Music bought in 2008
1 = $1.30641

New [on LP]

Glitter In The Gutter by Jesse Malin
I'll be blunt : I only bought this album (on a lovely white vinyl) because it includes a duet with Bruce Springsteen. But lucky me, the entire album is a treat. Malin does know how to pick his guest stars : Josh Homme and Jakob Dylan feature as well. Jesse Malin came to Belgium on 27 September 2008. A no-brainer at 7 per ticket. He's a big unknown in our country, and as such only 15 people turned up. We experienced a private concert, more or less. He autographed my album afterwards. Friendly guy. (11.99)

We're An American Band by Grand Funk Railroad
Re-issue (on gold vinyl) of the classic album by Homer Simpson's favourite band. American rockers who take no prisoners. (8.99)

Thriller 25 by Michael Jackson
Ah, a re-issue I couldn't pass up, even though I already own two Thrillers (one on 1982 vinyl, one on SACD). To my delight, this 25 anniversary edition proved to be Jackson's biggest hit in a lot of years in his homeland. But does it deliver? Nope, not at all. The 9 classic songs are still classics, but the 5 new mixes with contemporary artists are plain crap. Awful. Thriller 25's only redeeming value is the artwork and the previously unreleased Jackson track For All Time, which is quite good. (26.99)

Juno by Various Artists
Wow! One of the best soundtracks, period. No need to replace your needle or push that forward button. Each track is unique, bizarre, sweet or funny. The album works as an excellent introduction to the featured artists : I'm definitely going to buy work by Kimya Dawson, Belle and Sebastian and Cat Power. Juno is as good as it gets, just as the movie it accompagnies. (13.99)

Empty Walls by Serj Tankian
I don't know any System Of A Down songs, but this first solo-effort of the band's lead singer is excellent! Thanks to Italian chap Giuseppe, who kept playing it in Sweden. (4.30)

Live at the Royal Albert Hall by The Who
This one needs no introduction : The Who. All of their hits. Live. Eddie Vedder, Noel Gallagher, Kennedy & Bryan Adams as special guests. They just don't make music like this anymore. A bit steep, but this is a beautiful 4-LP set. (34.99)

Good Girl Gone Bad by Rihanna
Shame on me, but everyone needs a guilty pleasure (or two) a year. Push Up On Me is a good song. Trust me. (12.99)

The Dark Knight by Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard
Daunting, haunting and screepy (that's creepy & scary at the same time). The pitch-black companion to the movie. The 9-minute Joker theme will keep you awake for many nights. But why so expensive, Warner Bros? (33.75)

I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
Another song I discovered in Sweden, where Dutch dude Dirk-Jan Smit was singing it. I had never, ever heard of a guy named Jason Mraz, but - wow! - he's talented. That Dirk-Jan also sang Love For A Child by Mraz, another top tune. I might have to buy the full Mraz album. (5.90)

Mothership by Led Zeppelin
I had to pay an arm and a leg for this 4-LP set, but the notes are well worth the notes. Most of the classics (and then some) are included, which makes Mothership music history in a box. (57.53)

This Is The Life by Amy MacDonald
Hands down one of the best debut albums ever. Scottish Amy MacDonald injects heart and soul in these 11 tracks and bravely hops across multiple genres : Mr. Rock & Roll is accompagnied by a folky guitar, This Is The Life's intro is country light, Run is a ballad and Let's Start A Band starts as a quiet little poptune, to evolve into a full blown ode to life with MacDonald screaming at the top of her lungs. (18.99)

Black Ice by AC/DC
They used to make an album every two years, but - for reasons unknown - releases became more sparse after 1990. Good thing I only began to dig the band in 2005, then. Long time fans had to wait 8 years for Black Ice to arrive. I need a few more spins on the deck to honestly tell you what the best track is, but don't hesitate to pick up the entire platter. It's good to have you back, AC/DC. (16.90)

New [on CD]

