Jellyfish – Bellybutton

Jellyfish - BellybuttonIt’s really too bad Jellyfish split up, because from the sound of this album and its solitary follow-up, they could have amassed a following as the premiere pop group of the 1990s. These guys really enjoyed making their music, and their joy in doing so is evident just from listening to it. If you need proof, listen to the goofy song “Now She Knows She’s Wrong”. I remember hearing “The King Is Half-Undressed” several years ago on MTV and disregarding the entire song until the bridge, which consists of some absolutely entrancing Beatlesque-going-on-ELO harmonies, and it turns out the rest of Bellybutton was at least as good as that one song, if not better. I have to single out “The Man I Used To Be”, “Bedspring Kiss” and especially the sobering “She Still Loves Him” – about a woman trapped in an abusive relationship – for special 4 out of 4praise. These guys could make some music. Sadly, after one more album, Jellyfish broke up, though some of its members are still active, even if their output is somewhat obscure. I highly recommend this album to you, and it’s hard to miss – it’s got the ultra-colorful, trippy cover featuring the band members looking for all the world like they’re auditioning for a live-action movie about the Smurfs!

Order this CD

  1. The Man I Used To Be (4:34)
  2. That Is Why (4:16)
  3. The King Is Half-Undressed (3:47)
  4. I Wanna Stay Home (4:06)
  5. She Still Loves Him (4:32)
  6. All I Want Is Everything (3:44)
  7. Now She Knows She’s Wrong (2:36)
  8. Bedspring Kiss (5:03)
  9. Baby’s Coming Back (2:57)
  10. Calling Sarah (4:03)

Released by: Charisma
Release date: 1990
Total running time: 39:38

Howard Jones – The Best of Howard Jones

Howard Jones - The Best of Howard JonesThis definitive collection of Howard Jones’ singles is a must if, like me, you’re a student of pop music of the ’80s. Featuring singles as early as “New Song” (believe me, you’ve heard this, even if you don’t think you have), “Things Can Only Get Better”, the familiar Phil Collins-produced version of “No One Is To Blame”, “Life In One Day”, later songs such as “Everlasting Love” and “Lift Me Up” and a newly recorded cover of Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y.”, this album probably has whatever you’re looking for unless you’re 3 out of 4hunting Howard Jones obscurities. Very good!

  1. What Is Love? (3:42)
  2. New Song (4:15)
  3. Pearl in the Shell (3:59)
  4. Always Asking Questions (3:41)
  5. Things Can Only Get Better (3:57)
  6. Order this CD Like To Get To Know You Well (4:01)
  7. Life In One Day (3:39)
  8. You Know I Love You…Don’t You? (4:05)
  9. Hide and Seek (4:49)
  10. No One Is To Blame (4:12)
  11. Look Mama (4:05)
  12. The Prisoner (4:40)
  13. Everlasting Love (4:20)
  14. Lift Me Up (3:40)
  15. Tears To Tell (4:19)
  16. Two Souls (4:23)
  17. I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World) (5:04)
  18. City Song (7:20)

Released by: Elektra
Release date: 1993
Total running time: 78:11

Jellyfish – Spilt Milk

Jellyfish - Spilt MilkJellyfish added a new dimension to their 1970s-inspired pop sound by allowing more than just a little influence from Queen sneak into their second – and, due to the quick breakup of a very promising band, last – album. From the opening lullabye number right into the immensely Queen-esque “Joining A Fan Club”, it’s obvious that Jellyfish assimilated some of the best and most distinctive trademarks of Freddie Mercury and friends. The precision of the vocal harmonies on this album are amazing to hear, as is the hauntingly familiar hard-rock-and-thrashing-vocals approach, also inspired by Queen. The only thing that really tips one off that this is not Queen is the absence of Brian May’s unmistakable guitar 4 out of 4harmonies. Despite the influx of that particular style, Jellyfish didn’t entirely abandon their original sound, as can be heard in “New Mistake” (my personal favorite) and “Ghost At Number One”, though they also demonstrate a great aptitude for good old-fashioned low-tech rock with “Glutton Of Sympathy”. It’s really sad that the band fell apart after this one – it showed more promise than most bands I’ve heard this decade.

Order this CD

  1. Hush (2:10)
  2. Joining a Fan Club (4:03)
  3. Sebrina, Paste and Plato (2:23)
  4. New Mistake (4:03)
  5. Glutton of Sympathy (3:49)
  6. The Ghost at Number One (3:37)
  7. Bye, Bye, Bye (4:02)
  8. All Is Forgiven (4:10)
  9. Russian Hill (4:45)
  10. He’s My Best Friend (3:44)
  11. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late (3:15)
  12. Brighter Day (6:12)

Released by: Charisma
Release date: 1993
Total running time: 46:13