Careening Around My Cranium with Daryll Collins #2!!!
In what I hope will become a regular column feature is the first "Little Known Album That Is An All Time Favorite". The name of the band and album is Aorta.
This group is a bit of a mystery as for whatever reason information about them is scarce. What I do know is that they were out of Chicago and recorded two albums.
This release was on the CBS/Columbia label. It is not a power pop release but there are touches of The Beatles and The Beach Boys scattered about. You'll also find traces of Cream and The Doors thrown in for good measure.
I was turned on to this album as a kid by a teen aged neighbor in 1969 or 1970 and from the first listen I was hooked. I never owned the album and by the time I was earning my own cash as a paperboy, I couldn't find it anywhere. Now I could get my mom or dad to spring for a Beatles or a Monkees album, but The Aorta would be an extremely hard sell! It took me over 25 years to track down a CD copy.
I consider this album a psych masterpiece as it incorporates a Sgt. Pepper feel but with more of an eerie component in parts.The flow of the tracks is seamless. There are Beatleish flourishes to the arrangements as some of the songs incorporate strings and horns. Beautiful Beach Boys harmony vocals especially on the stellar "Thoughts And Feelings", which sounds like a missing track from Pet Sounds. On the harder rocking numbers the guitar tone is quite similar to Cream era Eric Clapton. Quite possibly the best fuzz tone guitar ever! In some parts a Doors like keyboard sound dominates. The musicianship and imagination involved in this release is absolutely stunning!
Did I mention this conglomeration is loosely wrapped around a theme referencing the circulatory system???!!! Actual song titles include, "Main Vein", "Heart Attack", "Main Vein 2, 3 & 4". Above is the album cover for your perusal... This art really captures the musical genius/madness therein. They recorded a follow up album that completely and totally sucks! What happened??? If anyone out there in the NOT LAME community has any more information about this group, please post and clue us in.
And now on to the musical fast break...
How do you like The Smithereen remakes of Beatles tunes? They’re fairly faithful to the originals but Pat DiNizio & Co.'s vocals really give them a fresh spin. And how cool is it to have Jack Davis illustrate the cover art to their B-Sides release! Pretty cool indeed.
Let’s All Do The iPod Shuffle!
It’s fun and easy. Just list the first 10 songs to pop up after setting your listening device to Shuffle Play. No cheating. Include all selections, even the ones you don’t want your friends to know about! Some of these random playlists can be downright inspired. This is from my 80GB iPod that currently holds 10,612 songs. Here we go...
* Joe Jackson - “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”
* Average White Band - “Goin’ Home”
* Valley Lodge - “Cruel”
* Gorillaz - “Feel Good Inc.”
* Tubetop - “Bleeder”
* Supergrass - “Sun Hits The Sky”
* The Raspberries - “Starting Over”
* Stevie Wonder - “All In Love Is Fair”
* Supergrass - “You Can See Me”
* Ivy - “I Think Of You”
Feel free to list your Random 10 in the comments section...or not.
I had my iPod on shuffle this morning and “Anyway” by Poole came up from their outstanding album, Among Whom We Shine. Whatever happened to these guys? Bruce, anybody? Ditto for Roger Klug. Where are you?
Does your personal listening device have any pecularities in how it selects random songs? Does it play favorites? Mine seems to really give preferential treatment to XTC (58 songs) and ignores The Beatles (148 songs).
A group that should have really made it big time is Artful Dodger. It would be great to have all of their releases on CD.
That's it. Short and sweet this time. I'll be back...
Daryll Collins is a free-lance cartoonist/illustrator who has worked for a wide variety of clients including magazines and newspapers, advertising, greeting cards, character design & development, children's books, comic strips and gag cartoons. You can check out his work at www.daryllcollins.com