Category Archives: Music

Sad Story…

Over on Alexis Petridis offers a look at Bee Gee Barry Gibb, 74 years old and the last remaining Gibb brother…

The Bee Gee’s Barry Gibb: “There’s fame and there’s ultra-fame – It can destroy you.”

As someone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, I was all too familiar with the meteoric rise of The Bee Gees, mostly on the wave of Disco and the film Saturday Night Fever

Here’s the thing: As monster a hit as the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was, as popular as Disco was, there was an incredible backlash that happened only a couple of years after its zenith.

I recall a professor in High School or College mused that the death of Disco was inevitable the moment the parents (the older generation) showed up at the Discos and the younger crowds decided they no longer wanted any part of it. But there were other issues as well, and some feel they might have related to homophobia or perhaps the too “out there” styles of that time.

I don’t know.

As I said, I grew up in that era but I was too young to go to Discos and by the time I could go to clubs, Disco was long gone.

But, as with all things, there comes a re-evaluation over time and I suspect people hold the Disco era in far better/nicer terms than they did in the later 1970’s and into the 1980’s, when there was a sense it should not only be buried, but incinerated before burying.

Which brings us to the above article. Barry Gibb, as I noted, is the last remaining Gibb brother. Maurice and Robin, the two brothers who along with Barry made up the Bee Gees, and younger brother Andy Gibb, are gone. Andy Gibb, who had at least one big hit with the song Shadow Dancing

…was a cocaine addict and would die at the too young age of 30.

Brothers Maurice and Robin would die years later, and they too had problems with addiction.

What’s saddest regarding this article is that not only does Barry Gibb still feel the hurt of how people turned against their music (the author notes he is surprised people like the music now) but how his relationship with his brothers in turn soured as their success grew.

Barry Gibb notes that he was essentially not talking to his brothers when they passed away, and I can’t imagine the pain that must cause in him.

Once someone’s gone, whatever chance at closure is gone as well.

Still, the music remains and, one must note, it is still remembered and, in many parts, cherished.

A sad article, certainly, but at least there’s that.

Re Imaginos (2020) a (Almost Right On Time!) Review

As I noted a while back (you can read it here) I was very interested in two “new” music releases on November 6th, David Bowie’s Metrobolist (I reviewed it here) and Albert Bouchard’s Re Imaginos.

I’ve already gone into the history of this later album, but I’ll nonetheless offer this brief recap: In the early 1980’s, the band Blue Oyster Cult, perhaps most famous nowadays for the song Don’t Fear the Reaper and its “cowbell”, were on the verge of breaking up.

Albert Bouchard, the band’s drummer (and the man responsible for the actual cowbell in Don’t Fear the Reaper!) at that time in the early-mid 1980’s took many songs throughout BOC’s history and created a demo for a concept album he called Imaginos.

Here’s that demo:

The album was shopped around to various companies but no one was interested in releasing it. A few years later, however, the album was reworked with the other members of the band -minus Albert Bouchard himself- as well as several session musicians and the album Imaginos, credited to BOC and not Albert Bouchard, was released in 1988…

imaginos LP - Music

Though I have no inside information on how the album came about, the fact that Albert Bouchard was not involved in a project he demoed suggested that maybe there was some bad feelings between the band and the drummer.

Many, many years passed and, this year, BOC released a new album and, lo and behold, in their first music video, who should pop up in it -and jokingly hitting a cowbell!- but Albert Bouchard?! (He first appears at the 1:07 mark)

Shortly afterwards, I heard that Albert Bouchard was releasing Re Imaginos, his version of the demo featured above…

Albert Bouchard - Re Imaginos CD –

My best guess is that whatever problems/anger they had between each other was resolved and, while Albert Bouchard hasn’t re-joined the band, his album was released.

So, what did I think about it?

I like the album but my main gripe remains: Albert Bouchard, to my ears, isn’t as good a singer as BOC’s Eric Bloom and Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser. His voice isn’t bad, mind you, and in several songs the elderly/weary singing works very well, but in others it doesn’t do quite as well.

