David Bowie – Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980)

FrontCover1.jpgScary Monsters (and Super Creeps), also known simply as Scary Monsters, is the 14th studio album by English musician David Bowie, released on 12 September 1980 by RCA Records. It was Bowie’s final studio album on the label and his first following the Berlin Trilogy, which consisted of Low, “Heroes” and Lodger (1977–1979). Though considered very significant in artistic terms, the trilogy had proven less successful commercially.[2] With Scary Monsters, Bowie achieved what biographer David Buckley called “the perfect balance” of creativity and mainstream success; as well as earning critical acclaim, the album peaked at No. 1 and went Platinum in the UK while successfully restoring Bowie’s commercial standing in the US. Scary Monsters would later be referred to by some biographers as Bowie’s “last great album” and a benchmark for later releases, although some give this distinction to Let’s Dance (1983).

Although the album is commonly referred to as Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), in keeping with the song title, and the album title as written on the front and back covers of the LP is Scary Monsters . . . . . and Super Creeps, the album is identified simply as Scary Monsters on the LP spine and disc label.

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According to co-producer Tony Visconti, David Bowie’s method on Scary Monsters was somewhat less experimental and more concerned with achieving a commercially viable sound than had been the case with his recent releases; to that end the composer spent more time on his own developing lyrics and melodies before recording, rather than improvising music in the studio and making up words at the last minute. Aside from one cover, Tom Verlaine’s “Kingdom Come”, all tracks would be credited to Bowie alone, unlike the ‘Berlin Trilogy’ where there was an increasing amount of input from his collaborators. (by wikipedia)

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David Bowie returned to relatively conventional rock & roll with Scary Monsters, an album that effectively acts as an encapsulation of all his ’70s experiments. Reworking glam rock themes with avant-garde synth flourishes, and reversing the process as well, Bowie creates dense but accessible music throughout Scary Monsters. Though it doesn’t have the vision of his other classic records, it wasn’t designed to break new ground — it was created as the culmination of Bowie’s experimental genre-shifting of the ’70s. As a result, Scary Monsters is Bowie’s last great album. While the music isn’t far removed from the post-punk of the early ’80s, it does sound fresh, hip, and contemporary, which is something Bowie lost over the course of the ’80s. [Rykodisc’s 1992 reissue includes re-recorded versions of “Space Oddity” and “Panic in Detroit,” the Japanese single “Crystal Japan,” and the British single “Alabama Song.” (by Stephen Thomas Erlewin)

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Personnel:
Carlos Alomar (guitar)
Dennis Davis (drums)
David Bowie (vocals, synthesizers, mellotron, piano, synth-bass, sound effects, saxophone)
George Murray (bass)
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Roy Bittan (piano on 02., 04. + 06.)
Andy Clark (synthesizer on 04., 05., 07. + 09.)
Robert Fripp (guitar on 01. – 03.,  05., 08.)
Chuck Hammer (guitar synthesizer on 04. + 06.)
Michi Hirota (voice on 01.)
Pete Townshend (guitar on 09.)
Tony Visconti (guitar, background vocals on 02 . + 03.)
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background vocals:
Lynn Maitland – Chris Porter

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Tracklist:
01. It’s No Game (No. 1) (Bowie/Miura 4.17
02. Up The Hill Backwards (Bowie) 3.12
03. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (Bowie) 5.09
04. Ashes To Ashes (Bowie) 4.22
05. Fashion (Bowie) 4.46
06. Teenage Wildlife (Bowie) 6.49
07. Scream Like A Baby (Bowie) 3.35
08. Kingdom Come (Verlaine) 3.41
09. Because You’re Young (Bowie) 4.51
10. It’s No Game (No. 2) (Bowie) 3.43
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11. Space Oddity (Single B-side, rerecorded acoustic version, 1979) (Bowie) 4.53
12. Panic In Detroit (Rerecorded version, 1979, previously unreleased) (Bowie) 2.55
13. Crystal Japan (Japanese single A-side, 1979; instrumental) (Bowie) 3.06
14. Alabama Song (UK single A-side, recorded 1978) (Brecht/Hauptmann/Weill) 3.51

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DavidBowie
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016)

Ramones – Same (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgRamones is the debut studio album by American punk rock band Ramones, released on April 23, 1976 by Sire Records. After Hit Parader editor Lisa Robinson saw the band at a gig in New York City, she wrote about them in an article and contacted Danny Fields, insisting that he be their manager. Fields agreed and convinced Craig Leon to produce Ramones, and the band recorded a demo for prospective record labels. Leon persuaded Sire president Seymour Stein to listen to the band perform, and he later offered the band a recording contract. The Ramones began recording in January 1976, needing only seven days and $6,400 to record the album. They used similar sound-output techniques[clarification needed] to those of the Beatles and used advanced production methods by Leon.

