David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars by Rollie Agado

Listened to David Bowie's - Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust - this afternoon in hopes of sinking into a good work groove to meet a 3:00pm deadline...   this proved to be partially effective.  I sometimes find myself stopping in mid-routine to jot down an observation I can include in my daily write ups.

Today was no different...  I started the album and then got around to thinking if I could list any other Track 1, Side A's that could top the song Five Years.  I couldn't think of any and I think about this kinda shit all the time...  I then started to put together a shortlist of other great Track 1's, Side A's for a future Late Night Conversations and freaked out when I managed to lose 15 minutes because I simply can't be trusted to have headphones and internet connection when work has to be completed.

I can't truly say enough about this David Bowie album...  it's one of my favorite conceptual albums and I'm surprised by how well it's held up 40+ years after its release.   

For the uninitiated, Ziggy Stardust is a bi-sexual rock star who visits earth 5 years before its demise.  I'd tell you more, but I haven't brushed up on the details of this album in a while...  I'm pretty sure that he dies of rock n' roll excess.  

One of the best things about this album is the amazing guitar work from Mick Ronson.  A lot of people will point to the amazing guitar riffs on Ziggy Stardust.  I however really love chord arrangements on Hang On to Your Self - seeing how the Ramones made a fucking career aping it.

Mick later went on to lay tracks for Lou Reed on the album Transformer, then penned the guitar riff for "Jack and Diane" for John Cougar Mellencamp.  Lastly he manned the knobs as the producer of my favorite Morrissey solo album - Your Arsenal.

Stand out tracks:

Artists: David Bowie
Album: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars
Producer: David Bowie, Ken Scott
Label: RCA
Recorded: Trident Studios

The Strokes - Comedown Machine by Rollie Agado

I think one of the most overlooked albums of 2013 albums was the Strokes COMEDOWN MACHINE.   A meticulously recorded and over produced record that will likely garner praise as the years roll by.

There's a chance that the album may get lost in the shuffle because 2013 had a lot of incredible records by new artists.  The Strokes in some ways were a band with tremendous promise that sorta squandered their opportunity to be something bigger.

Every time I hear this record, I can't help but think that this would have been an incredible album to have heard live.  The band recorded and released the album rather quietly... and unlike other albums - they didn't really have an extended hiatus between efforts.

The internet sorta had a song drop on their lap called "One Way Trigger" and it didn't sound anything like the Strokes.   This was refreshing for me... but in all the commotion I think everyone forgot to acknowledge it was good.  It almost felt like the discussion steered too much in the direction that it was "different".   I mean, of all the bands in the world, isn't it the Strokes that we kinda want to sound different?

I think this album really would have found a place had the band toured in support of it.   While I haven't actively gone out of my way to see the Strokes live since they first formed, I will definitely go out of my way to see them the next time they tour in hopes of hearing a number of these songs live.

Standout Tracks:

Artists: The Strokes
Album: Comedown Machine
Producer: Gus Oberg
Label: RCA
Recorded: Electric Lady Studios, One Way Studios