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Current Favourites

So you want to know which records I'd like have if I were stranded on a lonely island? This list is by no means static or complete, but it will give you an idea of what I like.

B52's - Wild Planet, Play Loud!, Good Stuff

Jolly good tracks to party to. This is plain "fun" music - you can't be angry or moody when listening to the B52's. For starters, check out "Party out of Bounds", "Love under a Strobelight", "Rock Lobster", "Hot Pants".

Blue Öyster Cult - Extraterrestrial Live, Agents of Fortune

Heavy 70ies rock music. "Dominance and Submission", the first song on the ETL album shakes the floor right away.

Brand X - Moroccan Roll, Lifestock, Unorthodox Behaviour

Great fusion jazz. At one time, they had Phil Collins in their lineup. In my humble opinion, that was the last time he played real music. Solo or with the current Genesis he's just too commercial for my taste.

Larry Carlton - Last Nite

Last Nite is pure Jazz, played by experienced session musicians. I didn't like it very much after listening to it for the first time, but believe me, it's worth the effort to warm up with this one.

Clawfinger - Deaf, Dumb, Blind

Hard Crossover with intelligent texts. And the most amazing thing is that those guys are swedes :-) My recommendations: "Nigger" and the depressing "Catch Me".

John Coltrane - Blue Train, Africa - The Savoy Sessions

Anybody willing to part with the latter title on CD or LP?

Ry Cooder - Paradise and Lunch, Into the Purple Valley

A cross country trip through early to middle 20th century american music styles like Blues and R&B. Cooder is a genius on anything with (pardon the pun) strings attached. The recording on both analog and digital media is incredible. Highlight include the moody "Mexican Divorce" and the haunting "Billy the Kid".

Addicted to Noise has an Interview with Ry Cooder.

Miles Davis - Round About Midnight

Dead Kennedys - In God We Trust, Inc., Fresh Fruit for rotting Vegetables

The band made up around Jello Biafra (see also another Jello Biafra page) delivers loud and aggressive punk rock backed up with critical texts. While their other records are on the level, I consider these two their best. Maybe that's because those were the first I could lay my hands on :-). Their records are distributed by Alternative Tentacle Records.

Dire Straits - Love over Gold

How does Douglas Adams phrase it? "Nobody can make a Stratocaster weep like Mark Knopfler." I consider "Telegraph Road" or "Private Investigations" milestones by themselves. While their other albums aren't much worse, this is in my opinion definitely the best record they ever made.

D.O.A. with Jello Biafra - Last Scream of the missing Neighbours

Doobie Brothers - The Captain and Me

Doors - Doors, Strange Days, Soft Parade

Even though the sound's been wearing thin over the years ("Doors - The Movie"), these are great records. If you don't know what's been going wrong lately, I recommend "People are Strange".

Eloy - Ocean

A concept album about the rise and fall of Atlantis. It's what you'd call Kraut Rock, but I like it anyways.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Welcome back my friends...

I've rediscovered this gem of a double CD just lately in my CD collection, and I'm simply overwhelmed by it. Especially the second CD, which features tracks like the "Piano Improvisations" and "Karn Evil" is amazing. Since this is a live album, it doesn't sound too hot, but it sure rocks steady!

Fischer Z - Red Skies over Paradise

This one evokes memories of a careless summer spent in Finland with Udo, Thilo, Adreas and the guys. While "Marliese" made the charts, I like the title track or "Berlin" a lot better.

Peter Gabriel - 3, 4, Passion

Genesis - The Lab lies down on Broadway

Allan Holdsworth - Metal Fatigue

Freddie Hubbard - Born to be blue

Joe Jackson - Body and Soul, Night and Day, Night Music

Joe Jackson is a musical chameleon - he manages to create a distinctive but yet identifyable sound for each of his records. If I don't list "Beat Crazy", "Look Sharp" or "I'm the Man" up there, it's just because I can't fit the whole discography in one line. The orchestral "Will Power" would probably be the only title I could do without. His latest, "Night Music", is a very moody and emotional piece that will grab your heart if you give it a chance. Let it.

