Finished with…


Finished with…

While discussing music with my good friend Dana Madore the other night, I hit upon the idea of being “Finished with…” artists.  Even as a youngster, I “Finished” with artists rather quickly.  Did I get bored?  Or react badly to too much popularity?

I was a huge Yes fan at the time of “The Yes Album” and “Fragile”.  I even bought “Yessongs” (triple LP set) as soon as it was released, but…I never got around to buying “Close To The Edge” at the time, and then – the bomb:  “Tales from Topographic Oceans” – to quote countless burn-out mumblers, “I couldn’t wrap my head around it!”.  Still can’t.

Not so long ago, I detailed my purchasing of “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath something like 7 times – and I leapt onto “Master of Reality” as a Vertigo original UK LP, complete with reverse Vertigo inner sleeve!  But I never made it to “Vol. 4”, for some reason.  Actually, I know exactly why:  German rock bands!  By ’72, I was attempting to submerge my brain in Neu, Cluster, Can, Faust, Amon Duul II etc.

I love The Who.  “Happy Jack / A Quick One” and “The Who Sell Out” are two of the greatest records ever made, and I’m not kidding.  I can still actually hang with “Tommy” – especially the 2CD deluxe edition that was an SA-CD with startlingly good audio!  I bought (and kept) “Live At Leeds”.  I officially joined the 70’s my buying and keeping “Who’s Next” – truly a record of my mis-spent youth.  But “Quadrophenia” stuck in my throat like an unwanted bone.  I don’t think I’ve ever listened to it all the way though, even!  (I did see the film on an early visit to England, and I’m OK with it).  Truth is, I didn’t think much of the latter day Keith Moon Who, but I did try and listen – once Keith Moon died.  Never went back to ”Quadrophenia”, though – and I do own nice copies – a Track Record UK original and a lovely Track Record via Sony Japan 2LP massive top pressing edition.

So, were you ever all gung ho on something – only to cool off a bit later on?  Yes, it happens in the music universe, I assure you:  3rd Ian Dury & The Blockheads LP?  Can albums without Holger Czukay?  P.F.M. after they changed to sounding like The Police?  Non-psychedelic Eric Clapton?  Anything after the 3rd Buzzcocks LP?  Jethro Tull after “Thick As A Brick”?  Emerson, Lake & Palmer after “Pictures At An Exhibition”?  The Rolling Stones after “Exile” but before “Some Girls”?  Any Moody Blues LP after 1972?  Post-WEA Zappa?  The Monkees without Mike Nesmith?  Caravan after “For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night”?  Post-WEA Curved Air?  The Nits without Michiel Peters?  The Pop Mechanix without Andrew Snoid?  The Plastics without Chica Sato?  Any post-“Red” King Crimson release? Genesis without Peter Gabriel? Post-Virgin Mike Oldfield? Etc.

So all of these revelations are the blueprint of my soul – for better or worse.  If you put your mind to it, I bet you can name a few more items in this train of thought…

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9 Responses to Finished with…

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    I maintain that The Nits only touched greatness after Peters left. Specifically, with the “Henk” album. Listening to that album for me was like moving from black + white to Technicolor®. Everything clicked into place and gave me immense rewards. I think it’s the first stellar achievement for the band. Keep in mind, the first contemporary Nits recording I bought was “Hat,” which I also love. For me the two Nits albums that are indisputably classic from start to finish are “Henk” and “Ting.” And I think “Ting” is whole realms better than “Henk.” “Ting” is one of my favorite albums, ever. It works for me on a mystical level of achievement. The early Nits are kind of derivative sounding to me. Competent, to be sure, but derivative. Not unlike middle period Japan. Great to listen to, but you’re hearing every influence.

    ELP after Pictures? Well, I didn’t really like “Pictures At An Exhibition.” Give me the delightful sprawl of “Trilogy.” It’s still the most enjoyable ELP album that I can listen to with no regrets. But afterward? Yeah. Deep six it all, I say.

    Yes? Well, I certainly enjoy “Close To The Edge” even though I’ve lived without a copy for over 30 years now. “Drama” was pretty killer for me though. I bought it on CD and would buy the DLX RM, if I ever saw it. But I’m there with you on “Topographic Oceans.” The word “indigestible” comes to mind.

