Vinyl: Don't think, Don't Judge, Just listen 🎧🎶
Back at it again with a review from some of the albums I own on vinyl. More or less I promised @mipiano that I would start writing my opinions about records again in the nearby future. For this Friday night listening session I decided to go for the oldest and the newest records I own. The oldest isn’t totally true… I have told about this record earlier in a post from a while ago inspired by a challenge I noticed by a post from @slobberchops.
So for tonight it will be as my oldest record Michael Jackson with Dangerous. This record is something you really need to give a try if you don’t know it yet!? My latest record is Green Day and their recordings from the BBC sessions they did through the years. And if you like live raw energy you have to listen to this one!
Michael Jackson – Dangerous (released 1991)
I think it has been more than 25 years since this album got released. Not sure if it is my favorite record all-time but boy it does something to me. The album itself is for sure timeless. Even if they would have released the album this year, it would have sound fresh. Michael Jackson itself was for sure not that fresh while recording this album, after a demolishing BAD tour worldwide. But he managed to create a new sound. I think he managed to be one of the greatest artist of that time already with the records before Dangerous. But with BAD Michael suffered with the specific lengths from a vinyl record. The magical CD did solve this problem for him. So, he created longer songs, not held back by any time lengths. He also followed a new road and produced the album without the help of Quincy Jones. With as a result that Dangerous is a very pleasant affair. With this new style the album is exactly what the albumtitle says it is. Sharp, pounding, even edgy
There are 14 tracks on the album, all the songs do have a playtime above average. The whole albums clocks at 78 minutes.
Well the first track is a real killer. The track is opening with one of the best openers I’m aware of. The songs starts with the sound of glass shattering (remember breaking the barriers? Not as friendly as Michael his earlier albums but this intro is addictive, you can repeat it over and over again. The song is about social problems but the “subject” can still find some time to jam around. Knowing that the injustices in the world won’t stop him or her from doing whatever it takes to succeed. One of my favorites from this album.
Why you wanna trip on me
Talking about cool intros again… Here is another one! Just turn op the volume while playing this song. This song continues the tackling of social problems in the society. Even nowadays I still think it’s perfect. It’s about how one should focus on the realities in this world instead of celebrities eating out. “Why trip on me, when we have way more important things to deal with”
In the closet
I think this is one of the sexiest songs on the album I believe this song is a metaphor for hiding a relationship. There is a female voice whispering in the intro, and the song is a real Michael Jackson song I think with al tension and the hee hee’s and some grunts from Michael. There is a rumor that Madonna refused to create a duet with Michael. Just because he didn’t want to go all the way (relationship wise).
She drives me wild
I think this song is underrated a lot. Might be Micheal’s his first try to combine pop with rap music. Really like all the sounds through the song these are all sounds from cars. Horns, engines, doors slamming. He created with those everyday subjects a brilliant melody and turned them into a great song. Another favorite of the album for me personally. Go check this one out if you don’t know it yet.
Remember the time
Actually, I don’t like to listen to this song. You need to watch the famous clip while listening to this one. Otherwise the music doesn’t feel complete. Combined together this is such a powerful combination. When combined this is my favorite song of the album by far.
Can’t let her get away
Oh this song has such a great rhythm, I can’t imagine people can stand still while listening to this one. Michael even tries to have a rap in the bridge of the song. I want to bet you will start to tap your foot eventually while listening to this one!
Heal the world
I believe Michael once said this was the song, he was the proudest of. He wrote this song so that every generation could sing the song. It’s a simple text about coming together as one and that we need to heal the world for our future generations.
Black or White
Who doesn’t know this song!? The song became an instant classic with the driving guitars and a fiery bridge. Michael takes a prominent topic for that time and turned it into a song that everyone can relate to. Actually, this is a song you can’t listen without watching the clip to.
Who is it
One of my all-time favorite songs from Michael. This song Michael is singing with so much passion and emotion. You just hear the pain, goosebumps all over while listening to this one. Michael is beatboxing in this song the beat. Is there anything this guy couldn’t do?
