Sep 2, 2015

RhoDeo 1535 Aetix


Today an an American alternative rock band that formed in 1981, and officially in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1983. The band originally formed in 1981 under the name Loud Fast Rules, with the original line-up consisting of Dave Pirner, Dan Murphy, Karl Mueller, and Pat Morley. The latter was replaced by Grant Young in 1984. The band recorded three albums with Twin/Tone Records and two with A&M Records to little commercial success. However, in 1992,  a grammy awaited for platinum sales, hmmm plenty to  .....N'Joy

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Few bands have had a more complicated relationship with commercial success than Soul Asylum. In the 1980s, they lurked in the shadows of the Minneapolis alternative rock scene, then dominated by the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, and their first tenure on a major label ended with the band being unceremoniously dropped after their expected commercial breakthrough was both a critical and a sales disappointment. In the '90s, they were one of the first underground bands to score a major hit in the wake of Nirvana changing the commercial playing field for alternative rock, but their new popularity cost them the loyalty of their original fan base, and the mass audience soon moved onto other, less emotionally complex acts, leaving Soul Asylum in limbo despite having made several albums of powerful and passionate music, and playing more than 1,000 rollicking, sweat-soaked shows.

Soul Asylum's story begins in 1981, when three friends from Minneapolis whose loyalties ran to the noisy clamor of punk, the volume and guitar power of hard rock, and the soul-bearing tales of country, decided to form a band. Guitarist Dan Murphy, bassist Karl Mueller, and drummer Dave Pirner began playing out as Loud Fast Rules, with Murphy and Pirner taking turns on vocals. In 1982, the group landed two songs on a cassette-only compilation called Barefoot & Pregnant; the tape was released by Reflex Records, a local label run by Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould. (Another Reflex collection, Kitten, would feature live material by the group, credited to Proud Crass Fools). In 1983, Pirner moved from drums to lead vocals and rhythm guitar, while Pat Morley took over as percussionist and the band changed their name to Soul Asylum. In 1984, Minneapolis-based Twin/Tone Records signed Soul Asylum, and Bob Mould produced the group's label debut, a nine-song EP called Say What You Will (it was later expanded into a full-length album with the addition of session outtakes, re-titled Say What You Will, Clarence…Karl Sold the Truck). Mould also took Soul Asylum on the road as Hüsker Dü toured in support of their album Flip Your Wig in 1985, exposing the band to larger audiences outside of their home town, and Soul Asylum band began hitting the road with a vengeance as headliners, playing nearly any small club that would have them. The band also gained a new drummer when Grant Young replaced the departing Pat Morley.

When Soul Asylum returned to the studio to record 1986's Made to Be Broken (with Mould again producing), they were a far stronger and more powerful band, and the album won enthusiastic reviews in the alternative rock press. Another full album, While You Were Out, was released the same year, and their relentless touring schedule was earning the band a loyal and growing audience. By this time, Twin/Tone had struck a deal with A&M Records in which the major label would distribute some of their more successful acts, and in 1988, Soul Asylum were tapped to join the A&M roster. The band celebrated by cutting an EP for their European label, Clam Dip & Other Delights, which parodied the cover of Whipped Cream & Other Delights, the iconic album by A&M founder Herb Alpert; the EP was given a belated stateside release by Twin/Tone in 1989. Shortly after completing Clam Dip, Soul Asylum went into the studio with producer Lenny Kaye, and 1988's Hang Time was arguably the group's finest album, with Kaye's production consolidating the band's melodic strengths as Soul Asylum delivered a set of strong, powerful performances and emotionally eloquent songs. Hang Time fared well on college radio, and the band toured hard in support, but sales were not much better than the band had managed on Twin/Tone. A&M had greater expectations for their 1990's And the Horse They Rode in On, produced by Steve Jordan; however, the album, mostly recorded live on a sound stage, failed to capture the band's on-stage energy, and it was a critical and commercial fizzle. A&M soon dropped the band.

With no record deal and Pirner dealing with hearing problems, Soul Asylum considered breaking up, but after Murphy and Pirner did an acoustic tour as Murphy & Pirfinkle, they began working up new material, and Soul Asylum landed a new record deal with Columbia. When Grave Dancer's Union arrived in the spring of 1992, the timing was perfect for Soul Asylum; the massive success of Nirvana's Nevermind, which had topped the charts a few months earlier, made it easier for a band from the indie circuit to get a hearing on radio and MTV, and crunchy but melodic tunes like "Somebody to Shove" and "Black Gold" helped open doors for the band, scoring significant alternative radio airplay and MTV rotation. When the ballad "Runaway Train" was released as the album's third single, it rose to number five on the Billboard Singles charts and won a Grammy as Best Rock Song; Grave Dancer's Union went on to sell two million copies.