Just as an example, we now have three versions of what I consider the very best song BOC made, Astronomy. The original version was sung by Eric Bloom and is found on the 1974 BOC album Secret Treaties

Then there’s this version of the song, from 1988’s Imaginos, and sung by Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser…

Finally, this is Albert Bouchard’s version of the song from Re Imaginos (you can fast forward to the original demo version of the song above).

There are things I love in all three versions of the song but, if I’m being totally honest, I feel like the lesser version is Albert Bouchard’s from Re Imaginos. To be clear: I’m not saying its a terrible version of the song, but that the other versions for me are better.

That’s not to say, however, that all Bouchard’s versions of the songs are less than those which were released before!

This does bring me to the following: Nowadays, with so many music services available out there, you can cobble together a playlist of the various songs on Imaginos/Re Imaginos, making alternate “albums” which can feature classic BOC versions exclusively or a mix and match versions which features the original songs, songs from Imaginos, and songs from Re Imaginos.

If you’re interested in doing so!

As is, though, I recommend Re Imaginos to those who like the original demo and were curious to hear what Albert Bouchard originally intended with the Imaginos demo.

Interesting stuff!


For the heck of it, here’s Metallica’s cover of Astronomy. It includes the lyrics!

Metrobolist aka The Man Who Sold The World (2020 Remix): A (Almost On Time) Review

The Man Who Sold the World, now renamed -as it was originally meant to be- for Tony Visconti’s Remix Metrobolist, is what I consider the first “real” David Bowie album start to end.

David Bowie - Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold The World) -  Music

I have nothing against David Bowie (his first album) or Space Oddity (his second album and which had some great songs, including his first big hit!), but this, his third album, seemed, to me where David Bowie first sets his course.

Back in 2015 the album was remastered and, I felt, that remastering was damn good. However, when I heard longtime David Bowie producer Tony Visconti was coming in to do a new mix of the album, I was curious. I generally liked his remix of Lodger and was really impressed with his remix of the song Space Oddity, so I was hoping for the best.

As it turned out, some songs have clear differences from the 2015 remaster. All The Madmen includes some nonsense lyrics toward the end which were cut out of the original. Running Gun Blues changes the sounds of the explosions. These changes are interesting but don’t necessarily improve upon the original releases/remaster.

Alas, a third song which featured noticeable changes was the one the album was eventually named after, The Man Who Sold The World. Here, Mr. Visconti adds reverb/echoes which, frankly, I didn’t like all that much and felt was unnecessary. My preference for that song, therefore, remains with the 2015 remastered version.

Other songs like The Width of a Circle, Savior Machine, She Shook Me Cold, and The Supermen feature very minor changes, at least those I could spot/hear.

Overall, the album remains damn good -and worthy of five stars, IMHO- though I don’t feel there’s enough difference in this Visconti remix to justify buying it again or putting it above the 2015 version.

I suppose in that respect I must conclude the exercise is a bit of a disappointment.

Truthfully, I probably would have been more outraged had Mr. Visconti changed all the songs significantly versus the three or so that have very noticeable changes. The clarity within the songs remains quite good but then again the 2015 remastering did a pretty good job of that as well.

So take my review for what it is: Its nice to have this alternate version of the album and I’m glad they put the original name and graphics on it. But the changes to the overall work simply aren’t that major. If you have the 2015 version, there’s not that much incentive for you to get this remix.

Friday New Releases…

Finally, a chance to move away from politics!

Today is a pretty big day, at least for me, with two “new” musical releases I’ve been anticipating:

David Bowie’s Metrobolist and Albert Bouchard’s Re Imaginos. (You can read my original post regarding these then upcoming releases here)

David Bowie’s Metrobolist is, in actuality, a Tony Visconti (longtime Bowie producer) remastered version of what I consider David Bowie’s first “real” David Bowie album, The Man Who Sold The World.

David Bowie - Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold The World) -  Music

I was very interested in hearing this new version of the album because, of Bowie’s major works, this one didn’t have the greatest mastering, I felt.

However, in 2015 the album was remastered and, I felt, it sounded pretty good. Still, I was curious to hear what Tony Visconti would do with the album. He’s a damn good producer, in my humble opinion, and I loved his last year remastering of Bowie’s first big hit, the song Space Oddity, and felt his remastering of the album Lodger was also quite good.

