Music bought in 2013
Disclaimer: due to a laptop theft in February 2015, I lost most of my 2013-2014 files. I have tried to accurately remember all past purchases, but some small mistakes or omissions are unavoidable.
New [on LP]
Pan Aroya by Codasync
Matthias Meersmans is the drummer for Belgian band Codasync, whose 'Pan Aroya' is excellent. ‘Odd Egg’, or 15:48 of epic rocking, is the best track. Matthias Meersmans doesn't want his name on the internet without permission, so let's use it a lot to annoy him. Matthias Meersmans!
Am I Wrong 2012 by Etienne De Crecy
A floorfillin' classic from 2001, updated for 2012. The title was a giveaway.
Bad 25 by Michael Jackson
Grab your torch and pitchforks for Pitbull, whose remixes are beyond awful. Luckily, the original tracks and the six unearthed demos make this reissue worthwile.
Strangeland by Keane
'Sovereign Light Café' is an extremely excellent song that immediately spoke to me. I haven't listened to the rest of the album. For shame.
Skyfall by Adele
Adele's quite brilliant Bond tune.
Music from Another Dimension by Aerosmith
Only gave it one spin, so no honest opinion. For now.
Netsky by Netsky
The Belgian liquid funk drum and bass hero. Only gave it one spin, so no honest opinion. For now.
Halcyon by Ellie Goulding
'Lights' is one of the best British songs of the new century, and 'I Need Your Love' (her collaboration with Calvin Harris) is an earworm of explosive magnitude. I haven't listened to the rest of the album. For shame.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Various
The perfect soundtrack to the perfect movie. Special mention for giving David Bowie's 'Heroes' a new day in the limelight.
The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake
'Futuresex/Lovesounds' is one of the best albums of the noughties, hence a blind buy for the follow-up. I haven't really listened to the album. Can't give you an honest opinion. 'Suit & Tie' is okay, but no vivid highlight.
The Next Day by David Bowie
The penultimate Bowie album, and a very good one. Special mention to the title track, with its now prophetic lyrics: 'Here I am/Not quite dying.' David Jones is immortal, ladies and gentlemen.
Backtracks by AC/DC
A superb box set filled with rarities, live tracks, short films and a working guitar amp. Has to be seen to be believed. Cost an absolute fortune in 2009, but website popmarket.com offered it for a wallet-friendlier $65.
Back Scratch by The Baboons
The Baboons are a contemporary Belgian rockabilly band. Only gave this album one spin, so no honest opinion.
Nightcall by Kavinsky
12" maxi single of this truly fantastic song. One for the ages. Recommended listening at nighttime, when you're walking around with your dog. Atmospheric, chilling, excellent.
Hotel by Moby
Still shrinkwrapped, so sadly no opinion.
18 UK Number Ones by Elvis Presley
Eighteen 10" maxi singles by the King. Or, as the cover states, all his #1 hits in the United Kingdom. Music history in a box. Cost a fortune when released and collected individually in 2005, but I found a bargain deal ($45) for the whole shebang in the 'American Dream' store in Zwijndrecht.
Love Me by Elvis Presley
A reissue of the 1961 7" extended play featuring four cuts: 'Love Me', 'Don't Be Cruel', 'Hound Dog' and 'Jailhouse Rock'. Absolute classics. To quote the liner notes: 'Of special note on this extended play of his greatest 1950s hits is the percussive accompaniment in 'Don't Be Cruel', where Elvis keeps time on the backside of his acoustic guitar.'
Long Road Out of Eden by Eagles
Presumably the band's final album, now that Glenn Frey has passed on. 'Waiting in the Weeds' is an instant classic.
From Heaven From Hell by Golden Earring
Two 10" platters featuring common and less common tracks by the best band of The Netherlands.
Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
Wow. Just wow. I never thought Daft Punk would make such an accessible, classy, expertly crafted, polished, enjoyable and downright excellent album. Recommended.
Collapse Into Now by R.E.M.
The band's final album. Only gave it one spin, so no honest opinion.
In Dreams by Peace
Just another British indie rock band featuring four lads reaching for world fame and pussy galore. 'In Dreams', however, is quite the fine collection of songs. Special mention to 'California Daze'.