Anders by Trust
Belgian teenagers deliver a beautiful piano driven popsong. Check it out today. (0.50)

Closer by Soulsister
One of the best Belgian bands reunited after a 13 year hiatus. Their first new CD since 1995 includes less instant classics than usual, but Back In A Minute, We've Got Forever, Every Time I Hear A Love Song, Old School Lovin' and especially Forgiven still show their mastership. Incredible price, too, because the album was part of a "Buy this newspaper and you only have to pay a small sum for the additional CD" promotion. (2)

New [on MD]

Mule Variations by Tom Waits
The Throat's 1999 comeback. Masterfully told, paininducingly sung (if you try to imitate his voice, that is). You could say the music of Tom Waits is unique in its genre, but then it strikes you : Tom Waits is a genre. Nice find on MiniDisc, at an irresistible price. (4.90)

New [on MC]

Worst Case Scenario by dEUS
Debut album by Belgium's world famous band. Well, maybe not world famous, but they do play for sold out crowds across the globe. This Romanian cassette is shrink-wrapped and makes for a nice collectible. (a present)

Second-hand [on LP]

Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em by MC Hammer
Yeah! World's best selling hip-hop album, fully driven by U Can't Touch This. 18 years down the line, does it still warrant buying? Sure! Opening track Here Comes The Hammer, for example, is hilarious (the song sounds like a threat). The black sheep is Pray : Hammer thought he could improve on the Prince original, but When Doves Cry is a classic in its own right. It didn't need the Hammer makeover. I bought this album as part of a "Buy 5 vinyl records for 2" in Sweden. (0.40)

Look Sharp! by Roxette
Ah, Roxette. A necessary purchase when in Sweden. Look Sharp! is the second album from Sweden's most succesful pop band since ABBA and includes well-known chartbusters as The Look, Dressed For Success, Dangerous and Listen To Your Heart. (0.40/part of the promotion)

Cloud Nine by George Harrison
The Beatle's comeback album that eventually led to the Traveling Willburys, skillfully produced by Jeff Lynne. (0.40/part of the promotion)

The Time by Bros
Bros are just great. Pure poptrash. Hilarious cover art, too. Luke Goss is now a major movie star, Matt Goss still sings. (0.40/part of the promotion)

What Is Love by Haddaway
A classic from the nineties (a.k.a. our youth), made infamous by the Jim Carrey sketch on Saturday Night Live. What Is Love was one of the few illegal MP3's I have ("illegal" meaning "I still haven't found them in the shops"), but that's resolved now. (0.40/part of the promotion)

Lucky Town by Bruce Springsteen
I haven't bought all Springsteen's albums yet. I found Lucky Town in perfect condition in a record store in Stockholm, during a three day trip to Sweden's capital. Lucky Town (together with Human Touch) is considered 'the ugly duckling' in Springsteen's oeuvre, but I fail to see why. In fact, the title track became one of my favourite Bruce songs. I played it non-stop, on endless repeat, all summer long. Surely one of his best ever! (5)

Achtung Baby by U2
Often proclaimed the Irish band's finest hour (by music magazine Q and renowned drummer Matthias Meersmans), I picked it up in that same record store in Stockholm. It must be said : the praise is well-deserved. I especially like The Fly. (7.5)

You Got It by Roy Orbison
Maxi-single of the brilliant song. I received this one for free from the student's house in Sundsvall, where I worked during my stay. They had a large basket of obsolete vinyls. (a present)

Black Or White CC Remixes by Michael Jackson
Same story : a record I saved from the student's house storage room. The remixes are worthless, though. (a present)

It Takes Two by Soulsister
Debut album by Belgian biggies Soulsister. Contains their Billboard cracking hit The Way To Your Heart. Other singles include Like A Mountain, You Get To Me and Blame You, but my favourite turned out to be an album track : Whose Party Is It Anyway?, a very soulful Motown-esque singalong.

