Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Essential - Lee Ranaldo

Lee Ranaldo needs no introduction - the conservative, unsung, hero of the magnum opus that is Sonic Youth.
Image from flowerscrackconcrete

For a musician who’s spent the last three decades aurally assaulting unsuspecting music fans, it is near criminal to attempt to throttle his impressive back-catalogue to three records. But, after much debate and procrastination, The Orbiting Beatnik presents to you the holy trinity of Lee Ranaldo records.

The Father
Lee Ranaldo – Between the Times and the Tides

Lee Ranaldo’s first full-length attempt as a singer and songwriter comes in the form of 47 minutes of stripped down rock’n’roll. Whilst No-Wave reminiscers expecting a noise-rock masterpiece may be disappointed that the inspirational touchstones for ‘The Times and The Tides’ comes in the shape of The Rolling Stones. This, added with the albums psychedelic overtones, accumulates in one damn fine rock’n’roll record.

The Son
Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

Often cited as the bands tour de force, Daydream Nation is where Ranaldo first grappled the microphone from his limelight-hogging bandmates and became everyone’s favourite Sonic Youther. From Ranaldo’s surrealist masterpieces ‘Hey Joni’ and ‘Rain King’ that incorporated Ranaldo bellowing hypnagogic lyrics over face-shattering guitar shredding, to the now legendary LSD & Warhol-influenced anthem ‘Eric’s Trip’. Ranaldo’s contributions to Daydream Nation are what make it a true masterpiece.

The Holy Ghost
Sonic Youth – Bad Moon Rising

The band’s schizoid sophomore album is No-wave noise rock at its finest. Ranaldo’s extensive use of prepared guitar in ‘I Love Her All the Time’ and brief stint on the acoustic guitar for ‘Ghost Bitch’ emphasises his sheer talent, and accumulates with one bloody brilliant record.

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