So I just listened to the album for the first time and…

I think there are some improvements here, but I’ve got to give the full album a couple of more listens to see if it’s as good as the 2015 version. In one place, though, I think Mr. Visconti came short: His remastering of the song The Man Who Sold The World is ok, but I like the original version without the reverb more.

The rest of the album passed ok upon the first listen. I didn’t detect much of a difference in the 2015 versus 2020 Visconti version of Width of a Circle though there was plenty of interesting new stuff in Running Gun Blues, from the sound of the gunfire/bombs to Bowie singing some additional stuff (hope my memory of this is right, only one listen!) at the tail end of the song.

Interesting stuff, for sure, but at least after one listen I can’t say this version has wowed me to the point where I feel this is now THE definitive version of the album.

It’s nice, but its not that different and/or incredibly superior to the 2015 version.

The second release is ex-Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard’s release of Re Imaginos. Again, you can get the full story of what transpired with this album in my original post linked to above (and here!) but, basically, ex-Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard created a concept album using several Blue Oyster Cult songs from their earlier albums in the early 1980’s when it seemed the band was for all intents and purposes broken up and produced an intriguing demo he called Imaginos.

The album was shopped around but the studios didn’t take it. By the mid-80’s they got the other members of the band together -without Albert Bouchard- and reworked the album and released that version of Imaginos in 1988.

imaginos LP - Music

My understanding is that this didn’t sit terribly well with Mr. Bouchard but the album was nonetheless, IMHO, a very strong one.

Still, it seemed Mr. Bouchard wanted to do his version of the album and, after all these years, perhaps he and the remaining members of Blue Oyster Cult settled their differences and Albert Bouchard today released Re Imaginos, his version of that album…

Albert Bouchard - Re Imaginos CD –

I’m currently listening to it and generally enjoying what I’m hearing but I have to say one thing… Mr. Bouchard’s singing voice is simply not as strong as that of BOC regular vocalists Eric Bloom and Donald Brian Roeser aka Buck Dharma.

Still, its pretty interesting/good so far. I’m liking it.

More to come when I listen to both more thoroughly.

The Man Who SOld The World 2020 Visconti Remix

I noted a few days ago (you can read it here) that there were a few upcoming releases I was looking forward to, prominent of which was the Tony Visconti remix of David Bowie’s seminal album The Man Who Sold The World, which would be re-released under its original title, Metrobolist.

David Bowie - Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold The World) -  Music

The full album is due to be released on November 6th and you can bet I’ll be there to pick it up.

The Man Who Sold The World/Metrobolist is one of my all time favorite David Bowie albums and The Man Who Sold The World, the song, is my all time favorite David Bowie song.

I discovered the song way back in 1984 or so, well before it became big with Nirvana’s famous take on it, which many feel is the best version of the song (sorry, I totally disagree, even if I do feel Nirvana did a pretty terrific version of it).

So blown away am I, to this day, by this song that I feel like it courses through my very blood and somehow always seems to find its way -subtly or not- in my writings.

That’s how much I love the song.

When I heard Tony Visconti, Bowie’s longtime producer, would remix the album, I was very much interested.

Tony Visconti is a terrific talent, a producer who has not only had his hand on many of Bowie’s best works -as producer- but also many other bands.

More recently, he did what I thought was a terrific job re-mixing Bowie’s album Lodger and he did an equally terrific job, IMHO, last year remixing Bowie’s first big hit, Space Oddity

I was incredibly stunned by how much better, IMHO, this new remix sounded compared to the already pretty damn spectacular original.

So, to say the least, I was damned curious to hear what Mr. Visconti would do with The Man Who Sold The World, both album and especially song.

Welp, today we can hear this new version of the song. Here it is:

I’m… I’m torn, to be honest.

The song starts out quite well but then, when it gets to the chorus, the “Who knows? Not me… We never lost control… You’re face to face with the man who sold the world” part…

That damn reverb just kills me. While I felt some of the reverb Mr. Visconti added on Space Oddity worked quite well with that song, it didn’t do so on this one.

Here’s the original version of the song, a 2015 remix which stuck to the original…

Yeah, much better, IMHO.

