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The band, while in the studio with Steve Albini, recorded a new version of one of the songs that could be found on Pocketwatch, most likely always intending to issue it as a b-side to a subsequent single Dave Grohl is on lead vocal on this recording. Those who were perhaps paying closer attention to things might well say that his move into some sort of solo work was inevitable.

The debut 45 by Nirvanain Novemberhad a limited run of justof which were hand-numbered in red ink and the remainder unnumbered. It was the very first release of what is now referred to as the first volume of the Sub Pop Singles Cluba monthly subscription service run by the label. Volume 1 ran from November till December and issued one single per month to its subscribers, always in limited editions.

The a-side of the 45 was a cover of a song, originally released inby the Dutch band Shocking Blue. The b-side was an original Nirvana song. The trip of players on the single are listed as Kurdt Kobain vocals, guitarChris Novoselic bass and Chad Channing drums. There are currently two copies of the single up for sale on Discogs. One is from a UK dealer — it is As debut singles go, it is of the raaaaaawk variety with hardly an indication that a revamped Nirvana, with a different drummer, would become the biggest band on the planet.

First time I heard this was as the opening song on a cassette made up by Jacques the Kipper. It was a time when every six weeks or so, we would thrust a tape into each others hands along with set of cryptic clues for each song, and challenge the other, not just to identify the track, but also offer a few observations. Sheer genius if you ask me…. And yet…. The song did seem to arrive like a bolt out of the blue. Yes, there had been some coverage in the UK music papers about some sort of scene based around the city of Seattle, but how many times before had we read about a scene in Chicago, New York, LA, San Francisco or any other American city that had petered out before it crossed the Atlantic.

But then Nirvana came across to the UK to promote Nevermind. There was a live appearance on an early evening chat-show on Channel 4 hosted by Jonathan Ross. He introduced the band who went straight into a heavy-metal riff, and then Kurt took over on a completely indecipherable lyric that was a low-moan or a scream….

Then he started screaming again. The song finished in a flurry of feedback not seen in any TV studio since the heyday of Jesus And Mary Chainbefore the drums were kicked over and the band stormed off to muted applause and a bemused chat show host who had his finger in his ear.

We didn't like the synths, we didn't like their clothes, their lame haircuts, or their refusal to play Hemispheres cover to cover at the show we attended that summer. I recall being 3rd row in front of Alex at the Grace show and patiently sitting through 6 or 7 GUP tracks waiting for La Villa which never came. Their confidence in this material was clear at that time, instead of quickly peeling off 2 or 3 of the "new songs" they played nearly the entire album.

While we longed to hear that night Rush were playing to a different audience. Their confidence in this album was correct. It didn't take me long to realize just how great this album is. I think that Grace was a logical place for Rush to be in '84 and while it doesn't have quite the overwhelming presence of invincibility that Moving Pics has it remains to this day elbowing for rank in the top 3 of my Rush fave list.

Anger is always a big motivation, and outrage gets me all fired up. But one thing I particularly hate is confessional lyrics, the one where people reach down inside their tormented souls and tell me how much they hurt -- that's really selfish and petty! If you have all that pain, by all means express it but be a little self absorbed about it and look around you at other people, because everyone has pain and frustration and you can find parallels if you look for them. For example, the song 'Distant Early Warning' from the 'Grace Under Pressure' LP contains the line 'The world weighs on my shoulders,' which is an expression of worldly compassion that any sensitive person feels occasionally.

You feel so rotten, because the world is such a mess, so many people are starving and unhappy. It's an extreme that represents a feeling most people have from time to time. Yet I certainly wasn't going to put it in terms like 'Oh, I'm so depressed. It has done nothing but grow on me over the years as albums like have become a bit of a snore to me.

GUP finds Rush delivering 8 very solid tracks crackling with musical energy and deliciously dark lyrical images. I love every second of it. It sounds like a cold nuclear? Yes it does have the overly exuberant keyboard presence and sound that is a bit cheesy and dated at times but I am able to overlook this as a minor stylish flaw because the songs are so damn strong.

Alex and Neil are just unbelievable in their energetic interplay on this album, finding new ways in every song to be monsters of their instruments while only adding to the overall texture of the track. Every song is an example of this but for specifics just listen to the guitar solo on "Kid Gloves.

Where did this burst of energy come from? My guess is that Alex felt a bit constrained by Signals and you can hear his edgy redefined playing just smashing through here. Lyrically I have never been as blown away by Neil. For a friend of the band who died tragically too soon, the stunning "Afterimage". Suddenly you were gone From all the lives you left your mark upon We ran by the water on the wet summer lawn I see your footprings, I remember I feel the way you would Or from part 1 of Fear, The Enemy Within.

Every breath a static charge A tongue that tastes like tin Steely-eyed outside to hide the enemy within And you, revolution or just resistance?

Is it living or just existence? Yeah you, it takes a little more persistence To get up and go the distance "I think the joy of creation is very overrated. The irony of it is that the moment goes by so fast. At the end of it all, there's no joy of creation, there's no sitting back going, This is finished and wow, I'm so happy.

Because you're so tired and drained from all of the mental demands you don't have anything left to throw a party. It rocks from the beginning and this album maintains a fierce pace throughout with crisp, concise songwriting that is as tight as the playing. Alex is always incorporating lots of picked open chords along with the chugged chords.

Geddy's bass is a solid base below the keys and the drumming is ferocious. In "Afterimage" we hear the synths sounding so up front but if you listen closely the guitar and bass are right there as well blending together.

