“The Who’s Quadrophenia is one of the very first things I heard when I finally got my own stereo FM radio – a Christmas present when I was fourteen. CKLG-FM (the local cool station) played the album in its entirety. I put the headphones on and had my young mind blown by this tale of … well, I guess I had no idea what it was about, except the ocean was involved, and motor scooters, and toward the end, some fairly shocking rape and pillage. That would be from the infamous Doctor Jimmy — young man getting swallowed by his dark side. Drowned and I’ve Had Enough on the other hand were a little more about confusion than rage …
… the young man desperate for meaning, not finding any. As for the rest of the album’s four sides, well there’s a bunch more rage, mixed up with beauty and confusion, all working with gatefold cover and accompanying booklet to tell the rich (if not exactly clear) tale of a young man on the edge. Meanwhile the music is epic throughout, as grand as the Who would ever get, which was very much the thing in 1973 and 74. Epicseverywhere, it seemed. The movie‘s not half bad either.” (Philip Random)
The nineteenth of a planned forty-nine movies, each forty-nine minutes long, featuring no particular artist, theme or agenda beyond boldly going … who knows? Or as Werner Von Braun once put it, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And we definitely have no idea where all this will take us.
19. knockin’ on heaven’s mirror
Arthur Louis – knockin’ on heaven’s door
Clash – junco partner
Randophonic – a mixed up stew of stuff
Steve Miller Band – macho city 
David Essex – rock on
Procol Harum – song of the dreamer [excerpt]
Kraftwerk – the hall of mirrors [excerpt]
Bill Nelson – transition 6 [the journey]
Handgjort – Kerala
Fred Frith – the relentless landscape
Residents – The Eskimo EDIT
King Crimson – starless + bible black [pieces]
ELO – one summer dream
Michael Rother – katzenmusik-2
Jon Anderson – song of search
Further installments of the Research Series will air most Sundays at approximately 1am (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
“There’s bests, and there’s favourites. Pat Garrett + Billy The Kid is not one of the best movies of all time. But it is one of my faves. Because of all the whiskey, I guess, and the cigars, and the dying, the whole thing like an epic tone poem of doom and inevitability, hard men looking the devil in the eye, taking another drag, another swig, killing or being killed. And a big part of what holds it all together is Bob Dylan‘s soundtrack. Yeah, there’s only a few proper songs (including Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door which never actually shows up in the director’s cut of the movie – it’s complicated), but it’s the mood of the instrumental stuff that sells it. As for the Final Theme – go ahead and play it at my funeral. But first, break out the whiskey and cigars.” (Philip Random)
“Call me a hipster but I definitely prefer Queen‘s earlier more obscure stuff. Bohemian Rhapsody for instance is just not as rocking, as imaginative, as deliriously wigged out, as good, as the two tracks (joined as one) that that kick off side two (Side Black) of their second album (the imaginatively titled Queen II). Ogre Battle hits first, rocking magnitudes harder than any part of Boho-Rhap, like something out of a thrash metal wet dream, and featuring actual ogres battling in and around a two-way mirror mountain, with smoke and explosions. And then comes The Faerie Feller’s Master Stroke, better than the opera part of Boho-Rap because it’s not just some multi-tracked excuse for the band to show off their vocal talents, it’s actually about something, a painting from the 19th Century that Freddy Mercury could not get enough of, by a guy named Richard Dadd — ten years in the making, and all of them spent by Mr. Dadd in an insane asylum where he was serving a life sentence for murdering his dad. It’s true.” (Philip Random)
“I really tried to ignore the Grateful Dead at first, shrug them off as brain damaged hippies or whatever. And I pulled it off as long as I focused on their more normal stuff. But then I’d stumble onto something like the Blues For Allah suite found at the end of the album of the same name. You don’t even need acid or perhaps peyote (though they do help), it takes you high, it takes you deep. You have no clear compass on where you even are, but it’s a necessary place, you had to come here, with Allah himself sitting right next to you, comfortable, your feet hanging over the edge … of all eternity.” (Philip Random)
An atypical Dylan track, given its comparative lack of words, the great man holding back some, letting the atmosphere speak (c/o Daniel Lanois’ masterful production). So in the end, it’s like a troubled dream that never resolves, just leaves you with questions and shadows and rumours of apocalypse. Who is he anyway, the man in the long black coat? And why does the mere thought of him fill you with dread?
Five albums into their career and XTC were simultaneously sick to death (literally) of the obligatory punk-pop-new-wave bullshit and ready for something big. And big was definitely the word for English Settlement, a double album at a time when bands just didn’t do that anymore. And an album it was. Yes, a few singles were released, but the songs worked best together, all in a rich, sumptuous flow, with Jason and the Argonauts stretching things out almost progressively – whatever that word even meant anymore come 1982.
Sly and Family Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On is one of the best albums period, from any genre, any era. A seamless flow of barely post-1960s truth-telling, most of it rather grim. Africa Talks To You [the asphalt jungle] is the strange dark heart of it – not a song so much as an excursion, a side trip to a multi-dimensional galaxy that’s equal parts heavier than a planet, lighter than air. And yes, that is a drum machine keeping things in line, a good decade before it was the hip thing to do.
The Beatles at their power pop peak, cranking out perfection at a faster rate than the culture could even begin to handle. And Your Bird Can Sing wasn’t even included on the North American version of Revolver. Got stuck on the compilation album Yesterday and Today instead, the one with baby dolls and butchered meat on the cover. Which quickly got pulled, of course, the forces of decency in full combat mode. Oh those loveable moptops.