Tosh Berman's Vinyl and CD Collection
Friday, December 18, 2020
David Bowie - Ouvrez le Chien (Live Dallas 1995) ISO Records
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Declan McKenna "Zero" (Sony Music)
Saturday, November 21, 2020
New York Dolls - "A Hard Night's Day" (Norton)
"A Hard Night's Day" is my favorite New York Dolls album. The first two official Dolls albums issued by Mercury Records are excellent, but these series of demos they did in 1973, are essential listening experience. Their mixture of classic rock n' roll, 60's girl groups, and blues, with incredible and insightful lyrics, is a combination that never fails me.
At the time of their recording these demos, they did every song that they knew at that point. They are just important as the Velvet Underground, in that they tied in many important communities into one package. The demos are beautifully recorded, and the performances are lively, precise (in that Dolls' manner of preciseness), and inspirational.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Tosh's Favorite Albums of 2020
Keep in mind these are albums I purchased in the year 2020. Some of the music is old, but it's new to me. And in no special order - My favorite albums of 2020 are:
David Bowie - "Metrobolist (Nine Songs By David Bowie)" Parlophone, 2020
In our reality, David Bowie is Elvis Presley. Not only do they share the same birthday and both recorded songs called "Black Star," but also in death, their music is released and looked as new. Tony Visconti, a significant figure in Bowie's career and music, has done a series of classic Bowie work remixes. One may think this is nothing but exploitation or a grasp to make more money in the memory of David Bowie. The truth is, Visconti has done magnificent work as a remixer as well as the original producer of these recordings. It's an artist (as producer) going back to his canvas to clean or refresh the imagery on one level. "Metrobolist" (Nine Songs by David Bowie)" is such a work. Most of us fans and consumers know this album as "The Man Who Sold The World," but it seems that wasn't the original title that Bowie given this record. At the last moment, the label changed titles without Bowie's knowledge at the time.
"TMWSTW" has always had a muddy sound that made the songs heavy and mono-orientated sounds. It's like someone taking a shovel of mud and throwing it in your face. My first reaction to the album in 1972 was that this is a hard rock record compared to "Hunky Dory," his next album at that time. It's obvious to a listener in the early 70s can see Bowie worked from a broad landscape of different worlds sound-wise. "TMWSTW" is a great album and will always be an essential recording from a legendary artist. Including the contributions from Mick Ronson and Visconti knew how to take Bowie to the next level. "Metrobolist" is a mirror reflection of that album but cleaned up and allowing more textures to be added for the supreme listening experience.
Nuances show up, more than 'ah-ha' moments while listening to "Metrobolist." The vocals have a touch of more echo. Still, the drums' presence mixed to another volume is especially lovely, and hearing the layered guitars from Ronson and the acoustic guitar work from who I think is Bowie. The Moog is also clearly heard in these new mixes. When you hear "Metrobolist," I hear or more aware of the arrangements. It sounds like a work from a band (Visconti, Bowie, Ronson, drummer Mick Woodmansey, and Ralf Mace, who is credited for the Moog playing and Mick Ronson) than a solo artist.
"The Supermen" is incredible here, with the galloping drums by Woodmansey. If you're a Bowie fan, this is a must-hear or buy. Beyond that, both albums are superb, and now both in print. The world is a better place with "The Man Who Sold The World" as well "Metrobolist."