My Record Collection 131

Neil Innes – Famously a member of the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, along with Viv Stanshall (see S).  I don’t have any of the group records, but Neil did continue with a solo career, he even had a BBC2 short series where he made amusing videos for his idiosyncratic songs.  I have a sort-of hits album The Innes Book Of Records; well this is really a series of comedy songs, as you might expect from a Bonzo.  Quite a nice listen, but for afficionados only I suspect.

Chris Isaak – An American singer songwriter who has a unique sound, almost old-fashioned 50s crooner style – but he has been making records since the Eighties.  I only have one album San Francisco Days (1993).  Not really sure why I only have the one album – but there you go; even I have to draw the line somewhere.  A very good record though, great singing and the songs are pretty good with a timeless feel.  Best songs ‘Solitary Man’ and ‘San Francisco Days’. 

Bon Iver – only one album, which I bought on the recommendation of Uncut magazine, which raved about it.   Well.  It is okay, but very undercooked; the production so minimal it is barely more than a demo.  Still, okay in it’s way I suppose. The record, his debut is For Emma, Forever Ago and is a sort of love letter to a departed love.  Best tracks, opener ‘Flume’ and ‘The Wolves’ – but maybe I am just getting old, but I really need something I can get my teeth, or at least a couple of braincells into.  This is so flimsy you don’t even notice when the record has ended.

Joe Jackson – had a couple of hits in the Eighties, a sort of rock’n’roll and soul mix.  Great voice though.  I have a greatest hits ‘The Collection’.  I also had a BBC concert on tape which was brilliant.  This album is okay, the hits are great; ‘It’s Different For Girls’ and ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him’ but most of the other songs are not so familiar (except ‘Another World’ which I remember from the live radio concert) and fall away from my consciousness.  He pops up every now and then and is still recording I think but I have no desire to add to my collection.

Jean Michel Jarre – Ah, the great French maestro and electronic music pioneer.  I saw him twice – or rather heard him at the Destination Docklands Concert as we were the other side of the river at Beckton.  Also at Versailles where he had the most amazing dancing laser light show.  I used to have a few albums of his, but only have Oxygene on CD.  It is, of course an absolute classic and was a massive hit.   All the instrumentals are titled Oxygene with numbers after them.  Six pieces of music in all and very good listening too.  Of late I bought my daughter Laura one of his recent albums Electronica.  I am listening to it on Amazon Music and am very impressed.  I will no doubt buy the album for myself soon.