Dos! by Green Day
'Stray Heart', one of their best songs, is missing from this album due to a pressing error. I e-mailed Warner/Reprise to address the situation (and demand a free MP3 download), but they just ignored my request. Colour me disappointed.
Andy and his Grandmother by Andy Kaufman
Still shrinkwrapped, so sadly no opinion. For now.
Sun Shy by Dresses
Still shrinkwrapped, so sadly no opinion. For now.
Bad Blood by Bastille
'Pompeii' is a masterpiece, but the rest of the album is surprisingly mediocre.
Fire Within by Birdy
'Birdy' by Birdy (her debut album) was perfectly sweet, this follow-up (with self-penned material) impresses as well. I predict a bright future for this young lady. Her third album has just been released on CD/iTunes at the time of writing, and the vinyl has been preordered.
Victim of Love by Charles Bradley
Only gave it one spin, so no honest opinion. What a voice, though.
The Grace EPs by Jeff Buckley
Already owned this on five compact discs, but when Dutch firm 'Music On Vinyl' released this music on vinyl, I couldn't resist. If only to put it next to 'Grace'.
Recovery by Eminem
In the early 2000's, I was a vocal detractor of Eminem. I never thought I would buy any of his albums. Along came 'Not Afraid'. It was very refreshing to hear the once cocky artist be so humble and open and happy. It struck a chord. Hence the purchase.
Singles Collection: 2008-2011 by The Gaslight Anthem
A shameless One Side Dummy release, if just to milk the pre-breakthrough band. But I'm a fan, so what could I do? I even bought it twice, including one copy for my then-girlfriend. Who had left me by the time the package arrived. Such is life. All 7" discs are inside a lovely wooden case, and a download card is included. Money well spent.
Outrun by Kavinsky
A fantastic 80's-inspired album, from the synths to the title to the fake cinema-esque lobby cards. Not all tracks are crackers, but when Kavinsky is good, he's very good.
Fight For My Soul by Jonny Lang
I was introduced to Jonny Lang via the 'Blues Brothers 2000' soundtrack. Only gave it one spin, so no honest opinion.
My Head Is An Animal by Of Monsters And Men
Caroline De Voecht told me about 'Little Talks', and the song immediately became one of my favourites. Further highlights include 'Dirty Paws', 'King and Lionheart', 'From Finner' and 'Six Weeks'. Later in 2013, I managed to sneak into a concert (well, I just bought a ticket) which turned out to be highly enjoyable. I was particularly fond of singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir counting in Icelandic ("1, 2, 3, 4" at the start of the song became 'einn, tveir, þrjú, fjórir').
Racine Carrée by Stromae
The Belgian powerhouse singer-songwriter-songsmith-mathematician-designer-genius overcomes the 'second album curse' by massively improving on his début. Truly every track is golden (a rare feat), but if you must know the absolute highlights: 'Ta Fête', 'Papaoutai', 'Ave Cesaria', 'Tous Les Mêmes', 'Formidable', 'Moules Frites', 'Quand C'Est?', 'Sommeil', 'Merci' and 'AVF'. Seven tracks became singles and received groundbreaking short films. This is the Belgian 'Thriller' or 'Bad'. Unbelievable songwriting, a true phenomenon.
Cheese by Stromae
Stromae's first album, including the floorfiller 'Alors On Danse' and the visions-of-Jacques Brel-inspiring 'Te Quiero'.
The Bride of Frankenstein by Franz Waxman
'Waxman'? Was there ever a name more appropriate for inclusion on a vinyl record? This Record Store Day release features four tracks from the classic soundtrack, namely 'Main Title', 'Danse Macabre', 'Processional March' and 'Bottle Sequence'.
Comes with a discount for a t-shirt, too.
Hallelujah by Cohen/Buckley
Quite the original approach to bundle the original and the definitive cover of the brilliant song on the A- and B-side of a 7" single. This was a Record Store Day release.
Five By Five by The Rolling Stones
A rerelease of the second Stones EP from 1964, featuring the following tracks: 'If You Need Me' (Wilson Pickett/Robert Bateman), 'Empty Heart' (Nanker Phelge), '2120 South Michigan Avenue' (Nanker Phelge), 'Confessin' the Blues' (Jay McShann/Walter Brown), 'Around and Around' (Chuck Berry). Yes, five covers. And still, they went on to become one of the best bands in the history of music. This was a Record Store Day release.
