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Tinyfish Wibble => Fishtank Virtual Album Club => Topic started by: AmazingWilf on January 15, 2012, 10:50:00 PM



Title: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 15, 2012, 10:50:00 PM
Thanks to James for suggesting this one to re-start the listening club...

Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream (1999)

(http://www.theeuropeanperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Porcupine_tree_stupid_dream.jpg)

Stupid Dream is the fifth studio album by British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree, first released in March 1999. It became the band's best selling album up to the time of its release.

The album was recorded at Foel Studios in Llanfair Caerinon, Wales, and at No Man's Land Studios at Hemel Hempstead, England. The production cost only 15,000. Strings were arranged by Chris Thorpe and Steven Wilson and performed by the East of England Orchestra.


Usual place for listening (http://www.theeuropeanperspective.com/?page_id=1196)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Mouse on January 15, 2012, 10:54:39 PM
Excellent!


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Ash on January 15, 2012, 10:55:06 PM
like the new voting categories


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: James_H on January 15, 2012, 11:06:52 PM
I can't see from my phone- does one of them contain the word "bobbins"?


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Mouse on January 15, 2012, 11:07:39 PM
It does indeed!  :D


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Briefly Icky Giantess on January 15, 2012, 11:19:11 PM
So pants is better than bobbins?


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 16, 2012, 07:21:17 AM
A bit pants is.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 16, 2012, 08:25:31 AM
I still listen to this a lot, and will be interested to see how others feel it has stood the test of time.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Briefly Icky Giantess on January 16, 2012, 10:18:54 AM
Why does the poll ask what I think of The Difference Machine? I thought it was Stupid Dream we were listening to this week?


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 16, 2012, 10:25:01 AM
Simple - I copied and pasted it from the previous post and did it wrong, as I'm sure you already guessed  :P

Can't change it now, so ner....


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Robert on January 16, 2012, 11:07:54 AM
Fixed.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Briefly Icky Giantess on January 16, 2012, 11:14:35 AM
I listened to this today for about the first time in a year. I *love* this album. I can't fault it at all. The production is detailed and mesmerising; the use of instruments and textures unexpected at times but always appropriate. The somewhat obscure and often bleak and disturbing lyrics, with references to the Moors murders and Christine Keeler, the bizarre Russian short wave transmissions, the rock-solid basslines, and above all Steven Wilson's voice (particularly when singing harmonies with himself) and guitar playing. He doesn't rate himself as a guitar player, but oh, the slide guitar (played with a napkin ring) on Even Less - and the exquisite solo. And it's got Theo Travis on sax and flute which just adds to the overal wonderfulness.

I can't decide whether this or Deadwing is my favourite PT album. Deadwing was the one I heard first; Stupid Dream is probably, by a short neck, the one I have played most.

Love it.  


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 16, 2012, 11:22:14 AM
Fixed.
Thanks Rob. Throb.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Robert on January 16, 2012, 11:31:20 AM
I listened to this today for about the first time in a year. I *love* this album. I can't fault it at all. The production is detailed and mesmerising; the use of instruments and textures unexpected at times but always appropriate. The somewhat obscure and often bleak and disturbing lyrics, with references to the Moors murders and Christine Keeler, the bizarre Russian short wave transmissions, the rock-solid basslines, and above all Steven Wilson's voice (particularly when singing harmonies with himself) and guitar playing. He doesn't rate himself as a guitar player, but oh, the slide guitar (played with a napkin ring) on Even Less - and the exquisite solo. And it's got Theo Travis on sax and flute which just adds to the overal wonderfulness.

I can't decide whether this or Deadwing is my favourite PT album. Deadwing was the one I heard first; Stupid Dream is probably, by a short neck, the one I have played most.

Love it.  

That persuades me. I shall buy it first and listen to it second.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Briefly Icky Giantess on January 16, 2012, 11:50:25 AM
Oh no, the responsibility!  :o

Hope you enjoy it.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 16, 2012, 12:52:31 PM
Should be interesting...


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Robert on January 16, 2012, 02:56:49 PM
HMV in "being a bit useful" shock.

Got the special edition with the DVD-A and all the extra gubbins in the nice hardback book for 12.

Will iPod and listen this evening...


