Massive Attack: Mezzanine


Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Scott Coates, April 2019

I’ve been listening to a fair bit of funky, jazzy, electronica lately: The Brand New Heavies, Chemical Brothers, Morcheeba and a few others. While thinking of similar bands, Massive Attack came to mind. I’d listened to their Blue Lines release a few times but hadn’t listened to this month’s pick, Mezzanine. Upon giving it a listen I realized there are a lot of tracks that I’ve heard before, namely Angel which was on the Snatch soundtrack and Safe from Harm which was featured on The Insider soundtrack. Some of my mixed chillout albums also have Massive Attack tracks on them. 

Mezzanine is the third studio album by the Bristol, England, released on 20 April 1998. It took a long time to make and band members pushed themselves in various new directions, often finishing songs, then tearing them apart and almost starting again from scratch. It features many samples, ranging from Isaac Hayes to The Cure. In 2003, the album was ranked number 412 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It faired very well in the UK, entering the charts at #1 but didn’t do as well in North America, peaking at 51 in Canada and 60 in the US.

This is a potentially dark exploration, but one I’m looking forward to and I hope you enjoy doing so as well. Settle in to a relaxing spot and give it a roll.

Links
Mezzanine on Spotify

Mezzanine on Apple Music

Mezzanine Wikipedia page

Massive Attack website

Massive Attack fan page

The Allman Brothers Band: At Fillmore East


The Allman Brothers Band – At Fillmore East
Scott Coates, July 2018
I’ve known of the Allman Brothers my entire life but until recently had never listened to one of their albums. A few years ago while searching ‘best live albums’ online, their At Fillmore East album was listed; I was intrigued but didn’t listen to it. Fast-forward a couple years and I came back to it.
The double album, featuring just seven songs, was recorded at New York’s Fillmore East theatre on March 12th and 13th, 1971. They were the opening, opening act for Johnny Winter and Elvin Bishop Group the first two nights, but gained so much momentum, they closed the third show as the headliner. The band was paid $1,250 each show. This was the band’s third album and the one that made them a commercial success, being released in July 1971.
It’s interesting to note just how regarded Duane Allman was at the time, regularly jamming with Eric Clapton, and he was invited to join Clapton’s band Derek and the Dominos but declined. Find a comfy chair, nice drink and settle in to what many publications have listed as one of the best live rock albums of all time.
Other Albums Considered
Rolling Stones: Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!
MC5: Kick Out the Jams
Motorhead: No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith
Kiss: Alive!
Bob Seger: ‘Live’ Bullet
Wikipedia Page
On iTunes
On Amazon

The Black Crowes: The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion


The Black Crowes: The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
Scott Coates
Hard to Handle was the hit song of the moment and I was spinning it as a young DJ at Lloyd’s Recreation, a rollerskating rink and Calgary landmark that sadly recently closed. I was 17 and didn’t realize the ‘hit’ was a cover. A few other tracks on The Black Crowes first album, Shake Your Money Maker, caught my ear but then they kind of disappeared. Their second album, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion came out but it didn’t really grab me.
Years passed, then sometime in the 2000s, I hit upon The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion again, and, wow… Age and maturity was needed to appreciate this one it seems. Much like Catcher in the Rye read at 15-years-of-age wasn’t fully grasped, this album escaped me during first listens at a young age.
The Crowes second release, it came out on May 12, 1992 and went on to spawn four hit singles. This album reminds me a lot of old Rolling Stones albums and rock albums of the seventies. I’ll stop here and let you decide – sit back – have a listen – and enjoy.
Wikipedia page
On iTunes
On Amazon

DJ Shadow: Entroducing


DJ Shadow: Entroducing…..
Scott Coates
I came upon this album some years ago on a list of top albums of some sort or genre. I listened to pieces of it here and there, forgot about it, then when DJ Shadow’s Nobody Speak track came out in 2016, I was knocked-out and it spurred me to revisit Entroducing…..

Released on September 16, 1996, he set out to create an album composed entirely samples. DJ Shadow spent two years crafting the tracks and it’s since been heralded by many as the best sample-based album ever made. Most samples are quite obscure but there are many by more prominent artists such as Björk and Metallica.
His studio set-up was minimal, with only three primary pieces of equipment being used in making the album: an Akai MPC60 sampler, a Technics SL-1200 turntable and an Alesis ADAT tape recorder. He became a master with the Akai – crediting it with the end-sound of the album.
This is a different album, one I find that requires me to be in the right mood to get all the way through in a single session, but is incredibly creative and unique. Enjoy the journey…..
Links
Sample list from Endtroducing
Endtroducing….. has been frequently ranked in professional lists of the all-time greatest albums
Entroducing…. on Wikipedia
Entroducing…. on iTunes
Entroducing…. on Spotify
Scratch documentary

Review of Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Please read Scott Coates pick for Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back before reading and listening to our reviews below.

Quick Summary: 

  • Would we recommend?
  • Influence us and our tastes?
  • Worth the hype?
4.7

Review of Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

I have to admit that our little group is on a great streak of great albums to review and our member Scott Coates from Bangkok, Thailand did not disappoint. Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back blew the doors and speakers open with it’s extremely raw sound and messages. Have a listen to our review and find out just how influential this album was, how much sampling happened and what 4 white Canadian boys think of this fun ride. Yeah…. boy!!!!
Ps. I feel like we didn’t give enough credit to the other members of PE. Though Chuck D is the leader all these greats contributed: Harry Allen, Chuck D, Fab 5 Freddy, Flavor Flav, Erica Johnson, Oris Josphe, Professor Griff


Our Individual Review Scores
Scott Coates:
Overall opinion: 4
Would I recommend?:4
Influenced my tastes: 3.5
Worth the hype?: 4
Darren Scott:
Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5
Worth the hype? 5
Scott Gregory:
Overall opinion: 5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5
Worth the hype? 4.5
Alain DuPuis:
Overall opinion: 4.5
Would I recommend?: 5
Influenced my tastes: 5
Worth the hype? 4.5
Check out PE’s latest album. How does this one stand up?

Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back


I’ve recently been listening to concerts and tracks (Unfuck the World – amazing video) from the newly formed super-group Prophets of Rage and been enjoying them a good deal. Pumped for their album coming out in September 15, 2017. I also re-watched an episode of Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways where Public Enemy frontman Chuck D is interviewed and it got me to thinking about Public Enemy. I realized I’d never listened to one of their albums in full. Well it’s time.

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back was released in June 1988 by Def Jam Recordings and was the band’s second studio album. It quickly went on to be named by many to be the best album of the year and has continued to grow in significance since then. The lyrics are poignant and it represents a snapshot of America in the late eighties. Strap in for a rap journey that’s regarded as one of the greatest of the genre…
Links:
Album on iTunes
Album on Amazon
Wikipedia Information on the album.

Neil Young: After the Gold Rush


I’m Canadian, love music, know Neil Young, but strangely have never listened to an entire Neil Young album. While watching music documentary Sound City for the fifth or sixth time, Young was featured and mentioned recording some of After the Gold Rush at the studio and I had my pick for March 2017. It’s time to dive in and get a complete taste of one of Canada’s most famous musical exports.
This is the third studio album by Young and he’s backed by Crazy Horse. The album was originally written as a soundtrack for a movie script by the same name that never got produced. Initial reception was weak but it’s gone on to become one of Young’s most famous albums. Lets see what’s inside?! Listen to why I selected this album and listen with us at The Sonic Collective.
Listen to our review of this album here.
Links
Wikipedia: Neil Young: After the Gold Rush 
Buy the album on iTunes
Buy the album on Amazon
Other Considerations 
The Message: Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five
The Color and the Shape: Foo Fighters
Tibetan Meditation: Phil Thornton

Frank Sinatra: Sinatra at the Sands


sinatraatthesands
Confession – I like Frank Sinatra. While selecting a live album I was really torn. I listened to some really great live albums (see them at the bottom) and was leaning towards a rock album. I then got to looking at Rolling Stone’s list of best live albums of all time and saw this one, Sinatra at the Sands. The songs themselves weren’t the big draw, rather that he was backed by Count Basie’s orchestra and legendary Quincy Jones conducted the concert. Wow – talk about a ton of huge music names on one album.
Then I got to listening and Frank’s personality really comes through – what a live album should be. This sticks out as a wonderful time capsule of an artist and time period.
sinatra-drinkingPlease listen to my audio above revealing my selection of this great album and why I picked it. Enjoy!
Links
Album Link on iTunes
Album Link on Amazon
Album Wikipedia page
Other Albums Considered this Month

Listen to our review of this album here.

Sam Roberts: We Were All Born In a Flame

Sam-RobertsReleased in 2003, We Were All Born In a Flame is the debut full-length studio album by Montreal singer/songwriter Sam Roberts. Some of the album’s songs were re-recorded for the album, having been previously released on an EP or as singles. Roberts played most instruments on the collection, with the exception of drums, making this truly a solo effort.
I moved to Thailand in 1999 and as a result missed much of Roberts’ musical rise and popularity. During one summer visit back to Canada I heard album singles Brother Down and Where Have All The Good People Gone?, which I enjoyed but that’s where my Sam Roberts journey ended. Fast forward more than a decade and We Were All Born In a Flame randomly popped-up on a musical service, suggested as an album I might like. I gave it a listen, did again, and again, and here we are with it as my pick for June 2016.
Perhaps it was inevitable that I’d find this album sooner or later as one of the lyrics in Where Have All The Good People Gone? is “Bangkok to Babylon”. Well here I am in Bangkok, picking a Canadian artist, and delighted to have discovered more music from my homeland. I hope you enjoy this pick and discovering what is now Sam Roberts Band, focusing on the entire collective rather than the man himself.
Scott Coates
Links
Album Link on iTunes
Album Link on Amazon
Sam Roberts Band website
Sam Roberts Band on Twitter
Sam Roberts Wikipedia page
We Were All Born In a Flame Wikipedia page
Other Albums Considered this Month
Iggy Pop – The Idiot
Iggy Pop – Lust for Life
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
Jay Z – The Black Album
Brian Eno – Apollo: Atmospheres & Sountracks

Motörhead: Ace of Spades

Ace_of_Spades_Motorhead_album_coverI was in the beginning stages of writing up another selection for January when I read that Lemmy Kilmister, lead singer and ringleader of Motorhead, passed away. There were few musical icons as well established, admired, and entrenched as Lemmy, who was truly a rock God among musicians. There was no one else like him and will likely not be another father figure of hard rock like him again. He talked the talk, walked the walk, and drank the drink. It was who he was – period.
 
While looking at Motorhead albums online and listening to some tracks, I realized I don’t remember ever listening to a Motorhead album from start to finish. I’m about 30 years overdue, so this month’s pick is Motorhead’s seminal Ace of Spades in honor of The Man.
 
While this was the band’s fourth release in the UK, it was their first in North America, hitting stores in November 1980. They were clumped into what was referred to as the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’, but Lemmy always insisted they were simply Rock n’ Roll. Their sound influenced countless hard rock bands, including Metallica who credits them for much of their sound.
 
Pour a Jack Daniel’s (Lemmy’s favorite), turn it up real loud, and strap in for Ace of Spades.
RIP Lemmy – it’s no doubt quite a bit louder wherever you are!
 
Links

 
Other Albums Considered