Review Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man

Gil Scott-Heron’s Pieces of a Man was mentioned often as a very powerful influence, namely the song ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, which is a spoken word politically powerful piece that highlights the struggles of the black population in the United States during the late 1960s. We listened, we mostly liked, and we learned a lot about GSH.

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A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

Released on April 10, 1990, it was the group’s debut album. From Queens, New York, A Tribe Called Quest formed a friendship with hip-hop act Jungle Brothers, both groups formed a collective called Native Tongues, which also included De La Soul. They played with beats, technology and built their skills in the rap world.

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Review of Jeff Buckley: Grace

Jeff Buckley’s Grace was his only album. Shortly after the release of this album Jeff died in a strange drowning accident. None of us really knew this album, but with heavyweights like David Bowie and Jimmy Page citing it as one of their favourite albums, we knew it had to be great … right? Well… it didn’t quite go the way we thought. Listen and find out why.

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Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man

PHOTO: MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

 

Darren Scott, April 2020

Our four Sonic Collective members decided it would be fun to pick a random genre of music that we could use as a guide for a round of album selections. Member Scott Coates spun virtual wheel like a champ and in the end the winning genre was ‘Hip Hop’.

As I (Darren) get to kick off the round I was really excited. I love my Soul, Funk, Hip Hop and Rap. As a huge fan I wanted to do something different. I decided to go back to the artists that influenced the Hip Hop and Rap genre. Listen to my selection audio and find out what lead me to select Gil Scott-Heron. Hey, we can always use more of the name ‘Scott’ in our group! Ha ha.

Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man Wikipedia

Rapping History on Wikipedia

On Spotify:

Other artists I though about picking this month were:

Pigmeat Markham, Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, DJ Kool Herc and A Tribe Called Quest (My favourite!)

Jeff Buckley: Grace

 

Scott Gregory, March 2020

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Sonic Collective. I’m Scott G and it’s my pleasure to bring you the pick for March, 2020.

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to make this selection. Maybe it’s because the Album never really saw the staggering commercial success many of our other picks did in North America. Maybe it’s the fact the artist only completed one studio album before his untimely death in 1997.

Jeff Buckley’s 1994 album Grace had a lasting impact on some of the greatest rock artists of all time. Jimmy Page is quoted as saying it was one of his favourite albums of the decade, and other artists such as Robert Plant, Chris Cornel, Bob Dylan and David Bowie also spoke highly of Buckley and the album. Rolling Stone listed it at number 303 of their 500 Greatest Albums of all Time.

Buckley is an incredibly gifted guitarist and vocalist, and his eclectic taste in music led to a rich variety of influences that trace shadows across the entire album. His cover of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen has since gone up the charts several times, and is an absolutely haunting hour of music.

It’s one of my favourite albums of all time, and I’m overdue sharing this love with you. I wonder, how many of the guys didn’t discover Jeff until after he was already gone, or maybe they still haven’t really ever checked him out? We’ll see. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and I look forward to you joining us at the end of the month when The Sonic Collective comes back together and shares our thoughts on March 2020’s pick: Jeff Buckley’s 1994 album Grace.

Spotify

Apple Music 

Wikipedia

Review of Van Halen: Van Halen

Van Halen cover art

Please read and listen to Alain DuPuis’ pick  Van Halen: Van Halen before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
5

Review of Van Halen: Van Halen

Just like this album, we had way too much fun recording the podcast review for Van Halen’s self-titled debut album. Sonic member Alain DuPuis selected this California Rock/Metal album for February 2020 and we got to go back and listen to this classic. This album definitely highlights a lost art of selecting tracks to listen to in order to create a party/story for the listener. As we now live in an age of releasing singles and rarely listening to a full album in order from an artist, it is nice to go back and remember this lost art form.

We had a blast with this one and it is one of few that received a perfect score from us. Stop reading this and go listen to our podcast now and then get that album queued for your next gym session.

We invite you to hear our four differing opinions of this album and learn something with us. In this podcast you will learn the following about Van Halen’s debut album and much more:

  • Why did the band choose to have 2 cover songs on their debut album anyway?
  • There was a crazy rumour about Van Halen after this album debuted that related to the band Kiss, what was it?
  • Scott Coates points out which song was sampled from this album for a very famous rap tune.
  • Now that vape pens are legal in Canada how did Darren do trying to get through his scattered thoughts? Thanks to 420 Premium Market for the Top Leaf Florida Lemons Vape Cartridge.

Listen to our thoughts and see if this is worth going back to and let us know what your experience was with this album.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Alain DuPuis:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Darren Scott:

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

 

Scott Coates

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Scott Gregory

Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5

Review of Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (w/Bonus Rush: 2112 mini review)

Please read and listen to Scott Coates’ pick  Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Overall
4

Review of Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique (w/Bonus Rush: 2112 mini review)

Note: Due to the passing of the great Canadian Neil Peart from the band Rush, we decided to also listen to and do a mini review of the Rush 2112 album. It’s only 5 minutes long so be sure to listen at the end.

It was great that Scott Coates selected this adored Beastie Boys album. Paul’s Boutique is often talked about as one of the key albums in the history of rap. Considering the Beastie Boys were know for goofy white kid moronic rap (Sorry, but it was kinda true), to have their next album take such a leap in style and production was… well… amazing. 

We invite you to hear our four differing opinions of this album and learn something with us. In this podcast you will learn the following about Paul’s Boutique and much more:

  • The lyrical interplay (Alain’s words) between the members was impressive. They were masters of riffing off of each other. The rhymes were complicated and quick.
  • Learn why Scott Gregory described some of the tracks as “soggy” and why we had to agree with him.
  • Learn why eating too much Foray Vanilla Chai Milk Chocolate edible cannabis isn’t such a good idea before a particular podcast.

Listen to our thoughts and see if this is worth going back to and let us know what your experience was with this album.

The Sonic Collective

Individual Review Scoring

Darren Scott:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4.5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Alain DuPuis:

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 2

Scott Coates

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4.5
Influenced my tastes: 4

Scott Gregory

Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 4
Influenced my tastes: 4

Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique

Scott Coates, January 2020

Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique 

I was super close to choosing an album by The Police or Willie Nelson this month, then read/listened to a post, Hear Every Sample on the Beastie Boys’ Acclaimed Album, Paul’s Boutique–and Discover Where They Came From, which got me thinking back to this album.

Disclosure, I own every Beastie Boys album but have not listened to Paul’s in its entirety in many years, so this will be rediscovering known territory. They spent US$250,000 on sample licensing, but this would simply not be possible today as fees have gone way up, making a modern-day Paul’s virtually impossible. 

Released on July 25, 1989 by Capitol Records, it was recorded over two years at a Los Angeles apartment. This was the highly anticipated follow-up to the Beastie’s debut album Licensed to Ill and expectations were beyond high. It was produced with the Dust Brothers, who broke new ground utilizing multi-layered sampling, drawing on 105 songs. 

Paul’s Boutique debuted to less than favorable reviews and fans didn’t know what to think. It peaked at just #24 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and quickly found its way to the discount bins (where I bought my original CD copy). It turns out Paul’s was way ahead of its time, and as the decades passed, people came to realize it as a masterpiece.

Put on some kick-ass headphones or turn up a quality hi-fi and digest Paul’s Boutique.

Links
‎Paul’s Boutique by Beastie Boys on iTunes – Apple Music

Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique – Amazon.com Music

Paul’s Boutique on Spotify:

 


Also Considered this Month:

Willie Nelson: Shotgun Willie

The Police: Ghost in the Machine