Author Topic: Old albums that have held up well in their entirety?  (Read 1575 times)

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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: Old albums that have held up well in their entirety?
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2017, 07:58:26 AM »
What do you guys think of Joe Walsh's(James Gang,Eagles) guitar playing? Just wondering.

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Offline seamas

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Re: Old albums that have held up well in their entirety?
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2017, 11:13:16 AM »
What do you guys think of Joe Walsh's(James Gang,Eagles) guitar playing? Just wondering.

Always liked his playing--and I don't like Eagles (except for the tunes he wrote/sang).
I play slide frequently, so players who play slide always get my ear.
He also always had a terrific sound/tone. I love the fact that the HUGE think sound he got in Funk #49 is from a Telecaster and a 15 watt Fender Champ.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Old albums that have held up well in their entirety?
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2017, 05:19:42 PM »
What do you guys think of Joe Walsh's(James Gang,Eagles) guitar playing? Just wondering.

James Gang mostly sounds pretty dated, but a few of their songs are timeless classics. This performance of "Walk Away" on German TV really shows them at the peak of their power.




Lots of Joe Walsh's solo stuff is also great. This is probably his last great hit.




The Eagles are squishy, tepid, stinking garbage. The depth of their suckage was probably best articulated in this wonderful polemic by the great Lester Bangs:

     
Quote from: Lester Bangs
How The Eagles Cleaned Up the Wild West
(James Dean, Tequila and diverse other deviant outcroppings)


By Lester Bangs, The Music Gig, October 1976
 
I have a friend who is the most depersonalized individual I know--her love life is all mixed up, she's running simultaneous scams on various lovers and divers other people until she loses track of what she told who and where reality, her scams and her dreams of the way it should be diverge. She seems to live in some kind of half-fantasy world from which she exploits people by using her charm and telling absolutely everybody "You're my best friend!" The Eagles are her favorite group, and one day her younger sister said to her: "You know that song 'Lying Eyes' is about you."
 
"I know," said my friend, deep in suddenly-tapped melancholy.
 
I recite this anecdote not only to demonstrate that people take the Eagles very seriously and not just as entertainment, but also that there are people actually capable of saying things like that. What's truly curious to me is that my friend's answer seemed to indicate a kind of sad resignation to her condition. She even seemed to find it poetic.
 
Now, I look at these Eagles albums, and idly wonder what these assholes are doing putting all this Indian crap all over them, but then I'm reminded of an old Indian who used to sit outside the Greyhound bus station in Yuma, Arizona--he had a blanket spread out in front of him with every kind of cheap trinket you could imagine, and he took those tourists for every penny he could. And in this memory, I begin to understand the Eagles a bit. I used to live in the Southwest, spending a lot of time in towns like Indio, California and Gila Bend, Arizona, and I got to know the mood of the region fairly well. Which is probably why I don't like the Eagles, even though I have listened to all their albums and no one could deny that they are very talented, play with great dexterity while singing perfect harmonies, and have an almost remarkable gift for the pop melodic hook. I have to respect them for that, but I cannot enjoy them, because--well, take "One of These Nights," which was probably their biggest hit.
 
"One of these Nights" tries for that hot dusty wind blowing through the cacti effect, a hot dry Southwestern night when the wet heat rises inside ferociously and desire rocks you close to madness--Paul Newman leering at Patricia Neal in Hud. And it almost makes it, the great dynamics and sailing harmonies come that close, but something holds it back from becoming a true classic. And that something is that the production and performance, both vocally and instrumentally, are just too clean, cool and clear, too controlled, neither sandstorm nor lubricious rage. It sounds like they took that raw scene, elemental on every possible level, and encased it in wax. Which may be the Eagles' greatest talent and the secret of their success, especially for all the young girls who dote on, live by, these records. Their music is macho but wholesome, not like those dirty hoodlums Aerosmith and Bad Company. If they wrote a song about the band gang-raping a twelve year old convent girl, it would come out smooth as silk, sung by angels choirs. But in selling out James Dean, the Wild West, etc., they prove themselves, like John Denver, to be penultimately unwholesome.
 