The nice leads Alex plays during the "I feel the way you would" portion are very emotional. His solo then combines the sharp new edge with a bit of the old Alex flash before going back into a chord progression picking, all very effective in providing a mood that looks forward with the sadness of losing a friend. It's a masterful job of layering to build a controlled power, no sooner does it break free and rock out that the initial main part pulls it back, even the amazing guitar solo falls into it the confines.

You're almost breathless by the end of it. Perhaps sensing the tension overload the band loosens up a bit for the most fun rocker, "Kid Gloves. Geddy's bass is solid here as throughout, I really don't understand the criticisms that Geddy's bass sucked on this album, I think he does fine. Alex has some great leads in the intro section and the vibe of the song is chilling. The melody of the chorus is beautiful and emotional before it slams back to the harsh verse section. Geddy's vocal is really heartfelt and pushes his own limits.

Alex's final solo on the album is maybe his best here in terms of emotion and reminds me every time why I love his playing. The prophetic lyrics are chilling as they describe where we may well be arriving to: Wheels can take you around Wheels can cut you down We can go from boom to bust From dreams to a bowl of dust We can fall from rockets' red glare Down to "brother can you spare" Another war, another wasteland, another lost generation.

In my country we have our next war and for many "brother can you spare" gets closer every day. Sure it's not the cold war Neil was referring to but still. The next generation is not yet lost but how much crap can we leave them with and expect them to handle. So much potential and so many resources, so casually squandered for the enrichment of the few. I think the anger and fear Neil expresses in GUP is perfectly relevant to our world today, the lamenting of lost promise, the pointlessness, the madness, the injustices.

On a daily basis I struggle with maintaining hope after reading the news, though as dark as Neil is here I know he is also one to advocate pushing forward over giving up. I think the power of the music on Grace, as the title implies, is to convey the optimism of the human spirit despite the reality we see around us as conveyed in the lyric.

As the written word gets us down, the spirit is in the music. A cool way to present material like this. So, we decided we would try to make ourselves into a four-piece rather than a three-piece and Signals really represents that. It was an experiment that lasted for a number of years. I think we started rejecting that fourth person in the band right around the time we did the Counterparts record. That was the beginning of relearning how to be a trio.

I need to hear some of those others again with an open mind. I remember thinking Power Windows quite a drop in quality from Grace. But in any case Rush can be proud that while Yes, Genesis, Floyd, and the Zeppelin solo careers were stagnating and horrible around this time, GUP will be remembered by a few of us as forward thinking, classy, visionary, fresh, and biting, with great songs and amazing technical performances.

Peart is right to question why some of the fans didn't like it. But he comes through as a perfect gentlemen in praising the "Rush fan" when asked how the three of them have managed to stay together for over 30 years: "There's no easy answer for that, and yet it is basically a simple relation: We like each other, and we like working together.

Still, nobody can choose to have an audience for 30 years - like dance partners, they have to choose you too. So we have always been delighted that as we pursued our goals in music, we managed to please enough other people to give us an audience.

To say we'd be nothing without them is more than fatuous sentimentality - it's the plain truth. Orwell's vision seemed to be coming true in the guise of an increasingly tense international atmosphere and an American cowboy-turned-President. Music as well was in a deep freeze, with such luminaries as Kenny Rogers, Duran Duran, Billy Squire and Madonna in command of the publics' attention.

And Rush, the last intact bastion of a thinking person's rock, was not immune to these events. But that wasn't the only shake-up; abandoned was the group's single-minded direction toward the fantastic, instead adopting a colder, regrettably sober image complete with bleeding cover art, bad 80s haircuts and decidedly dreary lyrical content.

Of course little of that would've mattered if the music had been worth it. This was all quite a shock, especially on the heels of the previous 'Signals', one of their best offerings. But this was a new Rush album, an event, and the first chance many young people would have to see the band on tour.

What we got was a grey, wounded, emaciated record with little of the magic we all hoped for and needed in those tense times. As fans, we desperately sought out the few good moments among the new songs. But it soon became clear that something had happened, something terrible-- grace under pressure, indeed And this was graceful?

In fact, the album reached number ten on the Billboard charts, so, from the band's perspective, perhaps it all worked out. Opener 'Distant Early Warning' was an inexplicable hit, securing mainstream status with, ironically, their most uninspired work in ten years. The cut is a bit of a plodder with a soggy bass and thin drum sound. Guitarist Alex Lifeson has some of the better moments on the album having fully developed his new minimal style, lightly decorating the material with tasteful chirps, trills, squeaks and neat noises.

A bit of uplift on the C3P0-like 'The Body Electric' about a wayward and all too human robot, one of the few genuine and unexpected moments, and rather good 'Kid Gloves' was a touch of the old Rush power and enthusiasm. But 'Red Lenses' is cringe-causing, a simply horrifying example of how far this great trio had strayed from their muses.

Awesome in its disappointment, almost masochistically so, GUP has somehow become a favorite for many and remains a symbol of one of the darkest periods in progressive rock.

Report this review Posted Wednesday, January 9, Review Permalink wolfvaga Very different than other albums of this band until that moment. Maybe a point of total u-turn in sound, which since than take a little more melodic path. Songs have a good stream, they fit together quite, with strong powerful outfits and gentle melodic songs.

Sometimes and even together. For me, the best of their works Report this review Posted Monday, February 25, Review Permalink MrMan Grace Under Pressure represent the natural, continued evolution of Rush from hard rockers to prog rockers to 80's synth rockers. Kimonos have been replaced by garish clothes, long-hair by goofy short cuts, double-necked Rickenbackers with modern headless bass guitars. Which would make one think the music would suck. They'd be wrong though.

