Robert Plant – Manic Nirvana (Epic 2017 #231)

The Epic 2017 Project #231: 170819

Robert Plant – Manic Nirvana (1990)

Manic Nirvana is the fifth solo album by former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, released in 1990. The album’s lead single, “Big Love”, reached No. 35 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and its follow-up single, “Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes on You)”, held the No. 1 position on the same chart for six consecutive weeks.

The vinyl release of the LP had 10 songs (5 on each side) rather than 11, omitting “She Said” from its track listing.

The album was re-released in a remastered edition on 20 March 2007.

Here’s ‘Tie Dye on the highway” from the vinyl release.

Big Country – No place like home (Epic 2017 #21)

The Epic 2017 Project #21: 170121

Big Country – No place like home (1991)

0602537773657

No Place Like Home nearly broke up Big Country. Drummer Mark Brzezicki returned to the studio as a session drummer after leaving the band. The album found Big Country trying to reinvent themselves and shift away from their 1980s image. It was not a commercial success and was not released in America, although two re-recorded tracks showed up on 1993’s The Buffalo Skinners.

In 1991, the band was dropped by Phonogram, the label that had released all of their material for ten years. After that, Big Country became a minor act, popping up in the lower echelons of the charts in the UK and Europe with the release of every subsequent album. Only one of these, 1993’s The Buffalo Skinners, received a major label release (via Chrysalis Records), and it seemed a return to form of sorts for the band, reaching the UK Top 25.

The band’s still together and still tour. Although to be fair, nowadays it’s mainly to a cult following of diehard fans. The ‘big’ part of Big Country died when Stuart Adamson, its lead singer and founder, passed away in December 2001.

The Beautiful South – Quench (Epic 2017 #020)

The Epic 2017 Project #020: 170120

The Beautiful South – Quench (1998)

51ibt2px-xl

Quench released in the UK on 12 October 1998 is The Beautiful South’s sixth studio album. It was the band’s third album in a row to reach the top of the charts.

The cover depicts a boxer by Scottish painter Peter Howson. Commissioned for the album, the original painting can be seen in the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. But after the band cropped the image and used it in merchandise and promotional material, Howson took legal action receiving around £30,000 in damages. Whilst the first two singles from the album also have artwork by Howson, the final two – “How Long’s a Tear Take to Dry?” and “The Table”-  don’t; perhaps Mr Heaton and co had learned their lesson by then. If you’re planning to change something and then publish it, it’s not a bad idea to ask first!

Apollo 440 – Electro glide in Blue (Epic 2017 #010)

The Epic 2017 Project #010: 170110

Apollo 440 – Electro glide in Blue (1997)

51zlm8wnaml

For around ten years from the end of the 1990s through late 2010, I played bass surdo (a massive 22″ drum with a very deep sound) with the Beach Bateria samba band based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. In its heyday, the band had 40+ sambistas, 2 maestres and a 20 strong dance troupe. And, as one of its long-standing members, I was able to contribute a number of samples over the years, most of which we developed into the band’s repertoire.

‘Krupa’ was one of them, the opening timpani rhythm the obvious reason. The piece we developed from this we called ‘Gene Krupa’ after the original American jazz drummer (1909 – 1973) and, as far as I know, the band (which still exists, although in much fewer numbers) still plays it.