Give it to me
Great song, and don’t know why this song isn’t as popular as Dirty Diana. Back in the time the song was a hit for sure, but nowadays you won’t hear it anymore (at least on the Dutch radio). For me this is a real rock-classic, featuring Slash on the guitar. 🤘
Will you be there
This song is a real gem, with an orchestra to startup the song and set the mood. This song has a beat and melody only Michael could create this, I think. He’s putting so much emotion in this song.
Keep the faith
The twin brother of an older song from Michael, called Man in the mirror. This track keeps people motivated/inspires them I think during hard times. Again, a great melody, don’t know why this song didn’t become a single from the album.
Gone too soon
Michael wrote this song for Ryan White. Ryan was an AIDS patient. But after Michael passed away I’ve heard this song so many times. Not sure if the original message is still there. Really a sad song, but isn’t it only a thin line that separates joy from sorrow
Well on this album it is! The next track ends with a bang!
I think this track has had his influence at so many artists from nowadays like Justin Timberlake for example. Think he used this whole album as an inspirational piece of work for his career. But Dangerous is danceable. Far, far away you can hear some influence from Prince, but Michael did a better job for sure! The album just finishes with a bang, just like it’s predecessor BAD.
Can’t tell you how happy I am that I found this record being pressed on vinyl. Wasn’t aware of the fact that this record had an reissue on vinyl. Yeah!
In an interview with Michael given shortly after the release of Dangerous I remember that he told that he hoped to create an album that was like the Nutcracker suite from Tchaikovsky. The reason he said that was because he thought people would be listening to him even after 1000 years, something that would live forever. Michael did one thing very good in his songs, he created and unlocked possibilities in them. Maybe Dangerous isn’t a Nutcracker but I think his whole oeuvre will achieve the same stature as the Nutcracker suite.
Greenday - BBC Sessions
So happy that Green Day delivered us this album! They couldn’t play so they entered their own vaults I think, digging up this great masterpiece. It’s a collection of songs recorded through the years where the band did play some sessions (1994, ’96, ’98 and 2001 in the famous BBC Maida Vale Studios. Personally I think these are Green Day their best years till the release of American Idiot. That album I still like but after that they changed their sound and it’s not my favourite sound. But I think there is also another camp who prefer everything this band releases. Jeez the band became a stadium act after the release of American Idiot so the masses are right I guess? ;)
There are 16 tracks on the album, all the songs do have a playtime between 2 and 5 minutes. The whole albums clocks at 48 minutes. SideA is from the recordings at June 8, 1994. Side B November 3, 1996. Side C February 2, 1998 and Side D August 28, 2001
The 1994 side features a few surprises A the sound quality and B the band performed 2000 Light Years Away!
The first track on this album, and what an opener. A song with a catchy chorus and some high-octane speed. I believe this was the last single from the album Dookie, this is one of the favourite songs from Billy Joe Armstrong. I believe he always put it on the setlist every show. Well I might be a bit older nowadays then the silly young punk in my teenage years but has this song aged well? The song is a love song to a girl from Billy his high school period. This girl thankfully was also his introduction to activism. Otherwise we wouldn’t have this great punk band.
Best part of the song for me is always right after the “Scream at me until my ears bleed I'm taking heed just for you” somewhere halfway with a nice scream. Goosebumps all over feeling a bit nostalgic here. Thinking about all my crushes I’ve never dared to ask during my teenage years 🤣
When I come Around
Could they have chosen any better song to take the foot from the gas just a little bit just to take a small breath. This is a pop punkrock song at it’s finest I think. I can’t play myself but most of the guys during my teenage years who where learning to play on a guitar started with this song. Simple four (actually five but hey punk is about four chords right!) power chords everyone can play at home, only a few can turn this into an even bigger hit played in Stadiums worldwide.
