The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:12 pm

minicat wrote:CHER SUPERPAK!

I never expected the Superpak to be so uniquely terrible. It's not even possible to enjoy it ironically. It's awful. Not counting "I Wasn't Ready," a good song that was co-written by Dr. John.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby chainsawcurtis » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:13 pm

scratch wrote:OTOH I wouldn't be surprised to find myself the only Was (Not Was) fan on this august forum.


Not so, grasshopper. Woodwork squeaks and out come the freaks.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:00 am

scratch wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
minicat wrote:Also: Mel Torme SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS.
Yeah. He really does. Supa's longstanding love of the Velvet Fog is one of the greatest mysteries life has ever presented me. Less interesting to me than Tony Bennett, who interests me not at all.


Have you heard his guest appearance on the song "Zaz Turned Blue" from Was (Not Was)' Born to Laugh at Tornadoes? He sings the lead and his vocals fit right in with the song and the album-- so well that it moderated my previous dislike of Mel. I used to work with a guy who considered himself quite the jazz buff and he really liked Torme. Other than his turn with the Was Bros I can't think of a song of his I like, though now they all remind me of "Zaz" and Was (Not Was).

OTOH I wouldn't be surprised to find myself the only Was (Not Was) fan on this august forum. Mitch Ryder ("Bow Wow Wow Wow") and Ozzy Osbourne ("Shake Your Head") also do guest lead vocals on that album. Something for everyone.


I've never picked that up. I will next time I see it, W (NW) is always interesting, though for me mostly a band I can appreciate as genius but not my thing musically (too synthy-keyboardy-80sy, at least the ones I've heard).

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:09 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:
minicat wrote:CHER SUPERPAK!

I never expected the Superpak to be so uniquely terrible. It's not even possible to enjoy it ironically. It's awful. Not counting "I Wasn't Ready," a good song that was co-written by Dr. John.


Volume 1 has a better track lineup than 2. However, the early Cher is better experienced as the original albums, because they make more sense musically in context rather than jumbled up. The first LP is really solid folk-rock. Her Muscle Shoals LP was a disappointment.

This is the kind of useless knowledge gleaned from buying dollar bin records.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:56 am

minicat wrote:Wait until you get to side three of CTA.

Oh dear lord. What a waste of vinyl. Reminds me of disc three from "All Things Must Pass." There is concise, good-quality pop music on the first LP, and then depression sets in. The fact that the free-form guitar wankery has the title "Free Form Guitar" is either the worst or the most brilliant thing about it.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby christopher_robin » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:19 am

What *are* the good triple records?

As much as I love it, even I have a hard time defending the sprawl of "Sandinista."

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:06 am

"Will the Circle Be Unbroken," by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and assorted country legends, is pretty much perfect at three discs.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:46 am

I really like the original 3-LP Woodstock. It's a pretty fascinating audio document of the event (or, I guess, maybe more a distillation of the film) and has a lot of good music on it as well.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby scratch » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:20 pm

I like Will the Circle be Unbroken and Sandinista at 3 discs, and I'd add a couple of box set 3-disc collections: Shut Up and Play Your Guitar by Frank Zappa and the Upsetter Box Set by Lee Perry. But maybe those don't count as 3-disc albums since the component discs were at one time available individually. And, obviously, I'm a glutton for punishment in some things.

But I also like disc 3 of All Things Must Pass, which thanks to George Harrison, Eric Clapton and the rest of the band's free-form efforts kind of set the table for jam bands. How can you not like a disc with "It's Johnny's Birthday" on it? I'm not much of a fan of jam bands after the Allman Brothers but I hadn't yet become bored with that approach when All Things came out.

As to CTA and their later incarnation as simply C, I'm not a fan. Their stuff always reminds me of frat parties, which have traumatized me inordinately since rush week in 1970.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:13 pm

I dig Shut Up and Play Your Guitar, but l think the 3-disc Joe's Garage is a better listen (although it frontloads most of the best tracks on Vol. 1.) I've never actually heard Will The Circle Be Unbroken and I cannot in good conscience nominate either All Things Must Pass (about 1½ good records) or Sandinsista! (which I don't even think has one solid LP's worth of tracks on it.)
Woodstock is a strange bird. I think I liked it better when I first heard it, before I knew what wasn't on there. Not only are some of the best bands missing (CCR, The Band) but the song selection is also questionable (only one Who song and "We're Not Gonna Take It" is the choice?) Admittedly, I haven't heard these sets in their entirety, so perhaps the choices are excellent... I dunno. But even still, CSN, Baez, John Sebastian, Canned Heat, and Richie Havens are all artists I can pretty much do without. Oh, and Sha Na Na really should be seen, not just heard (they come off much better in the film.) But the highlights here -- the Santana/Ten Years After side and the Sly Stone medley in particular -- are really stunning.

My vote for best triple-sets are both CDs and both by Prince:
1996's Emancipation was his first burst after finally extricating himself from his Warner Bros. contract and it is jam-packed with great stuff. Unfortunately, the worst stuff here is some of the worst crap Prince has ever released, but cut the guy some slack, he was revelling in his newfound freedom!
1998's Crystal Ball is even more off-the-rails, but if anything, that helps it work better. All over the map, but fanfuckingtastic. Even more so than Emancipation, however, these tracks are from lots of different years, so some may consider this a compilation, even if none of the tracks had seen the late of day outside of bootlegs before. (And technically, this is a four disc set, as there's a Bonus Disc -- The Truth -- as well. But that disc really is its own stylistic entity, given how acoustic-based it is.)

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby scratch » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:06 pm

Oh yeah Woodstock-- I pretty much agree with Prof. Wagstaff's assessment of the 3-disc version, but after Woodstock 2 came out I thought of it as a 5-disc set, which lasted until even yet more Woodstock came out subsequently. Good stuff, some great stuff, some drek, but that's how big rock festivals usually were back then, especially when accompanied by that much rain. I've never been much of a John Sebastian fan post-Spoonful, but he fit right in at Woodstock. No comparison to Little Richard at daybreak in Wadena, in 1970, but good nonetheless.

One last thing about the Upsetter Box Set: it's music from before Scratch was a cult hero and after he quit doing the "roller-rink" sounding instrumentals from the mid-60s. Deep, funky reggae with a smattering of dub effects and surprising jazz influences. Of course as my moniker suggests, I may not be completely objective about it.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:46 pm

Huh. Now that I think about it, I don't beleive I own a legit (non complilation) studio triple LP.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kyle Motor » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:13 am

1/2 Japanese 1/2 Gentlemen, Not Beasts. I don't think anybody should attempt a triple LP and expect it to be a consistently good and cohesive work. But if you're going to do it, might as well do it when you don't know what you're doing.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:43 am

The Magnetic Fields' three-CD "69 Love Songs" has an enormous reputation, but I must confess that in spite of his unmistakable songwriting talent, Stephin Merritt's shtick has always left me a little cold.

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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:59 am

Kyle Motor wrote:1/2 Japanese 1/2 Gentlemen, Not Beasts. I don't think anybody should attempt a triple LP and expect it to be a consistently good and cohesive work. But if you're going to do it, might as well do it when you don't know what you're doing.

Even though I have a ton of Half Japanese and have for decades, I never managed to score a copy of this one back in the day. Now that it's finally been given a readily-available CD reissue, I've been tempted, but after the debacle that was the Jad Fair section of my CD shelf, I'm wary. I suppose I don't have to wait until I hit them on my rack to go back and listen to Half Japanese again and see if I'm still interested in this one.


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