The music has always been what Rush was about and this is no different. You get a lot of synthesizers, poppy melodies and clinical lyrics to go with clinical drumming.

Still, as usual, it all works. Perhaps most interesting is the evolution of Alex Lifesons guitar work. Always an outstanding, versatile player, by this point he has mastered a unique, rapid-fire staccato approach used to great effect on songs like Enemy within and Red Sector A.

Geddy has toned down the high-nasal wail by this point as well, creating a more mainstream, accessible sound. Peart lyrics reflect much of the national mood at this time, with a detachment and sterile feel to them. Rush release one outstanding release after another from Caress of Steel to Power Windows and I consider this among them.

On the second shelf, perhaps, but still a very solid 4-star release. Peart's lyrics are up to scratch, mostly, and feel quite natural in a lot of places, while the artsy edges are in place throughout the album. The first four tracks, at least, are pretty strong cuts, and while the second side trails off a bit, it is generally listenable, with a good closer, and all in all, it leaves a positive impression.

Distant Early Warning opens the album quite tensely, with some spacious work from the synths and guitars, as well as a clever bass part working away in the background.

Geddy Lee delivers with surprising verve an enjoyable set of lyrics, and his bass is a highlight throughout the song, as even in the bright chorus, it adds something deeper in. The drum part is well-incorporated, leaving plenty of space as well as accomplishing fills.

My only small criticism is that the synth-led sections sometimes seem a little feeble in comparison with the guitar-based ones with a nice synth ditty in the background.

Afterimage is another solid song, this time drawing a little more on Alex Lifeson's guitar, though the synths also add in more ideas, including growly noises, standard hums and piano-ish tones.

Peart gives a good AOR beat without losing sight of inventive choices and a set of wistful lyrics. Much as the song itself is tolerable, the real highlight is the surprisingly atmospheric instrumental section, complete with an interesting guitar solo.

Even stronger, however, is Red Sector A, which combines some mesmerising rhythms with some damn fine lyrical lines 'shouting guards and smoking guns The percussion, the guitar riffs, the vocals Oddly, the lead synths seem appropriate, and never pompous.

The instrumental break, combining a weird but wonderful guitar tone with building synths, is well-handled. It is sad that the line 'I must help my mother to stand up straight' slightly damages the mood, but otherwise a damn fine song.

The Enemy Within is an utterly kitschy bass-driven song with synth paps and light guitar additions in the chorus, and yet, it is great fun. Geddy Lee's slightly screechy voice again hits the spot excellently, as do the percussion parts. Far too catchy, and I love it. The Body Electric's sci-fiish themes without any mystery or real catch.

The lyrics aren't irritating, just not nearly as interesting as I'd like them to be. Nevermind, onto the music. Again, it's quite non-distinctive, with a fairly repetitive drum part and a mix that simply feels like everything is playing loud, but not a lot goes on.

The vocals also don't seem to match erk, especially on ',SOS', though Lifeson's quirky solo is up to scratch, as is the superb bass playing accompanying that. It's not really a terrible song, it just eludes the attention span completely. Kid Gloves, however, does edge on the nerves a little, with its rhythm simply not catching like The Enemy Within, though the musical premise is pretty similar, and the lyrics, even I admit there's some merit in there somewhere, repeat too much, and has a catchphrase that simply feels off to me.

Even the solo isn't very redeeming, just squeaky and technical. Again, I get the whole, everything loud, but not a lot going on, vibe, probably unfairly. The tenser Red Lenses, carefully using sharp guitar lines and bass jabs, as well as a very quirky percussion part and a totally redundant synth in the main part of the song at least.

The lyrics and vocals have shaped up a little, and of especial note is an interesting instrumental section with tympani notes and a slightly more valid synth, even if I feel the song could have dropped them without hurting. Peart holds up a drum riff under a vocal quite well, and the song's overall mystery vibe works well enough. Overall a good piece, but it simply didn't need to bother with the synths at all, and they drag it down a bit. The surprisingly dark Between The Wheels starts with an insistent synth riff and a killer guitar soloish that reminds me a bit of some of Howe's work on Drama Machine Messiah, in particular, I think.

Geddy Lee appears to have re-adapted himself much better to the tenser atmospheric vocals, and, despite what is a mixed set of lyrics, carries the song excellently. The instrumental work is excellent, and the mix again feels quite balanced, giving everything the space to shine. Peart in particular stands out, and the piece as a whole has a darkened vibe that lends the album a slightly greater credibility after a frail middle.

Great ending. So, a synth pop album, I admit, but a good synth pop album. Recommended for fans of Rush, or anyone interested in exploring some of the band's work after the obvious classics and Moving Pictures. I also have to confess that I genuinely like a lot of Peart's drumming on this album, while I'm more indifferent to lots of his more well-reputed part, so, something else to recommend there.

All of these albums came out during the 's and represent the band's post-Moving Pictures era. Grace Under Pressure was another turning point for the band. This was the first time the band members ventured off without their long-time producer Terry Brown. This decision ultimately led to many problems that the band had to eventually overcome. There were long delays in production.

Notice the two year gap between Signals and Grace Under Pressure hence the title, there was a lot of pressure on the band to complete this record. The band was actually in the studio for about four and a half months, longer than they had ever worked on an album before.

Due to the lack of a competent producer, Grace Under Pressure has a distinct sound and feel that no other Rush album ever had. Even though it is part of the band's "synthesizer period", Grace is less overtly synth- laden than Signals was.

Grace seems to strike a better balance between the guitars and keyboards than some of the albums from this era. I actually saw this tour and it was as entertaining as ever. But, it was the beginning of the end for me, and many other rock music fans who had been enjoying Rush music for a long time. From this point forward, the quality of Rush's musical output really started going downhill, and I was disappointed more and more with each subsequent release.