Did I hear somebody mention the words "sell out"? Okay, let's just take some examples. "Witchy Woman" opens with tribal tomtoms that are heap bad medicine. Aside from the hatred of women--which means nothing, all rock musicians hate women--the music and lyrics of this song are so corny as to be redolent of an old Hollywood "Evil Injuns" epic like Westward Ho the Wagons. I pick that particular example because the Eagles' West is that of Walt Disney, not John Ford. And it's an image of the West marketed for people to whom that particular reality is remote, even if they happen to live there. It is no accident that Glenn Frey comes from Detroit. The Eagles revive and give new meaning to the previously outmoded phrase "drugstore cowboy."
 
There is none of the neon-flash, road-glare bumpiness and physicality of actual American travel in "Midnight Flyer"--it's all insulated, climate controlled, not a speck of dust or a lungful of monoxide--the only way to imagine this song's vagabond moving down that perennial highway is in an air-conditioned limousine. If the protagonist of "0n the Border" is a fugitive, Abbie Hoffman is the president of Kinney International; and when you hear them extolling James Dean for being "so hungry and so lean," you have to wonder if they know where and from what character those words originally emanated.
 
"Tequila Sunrise" doesn't sound like tequila tastes or kicks, but then "James Dean" has nothing to do with James Dean, and Desperado fails to accomplish in a whole LP what Johnny Cash pulled off in two minutes of "Don't Take Your Guns To Town." This is bucolic, laid-back outlaw lore, in other words a contradiction in terms, in other words it doesn't work. Because outlaws run on gut tension, and this music doesn't have any guts and is designed to soothe people so alienated from their own emotions they are prisoners of tension. But pap is the worst cure--all-snake oil might poison you, but Eagles music just blands you out. They're valium pretending to be rotgut.
 
There is, however, a certain school of thinking which holds that valium may rot your gut.
 
anyway. The most nauseating thing about the Eagles is that they take all the myths that are central to America--cars, James Dean, outlaws, Indians--and sterilize them, castrate them, turn a war whoop into MORE. In the process they come to symbolize, for America and the rest of the world, all the culture that they trash. The euphemized version is always more marketable--Route 66 vs. Jack Kerouac--but there is no room for Jack Kerouac in an Eagles world. They effectively render him obsolescent. So they're not just unreal, they're supremely destructive to anything that is.
 
Under such circumstances, it is only reasonable that an incredible sense of arrogant complacency should be born: "Well, here we are with the West all taken care of, no more sod to bust or Indians to shoot, what the hell will we do now?"
 
"Look, I gotta idea, we'll make up deeds to one square inch of it, throw in an authentic Injun feather, and sell 'em for five bucks a throw to folks back in New York!" "No, I got an even better idea. We'll buy every postcard in every hick-town between Yreka and Jerome, or just glance through an issue of Arizona Highways and write songs about it to sell to those same dudes! Gotta be more lucrative."
 
"A whole song about a sunset?"
 
"No, asshole, the usual I love you hate you, but with sunsets painted in."
 
They are not, as Mad River once sang, a "heart full of feathers and pieces of bone." They are a reproduction of the West without dues, without rawhide, without worst of all the sense of wide open boom town looseness that carried through from the Gold Rush to Kerouac and even L.A. and San Francisco groups of the Sixties. These guys couldn't lasso a pair of sissy bars. And it's not a liberated rejection of Western macho either, it's just sweet songs with no implications or complications. Which doesn't make them any worse than the Carpenters, except that there is a wistful resignation in the Eagles, a wallowing in one's own passivity in the face of the cosmic puddle, that makes me sick.
 
As bubblegum Jackson Browne music they're fun, but Jackson Browne songs usually have a sense of consequence; that you and I may or may not make it, but maybe we can see each other in this moment, and maybe that's enough. And maybe that's Jackson Browne's particular genius; he explores that kind of redemptive pain. Or just call it bittersweet. But the Eagles bypass all of that--nobody ever crosses into the quietly anguished zone Browne inhabits, much less takes it to the limit. Because to take it to the limit would be threatening to the sensibility that this music speaks for. Taking it to the limit ain't standing on the ground with a peaceful easy feeling. This music is about complacency, but it's not even a relatively healthy fat-cat complacency, a Jackie Onuses/Liz Taylor complacency. It's enforced complacency from people who look up to Neil Young for playing coyote for them. In other words it's complacency as a defensive tack to throw you off the scent of terror, just like the gentleness of peaceful easy feelings is ipso facto a lot of hateful hostile shit by (a) the very fact they got insist that's how they feel and (b) Anybody who doesn't subscribe to Peaceful Easy Feelings Ltd. is recognized as evil, bearer of bad vibes, etc. (I've had extensive experience with that kind of bigotry, rampant in the West, and I know.)
 