Having finally achieved stardom, Soul Asylum found it was hard to hold on to. Following extensive touring in support of Grave Dancer's Union, Grant Young was fired from the band and replaced by journeyman drummer Sterling Campbell; it was later revealed that Campbell had played on several tracks on Grave Dancer's Union. In 1995, the band released Let Your Dim Light Shine, which was produced by Butch Vig; the alternative music press, who had previously championed the band, displayed little enthusiasm for the newly famous Soul Asylum, and while the album would in time go platinum, it failed to produce a hit along the lines of "Runaway Train," and was considered a disappointment. The band returned in 1998 with Candy from a Stranger, but the album was savaged by critics and was a flop in the marketplace. Soul Asylum simply sounded tired, and they responded by taking a break. Pirner released a solo album in 2002, and Murphy, who had launched Golden Smog as a side project in 1992, devoted much of 1998 to recording and supporting the second Golden Smog album, Weird Tales. The band played occasional shows, but for the most part they stayed under the radar and seemed to be in no hurry to record again.

In 2004, Soul Asylum reconvened to begin work on a new album, joined by a new drummer, Michael Bland. But sessions came to a halt when bassist Karl Mueller was diagnosed with throat cancer. The Minneapolis music community rallied in support, and a benefit to help with Mueller's medical expenses made news when Bob Mould and Grant Hart played two songs together, making their first joint appearance since the breakup of Hüsker Dü. However, Mueller lost his battle with cancer on June 17, 2005, and Soul Asylum completed their album, The Silver Lining, with help from several guest musicians, including Tommy Stinson of the Replacements. Columbia/Legacy released The Silver Lining in the summer of 2006; it came and went with little notice, despite a nationwide tour in support (with George Scot McKelvey on bass). Soul Asylum was dropped by Columbia, but in 2009, the band announced they were working on a new album, with Tommy Stinson signing on as their official bassist. In early 2012, Soul Asylum signed with the independent 429 Records label, and the album Delayed Reaction followed that July.

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Produced by Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould, it's unsurprising that Soul Asylum's debut record shares the same tendencies as the Hüskers to loud, fast punk rock. Compared to the more structured songs he would go on to write, Dave Pirner was jumpy with nervous energy, and the songs reflect this frantic need to communicate and make some noise. Fans of poststardom Soul Asylum might find this a bit too much to handle, but it remains expressive speed rock that will leave you breathless.

Soul Asylum - Say What You Will, Clarence... Karl Sold The Truck  (flac 245mb)

01 Draggin Me Down 2:08
02 Long Day 2:45
03 Money Talks 2:31
04 Voodoo Doll 3:42
05 Stranger 3:44
06 Do You Know 1:54
07 Sick Of That Song 0:52
08 Religavision 5:08
09 Spacehead 2:08
10 Walking 2:19
11 Broken Glass 2:23
12 Masquerade 4:16
13 Happy 3:44
14 Black And Blue 3:28

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Unusually, for a best-of by a band that started indie and didn't become stars until hooking up with a major, Black Gold: The Best of Soul Asylum spans their entire pre-2000 career, starting with a 1985 track from their second LP. Naturally, their output on the major label that issued this compilation, Columbia, is emphasized; there are just four songs from the Twin/Tone era, and nothing at all from their 1984 debut, Say What You Will Clarence...Karl Sold the Truck. So it's mostly Soul Asylum the 1990s stars you hear here. Its appeal to collectors, and simultaneous aggravation to completists who have most of this but need everything, is guaranteed by the inclusion of a few rarities. There are previously unreleased live versions of "Stranger" (from MTV Unplugged) and "Closer to the Stars" and the Candy From a Stranger outtake "Lonely for You." There's also the song that's actually titled "Candy From a Stranger," although, oddly, this didn't make it onto the actual Candy From a Stranger album; before this compilation, it was only released on a commercially unavailable promo CD. And, finally, there's "Summer of Drugs" from the benefit album Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams. In addition, Lenny Kaye, who produced the band's Hang Time LP, contributes liner notes.