When I come around is a song devoted to the mother of Armstrong’s two children. They were struggling in the relationship with the long distances and people can’t imagine nowadays but during these days it was tough to keep connected with each other and maintain a proper relationship. Billy Joe affirms his devotion for his wife and he promises to make it up to her when he returns from touring. This one is such a catchy song, and I think still many people love this one. I believe this was one of the best selling singles from the band during the 90’s era.
I think everyone knows this videoclip? The band playing in a mental institution and showing Billy Joe’s anxiety of the panic attacks he started to have during the recordings from Dookie. At first this wasn’t the hit it is nowadays. But with MTV showing the clip with a heavy rotation and their performance during Woodstock 1994 that finally made people notice Basket Case. The band re-issued the single and performed a great set at the Reading Festival that made people posh all around the world at this song. And yes this is almost the perfect punk anthem, three chords and fast! The whole songs doesn’t last for three minutes. And just listen to the drums in this song, the moment the hi hat enters this song Tre is killing it!
2000 Lightyears Away
While thinking about all these songs from Greenday, I guess Billy Joe does think a lot about his wife Adrienne. This song is the opener from the album Kerpunk, and it is so cool they haven’t forgotten this gem. The song is about being far away from each other during touring with the band. Over time this song is embraced by fans I guess, so 25+ years after releasing this single the band created a music video with a compilation of live performances from the early and mid 90’s. While writing many love songs the band wasn’t creating ballads for sure Dirnt his bass-line is catchy combined with the toe tapping guitar and drums creating this upbeat fast paced forgotten classic.
Green Stink Breath
Greenday was still known by their catchy vocal melody style from Dookie, but the band tried to create a song a bit different. To my liking this song was a bit more aggressive than the songs from Dookie. Think the biggest change here is in the guitar part, it isn’t flowing as before. This song is about a drug user and the effects it has on this person his mind and body.
The great thing about this song is in my opinion when you hear the guitar riffs, bass lines and drum patterns isolated from each other they won’t sound like anything special but once combined they will form a pretty good song. Best part for me from this song is the intro, can’t stop my head banging hearing this.
Brain Stew / Jaded
Originally two separated songs on Insomniac but paired during the BBC sessions and as a joint single. Brain stew was called originally Insomnia like the album title and referring to Billie Joe dealing with his Insomnia. I still think this song is the dark horse from Green day, and for me it was the best song from the Insomnia album. A total metal breakdown and then it rolls into Jaded “Somebody keep my balance, I think I’m falling off”. Proof that the rigid line between metal and punk was fading during these days in the 90’s this/these song(s) just rock!
The last single from Insomniac the band released, and it was one of the more poppy ones from that album in the line of the hits from Dookie. The song shows us there is no such thing as a ‘popular’ punk band but Green day did exactly manage that to become during the 90’s (and it exploded during the zero’s). Billy Joe shows mankind the world is full of contradictions. Standards are set and broken all the time during human history. The band experienced the same I guess everyone liked the music on Dookie, more and more people start liking your music and then instant there is the wave of hate and people telling you are a bunch of sellouts and people start hating the same they did like before. Life is a total walking contradiction! I wish the band played this track more on their live shows, but for now I’m verry happy with this live version
Stuck with me
Rollin, the bass play delivered by Mike in this song is so great to listen to. Did they ever rewarded him for playing the bass during this song so amazing!? The whole song is a pleasure to listen because it is just catchy and the singing sounds so remotely like they needed to scream for real in their mics. Actually, I forgotten this song totally during the years but hearing it again made me fall in love with it again.
Hitchin a Ride
There we go we start with the songs from Nimrod during their BBC sessions in 1998. I don’t think the band did surprise anyone they started this session with the songs Hitchin a Ride and Nice Guys Finish Last. The song we’re talking about now is Hitchin a Ride and it might be missin the violin play from the original this song has a lot to offer with punchy drums and crunchy guitars rockin it. This song starts like a sleeping princess that needs to be kissed awake and then it delivers for sure. At almost halfway during the song right after the chorus around 1.44 the song explodes. Please don’t skip this song because it can sound a bit boring at the beginning if you expect a rock song. “Shit!!! Troubled times You know I cannot lie” this song delivers!
