beatles - anthology

The Beatles: Anthology (1995)

You couldn’t escape the anticipation for the The Beatles Anthology documentary: everyone was waiting to hear the first “new” music from The Beatles since 1970.  Taking rough demos from John Lennon the rest of the band got together to finish them.  And while you can debate the merits of “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” the chance to go behind the scenes with the band as they evolved into legends is an undeniable delight. Continue reading “The Beatles: Anthology (1995)”

beatles - past masters

The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)

In my brief (very brief) survey of the current stream-everything, digital rules pop landscape its fascinating to see how the single, non-album track has become prominent.  Fascinating because though a lot of fingers point to streaming and digital as primary reason, you can  go back over 40 years and see the same reliance on singles.  Collected as a two-disc set, Past Masters not only shows how adept The Beatles were at the form, but also boggles the mind with just how many “hits” in the pop consciousness weren’t actually collected on the studio albums. Continue reading “The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)”

beastie boys - sounds of science

Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)

There’s an art to compilations, and it’s not always the same art.  Does that make sense?  I don’t know – it’s currently 10:30 in the morning and I’ve already had a snort of whisky in my coffee.  Anyway, compilations can be a generic overview, target a specific period in time, or – if they’re really ambitious – display an evolution of artistic exploration in such a way as to capture an essence, a distillation of what makes a band unique.  So enter The Sounds of Science by the Beastie BoysContinue reading “Beastie Boys: The Sounds of Science (1999)”

bauhaus - crackle

Bauhaus: Crackle (1998)

The truth of the matter is Bauhaus scratch a very particular itch for me, one I don’t get very often.  I picked up Crackle, their 1998 compilation back when it first came out and I was diving into different music, looking for something different.  At the time it was enough to satiate me when I was in the mood for dark and sullen punk, when Joy Division and Siouxsie & the Banshees weren’t cutting it.  Nowadays I’m more apt to stream one of the actual albums, but as a timepiece of their time here on this muddy confusing planet, it does a great job showing what made the band so vital. Continue reading “Bauhaus: Crackle (1998)”

anthrax - no hit wonders

Anthrax: No Hit Wonders 1985-1991 (2005)

This thing didn’t really need revisiting: Forget their inclusion in the “Big 4” of thrash – for me Anthrax were one of the formative bands of my youth.  In some ways I know these songs like I know my childhood, since they were such a large part of it.  Anthrax was the first band to carry the aggression of the music I had been seeking, but coupled with the clean, rousing vocals I had also come to love.  It may seem odd to kick off Anthrax with No Hit Wonders, a compilation of their (initial) period with Joey Belladonna, but at the time I still had all the cassettes and a compilation seemed like the most budget-friendly solution to hearing some of my favorite songs in higher fidelity. Continue reading “Anthrax: No Hit Wonders 1985-1991 (2005)”

angola 70s

Angola 70s: 1972-1973 (2000)

I don’t remember how I came across this disc, but Buda Musique’s collection of Angolan pop is a goldmine of incredible music.  Angola 70s: 1972-1973 provides a great starting place to hear traditional Angolan semba music and its commonalities and differences with other popular music.  There’s a lot to consider in the upbeat melodies considering the history of the music as a form of rebellion against Portuguese rule in prior to the country’s independence in 1975.  Continue reading “Angola 70s: 1972-1973 (2000)”

angry samoans - the unboxed set

Angry Samoans: The Unboxed Set (1995)

Back in 1993 I got this amazing hardcore punk compilation called Faster & Louder.  It was my first introduction to a larger world than I knew from the Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat.  Bands like The Dicks, SSD, Mission of Burma and D.O.A. blew my mind, but it was the 52 second blast of “Lights Out” from the Angry Samoans that really struck my young brain’s fancy.  For years that was all I knew of the band, but that changed with The Unboxed Set, which collects all of the band’s 12′ release onto one compact disc.  Continue reading “Angry Samoans: The Unboxed Set (1995)”