Mind you, I don’t think what Mr. Visconti did was terrible, its just that the I prefer the original without those reverb flourishes. Further, I’m becoming somewhat concerned that this is what Visconti likes to do: Add reverb to Bowie songs. He did so, if memory serves, also to a song or two in Lodger as well.

Still, I am curious to hear the rest of the album, especially Bowie’s epic song The Width of a Circle, also from the album…

I just hope what comes out of it isn’t a bunch more reverb…!

2020 Gets Even Worse: Eddie Van Halen Dead At 65…

Man, as the headline states, could this year get any worse?

Eddie Van Halen, TMZ reports, has passed away at the age of 65.

For the past decade, it was reported, he had been battling throat cancer and, finally, it spread to his brain and other organs.

As someone who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Eddie Van Halen and his band, Van Halen, were one of the big ones that were heard frequently on the radio. Lead singer David Lee Roth provided plenty of swagger as the lead singer but Eddie Van Halen’s guitar work was impressive, to say the least…!

I still remember when the album 1984 was released and these songs were HUGE hits on the radio upon their release…

As should be obvious by now, my preference of Van Halen songs tends to skew toward the David Lee Roth years. They were known for their very heavy sound, certainly, but unlike some metal music acts that came later they always seemed to be playing around/goofing off. In the case of Eddie Van Halen in particular, it seemed he always played with a huge smile on his face, like he was having a blast and never taking things all that seriously.

After the release of 1984, though, things started to go south for Van Halen. There were tensions between the band and David Lee Roth and he was gone after that album and Sammy Hagar joined the group as the lead singer.

Truthfully, I can’t say I was much of a fan of that version of Van Halen, even though I have/had nothing against Mr. Hagar. It just didn’t work as well for me. Though that version of the band was together for some 10 years, Hagar left and Gary Cherone was brought in for one album (if memory serves) but lasted together only some 3 years.

David Lee Roth re-united with the band twice while Hagar re-joined once but it was always temporary and the glory days of the band, it seemed, were in the past.

For the past several years very little has been heard about Eddie Van Halen other than that he was sick, but I never knew the situation was as grave as it was and the news of his passing is a real shock.

Think I might pull out an old album and give it a whirl…


Been a while since I’ve been excited to see/hear some new releases and it turns out there are at least three things being released in the next couple of months I’m intrigued about.

First up is the November 6th release of the newly remastered David Bowie album Metrobolist.

What, you never heard of that album?

Welp, for good reason: This was the original title David Bowie had for the album that was eventually known as The Man Who Sold The World.

See, at quite literally the very last minute the record company decided Metrobolist was too weird a title (I guess) and renamed it after what is probably the most famous song on it.

The album will feature its original artwork, the cartoonish bit you see above, along with the photographs of Bowie in a dress which wound up being used on the album’s cover later on…

Metrobolist/The Man Who Sold The World is officially David Bowie’s third album after David Bowie and Space Oddity and, IMHO, the first “real” Bowie album through and through. Others might quibble and say Space Oddity is the “real” first Bowie album but, other than a few intriguing songs -including his first big hit- I feel that album is still showing Bowie as a work in progress.

Longtime Bowie producer Tony Visconti has remastered the album and, based on how well he remastered the song Space Oddity (he also remastered the entire album, but I have yet to hear it), it could prove to be something quite special. We’ll see on November 6th!

Next up, also for a November 6th release, is Albert Bouchard’s Re Imaginos.

For those who don’t know the name, Mr. Bouchard used to be the drummer for Blue Oyster Cult and, perhaps most famously, was the one responsible for the “cowbell” in their hit song Don’t Fear The Reaper.

However, back in the 1980’s, the band and he had a falling out and he left them. Shortly afterwards and in the early 1980’s he worked on an album he called Imaginos, which used many of Blue Oyster Cult’s songs and created a concept album.

However, acrimony between the band and he led to the album being taken away from his hands. It was re-worked by the other members of the band and eventually released in 1988…

Bouchard’s original demo version of the album was leaked years ago and can be heard here:

Anyway, the years past and we fast forward to now and Blue Oyster Cult, without Bouchard as their drummer, are about to release a new album. Amusingly, their first music video release for their first single, That Was Me, features a guest appearance by Albert Bouchard and he’s banging away at a… cowbell! (He first appears around the 1:05 mark of the below video)

My guess, when I first saw the video, was that Mr. Bouchard and the remaining original members of Blue Oyster Cult have (perhaps) settled their differences and are even having a laugh at their shared past, though based on the video it doesn’t appear Mr. Bouchard has returned to the band but rather re-appeared for this video and/or provided “cowbell” for that particular song.

