18.02.2018: What a great knock out: Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali beats all four of The Beatles with one hit in 1964 in Miami. But even „The Greatest“ couldn’t stop the British Beat Invasion! Beatlemania ruling.



Record Collection N° 4: Oasis

On my record shelves:  Several CDs of Oasis, but not even one LP.

Browsing again through my record collection for further inventory I discovered that I do not have any vinyl LP of Oasis on my record shelves. I guess Oasis were the first band I liked that I experienced totally on CD – besides live concerts of cause – just like their Britpop opponents Blur or later favourites of mine like the Arctic Monkeys.

At the beginning I was quite fascinated by the whole Oasis thing for the obvious reasons. I even bought every new single on CD, when I flew to London for doing interviews there. But I don’t own these singles anymore, because I sold all the CD singles I had at once, packed in an oversized box, because they were occupying too much space and offered not enough music.

So all in all, I found six Oasis CDs in my record collection, from the Gallagher brothers rousing album debut Definitely Maybe, released in 1994 and its brilliant follow-up (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? to the totally over the top third album Be Here Now from 1997, which I think is still underrated, and the highly interestingly compiled rarities compilation The Masterplan, issued one year later, a turning point in their career. Afterwards all things went down the pan.

Only the live double Familiar to Millions, recorded and released in the year 2000, could remind us of their glory. Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, released in the same year, couldn’t do that. One of the new songs even raised the crucial question – „Where Did it All Go Wrong?”. I mainly kept the album in my collection because its release gave me the chance to meet Liam Gallagher in a London café for a long, intense, interesting interview.

The reportedly limited edition of the career overlook Time Flies… 1994-2009 is the last Oasis release that’s on my record shelves. It encompasses three CDs and one DVD, the first two CDs concentrate on the singles, 27 of them, but they are not in chronologic order and album key tracks like „Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” or „Champagne Supernova” are sorely missing – so I still prefer going back to the first three original Oasis albums.

The third CD of the Time Flies… 1994-2009 box contains their last recorded live show up to date – on July 21st, 2009 at The Roundhouse in London. The DVD collects all 38 Oasis videos, commented by the band.

After Oasis split up, the Gallagher brothers continued their family feud which tore apart their band, accompanied by mostly mediocre musical projects. Listening now to their latest quite good solo albums raises another crucial question: As Liam Gallagher could need a better songwriter and Noel Gallagher definitely needs a better singer for his songs – why don’t they join forces again?

Nevertheless, the clash of their gigantic egos seemed to go on forever. But surprisingly just before Christmas the Gallagher brothers reconciled officially – a big Oasis reunion, a hopefully great new album in 2018 or 2019 and a glorious comeback tour could be possible now. They could learn a lesson from their former foes Blur.

My Top 14 Books Of 2017

Mit einem guten Buch kann man nie falsch liegen.

Was das Lesen anlangt, da halte ich es mit Jochen Distelmeyer, der auf seiner superben 2016er Coverversionen-Platte Songs From The Bottom Vol. 1 mit einem Song von Nick Lowe bekennt: „I read a lot“. So mache ich das auch, mit großer Hingabe, und das schon seit der Volksschule, als ich mir sonntags immer in der vom Pfarramt betriebenen Dorfbibliothek ein paar Bücher auslieh, um sie unter der Woche zu verschlingen. Lesen als Freifahrtschein in die ganze weite Welt und retour ins eigene Leben, schon damals. 2017 habe ich an die vierzig Bücher und mehr gelesen, etliche neue, die besten davon sind unten aufgelistet,  aber noch mehr ältere, etliche Krimis und Musikbücher darunter. Und meine Bücherliste für 2018, mit Büchern, die  ich in der Bibliothek entlehnen oder in einer Buchhandlung meines Vertrauens kaufen will, ist schon am dritten Tag des neuen Jahres lang. Mitte Februar erscheint dann der zweite Teil meines 2017er Romanfavoriten: Das Leben des Vernon Subutex 2, Pflichtlektüre.



Erzählliteratur / Fiction

N° 1 Virginie Despentes Das Leben des Vernon Subutex (Kiepenheuer & Witsch)

N° 2 Kurt Palm Strandbadrevolution (Deuticke)

N° 3 Chris Kraus I Love Dick (Berlin)

N° 4 Andrea Camilleri Die Spur des Lichts (Lübbe)

N° 5 Donna Leon Stille Wasser (Diogenes)

N° 6 Tim Parks Der ehrgeizige Mister Duckworth (Goldmann Taschenbuch)

N° 7 Joachim Meyerhoff Die Zweisamkeit der Einzelgänger (Kiepenheuer & Witsch)



Sachliteratur / Non-Fiction

N° 1 Wolfgang Kos 99 Songs. Eine Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Christian Brandstätter Verlag)

N° 2 David Sax Die Rache des Analogen. Warum wir uns nach realen Dingen sehnen (Residenz Verlag)

N° 3 David Hepworth Uncommon People. The Rise and Fall of The Rock Stars (Bantam Press)

N° 4 Tony Beesley Mojo’ Talkin’ (Days Like Tomorrow Books)

N° 5 Helen Russell Hygg Hygg Hurra! (Fischer Taschenbuch)

N° 6 Robert Misik Christian Kern. Ein Porträt (Residenz Verlag)

N° 7 Michael Behrendt I Don’t Like Mondays. Die 66 größten Songmissverständnisse (Theiss)

My Top 40 Albums Of 2017

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Guess I’m feeling very Dinner for One like in the moment, compiling finally my end of the year music list: Same procedure as every year.