Rush's synthesizer period starts off great with Signals. Then Grace Under Pressure, which is good, but sadly the worst was yet to come, just over the mid's horizon. An almost new wave album with a lot of modern keys and flat synthesisers. Anyway Rush always knew toying with diffrent aproches of their heavy prog, from a Led Zeppelin sound in the early careernow reaching to a modern sound full of electronic elementssometimes not far from Tomas Dolby but a little more edged.

Well in my view this is not a bad album at all with fine moments like:Distant early warning, Afterimage, Red sector, The enemy within Part I of Fearthese tunes keep the Rush sound but combined with a good dose of synthsisers and electronic keys. It's obviousbecause in that days, mid '80's this electronic music was very popular, even an icon in prog like Rush tries to incorporate in their sound this elements, but for sure thay've done it much better than many other bands who only tried to combined these two opposite genre but never succeded one ex Is Jethro Tull's Under wraps Not among my fav Rush albums, even weacker than Signals, previous one, and not that intristing like the followers, Rush new to joggling with their possibilityes and talent, resulting a 3 star album for me.

Rush made a big change to their sound on the last album called Signals. There are some excellent tracks on Grace Under Pressure and the album starts really well with Distant early warning, Afterimage and Red Sector A which are by far my favorites on Grace under Pressure and some of my alltime favorite Rush tracks. Not my favorite here. The Body Electric gets back on the right track. Great song that one. The musicianship is outstanding. I love his grand sound. One of his best performances IMO.

The synths are very dominant on Grace Under Pressure and it would be wrong to call them tasteful, but provided that you have a stomach for eighties keyboard sounds they sound pretty good. I think they fit some songs better than others. The production is excellent. Much, much better than the way too bass deep sound on Signals. Everything sounds crisp and clean on Grace Under Pressure.

Rush simply made too many fillers throughout their career IMO. But when they shine they shine like no one else. Their previous efford, Signals, was a bit of disappointment to me at the time although that album still had some pretty good stuff, it was a let down after the brilliant Moving Pictures. Ok, it is different, but the band always meant to experiment, not to record the same thing over and over again.

Rush took risks all the time. Sometimes they succeed like in Farewell to Kings sometimes they falied Hemispheres - with apologies to those progheads who like the album. But never released any crap. Like it or not you have to admit those guys were good and very especial.

Grace Under Pressure was melodic, dark, powerful and bold. One of the few Rush albums I hear all the way through without skipping one single track. I think a lot of people missed the point with this CD at the time some still do. Still I find GUP to be one of their classic stuff. Highly recommended for any prog lover! Report this review Posted Tuesday, November 25, Review Permalink Silent Knight This album is the confirmation of some words i put down in a previous review-Rush were listening to all the musical variations of the first years of the 80's and carefully picked up those that were interesting and creative and adjusted them into their music.

And so they managed to refresh their music without alternating their basic construction of their compositions. And really Grace Under Pressure is real jewel of the 80's. From the impressive cover, an element so important in progressive rock music, the album grabs you from the beginning.

As for the music is another step forward for Rush as they were still developing their music. Here Lifeson's guitars are better produced and balanced with Lee's keyboards and together they create a beautiful sound scape along with Peart's didactic methods of drumming throughout the whole album.

By no means Afterimage, Kid Gloves and Red Lenses are filler songs as they provide to the cohesion of this musical scape. This was another very good album by Rush of the second period that started with Moving Pictures and ended in with the Counterparts album.

And yes, despite some opinions which characterize the 80's as an uninteresting period for progressive rock, there was still interesting and very creative music back there! Elvis himselvis was dead and so was in no position to care one way or the other. It was over, it didn't matter any more, there was no changes to be effected: Elvis was gone and was never coming back.

This is how things end. I was appreciating that other options existed and that this kind of Elvis 'product,' the way that inferior material detracted from better material, had become merely tedious.

It no longer mattered to set the record straight. The Elvis world was a tasteless joke and if Elvis fans were being treated as cretins that was because, for the most part, that's exactly what they must have been to have kept on consuming this dreck. I'm sure Elvis' management did far more to derail Elvis and the cultural revolution he inaugurated than any and all of his detractors put together.

It had "Old MacDonald" on there again, sitting proudly in the middle of miscellaneous other rubbish. Although my mother loved "Big Boots.

I was past all of this. I didn't need to keep apologising for Elvis, it was much more fun doing the same thing for Queen and their frequent lapses of taste. The difference is that I greatly enjoyed Queen's often alarming judgments, buttressed as they were by stunning tracks and, well, shall we say challenging humour. In contrast with Queen, Elvis' lapses in taste were tawdry and predictable, driven by mere "business. Unless there is some truth in the suggestion that that latter song has a double meaning that has slipped completely undetected under the radar.

It makes sense. Why else would anyone write a tongue-twisting song about fruit as excruciatingly awful as that one? As I said, I was thirteen coming on fourteen.

I was looking for something more than cultural embarrassment. Actually, I didn't mind embarrassment, so long as it was about something interesting. That said, I cannot help but feel sorry for Elvis. It needn't have come to any of this nonsense. Instead, the Elvis management were hell bent on stretching everything they had as far as it would go until something snapped, in the end merely having the tracks negating each other on grab-bag cheapo albums that made no sense whatsoever.

The strategy had no discernible purpose other than making another quick buck. These people were not businessmen, they were hucksters, filling their boots for so long as they could.

