Monday, May 3, 2010

Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting


I think it quite fitting this review follows the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds one as I always thought Johnette could probably do a lot of his songs very well (there's another for the list you started, Mine).  Her voice can be suitably menacing and dark when she wants it to, which would perfectly suit any number of Cave's songs.

Bloodletting was another of those albums I heard a lot of when it came out but never actually owned (the benefit of living in group houses for so many years, I guess).  Even so, it's surprising to me how many of the songs on this album I knew well.  Joey I could do without hearing again, but Bloodletting (The Vampire Song), Caroline and The Sky Is A Poisonous Garden are great tracks, even if they sound dated by their production.

Then there's the final track.  I was a fan of Andy Prieboy (more from his Wall Of Voodoo days) and used to play Tomorrow Wendy in my guise as an acoustic solo musician.  However, Concrete Blonde's version is my favourite of this song.  I love the stripped back arrangement and Johnette's voice is perfectly suited to the melody.  It also reminds me I need to see if I can find Wall Of Voodoo on CD.  Yes, yet another on the ever-growing list.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP except for Joey...


The biggest regret I have about Concrete Blonde is the time I didn't see them.  I'd travelled to London where I was staying with friends, and it was my first night in town.  I'd grabbed a Time Out and saw they were playing, and tried to inveigle someone to accompany me.  but unfortunately they were all skint, and I didn't feel confident enough to navigate the Underground solo with so little experience.  So I thought I'd catch them in Australia.  But I never did.

Just as a side note, it's been quite unnerving having the US Secretary of Homeland Security be Janet Napolitano, because when I hear her name on a news report I always think they're talking about CB's lead singer Johnette Napolitano and I get all excited and then - not so much.

But listening to Bloodletting is like catching up with an old friend.  The title track, also known as the Vampire Song, just toodles around in my head for hours and hours afterwards.  Joey was the commercial hit and you can hear why that's so, but my favourite is the closer, the cover of Andy Prieboy's Tomorrow Wendy.  Which is sad and beautiful and deep and wistful .


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In our collection we also have Mexican Moon

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