Diamanda Galás (born 1955) is an American-born avant-garde performance artist, vocalist, keyboardist and composer of Greek heritage.
Artist: Diamanda Galas
Release Year: 1994
Record Label: Mute
Personnel: Diamanda Galás (vocals, keyboards); John Paul Jones (keyboards).
1 Do You Take This Man? * (edit) 6:08
2 Hex * (La Diabla Mix) 8:03
3 Do You Take This Man? 6:08
Total: 20 minutes + 19 seconds.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerhouse
Let me qualify my review by saying I’m a bass player and come to this album because of John Paul Jones. I admire his attitude and musicianship, and love the sound of 8 string bass.
This is a tour-de-fource of musicianship. I’ll start from the bottom and build up. Pete Thomas’ drumming is spot-on, heavy, and really rocks when you turn the volume up a bit. I hope you have good bass response! Pete Thomas comes to this album by way of his work with Elvis Costello. Hes hard hitting, accurate, simple, subtle, complex. Everything you would expect Bonzos bass player to want in a drummer.
From what I understand, John Paul Jones wrote many of the riffs and brought them to Diamanda Galas to have her add the vocals to. This is evident in the way the vocals sometimes overlap the changes. The bass playing is superb, and more accessible than on his first solo album Zooma. Many of the riffs remind me of Led Zeppelin riffs. Don’t get me wrong, this is far from recycled Zeppelin. Far from it. Let me put it to you this way. Between Page/Plant and this album and Zooma you get a real sense of who did what in Zeppelin.
So while Page and Plant seem to be content reliving former glory, John Paul Jones is quietly pushing a few envelopes. As innovative and bombastic as Zeppelin ever was, this challenges my ears, and simply rocks.
By the way, its difficult to describe the sound of an 8 string bass… Think of what Pearl Jams Jeremy might sound like if covered by PJ Harvey.
Now for the top. I heard Diamanda Galas won a solo of the year award for her singing. Her range is impressive and intimidating – 8 octaves. In interviews Jonesy said that she simply blew him away. That they brought the tapes over for her to track vocals to, and she did these songs in one take. These songs were recorded as they should be. In one take.
Rest assured, the are not doing this to make money, they are not doing this to further their careers. They are doing this to make music. A rare thing in today’s world. Something we, as a society, need to nurture, and encourage. If you’re looking for the cure to the MTV world of everything-sounds-the-same, this is a good place to start looking. If you have the courage.