August 12, 2011

Free For All Friday, August 12, 2011

Food Fight!

Hey, kids! Welcome to Free For All Friday, where we throw random stuff at the wall to see what sticks. It’s like a musical food fight! What’s on the menu today, you ask?

Today’s selections include:

1 – An anniversary edition of one of rock’s all-time great albums
2 – A rocker’s strange new venture
3 – Brainy musicians

Eat up, rock stars!

Achtung Baby

Achtung Baby

If you’re a serious U2 fan like me, you’re connected to each word, each chiming guitar note, every Bono grunt and groan the band has recorded. The Joshua Tree is easily one of the most important recordings of my lifetime, and it will always be on my Top Ten Desert Island Albums of All Time. But although that album was the crowning achievement of their early sound, U2’s “modern sound” (if you will) came roaring in in 1991, courtesy of the phenomenal Achtung Baby.

If I’m being totally honest, at first listen, I was a little iffy about it. I actually remember hearing “Mysterious Ways” and thinking to myself, “Why is U2 ripping off Jesus Jones?” (“Right Here, Right Now”, anyone?) I originally thought it was a weak attempt to sound “hip”. Boy, was I wrong. Currently, Achtung Baby stands as one of my all-time fave albums (proudly holding a spot in the Top Ten alongside Joshua Tree), not only for it’s incredible tracks, like “One” and “Even Better Than the Real Thing”, but also because it stands for sheer, unabashed courage. What other band – The Beatles excluded – has dared to change their sound (and their image!) so dramatically after they were already established as bonafide rock stars? Maybe you can think of one – I can’t.

Well, here’s some awesome news for you U2 lovers out there: To mark twenty years since its 1991 release, the Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Edition is due on November 1, 2011, in the United States.

Here’s a little excerpt from the press release:

“The Achtung Baby archives have unearthed some previously unreleased songs from the recording sessions. With a raft of unreleased material, video, remixes, b-sides and documentary footage discovered, a full album of demo and early versions of the final 1991 tracklisting has also been revealed. Five physical editions including vinyl, CD, DVD and digital options will be made available.”

You can find full details of all formats of the Achtung Baby 20th Anniversary Edition at

Strange Days Indeed


These are, in fact, some strange days. Folks like Tom DeLonge of Blink-182, might say, “strange times”, which, if you’re wondering, is my top-notch segue into Tom’s new venture outside of Blink!

Strange Times is a “news” website that has all the normal stuff, like technology, politics, science and entertainment, but it also features weird but fun facts, conspiracy theories, and sections on UFOs, aliens and shadow governments, among much more. I’ve checked it out and it’s a lot of fun!

And bonus points to anyone who was thinking, “Most peculiar, mama”, after reading the title, “Strange days indeed.” If you have to ask why, you must not be old enough to remember Mr. Yoko Ono…

Smarter Than Your Average Bear

Leave it up to this article in the Huffington Post to tell me something I already knew… 😉

Musicians Are Probably Smarter Than the Rest of Us

See you next Friday, kids!

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Jim Bowley is a professional guitarist, teacher and blogger. A native of Baltimore, he has over 30 years of playing experience and an advanced degree in Music Education from Towson University. Jim lives in Bel Air, MD where he maintains a thriving private lesson studio and performs with his band, Remains of Radio.

© 2012 Jim Bowley All rights reserved.
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