It’s almost like the old Southern plantation myth, lying in your wicker recliner swatting flies except that was rich, that had all these excremental outcroppings of hungover European culture. California is all veneer and proud of it. Didn't used to be, but you let a country get a grip on any myth long enough and it'll come true. The main problem with the Eagles is that they simply can't accept their Marin County mushiness and just wimp it up right and tight they feel compelled to hold on to some Bad Company notion of manhood. Bunch of nonsense. They're about a third of Bread and a fifth of Early Moby Grape and Buffalo Springfield. They appeal to people who don't like to make real decisions or think of consequences in their own lives, people whose emotions are deeply embedded in as much wax as this music--nonpassion answers nonpassion, as always with pop music there is an emotional (or, in this case, antiemotional) transaction, and thus mass success and millions for whom the Eagles speak. But what they speak of is not the open road but staying just where and as fucked up as you are. Travels With Charley was more wide-open, full-throttle.
 
I don’t even want to talk about L.A. studio rock--everybody always blames the failure of this type of music on that epithet. The real problem with this band, the tragedy (guess it's a tragedy, their fans are all happy; the group are platinum; TRAGEDY FOR BUFFALO SRINGFIELD FANS WHO HOPED FOR A REBIRTH OF WONDER OVER OR FAR PAST THE CITY LIGHTS) is that they could have been the soul of the West, they could have been what they once may have beheld, a myth that strikes like a copperhead and of promise of tenderloin freedom at what Kerouac called "end of land sadness, end of the world gladness." They could have embodied that raffish poetry, they could have been true outlaws. Instead they became what they truly did, in all immediacy and ignorance, behold: they became professional mythics selling an adulterated or totally spurious version, like Paul Newman in Altman’s Buffalo Bill & the Indians. They sold the ground from under their own feet forever, and perhaps unborn feet as well.
 
You may be standing on the ground, kid, but you don't own it. I hate to think who does, but that's beside the point. The point is you couldn't hop a boxcar or even a pony without a roadie to help you, you are not as authentic as Mick Jagger in "Hand of Fate," you aren't a tenth of an old rerun of Trackdown, or Rawhide, or Have Gun, Will Travel or Wanted Dead or Alive or Cheyenne or even Tenderfoot. You are not California, not really, just the California music business, which is not California. You are certainly not the great Southwest, though you just might be calculating enough to be the East. A band without a country, maybe, which would be the most dramatic-tension inducing thing about you. But I suspect you may be America circa now. And that's what's scary about your innocuousness.
 
See, what's really dumb and creepy about you is that you pretend to be taking chances but you never, ever take any. At least McCartney is upfront about his conservatism. But you guys come on like Clayton Moore with a headband, even making with the drugstore cowboy drag for the cover of Desperado--I wonder if you smeared dirt on your faces for the photos like that bondage bitch in the Stones ads? Why don't you dress up as Mexicans instead, and get really controversial, in giant sombreros but selling sticks of chewing gum to passing cars? l am sure you of all people must have had some experience at dealing somewhere along the line.
 
And of course it makes sense that, record company across-the-hoards aside, the Eagles would support Jerry Brown. He's just as shell-like and meaningless and bland-out and self righteous about it as they are . . . except that that very nonmeaning becomes an ugly meaning. "I don't know the answers," declares Jerry in his book Thoughts (published, so help me god, by City Lights) along with (this is a direct quote) "Go with the flow." To which the Eagles reply: "Lighten up while you still can/Don't even try to understand," and Jackson Browne chimes in "Don't let me see that morning paper/I don't need those dues/It's just the same murder story/But they call it the news."
 
Strange bedfellows? No, it's perfectly sensible; the avant-garde is now the air conditioner and therefore, perhaps, the enemy. Jerry Brown is about delivering a glossy nonfeeling package that people will climb on like the last porpoise to Ethiopia, and it's no wonder that the Eagles are his houseband, warming up the inaugural ball by singing: "Springtime the acacias are bloomin/Southern California will see one more day/Dreamland, business is Booming/Birds are singin', as I drift away." While old Uncle Walt sleeps secure 'neath the sod and all moves in natural harmony, a place where you can spit on the sidewalk and it disappears immediately.



« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 05:43:23 PM by John Albert »

 

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