The something that snapped at this point was my almost infinite patience born of a love for Elvis' music. Elvis himself had snapped a lot earlier. The fans were treated as idiots to be continuously milked, and by now I was responding to the much better offers that were out there in the world. If my pockets were to be continually emptied, they would be emptied by those offering something good in return, and not by the cheap chancers, merchants, parasites, exploiters, and miscreants who infested the Elvis world.

I said this at the time. It's a fantastic slice of blue-eyed soul, and more than redeems this last budget album on its own. And that was that for my Elvis collection. Looking back, that's actually not a bad collection at all for a young boy with precious little money in the economically challenged 's.

There are some glaring omissions. As to why I missed them, I can only say that I have no recollection of them being available in the shops. You didn't see them. I'm prepared to stand by this view, but as critically acclaimed as these albums are, I don't think that they were anywhere near as popular as other Elvis albums, and so you tended not to see them in the shops.

I distinctly remember thinking precisely that thought with respect to "Something for Everybody. I knew Elvis' gospel albums were highly rated, but you would never see these in the shops either. And I wasn't really interested in religious material, either, it just didn't seem right. And a choice had to be made, I couldn't afford to buy them all. I heard Cheerless Days - Lastic - Better Than School (CD of the tracks on the radio and they made little impression, Elvis singing a lot of old songs we knew best in other, very recent, versions.

The public ignored the album, and so did I. It passed the world by, and I carried on past it like it hadn't happened. It was Elvis sounding very old to me, and I wasn't interested. A lot of the film soundtracks were missing but, having seen most of the films, and having made tapes of their songs when they were on TV, I was not inclined to think that much of a loss. I couldn't see where they were available, though. None of the other film soundtracks seemed to be anything like essential purchases on a par with the purchases I had already made.

In fact, they seemed indistinguishable and interchangeable: "Girls! There were too many of them to buy, but there was no reason to choose one over the other. So I chose none of them. My collecting, it is evident, was fairly random and haphazard to begin with, leading me with a problem of avoiding duplicates ever after. In time, a strategy emerged, and by I was buying in accordance with a clear conscious purpose.

The "Forty Greatest" album from was very much the cornerstone of my collection, giving me most of Elvis' best songs in one place.

It was a hugely popular double album in the s, so you can see why we went for it. That said, if I was to do it all again, in a rational and calculating way, I would have advised that we go to straight to the "Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits vol 1" and its counterpart "The Other Sides - Elvis Worldwide Gold Award Hits," two four album sets from containing 50 hit singles and Gold Records in each.

I picked these up a few years later, and they really do the job. A casual Elvis fan needs no more Elvis, the rest of us can Album) forth from here and explore the rest of the catalogue in whatever wild and whacky way they like.

The Elvis world, you learn, is impossible. You simply have to have it all, quite a challenge when you have little money. I had fun collecting the way I did it. I was doomed to buy too many of the same songs whilst missing out completely on essential others. It was unavoidable.

Like collecting football stickers. A rational strategy would have been cold and clinical, boring, and wouldn't have solved the problem either - Elvis was an artist designed to forever get away. Plus, as four album box sets, these albums were prohibitive.

You look at the price and you know immediately that they are unattainable. At which point I say that I either didn't see them in the shops or had quickly learned not to see what I could not afford. I never considered the gospel albums. I knew they were highly rated as being among Elvis' greatest ever vocal performances, but I wasn't comfortable with the idea of religious music.

If you don't have Elvis singing gospel, you don't have Elvis. It's all academic though, since I never saw these albums in the shops. They would have been in the high price category, too, taking them out of my reach. The budget album "You'll Never Walk Alone" was available and within reach, but I could never quite express a desire to have a religious record.

My deputy head played it to our R. I never did get round to buying it, though. We had taped it from the radio, and were desperate to have it on record. I don't actually remember seeing it too often.

I did see "Love Letters from Elvis," and ran a mile from its soppy cover and concept. I do remember seeing Elvis Recorded in Memphis frombut also remember other albums competing for my miserable few pennies. I am disinclined to plead poverty, though, because that is not a bad Elvis collection at all. It's far from everything Elvis did, but it's a lot.

Ask my poor dad, he was a jazzer who had to listen to it all over the years! And I think of my poor mother, who was the origin of it all. She was a huge Elvis fan, but had nothing of an Elvis collection.

I seem to remember he mentioning that she did once have a lot of the singles, but that they get lost, scattered and damaged. She was careless, she admitted, even leaving singles out in the sun. She had nothing of her own. So I considered myself truly blessed and very spoiled. It was a good collection that we all enjoyed over the years. That was that for Elvis for me for a long, long time.

In the 's it was about as unhip and uncool to like Elvis as unhip and uncool could be. True, it was never hip and cool to like my new favourites Queen either, but Freddie, Brian, Roger and even the quiet John were big beasts who could more than look after themselves. They were in control of their own career, and determined their own course. They had a conceit and arrogance which made it clear they didn't give a damn what critics thought of them, and that fans shouldn't give a damn about detractors either.

I liked that. I was tired of forever having to defend Elvis. And Queen had the talent to match the rather exalted value they placed on themselves and their music. Good luck to them, I thought, if only Elvis had cultivated such a side, swept his idiotic management out of the way and trounced his critics. Each member of Queen wrote a number one smash hit.

It didn't matter what the critics thought with respect to Queen. Queen were obviously fantastic and, unlike a lot of others, I didn't need Live Aid in to confirm that obvious truth to me. With Elvis, the issue always seemed to be in doubt. He let himself down but, more than that, he allowed others to let him down.