    As for King Crimson, give me everything – except for “Islands.” I gave “Poseidon” a second chance on your recommendation and I’ll admit, it was better than a Moody Blues record. There was enough jazz there that presaged the magnificent “Lizard” when met again with wiser ears.

    Spot on with The Stones, though. They had an awful run in the 70s so I grew up hating them until my 20s. Part of that was not having a handle on blues until then, but “Hot Stuff” carried a lot of weight, too.

    Alternatively, if you wanted to cut David Bowie off after 1980, you wouldn’t miss anything earth shattering, and you’d give a whole lot of 80s dross the big pass. The only album after that I feel is up to snuff is “Buddha Of Suburbia.” “Bring Me The Disco King” also attains greatness.

  2. postpunkmonk says:

    Alas, The Who! Except for “Who’s Next,” which I actually still like even after all of that saturation airplay, I’d end it with “Who Sell Out.” Definitely a total classic! Even the bonus tracks on the 90s RM I have are better than anything else they recorded. “Tommy” drags for me, though. The only album with any spark for me post “Who’s Next” is, surprisingly, “It’s Hard.” It feels more like a contemporary Townshend album, which I’m just fine with! I’d re-buy it on CD used at the right price: <$5.

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    I did The Nits in real time, so – not so interesting for the original fans without Michiel Peters.

    For latter day Who, I can appreciate “Face Dances” (1981), some of the writing is quite good. Never warmed to “It’s Hard”, though. I do have it in my collection.

  4. Brian Ware says:

    Other than a passionate fling with the debut LP by U.K. in 1978, I was pretty much finished with all prog rock by the mid 70s. Seems like we all left Yes and ELP at about the same time, although I confess I found all the bombast of “Brain Salad Surgery” hugely entertaining at the time. I moved on to prog-lite by bands like The Alan Parsons Project, and more cerebral rock like Steely Dan before evolving to new wave.
    I stuck with Genesis through the first two post-Gabriel LPs, but after that I maintained more of a respectful distance. And speaking of Peter Gabriel, I was definitely “finished” with him after the 4th LP, and completely lost interest after that.

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Alan Parson’s project. Ewwwww! “Tales of Mystery + Imagination” was probably the best one, but I still have no desire to ever hear it again. “I, Robot” moved too close to “FM-Rock.” “Pyramid” was very weak but a work of genius compared to the wretched “Eve.” Those albums, even at their best, reflect musical values I had jettisoned for good.

      Post-Gabriel Genesis? I’ve only heard “…And Then There Were Three” and “Duke.” The former was impossibly weak; the latter, slightly better than mediocre.

      Peter Gabriel – I have “So” and it’s singles but don’t care for that period at all, save for “Red Rain.” I have nothing after that and am content to never hear Gabriel again. I’m definitely done with him!

      Others I’m good and done with: Kate Bush [post ’85’], Midge Ure [post ’88 – but I could take it back to ’84, really], The Pretenders [post ’80!], Bananarama [post ’86], Cabaret Voltaire [post ’87], The Stranglers [post ’86], Annie Lennox [post ’92], Gary Numan [‘post ’94], Talking Heads [post ’80], Kraftwerk [post ’84], Depeche Mode [post ’90], Bill Nelson [post ’92 – just because I can’t afford to buy that many albums], Pet Shop Boys [post ’93], Erasure [post ’93], New Order [post ’88], Yello [post ’91]. Wow! That’s some list! There are a lot of heavy hitters on this list that in earlier times, would have been in the core collection.

  5. ronkanefiles says:

    I maintain that prog rock was all done by 1977, with the O.S.T. LP “Suspiria” by Goblin. Everything after that is post-prog (neo-prog?)

  6. postpunkmonk says:

    I think that it’s safe to say that in the UK/Europe prog may have been dead by ’77. But I still maintain the last, great, bursting of the prog flower was in Canada; a commonwealth nation where the population somewhat removed from the epicenter of musical change. I’m speaking of my favorite prog album of the post-75 period, “Black Noise” by FM ca. 1978. I think post-prog dates from when Marillion snuck out via cracks in the pavement in… what, 1983? That, to me, is where neo-prog began. I’d call ’80-’83 a no-man’s land for prog.

  7. Brian Ware says:

    Looking back three decades later, I completely agree with Jim’s assessment of Alan Parsons, but in that very confusing mid to late 70s period, I was trying to grasp anything that reflected some semblance of musical values that I held dear. That was one tough time.

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