...This has been kind of cool cause only a 1/3 of the picks have been albums I've listened to before because the rest are painfully Canadian. And most of them have been pretty good!
So true, I really didn't want to pick a Canadian album, but it is just so hard. So many of my favorite albums, especially from a pre-internet world (for me at least) where I didn't know about anything else outside of what was stocked at the local stores, what was on MuchMusic and what was on the radio; probably 80% of the albums I heard before I was 15 were Canadian . I hope you guys aren't getting to sick of it, although I don't think there are many of us left to go.
Regarding the Tea Party, I've only ever listened to their hits and I own a copy of Transmission. I'm definitely looking forward to giving this one a spin.
And for the record, as a Canadian on the board, we didn't (quite) all pick albums by Canadian artists. If we go for round 2, my intended pick also won't be CanCon. I suspect someone else might beat me to the album I have in mind though.
I have owned this debut album since it's original 1993 release and have never grown tired of it. I've seen the band numerous times in concert, including the time that they played with an entire orchestra and another time when they opened for Blind Melon. They are simply outstanding in any facet that I have seen them play.
This album is so dynamic in sound and style that it is hard to get bored of it. There are the Can-Con FM radio staples, "The River" and "Save You", slow burning Zeppelin style rockers, "A Certain Slant of Light", "The Majestic Song" and "Dreams Of Reason", the East Indian/Sitar driven tracks, "Raven Skies" and "Midsummer Day" and a beautifully gentle ballad, "In This Time", thrown in for good measure. This album also contains one of my favourite songs of all time, "Sun Going Down", which is an intense blues/folk freak-out.
The Tea Party has recently reunited after a six year hiatus and I have yet to decide if that's a good or bad thing. I'm not particularly sure if they can or will ever again match the intensity of their early career, but I suppose I will have to see them live just to find out. In the meantime, I will continue to listen to this album, which is in my point of view, one of the greatest debut albums by a Canadian artist.
I started listening to The Tea Party around the same time I first got into Tool's Opiate and Undertow, when I listen back now I can almost hear more similarities with Splendor Solis and Aenima than I do with Tool's first two albums (lyrical content and aesthetic aside). The drum production is especially similar to what Danny Carey's would come to sound like. I only bring this up because being compared to Led Zeppelin was their constant criticism while Tool's comparison to Led Zep was always their biggest honor. Time has shown that Tool was the eventual band to learn and grow from the Led Zep influences into the beautiful monster they are today, but in '93 I think The Tea Party had a pretty comparable album and sound to Tool and to what Tool was doing at that time.
Are there Led Zeppelin influences? Yes. But listen to both "The River" and "Save Me" (fucking all the way loud) and tell me you really give a shit. It's good stuff, not only captivating in it's sound, but Jeff Martin's sweet baritone. The trippy guitar is fun on "The River" and an example of what I was getting at about its similarities to Aenima. "Save Me" is also just a really good rock chune regardless of its influences.
The Tea Party never really did capture me in the end, but I have always had a "greatest hits" playlist that has never failed to be transferred from cassette to CD to iPod over the years. When they nail a song they really nail it and almost make the rest of the album worth the price of admission as a result. "The River", "Save Me", "The Bizaar", "Sister Awake", and "Fire in the Head" are just fucking awesome rock songs and were a breath of fresh air in relation to all the "grunge" shit and "grunge" fallout that was littering rock radio at that point in time.
However, "Heaven's Coming Down" and the always emotional and heartbreaking Daniel Lanois cover "The Messenger" are the two songs that sealed the deal on my Tea Party playlist never being forgotten from my collection.
Post by Shaxspear III Esq. on Oct 12, 2011 3:58:55 GMT -5
One of my favourite concert experiences was the Tea Party playing an accustic show in a small club in Calgary prior to their release of Transmission. They were so damned talented. I got to meet them that night due to mutual acquiantances. Jeff Martin and the drummer were cool as hell. The bass player on the other hand, was a bonafide asshole. Their singer also drew a lot of comparisson to Jim Morrison (looks and sound) which he hated as well.
Post by Friendly Destroyer on Oct 12, 2011 8:11:08 GMT -5
I got the chance to go backstage and meet them in '99. I was very destroyed which lead me to giving Jeff Martin a big ol' hug and telling him he had "beautiful hair and you guys are awesome!". He was extremely nice about it. I think I've already told this story on here before.
