Red-headed stepchildren...

June 21, 2012 9:59 AM

This is a phrase unSane used on a recent thread (my wife is a redhead, so shhhhhhh). Anyways, I was thinking about albums that have been overshadowed by more popular ones in a band's ouvre. What little wallflowers do you hold a torch for?

One of mine is Steely Dan's 1975 Katy Lied. This little waif has some great tracks: Bad Sneakers, Rose Darling, Any World. In Dr Wu we have a foretaste of the magnificent splendours of 1977's Aja. There is at least one stinker though - the uncharacteristically shambolic "Everyone's Gone to The Movies" which at best is a b-side imho.

Also - the production is bone dry. Which is my current schtick. A kind of dry old schtick therefore (someone call an ambulance as I believe my sides have just split)
posted by MajorDundee (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I'm so out of touch with what's considered well-regarded and whatnot that I couldn't even begin to know how to answer this kind of question, but for my money (and I'm not sure if this even counts) I still prefer the bootleg, Jon Brion-produced version of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine to the officially release, Mike Elizondo-produced version.

And on that note I would guess that Fiona Apple's debut album is still listened to more often than either version of Extraordinary Machine, but in my opinion Extraordinary Machine is just so much better in every way possible: it's more lyrical, emotional, even more theatrical (but in a good way).

Not sure if that makes any sense at all but there it is.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:10 PM on June 21, 2012

Makes perfect sense and is a good example of a wallflower album. Made me want to hear it - which is kind of the objective here.....
posted by MajorDundee at 2:43 PM on June 21, 2012

pink floyd - obscured by clouds
jethro tull - benefit
the bangles - all over the place

and most of all, crazy horse's first album, which has been obscured by everything they did with neil young and is every bit as good as those albums are - the original of "i don't want to talk about it" is on this and puts all covers to shame - nils lofgren, ry cooder and jack nitzsche join the band - it's a forgotten classic
posted by pyramid termite at 3:06 PM on June 21, 2012

Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm has never really gotten the recognition it deserved IMO. I could listen to it all day, and have. I particularly love it because it's a concept album and who the fuck makes concept albums any more?

There's not a duff track on the album, and I've kind of written my own mental narrative to it now, which kind of expands it.
posted by unSane at 7:50 PM on June 21, 2012

God you will hate me for this, but I still love Pablo Honey by Radiohead! It is so unpretentious and has a great sound.
posted by marienbad at 5:00 AM on June 22, 2012

Hey Major, while I'm sure you've covered this already IRL, I think one of the most under-appreciated and under-rated albums by one of the biggest bands ever is Led Zeppelin's CODA.

I don't think it's the best of LZ, but because most of the songs are out-takes or practices prior to real-takes, there is some sense of liveness or intimacy. I bought this album when it first came out in '82 or '83 and thought it was kinda shit, but I grew to appreciate it pretty quickly.

There's just something about the very raw and simple sound of most of the tracks that appeals to me. Like if the neighbor kids playing in their garage actually had any talent.
posted by snsranch at 9:22 PM on June 22, 2012

God you will hate me for this, but I still love Pablo Honey by Radiohead!

I had a word with Big G about this and he just shrugged and said "I'm good with that....whatever". So relax marienbad....
posted by MajorDundee at 10:27 AM on June 24, 2012

'Everyone's Gone to the Movies' is not a stinker or a b-side. It sounds like it's about some sleazy rich guy luring kids to his house. And he's sort of sadly singing to the kids (or the cops) trying to convince them he's just this lonely super nice guy who wants the kids to have fun. All over a cheeky marimba beach-rock beat with a dissonant electric piano solo and 50's tiki drum outro.

The best bits are the bits where he says 'Come on...'
posted by TheRedArmy at 11:00 AM on June 30, 2012

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