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New old music

February 27, 2014 - Evan Reid
Recently, I addressed some blind spots in my music library, and it's been a rewarding experience.


Out of curiosity I checked out the early releases of this British progressive rock band. Their Phil Collins-fronted 1980s incarnation is more familiar, but the material released with Peter Gabriel as lead singer is, in my opinion, much more interesting. I can highly recommend the 1974 concept album "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.” The high points, such as "In the Cage," "Back In N.Y.C.," and "The Carpet Crawlers," are worth any tedium the listener might experience elsewhere on the album.

True to form, this double-disc set is a little bloated and probably too long. Think Pink Floyd's "The Wall" only less aggressive and even more British sounding.


Everybody knows who Prince is, but I never gave him a chance until a couple of weeks ago. Now I can see that I had been denying myself some expertly written, excellently recorded, fantastic pop music. If only I hadn't waited until my 24th year to enjoy "When You Were Mine," "The Beautiful Ones," and "Ballad of Dorothy Parker."


Not only did I never give the music of Tom Waits a real listen, I used to tell people that I "hated" it. When I heard the 1983 album "Swordfishtrombones" in January I was forced to reassess that judgement. This was the album that introduced the "junkyard" sound that Waits is known for, and it’s great. The two albums that followed are just as good: 1985's "Rain Dogs” and "Bone Machine" from 1992, which is my current favorite.

I was wrong. I do not hate Tom Waits or his music. In fact, two Waits songs have already made it onto my personal classics list: "Dirt In the Ground" and "Anywhere I Lay My Head."

Never judge a book by its cover... Don’t judge a song until you’ve actually listened to it.


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