Jethro Tull - Bursting Out, Thick as a Brick

Little Feat - Hoy, Hoy

Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Solar Fire, Chance, Messin', Watch

Lyle Mays - Lyle Mays

Metallica - Master of Puppets, Black Album

Erm, sure. Everybody knows them, everybody likes them. Well, nearly everybody at least :-) The "Black Album" has some softer ballads like "The Unforgiven" or "Nothing else matters" which should appeal to non-Heavy-fans (like girlfriends and such :-)), too.

Monster Magnet - Dopes to Infinity

A "must" for Grunge fans, this record features a fair mixture of heavy and soft titles. My current favourites are the title track "Dopes to Infinity" snd "Third Alternative".

Oscar Peterson - We get Requests

This one's a real modern classic, and it's also the living proof for the theory that a record's background noise doesn't affect the sound. It's absolutely horrible to listen to on headphones, but it will bring out the best in your sound system if it's played in the right volume on good speakers.

Pink Floyd - Saucerful of Secrets, Wish You Were Here

Just the classics. Nothing of this modern "Division Bell" nonsense for me!

Police - Regatta de Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta

Rammstein - Herzeleid

It's metal, and it's in German. Still, if you can savour a heavy beat and and deep, rumbling and raspy vocals, you might enjoy it. My current favourites include "Asche zu Asche", "Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?" and "Heirate Mich!".

Update: I managed to see them live on October 3. 1996 while they were playing in Durlach. They had lots of pyrotechnic show effects, but all in all the show didn't live up to the promise of the studio album. Especially the new titles were a bit "difficult".

Santana - Abraxas, 3, Borboletta, Caravanseraii, Lotus

Schweisser - Eisenkopf

This is (Speed? Death? Whatever!) Metal with german texts, so I don't think you'll be overly impressed. Still, the video of the title track got air time on Viva, the german music channel. Lyrics like "I'm nowhere as much alone/as in a room with lots of people" show the modern teenager's alienation with his sourroundings, and the music projects this quite well. Another hot track is "700 Tage". Check it out!

Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes

Oh well, another Kraut rock formation, but at least one that got some international acclaim. This one goes way back with me, so I'm still attached to it somehow. I don't like their newer stuff, though.

Spliff - Radio Show, 85555, Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Spock's Beard - Day and Night, Beware of Darkness

The Beard are definitely one of the finest contemporary progressive rock bands. They manage to dazzle with intricate song structures and a polished capella parts reminiscent of Gentle Giant or Yes.

Steely Dan - Aja, Countdown to Extasy, Gaucho

Becker and Fagen, the musical masterminds behind Steely Dan created the typical "easy listening" sound which should be quite popular with the Americans. The musicianship displayed is brilliant.

Steppenwolf - Monster, The Second, Live

No, not "Bored to be Wild" :-) The guys and their front man John Kay have definitely better rock and R&B numbers in their repertoire. I've heard some rumors that "Don't step on the Grass, Sam" is the californian national anthem.

Steps Ahead - Steps Ahead, NYC

Jazz with a vibraphone (or is it a vibraharp?) - and Mike Mainieri manages to sound quite different from the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Sting - Bring on the Night

Ton Steine Scherben - Keine Macht für Niemand

Rio, we miss you!

Tubes - What Do You Want From Live

Another remnant of my days of youth. In my opinion, this album marks the apex of their career - you get virtually everything. I don't mind if you say that the Tubes were a clever marketing ploy, "just another band from LA" in a manner of speaking, but contrary to their studio albums, this one is raw and alive.

U2 - War, The unforgettable Fire

Tom Waits - Small Change, Swordfishtrombones, In the Heart of Saturday Night

Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry the 8th

Wakeman's interpretation of the characteristics of the wifes of Henry 8. The Ex-Keyboarder of Yes demonstrates his virtuosity in various musical styles on the broad spectrum from Jazz to Pop. Especially impressive: his take on the classic fugue, "Jane Seymour".

Grover Washington, Jr. Inner City Blues, Come Morning, Winelight

Yello - Claro Que Si, One Second, You Gotta Say Yes to another Excess

Yes - Fragile, Close to the Edge, 90125, Big Generator

Warming up to Jon Anderson's voice took me a long time, but nowadays I can really appreciate what he's doing. I still don't get his song lyrics, though.

Frank Zappa - Just Another Band From LA, Roxy & Elsewhere, Waka/Jawaka

Zappa lives!. Any questions?

Links: Imprint, My Homepage.

Thomas Bätzler,
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