#3: Frank Zappa – Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar (1981)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for UnDoubled #3: Frank Zappa’s Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar series, a project consisting of Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar Some More and Return of the Son of Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar, now receiving the UnDoubled mistreatment.

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Shut Up UnDoubled

Side One:

  1.  Five-Five-Five (2:35)
  2.  Treacherous Cretins (5:35)
  3.  Heavy Duty Judy (4:42)
  4.  Soup ‘N Old Clothes (7:49)

Side Two:

  1.  The Deathless Horsie (6:20)
  2.  Pink Napkins (4:35)
  3.  Pinocchio’s Furniture (2:05)
  4.  Stucco Homes (9:08)

These mostly live instrumental passages and Zappa’s beautifully lyrical guitar soloing were used as links between tracks at concerts, these recorded between 1977 and 1980, eventually released in the all-encompassing triple album Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar in 1981. Trimming a 20-track set down to a manageable eight numbers was no easy task, especially when the entire album is of an extraordinarily high standard. This was a hugely important venture into guitar-jazz conceptualization for the artist, this abridged version captures the creme de la creme: soft touches (Pink Napkins), sublime melodic phrasing (The Deathless Horsie) and intense guitar assaults (Five-Five-Five) from the most underrated guitarist in rock history.

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#4: Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for UnDoubled #4: Fleetwood Mac’s expansive Tusk, now receiving the UnDoubled mistreatment.

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Tusk UnDoubled

Side One:

  1.   I Know I’m Not Wrong (3:00)
  2.   Think About Me (2:44)
  3.   Sara (6:30)
  4.   Tusk (3:37)
  5.   Brown Eyes (4:27)

Side Two:

  1.   That’s Enough for Me (1:50)
  2.   Angel (4:53)
  3.   Save Me a Place (2:42)
  4.   Over and Over (4:34)
  5.   That’s All for Everyone (3:03)
  6.   Beautiful Child (5:21)

Tusk. While not as concise as the magical Fleetwood Mac (1975) and Rumours (1977) albums, nor as commercially successful, there are treasures buried deep within. At a time the band was splintering under big egos, internal relationship struggles and exhaustion (check out the footage of artistic linchpin Lindsey Buckingham creating bathroom home recordings), Fleetwood Mac admirably did not follow a formula to create a Rumours 2 at the behest of their record company Warner Bros. If they had, the album may have ended up something like this UnDoubled creation. Punchy Buckingham opener, even spread of Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks songs, rockers, ballads of equal proportion. Instead we were given a 20 track kitchen sink double album  possibly a case of too much is more than enough. Particularly Buckingham, he is all over this, in a good way. Writing half of the album and arranging most of it, a lot of his coked up Buddy Holly (That’s Enough for Me) via Brian Wilson (That’s All for Everyone) compositions would’ve slotted in nicely on eccentric solo album Law and Order (1981).

Interesting fact: former Mac guitarist Peter Green plays on the superb Brown Eyes, uncredited.

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Merry Christmas

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Have a Merry Christmas. Hic!

The Deano Christmas Albumdeano

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Duderama – Modeling (2016)

Duderama’s new album Modeling (2016) is also available for download at Bandcamp: https://duderama1.bandcamp.com/

 

© Surface to Air records, 2016.

All songs and instruments by Messrs Brwn & Stck.

 

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#5: David Bowie – Outside (1995)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for un-doubled #5: Bowie’s indigestible Non-Linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle Outside, now receiving the Un-Doubled mistreatment.

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Outside Undoubled

Side One:

  1. Outside (4:04)
  2. The Heart’s Filthy Lesson (4:57)
  3. A Small Plot of Land (6:34)
  4. The Motel (6:50)
  5. I Have Not Been to Oxford Town (3:48)

Side Two:

  1. No Control (4:34)
  2. Voyeur of Utter Destruction (4:21)
  3. Wishful Beginnings (5:08)
  4. We Prick You (4:35)
  5. I’m Deranged (4:31)

Bowie’s willfully noncommercial Outside seems intent on thoroughly alienating a legion of fans who jumped aboard in the 80s. This reunion with Brian Eno after some 18 years since his canonized Berlin-era landmarks, however, created a marvelously dense album. Folding in elements of techno, electronica and grunge, it’s as excessive as any mid-90s epic rock magnum opus as there ever was. Unfortunately it is also massively elongated, containing a substantial amount of intrusive conceptual fluff, although the proper songs can stand up on their own, as there is certainly some brilliant and inventive avant-garde rock to be found here. Dispensing with the melodrama may have inspired this concise masterpiece.

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#6: Kiss – Solo (1978)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for un-doubled #6: Kiss’ solo albums, originally released all at once to an indifferent record buying public, now receiving the Un-Doubled mistreatment.