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Briefly Icky Giantess on January 16, 2012, 03:03:29 PM
Envy! I only have the pleb's version  :'(


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: MikeEvs on January 16, 2012, 03:07:27 PM
Will have to check that I still have the CD I think I do but I know at one point I gave it to my friend Owain as at the time he liked it more than me but you couldn't get it anywhere so I gave him my CD.  A few years late when I started to like PT a lot more I got the CD back :)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Robert on January 16, 2012, 03:10:56 PM
Will have to check that I still have the CD I think I do but I know at one point I gave it to my friend Owain as at the time he liked it more than me but you couldn't get it anywhere so I gave him my CD.  A few years late when I started to like PT a lot more I got the CD back :)

You probably won't get it back unless you join The Reasoning...


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 16, 2012, 03:17:31 PM
I have a few different versions  :D

I have a promo copy with a sticker on the front stating which tracks to listen to if you are pushed for time.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 16, 2012, 03:23:38 PM
The version on here is the reissued 2006 one, which is what I have on CD.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 16, 2012, 03:29:22 PM
The revamped 2006 edition of the album features new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes, and completely new artwork. The DVDA additionally includes bonus 5.1 tracks, the stereo mix in higher resolution 24bit audio, the video for Piano Lessons, and a photo gallery. The 2 LP vinyl also uses the new stereo mix, as well as including the 2 bonus tracks in stereo.

The 2 bonus tracks are Ambulance Chasing and the full version of Even Less.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Robert on January 16, 2012, 03:45:18 PM
That's the one, although the photos in the booklet are duller than a very dull thing in a dull sauce. Hopefully the ones on the DVD are better.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Trace on January 16, 2012, 05:37:02 PM
Ooh, second song (I think), sounds like the intro to an Atlanta Rhythm Section track, I was enjoying that.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Purrdey on January 16, 2012, 06:45:37 PM
I agree completely with Catherine, some of my fave PT songs on here.i love how every PT album is different.  I also have a soft spot for SW after our little cuddle ;-)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: James_H on January 16, 2012, 07:06:54 PM
Listening now in 5.1 for the first time... Quite an odd mix, actually, sounds like a different album.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Bert on January 16, 2012, 08:16:30 PM
This was the first PT album I bought way way back. I know i definitely had it in 99/00.

It was actually one of those "bargain bin" purchases. i think I was probably browsing, probably in HMV when I noticed the cover. I may have recognized the band name from reviews in Mojo or such like. Anyway an impulse buy for me.

It took me a while to get into it, in fact I took it into my office at the time and my PA (we all had them then ;) ) kept playing it on the CD player. I'd only really got as far as the first track (Even Less) and I liked Tinto Brass, but every so often I'd listen and hear those brilliant de-tuned metal chords that SW uses, but what struck me about them was that they have that "loud but not loud" production. In fact the production as whole stood out for me, words like supple, smooth but at the same time weighty and full bodied come to mind. Reminded me of the Floyd actually.

The drumming also stood out - Chris Maitland is a brilliant drummer. Anyway, long story short, my interest was piqued and developed into wholesale admiration of SW and PT from that point on (although I missed out Lightbulb Sun as it got a dreadful review in Mojo so I didn't bother at the time, only pickig up again when In Absentia came out).

As for the album, it's really stood the test of time. Quality songs, excellent playing and a production masterclass. An object lesson to any band I would suggest. As time has gone on, I appreciate much more the nuances and my 2 fave tracks are Baby Dream In Cellophane and the awesome A Smart Kid - what an atmos ! That guitar and keyboard call and response figure is just icy and so evocative. You can just imagine being the character in the song.

Barbieri is in top atmosphere creating patch mode on the whole album.

I now prefer the full length version of Even Less, but that's just me.

It's quite Floydian but without being obviously so and is a cornerstone album in the PT canon linking the psychedelia of the first albums with the more direct but harder edged stuff that the band has developed over the years. Interestingly, I detect more of swing back to this style in SW's writing for both The Incident and Grace For Drowning.

It's tempting to position SW as above criticism and is the saviour of all things prog, which I don't think he is, but he's a brilliant innovator and has a keen ear for sounds, melody, texture and production. There are sounds here that are echoed in a myriad other prog bands these days (it's getting a bit samey sometime tbh) but this is a fantastic album which I don't think will disappoint many people.

Not a cast iron classic (I reserve that for The Incident, FOABP and possibly Signify) but a second string PT album is still worth any number of hackneyed copyists. Highly recommended and a good shout.

Prog Fact - Johnny Mitchell auditioned for PT to play the role now performed by Jon Wesley in live gigs.
 


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 17, 2012, 02:48:51 PM
A straight 5-star album...it all comes together here, a perfect combination of the older, psychedelic, ambient PT and impeccable songwriting, and it doesn't have the "ooh, I've remembered how much I like metal" rifforama of some of the later albums.

