Friday, December 22, 2023

The 25 Bargain Buys of Xmas: Day 22

Much of my calendar year, every year, is spent sifting through record store bargain bins, estate sales, etc. and digging into the acquisitions. I win some and lose some, but I never write about it on AuxOut even though it accounts for a huge portion of my listening and discovery. In honor of the season of presents, I am celebrating some of the gifts bestowed upon me by the record gods during 2023.

Peter Gabriel - So CD $0. 
This is my dad's domain but I figured "fuck it, it's free". My most vivid memory of Peter Gabriel is him looking like a buffoon in a 90s SNL performance, trying (and failing) to synchronize pathetically simple choreography with his 40-something bandmates. Yet, some people talk about him like he's "an artist" so, for zero dollars, the edification was worth the price. Pete sings like Sting so that sucks, but I found a lot to enjoy otherwise on So. Both Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson pop up on the record, which shouldn't have surprised me given his appearances on their records, and while Pete ≠ Kate nor Laurie, it does say something that he asked them to be on his record. He's not the visionary that Bush or Anderson are, but he uses the Fairlight a bunch and comes up with plenty of interesting textures. He can also write a hook ("Big Time" and "Sledgehammer" are dumb fun for the whole family), even if he doesn't know when to edit. (The verses of "In Your Eyes", great. The chorus of "In Your Eyes", barf.) So was his big hit record, and it works very well as an 80s hit record; now, for the first time, I'm interested in exploring what Gabriel did before achieving hitmaker status.

A playlist of tunes from each of the records I wrote about, I'll add a new song each day:

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