104) Faith No More, Ugly in the Morning: I've been amused but not particularly a fan of FNM prior to King for a Day... Fool for a Lifetime. This was an album unlike anything they'd done before or after. It's here the afterburn of Mike Patton's ingenious other project, Mr. Bungle, begins to find its way in. The results found FNM scaling new reaches. As he proved in Bungle, Patton doesn't shrink at boundaries even those regarding his own voice. As a fan of the well executed scream, I find Ugly in the Morning to be a masterpiece of the barely controlled shriek. Even in this album's more pedestrian moments, there's always a spectre of Bungle just scratching beneath the surface. For me, this takes the ore that was Faith and refined it into something much more golden.
105) Mr. Bungle, Mr. Bungle, Disco Volante: Wiki describes Bungle thusly: ...known for its distinctive musical traits, often cycling through several musical genres within the course of a single song... As a starting point you could call them a cross between a kind of homeopathic version of John Zorn's Naked City and the buffet style eclecticism of Lumpy Gravy Frank Zappa and metallic funk––a distilled version of Chili Peppers meets Sun Ra meets Carl Stalling meets Ramones meets Bebop meets...––you get the picture. The cycling through musical genres, even abruptly, appeals to me and foreshadows the smörgåsbord possibilities that'd come out of digital sampling. This is the band that got Mike Patton the Faith No More gig. His voice proves to be a wonderfully flexible device containing intermittent child-like qualities. A much underrated and innovative outfit.
106) XTC, GO2: My favorite XTC joint and the one that caused keyboardist Barry Andrews to depart soon after. His two song contributions here, while worthy, fit uneasily. That aside, he was an amazing keyboardist and his work with XTC was some of the best of his career––following his departure he'd go on to form Shriekback, a band whose sound mostly eschewed the kind of playing showcased here. Altogether, the band's playing is pretty inventive making XTC stand apart from their synth soggy New Wave brethren that would follow. And unlike those peers, this album suffers no loss with the test of time. XTC wasn't particularly diminished without him, a mite less distinctive maybe, but I've always had a soft spot for the Andrews years.
107) Miles Davis, All Blues: You know, that so-called monster jazz bomb of all time. On this 50th Anniversary promo, one talking head compares the album's musical importance to Scripture. Maybe, to me it's just a swinging li'l tune that's burns as cool as a freshly stirred habeñera martini. Released during the raging peak of Bebop, All Blues is the model of jazz restraint and economy––Bebop's opposite––that shows itself to be more of a parable than a whole scroll and that's a very good thing.
Child in Time, Highway Star, Burn: Deep Purple was part of the industrial dinosaur legion that was at the heart of what punk railed against: Long noodle sessions of guitar wankery and other self-indulgences––and less frequently, keyboard wankery––and idiotic lyrics from guys in tight pants who didn't care enough to be literate or thought they could out Tolkien the master himself. To wit, some Highway Star: Nobody gonna take my girl... Oooh she's a killing machine/She's got everything/Like a moving mouth body control/And everything/ I love her/I need her/I seed her. That aside, Machine Head was the classic peak of the golden age of rock and roll noodlery and the two-fisted attack of Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord was the deepest trick bag of the genre. Very few bands wanked so eloquently or melodically as Purple and all four of the above tunes are radiant examples. I especially enjoyed their schtick of a few bars of improvising leading into a few more bars of a kind of rock concerto of which Highway Star and Burn are the extant examples. Lord's signature was a keyboard sound sculpted in a fuzzy Marshall stack wash. His dense, fuzzy tone removed all traces of the calliope and skating rink from the Hammond and in its place poured in a bucketful of molten lead and broken glass. Ian Paice was a drummer's drummer and Ian Gilliam's voice had impressive range and a monumental falsetto scream. The fact that his voice also inspired the many Sebastian Bachs to follow may be debatably unforgivable. David Cloverdale was their transition into the hair metal years but even at his worst he still had Purple behind him. Child in Time is their classic full blown box-of-Kleenex circle jerk and the masterpiece of the form. For a time in the bible of proto-metal/Hard Rock wankery, Purple and Led Zeppelin were its King Davids.