^^^^ This one goes out to all the noobs! Impressed?
I've honestly never been a fan of The Tea Party. I've only heard the radio chunes though, so I might be missing something. I've always found that they took themselves WAY too seriously, and Jeff Martin always came off to me as a grade A douche.
I just saw they are coming to town sometime soon, are they back together doing the reunion thing? If I remember correctly, I thought their break up was pretty bad.
A relative of mine did some guitar tech work for Jeff Martin, and was in a band that was a perennial opener for them. He told me he was there the night they broke up, and he's pretty shocked that they're even able to be in the same room with each other, let alone be friendly and go on tour. Time heals all wounds though.
Post by Blacksmile on Oct 12, 2011 12:53:39 GMT -5
Pretty much a mixed bag in terms of reactions to my pick. Not sure if people don't like the album or the band themselves. I myself have never met them, so I have based my opinion of them squarely on the music. I stand by my pick.
The Tea Party are on the reunion trail. They will be playing at Flames Central on Saturday November 19. Being that the tickets are $45 I may sit this out. I've seen them countless times in the past and I don't think that they will ever be as good as they were back in the day. Plus I hate Flames Central.
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2011 12:54:07 GMT -5 by Blacksmile
I wouldn't be surprised if you are picturing me peeling a carrot with a staple gun.
Post by Blacksmile on Oct 13, 2011 11:34:28 GMT -5
I would agree with that, but the vantage points are wretched at best. When I saw The Cult there it was awful. The place was packed and I could barely get anywhere where the band was visible. Plus my dad and I had issues with the dickheaded staff when I went to see Motorhead there (long story), so it would have to be a good band for me to want to deal with those pricks again.
I wouldn't be surprised if you are picturing me peeling a carrot with a staple gun.
After much deliberation, instead of pulling out a deep cut, I've decided to go with my favorite album of all time. Hopefully, you guys won't mind too much...
The Cure - Disintegration
This album needs no introduction. It is among the greatest albums ever recorded, and according to South Park it IS the best album ever made. This album alone should be all it takes for The Cure to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Admittedly, I got into this album a little late - having first listened to it in 1995. Until that point, I was only aware of The Cure as the band who did 'that lame Friday love song that my sister was obsessed with'. I first listened to Disintegration around the time I was moving out of my grunge phase and into my moodier Ministry/Nine Inch Nails/ Marilyn Manson phase... I was 16. I had just started dating this faux-90s-goth girl who used to wear t-shirts with Robert Smith's face planted across them to go along with her skirts, fish-net stockings and Doc Martins. So, as to not sound like a complete idiot when The Cure inevitably came up in conversation - I raided my sister's cassette collection and reluctantly turned this album on (I chose this album because it was her only other album by them that wasn't Wish- and I couldn't bring myself to listen to that 'lame friday song.' My very first thoughts? HOLY FUCK - THIS IS INCREDIBLE! HOW HAVE I NEVER LISTENED TO THIS BEFORE?!?!?! I immediately grabbed Wish and turned that one on... THIS IS GREAT TOO! EVEN THAT LAME FRIDAY SONG!!!! THE CURE FUCKING ROCK!
Long story short, they quickly became my favorite band. Almost as quickly as that, the goth chick and I broke up - which, of course, made my love for The Cure even stronger... They are The Cure after all - melancholy, sadness, rejection is what they do best. But still, there's something much deeper and complex to The Cure and especially with Disintegration. I still can't quite define it, even after listening to this album for 16 years. What I do know is, on one hand, yes, it's a very painful record - beautifully arranged with some of the finest layered synth and bass lines ever recorded. On the other hand, it's also a very peaceful, calming and satisfying album. Life sucks, love is short, you will feel completely empty, but everything's gonna be okay. Honestly, I'm not sure if self-loathing and misery have ever sounded so welcoming.
I'm no longer an emotional 16-year-old boy, but this album still takes hold of me in a way no album has ever done before and i'm not sure will ever do again. From the moment the cymbals clash on Plainsong to when Untitled slowly fades away. It's a truly captivating album unlike no other.
Fascination Street is my favorite track, but the other 11 songs on the album are in a close tie for 2nd.
Disintegration it is. Enjoy. And as it says in the liner notes...
This music has been mixed to be played loud so turn it up!
Last Edit: Oct 18, 2011 11:42:54 GMT -5 by stamper