Crass (1977 – 1984) Best Before (LP) Crass Records 5 (1984)

Crass
Best Before
Crass Records (5)
1984
Material: 1977 – 1984
Recorded 1977 – 1984, released July 1984 (UK only)

This double LP collects singles and unreleased material, a nice gesture, saving fans from having to collect all the singles, and packaging the material with killer artwork.  While this might have been better served up as a more concise two-sider, it certainly provides an overview of their history, moving from fairly straight-forward punk to abrasive avant garde. 



For fans, this is essential.  It also serves as a good intro.

— winch

http://www.eight-track.com/

 

 

Prince (1984) Purple Rain LP

Prince

Purple Rain

Warner Brothers 26110

1984

Rating:**** (Recommended)
produced by Prince and the Revolution

While Prince had scored a transatlantic hit with “I Wanna Be Your Lover” in 1979, the U.K. had forgotten him after that, and in the beginning, things weren’t looking much more hopeful at home.

Prince avoided promoting himself with interviews but found his tool for promotion with video.  The timing was perfect, with the MTV craze taking off.

At the time, Michael Jackson seemed to be pushing the music video to the max with his epic “Thriller,” but Prince took it a step further–designing a film/album project that cast himself as a superstar.  It was likely a shock for many, but this actually worked.

While Jackson had been crowned the king of pop, Prince was causing some to question that.  Folks might have considered this more carefully if they’d recognized that Prince was doing his thing without an old master like Quincy Jones–a big part of Jackson’s success.

While Prince had previously released five albums, this is the one that made him a superstar.  While 1999  marked the beginning of his rise, Purple Rain shot to the top slot on the charts and remained there for 24 weeks.  This also marked his arrival in the U.K.

Like all his albums, this has highs and lows, but fans should definitely listen to the entire set.  It certainly fits the description of a pop masterpiece.
It didn’t come out of nowhere, but it changed the shape of pop, funk and R&B forever, influenced most everything that followed it.  It took the past and created the future.  And while it mixes lots of styles, it sounds cohesive from start to finish.

While many comps included the hits from this set, fans shouldn’t miss sexy gems such as the infamous “Darling Nikki.”  The album is essential Prince.

— winch (author of…http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php

Husker Du (1984) Zen Arcade LP

Husker Du
Zen Arcade
SST 027
1984

Rating:***** (Good Shit)
produced: Spot and Husker Du
released September 1984

Four-sider concept album from this Minnesota hardcore outfit.  It sounded like a stupid idea but it sounds great, the trio managing to stretch the sound without losing their vision of a hardcore world, plenty of straightforward HC, but some cuts blurring the fuzz into an almost acid-rock sound.

It’s easy to hear how this not only influenced many bands at the time of its release but also bands years later, including outfits at the end of the 80s that would help launch the sounds of the 90s. (Unfortunately, most of the bands of the 90s seemed to completely forget the lessons of this album.)

While this perhaps would have been better served if distilled down to two sides, who am I to tell Husker what to do. As it sits, it remains one of the few double albums that managed to fill all four sides without going into filler material.  It’s a classic.

— winch (author of…http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php)

 

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