Wigwam/Thirsty Boots by Bob Dylan
A sort of teaser for his 'Another Self Portrait' box set. I had never heard 'Wigwam' (this was a blind buy), but it immediately became one of my favourite Dylan ditties. No lyrics, just la-la-las, and still so very gorgeous. This was a Record Store Day release.
We Can Only Live Today (Puppy) by Netsky and Billie
One of Netsky's all time best songs, which I didn't know at the time. This Record Store Day release was also a blind buy.
Suds & Soda by dEUS
A rerelease from the first big dEUS hit. The screeching violin and the repeated 'Friday! Friday! Friday!' mantra screams make this an acquired taste. My dad doesn't like it, for example. Still, they must have done something right, for the song was even critiqued by Beavis and Butt-Head. Faut le faire. This was a Record Store Day release.
Live at Royal Albert Hall by Cream
Full title: 'Live at Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6 2005', costing a wallet-crippling $53.60. And I haven't even listened to it yet. Darn. This was a Record Store Day release.
Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Recordstore.co.uk persuaded me to spend a hefty £11 for this 12" maxi single. 'An online exclusive!', so I bit the bullet. Yeah, fat chance, for two weeks later, the MediaMarket around the corner had it for £5. Sigh. Still, worth the purchase if just for the extended Daft Punk remix, clocking in at 10 minutes and 32 seconds. Epic.
New [on CD]
Arigato no Egao by Shoko Nakagawa
My first Japanese CD ever. Love the song 'Rainbow Forecast', which was featured on the Japanese soundtrack of 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs'. Bought via yesasia.com.
Thrift Shop by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis & Wanz
Excellent song, on a German maxi CD-single. Germany's one of the very last countries to still release physical compact disc singles. A dying breed.
Can't Hold Us by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis & Ray Dalton
Another German maxi CD-single of another excellent Macklemore song.
Out of my Hands by Morten Harket
Still shrinkwrapped, so sadly no opinion. For now.
25 by a-ha
The second a-ha compilation I now own (after 1991's 'Headlines and Deadlines'). Thanks to the two compact discs, there's more room for obscure album tracks, and all clips (up to 2010's brilliant 'Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)') are included on a third disc.
Turn Off The Dark by Various Artists
The soundtrack to the contested 'Spider-Man' musical, with songs by Paul Hewson and Dave Evans. I had the distinct pleasure to see the musical in New York City in 2012, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Another case of the critics on a preposterous crusade. Superb songs, too.
New [on audio cassette]
A Taste of Burger Records by Various Artists
A special case of 2 musicassettes (a first in my collection). I don't know a single artist included in this compilation. I merely bought this because I thought the name 'Burger Records' sounded cool. This was a Record Store Day release.
Second hand [on LP]
I'm On Fire by Bruce Springsteen
The 12" of the masterpiece featuring his best lyric ever: 'Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull, and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my skull.'
Hope Of Deliverance by Paul McCartney
Finally, that one song that has stayed with me since 1992 on a 7" single.
Moi ... Lolita by Alizée
Just crappy remixes, darn. I want the original on wax.
Beggar's Banquet by The Rolling Stones
An original Belgian pressing, no less. Quite steep ($35), but my dad bought it for me as a surprise. Thanks, dad!
Looking For Freedom by David Hasselhoff
A hilarious song, produced by none other than Jack White. Probably not that Jack White, but let's assume it's him just for shits and giggles.
Give Me Rock 'N Roll by The Kosmos
A purchase based on the awesome cover art. Just look at it! Who are these guys? What are they doing? Where are they now? I want answers!
Second hand [on CD]
Streets Of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen
A promotional disc, featuring a longer cut of the 1993 masterpiece. Bought this from Belgian director Robbe De Hert, who was selling off personal effects to finance his next movie. A movie that still hasn't come to fruition, three years later. A very sad reality. Support local heroes, Belgium. Give De Hert the needed $75.000, please.
Julian De Backer, 1 April 2016
Matthias Meersmans! Spaceship!