Friday, January 13, 2006

90's Albums You May Not Know

Since I've been delving into my CD collection as I fill my iPod, I've been stumbling across several of my favorites of the early 1990s. Yes, you probably haven't heard of many of them but oddly enough each of these albums are amazing with few throwaway tracks. Only one released a second album but if you stumble across oneof these, it's worth the money.

There was a girl that took tennis lessons from my father before I moved to Reno. My collection wasn't as extensive as it would be later (I didn't start collecting CDs until after 1991.) I wound up showing her a lot of different music but one day she brought in Blue Train's The Business Of Dreams and I didn't know what to think of it (I mean, look at the cover.) But after a few listens, I knew it for what it was: a well crafted and polished Pop/Rock effort. Their first single, "All I Need Is You," did land in the U.S. singles chart but the second single, "The Hardest Thing," was their final release.

After I moved to Reno, I spent a lot of time listening to the radio. There was a new "Alternative" station just starting that would play a lot of classic 80's songs mixed with a few newer artists and newer songs by Morrissey, Depeche Mode, etc... They filled my CD collection pretty quickly as they gave away CDs as the DJs made live appearances and during a weird type of bingo where you mark the time a song was played during the week and first one in would win (I think the main prize was $250 or so) but runners up (who had a life and couldn't listen all day) would win CDs. One of those winnings was The Sighs' What Goes On. The big single from the album was, "Think About Soul," and received decent airplay... but more when they came to perform in town. I went and had a great time (a few female friends of mine went ga ga over the band members.) Strong vocal harmonies, clean production with little sparks of empathetic lyrical brilliance (ok, there's some cliche' moments but you get sucked in well before you notice it.) I recently noticed they released a follow-up album, Different, in 1996 before breaking up. I might have to look for it.

Lastly but not less important are The Men. Their self-titled debut album was something I picked up in an independent record store's bargain bin. I had heard their single, "Church Of Logic, Sin & Love," several times and figured it'd be worth a less than $5 risk. I was quite right. Still a little weird for the band to be called The Men when half of them are women but maybe it's all about the dudes. It's say it is kind of Blues/Rock/Pop with a little spoken word (mainly in the single.) Several of the songs like the ballads, "I Built My House This Way," seem fresh to me every time I hear them. The closest I could come would be to say this was an American version of Crowded House with a tad more Blues. Really wish they recorded a follow-up but they disbanded after their debut.

The good thing about having all my music in my hand at any time is that I can now revisit these a bit easier. Instead of hoping someone had heard a song before when talking to someone, I can just remedy that then and there. Been planning to post something like this for awhile as proof that I'm may be fixated on the 80's but not stuck.

12 comments:

Lucy Stern said...

My husband just gave away a Gershwin playing Gershwin on vinyl...

Bar Bar A said...

I knew you were not stuck in the 80's. These early 90's bands sound interesting. Here's a question: You like the 80's, you have some interest in the early 90's ... what about the late 70's? Does your iPod carry anything from that era?

LoraLoo said...

Nice post Martin - I'm going to have to check these out.

An80sNut said...

50's, 60's and 70's. As for 70's, mostly a lot of singles from '79 that crossed over to 1980 but but overall ABBA, Springsteen, Toto, The Tubes, Utopia, Robert Palmer, The Undertones, Willie Nelson, Zapp & Roger, Ray Parker Jr., ZZ Top, Talking Heads, Rod Stewart, Supertramp, Styx, The Stranglers, Rick James, Rainbow, Steely Dan, The Rolling Stones, Squeeze, Ramones, Slade, Ronnie Milsap, Scorpions, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Santana, Sammy Hagar... this really could take a day to go through more than 13,000 songs and list the artists. Let's just say there is a good mix hahaha. I also put mine on shared so sometime I'll trade passwords with you and Lora.

LoraLoo said...

Ooooo that would be niiiiice. I was wondering how you were going to answer Layla, ha ha. You have a lot more 70's than I, you have a much more diverse taste, and that's saying a lot.

Fred said...

Martin - I love your answer up there. You pretty much have the same interest in music that I do.

Don't ever leave your iPod unattended. I just might be tempted to borrow it.

Bar Bar A said...

Martin....I just read your comment on my blog about your unused INXS ticket. I wrote back to tell you that I love Michael and the desktop of my computer is a wonderful photo of him singing passioantely. Did you know that Bono and he were friends and Bono knew he was depressed? After he died he wrote "Stuck in the Middle" in tribute to him.

Teri said...

Hey, I might just have to get an ipod for that reason alone :)

I really am not a big fan of 90's music. About that time, I didn't really care for the music that was being produced so I focused my attention more on classic rock.

Matt said...

Inspired, I thought I would share my favorite early 90's album that no one seems to have heard of. Sweet Water was my greatest find of the early 90's. I ran accross it in the sales bin at a local shop, and picked it up because of the artwork.

Lucy Stern said...

WEll, you are right, I've never heard of any one of them.

Leslie said...

Hi-

I was doing a search for Blue Train. For some reason I remembered the son "All I Need is You" and decided I needed to hear the song again.

If you feel like sharing an mp3, please contact me. I swear this isn't entrapment and I'm not a fed.

Thanks,
Leslie

Anonymous said...

I love both of those CD's The Men & The Sighs.

Never heard of Blue Train though... are you still in Reno? Right about that time there was a local jazzy/fusion group called Architecture. they made two CDs that I like almost as much as The Sighs & Men.