Amoeblog

Mystery Girl: The Most Romantic Rock Record?

Posted by Joe Goldmark, May 13, 2015 05:59pm | Post a Comment

Head to the Vinyl Beat website to check out extensive LP label guides and wild cover galleries!

Roy OrbisonIMO, Mystery Girl by Roy Orbison is the most romantic rock album ever. I pitched this theory to Diane, my wife, right after “A Love So Beautiful” had played and she had a different take on it. She said, maybe not romantic, but certainly passionate. Her rational was that the song’s relationship doesn’t work out. Semantics aside, we agreed that Jeff Lynne’s gorgeous production coupled with Roy’s amazingly tortured vocals make this album a heart-grabber.

Lynne was at the height of his powers with recent productions for The Traveling Wilburys, George Harrison, and his own brilliant Armchair Theatre. He succeeds at producing luscious rock music without being overly schmaltzy. We all know Roy Orbison’s early ‘60s rock operettas, which were rivaled only by Phil Spector’s paeans in their angst-filled grandeur. However, some folks haven’t heard his later work with The Traveling Wilburys and this album, Mystery Girl. Unfortunately, Roy Orbison died right before the album was released.

Continue reading...

(Wherein Spring Fever takes over the jukebox.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
80's keyboard

Well my little dreamlets, we’re ten days into Spring, and it’s already clear to me what music is going to carry me through into Summer – it’s all about synthetics. Synthpop, that is, of the late 70’s and early 80’s variety.

This amuses me, because for much of my life I detested a lot of the music I’m going to celebrate here. A lot of the hatred stemmed from being so unhappy in the 1980’s; by association, the music “sounded” like unhappiness. Think of it this way: When was the last time you were taking a shower and felt like listening to the soundtrack to Psycho? Exactly.

Some say that synthpop began when Giorgio Moroder teamed up with Donna Summer and created the hit single "I Feel Love." Calling this the “start” of synthpop is convenient, but an over-simplification, because so much came before that informed it. What can be said is that the song was influential, both in terms of inspiring artists who would go on to develop the synthpop genre, and give mainstream audiences a taste for it.

What follows are some synthpop songs that bring me joy. Many can be claimed by other sub-genres of music, but they're all related. Some are guilty pleasures – the sonic equivalent to a Snickers bar, in that they are bad for me, but make me feel great for the duration I’m imbibing – and others I stand by as solid accomplishments. I’m also putting a spell on them: listening to these songs will make you feel a little ticklish in the deepest part of your brain, which will result in your not hating your fellow man as much (even though they totally deserve your hate). Enjoy!

Continue reading...