Another newbie checking in

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Another newbie checking in

Postby Sweetie on Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:41 pm

Hi all,

I stumbled upon this forum last month after learning of the very sad loss of Mick. Still reeling from that blow.

I have to confess that up until then I hadn’t listened to any of my Japan or my one and only David CD (‘Everything and Nothing’) for a long time. Shame on me! I’ve now got the bug again and have been playing them any chance I get, much to the annoyance of hubby who only likes and will only listen to ‘Ghosts’. I’ve lots more David to catch up on I know, so any suggestions where to start would be most welcome.

I was a Japan fan way back in the early 80s. Sadly, I discovered them a bit too late but they’ve always had a special place in my heart (probably because I credit them for helping me stay sane towards the end of a not very happy childhood) and the good old Internet has been great for finding out what they’re all up to.

Recently I’ve been catching up on Steve’s work – so far I’ve covered ‘Catch the Fall’, ‘Stories Across Borders’ and ‘Slope’.

As for my favourite band member? In the 80s it was definitely David, but now I’m quite taken with Steve – I was aware of him in the 80s of course but seeing all those wonderfully sweet pictures of him in the gallery I’m behaving like a lovesick teenager :smt007 (don't tell hubby).

Look forward to 'meeting' you all.
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."~ Plato ~
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby baht habit on Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:58 pm

Sweetie wrote:Hi all,
I have to confess that up until then I hadn’t listened to any of my Japan or my one and only David CD (‘Everything and Nothing’) for a long time.
I’ve lots more David to catch up on I know, so any suggestions where to start would be most welcome.


Welcome aboard, Sweetie.
Since you already own Everything And Nothing, perhaps you would like to share your favorites from that collection with us?... And then we could possibly give some recommendations which may fit well with Sylvian's material that already appeals to you. And then we could go from there. How does that sound?
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby Sweetie on Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:16 pm

That sounds like an excellent idea and thank you for the welcome.

Well, I pretty much like the whole cd to be honest, but if I had to pick just 10 they would be (in no particular order):

1. The Boy With The Gun
2. Riverman
3. Orpheus
4. Blackwater
5. Every Colour You Are
6. I Surrender
7. Gods Monkey
8. Midnight Sun
9. Let The Happiness In
10. Weathered Wall

Hope that gives you an idea.
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby inkinthewell on Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:28 pm

Sweetie wrote:Well, I pretty much like the whole cd to be honest, but if I had to pick just 10 they would be (in no particular order):

1. The Boy With The Gun
2. Riverman
3. Orpheus
4. Blackwater
5. Every Colour You Are
6. I Surrender
7. Gods Monkey
8. Midnight Sun
9. Let The Happiness In
10. Weathered Wall

Hope that gives you an idea.


Hello. I would recommend (in this order): Brilliant Trees, Gone To Earth, Secrets Of The Beehive, Rain Tree Crow, The First Day, Dead Bees On A Cake, Blemish, Snow Borne Sorrow, Manafon. :-D
And I would love to see your husband's face when you get to Blemish. :lol:
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - JL 1940-1980
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby baht habit on Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:51 pm

It appears as if ink is attempting to convert you into becoming a 'die-hard' fan right out of the shoot. :-) And picking up Sylvian's releases in chronological order is a sensible way to go, if you plan on getting them all. But if you would be equally satisfied while being the casual fan then, going by the songs which you've listed above, I would recommend the obvious two: Secrets Of The Beehive (1987) and Dead Bees On A Cake (1999)...the former is often considered to be his strongest overall release by many of his listeners and the latter could be described as his most recent work which more often than not maintains a more 'mainstream sensibility' throughout. Half of your picks above can be found on these two, so I figured that they would probably be sure shots for you to enjoy.
From there, I could recommend getting Gone To Earth (1986) and Rain Tree Crow (1991 ---which, as you most likely already know, is the regrouping with the members of Japan and two of the songs from that are on your list). I believe that your reception to Gone To Earth could be a strong indicator of whether you would have any interest at all in delving further into Sylvian's more experimental work. The first half consists of some extremely majestic compositions...perhaps they could be described as 'gothic-pop'? --- but the second half contains ambient tracks, and that leads to an entirely different aspect of Sylvian's vast discography which may or may not appeal to you.
God's Monkey is from The First Day (1993 ---with Robert Fripp) and that release also includes Jean The Birdman, which is on E&N as well. I would suggest that you check out samples of that release before going anywhere near it, since the remainder of the tracks are intense and so very dissimilar to any of Sylvian's other work. I personally enjoy that collaboration very much, but many fans abhor it.

Finally, I suggest that at some point you might find it worth your time to check out the recent compilation Sleepwalkers (2010) in order to learn if Sylvian's current approach to his music is something you find enjoyable. In addition to including some of Sylvian's more experimental stylings, his more pop-oriented work with Nine Horses {Snow Borne Sorrow (2005) and Money For All (2007)} is also well represented on the compilation.
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby Six One Cynic on Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:12 am

Listen to Manafon, it was released just a little while ago now and is probably David's definitive reading on the "power of the creative mind" - as far as his interest in the pure potency of music is concerned these days~
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby Sweetie on Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:42 am

Thanks all for taking the time to share your recommendations - looks like I'm going to be busy! I will get back to you with my thoughts on each as I explore.

