February 22: Afrika Bambaataa, Arrested Development, The Clash, Carole King

Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force: ‘Planet Rock: The Album’.

A compilation of sorts of singles, this hasn’t dated well.

Arrested Development: ‘ 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of Arrested Development’.

Too long, fitfully good.

The Clash: ‘The Clash’.

I know I should have heard this before. Rough and ready punk which spawned a bazillion imitators. It feels like better was to come (and indeed it was), but it doesn’t feel as though this band would write, say, ‘Guns of Brixton’.

Carole King: ‘Tapestry’.

King was best known as a songwriter before taking centre-stage herself, which seems to be a career only mirrored these days in hip-hop (Kanye, Kendrick, Dre); more often these days, the opposite is true (Linda Perry, Cathy Dennis etc). Anyway, this opens with the standout, ‘I Feel The Earth Move’, before moving on to slow-motion versions of her songs ‘You Got a Friend’, ‘You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman’ and others. This tasteful, skilfully-performed exercise in soft rock sold a zillion copies at the time. Pretty okay.

A lot of artists have 5+ albums on the list, but I have never heard any – Neil Young, Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello. There’s also loads of Dylan I haven’t heard (6 albums) and, in the ‘if I must’ list, FOUR MORRISSEY SOLO ALBUMS. FOUR!! (Three Smiths albums too.) Should I listen to the catalogue all at once, or should I spread them out throughout?

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