By Ryan Smith
It’s around that time again, so let’s take another trip back. For those who’ve just joined us, Back in 5 is a segment where we explore forward-thinking music of the past by going back ten years at a time and revisiting the current month in each respective decade. Beginning with deceptively simple Texas hard rock band Flyleaf, who yesterday released their fourth full-length album (and first with new lead vocalist Kristen May) Between the Stars. From here, let’s jump back ten years to…
Pop punk band Green Day release their seventh studio album American Idiot. The album is notable for being a concept album in a genre where concept albums aren’t usually made. While this writer still feels the band only really gives the illusion that they are doing something different from what they’ve been doing their whole career, American Idiot still produced some memorable singles that would give the band a staying power that their played out Dookie counterparts probably wouldn’t have.
Peter Gabriel’s concert film Secret World Live is released. The film, consisting mostly of songs from Gabriel’s Us album from 1992 and his iconic 1986 record So, features prominently the artist’s ability to entertain with choreographed theatrics and punchy arrangements. The all-star backing band for the film includes legendary bassist Tony Levin, powerful vocalist Paula Cole, and Gabriel mainstay David Rhodes on guitar. It would be the last project Peter Gabriel would be featured in all the way through until his radically different 2002 studio album Up.
Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. becomes the first compact disc (CD) manufactured in the United States as the continent’s first plant opens up in Indiana. This is a fantastic event for those of us who love CDs and don’t want to import them in from Europe or Japan, while at the same time a horrible event for those of us who can’t stand Bruce Springsteen…
English progressive rock band Supertramp release their third album, Crime of the Century. The album would be their commercial breakthrough in North America and in the UK. Boasting such fantastic songs as “School,” “Bloody Well Right,” and “Dreamer,” the album is by far this writer’s favourite by the band.
Manfred Mann release their debut album The Five Faces of Manfred Mann. The album stands out among those released by the band’s British Invasion peers and shows of the gleaming talents of its personnel quite effectively. Five Faces also showcases the band’s uncanny ability to re-imagine songs by other recording artists (eventually, keyboardist Manfred Mann, along with his Earth Band, would even make Springsteen listenable). Although not included on the initial UK release, the massive hit single “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” would be featured on the Canadian issue of the record, and on the American release The Manfred Mann Album, released days later.
That concludes this edition of Back in 5, I hope you enjoyed our look back at forward-thinking music of decades past! I’ll just leave you with Peter Gabriel’s hit song “In Your Eyes,” as performed in the Secret World Live concert film twenty years ago. Hell of an ensemble finish to the show, listen to the pipes on Paula!! Until next time, see you soon!
RYAN SMITH spends a great deal of his time under troll bridges shaking his fist and hollering obscenities at the mainstream, but occasionally finds himself on the side of a pop act that the underground has disowned. A schizoid fan for the 21st century? Although he has a diverse musical taste that runs the gamut from black metal to country to most forms of jazz, Ryan’s first love will always be progressive music.