The album cover, photographed by Punk magazine’s Roberta Bayley, features the four members leaning against a brick wall in New York City. The record company paid only $125 for the front photo, which has since become one of the most imitated album covers of all time. The back cover depicts an eagle belt buckle along with the album’s liner notes. After its release, Ramones was promoted with two singles, which failed to chart. The Ramones also began touring to help sell records; these tour dates were mostly based in the United States, though two were booked in Britain.

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Violence, drug use, relationship issues, humor, and Nazism were prominent in the album’s lyrics. The album opens with “Blitzkrieg Bop”, which is among the band’s most recognized songs. Most of the album’s tracks are uptempo, with many songs measuring at well over 160 beats per minute. The songs are also rather short; at two-and-a-half minutes, “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement” is the album’s longest track. Ramones contains a cover of the Chris Montez song “Let’s Dance”.

Ramones peaked at number 111 on the US Billboard 200 and was unsuccessful commercially, though it received glowing reviews from critics. Many later deemed it a highly influential record, and it has since received many accolades, such as the top spot on Spin magazine’s list of the “50 Most Essential Punk Records”. Ramones is considered an influential punk album in the US and UK, and had a significant impact on other genres of rock music, such as grunge and heavy metal. The album was ranked at number 33 in Rolling Stone’s 2012 list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2014. (by wikipedia)

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With the three-chord assault of “Blitzkrieg Bop,” The Ramones begins at a blinding speed and never once over the course of its 14 songs does it let up. The Ramones is all about speed, hooks, stupidity, and simplicity. The songs are imaginative reductions of early rock & roll, girl group pop, and surf rock. Not only is the music boiled down to its essentials, but the Ramones offer a twisted, comical take on pop culture with their lyrics, whether it’s the horror schlock of “I Don’t Wanna Go Down to the Basement,” the gleeful violence of “Beat on the Brat,” or the maniacal stupidity of “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.” And the cover of Chris Montez’s “Let’s Dance” isn’t a throwaway — with its single-minded beat and lyrics, it encapsulates everything the group loves about pre-Beatles rock & roll.

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They don’t alter the structure, or the intent, of the song, they simply make it louder and faster. And that’s the key to all of the Ramones’ music — it’s simple rock & roll, played simply, loud, and very, very fast. None of the songs clock in at any longer than two and half minutes, and most are considerably shorter. In comparison to some of the music the album inspired, The Ramones sounds a little tame — it’s a little too clean, and compared to their insanely fast live albums, it even sounds a little slow — but there’s no denying that it still sounds brilliantly fresh and intoxicatingly fun. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Dee Dee Ramone (bass guitar, background vocals, vocals on 11.)
Joey Ramone (vocals)
Johnny Ramone (guitar)
Tommy Ramone (drums, background vocals)
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Leigh (background vocals on 01., 03. + 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Blitzkrieg Bop (T.Ramone/D.Ramone Leigh 2.14
02. Beat On The Brat (Joey Ramone) 2.33
03. Judy Is A Punk (Joey Ramone) 1.33
04. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (T.Ramone) 2.25
05. Chain Saw (Joey Ramone) 1.57
06. Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue (D.Ramone) 1.36
07. I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement (D.Ramone/Johnny Ramone) 2.40
08. Loudmouth (D.Ramone/Johnny Ramone) 2.15
09. Havana Affair (D.Ramone/Johnny Ramone) 1.57
10. Listen To My Heart (D.Ramone) 1.59
11. 53rd & 3rd (D.Ramone) 2.22
12. Let’s Dance (Lee) 1.52
13. I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You (D.Ramone) 1.43
14. Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World (D.Ramone) 2.17

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