This may be my favourite of theirs, or it may be The Sky Moves Sideways or Signify, but they're faves for different reasons. The earlier albums are 'proggier', very ambient and lush; Stupid Dream (and Lightbulb Sun, for that matter) is all about the songs, albeit building on the sound palette that they'd perfected before.

It still sounds so, so fresh - nice one for suggesting it, James.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Uncle Bulgaria on January 17, 2012, 03:02:27 PM
Hmmm - I'm tempted by the CD/DVD-A combo from HMV, but I'll be sensible and listen to it first - I have not got on with a lot of PT's more recent stuff, although I liked The Incident (although nowhere near as much as Grace For Drowning).


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Briefly Icky Giantess on January 17, 2012, 03:11:13 PM
The Incident has yet to grab me in the way that Stupid Dream has.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 17, 2012, 03:19:22 PM
It has it's moments, but there's a lot of filler on The Incident. And it's very dreary.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 17, 2012, 03:23:11 PM
I was very interested to see Bert's comment, because I think The Incident very much points back to the Stupid Dream era.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: AmazingWilf on January 17, 2012, 03:25:43 PM
(Hmmm...maybe Henry Cow next week...)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Simon on January 17, 2012, 04:25:15 PM
This is going to interesting. It's not a PT album I've heard so I'm looking forward to giving it a spin.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Trace on January 17, 2012, 05:07:42 PM
I didn't like the early Delirium stuff too much, and the recent albums have left me cold, but this actually sounds quite enjoyable. I need another listen.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Bert on January 17, 2012, 07:39:55 PM
Hmmm - I'm tempted by the CD/DVD-A combo from HMV, but I'll be sensible and listen to it first - I have not got on with a lot of PT's more recent stuff, although I liked The Incident (although nowhere near as much as Grace For Drowning).

i think you'll be fine with this if you like GfD and The Incident.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Ash on January 18, 2012, 07:56:20 PM
Sorry - I put this under Dame miserable indie music.  It's ok, definitely does not sound dated but just not upbeat enough for me.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: MikeEvs on January 19, 2012, 08:43:49 AM
Hadn't listened to the album as a whole in a while so enjoyed listening to it again last night, gave it a 4 in the vote above as I think they have better albums that are more worthy of being top banana :)



Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Trace on January 19, 2012, 09:51:19 AM
Possibly the first PT album that I have almost 'enjoyed'. Previously they'd all come across as dreary stodge.
It looks as if I may have some investigation of this era PT to do.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Simon on January 19, 2012, 12:07:27 PM
The thing about PT is they have very obvious phases in both their sound and style. It's something I find quite interesting as there aren't many bands out there who have such noticeable differences in their musical strata. Genesis and Radiohead are the only two that really spring to mind that come close in that particular respect.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 19, 2012, 12:15:19 PM
I always used to think Rush did their albums in threes, with a live album inbetween each stage.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Brom on January 19, 2012, 12:47:00 PM
Hadn't listened to the album as a whole in a while so enjoyed listening to it again last night, gave it a 4 in the vote above as I think they have better albums that are more worthy of being top banana :)

Ditto. "Even Less" is a fave, I really, really like the (trademark?) synth lead that morphs into noise on the held notes. Barbieri uses that a lot on Deadwing which is definitely my fave PT album for loads of different reasons.

Listened to SD again last night and realised that I do not know it as well as I thought I did. So for now it's 4 stars.



Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 19, 2012, 12:58:40 PM
Listened to SD again last night and realised that I do not know it as well as I thought I did.
And that is what this whole thing is about  :)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Bert on January 19, 2012, 01:16:06 PM
I always used to think Rush did their albums in threes, with a live album inbetween each stage.

In that case, I can see why you became a lawyer rather than a mathematician then James  ;D




Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 19, 2012, 01:28:34 PM
I always used to think Rush did their albums in threes, with a live album inbetween each stage.

In that case, I can see why you became a lawyer rather than a mathematician then James  ;D




Oh, it was in fours.  Oops  :D


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Mouse on January 19, 2012, 11:39:43 PM
I was introduced to Porcupine Tree by way of the Warszawa live album. It's made up mostly of tracks from Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun and it gripped me and let me know I had stumbled upon something special when I first heard it. Thinking back, I remember being taken by how the songs were songs, but they grew and evolved with the instrumentation. What the band played was concise and very well arranged, even with the longer pieces. They still had those experimental 'far out' moments, but it sounded like everyone was moving along in the same direction musically. I think those qualities are displayed especially well on Stupid Dream.

