Albums that Influenced–Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force: Planet Rock

Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock

For a change in pace, we decided that the 4 Sonic Collective members should select albums from a randomly selected genre for everyones next pick. Hip Hop was chosen and for the second pick of this round member Scott Coates chose A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

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Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Hi there Collectivists. Collectivi? Collectovers? What’s up! This is Scott G from The Sonic Collective announcing our pick for July, 2020. This one was really hard for me. We’ve had a rap/hip hop theme going this round, and the guys have picked some amazing and diverse albums. I wanted to bring something equally interesting and diverse to the group but what?

There’s a period of time called “The Golden Age of Hip Hop” that spans from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. Our previous picks, including Afrika Bambataa, A Tribe Called Quest, The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and Dr. Dre all come from this period of time. I was about 21 coming out of that stretch of time, and I’m sure it had a deeply formative effect on my musical tastes and maybe even my world view.

So I knew I wanted to pick something just out of this pocket, preferably a female artist or group, and something more on the funky or soul side of the rap/hip hop spectrum. I also lean towards artists whose singles I’ve enjoyed, but have never gone much deeper on them.

My choice came to me when I was watching a show about the stand-up comedian Dave Chapelle. One of the things I admire about him was his willingness to walk away from fame and fortune to maintain his personal and creative integrity. The world was ready to anoint him a king if he played ball, and he said, “see ya!”

There’s another artist who was presented a crown that upped and walked away. She had acclaimed roles in multiple movies, multi-million unit selling albums, grammys, and a world ready to throw all the dollars at her. Lauryn Hill said no.

But before she said no. Before all the fallout from the disbanding of the Fugees and stresses of stardom led her to leave the public eye, Lauryn dropped one of the greatest rap albums of all time on us.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, her one and only studio album came out in 1998 to rave reviews. They equally compliment her beautiful singing voice, excellent rapping and deep and honest lyrics.

Until now I’d never listened to anything other than the singles from the album. With this pick, we get one of the queens of rap and neo-soul into the mix with what some consider one of the top-ten overall albums of the 90s. I think that could be an accurate assessment if the rest of the album lives up to the singles.

So join us this month as we enjoy Lauryn’s infusion of rap, hip hop and neo-soul, inspiring a generation of rappers and women in general, as she lays her story on us at the Sonic Collective’s July pick: 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and be sure to check in with us at the end of the month to hear the crew’s thoughts and to share yours with us as well. See you then.

Links

Apple music

Spotify

Wikipedia  

Other albums considered:

Illmatic – Nas

The Score – Fugees

CrazySexyCool – TLC

Albums that Influence–A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm

For a change in pace, we decided that the 4 Sonic Collective members should select albums from a randomly selected genre for everyones next pick. Hip Hop was chosen and for the second pick of this round member Scott Coates chose A Tribe Called Quest: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

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What Makes a Great Album? Featuring Broadcasting Legend Alan Cross

There’s been one common thread regardless of genre, time period, or concept, that’s run through each of our album selections. The search for a great album. The entire package. A group of songs that work together to create more than just a few good singles, rather an experience and journey for the listener. So what makes a great album? This is the question and discussion we had with Alan Cross, an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. Enjoy.

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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