The Album Considered

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THE STAIRS: MEXICAN R'N'B, CONSIDERED (1992): Through the past, smartly

11 Mar 2019  |  3 min read

And suddenly, they they were, all The Definite Article bands. After years of single-name grunge outfits (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Tad etc) the post-Britpop groups appeared with “the” in front of their names. This wasn't new, of course, but in that Brit-pride world which had musically looked back to the Sixties for reference points (the Beatles, the Kinks, the Who, the... > Read more

Flying Machine

WINGS: AT THE SPEED OF SOUND, CONSIDERED (1976): And now, some not so silly love songs?

20 Feb 2019  |  4 min read

Paul McCartney must have been livid with his record company in 1976. Consider: He'd been in the biggest and most culture-changing, money-making band of the century and along the way had written dozens of classic songs; a field-length list which included Yesterday, Penny Lane, Eleanor Rigby, She's Leaving Home and . . . Then when that band broke up he reinvented himself over a couple... > Read more

WINGS: RED ROSE SPEEDWAY, CONSIDERED (2018): The malaise or just lazy?

17 Dec 2018  |  3 min read  |  2

For every person who loves Paul McCartney's Mull of Kintyre there is another who couldn't hate it more. For everyone who loves With a Little Luck there is me. McCartney's most popular songs seem to divide people: he could write beautiful love songs . . . and Silly Love Songs. A curious case in point is My Love which appeared on his Red Rose Speedway album. Some people find it... > Read more

Loup (First Indian on the Moon)

WINGS: WILD LIFE, CONSIDERED (1971): “And in the end . . .” there's a begin-again?

14 Dec 2018  |  5 min read

In the Beatles' Anthology DVD, their producer George Martin observed that no one – other than the four young men themselves – knew what it was like in the hurricane that was Beatlemania. They only had themselves to rely on for support, solace, humour and an understanding of the fear about what could possibly go wrong when the screaming turned to anger and disgruntled US fans... > Read more

Mumbo

THE ROLLING STONES: BEGGAR'S BANQUET, CONSIDERED (1968): A walking clothesline of styles

3 Oct 2018  |  8 min read  |  2

Half a century ago the Rolling Stones released their Beggar's Banquet album, widely considered a return-to-form after the debacle of their shapeless attempt at psychedelia on the largely unlistenable Their Satanic Majesties Request of December 1967, released some six months after the Beatles' Sgt Peppers. In a cover which referred to Pepper's glowing hippie-era colours, Satanic Majesties... > Read more

No Expectations

PAUL McCARTNEY: TUG OF WAR, CONSIDERED (1982): The Mac was back?

28 Jun 2018  |  4 min read

When Paul McCartney left Wings and the Seventies behind he delivered his still interesting McCartney II album of songs and electronic experiments. Danny Baker in the NME wasn't impressed in those heady post-punk days: “McCartney II isn't worth the plastic it's printed on,” he wrote. Then he put the boot in: “Neither is Paul, but he'll go on... > Read more

MILES DAVIS: SKETCHES OF SPAIN, CONSIDERED (1960): Jazz at the interface of classical music

8 May 2017  |  5 min read

When Miles Davis entered Columbia Records’ New York studio in November 1959 with composer/arranger Gil Evans and producer Teo Macero to record the material for the album Sketches of Spain, the trumpeter was not on completely unfamiliar territory. He had seen and heard flamenco music, doubtless knew the explorations of Spanish music by Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus and others,... > Read more

Song of Our Country (take nine)

MILES DAVIS: BITCHES BREW, CONSIDERED (1970): The sorcerer in his laboratory

4 Oct 2010  |  4 min read

Carlos Santana, who says rarely a day goes by when he doesn't listen to some Miles Davis, believes you only have to listen to the Davis' album Live at the Plugged Nickel -- recorded in December 65 at a Chicago club but not released until '68 -- to realise the trumpeter had exhausted standards such as Stella By Starlight and On Green Dolphin Street, and even his own classic So What (from... > Read more

Miles Davis: Spanish Key (single edit)