Nice Guys Finish Last
Talking about nice guys, you should watch the clip of this song first and watch the drummer when he says hi to his mum mounting the words while playing. There is so much energy in this song, but the recording isn’t the best… It does sound not as clear as the other songs actually it is a bit messy to listen to. Even with the not-so-great recording quality the song is still a blistering masterclass of blazing speeds of guitar playing.
Still remembering the days how many people were complaining about this song ending Nimrod, but I always liked it actually. The song has some great lyrics and I really love the breakdown. When you listen closely this recording isn’t great either but still better then Nice Guys Finish Last. The song is about “fake” people like those in Hollywood with giant ego’s. The thing I like the most about this recording is that I don’t hear someone coughing. The original one I always hate the part where you hear a cough right after the bridge.
The song is a 60’s style pop song but no happiness from that period this song the singing sounds so bitter and heart-breaking it really does something to me while listening to it. This song is heavy without the need to play the guitars loud and fast. I’m just speechless and redundant cause I love you is not enough for this song ;)
There we are back again at the BBC studios it is August 2001 and yes they definitely played some songs that did surprise people because this day wasn’t all about Minority and Waiting. The band did also play some lesser known songs where Castaway is one of them.
Very happy with this version of Castaway this version is way better than the original one!
The voice of Billie you can hear in this song without all the effects added to the original version on the album Warning.
This is such an energetic song and so easy to sing along. Really a fun song to listen to and get your ass out of that chair to start some dancing and put this song on repeat. Ohhh wait I’m listening to vinyl no repeat here… Well you can’t have it all! But wait for it if you listen closer and just don’t start dancing but listen carefully you’ll here so much fun things in this song soundwise. They play so many different rythms you only hear once (where Greenday normally repeats it many times during their songs), this song is all about how Greenday take the risk of changing their style a little bit for the Warning album and this song is all about it lyric and music wise.
Church on Sunday
The live version of “Church On Sunday” is one of the stand out tracks of this entire release OMG this is the Boss and the E street band, there is a saxophone in this version! The guitars are way more distorted then ever it does so much to the total sound of this track. Already mentioned the sax, they used it to play some parts in between verses (no ska involved) and a SOLO!!! Not going to spoil all the fun about this track you must listen for yourself this song is a masterclass.
After the first two gems the band couldn’t leave the studios without playing the two biggest singles from Warning. Minority was what you call THE single from the whole album. Great bass playing in this song. This is a real classic Green day song where Billie starts playing a riff on his guitar which then explodes into the chorus and following the traditional structure like most of their songs. The song is nothing special but the lyrics are so fun to sing (scream) along “A free for all, fuck 'em all, you are at your own sight”
This was the first song I think the band started to call out some politics, this is also visible in the clip with the band rolling through city streets on a parade float.
Wake up! This song is incredible and the way how you end a listening session with Green day. Although this song is a recycled version of Downtown from Petula Clark, it isn’t a ripoff because they took some parts from it. Actually Green day does this all the time recycling old melodies and riffs from other bands and their own. I think this is a homage from the band to the original version.
Overall the BBC sessions are like a timecapsule and brings the listener back to the years of a band where everyone thought they reached the top of the mountain with their popularity. During the time in the BBC studios the band seemed to be over the top of their career. But they surprised everyone after a few years with the rockepos American Idiot.
That's it for tonight
Hope you had as much fun as I had while listening these songs!? Already pre-ordered some new records and received some as well. For example the new album from Miles Kane, and last week I had the news that my guilty pleasure punkrock band Nerf Herder will release a new single so i pre-ordered that one already. Only 500 will be sold worldwide 😱 Also ordered some upcoming releases from Dutch band Beachdog and singer Froukje.
PS. As you might have heard, I'm not 100% healthy at the moment. A reply at a comment can take a while. Sorry in advance for that... ?
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