Release Date: April 12, 1983
Track List: Radio Free Europe; Pilgrimage; Laughing; Talk About the Passion; Moral Kiosk; Perfect Circle
Produced by Willie Mitchell
Side One: Let's Stay Together; La-la For You; So You're Leaving; What is This Feeling; Old Time Lovin'
Side Two: I've Never Found a Girl (who loves me like you do); How Can You Mend a Broken Heart; Judy; It Ain't No Fun To Me
The Reverend Al Green's fourth LP Let's Stay Together produced one of the biggest soul hits of the 1970s "Let's Stay Together", a number one single on the America charts, a standard in the purest sense. The additional eight tracks on the album are textured with Green's crystalized vocals and a sturdy horn section.
"Let's Stay Together" is the timeless recording that opens the record, a song of devotion and perseverance. "La-la For You" power lies in its understatement in the vocal and the production, precision piano chords and a subtle percussion defying gravity. "So You're Leaving" brings unease and moodiness in contrast to the previous two tracks. The intense, but spare, production is especially prevalent on "What is this feeling?" The intense but steady groove on "Old Time Lovin' brings side one to a close.
Side two opens with the upbeat "I've Never Found a Girl." The longest track at over six minutes is a meditative version the Bee Gees hit "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart." Green's quiet vocal is resilient, the narrative evolves in Green's vocals that tell their own story. "Judy" celebrates a new love, while "It Ain't No Fun to Me" is a breakup song ending the record on an uneasy note.
An album for all seasons and moods due to the depth of human emotion it draws upon, Let's Stay Together has aged with grace.
(12 Monkeys - Radiohead: Ok Computer) - Terry Gilliam's 1995 dystopia dealing with time travel, deadly viruses, secret societies, and madness may be his best film. Bruce Willis stars as a confused and weary man sent back from the future to stop a deadly plague from decimating humanity. Radiohead released Ok Computer in 1997, one of the epochal albums of the decade. Thom Yorke's lyrics are filled with apocalyptical imagery and rock/electronica music mimicking how a machine might compose music goes along quite well with the film. Bruce Willis wondering through a desolate landscape as "Exit Music (for a film)" plays captures the wide eyed melancholy of the movie.
(The Matrix - Radiohead: Kid A) There are many albums to play alongside The Matrix, ranging from heavy metal to prog rock. Radiohead's Kid A perfectly synchs with Neo, Morpheus, and Trinity, the first line of the film "Is Everything in Place" practically introduces the opening track "Everything In It's Right Place." Placing together two important pieces of art at the dawn of the Millennium hits all the right notes as they move between themes of despair and personal liberation.
(American Graffiti - Paul McCartney and Wings: Red Rose Speedway) A perfect synch. Paul McCartney's retro 1973 album is romantic and nostalgic, going for the energy of the early Beatles records and the epic sounding latter day Fab Four. Tracks like "Get on the Right Thing "and "When the Night" are ideal with the neon/nighttime energy of the film. Even Paul's maligned hit single "My Love" works well.
(Three Days of the Condor - The Alan Parson Project: Eye in the Sky) - Maybe the most enlightening synch, adding much to the experience of the album and the film with paranoia and surveillance being at the center of both works. "Sirius" is often used by sports teams to pump up the crowd before a game, here as the opening credits roll it has the feel of encroaching doom. Condor plays less as a post-Watergate paranoid thriller and more as a European art film with a Sci-Fi bent when played with Eye in the Sky, especially in the scenes between Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway.
(The Shining - The Beatles: The White Album) - My own concoction, an attempt mash up Kubrick with the Beatles, there's a slight historical connection. Kubrick made his home outside of London while the Beatles were in their heyday, they even approached him about directing their adaptation of Lord of the Rings that never went beyond the talking stage. So, the Beatles with Kubrick makes for a funky concoction. As the iconic opening credits roll, McCartney sings about about "snow peaked mountains way down south" on "Back in the USSR," while "Dear Prudence" takes on a more menacing tone as Jack enters the Overlook. John's satiric "Glass Onion" plays during the interview scene. The synch makes both works stranger and even more mysterious.
To sum up, synching albums with movies is fun and makes you see both from a new angle. Perhaps our brains are designed to find patterns, the synch approach to media helps us become aware of how our minds work.
All songs written and produced by Kate Bush
Side One: Sat in Your Lap; There Goes a Tenner; Pull Out the Pin; Suspended in Gaffa; Leave it Open
Side Two: The Dreaming; Night of the Swallow; All the Love; Houdini; Get Out of My House
Kate Bush's fourth album The Dreaming is rife with dense intensity, possessing its own power. The quixotic opener "Sat in Your Lap" features Bush's versatile vocal styles in a song about the frustrating quest for knowledge and spiritual knowledge. References to world religions, the sense of wanting part of and apart from humanity:
I see the people working
And see it working for them
And so I want to join in
But then I find it hurts me
Youthful impatience meets head on with yearning for wisdom, the quest, the war within oneself continues.
"There Goes a Tenner" tells the surreal tale of a bank heist, a 1940s Warner Bros. gangster flick filtered through a futuristic pop song. "Pull Out the Pin," Bush attempts to tell the Vietnam War from the prospective of one fighting the invading Americans, "I look in American eyes/I see little life/See little wife", confronting the Western armies who only have a vague notion of why they are waging war. The anti-technology ethos of the revolutionary narrator provides the upper hand in a violent and hypnotic song.
"Suspended in Gaffa" is adventurous with its melodic pianos and use of low brass instruments, similar in theme to "Sat in Your Lap." "Leave it Open" shifts moods from conniving to introspective, the idea of how knowledge changes us and sometimes not for the better, but we must encompass all. Exploring ourselves must be done with caution, bravery, and curiosity. "We let the weirdness in" becomes anthemic.
"The Dreaming" deals with white Australians using Aboriginal land for nuclear testing and mining uranium. The off-kilter rhythms and instrumentation create another unique soundscape; Bush's frenzied vocal emphasizes defiance and strength directed at injustice. "Night of the Swallow" is a dialogue between a husband and wife with "the troubles" as backdrop providing the song with an Irish ambience, a complex song on gender politics. "All the Love" deals with loneliness, the courage it takes to face solitude. "Houdini" takes the point of view of the magician's assistant, full of suggestive lyrics and mystery. "Get Out of My House" took direct inspiration from Stephen King's The Shining. Told from the hotel's point of view, but the song takes a life of its own. Creating an atmosphere of anger, loss, and fear, it sounds like a message from the beyond.
The ten tracks of The Dreaming are all works of art that stand on their own; as a whole, the album is a labyrinth of sonic landscapes, edgy ideas, and innovative arrangements. Bush's vocals linger and enrich the imagination. Ranging in theme from world politics to the spiritual battles within, a panorama of sound and imagery.
Release Date: April 12, 1983 Members: Michael Stipe (vocals); Peter Buck (guitars); Michael Mills (bass, keyboards); Bill Berry (percussion)...