It's a sad old story, and I think we are entitled to see it as a tragedy. It could have all been so much better than it was, with Elvis longer lived, happier and more fulfilled than he was. In the 's you couldn't move for tales of Elvis the cultural appropriator, the plastic pop phony, the racist, the grinning idiot of the sun'n'fun films, the pervert, the inadequate, the big inflated blimp, and worse. I heard it all and came to believe most of it.

There was some satisfaction in joining in and giving voice to the charges, as if relieving myself of the guilt and shame of having once been an Elvis fanatic. There's nothing worse than a former believer who has come to see through all the lies and was hell bent on revealing the horrible truth to the world. I pressed the charge sheet against Elvis so long and so often, though, that it became apparent that Elvis must still have held some attraction to me.

If he was as bad as others claimed him to be, and as I kept saying he was, then there really was no need to keep labouring the point. Labouring the point merely made it clear that what was being measured here was not how bad Elvis was but how much he had come to disappoint all those who had felt entitled to expect so much more from him.

Our expectations were so high, of course, because at core Elvis Presley was actually supremely gifted and capable of inciting and fulfilling our every musical dream. That he got some way but not the whole way explains the fanaticism of adherents and the viciousness of detractors. Elvis made an awful lot of great music. Amazingly, it could have been so much better. And so there is a neurotic fascination with the bad music and films he made, and the bad concerts he gave.

That's part of the story, but not the main part. In my world Elvis had reigned long and, for the most part, well. He had been exciting, entertaining and joyous in the main, enough to keep a young boy royally entertained, and his sad songs were soulful, moving, and meaningful.

I was at a friends house when it came on Top of the Pops. And I went out to play football. I didn't have the nerve to say that I actually liked the song even then, feeling it as something of a guilty pleasure. It was Album) and dramatic, and something of that education into balladry stayed with me. It stood me in good stead for later years, when my footballing days would be over. Elvis sang with deep soul, and I always knew it. And I no longer feel any guilt in declaring such songs to be exceptional.

I heard Anne Nightingale play "Long Black Limousine" some time in the early s and was blown away. I didn't have it and had never heard it before.

It was powerful, gritty, and soulful. It made it crystal clear that Elvis was an exceptional artist. It's on the "Elvis in Memphis" album. I didn't have it and had never heard it.

It's from "Elvis is Back. I thought I had heard the best of Elvis. I now realized that I hadn't. As good as Elvis had once seemed to me, it was now evident that he was so much better than that.

It was clear that Elvis was actually a whole lot better than the critics were allowing. It was time for me to come to investigate in greater depth. The dominant view of Elvis at this time was that of a plastic, second-rate, phony who was a cultural appropriator who cheapened the music he got second hand for mere commercial gain.

I subscribed to that view for a long, long time, and used my knowledge to lead the attack. The more I argued, the more I realized one crucial thing - that view was and is total unexpurgated rubbish from first to last.

I knew better and now berate myself for lacking the guts to take on the cool craven cowardly critics who speak from ignorance and prejudice. To hell with white liberal guilt trips! And to hell with folk purists who love folk music but draw the line at real folk! It's garbage, all of it, and I may return to the question in light of the downright lies Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull has recently been spreading on Elvis as a fat drug addled oaf forgetting his words in concert in or I may just ignore it, reasoning that if people are too stupid to see the truth of such questions for themselves, then there's no hope anyway, just enjoy yourself along life's way as best you can and let others fester in their stupidity and prejudice.

Elvis as fat, ugly, and "showbiz" says Ian Anderson, Elvis as a good looking boy and, well, showbiz, says Frank Zappa. It's obvious that both consider Elvis pop and therefore bad. Sinatra was pop, Crosby was pop, Beatles were pop etc. Some of us like pop, some of us don't. I'll take pop of this quality over the Zappas and Andersons of the world any day, and so would most other people. I'll stand corrected on this, but Elvis to the best of my knowledge never made a public statement denigrating other artists and other kinds of music, saying openly that there was room for all.

If only others would leave people to do and enjoy whatever it is they do and enjoy, the world would be much more at ease with itself. For my part I have an active dislike of those who disdain and denigrate "pop," presenting whatever it is that they do as more real, pure, artistic and authentic, aiming for a minority audience of men and women of discerning taste, and yet feel the need to keep coming back to sneer at mere pop and showbusiness.

They are po-faced ayatollahs of taste, two-bit bigots with an inflated sense of their own importance. If they really were so great and good, then they would really have no need to keep coming back to sneer. Talk about self-loathing and insecurity! It's not just Elvis who has suffered at the hands of such folk, but other favourite acts of mine like Queen and The Beatles.

Just spare me this self-identity of art over against pop and showbusiness, and lose the claims of superiority. Bach you lot most assuredly are not!

I'll leave it there, lest anyone get the impression that such critics are of any importance. I do think pathetic drivel should be checked, though. Stop hopping and mugging for attention, Catweelze, get on the good foot, both of them, and take a hike!

Anderson's claims on Elvis in August are a downright lie, I can state that openly and clearly with no fear of contradiction. I like pop and showbiz and don't feel the need to have to defend it against the likes of insufferably pompous blimps like Anderson. Music is a sensuous experience not a cerebral one. Singers with great voices are a dime a dozen. You can be impressed by them, but they leave you cold. I don't want to be impressed by a singer, I want to be moved.

At his best — and Elvis was at his best a lot more often than critics are prepared to concede — Elvis moved the greatest public any entertainer has ever known with his voice — all ages, nationalities, sexes and ethnicities. Only Crosby and Sinatra are comparable, and they are indeed hugely impressive. It's good company to be in. Elvis is still doing it. So much for Frank Zappa's claim that Elvis' success was down to his good looks. How utterly tedious! Which is it, please, Elvis the pretty boy who made it through good looks alone or Elvis the fat drug addled oaf?