In some respects, especially in political, social and ecological terms, 2017 wasn’t a very good year. But musically it was a very good one. An abundance of fab, fine music, new and old was released or reissued for listening pleasure. Here are my 40 favourite albums of 2017, as always chosen totally subjectively and incorruptly. This is what I really liked in 2017 and what I listened to mostly on vinyl or CD, but sometimes also on some mobile devices when I’ve been on the way. Cheerio, Miss Sophie!

N° 1 Molden, Resetarits, Soyka, Wirth Yeah

N° 2 Brent Cash The New High

N° 3 Bilderbuch Magic Life

N° 4 Nick Heyward Woodland Echoes

N° 5 The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967/2017, 50th Anniversary Edition)

N° 6 5/8erl in Ehr`n Duft der Männer

N° 7 Lana Del Rey Lust for Life

N° 8 Thievery Corporation The Temple of I & I

N° 9 The XX I See You

N° 10 Don Letts Presents Culture Clash Radio

N° 11 Neil Young Hitchhiker (aufgenommen 1976, veröffentlicht 2017)

N° 12 Dan Auerbach Waiting on a Song

N° 13 David Crosby Sky Trails

N° 14 Ed Sheeran ÷ Divide

N° 15 Wanda Niente

N° 16 The Style Council Cafè Bleu (1984/2017)

N° 17 Saint Etienne Home Counties

N° 18 Paul Weller A Kind Revolution

N° 19 Stone Foundation Street Rituals

N° 20 New Street Adventure Stubborn Sons

N° 21 Imelda May Life Love Flesh Blood

N° 22 Charlotte Gainsbourg Rest

N° 23 Bertrand Burgalat Les choses qu’on ne peut dire à personne

N° 24 LCD Soundsystem American Dream

N° 25 Phoenix Ti Amo

N° 26 Prince Purple Rain (1984/2017)

N° 27 Kamasi Washington Harmony of Difference

N° 28 Little Steven Soul Fire

N° 29 Bob Dylan Triplicate

N° 30 Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie

N° 31 Harry Styles Harry Styles

N° 32 Haim Something to Tell You

N° 33 Van Morrison Roll With The Punches

N° 34 Robert Plant Carry Fire

N° 35 PP Arnold The Turning Tide (aufgenommen 1969/70, veröffentlicht 2017)

N° 36 The Rolling Stones On Air (aufgenommen 1963 – 1965 für BBC Radio, veröffentlicht 2017)

N° 37 U2 Songs of Experience

N° 38 Feist Pleasure

N° 39 Morrissey Low In High School

N° 40 Angus & Julia Stone Snow

A Few Days In Vienna, Vol. 2

Museum Art: The Photography of Robert Frank & From Monet to Picasso.

Here’s some more about the few days I recently spent in Vienna. After my daughter’s first contact with the Viennese alma mater, where she was shown around and visited some lectures and pro-seminars, we were lucky and still had some time off. After having lunch at a fine restaurant I went to often in previous years, when I still was frequently in Vienna for business reasons, we were visiting two impressive exhibitions at the fabulous Albertina Museum.

The first exhibition showed the impressive black and white photography of Swiss-US-American photographer, cinematographer & filmmaker Robert Frank, born in 1924 in Switzerland. He got famous for the grim aesthetics of his black and white shots that exposed a more realistic view of the „American Way of Life” of post-war America, dominated by racism, violence and consumer culture.

His most important work is his photo book The Americans. It was first issued in Paris in 1958, because back in the United States Frank couldn’t find a publisher willing to print it because of its socio-critical content. When it was released more than a year later in the US, the photographer could convince legendary Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac to write a foreword and joined the Beat guys circle round Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg.

A decade later Robert Frank designed the cover for the Rolling Stones’ 1971 double LP Exile On Main Street with plenty of frames of Super-8 film footage. In 1972 he directed Cocksucker Blues, the infamous documentary about the Stones’ North American tour of that year, which is never shown in its uncensored original version because of all the cloying excess happening there.

Today the 93 years old photographer lives by turns in New York City and Mabou, Nova Scotia in Canada.

His celebrated photo book The Americans also stands in the centre of the Albertina exhibition; it’s augmented by a lot of other brilliant photography from trips through Europe and some of his vanguard short movies.

This exhibition is still running till January 21, 2018 and I can only highly recommend it.

The second Albertina exhibition we visited was From Monet to Picasso. An unbelievably great show with wonderful paintings in abundance – by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso and other great artists like Paul Signac, René Magritte, Henri de Tulouse-Lautrec, Paul Cèzanne, Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas, Paul Gaugin, Miró, Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Kokoschka, Albin Egger-Lienz and more. It ranges from Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Expressionism to the Russian Avant-garde and Picasso’s stunning cubist art.

Basically it’s a permanent exhibition with paintings from the so-called „Collection Batliner”, owned by the Albertina, and regarded as one of the most important collections in Europe of classical Modernism.

We hadn’t very much time left then, but it was really great to see many paintings finally in real which I previously only knew from art catalogues or photographs. And I’m sure we’ll come back to spend some more quality time in awe of this magnificent works of art.

Of course this exceptional exhibition is highly recommended, too.