Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Alphabet Soup II (S)

Hello, Alphabet Soup serves up S's today. As i was standing for my cabinet looking at the S-seventies vinyl, i passed by a number of established candidates, then towards the end i felt a burst of nostalgia as i held an album i've rarely (if ever) had played before, but which epitomized part of my teens...indeed nostaligic neurotoxins flooded my brain....The Sweet fused bubblegum melodies with crunching, fuzzy guitars, they racked up a number of hits in both the U.K. and the U.S Most of those hits were written by Chinn/Chapman, they were smart enough to latch on to the British glam rock fad of the early seventies, whilst building a safer, radio-friendly and teen-oriented image. Their hit singles lived on not only as cultural artifacts, but also as the predecessors for the pop-metal of the '80s....Disavowing the punk rock roots shared by many of their alt-rock contemporaries, the Smashing Pumpkins have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, arena rock, shoegazer-style production and, in later recordings, electronica. They broke into the musical mainstream with Siamese Dream , after nearly completely braking down recording it Yet somehow the anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan's nightmare-land linked up to the outside world and the rest as they history....finally a double bill of a band that has released under 2 hours of original material but has build a big reputation on their 3 albums none the less. The Shins's retro pop nuggets blend the finer aspects of classic acid rock with surrealistic lyrics, independently melodic basslines, jangly guitars, echo laden vocals, minimalist keyboard motifs, and a myriad of cosmic sound effects. They excel at sounding happy, sad, frustrated, and vulnerable at the same time, and bursting with nervous energy. How contemporary is that..very i would say..i had some fun merging the two covers into an 'original'...

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The Sweet - Sweet 16 ( ^ 99mb)

Originally, the Sweet were called the Sweetshop and consisted of Brian Connolly (vocals), Mick Tucker (vocals, drums), Frank Torpey (guitar), and Steve Priest (bass). In 1970, the group truncated their name to Sweet and signed a record contract with Fontana/EMI, releasing four unsuccessful singles. Following the failure of the four singles, Torpey left the group and was replaced by Andy Scott. The new lineup of Sweet signed to RCA Records in 1971, where they were placed under the direction of songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Chinn and Chapman wrote a number of light bubblegum pop songs for the group, the first of which, "Funny Funny," reached number 13 on the U.K. charts. Following "Funny Funny," the duo wrote five more Top 40 hits for the group -- including "Little Willy" and "Wig-Wam Bam" -- which were all lightweight bubblegum numbers loaded with double entendres. During this time, Sweet were writing their own B-sides and album tracks. All of the group's compositions were harder than Chinn and Chapman's songs, featuring crunching hard rock guitars. Consequently, the duo decided to write tougher songs for the group. "Blockbuster," the first result of Chinn and Chapman's neo-glam rock approach, was the biggest hit Sweet ever had in the U.K., reaching number one on the charts in early 1973 and eventually going platinum. For the next two years, Sweet continued to chart with Chinn and Chapman compositions, including the Top Ten hits "Hell Raiser," "Ballroom Blitz," "Teenage Rampage," and "The Six Teens."

By the summer of 1974, the members of Sweet had grown tired of the control Chinn and Chapman exerted over their career and decided to record without the duo. The resulting album, Sweet Fanny Adams, reached number 27 in the U.K., but it yielded no hits. In the spring of 1975, Sweet had their first self-penned hit with "Fox on the Run," which reached the Top Ten in both the U.K. and the U.S. "Fox on the Run" appeared on the collection Desolation Boulevard; in America, it's release helped "Ballroom Blitz" reach the Top Ten in the summer of 1975. Strung Up, released in the fall of 1975, continued the group's move toward album-oriented rock. For the rest of the decade, the group continued to churn out albums, which were all less successful than their predecessor. Sweet bounced back into the charts in 1978 with "Love Is Like Oxygen," but the single proved to be their last gasp; they never reached the Top Ten again, neither in the U.S. or the U.K.

Connolly left the band after "Love Is Like Oxygen" and the group replaced him with keyboardist Gary Moberley. The group carried on for three more years, releasing three more albums that all achieved little success. After several years of little success or attention, Sweet broke up in 1982. In the decade following their breakup, Sweet reunited on various occasions. In 1985, a dance club medley of their hits called "It's the Sweet Mix" became a British Top 50 hit and, following the single's success, the group re-formed for a tour.

Incredibly, it took until 1984 for the Sweet to be gifted with the all-consuming greatest-hits collection they truly deserved, but the wait was surely worthwhile. Literally a journey from alpha to omega, Sweet 16 was precisely that -- 16 of the biggest hits the band ever scored, with a couple of puzzling omissions (the debut smash "Funny Funny" and its follow-up, "Co Co") more than remedied by the inclusion of some lesser-known goodies (1971's under-performing "Alexander Graham Bell," 1974's LP track "Rebel Rouser"). Even more rewardingly, listeners actually get to enjoy a happy ending the masterful "Love Is Like Oxygen" .

