Off Topic Messages

What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:42 pm

Artists occasionally made an album that was very different from their usual or recognised style.

Do any of you have any favourites that fall into this category?

Some of my absolute favourites include:

DEL SHANNON - The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover - Listening to it now. Great beefy Psychedelic platter with Del in fine voice - avoiding his trademark falsetto and pop styling.

HERMANS HERMITS - Blaze - Some really unsual avant-garde material interspersed with harmonious psychedelic material. I LOVE this!

RICK NELSON - Another Side Of Rick - He actually sounds more like Nilsson than Nelson on some of these fine tracks! I love the direction he took with this collection.

THE HOLLIES - Butterfly - My favourite of all their albums. Yeah the harmonies are intact, but the song subject matters cover mythical flying horses, Rag and Bone men, the beach, bootlegging, the world viewed from the top of a high hill, astral plane travel etc. Niiiice! So trippy it hurts!

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:09 pm

I do like 'UP' by REM. This was their first album post drummer Bill Berry's departure and received very mixed reviews. I, however liked it and the different approach. I think it was Michael Stipe who said if it wasn't a REM record people would have been shouting from the rooftops. Not their best work but some good stuff on there. Even Bill Berry said "I feel such a chump, I leave and they go on and make their best record".

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:14 pm

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Artists occasionally made an album that was very different from their usual or recognised style.

Do any of you have any favourites that fall into this category?

Some of my absolute favourites include:

DEL SHANNON - The Further Adventures Of Charles Westover - Listening to it now. Great beefy Psychedelic platter with Del in fine voice - avoiding his trademark falsetto and pop styling.

HERMANS HERMITS - Blaze - Some really unsual avant-garde material interspersed with harmonious psychedelic material. I LOVE this!

RICK NELSON - Another Side Of Rick - He actually sounds more like Nilsson than Nelson on some of these fine tracks! I love the direction he took with this collection.

THE HOLLIES - Butterfly - My favourite of all their albums. Yeah the harmonies are intact, but the song subject matters cover mythical flying horses, Rag and Bone men, the beach, bootlegging, the world viewed from the top of a high hill, astral plane travel etc. Niiiice! So trippy it hurts!


I have to agree with the Rick Nelson choice, and would add Perspective to that, as well. Both are fine, under-rated albums.

Considering it is an album of folk and gospel music, I would add the two Springsteen "Seeger" albums, which are full of life-affirming music guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Is it "out of character?" Well, not sure, on that one, but it's certainly not what one expects Springsteen, and it sue as hell is infectious. The BBC TV special of this material can be found below:

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Harry Connick Jr's album "She" from 1995 is a great change of direction, ditching the big band/crooner sound for a rock/funk album which is well worth hearing despite the rather bizarre interludes between some of the songs. Honestly Now is a highlight, and a great track that sadly wasn't released as a single. The follow-up, Star Turtle, was nowhere near as good - and neither was this year's effort in the same style, Smokey Mary, although it's better than Star Turtle and shows Connick in better form than he has been for years.

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Going back further is Ella Fitzgerald's attempt at a contemporary 60s sound, "Ella", recorded for Reprise around 1969. It contains some lovely cuts, such as "I Wonder Why" (see below), "Open Your Window" and "Got To Get You Into My Life". The follow-up "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" contains a bit more jazz material, but also "I Heard It Through The Grapevine(!)" and "Sunny", which was picked up for an advert a year or two back. Also with Ella Fitzgerald, and often forgotten, is her country album for Capitol in 1967. "Misty Blue" is enjoyable enough, but not particularly good, but still is an interesting attempt at something different.

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Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:31 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Considering it is an album of folk and gospel music, I would add the two Springsteen "Seeger" albums, which are full of life-affirming music guaranteed to put a smile on your face.


Great choice. Wonderful, exhilarating music and you can hear the joy in Springsteen's voice.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:43 pm

Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive from 1981 was "out of character" at the time. His previous albums were considered "New Wave" with a touch of punk and ska. Jumpin' Jive is a fantastic and fun album that predated the "retro-swing" craze in the late 1990s. (Brian Setzer Orchestra, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, et al. )

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Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:05 pm

InheritTheWind wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Considering it is an album of folk and gospel music, I would add the two Springsteen "Seeger" albums, which are full of life-affirming music guaranteed to put a smile on your face.


