I’ve spent a lot of my life listening to music and this Friday is highly illustrative of that fact. I’ve been in my man cave for some of the day with the iPod on shuffle and occasionally listening to whole albums right through. Three albums, to be precise. One from 30 years ago and the other two more recent.
Tango in the Night was Fleetwood Mac’s 14th album and the last with the classic modern line up and I had completely forgotten just how good it is. The rhythm section is, of course, spot on although they are far from the creative edge. This is essentially a Buckingham/McVie (Christine) record.
Stevie Nicks was so wrecked at the time, little of her remains on the final recording. Buckingham even removed some of her vocal parts from the final mixes and whilst the entire band was addled, it’s an incredible body of work.
I had pretty well forgotten about it and assumed, as you do, that Rumours was their definitive recording and Tusk the most cutting edge and, I have to say, bizarre. But I assumed wrong. Any record with Little Lies, Everywhere, Big Love, Seven Wonders and the utterly magnificent You and I Part 2 cannot be anything less than perfect. And it’s all killer, no filler.
Need I add that one of the new records is Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy, which it certainly isn’t. It’s a long, occasionally rambling but consistently powerful and often stunning. I shed a tear during Ballad of a Dying Man and another during the astonishing Leaving LA. This is one of the greatest records of all time.
And the third one – I kid you not – is Good Times by the Monkees from 2016 and all four of them are here. Obviously, some cutting and pasting has gone on to include Davy Jones who is of course dead, but here he is on Neil Diamond’s Love to Love from 1967, updated thanks to some outstanding engineering and production. Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and, wonderfully, Michael Nesmith are all here, singing and playing and, to my astonishment it’s a fine piece of work. If I say that the songs were composed by Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher, Rivers Cuomo, Harry Nilsson, Andy Partridge, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, as well as the aforementioned Mr Diamond you get my drift. I’d go to say it’s right up there with their very best work and certainly far better than anything they have come up with since the 1960s. Imagine it: the Monkees making a great record in the 21st century.
I should hope I didn’t bore you, but I don’t. I’m taking a 10 second break from slagging off Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, the Daily Mail, Brexit and of course Theresa May (did I mention Theresa May?) to write about something nice. Nice to me anyway.