By Ryan Smith
Welcome back my friends to another edition of Back in 5. 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. Alternative rock greats Bush have released their sixth studio album Man on the Run this week. If it’s anything like their last record, the stellar 2011 album The Sea of Memories, we’re in for a real treat! With this album as October 2014’s marker, let’s jump back to:
Folk rock artist KT Tunstall releases the False Alarm EP, the precursor to her arse kicking debut full-length Eye to the Telescope. While the EP features only a handful of songs, and hardly the best of the bunch that appear on the full-length album, it does showcase the richness of Tunstall’s voice, her touching songwriting ability, and the way she revamps a classic style into a very hip and fresh sound that is distinctly her own. The EP is also notable for containing the excellent EP-exclusive track “Throw Me A Rope.”
Progressive metal pioneers release their third studio album Awake. While the record would go on to become a fan favourite, the band’s label is less than enthusiastic about its inability to perform to the degree that Images and Words’ “Pull Me Under” did. This would launch a very short attempt by the band to produce commercially viable music. The album is also notable for being the band’s last with keyboardist and founding member Kevin Moore. Standouts on the album include “Innocence Faded,” “Caught in a Web,” and the lead single “Lie.”
U2 release their fourth studio album The Unforgettable Fire, which, with Brian Eno co-producing, presents a more abstract approach than previous records. The record includes the single “Pride (In the Name Of Love),” a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., the band’s most successful up to this point. In a couple of months, my mum will give my father a copy of this record for Christmas in my name, myself having been born the past March.
Prog rock legends King Crimson release Red, their seventh studio album, after founding member Robert Fripp announces that the band has ceased to exist. The album is a brilliant and powerful swan song for this era of the band, bringing founding member Ian McDonald and early mainstay Mel Collins back into the fold, albeit briefly. The record would become an instant fan favourite and the band would be revived with a new line-up in 1981.
Emerging folk duo Simon & Garfunkel release their debut album Wednesday Morning, 3 AM. While not initially very successful (the duo would split temporarily due to this), the album does include a bare bones acoustic version of their song “The Sound of Silence,” which would be remixed to include electric guitar and percussion on the next record. The popularity of the remixed track would bring retroactive success to Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.
That’s a wrap on another edition of Back in 5, I hope you enjoyed our look back at forward-thinking music of decades past! I’m leaving you with the biggest track from that record my infant self gifted to my father on Christmas 1984, U2’s The Unforgettable Fire. See you next month!
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.