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Kiss Solo Undoubled

Side One:

  1. New York Groove (Ace) – (3:03)
  2. Ain’t Quite Right (Paul) – (3:37)
  3. See You Tonight (Gene) – (2:28)
  4. Tonight You Belong to Me (Paul) – (4:40)
  5. Rip It Out (Ace) – (3:40)

Side Two:

  1. Radioactive (Gene)  – (3:51)
  2. What’s On Your Mind (Ace) – (3:28)
  3. I Can’t Stop the Rain (Peter) – (4:26)
  4. Mr Make Believe (Gene) – (4:02)
  5. When You Wish Upon a Star (Gene) – (2:44)

Some Kiss fans say Ace’s is the best, some say Paul’s, others say Gene’s is the pick, but nobody says Peter. The truth is they are all terrible, however this 10 song collection represents the best of what was released as four solo albums that would flood record stores across the world, remaining in those stores un-bought for months. Ironically Kiss would end up releasing an album identical to this as a follow up (4 solo artists working “together” as a band) called Dynasty (1979) which would fare slightly better.

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#7: Prince – Sign “O” the Times (1987)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for un-doubled #7: Prince’s Sign “O” the Times, originally conceived as a triple album, now receiving the Un-Doubled mistreatment.

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Sign Undoubled

Side One:

  1. Sign “O” the Times (4:56)
  2. U Got the Look (3:47)
  3. If I Was Your Girlfriend (5:01)
  4. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker (4:01)
  5. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (6:29)

Side Two:

  1. Starfish and Coffee (2:50)
  2. Slow Love (4:22)
  3. Strange Relationship (4:01)
  4. Hot Thing (5:39)
  5. Forever in My Life (3:30)

Recorded after disbanding his band The Revolution, Sign “O” the Times, the Prince fan’s Prince album, is largely the artist working solo, and while I never warmed to it, and not through a lack of trying, it’s an album now heralded a classic. I have always found the album, and the artist, a little overrated, while at the same time appreciating his significant talent (and refreshing self-deprecating humor) and certainly his gifts as a stage performer. That being said, I prefer a less over-stuffed version of this album, less filler, a tighter record. The undoubled version has jettisoned some slamming 80s party-starters such as Play in the Sunshine, Housequake and It – sport for Sly and the Family Stone back in ’71 and less fabricated, and gone are some late album ballad rockers (Adore, It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night and the quite good The Cross). Sign Undoubled delivers Prince’s unadulterated talent intact.

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#8: U2 – Rattle and Hum (1988)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for un-doubled #8: U2’s Americana kitchen sink odyssey Rattle and Hum now receiving Un-Doubled mistreatment.

rattle

Rattle Undoubled

Side One:

  1. Desire (2:59)
  2. Hawkmoon 269 (6:22)
  3. Freedom for My People (0:38)
  4. Silver And Gold (5:49)
  5. Angel of Harlem (3:49)

Side Two:

  1. When Love Comes to Town (4:15)
  2. Heartland (5:03)
  3. God Part II (3:15)
  4. The Star Spangled Banner (0:43)
  5. All I Want is You (6:30)

Gone are the unnecessary live tracks and a couple of other plodding studio tracks (Love Rescue Me, Van Dieman’s Land), while the two short tracks in the American roots rock theme remain, tightening up what now is a worthy follow up to their greatest recorded works in The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree.

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#9: Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Welcome to the Pleasuredome (1984)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It’s certainly the case for un-doubled #9: Frankie’s guilty pleasuredome receiving the Un-Doubled mistreatment.

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Pleasuredome Undoubled

Side One

  1.  The World is My Oyster (1:58)
  2.  Welcome to the Pleasuredome (13:40)

Side Two

  1.  Relax (3:57)
  2.  Two Tribes (3:28)
  3.  Ferry (Go) (1:49)
  4.  Born to Run (3:59)
  5.  The Power of Love (5:28)

Goodbye to songs varying in degrees of awfulness: the covers War (pretty tough call) and San Jose (will not be missed), and several late album originals best left on the cutting room floor. This leaves the essential hits and some nice Gerry Marsden moments. A guilty pleasure revisited.

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#10: Todd Rundgren – Todd (1974)

Hi. Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at bloated, self-indulgent, expansive double albums and gleefully trim it back to a single, dreck-free, no filler, concise, listenable record without having to reach for the skip button or needle re-positioning.

I think it may benefit some over-stuffed double albums from a little tightening up. It may be the case for Un-Doubled #10: Todd Rundgren’s sprawling disaster-piece Todd (1974) the first to receive the Un-Doubled mistreatment.

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Todd Un-Doubled

Side One

  1. Number 1 Lowest Common Denominator
  2. A Dream Goes on Forever
  3. The Last Ride
  4. I Think You Know
  5. Everybody’s Going to Heaven / King Kong Reggae

Side Two

  1. Useless Begging
  2. Sidewalk Cafe
  3. Izzat Love
  4. Heavy Metal Kids
  5. Don’t You Ever Learn
  6. Sons of 1984

Goodbye bizarre and somewhat unlistenable Gilbert & Sullivan set piece, and MANY spacey instrumentals. Hello a tightened up rock solid single LP, now Todd is undoubtedly one of the gifted artist’s finest works.

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