The 23rd Grammy Awards

The 23rd Grammy Awards were held on February 25th at Radio City Hall, New York.

Christopher Cross was a big winner, getting Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. All of this for his “Christopher Cross” album (released in 1979), and the song “Sailing”. He was the first artists to win all four of these awards in one Grammy show.

Click on the image to hear the song

Best Comedy Recording went to Rodney Dangerfield for his No Respect.

Best Instrumental Composition and Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special both went to John Williams for The Empire Strikes Back. Totally deserved.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female went to Anne Murray for her song “Could I Have This Dance?”, again totally deserved.

Anne released her final album in 2007, and her last tour was in 2008. She is 73 now, and seems to be taking life easy.

“On the Road Again” won Best Country Song, a given really. Willie released an album last year called “My Way”…

He is still touring, even at the age of 85. If he was to come to Japan I would certainly go see him.

Moody’s Mood” snagged George Benson the award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male. George has won ten awards in all in the Grammy Awards. George also won Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for “Give Me The Night”, an excellent choice there. I must buy a George album on vinyl.

Best Album Package was for the Against the Wind performed by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.

Click on the image to listen

Kenny Loggins won Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for his song “This Is It”. Kenny is now 71, and released his last album back in 2009. He seems to be doing charity work these days.

Pat Benetar won Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for her album “Crimes of Passion”. Here is perhaps her most well known song from the album…

Her last album was in 2003, but she is still touring.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male went to Billy Joel for his “Glass Houses” album. The album sold 7.1 million copies. His last album was in 2001, but he is still touring.

I wouldn’t say it was a stellar year for the Grammy Awards, but there were some decent winners there.

If you click here you will see the top albums for 1980 in which the only Grammy winner to appear was Billy Joel. Clicking here will show you a list of number one albums in New Zealand in 1980 (and beyond), and here for England just for comparison.

Here are the top singles for 1980, many classic tracks there, but my pick of the lot would have to be “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.

That song would turn out to be their one and only major hit, and they disbanded in 1985. It was a huge hit though, with the single going platinum in the same year it was released.

Some other albums from 1980 included “Remain In Light” by Talking Heads, “End of the Century” by The Ramones, “Pretenders” by The Pretenders, “Black Sea” by XTC, “Songs the Lord Taught Us ” by The Cramps, and “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” by the Dead Kennedys.

Old Skool Grime

I have been curious about Grime music recently, so I decided to find out what it is all about by purchasing this Bandcamp compilation of “old skool grime” by a chap named DJ Perry D. It cost only 95 pence.

There are 36 tracks and I got through ten of them before I had too much. Even though all of the songs are by different artists, they all sounded the same and the music is really in your face kind of stuff, so it wears you down a bit. I wouldn’t say the music is bad, but it does get a bit much.

Here are a couple of examples…

For 95p I am not complaining at all, but from now on I will listen to a maximum of five tracks at a time.

Music count 2019: 1

Musical CD Catchup

I need to catch up on my recent CD purchases before the year ends, so here they are…

Paul Weller – Wild Wood

I found this in the bargain bins at Hard Off, and at only 108 yen I thought it was well worth a try (I also looked it up online just to make sure).

And for that price it is well worth it, decent and easy to listen to music, but nothing to set the world on fire.

Roni Size Reprazent – In the Møde

I was wondering what Roni Size did after the “New Forms” album, and old favourite, so I found this 2000 (New Forms was released in 1997) follow-up album on Amazon used for only 1 yen (plus postage).

The first song is “Railing Pt.2” which sounds a lot like the original first song “Railing” on New Forms, and upon hearing this I thought that this album is just going to try to cash in on the first album. But, from the second track onwards it turned out to be a new sounding Roni Size.

It still has the Roni Size Reprazent sound overall, but is also a bit more drum ‘n’ bass, and has some jungle thrown in too. I quite like it, I would say it is nearly as good as New Forms.

Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales

Again, this is a bargain bin find from Hard Off. I bought it because it has some familiar tracks on it like “Fields of Gold” and “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”, so I thought I would see what the rest of the album is like.

And it is a decent album, not normally my kind of stuff, but I find it to be quite pleasant listening.

Go to 2 min 30 sec for a harmonica solo…

That is it for CDs in 2018. I will not be buying many in 2019, except for bargain bin finds.

