Friday, May 26, 2006

Classic Canadian Rock

Here's my random pick of the month.

The short history of The Guess Who goes like this:

1962 - Local band called Chad Allen & The Reflections forms in Winnepeg, Manitoba. Later band changes name to Chad Allen & The Expressions

1965 - Burton Cummings replaces Chad Allen as lead and keyboard and signs with Quality Records. First hit "Shakin' All Over" reaches #1 in Canada and #22 in the U.S. Radio stations refused to play their music because they were Canadian so record company throws "Guess Who?" on a plain white album cover to provoke curiousity. It works and the album sells 2 million copies. Group changes name to The Guess Who.

1969 - Now signed to RCA Records. Releases "These Eyes", the bands first top ten hit (#6)under new band leader Cummings.

Groups only other #1 hit - "American Woman" in 1970.

I used to play the first minute or so of "These Eyes" repeatedly when I first heard it. The interplay between the bassline and organ stabs is perfection. Then the drum break kicks in and takes the song past perfection. The second bar then, with it's subtle string arrangements, takes the song to an angelic level. What I love about this song is that it starts quietly then gains momentum and fades out with a babbling cry from the lead. It's vintage rock, on the Canadian tip.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cookin' Up Some Marvelous Sh**?

Second most anticipated.

There's an unofficial tracklisting floating around cyberspace.

I don't consider this a legitimate Cuban Linx sequel if the production credits don't read like this:


The 5th Dynasty

Game Theory - Most anticipated.

Although I have to agree with this reviewers take on the album's first single "Don't Feel Right".

But I'm not sure about his take on Black Thought as never having "been the gripping MC everyone wants him to be". The Roots' frontman's got a grip like a baby on a tit.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brooklyn's Finest You Rewind This

B.I.G's Life After Death had way too much filler to be considered a better overall album than his debut. Delete half the tracks on it and maybe it would have been a more complete piece of work. Regardless, you can't deny that the Notorious one delivered some of the most vivid and memorable punchlines recorded to date. Who cares if some of his tracks were duds?

But lets not talk about Biggie duds.

"I Got A Story Tell" has been a B.I.G. favorite of mine because he really puts his storytelling talents to work on this one. Not only does the track simmer (I'm 99.9% sure Buckwild lifted the drum break from Al Green's "I'm Glad You're Mine"), Frank Whizza's flow over this Buckwild produced jewel is just uncanny. He does it without effort, like he just got back from the pad with his Prada napsack full of paper. I especially like the end as he summarizes his heist with members of his crew, describing the details of what he just kicked in his rhyme.