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Concrete Blonde, "Recollection"

11/22/06 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Reviews

Link: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:w8ge4jn72wav

Concrete Blonde were an alt-rock band who appeared in the early '80s, hit their high point in the early '90s, and for all intents and purposes vanished a little afterwards. It's too bad. When good, they were very good.

The reason I'm writing this at the moment is "Recollection", a greatest hits retrospective, has come onto the player. Normally I just leave the MP3 player on shuffle until I hit a track and want to hear more of its source album. This is one of those times.

Collecting some of the highlights of the albums from the start through to the mid 90's, it contains all of the known singles (such as "Bloodletting", "Caroline" and "Joey", all off the "Bloodletting" album) and a number of the better album tracks ("Walking In London", "Mexican Moon" off their respectively named albums.) With the exception of a lacklustre live version of "Mercedes Benz", it's a very strong collection. It does omit anything more recent than "Mexican Moon" so other great tracks such as "Roxy" and "Violent" off "Group Therapy" or "True To This" off "Mojave" don't make the cut.

One of the problems I always had with Concrete Blonde was that their albums tended to be a real curate's egg. You'd go from superb tracks to noise and back again. Sometimes they avoided that -- "Bloodletting" and "Mexican Moon" are pretty even -- but generally you'd end up skipping tracks because of irritating entries like "Hey Coyote" off "Mojave" or indeed anything where the lead vocalist decided to howl instead of sing.

If you can find a copy of "Recollection" for sale -- it's out of print now -- and don't want to sample the other albums, give it a whirl. You won't be disappointed.

Edit, 2006/11/25: Pulled the comment about the origin of the name of the band as the best citation for it I could find was on Gizmodo, and I could find plenty of cites for a different origin.

 

3 comments

Comment from: Lorelei [Visitor]  
Lorelei

I’d forgotten about Concrete Blonde. Your review was a pleasant reminder. :)

I had no idea what the name meant, either. I always figured that a Concrete Blonde was just the opposite of an Abstract Blonde, but that’s probably just because I’m a nerd. :p

11/24/06 @ 22:13
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  

Oh dear. You couldn’t possibly instantiate an Abstract Blonde, though. You’d get something from a Blonde Factory and then pass it off as an Abstract Blonde, but a casting agency (dynamic ones, for sure) would probably be able to suss out that it was really a Concrete Blonde.

I think Adam would prefer not these sorts of off-the-factory Blondes, but would probably prefer a Singleton Blonde :)

11/26/06 @ 00:53
Comment from: Lorelei [Visitor]  
Lorelei

How about a Singularity Blonde? ;)

11/28/06 @ 20:48
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