Music count 2018: 114

Musical Download Catchup

I am behind in my music blog posts, so here are my latest Bandcamp purchases. Click on the covers to go to the Bandcamp pages.

Edamame – Nightlights EP

This is a cruisy release by a chap from Denver, Colorado who makes electronic music, this being his latest release.

The music is relaxing, and reminds of the music that you hear in the background of many of the well-produced YouTube videos I listen to. No vocals as such.

The name Edamame is Japanese, and is soybeans eaten directly from the pod, yummy too.

Pulp Fusion – Mixes, Mashes & Freebies

This, as the title says, is a mashup album with mashups of songs by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Prodigy, Queen, and many more, as well as some original material. I have not listened to all 70 tracks yet, but most of what I have listened to so far is pretty decent. I do like a good mashup every now and then, although only in moderation.

Emapea – Random Beats

Emapea is an experimental hip-hop guy from Poland, and this is my second Bandcamp purchase of his stuff. It is pretty good too, 19 relaxing instrumental-only hip-hop tracks.

I Hate Models – Spreading Plague

I Hate Models is a French dude who makes hardcore acid beats, real nasty beats. There are only three tracks, but the whole release is over 23 minutes long…plenty of doof doof. I will have to play this in my car some day, loud, and with the windows down. Will need a large woofer in the back seat.

Music count 2018: 111

Superchunk – What a Time to be Alive

It is Christmas Day, but then again it is not because December 25th is just another working day here. So, to cheer myself up I need to write a blog post about one of my fave bands. This is Superchunk’s eleventh album, and this is a Bandcamp purchase at only US$9.

Superchunk usually play uplifting and happy songs, and this album is no different. The lyrics though do deal with some seriousness and angst, and the music itself is quite loud and raw, but it is still happy and catchy. I like it a lot.

Click here to listen to the title track.

Bit of a short post, but I have plenty more music to write about, so more later.

Music count 2018: 107

The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins

This is a 1970 short documentary by Les Blank about Lightnin’ Hopkins, a blues guitarist from Texas.

Les just follows Lightnin’ around as he does his thing, and films him singing the blues. There is no narration at all, just Lightnin’ talking about what the blues means to him, and tells the occasional story. One story he told was of his car breaking down at the side of a road in North Carolina. A policeman turns up and tells him he can’t be parked there, but Lightnin’ says the car can’t move. The policeman takes him to the town butcher, who is also the local judge. Upon hearing his story (with Lightnin’ getting a bit sassy), the judge fines him $500 ($3500 in today’s money) on the spot. Lightnin’ laughed it all off after telling the story, and said black men should never go to North Carolina.

There is great footage of people going about their own business in the dusty old town they live in. There is also footage at a rodeo, and at a BBQ where Lightnin’ entertains.

From Uncut: Although initially keen on the idea, Lightnin’ Hopkins soon tired of the process of documentary film-making. After playing ten songs for Blank and his camera, after only one day’s filming, Hopkins ordered Blank back to California. Whereupon, with the camera off, the men began playing cards. Blank lost, and lost again. The more money he lost to his subject, in fact, the more Hopkins began to see the virtue of keeping the young documentarian around.

Very simple film making, but it is fascinating to watch, and has plenty of blues.

Date watched: December 21st
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2018: 85

Chick Corea – Return to Forever

This was pretty much a random purchase from Good Times a few months back, but I knew that if it was from the Chickers then it must be a decent listen, which is what it turned out to be.

I found this in the “jazz fusion” box, which is where I have bought most of my jazz records so far. Actually, I am hoping to buy an album I saw in the same box tomorrow. Jazz fusion is boss.

The songs are quite relaxing to listen to and has a nice mix of electronic piano, flute, saxophone, and female vocals. It is the kind of music you would expect to hear in some boutique shop such as a shop that sells handmade candles or fancy muffins. Side one has only three songs, and side two just one 22 minute song.

Stanley Clarke plays on the album which is an added bonus. Chickers plays the electronic piano. Each individual instrument has it’s own place in the stereo landscape. For example the drums and the flute are in the right channel, and Chickers is pretty much on his own in the left channel, while Stan and the vocals are right in the middle.

The record and album cover are in minty condition.

Good music to chill out to.

Music count 2018: 106
Total vinyl count: 23