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[music, albums]

XXXIV: 1986 The Feelies - The Good Earth


The Feelies - The Good Earth

I have surprised myself again. This wonderful guitar album proves that there are still hidden treasures in my CD collection which needed to be rediscovered. The 40 years, 40 albums project fulfills its original purpose again.

The Feelies only released four records during their lifetime. This one, their second, was produced by REM's Peter Buck and is easily their most consistent and most accomplished effort.

Like another major American East coast indie band, I mean Yo La Tengo which must have been inspired by them, they come from New Jersey. Soundwise they point into the direction of Galaxie 500 and Luna (their drummer Stam Demeski was a member of the latter). Dreamy guitar pop with folkish roots. I hear something like the Velvet Underground tunes of around Loaded in a lighter, breezier way. There is also a West coast Paisley underground feel to the Feelies. More clear-sighted, juvenile and playful than psychedelic though. On The Good Earth we have wistful hymns which evoke the lost glories of youth, an amazing sense for melody coupled with tight drums grounding the music into mother earth. Glenn Mercer, the lead guitarist, has got the perfect unobtrusive voice providing an extra shyness and tenderness.

When I hear the dog barking in the beginning of When Company Comes I want to be there. Nature captured on record. Lovely is the word. Green pastures of bliss.

A forgotten gem of intricate simplicity going straight to the heart. If you like the sound of acoustic guitars this is for you. The last two songs should have been left off the record. They cannot sustain the quality of the first eight tracks. Still, almost thirty minutes of heaven are more than 99.9% of what all records offer. Have a taste of the opener On the Roof and tell me if you can resist. Or not.

Here is the overview of the series 40 years, 40 albums of which part XXXIV was this post.


 
 

schade, der link zum song tut nicht.

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pardon,

c'est corrigé.

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bon, merci )

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yay!

The first time (I think) you picked my choice. Gorgeous album. It was the first of them I heard and one of the first 'indie' albums I bought. It got a pretty raving review in a magazine I had just subscribed to, I think I picked it up because of Peter Buck's involvement (having discovered R.E.M. a few months earlier). "Slipping (Into Something)" is my favorite.
One of the bands that I feel sad about not seeing them live.

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nice review, alex. made me understand why you like it so much. it sounds quite australian indie to me. or maybe that's because aus indie sounds like everything else.

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thanks phil. the way you worded your comment carefully i suspect you don't like (australian) indie too much. or am i hallucinating there? the closest australian band to the feelies i can think of (i don't know more than a handful) are probably the sugargliders. though there is one big difference: the feelies are by no means twee.

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@willem

didn't you vote for doolittle? and maybe unknown pleasures?

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Alex, I don't remember too well what I voted for, checking the polls I think you may be right about Doolittle, but my 1979 choice might have been Buzzcocks...

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4 live covers by the feelies can be found here (thanks willem).

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