All posts tagged: Virgin Records

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bob Mould, “Workbook 25”

Certain albums, for me, are forever attached to a memory – sometimes good, sometimes bad.  When I first bought/heard Workbook in the summer of ’89 on Virgin, it was an unhappy period – I was in a state of turmoil with my then-long-term girlfriend; my mother had died in the spring, The Punch Line had split up (for the first time) a few months previously and I was coming up on having to make decisions on my future with the end of my student days.  So the bleakness of that album fit my darkened mood – thus, I didn’t like it.  It wasn’t a salve; it was an aural reminder that my life (or my view at the time:  life in general) was shit and that I was surrounded by negatives.  Thus, I listened to it a few times, put it away and never thought about it again. Fast forward to a few years ago:  my father died, I parted company with my best friend of some 20 years; my marriage was in trouble and …

Popdose Flashback ’91: Joe Jackson, “Laughter & Lust”

Or, to borrow an album title from the Judybats, Pain Makes You Beautiful. In 1990, Joe Jackson had just signed a spiffy new deal with Virgin Records after spending 10 years and 11 albums under A&M. Many bands use the first album with a new label as an opportunity to make a fresh start and try new things (or, perhaps, sell out). Heart, for example, became a completely different band once they signed with Capitol, as did the Cure when they inked with Elektra. Heck, when Adam Ant signed with Capitol, he made an acoustic pop record. Jackson, however, had no interest in changing, diminishing returns be damned. In fact, Laughter & Lust is basically a stripped down version of its predecessor, Blaze of Glory (1989), with a recurring lyrical theme: The Bitch Broke My Heart. The first third of Laughter & Lust is, for the most part, drama-free, and shows off Jackson’s ever-sardonic sense of humor. “The Obvious Song” is a driving, ‘Wake up, world!’ rant, and the video he shot for it, featuring …