01 - Alexander Graham Bell (2:54)
02 - Poppa Joe (3:08)
03 - Little Willy (3:13)
04 - Wigwam Bam (3:00)
05 - Blockbuster (3:11)
06 - Hell Raiser ! (3:16)
07 - Ballroom Blitz (3:59)
08 - Teenage Rampage (3:34)

09 - Rebel Rouser (3:23)
10 - The Sixteens (3:59)
11 - Fox On The Run (3:24)
12 - Action (3:35)
13 - Lies In Your Eyes (3:14)
14 - Stairway To The Stars (2:43)
15 - Lost Angels (3:11)
16 - Love Is Like Oxygen (3:42)

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Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream ( 93 ^ 134mb)

The Smashing Pumpkins formed in Chicago in 1988. Their debut album, Gish, was released on Caroline Records in 1991 to unexpected success and acclaim. After the release of Nevermind later that year, the Smashing Pumpkins were hyped as "the next Nirvana". Siamese Dream was recorded mainly between December 1992 and March 1993. The band relocated to Triclops Studios in Marietta, Georgia for the album sessions, so they could avoid local friends and distractions. Butch Vig reprised his role as producer after working on their debut album Gish. Corgan's desire for musical perfection put further strain on the already frayed relationships between the band members. By the time recording was completed, Corgan and Vig were emotionally exhausted. Siamese Dream was released on July 27, 1993. The following week it debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts. In 2003, the album was ranked number 360 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

After they broke into the musical mainstream with Siamese Dream. The Pumpkins built their audience with extensive touring and their follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing sales hampered the band and led to a 2000 break-up. In April 2006, the band officially announced that it was reuniting and recording a new album. Returning members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin replaced original members James Iha (guitar/vocals), D'arcy Wretzky (bass guitar/vocals) with Jeff Schroeder (guitar/vocals), Ginger Reyes (bass/vocals), and Lisa Harriton (keyboard/vocals) who joined in 2007 to tour in support of their new release, Zeitgeist.

01 - Cherub Rock (4:57)
02 - Quiet (3:42)
03 - Today (3:19)
04 - Hummer (6:57)
05 - Rocket (4:06)
06 - Disarm (3:17)
07 - Soma (6:39)
08 - Geek U.S.A. (5:13)
09 - Mayonaise (5:49)
10 - Spaceboy (4:28)
11 - Silverfuck (8:43)
12 - Sweet Sweet (1:38)
13 - Luna (3:20)

diet version
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream ( * 99mb)

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Shins - Oh Inverted World, Chutes Too Narrow (01, 03 67min

A classic guitar pop group almost nine years in the making, Albuquerque, NM's the Shins began in 1997 as the side project of singer/songwriter and guitarist James Mercer's primary band, Flake. Mercer formed Flake in 1992 with drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall, and bassist Neal Langford; they eventually changed their name to Flake Music, releasing several singles, a well-received album, When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, and touring with friends like Modest Mouse and Califone. By 1999, Flake (now Flake Music) had disbanded and its former members became The Shins. The Shins embarked on a tour with Modest Mouse, during the tour, they were met in San Francisco by a Sub Pop representative, who asked the Shins to contribute a single to the label's Single of the Month Club, which eventually became an offer to release their 2001 single New Slang and their debut album, Oh, Inverted World. The group spent the rest of the year touring with acts such as Preston School of Industry and Red House Painters. The release of singles such as "Know Yr Onion!" and "The Past and the Pending" kept the Shins' success going into 2002, cementing Oh, Inverted World as one of the definitive indie rock albums of the early 2000s and the Shins as one of the style's definitive bands.

By the time the band recorded their second album, Chutes Too Narrow, Langford was replaced on bass by Dave Hernandez (ex-Scared of Chaka). Chutes Too Narrow followed in 2003 to much fanfare in indie music circles, featuring even more multi-layered lyrics, as well as a musical approach that explored new genres, song structures, and levels of production fidelity. During live shows, the band members (particularly Crandall and Hernandez) are known to frequently swap instruments. The follow-up, Wincing the Night Away, appeared in January 2007 and sold over a staggering 100,000 copies in its first week. The Shins had never before hit higher than number 86 on the Billboard charts, but the album's sales snagged the guys a debut spot of number two. Despite having been leaked to the Internet on October 20, 2006. It was nominated for a 2008 Grammy award in the category of best alternative music album.

Shins - Oh Inverted World (^78mb)

The Shins present a collection of retro pop nuggets that distill the finer aspects of classic acid rock with surrealistic lyrics, independently melodic basslines, jangly guitars, echo laden vocals, minimalist keyboard motifs, and a myriad of cosmic sound effects. Lead singer James Mercer's lazy, hazy phrasing and vocal timbre, which often echoes a young Brian Wilson, drifts in and out of the subtle tempo changes,all of which illustrate this New Mexico-based quartet's adept knowledge of the progressive/art rock genre which they so lovingly pay homage to.

01 - Caring Is Creepy (3:20)
02 - One By One All Day (4:09)
03 - Weird Divide (1:58)
04 - Know Your Onion! (2:29)
05 - Girl Inform Me (2:21)
06 - New Slang (3:51)
07 - The Celibate Life (1:51)
08 - Girl On The Wing (2:50)
09 - Your Algebra (2:23)
10 - Pressed In A Book (2:55)
11 - The Past And Pending (5:24)

Shins - Chutes Too Narrow ( ^ 79mb)

Expectations for their second album were high, especially since fans had to wait two and a half years for Chutes Too Narrow. Restrictions and reversals abound in the Shins' music, from the names of their albums to their short-yet-circular songs and the often contradictory feelings they pack into them. They excel at sounding happy, sad, frustrated, and vulnerable at the same time, and their best songs, whether they're fast or slow, feel like they're bursting with nervous energy. The carefully crafted words and melodies keep the listener wanting, and coming back for, more.

12 - Kissing The Lipless (3:20)
13 - Mines's Not A High Horse (3:20)
14 - So Says I (2:49)
15 - Young Pilgrims (2:49)
16 - Saint Simon (4:23)
17 - Fighting In A Sack (2:49)
18 - Pink Bullets (3:53)
19 - Turn A Square (3:12)
20 - Gone For Good (3:12)
21 - Those To Come (4:24)

diet version
Shins - Oh Inverted World, Chutes Too Narrow (01, 03 67min * 99mb)

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

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