My view is that such critics are talking pure unadulterated garbage. It's down to the voice. It's just pop music after all, and not really of any importance in the wider scheme of things at all. And a blinkered bigot is a blinkered bigot, and evidently some people can't help themselves.

That has implications well beyond pop music. In contrast, Lionel Richie's hit album is still Top 10 in its 10th week. I'm the troll who posted the weekly updates until now And I really do wonder what Madonna thinks about all this. If she refuses to acknowledge this disaster - then she really IS over, for good. If she does analyse it and blames other people her 'team' for the flop, then she is over too.

Not very likely she'll do that, of course. How embarrassing that Lauryn Hill, whose album came out the same year as Ray of Light, is now shifting more copies than any Madonna record. R, hi -- exactly! I grew very fond of your updates, by the way.

That's got to be a first: an album that debuts at 1 but then falls out of the entire Top chart only ten weeks later. I would've guessed MDNA would hang around for quite a while, languishing at 65 or 82 or something like that. Its disappearance from the chart surpassed even my own schadenfreude-laced expectations.

She apparently shot a video in Rome this weekend for "Turn Up the Radio. I'm sitting here just a few hundred metres from the stadium in Florence, Italy, where Madonna is performing tonight.

She's been doing rehearsals and soundcheck for the past couple of hours and right now she's doing "I'm a Sinner". We can hear it all in the apartment and have tickets to go to the actual concert later.

It's fucking fantastic and I love it! The album is a F-L-O-P. The tour will sell only because her fans want to hear her older music. No one gives a shit about "Girl Gone Wild" or "Radio" No one ever said Madonna had talent. She just lucked out by being a woman with decent looks and an okay singing voice who was willing to do ANYTHING for fame people find these types fascinating, thus the fame that follows.

She was basically positioned as a label that people would take turns designing Patrick Leonard, Stuart Price, William Orbit, etc. As a person, I think she's fairly vapid at best, sociopathic at worst and maybe even a little satanic - read up on the true history of the seemingly harmless Kabballah - plus her concert tour was full of anti-Christian imagery and flashes of illuminati golden triangles, eyes of horus and other very dark occult imagery that most didn't notice but I fucking did. Yes indeed, we too use "cookies.

Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs. Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads! Madonna album failtour fail? Volume 4 Well darlings, we have maxed out the other Madonna threads.

Tour failed? For your convenience, a link to prior thread, Madonna album fail, Volume What r4 said, word for word. I used to be a hardcore fan, I even defended - and genuinely liked - Hard Candy. Shame on her. She richly deserves her descent into irrelevance. This morning I heard 'Alejandro' on the radio. Never thought I would say this!

Jingle jangle jingle jangle - ya ya ya! Jingle jangle jingle jangle - la la la! Boom banga boom - gun gun gun! Ching a ching ching - fun fun fun! Drug fucked lezzie kiss cock suck yeah! Agreed, r8. So weird that her career will end on such a low note.

Then she turned everything upside down, and made a massive fool of herself and her output. The hydrangeas have done what the horse could not do!!! Once again, Live Nation is losing money by having to give things away for free. OP fails at life. Why are you so obsessed with someone you hate?

Seek help. Meltdown before 20 posts!!! Give me a fan! The fanbots are a sad bunch. Why is thread titled volume 4. Isn't this the 3rd thread?? Madonna is a lesbian sadist.

At this rate, she'll be moving to Las Vegas to do the "residency" circuit. How do you always end up on threads that you disapprove of, charlie? We should discuss FlopDonna's near future more. What do you think she will do once the tour has wrapped up? It will be another flop album full of shitty songs, overproduced vocals, and lame gimmicks.

The end. She is plain offensive - and us 'haters' not really react accordingly. All of that is gone, and she only gets what she deserves. I can't believe I'm defending charlie, but here goes Stop hating on celebutards who don't give a shit about you. Having passion over hating a pop star speaks of a deeper issue within oneself.

None of us ever expected Madonna would give 'a shit about us', by posting here. We just do it because we can. She could just create an album with good music, produced by interesting people. Perhaps it is designed to provoke.

He has the internet energy of a troll. R27, keep trying. The meltdowns have taken quite a turn now!!! Most of them, I believe, Cheerless Days - Lastic - Better Than School (CD to become classics let me know in a couple months wether you concur with that " The first paragraph shows Madonna didn't take enough time out of her schedule to make the album. The full posted is in the link. It's a good read. Charlie would be wise to take his own advice. So you're not above it all.

He praised 'Falling Free' to the heavens, and that song is just a meandering, pretentious mess. He's a tool. Madonna is going deep' and b foolishly repeating this shit now, even though it is obvious to everyone how lame FlopDNA really is. It does hold up well. Fresh melody, well sung, interesting lyrics. It's from a time when Madonna put effort into her songs, and was actually interested in music. Well, it's week 8. Time for our weekly comparison!

Madonna: Lionel Richie: Meanwhile, FlopDonna's intended third single Merely 50 replies so far? Dare we say "Madonna fail thread" fail? FlopDonna Summer! She is Album) dead hasbeen. I thought her death would get a CD closer to the top There's certainly more interest in her material than in FlopDonna's lame album. Bad timing! Well, clearly, Madonna's last hope for any chart success is for her to die!

