Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 7/27/2011

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. As always, e-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight single (2008) on picture disc, Have Heart’s Songs to Scream at the Sun (2008) on white, and Mott the Hoople’s All the Young Dudes (1972) on black.

Place of Purchase:
Have Heart and Dark Knight were rescued from the bargain bin at Hot Topic. HOOP DREAMZ was part of a triple-vinyl deal on eBay.

Thoughts: I am all about Hans Zimmer, especially when he works with my man Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, Inception). There’s a featurette on the Dark Knight DVD where you get to watch Zimmer’s process, and the guy is insane. He takes old metal scraps and leather whips and glass and turns it into music. This two-track single doesn’t capture the full majesty of the score, but it looks super cool and delivers the best track of the composition, “Why So Serious?” A sort of theme for the Joker, the song is just all over the place, perfectly capturing the insanity and destruction the Joker causes all over Gotham City. It’s a little on the experimental side, but gloriously so. The other cut, “I am the Batman,” is a whisper of a song. It’s a little disappointing – “Batman” is more of a segue than a proper song on to itself – but “Why So Serious?” still holds up.

Have Heart crossed my path just as they were breaking up, which bums me out. I would have loved to hear this Massachusetts hardcore band rip through “The Same Son” live. What I love about the record is that it balances Paint It Black’s skull-crushing, primal attack with, say, Crime in Stereo’s ethereal post-hardcore flourishes. I’m sure a thousand hXc fanboys just winced at that comparison, but whatever. Point is, go listen to Songs. Shit rips.

I’m a huge David Bowie fan. I even have the Labyrinth soundtrack. Once I more or less completed my Bowie collection (or so I think… I keep picking up the occasional odd ‘n’ end), I dove into his various personal projects from the early ’70s, when he opted to produce all of his favorite artists. While I was already a big Stooges fan by this point, I was still surprised and amazed by Bowie’s work on Iggy Pop’s The Idiot and Lust for Life. Same goes for Lou Reed’s Transformer. But my favorite of the bunch was Mott the Hoople’s All the Young Dudes. While not the best Hoople album (My pick: the uber-pop-leaning The Hoople), Dudes is probably the best gateway record, even though it’s two best tunes weren’t written by the band. Bowie penned “All the Young Dudes,” a love letter to glam rock, specifically because he wanted the Hoople to have a hit. The other knockout is the group’s interpretation of The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane.” I’ll argue it’s the penultimate version with any hipster any day.

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