All posts filed under: Popdose Flashback

XTC

HEAVEN IS PAVED WITH BROKEN GLASS…: XTC’s “English Settlement”

I can remember that icy and wet Saturday in late February, 1982 as my friends and I made our way into the city on our usual Saturday record trek – that was the routine.  Meet at the ferry; walk up Broadway to Prince Street and start hitting all the record stores.  One of our favorites was Bonaparte’s – The British Record Shop (full name, on the awning) located in what later became Bleecker Bob’s (which was originally near the corner of 8th Street, on MacDougal); this was right before they closed (which was devastating).  Bonaparte’s had everything punk/new wave in a great atmosphere.  The window-lined racks always had that particular week’s new releases – albums were usually $7.99; singles $1.99 (remember – these were imports). On this particular Saturday, I was actually there to get something before I started browsing; I had to have the new XTC album, which just made it over to these shores.  It was called English Settlement; it was a double album and XTC were one of my favorite bands, along …

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Kiss Go Through Hell For “Hotter Than Hell”

It is nearly impossible to imagine a world without Kiss at this point. Whether you are a full-on soldier in the Kiss Army or you can’t stand them at all, you are always made aware that they exist even now. Gene Simmons’ combination of business savvy and brazen brand-whoring assures that. In October of 1974, however, things were much more tentative. A small group of fans had gravitated to that weird first album of theirs, more than a passing nod to one of Simmons’ idols The Beatles. The demonic kabuki makeup and glitter-bomb logo told a different story. Even in the rough ‘n ready world of hard rock in the early 1970s, the eponymous debut rougher, which is a polite way of saying it was recorded on the relative cheap and sounded that way. Even with the benefit of a little more money and a better recording studio, 1974’s Hotter Than Hell still wasn’t going to become an audiophile’s demo disc for their “killer stereo setup.” The material that would comprise Hotter Than Hell would …