classic album dissections 2018

Sea

Roxy Music Roxy Music

This week, Jim and Greg tackle Roxy Music's 1972 self-titled debut album. Fronted by songwriter and vocalist Bryan Ferry, the English glam rock band combined the talents of bassist Graham Simpson, multi-reedist Andy Mackay, synth player Brian Eno, drummer Paul Thompson, and guitarist Phil Manzanera. Phil joined Jim and Greg to talk about Roxy's early years.

Reaping from sources as varied as avant-garde electronic composition, jazz, Berlin cabaret, glam rock, and American crooners, Roxy's hyper-eclectic style“didn't sound like anything else”in popular music in 1972, according to Greg. Ferry has cited the work of his mentor, pop collage artist Richard Hamilton, as an inspiration for his own catch-all musical aesthetic. As Greg observes, Roxy Music marked a new era in which "rock was a wide-open playing field, and you could do anything with it."

Critics took notice - the record was well-received upon its release and is frequently included on Best Album lists. Though the group went its separate ways in 1983, Roxy Music profoundly influenced musical genres to come, from post-punk and the New Romantic movement to Britpop—and it can all be traced back to the group's delightfully wacky debut album.

Go to episode 663

Blue

Joni Mitchell In our pursuit of doing a classic album dissection of Blue, we decided to begin with a conversation with music writer David Yaffe. Yaffe wrote the 2017 biography Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell. We talked with him about the singer-songwriter's backstory, which includes overcoming polio, finding her voice and creating inventive guitar tunings. We also discuss what Joni Mitchell's life was like leading up to making her 1971 masterpiece.

Go to episode 654

Exile on Main St.

Jim and Greg offer up a classic album dissection for Exile on Main St. by The Rolling Stones, a recording that's still shrouded in mystique over 45 years later. Jim says that even after loving this album for decades,“he has yet to plumb the surface”of the double album. He adds, that the genre-blurring album reflects“the American music canon, the weirder things in Grandma's attic.”

Exile on Main St. is the band's 10th studio album. In many ways, its dark, murky sound makes it a bit of an outlier in their extensive catalog. That often imitated sound was a product of being recorded in the basement of Keith Richards's villa in France. Jim and Greg explore the recording process, the sound and the infuence on what Greg calls“The Post-Exile generations”from the New York Dolls to the White Stripes.

Go to episode 644