The Best Fucking Collaboration Week Ever, Pt.2: Blue Rodeo – Just Like A Vacation

Hey folks! It’s The Best Fucking Collaboration Week Ever, Pt. 2!

Mike and Aaron will be doing simultaneous daily reviews of albums these two intrepid music reporters have sent to each other. Buckle up, buttercups, it’s gonna be a blast!

And you know what to do, right? For a better, more informative take on this album, go read Mike’s post. Go! Go! GO!

Ah, Blue Rodeo. I’ve always liked these guys. Funny, though, I’ve never collected all of their CDs. You’d think I would, given how much I like them. But everyone around me had them, or at least some of them, and it was no problem hearing a tune or three most places I went. Then Mike brilliantly gave me their first few records after he got the boxed set, and that gift blew my mind. So much greatness there.

Mike was surprised I didn’t even have this 2CD live set, and I said it was on my list and if I saw it, it would be mine. He went one better and sent it to me as a gift. Because Mike rocks. You all know this.

Confession: I’ve never seen Blue Rodeo live, though there were surely a million opportunities, over the years. Oversiiiiiiight! If you dig around in the KMA archives, though, I think James has seen them at least a couple of times…

Now, this was released in 1999… where was I, then? Living in downtown Montreal. Hey, there’s a tune on this set by the name Montreal! Great tune! Ahem. Anyway, I was deep into the Matador Records sound, at that point, as well as punk music and, while I have always really liked Blue Rodeo, I probably wasn’t playing their songs so much when this was released. Fair play, I do tend to go through phases, and living downtown in Canadian’s most awesomest city wouldn’t likely have made me wanna get my country roots rock on, so much.

So what to make of this set now, in 2016? Wowzers. It plays like a greatest hits set, and these guys have had A LOT of great hits. It’s crazy. Unfair to other bands, really. And on this set the band is on great form, and the versions are out of this world. I love the raw yet still clear and fun sound they achieved with this package. It totally leaves no doubt in your mind that this is a bunch of fantastic players, playing super-strong tunes, and making it all look and sound effortless. Seriously, when these guys get playing, the interplay between the instruments is magical.

On this collection, there are so many hits that even remotely casual fans would know, and some deep cuts that are equally worthy. Highlights include a brilliant Better Off As We Are (with awesome piano solo)… into a groovy Floating, again with the keys taking over as the track builds… into an After The Rain where the guitar slays… And then there’s…

Well. You know what, I’m not gonna go through all of this… Ha. You can tell what just happened there, right? I was writing as I listened and then I just realized that it’s not me being lazy, it’s truthfully that each song here is absolutely brilliant, and it’s a helluva lot easier for me to spare you all the effusive adjectives and just tell you to go buy this damn thing. Don’t believe me? Take a gander at THIS:

CD1
Til I Am Myself Again
What Am I Doing Here
Better Off As We Are
Floating
After The Rain
Fallen From Grace
The Ballad Of A Dime Store Greaser And The Blonde Mona Lisa
It Could Happen To You
Girl In Green
Try
Trust Yourself

CD2
Dark Angel
Cynthia
Montreal
Piranha Pool
Bad Timing
5 Days In May
Hasn’t Hit Me Yet
Diamond Mine
Falling Down Blue
Lost Together
Florida

I know, right? Hell YES!

IN SUM:

My huge thanks to Mike for getting this set into my hands. I’ve loved playing it, and I will continue to do so. And it reminds me that I need to get out there and buy up the albums I haven’t got. Every time I hear this band, I think damn, I need to make these guys a more permanent part of the rotation. 2016 should be my year to do so! And I was just in Taranna twice this past month, probably walked right past all the albums I need to fill in the gaps… Gah!

3 thoughts on “The Best Fucking Collaboration Week Ever, Pt.2: Blue Rodeo – Just Like A Vacation

  1. J. says:

    I just commented over at Mike’s that this is among the Blue Rodeo goods you sent me – haven’t really dug into that stuff at all, but definitely need to now. Great reviews!

    Like

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