Let's see how the "Madonna fail threads" are faring in the post counts: - - - Looks like a 'free fall' into obscurity! Can anyone tell me what is the machine next to Madge's massage bed in this backstage clip? Electroshock therapy? Or sandblaster? I don't like the new songs at all, but did have a good time at her last concert. That is some kind of bullshit. Her royalties will be pulling in tens of millions for decades. Well, it's week 9.

Time for our update! This week, we're witnessing FlopDNA drop out of the top Game Over! At the same time, Lionel Richie is climbing back up the charts! Madonna's sad trajectory: Lionel's stunning trajectory: Also, what r64 said. Word for word! R65, ouch! What a contrast. I enjoy your weekly Lionel vs Madonna updates. Hate her or not they will be playing her music in gay bars until the end of time. Still: link, please! So she phones in a terrible album, and is done with it.

I thought that is HOW she dissed her. That set list is all kinds of awful. Half of those songs shouldn't be in there 'Best Friend'. Then after it has passed, and the world is a winter wonderland, you can go outside and make a snowman. You can put the Santa and reindeer stuff away for a much-deserved rest, but the greenery, pine cones, berries and fairy lights can help provide a hygge atmosphere.

The Danes are the biggest consumers of candles, mainly unscentedso light some pretty candles. Comfort food is a big part of hygge. Homemade beef vegetable soup simmering on the stove, leftover turkey pie, mac and cheese. Baking itself is very hygge, brownies from a box are quick and can bribe snow shovelers, while a date nut loaf takes more work but can give your house a wonderful smell. The Danes love reading nooks, so a plump lounge chair with some cozy pillows and a throw, is a good place to sip cocoa and read your favorite magazine, even better if the chair faces a window where you can watch the snow falling outside or the cardinals at the feeder.

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, then nothing beats reading a book by the fire. You can start in on that stack you got at the second-hand sale last year.

Popcorn and mulled cider make a nice fireside snack. Add some mellow music, Ella Fitzgerald is always good. There is something about plaid that is so cheerful. I put a red plaid flannel duvet cover on my bed before Christmas and leave it on all winter. It looks nice with crisp white sheets and lacy pillows, an idea I saw in a decorating magazine once. A plaid flannel housecoat with a fleece lining Vanity Fair at Sears before they closed, but L.

Bean carries these toocan keep you warm and cozy while you do your final check around the house before bed, and when you look outside, yes it is still snowing. As you dr ift off to sleep, listening to the north winds howl, may you have sweet dreams….

Wassailing is an old British custom associated with New Years which originated in the fifteenth century. It is usually celebrated on Twelfth Night — Jan 5 or 6. The tradition of wassailing falls into two different types, the house-visiting type which consists of neighbors roaming from door to door singing and drinking from a wassail bowl, which later became caroling. The wassail itself was a cider or ale based hot drink seasoned with spices and honey and served in a huge bowl made of silver or pewter.

Here are the very catchy lyrics, best sung with a pewter mug in hand. Call up the butler of this house, Put on his golden ring. Let him bring us up a glass of beer, And better we shall sing. There are numerous recipes for wassail on the internet, including some non-alcoholic as well for children or non-drinkers. I tried the Cranberry and Spice Wassail recipe on the packet of Gourmet Village mulling spices and it was good but I think I would substitute apple cider for some of the water to give it more flavor, and I also added more honey to sweeten it.

Stir together brown sugar and whipping cream in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for two minutes or until bubbly. Stir in vanilla and apple cider. Cook ten minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring often. May garnish with whipped cream, caramel sauce or ground cinnamon. It really is like drinking liquid apple pie. This is the most profitable time of the year for most businesses and they are just doing their part to get us into the Christmas spirit.

I love Christmas music, I really do, but in small doses, and not the same old songs, over and over again. They were stored in brown cardboard albums, a 78 in each paper sleeve, mostly Hit Parade tunes. I was surprised at how thick the vinyl was, compared to albums from later years. We had a portable stereo in the sixties and then one of those big furniture cabinets in the early seventies that played eight tracks too, but my mother says she remembers playing those vintage records on an old phonograph that you wound up by hand when she first moved to the farm in I used to listen to Christmas music every day during my commute to work, while an hour a day of Christmas music can be good for the soul, listening to it for eight hours a day in a retail environment is not.

I would flip over to an American radio station which had made it a tradition to start playing it the day after Halloween. While I realize everyone has individual favorites, why would they include those when there are so many wonderful songs to get you in the Christmas mood.

Tromboniana - Various - Sound Of New Orleans 1992-2005 (CD), Dark Mood - Malcolm Arnold - Tunes Of Glory (Original Sound Track Music) (Vinyl, LP, Album), la Morale de Limmorale - Ennio Morricone - La Mafia 2 - Bande Originale De La Série Télévisée (Vinyl, Sound Of Laughing - Mo* - Ha Ha! [ha:`ha:] The Sound Of Laughing; (CD, Album), El Marcianito Bzz Bzz - Los Apson - Los Apson (Vinyl, LP, Album), Funeral - Devin Townsend Project - Ziltoid Live At The Royal Albert Hall (CD, Album), Lumps Of Plum Pudding (Bledington) - John Kirkpatrick With Sue Harris • Martin Carthy • Martin Brins, Joellen - Vagiant (3) / R.I.T.N.* - I Sold My Hole For For Rock N Roll - Tour 09 (Vinyl), Its A Good Thing - Hazy Malaze - Hazy Malaze (CD, Album), Walkin In Louisiana Rain - Vic Morrell - Walkin In Louisiana Rain / Inside Your Memories (Vinyl), La Tsarine - No Artist - Tresors De La Musique Mecanique (Vinyl, LP), Ich Feiere Das Gottes Tod - Fredotchky_Machine - !System Of A Dance! (CD)