However, shortly following the release of the above single/video, I read that Mr. Bouchard was going to release Re Imaginos, his polished up version of the original Imaginos album. A video was released for the song Black Telescope, which is a considerable departure from Workshop of the Telescopes, the original version of the song made by Blue Oyster Cult.

Here’s Mr. Bouchard’s new version of the song from Re Imaginos, which takes on an old mariner’s sound:

And here’s the original version of the song…

Interestingly, if you go back to that demo of Bouchard’s Imaginos I presented above, Workshop of the Telescopes/Black Telescope wasn’t part of that original version of his album!

Anyway, Re Imaginos comes out on November 6th, as I said before, and it should be interesting to hear, especially if you’re a fan of Blue Oyster Cult!

Finally, its been announced that Christopher Nolan’s Tenet will be released to home video come December 15th.

I’m very curious to see the film but there was simply no way I would go to a theater to see it. First, the local theaters in my neck of the woods were closed through the original release dates. Secondly, even if they were open I wouldn’t have felt comfortable being in an enclosed area watching a 2 hour long film. It’s simply not safe.

But I will pick up the movie when its released to home video!

Megadeth’s Rust In Peace at 30…

Wouldn’t you know it, I just finish writing up my glowing tribute to what I consider David Bowie’s best later career album, 1. Outside, and then go looking around the internet and discover that what is arguably Megadeth’s all time best album -and quite possibly all time best metal/thrash album- Rust In Peace was released on this date, September 24th, 1990!


I got into metal/thrash in the mid to late 1980’s, finding myself liking the works of Megadeth (natch) and Anthrax the most. I wasn’t too big on Metallica, who were on the rise back then, but did like their first album Kill ’em All. It’s possible I liked that album because, for those who don’t know, the brains behind Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, was a member of Metallica but was booted from the band shortly before they released that first album.

Several songs on it are listed as being co-written by Mustaine, and Mustaine, to his credit, took that rejection and founded his own band, eventually releasing Rust in Peace.

Sadly, over the years I’ve found it difficult to read interviews with Mr. Mustaine. While in the early years he appeared to have a very liberal temperament, even going so far as to pen the song Hook In Mouth, which lashed out against the PMRC, an organization that tried to rein in foul lyrics on albums, he’s subsequently turned into a rather… extreme individual who seems to eat up Alex Jones and -if memory serves- being a proponent of some of the more extreme right wing religious candidates out there.

Yes, I do believe he bought into the “Barack Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen” crap, too.

Ah well.

Love the art, not necessarily the artist, no?

Rust in Peace is an absolutely terrific album, regardless of what has become of Dave Mustaine, and I whole heartedly recommend it to anyone interested in checking out that type of music…


Dave Mustaine issued a “remix” of the album and that, unfortunately, is mostly what’s available nowadays on streaming services and… it’s just not as good as the original version of the album.

Sadly, Mr. Mustaine has done that to many of his early albums and, for the most part, the end result has been less. I prefer the original version of Rust in Peace and So Far, So Good, So What (their third album) over the remixed versions.

On the other hand, their first album, Killing Is My Business, actually sounded better in the remix, though its a shame one can’t hear the original lyrics he put into his remake of the Nancy Sinatra song These Boots.

But I’m drifting here…

Give Rust in Peace a listen if you’re curious.

It’s damn good stuff!

David Bowie’s Outside at 25…

My how the time flies…

Twenty five years ago, in 1995, David Bowie released 1. Outside (as it was designated, though the album does seem to have different titles, including leaving off the “1.”).

When it was released, I recall purchasing the CD -that’s the way music was being sold back then, what with the internet in its infancy and MP3s either not yet available or in the process of becoming.

It’s admittedly difficult as the years pass to recall specifics of a time so very long ago, but I do recall eagerly picking the album up -as I did with every new Bowie album- and finding it at first difficult to get into but, after a couple of listens, finding myself really loving it.