Oh, and ink - there's no hope that my husband will listen to Blemish, let alone anything else, so I won’t be able to share with you what his face looks like. He does tell me I have 'class' when it comes to my rather eclectic musical tastes, so I think that’s the best I’m going to get when it comes to David and co.

Have a good weekend all.
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."~ Plato ~
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby Serotonin on Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 pm

Hi Sweetie... a very warm welcome! We'd love to hear how you are getting on discovering Sylvian's music, past and new. I have converted a few people to Sylvian and they all say what a life-changing experience it's been. I also love Steve's amazing work. Two extremely talented brothers :D
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby Sweetie on Tue May 10, 2011 2:36 pm

Thanks for jogging my memory Serotonin - I was only thinking at the weekend I must get on here and let you guys know how I was getting on. Sorry if this post is a bit on the long side.

My credit card has taken a serious bashing and my Sylvian collection is growing. Why, I keep asking myself, has it taken me this long to explore more of David’s music - I’ve been missing out on so much :oops:

I’m not going to try and critique what I’ve discovered so far because from what I can see some of you on here do that so much more eloquently than I could. So I’m just going to say what I’ve liked and not liked, you can interrogate me further if you wish, but these are just my personal views, so don’t shoot me if you don’t agree.

Brilliant Trees
Three tracks I’m not keen on - Pulling Punches, Brilliant Trees and The Ink in The Well. Otherwise a good introduction to David's music after Japan. Most played track - Nostalgia.

Gone to Earth
Love all but one of the vocal tracks and that happens to be the title track. The instrumental pieces are ok, although some are a little repetitive for my liking. Favourite tracks are Taking the Veil, Laughter & Forgetting, River Man and Silver Moon.

Secrets of The Beehive
Love this one. If I had to pick just two favourites, I’d probably opt for The Boy With The Gun and Orpheus.

Rain Tree Crow
Brilliant - even the instrumental pieces! Most played - Black Crow Hits Shoe Shine City, Blackwater and Cries & Whispers.

Dead Bees on a Cake
Not keen on Pollen Path and still not sure about All of my Mother’s Names and Praise - maybe these will grow on me? Favourites would definitely have to be I Surrender and Wanderlust.

Everything and Nothing
This is what kicked my current obsession off!

Blemish
Getting into the more experimental realms here and I’m not sure it’s my cup of tea. The snippets you get on the likes of ITunes and Amazon probably don’t give a very fair representation of what the whole track is going to be like. I’d give this a listen if I could get the chance but I don’t know if I would buy it.

Nine Horses
More please! This is playing on my IPod constantly. AND, my husband has even allowed it in the car (in small doses, but hey, I'm not going to push it).The conversion begins!! Love Money For All, Get The Hell Out and Birds Sing For Lives as well.

Manafon, Sleepwalkers
Haven’t really got round to these two yet, although from the little I’ve heard on ITunes, it may be like Blemish, - too experimental for my taste.
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."~ Plato ~
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby inkinthewell on Wed May 11, 2011 4:21 pm

Sweetie wrote:Brilliant Trees
Three tracks I’m not keen on - Pulling Punches, Brilliant Trees and The Ink in The Well.

:smt018
Other than this little rebuke, I'd suggest you listen to Blemish in its entirety and more than once, maybe without giving too much importance to it (like: while you're dusting your living room). Give it a little time to grow on you, and, first, you won't regret it, and, second, if you find it interesting, it surely will help you appreciate Manafon, a much tougher beast to deal with musically.
But keep your husband at a safe distance! :lol:
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby Sweetie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:01 am

Oops, sorry Ink!! I’m sure you’re very nice! :D

I’m quite willing to approach Blemish, Manafon and Sleepwalkers with an open mind. I’m just not prepared to go out and buy or pay to download these without having a good listen to them first. I don’t know anyone who has these CDs, if I did I’d borrow them like a shot.

The converting of said husband is best done slowly I think. I’m taking a five-a-day approach and telling him it’s vital for his health. I can see an improvement already :lol:
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby inkinthewell on Fri May 13, 2011 9:31 am

Sweetie wrote:I’m quite willing to approach Blemish, Manafon and Sleepwalkers with an open mind. I’m just not prepared to go out and buy or pay to download these without having a good listen to them first. I don’t know anyone who has these CDs, if I did I’d borrow them like a shot.


Isn't there a good library near you from which you could borrow it/them?
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Re: Another newbie checking in

Postby Sweetie on Sat May 14, 2011 6:05 am

That's a good thought! :smt041

Have checked my local library online and they don't appear to have anything but The First Day, but I've sent them an email to check. Fingers crossed.
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