"Don't go mistaking paradise, for that home across the road"

- Bob Dylan
 

Oar (album) by Alexander Spence 

This album At A Glance
Oar
Oar by Alexander Spence (1969)
Overall rank: 1,914th   Overall chart history
Average Rating: 
77/100 (from 74 votes)
  Ratings distribution
Accolades: Top albums of 1969 (48th)
Top albums of the 1960s (169th)
Best albums of all time (1,914th)

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Alexander Spence - Oar (180g Edition) - Vinyl Beat/Rock/60s/70s
Condition: New
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2d 15h 50m 43s

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Alexander Spence - Oar (180g Edition) - Vinyl Beat/Rock/60s/70s
Condition: New
Time left:
2d 15h 51m 17s

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$38.80
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Skip Spence, Alexander Spence - Oar [New Vinyl] Rmst
Condition: New
Time left:
4d 15h 21m 29s

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Alexander Spence bestography

Alexander Spence album bestography « Higher ranked This album (1,914th) Lower ranked »
-Oar-

Members who like this album also like: The Beatles (The White Album) by The Beatles, In The Court Of The Crimson King by King Crimson and Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan.

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Oar rankings

Oar ratings

Average Rating: 
77/100 (from 74 votes)
  Ratings distribution  Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 74 ratings for this album.

Rating
Date logged
Member
No. album ratings
Avg. album rating
 
90/100
10/19/2017 20:26
82/100
 
45/100
09/28/2017 10:06
76/100
 
85/100
09/24/2017 12:51
77/100
 
70/100
09/24/2017 10:14
70/100
 
90/100
09/02/2017 13:53
86/100

Related links: , top albums of the 1960s, top albums of 1969.

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Oar comments

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Rating:  
90/100
From Mercury 10/19/2017 20:26
This is an album which I've felt many ways about at many different times. When I first heard it I thought it was an emperor's new clothes situation. I heard all the glowing reviews, heard the story of Skip Spence, the way this ramshackle, indescribable album influenced a lot of my favorite artists like Uncle Tupelo and Tom Waits, and then I heard the album and I was like "Man, this is just sloppy.".

Then I came back to it, Something was calling me. There was something going on here. I just couldn't put my finger on it. I listened and I liked it! Then I listened again and I liked it more! Then, that moment came when it was 2am, I couldn't sleep, and the day was long behind and before me, I was a bit down and lost in my own head. I sat in my livingroom with almost no light outside of that emanating from my computer screen, and I just listened to this record. It was glorious. There is something here especially in tracks like "Weighted Down" and "Grey/Afro" and "Diana" which is low and so deeply broken hearted and lost that I just can't wrap my head around how Spence managed to capture such feelings.

And on other tracks, like the constantly off kilter, sweetness of the opener "Little hands", there is something weird happening. Like the music isn't where I would ever expect it to be, the drums and the guitars are doing things at weird times which don't make sense! But the result is something special and strange and peerless.

The record, again, is sloppy. And it is not a normal record at all. But the state of mind that the record captures is so rare, and its so unique and insightful into Spence's mental state that the album is just too good to ignore.

Oh and a few quick thoughts: its super cool that spence recorded everything by himself here. Or at least almost everything, I'm pretty sure he literally plays everything himself here. His voice is all over the place, and the interesting throughout, it makes me sad that a 22 or 23 year old can wheeze out lines like "Diana, I am in pain" with such heartbreak and realness. I mean the kid was a kid. But already was dredging up the ugliest realities of life that I wouldn't expect anyone to feel at all or if ever until much later in life. Another random rapid fire thought: the guitar playing in "War In Peace" is so sharp and screaming and intense its really jawdropping. "weighted Down" is the deepest blues you'll hear from anyone not named Blind Willie Johnson, or Tommy Johnson, or Blind Lemon Jefferson,e tc. Its on this track that I can hear some roots to similar ramshackle americana veins mined by Waits in albums like Mule Variations and Bone Machine.

Okay, that's all. This is an album almost sure to rise in my mind, due to just digging its claws deep into my psyche, until I can't listen to anything else. That inevitability hasn't happened yet. Still this is crazy good and probably should be higher than other albums on my list.

Rating: 9.1/10
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Rating:  
90/100
From poppmusic 01/08/2015 21:05
Haunting, delusional, hilarious, mournful..."Oar" is all of these, and embodies the essence of alternative country.
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Rating:  
90/100
From NickVolos 12/20/2013 22:41
A hidden masterpiece - stretching the boundaries of sanity.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
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