Neil Young – Harvest Moon (The ’59) #208

The ’59 2018 #208: 180727

Neil Young – Harvest Moon (1992)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 34 – 1992.

Harvest Moon is the 19th studio album by Canadian musician Neil Young, released on November 2, 1992.

Many of the musicians appearing on it also appeared on his 1972 album ‘Harvest, including Linda Ronstadt who provided backing vocals on the album’s title track.

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U2 – Rattle & Hum (The ’59) #185

The ’59 2018 #185: 180704

U2 – Rattle & Hum (1988)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 30 – 1988.

Rattle and Hum was the sixth studio album from U2, and a companion rockumentary film directed by Phil Joanou. The album was produced by Jimmy Iovine and was released on 10 October 1988, while the film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and was released on 27 October 1988.

Following the breakthrough success of the band’s previous studio album, “The Joshua Tree”, ‘Rattle and Hum’  captures their continued experiences with American roots music with elements of blues rock, folk rock, and gospel music.

The album is a collection of new studio tracks, live performances, and cover songs, and includes recordings at Sun Studios in Memphis and collaborations with Bob Dylan, B. B. King, and Harlem’s New Voices of Freedom gospel choir.

Grateful Dead – American Beauty (The ’59) #075

The ’59 2018 #075: 180316

The Grateful Dead – American Beauty (1970)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 12 – 1970.

American Beauty is the fifth studio album by rock band the Grateful Dead. Released November 1, 1970, by Warner Bros. Records, the album continued the folk rock and country music style of their previous album Workingman’s Dead, issued earlier in the year. Though the Americana approach is still evident in the songwriting, comparatively the sound focused more on folk harmonies and major-key melodies, showing influence from Bob Dylan and Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 258 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Neil Young – After the Goldrush (The ’59) #073

The ’59 2018 #073: 180314

Neil Young – After the Goldrush (1970)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 12 – 1970.

Neil Young released his third studio album in September 1970 on Reprise Records. It’s one of four high-profile albums released by each member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the wake of their chart-topping 1970 album Déjà Vu.

Songs on the album were inspired by the Dean Stockwell-Herb Bermann screenplay for the unmade film ‘After the Gold Rush’. Young had read the screenplay and asked Stockwell if he could produce the soundtrack. Tracks written specifically for the film are “After the Gold Rush” and “Cripple Creek Ferry.”

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (The ’59) #062

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Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 10 – 1968.

Astral Weeks was the second studio album from Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was recorded at Century Sound Studios in New York City during three sessions in September and October 1968.

On its release, it did not receive promotion from the label and was not an immediate success with consumers or critics. But things did get better and Astral Weeks’ critical standing eventually to a point where the album is viewed as one of rock music’s greatest and most important records.Critics now laud the album’s arrangements and songwriting. Morrison’s lyrics are often described as impressionistic, hypnotic, and modernist. It was placed on numerous widely circulated lists of the best albums of all time and had an enduring effect on both listeners and musicians.

Forty years after the album’s release, Morrison performed all eight of its songs live for the first time during two Hollywood Bowl concerts in November 2008; this performance was later released as a live album.

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (The ’59) #044

The ’59 2018 #044: 180213

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 7 – 1965.

Rubber Soul was the sixth Beatles. It was released on 3 December 1965 in the UK on EMI’s Parlophone label and was accompanied by the non-album double A-side single “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out”. The album’s release saw a highly favourable critical response and it topped charts in Britain and the United States for several weeks.

Often referred to as a folk rock album, Rubber Soul incorporates a mix of pop, soul and folk. The title derives from the colloquialism “plastic soul”, which referred to soul played by English musicians. After the British version of A Hard Day’s Night, it was the second Beatles LP to contain only original material. For the first time in their career, the band were able to record the album over a continuous period, uninterrupted by touring commitments.

The songs demonstrate the Beatles’ increasing maturity as lyricists and, in their incorporation of brighter guitar tones and new instrumentation such as harmonium, sitar and fuzz bass, the group striving for more expressive sounds and arrangements for their music.

Rolling Stone ranked it fifth on the magazine’s 2012 list “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

The Smoke Fairies – Blood Speaks (Epic #297)

The Epic 2017 Project #297: 1701024

The Smoke Fairies – Blood Speaks (2012)

Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies (aka The Smoke Fairies) met at school in Chichester, West Sussex during the late 1990s. They spent 2002 in New Orleans, where they absorbed American blues music.When they returned to England they discovered British folk music at the Sidmouth Folk Week Festival while working as car park attendants. They later settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for a year before returning to London to start performing.

In 2007, Smoke Fairies toured the UK in support of Bryan Ferry and the following year they released their debut single, “Living with Ghosts”, on Music for Heroes. Richard Hawley was an early supporter of the act, saying they were “frankly the best thing I have heard in years”. They supported Hawley on his Truelove’s Gutter Tour of the UK in October 2009.

In December 2009, Smoke Fairies became the first UK act to release a single on Jack White’s label Third Man Records. The double A-side single, “Gastown” / “River Song”, was produced by Jack White who also played guitar and drums. Smoke Fairies performed at the 2010 South by South West (SXSW) festival in Texas and supported Laura Marling on a month-long tour of the United States.

They signed to V2 Records/Cooperative Music and released their debut album Through Low Light and Trees in September 2010, latterly self-released in the United States in June 2011 via Year Seven Records. The album was produced by long-term PJ Harvey collaborator Head and recorded at Sawmills Studio in Cornwall.

To promote the album the band was invited to record a live session for Marc Riley on BBC Radio 6. And invited back for another session a few months later. The duo also recorded a live session with their band for John Kennedy’s “X-Posure” on XFM. In November 2010, Smoke Fairies’ recording of Neil Young’s “Alabama” appeared on a special Mojo album to mark the approaching fortieth anniversary of Young’s Harvest LP.

The band embarked on its first headline tour of the UK – a sell-out – in January–February 2011 and performed at several festivals that summer, including Primavera Sound in Barcelona.Before heading to the United States in June 2011 to perform at North by Northeast Festival and their own headline shows, returning again in August 2011 Jessica & Katherine toured the U.S. with Rasputina. Smoke Fairies again returned to the US in October to play support for Blitzen Trapper and Dawes making their second coast-to-coast tour of the year.

Smoke Fairies’ follow-up album, Blood Speaks, was released on 21 May 2012, again with a delayed release in the US of 23 April 2013. Produced by Head,Blood Speaks was recorded in West London’s Eastcote Studio and is inspired by London and by travelling. Here’s the title track.