Great choice. Wonderful, exhilarating music and you can hear the joy in Springsteen's voice.


Here's hoping he returns to similar material at some point in the future.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:43 pm

Beach Boys "Smiley Smile", "Smile" and "Pet sounds" and of course "Harum Scarum" (Yes I like this one just because it is so different)

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:41 pm

Bruce's Nebraska was very jolting back in the early 1980s!

It remains my favorite album of his.

rjm

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Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:24 pm

Some good choices here!

I also Love Bobby Darin's "if I Were A Carpenter" album which veered away from his normal style and pointed more towards his future work.

Hey I love "Smiley Smile" too by the way - by far my favourite Beach Boys album! Some exquisite harmonies on there in among the weird and wonderful selections!

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:10 pm

1910 Fruitgum Company - Goody Goody Gumdrops

A huge change from Indian Giver!!!!! :shock:

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:25 pm

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers"Mojo"some fine good old rock

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:49 pm

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Some good choices here!

I also Love Bobby Darin's "if I Were A Carpenter" album which veered away from his normal style and pointed more towards his future work.

Hey I love "Smiley Smile" too by the way - by far my favourite Beach Boys album! Some exquisite harmonies on there in among the weird and wonderful selections!


I was tempted to include Darin too, but the problem was that he had no one style that ran through all his albums that there are probably half a dozen candidates. Either way, I'd have gone for Earthy, which pre-dates the folk of Carpenter by four years, and hints towards that later folk outing.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:28 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Some good choices here!

I also Love Bobby Darin's "if I Were A Carpenter" album which veered away from his normal style and pointed more towards his future work.

Hey I love "Smiley Smile" too by the way - by far my favourite Beach Boys album! Some exquisite harmonies on there in among the weird and wonderful selections!


I was tempted to include Darin too, but the problem was that he had no one style that ran through all his albums that there are probably half a dozen candidates. Either way, I'd have gone for Earthy, which pre-dates the folk of Carpenter by four years, and hints towards that later folk outing.

Earthy is brilliant I agree!

How about the utterly stunning A LITTLE TOUCH OF SCHMILLSON IN THE NIGHT? Harry delieverd one of the best easy listening collections of all time with that beauty! What a vast change from SON OF SHMILLSON!!!

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:11 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Some good choices here!

I also Love Bobby Darin's "if I Were A Carpenter" album which veered away from his normal style and pointed more towards his future work.

Hey I love "Smiley Smile" too by the way - by far my favourite Beach Boys album! Some exquisite harmonies on there in among the weird and wonderful selections!


I was tempted to include Darin too, but the problem was that he had no one style that ran through all his albums that there are probably half a dozen candidates. Either way, I'd have gone for Earthy, which pre-dates the folk of Carpenter by four years, and hints towards that later folk outing.


Great choice! Earthy is my favorite Darin album and one of my favorite albums in general. Only wished Elvis would have been so bold.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:44 pm

r&b wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Some good choices here!

I also Love Bobby Darin's "if I Were A Carpenter" album which veered away from his normal style and pointed more towards his future work.

Hey I love "Smiley Smile" too by the way - by far my favourite Beach Boys album! Some exquisite harmonies on there in among the weird and wonderful selections!


I was tempted to include Darin too, but the problem was that he had no one style that ran through all his albums that there are probably half a dozen candidates. Either way, I'd have gone for Earthy, which pre-dates the folk of Carpenter by four years, and hints towards that later folk outing.


Great choice! Earthy is my favorite Darin album and one of my favorite albums in general. Only wished Elvis would have been so bold.


Well, Elvis sang Guadalajara which, oddly, is a song that would have fitted on the album in a different arrangement (the album includes a raw version of La Bamba, although it's probably the weakest track). But a bold move like this would have done Elvis little good at the time. It didn't do much good for Darin at the time either; it's only since his death that these albums have been elevated to a high level critically. I always get the impression that Darin's time at Capitol was not a happy one. They wanted him to do Sinatra albums, and he wanted to anything but that. Earthy and Golden Folk Hits were great, but flops. Eighteen Yellow Roses was pretty awful (as an album) but did better. In the end, Darin went down the safe route, leaving much of his best work from the period in the vaults, to be released finally in the 1990s and 2000s.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:01 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Eighteen Yellow Roses was pretty awful (as an album) but did better.

