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We also stock new turntables by the fine folks at Audio Technica, plus a full line of vinyl accessories and supplies. We have been fully supporting Record Store Day events since We are especially proud of our kids section, stocked with thousands of new and "like new" picture books, chapter books, classics and non-fiction. Do you enjoy great music, books and films as much as we do? Anyone who has seen the Arkestra play during recent years, should keep a look out for a very young Knoel Scott in the scene of the band playing wildly on the rooftop near the beginning of the film.
The scene in which an out of work, white male NASA employee tries to impress Sun Ra with his knowledge of space in the hope of gaining employment, and fails dismally, is one of many highlights this low-budget, high concept classic. A skilled pianist as a child, Sonny as he was then nicknamed was composing and sight reading music by the age of 11 or While he was attending college or perhaps slightly later, while living in Chicago , he claimed he had a visionary experience during which he was taken to Saturn by otherwordly beings who impressed upon him the importance of his task, to speak through his music to the people of Earth.
Blount had long admired Henderson, who was a pivotal figure in the development of big band jazz and swing. This kind of experience gave Sun Ra the unique perspective of being rooted in the historical aspects of jazz, whilst his later career saw him becoming an originator of many future styles of music. Whatever styles and instrumentation he used and whenever he voiced his ideas, Sun Ra was always in the vanguard of musical experimentation and nonconformist philosophical thought.
One of five albums Sun Ra released in , Lanquidity is often cited, perhaps more than any other album, as being the one that first opened the door to appreciation of his music. Beginning quietly with ever-so-gentle drums, bass and the tinkling of Ra on organ, the track swiftly finds its footing and ascends, taking the listener with it in a gravity-defying exercise that is no less effective for its apparent simplicity. Put it on loud, close your eyes and dance on up through the ceiling as the triumphant denouement hits home.
I was only lucky enough to see Sun Ra play once before he died, but I can fully attest that the mood elevating qualities of his music have continued to live on in the current incarnation of the Sun Ra Arkestra. The desire to create was ultimately stronger than the lack of creativity, and if it meant hunting it down in unfamiliar locations, so be it.
Writing in the Bahamas and recording in Miami, working in different environs and with new people, had solidified a resolve that brought ABBA back to Stockholm with fresh impetus. Within two months, the rest of the material emerged in a tidal wave like the ABBA of old. But that isn't to say that it was all of a piece - indeed, the general chaos surrounding the making of Voulez-Vous translated into chaotic music, music that was at odds sometimes even within the same song, let alone the same album.
But finally, inspiration was there. The sonic palette of the record became an edgy, curious mix of disco beats, funk guitars, string arrangements, and traditional pop. The songs are a grab-bag of styles and sounds that make strange bedfellows yet somehow, texturally, complement each other. The deconstructed disco of 'The King Has Lost His Crown' merges an unorthodox, jazzy verse replete with electric piano that wouldn't be out of place on a mid-Seventies Steely Dan record with an angular, camp chorus that is surely one of ABBA's most unusual.
Descending chords, strings, and synths converge to create something oddly alluring but distinctly jarring. For all its disjointedness, the album boasts many classic catalogue moments — who can resist that moment in the made-for" mix on 'Voulez-Vous' where the arrangement hollows out and the "a-ha"s punctuate that perfect rubbery bassline; or the first chorus of 'As Good As New', which thrums along with a string and rhythm section like a proto-'Hounds Of Love'; even the elongated "believe" in 'I Have A Dream' is pure ABBA-esque ear candy.
Then what about the manipulated vocaliser in 'The King Has Lost His Crown' that builds into a climactic final chorus, or the skittering synth pulses in the midsection of 'Kisses Of Fire' that preface the camp drama of "losing you!
These moments leap out like glittering strobe lights at Alexandra's, the Stockholm club where the neon-hued album cover was shot. It marks something of a tipping point between their blockbuster commercial heyday and the monolithic artistic triumphs that followed at the dawn of the Eighties.
Simply put, it is arguably their most important record in a enabling them to continue as a group and b allowing the production of the albums that followed. It's the sound of a group torn between the elements - torn between following the trends of the day and setting their own agenda, between the traditional European music that had been their bread and butter and the quest for modernity, between shutting out the rest of the world, creating in isolation, and seeking inspiration outside of their comfort zone - literally.
By latching onto disco trends, it was both firmly of its time and incredibly out of place with what else was coming out of the contemporary music scene of the late Seventies; but it is telling that Sid Vicious, Pete Townshend, and Elvis Costello all professed a love for ABBA. While perhaps not their best work, Voulez-Vous was crucial in laying the foundations for arguably ABBA's two greatest records, 's Super Trouper and 's The Visitors , austere synth-pop classics with a depth of emotion that influenced an entire generation.
On those records, that insular cottage industry of the Polar Studios was completely fundamental to their success.
On Voulez-Vous , at a time of all-encompassing pressures, it was uncomfortable, punishing, and stifling. And that's why it's so interesting - it says a lot about what happens when chartbusting groups hit artistic walls. It says a lot about the fight to find inspiration, a lot about how the love of music and drive for creativity can override the destruction of personal relationships, a lot about what it means for artists who must struggle through difficult moments, through creative sludge, to achieve their greatest triumphs.
There's both an angular stiffness and a footloose abandon about the music, which is probably no surprise considering its tense and troublesome gestation. It's an example to follow for artists who find themselves at what appear to be consistent dead-ends. Forty years on, Voulez-Vous shows that sometimes dead-ends can become crossroads, if you keep plugging away.Born in Darmstadt, Germany, in Marc Behrens works on several cerebral and physical levels. His works mainly consist of concrete electronic music, installations, the occasional photograph or video.