Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Now leaving Neverland, Michael Jackson - Dangerous

Released November 26, 1991 on Epic
Once again, I'm late to the game with Michael Jackson's eighth studio album "Dangerous."  It expired on Saturday.  I was too busy playing in a poker tournament to notice.

I've got a handful of memories tied to this record.  The first are the mind blowingly awesome spfx at the end of the Black or White video.  People morphing into other people seamlessly!  Super awesome.  Additionally, the mcaulay culkin (sp?) cameo is pretty great.

The second, is from high school when my best friend and I "performed" in a student-produced "music video" to the song "Jam."  Though, now that I think of it, I might not have actually appeared in the video at all.  I just remember my friend The Beetle saying "Jam" over and over and my other friend doing the rap.  It exists somewhere on VHS, I'll have to track it down.  Or not.

With the loss of "Dangerous" you're pretty much looking at two more studio albums, if you include HIStory, Which I think is a best-of album.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Auf Wiedersehen, U2 - Achtung, Baby

Released November 19th, 1991 on Island Records
I'm a couple days late, but U2's "Achtung, Baby" is officially in the Expired pile.  One of their most successful albums, "Achtung, Baby" has gone 8 times platinum as of 2009, selling over 5.5 million copies in the States alone.

ATW, they won a crapload of awards, including "Comeback of the Year" by Rolling Stone Magazine.  Was "Rattle and Hum" (exp. '08) really that bad?

I owned this on cassette.  I remember the booklet being really long and particularly difficult to refold.  The last U2 record I bought was "Zooropa" (exp. '13) which I wasn't crazy about.  I will admit, however, I've always enjoyed the songs "lemon" and "numb."

This may or may not also mark the beginning of Bono's sunglasses.  I seem to remember him wearing them in all (and there were a lot) of the videos that came out following the release of this record. Apparently he's got some sort of sensitivity to light.* 

Is it wrong to say that U2 has really only put out two amazing records: "Achtung, Baby" and "Joshua Tree" (exp. '07)?  Is that a wildly inaccurate statement?  I know "Boy" ('00) and "War" ('03) have sort of a cool factor, giving some cred to the early fans, but....   

*I do, too!  And yet, I never wear sunglasses.  Instead, I prefer doing as much as possible in the dark, including working and showering.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Need you no more, INXS - Live Baby Live

Released November 11th, 1991 on Atlantic, Mercury Records
I've always wanted to be on the cover of a live album.  I'd say there are about ten people in this image that could properly identify themselves.  How cool is that?

"Live Baby Live" is one of only a few live albums I've ever owned.  "A Show of Hands" (Exp. '09) and a couple of Fat Wreck Chord releases come to mind.

From beginning to end, it's a solid record.  The perfect collection of singles to represent the Australian band.*  I think the only studio album of theirs I owned was "Kick" (Exp. '07).

In college, some friends of mine and I did a fun hidden camera prank using the song "Suicide Blonde".**  I'll have to find it and put it on YouTube one of these days.

INXS has created some amazing music in the past, but unfortunately the thing they'll probably be known most for is their front man's, Michael Hutchence, suicide.  (Exp. '97)  Everything that's followed, IMO, seems to be a bit of a clusterf*ck.  The decision to find a new front man via reality show never really set well with me.

Additional: I think my favorite song on this album is "The Stairs."  Something weird about that tune that appeals to me.

*Another favorite Australian band of mine, Midnight Oil, still has four albums left, though I stopped with "Blue Sky Mine" which expired last February.

**We had a friend set up a stereo system in the Boston Common and take requests from passer-bys.  No matter what song the people would ask to hear, our friend would play "Suicide Blonde."