Alas, critics -again if my memory is right- weren’t quite as enamored. Many felt the album was simply too much, bursting to the rim as it was. Indeed, the album runs dangerously close to the maximum 75 minutes a CD allows, and a subsequent re-release of the album, featuring the song Get Real, allowed quite literally only a minute or so of time to spare on the CD!

Over at, Adam Trainer offers a very in depth retrospective of this album, which I found very intriguing and, if you’re a David Bowie music fan as I am, might find intriguing too:

What a Fantastic Death Abyss: David Bowie’s “Outside” at 25

I’ve said it before ’round these parts and I’ll repeat it: I feel that of all of David Bowie’s later albums, 1. Outside is my favorite, with Blackstar, his final work, coming in a close second.

Outside (I’ll refer to the album by this designation… It’s easier to type this than putting that damn “1.” in front of!) is, IMHO, a terrific work, one that flows through so many different musical styles and themes and… its mind-blowing. So mind-blowing and so filled to the brim with material that I totally understand why some people may find it just too damn much to take.

This is an album that demands you give it your attention and time and, if you’re unable or uninterested in doing so, then you likely won’t care for it.

Ah, but if you do have that patience and do give it a look-see, there is plenty here to love.

In his article, Mr. Trainer correctly notes that The Buddha of Suburbia, the album that preceded Outside, is almost like a dry run and does indeed feature an early version of the song Strangers When We Meet, which would close out both albums in their original forms. Worth checking out as well, even if many don’t consider it a “true” Bowie album. It is, even if it is a “soundtrack” to a BBC miniseries.

Anyway, I don’t disagree with some of the criticism Mr. Trainer also levels against the album: Perhaps if Mr. Bowie had whittled the material down to, say, 40 minutes, we might have had something many would have considered a spectacular album. Further, I wouldn’t argue with the fact that some of the album’s “segues”, which are snippets of dialogue that tell the story of various characters involved in the songs, may be disposable…

…and yet, I love the album as it is, start to end.

And when it soars, as it does with songs like The Heart’s Filthy Lesson, The Motel, I Have Not Been to Oxford Town (in my opinion one of the cleverest of the songs on the album, taken from the point of view of someone who’s been accused of a murder they didn’t commit, and realizing while sitting in jail they’re about to take the fall for the crime), I’m Deranged, Thru These Architect Eyes, and, yes indeed, Strangers When We Meet.

The album, frankly, is bursting with so much good stuff and, as time passes, I’m more and more impressed with it.

So often people compared the latest Bowie album and wondered if it was as good as Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, which many considered the last great Bowie album.

Sorry folks, much as I love Scary Monsters, and I do love it, I think Outside is overall even better.

Music Flashback Friday…

Sometimes when you’ve got music in the background while working, you note recommendations appear and, the other day, a 1982 album by Kim Carnes showed up: Voyeur.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Kim Carnes is probably most famous for this song, which was pretty damn popular in its day:

When I saw the recommended album, I figured it must be the one that had Bette Davis Eyes on it. I was wrong, but as it turned out, I was familiar with at least two of the songs on the album.

I can honestly say I haven’t heard either of those songs in a very long time, likely in/around the time they were originally released nearly (gulp) forty years ago.

The first was the song the album was named after, Voyeur

Man, do I love the song… a beautiful distillation of 80’s synth new wave…!

But, man (redux), pretty depressing video concept, no? Abusive boyfriend, an implied murdered woman (with Kim Carnes herself being the next victim?)… huh. I wonder if the downbeat nature of this video might have harmed the song in the long run. Who knows.

The second song I recognized was Looker, though the version I was more familiar with I’ll get to in a moment:

The original version of the song was by Sue Saad and was the theme of the film of the same name, the Michael Crichton written/directed Looker (the video below shows sequences from that movie, in case you’re wondering. The film was about supermodels who are being killed for… reasons. The film didn’t make a whole lot of sense, even if some of the women presented were quite gorgeous!)…

Weird that the film would be released with the song in 1981 and then Kim Carnes would do her version only a year later in Voyeur!

Finally, there was an extended version of the song Voyeur. It runs nearly two minutes longer than the original version of the song…

This has been your 1980’s synth/new wave flashback for the day!