unique and not overheard, and the jazzy organ dominates, and deserves it. Great album.
Czeslaw Nieman - Enigmatic (1970) - Great album, tons of organ, gets almost horror movie-ish at times, which I like. The vocals are in Polish, but the singer is good enough that it doesn't matter, if that was a problem in the first place. Major recommendation for anyone who loves organ prog or obscure European music.
Jade Warrior - S/T(1971) - They're British, but the Asian influences are very clear. Most of it is soft, acoustic and has nice flute work, but at times a crunching fuzzed out guitar appears, which you think would throw it off, but it sort of works. Very proggish, and I'd only recommend it to those who enjoy prog.
Paladin - Charge!(1972) - They're unique, and how they didn't get some recognition is beyond me, because they were so accessible, but not too accessible. Funky at times, but mostly proggish hard rock with keyboards, sometimes can remind one of Steely Dan or Santana.
The Human Beast - Volume One (1970) - I heard this because a mix of May Blitz and Jefferson Airplane was mentioned, that I had to hear. Musically, I hear the similarities, and it leans more towards the acid rock tendencies of May Blitz, but the vocals and lyrics are forgettable. Still, good for a listen.
Titus Groan - S/T(1970) - Jazz-influenced Prog from England with great bass work, and nice saxes and flutes, but everything on it is worth mentioning. It's good, worth the effort, has qualities and is in the same area as very early Jethro Tull. A recommendation if you like that.
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby mellowgerman on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:14 pm

not sure if these guys have been mentioned, but what about the band July? I've been quite obsessed with them lately

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86dDqwgJ ... re=related
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Re: Unpopular Gems

Postby PrayForPlagues on Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:33 am

Currently hooked on Scientology period Incredible String Band. I've seen so much praise for their early work, and so much criticism of the stuff "Changing Horses" and onward, but I honestly really love "Changing Horses", and definitely "I Looked Up". The song 'Fair as You' is too beautiful to be accurately described.
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