Pink Floyd’s The Wall

Jim and Greg conduct a Classic Album Dissection of Pink Floyd's landmark concept album The Wall.

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Legendary singer and preacher  Solomon Burke died last week at age 70. While Burke didn't have as many hits as some of his Atlantic Records peers, many, including producer  Jerry Wexler, considered him to be the greatest soul singer of all time. And, two of his tracks gained exposure through the movies: "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" in the Blues Brothers and "Cry to Me" in Dirty Dancing. But, one of Greg's favorite Burke recordings was actually released in 2002. Don’t Give Up on Me featured songs written for him by Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson and more. So to pay tribute to Solomon Burke, he plays a song from that record featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama called "None of Us Are Free."

The Wall

The Wall

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters has been busy touring the country performing the band's epic double concept album The Wall, 30 years after the first tour. Jim and Greg both saw this show, and it got them thinking about The Wall's status as a definitive classic album. Listeners know what that means...time for a Classic Album Dissection. Jim and Greg compare this record to Pink Floyd's others and discuss the personal nature of Waters' lyrics. They also pick their favorite tracks. Greg goes with "Mother," while Jim chooses "Run Like Hell."

Lonely Avenue Ben Folds

Lonely Avenue

Fans of Nick Hornby's books and criticism or Ben Folds' songwriting will be disappointed to hear that their new collaboration Lonely Avenue is not a "classic album." Jim is not a fan of Folds, but admits he's got serious chops. But the compositions are all over the place. And worse are Hornby's lyrical contributions. He panders to the worse clich'es, especially on tracks like "Levi Johnston’s Blues," which, yes, is about that  Levi Johnston. Greg was "appalled" by this project, and got the sense that the sometimes condescending lyrics were just crowbarred in. Both Jim and Greg give it a Trash It.


Jim needs a palette cleanser after that last review, so he plays an example of a case where someone from the literary world went over to the rock world, and it worked. William S. Burroughs collaborated with a number of musicians toward the end of his life. And on Dead City Radio, the beat writer read his work while accompanied by music from the likes of Sonic Youth, Donald Fagan, Chris Stein, and best of all according to Jim, John Cale. On "Ah Pook the Destroyer/Brion Gysin’s All Purpose Bedtime Story," Burroughs read while Cale played, and the two were a perfect match. Jim takes that track with him this week to the desert island. For more, check out the Sound Opinions interview with John Cale.

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