Soul Asylum - Black Gold  (flac 504mb)

01 Just Like Anyone 2:48
02 Cartoon 3:54
03 Closer To The Stars (Live) 3:52
04 Somebody To Shove 3:15
05 Close 4:35
06 String Of Pearls 4:52
07 Tied To The Tracks 2:43
08 Runaway Train 4:28
09 Sometime To Return 3:30
10 Misery 4:26
11 We 3 4:09
12 Without A Trace 3:40
13 I Will Still Be Laughing 3:45
14 Black Gold 3:57
15 Summer Of Drugs 4:07
16 Candy From A Stranger 4:16
17 Stranger (Live) 4:08
18 Can't Even Tell 3:14
19 Lonely For You 4:10

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Kicking up a ruckus on the more garage-oriented side of the 1980s' roots rock boom, the Del Fuegos were a four-piece band from Boston who (at least for a time) won critical favor and a loyal cult following at home and on the road for their passionate, no-frills style. Formed in 1980, the Del Fuegos consisted of guitarist and singer Dan Zanes, his brother Warren Zanes on guitar, bassist Tom Lloyd, and drummer Steve Morrell. Steady gigging on the Boston club circuit won the band a potent local reputation, which began to spread along the East Coast with the band's first few low-budget tours. While the Del Fuegos began recording an album for legendary local label Ace of Hearts Records, in 1984 the famed Los Angeles indie Slash Records stepped in and signed them, releasing their first album, The Longest Day, in the fall of that year. (By this time, Steve Morrell had parted ways with the band, and former Embarrassment percussionist Woody Giessmann had taken over the drum kit.) One of the first albums produced by former Ronnie Montrose keyboard man Mitchell Froom, The Longest Day's mixture of attitude, guitar firepower, and heart-on-the-sleeve emotion clicked with both critics and fans, and the Del Fuegos seemed poised for a commercial breakthrough with their second album, 1985's Boston, Mass.

While "Don't Run Wild" and "I Still Want You" earned some radio and MTV airplay and the album received rave reviews, it wasn't the hit some were hoping for, and the more self-consciously hip members of the music world began to turn their backs on the band after it appeared in a widely seen beer commercial. The band began reaching for a more ambitious sound and wider musical range on its third album, but 1987's Stand Up received harsh reviews and little support from fans, despite the Del Fuegos' appearance on an extended tour with noted fan Tom Petty (who also guested on Stand Up), in which the group shared the opening slot with the Replacements. After Stand Up's disappointing reception, Woody Giessmann and Warren Zanes both quit the Del Fuegos, and the band was dropped by Slash. In 1989, Dan Zanes and Tom Lloyd decided to give the band another chance, bringing aboard guitarist Adam Roth and drummer Joe Donnelly and cutting a new album, Smoking in the Fields, but while critics were kinder to the new set than Stand Up, the album was a commercial bust, and within a year the Del Fuegos were history. Dan Zanes went on to a solo career and in time found success with a series of acclaimed children's albums, while Warren Zanes returned to music in 2002 after many years in academia with a fine solo album, Memory Girls.


The Del Fuegos' debut album, The Longest Day, sounded like a great bar band roaring through a beer-fueled set on a Saturday night, but their sophomore effort, Boston, Mass., found the group sanding off a few of their rough edges and adding a touch of pop polish to their sound. While producer Mitchell Froom had added keyboards to a few cuts on The Longest Day, he's much more of a presence on this set, and the slinky romanticism of "I Still Want You" and the late night vibe of "Coup De Ville" are more adventurous in their conception and approach than anything on the first album. The Del Fuegos' energy and no-frills rock & roll attitude carried them over the rough spots on The Longest Day, and here it helps them skate past the slick spots of Boston, Mass.; the interplay between Dan Zanes and Warren Zanes' guitars may be tighter, but they still know when to crank up the amps and how to leave some space to breathe, and bassist Tom Lloyd and drummer Woody Geissman remain a crack rhythm section who keep this music in gear at all times. Beyond a bit more gloss than it needs, the greatest flaw of Boston, Mass. is that the band didn't have quite as many good songs at their disposal as they did on the debut, but while it's not the group's best album, it comes in as a close second and time has been kind to it.

The Del Fuegos - Boston, Mass  (flac 224mb)

01 Don't Run Wild 3:23
02 Hand In Hand 2:54
03 I Still Want You 3:42
04 Sound Of Our Town 3:11
05 Fade To Blue 3:37
06 It's Alright 3:50
07 Hold Us Down 3:12
08 Night On The Town 4:01
09 Shame 3:08
10 Coupe DeVille 3:41

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Anonymous said...

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Crazy Joe said...

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You make my day!!!
I'm grateful.
Cheers, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the The Del Fuegos Bro!