Invisible Touch by Genesis
Loathed by hardcore Genesis adepts who yearn for the return of Peter Gabriel, I nevertheless like Land Of Confusion and the catchy title track. (2)

Let's Dance by David Bowie
The first time I heard China Girl, I really liked the way Bowie sings the different verses. It's a combination of whispering, talking, stuttering and singing. It even reminds me of Bobby Pickett's The Monster Mash. That's a very campy reference, but I don't mean to offend Bowie. So far, I only know his big hits (e.g. The Port Of Amsterdam, Space Oddity, Ashes To Ashes, Golden Years), but I intend to discover his full body of work sooner or later. (2)

Top Gun by Various Artists
Bestselling companion to the 1986 blockbuster movie. Cheesy poptunes? Exactly! (0.50)

Billy (I Always Dream Of Billy) by Ella Fitzgerald
A creaky shellac and/or bakelite 78rpm record. Not necessarily rare, but nice to have nonetheless. (0.50)

You Are by Dolly Parton
Simply one of the most beautiful ballads ever. (0.25)

The Day Before You Came by ABBA
ABBA's finest hour. Superb lyrics, beautiful tune. (0.10)

Second-hand [on CD]

Wag The Dog by Mark Knopfler
The title track is vintage Knopfler brilliance, but the instrumentals lack something. I bought this CD - and the following three - in the "Antwerp library clearance sale" I mentioned last year (the 2008 edition, obviously). (1)

Come Into My Life by Gala
In early 1997, when I had just turned 12, Gala was on top of the world. We loved her music. 11 years on, the standout tracks (Suddenly, Freed From Desire, Let A Boy Cry, Come Into My Life) still hold up very well. (1)

Americana by The Offspring
The same goes for The Offspring : you just couldn't get around Pretty Fly For A White Guy in 1999. The song was put on heavy rotation on MTV. We all loved the video. The following singles Why Don't You Get A Job?, She's Got Issues and The Kids Aren't Alright made Americana a bona fide chart topper. (1)

OK Computer by Radiohead
One of the most critically acclaimed records of the 90's (if not ever), I actually feel guilty only paying 1 to acquire it. Sorry guys. (1)

Second-hand [on MD]

MD Sampler by Various Artists
A rather rare compilation of Sony artists. Sony sent this out to radio stations as a demo, to show what the then-new MiniDisc format was capable of. Some of my favourite acts (Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson) are included. (0.10)

Second-hand purchases [on LP]

Liliane, a friend of the family, has a part-time job in a youth centre. Said centre wanted to get rid of its vinyl collection, so friendly Liliane took home a whole lot of singles for me :

The Rolling Stones - It's All Over Now/Route 66
Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
James Brown - Woman Part 1 Part 2
Rod Stewart - Just Like A Woman
The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon/A Well Respected Man
The Ronettes - Be My Baby
Frank Sinatra - Theme From New York, New York
James Brown - Regrets
Joe Cocker - When The Night Comes
Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way
Tina Turner - Steamy Windows
The Rare Earth - Get Ready
The Rolling Stones - Highwire
Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock/Hound Dog
Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight
James Brown - Gravity
John Lennon - Be-Bop-A-Lula
Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Grand Funk Railroad - Some Kind Of Wonderful
Mick Jagger - Lucky In Love
The Rolling Stones - Good Times, Bad Times
Zapp - More Bounce To The Ounce
The Rolling Stones - Angie
Mick Jagger - Let's Work
Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again/The Twist
Joe Cocker - Shelter Me
Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies
Roland - Fish On The Hook
Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band - Fire
Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely
Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue
Mink DeVille - Spanish Stroll
De Kreuners - Ik Wil Je
Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes
Bruce Springsteen - The River

... and two classic full albums, Lou Reed's Berlin (which I had been craving to hear for a long long time, because the talented music journalist Serge Simonart kept hyping it) & Pink Floyd's UmmaGumma.

Julian, 29 January 2008