Sunday, November 02, 2008

Back Catalogue

As regular readers of my blog will know, I quite like the Canadian band The Tragically Hip. Unfortunately getting their stuff over here isn't that easy, so as my sister-in-law, Abby, was going on holiday to New York a few weeks ago, I asked her to hunt me down some albums. She duly did, filling two gaps in my collection.

I've done this with bands before - retroactively collecting the back catalogue - and yet again I find myself tracing the musical evolution of a particular sound. One album Ab got me was the Hip's eponymous debut, and you can see how on a few tracks the riffs and melodies were precursors to the songs which appeared on their second album, Up to Here.

But the other interesting thing is hearing the progression when you listen to their first four albums in a row. By the time you reach their fourth album, which could arguably be considered their best, they have defined their own sound to the point where playing the first and fourth albums back-to-back sounds like playing albums by different bands. But they had to produce the one in order to get to the other, and that later sound couldn't have happened without the earlier, more-amateur record being made. Well, I find it interesting...

The other thing is that in the other album Ab got me is a card denoting me as a member of "The Hip Club". Oh, yeah.

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