The opening track, Even Less, is my favoured example of how a relatively simple song structure is exapanded and evolved by the band. Richard Barbieri's atmospherics really give an environment for the music to inhabit, giving it a rather cinematic view. There is a very bright, live room sound to the drums throughout the album (something I think SW has developed as a production characteristic throughout his career) and Colin Edwin's bass lines always do their job to keep the rhythm and the pace flowing. But it's not just moody atmospheric wanderings on this album. Piano Lessons is, dare I say it, a fun song. Full of quirkiness and an up-tempo beat, it really jumps out and dances around. It and other songs from the album allude to the so-called indie style, akin to Radiohead and Wilco especially, I find. I suppose that comes from nearly all of the tracks sounding like they were written on an acoustic guitar, or certainly written to be performed on one. It's certainly a quality in such music that Porcupine Tree tend to make that I find very favourable.

I'm losing the ability to type proper sentences that make sense, so I'll close by saying that I think this is my favourite Porcupine Tree album. Every quality that the band is known for is displayed here equally and everything seems to be in its' right place. It doesn't outstay it's welcome and it never tries to be anything other than itself. Lovely stuff.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 19, 2012, 11:45:37 PM
You can see the video for Piano Lessons here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG8XYiqlFA8&feature=related)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Uncle Bulgaria on January 23, 2012, 09:35:28 AM
Liked it - so have bought it. Also bought the cd/dvd of Lightbulb Sun as it was also on Amazon reasonably cheap.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Mouse on January 23, 2012, 11:07:23 AM
If you liked Stupid Dream, I think you'll like Lightbulb Sun. They're certainly two of my favourites.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Bert on January 23, 2012, 11:29:41 AM
Lightbulb Sun is SW's "pop" album.

It's got Shesdmovedon on it, which is a song that was once very close to my blackened heart.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 23, 2012, 11:39:19 AM
I've always thought of Stupid Dream (or certainly parts of it) as being his 'pop' album - I can't help thinking that Four Chords That Made A Million was partly a commentary on what did not happen...


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: RobH on January 23, 2012, 12:08:43 PM
I listened to most of this last night, and I rather enjoyed it.  This could have been because of what I listening to just before it.  I'll listen again later this week and then cast my vote.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Bert on January 23, 2012, 12:10:54 PM
I've always thought of Stupid Dream (or certainly parts of it) as being his 'pop' album - I can't help thinking that Four Chords That Made A Million was partly a commentary on what did not happen...

It's about Oasis.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 23, 2012, 12:14:01 PM
I've always thought of Stupid Dream (or certainly parts of it) as being his 'pop' album - I can't help thinking that Four Chords That Made A Million was partly a commentary on what did not happen...

It's about Oasis.

I know that.

But I cannot help thinking it is also about more than that.  I suspect Mr Wilson thought some of the toonz on Stupid Dream would lead to a greater commercial impact than actually happened, and that is a subtext against which 4 Chords was written.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Bert on January 23, 2012, 02:36:10 PM
I've always thought of Stupid Dream (or certainly parts of it) as being his 'pop' album - I can't help thinking that Four Chords That Made A Million was partly a commentary on what did not happen...

It's about Oasis.

I know that.


Sorry  :P


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Mouse on January 25, 2012, 01:53:55 PM
Well, I didn't. Thank you, Bert.  :)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Bert on January 25, 2012, 02:19:40 PM
Well, I didn't. Thank you, Bert.  :)

You're welcome Mouse  :)


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: A James on January 25, 2012, 02:28:51 PM
Spammers.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Briefly Icky Giantess on January 25, 2012, 02:32:15 PM
Better take the plank out of your own eye first, SpamBot.


Title: Re: W/C 16th January 2012 - Porcupine Tree - Stupid Dream
Post by: Teacher Travelling on January 29, 2012, 12:41:08 PM
Hmmm - I'm tempted by the CD/DVD-A combo from HMV, but I'll be sensible and listen to it first - I have not got on with a lot of PT's more recent stuff, although I liked The Incident (although nowhere near as much as Grace For Drowning).

Go for it - you can't go wrong with a SW 5.1 mix and this is a quality album. I agree with the comments that GFD and parts of The Incident hark back to this era PT, and all the better for it with room for a lighter touch on the melody and even some glimmers of hope among the darkness and bitterness (by FOABP - great album though it is - I thought PT were becoming a bit of a parody of themselves in the miserableness stakes). I gave this a 4 - there's just something lacking for me to be a great album, not sure what, perhaps a bit meandering. I bought Lightbulb Sun some years after this (since it appears less often on PT recommended lists) and found it stronger, perhaps more focused - I would definitely recommend that one - and with the DVD-A too, of course.