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Mike Bearden
Mike Bearden

Sublime - Greatest ((HOT))

A little over two years after Bradley Nowell's tragic death, Sublime released its second posthumous album, Stand by Your Van. Sublime never had the chance to tour the material from Sublime, which turned out to be their most popular album. That means that all 16 tracks on Stand by Your Van are taken from their first two albums, before Nowell's songwriting had truly come into its own. Nevertheless, he had several good songs on 40oz. to Freedom and Robbin' the Hood, and by consolidating the best moments from those two relatively uneven albums, the live record offers something of a "greatest hits" of their early years. If the performances aren't that different from the studio versions -- they're simply a little rawer, a little faster, a little looser -- they're still strong and energetic, capturing the essence of the group's live show. Ultimately, that energy is what makes Stand by Your Van the best posthumous Sublime record to date. Nobody outside of hardcore fans needs this record, but the quality of the music is better than either the What I Got... EP or the haphazard outtakes album Second Hand Smoke, and that alone makes its release somewhat noteworthy.

Sublime - Greatest

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The group played out the last months of the 1960s with a mixture of vinyl triumph and further tragedy. The sublime 'Honky Tonk Women' kept them at number 1 for most of the summer and few would have guessed that this was to be their last UK chart topper. The new album, Let It Bleed (a parody of the Beatles' Let It Be) was an exceptional work spearheaded by 'Gimme Shelter' and revealing strong country influences ('Country Honk'), startling orchestration ('You Can't Always Get What You Want') and menacing blues ('Midnight Rambler'). It was a promising debut from John Mayall's former guitarist Mick Taylor (b. 1948) who had replaced Jones only a matter of days before his death.[26] Even while Let It Bleed was heading for the top of the album charts, however, the Stones were singing out the 1960s to the backdrop of a Hells Angels' killing of an armed audience member at the Altamont Festival in California.[27] The tragedy was captured on film in Albert and David Maysles' Gimme Shelter cinematic release the following year. After the events of 1969, it was not surprising that the group had a relatively quiet 1970. Jagger's contrasting thespian outings reached the screen in the form of Performance and Ned Kelly while Jean-Luc Godard's portrait of the group in the studio was delivered on Sympathy for the Devil (as One Plus One was called for its 1970 release in the U.S.). For a group who had once claimed to make more challenging and gripping films than the Beatles and yet combine artistic credibility with mass appeal, it all seemed a long time coming. After concluding their Decca contract with a bootleg-deterring live album, Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, the Stones established their own self-titled label, Rolling Stone Records.[28]

By the second half of the 1970s the gaps in the Stones' recording and touring schedules were becoming wider. The days when they specially recorded for the singles market were long past and considerable impetus had been lost. Even big rallying points, such as the celebrated concert at Knebworth in 1976, lacked a major album to promote the show and served mainly as a greatest hits package.[31] By 1977, the British music press had taken new wave to its heart and the Stones were dismissed as champagne-swilling old men, who had completely lost touch with their audience. Against the odds, the Stones responded to the challenge of their younger critics with a comeback album of remarkable power. Some Girls was their most consistent work in years, with some exceptional high-energy workouts, not least the breathtaking 'Shattered'. The disco groove of 'Miss You' brought them another US number 1 and showed that they could invigorate their repertoire with new ideas that worked. Jagger's wonderful pastiche of an American preacher on the mock country 'Far Away Eyes' was another unexpected highlight. There was even an attendant controversy thanks to some multi-racist chauvinism on the title track, not to mention 'When the Whip Comes Down' and 'Beast of Burden'. Even the cover jacket had to be re-shot because it featured unauthorized photos of the famous, most notably actresses Lucille Ball, Farrah Fawcett and Raquel Welch. To conclude a remarkable year, Keith Richard escaped what seemed an almost certain jail sentence in Toronto for drugs offences and was merely fined and ordered to play a couple of charity concerts. As if in celebration of his release and reconciliation with his father, he reverted to his original family name Richards.[32]

The bishop sat in lordly state and purple cap sublime,And galvanized the old bush church at Confirmation time.And all the kids were mustered up from fifty miles around,With Sunday clothes, and staring eyes, and ignorance profound.Now was it fate, or was it grace, whereby they yarded tooAn overgrown two-storey lad from Tangmalangaloo?

"Come, tell me, boy," his lordship said in crushing tones severe,"Come, tell me why is Christmas Day the greatest of the year?"How is it that around the world we celebrate that day"And send a name upon a card to those who're far away?"Why is it wandering ones return with smiles and greetings, too?"A squall of knowledge hit the lad from Tangmalangaloo.

For France, Bordeaux and Burgundy may have had some hits but overall, they were misses. The Rhône had a few more hits but the undoubted star of France was Alsace. Many of the late-harvest wines were sublime and are likely to still be drinking well...

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