I've always loved the year end "Best of" lists, but I get all discombobulated regarding when what came out, or I forget that something came until it's too late.
So, in that spirit, how about some "Best of 2006" that are from BEFORE 2006, but that you formed a relationship with in 2006?
I have a few in mind.
1) Phil Manzanera had a good year in 2005. He released "6pm," "50 Minutes later," and "Vozero," all between June and October of that year.
If you like Phil, or have a taste for something that has trace of that old Roxy Music vibe, these albums are pretty consistently good.
There are moments on each where you'd give pause and say, "Hey, what the Hell was Buddha talking about, this cut isn't good at all," but the general content of these three discs is probably 85% to the good, 8% to the unremarkable, and 7% to the "jump to the next track" variety.
I have no clear cut favorite, but I played 6pm first, so I probably have a bit of a bias toward it because I heard it before the others.
Also, I hear Phil is on board for this year's (2007!) new Roxy Music disc that will be including Eno!
2) Two discs of reggae covers:
Toots and the Maytals, "True Love."
Technically, I guess it's not really a "covers" album, 'cause all the sings are Toots songs to begin with, but they get a surprisingly fun infusion of that "duet energy" that can really be nice when it works. (I'll spare y'all the examples of duets discs where that most certainly does not work.)
The Fi is surprisingly high, if a little compressed with that typical upper bass emphasis and loss of air in the treble, but for reggae, that isn't such a deal killer, and they mic'd the voices very well.
It came out in 2004, but I didn't really think to mention it until I was trying to recall my favorite 2006 releases. All in all, I'm only two years out of date, which makes me more up to date on this subject than it does my house chores.
The other reggae covers nugget is "Is It Rolling, Bob?"
"Rolling" is a two LP set (I've only heard it on vinyl) that consists of a collection of Bob Dylan tunes morphed into the reggae idiom, kind of in the same vein as the "Fire On The Mountain" series that covered Greatful Dead songs.
The fi is pretty high here, too, and the song selection and presentation work remarkably well.
Unlike some covers discs where the novelty wears off after exactly one listen (two, tops,) this set remains on my play list.
Maggie's Farm is worth a listen, for sure.
I even like this album when I feel like being an audiophile. The vinyl is flatter than Nicole Richie and quieter than Michael Jackson at a deposition. I