Any album that has an oustanding song like Not For Me on it (dam, what an amazing song!) can never be awful.
Hell, if this song was on Harum Scarum I would have declared it a work of art! Incredible song!

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:18 pm

Bob-Holland wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Eighteen Yellow Roses was pretty awful (as an album) but did better.

Any album that has an oustanding song like Not For Me on it (dam, what an amazing song!) can never be awful.
Hell, if this song was on Harum Scarum I would have declared it a work of art! Incredible song!

Yup. great song. Darin's Capitol years were not the commercial success he had at Atco but damn he recorded such good stuff there. Get the CD (if you don't have it) of the best of his Capitol years. He does every style there is and should have had a major pop hit with 'When I Get Home' (not the Beatles song). Another lost gem that was so in tune with the 60's pop sound at the time.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:46 pm

r&b wrote:
Bob-Holland wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Eighteen Yellow Roses was pretty awful (as an album) but did better.

Any album that has an oustanding song like Not For Me on it (dam, what an amazing song!) can never be awful.
Hell, if this song was on Harum Scarum I would have declared it a work of art! Incredible song!

Yup. great song. Darin's Capitol years were not the commercial success he had at Atco but damn he recorded such good stuff there. Get the CD (if you don't have it) of the best of his Capitol years. He does every style there is and should have had a major pop hit with 'When I Get Home' (not the Beatles song). Another lost gem that was so in tune with the 60's pop sound at the time.


Yes, When I get Home and We Didn't Ask To Be Brought Here both deserved success. My problem with Eighteen Yellow Roses is that he's covering pop songs of the time, mostly in rather unconvincing ways. I almost think he is singing some of the numbers through gritted teeth; it's just not what Darin was all about. That said, Not For Me (Sammy Davis did a fine version too) and End of the World are very good indeed. I like You're The Reason I'm Living better as an album, although that also has the occasional mis-judged performance (eg. Release Me). But that's what you get when you're working with someone who takes risks and tries new things. It can't all be great.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:57 pm

Whoa, I LOVE the Ella track and never heard it before. I just bought a near mint pressing for ten bucks and can't wait to hear the entire album.

I appreciate the enlightenment. Thank you!

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:27 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Whoa, I LOVE the Ella track and never heard it before. I just bought a near mint pressing for ten bucks and can't wait to hear the entire album.

I appreciate the enlightenment. Thank you!


No problem. It's a shame the CD is out of print. Also worth hearing are the 60s covers on Sunshine of your Love. The are jazzier than on "Ella", but a blast, especially the title track. Her pop covers are often very good (starting with Can't Buy Me Love), it's just a shame that they a cross-label compilation of them hasn't been produced. A few are below (all are jazzier than on Ella, which is not jazz at all), most of them are a hybrid of Ella's short-lived "soul voice" (used from around 1966 to 1973) in jazz or big band arrangements:

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Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:47 am

Fantastic, thank you. Truth be told, I'd rather have an original vinyl in great shape than a CD. I've got a 1961 Fisher amp and a pair of 1956 Altec speakers and the analogue sounds SO good, it's hard listening to anything digital now.

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:33 pm

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Fantastic, thank you. Truth be told, I'd rather have an original vinyl in great shape than a CD. I've got a 1961 Fisher amp and a pair of 1956 Altec speakers and the analogue sounds SO good, it's hard listening to anything digital now.

Please? Pretty please with sugar on top..let's not go there. :facep:
Next we'll have a topic on "how much better the picture on my 1954 RCA CT100 color TV looks, as compared to the new Samsung LED 600hz Tru-Motion Slim set." :roll:

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:13 pm

Oh yes, the CD's sound harsh and unnatural compared to the original vinyl (in great shape) and reel to reel tapes.

It's really quite amazing how 50 to 60 year old audio technology is SO much better than what we are hearing today!

Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:31 pm

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:Oh yes, the CD's sound harsh and unnatural compared to the original vinyl (in great shape) and reel to reel tapes.

It's really quite amazing how 50 to 60 year old audio technology is SO much better than what we are hearing today!

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Re: What "out of character" albums do you dig?

Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:57 pm

Hmm, I guess I am not talking with audiophiles here...