Great Bands/Albums I discovered on the old eMusic!

edited September 2019 in General
There have been so many posts about how bad things are on the current eMusic that I thought it would be fun to re-live the good old days and remember great bands and albums we discovered and downloaded when eMusic was at its halcyon, peak!

One of my first downloads back in 2007 was Pink Floyd’s “London 1966/1967”. A live album from the Syd Barrett days featuring extended jams of Interstellar Overdrive and Nick’s Boogie. Brings back those heady days of the 1960s!


  • edited September 2019
    I discovered Porcupine Tree on eMusic and they fast became my favourite modern Prog Rock band. Ended up downloading 19 of their albums from eMusic from 2008 onwards and another 9 from elsewhere!

    Mysteriously, after an absence of around 5 or 6 years, their label (Kscope) reappeared on eMusic in June last year for three or four days and then disappeared again! I was able to download their albums "Anesthetize" (a live concert including all the songs on their "Fear of a Blank Planet" album) and "Staircase Infinities".

  • edited September 2019
    For me, it wasn't just one album or artist but a genre. I discovered West African music, particualrly from Senegal, The Gambia and Mali. Too many to mention them all, but these two are amongst the highlights

    Ali  ToumaniIn the Heart of the Moon

  • Sometime quite early in my time on emusic, the first track from this album (Yolo by Tetsu Inoue) was the free download of the day. At that point in time I had no ear at all for ambient/drone/experimental, but I downloaded a lot of those free daily downloads, and this was just intriguing enough to shrug and leave it on the hard drive. Months later I listened to it again and was a little more intrigued. That was the start of what is according to iTunes now 6655 songs in my collection tagged "ambient" (as well as the start of becoming a Tetsu Inoue completist, which included one of my more arduous CD purchases, driving across Vancouver in a rental during a gap in a business trip to pick up a copy of Hummingbird Feeder from another collector). I still like this album a lot.
  • Oh, and this was another gateway album:
    Image result for transatlantic bridge across forever
    I don't think I had any progressive rock before this album outside of some more metal-leaning stuff. I suspect I might have already heard some Dream Theater, and maybe that is how I heard of it. But I know why I bought it: emusic was still on the one-credit-per-track system, and the whole album is four tracks, two of them half an hour long. "Oooh, bargain!" went my brain. I didn't like it much - I wanted it to be heavier. But I persevered and now it is one of my favorite albums, and I have almost every release (including all the live DVDs and box sets) by Transatlantic, Neal Morse, Spock's Beard, and am still actively working on a "neo-prog" collection and beginning to make headway back into the 70s (aided recently by @peterfrederics ). (A mere 1736 songs in iTunes are tagged progressive rock as of now.) Like Yolo above, this album had an incalculable long-term effect on my listening habits, and indeed on how I hear.

    I am not totally certain, but I think my godspeed you! black emperor collection may also have started because Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven was a double album that could be had for four credits. That credit-per-track system certainly helped ground my post-rock collection (and didn't hurt with those single-track, hour-long ambient/drone albums :-)).
  • edited September 2019
    I joined in 2013 (when I was deep in poverty). But I found some amazing stuff (described on my blog here). 

    I basically had some music books and looked up various groups who sounded interesting. Up to that time, I had been downloading a lot of stuff from creative commons sites (like jamendo) . Also, I had deep interest in Slavic music and asian music and indie pop (the kind that you can download off the SXSW torrent). 

    I found some cheap and gigantic compilation sets of Middle Eastern classics. Also, I had a chance to sample lots of African collections and especially Franco's OK Jazz. In about 2015-6 I discovered some compilations of Russian pop stars (I love Russian pop). Every few months I delved into another rabbit hole: 80s Italic disco, 60s Italian pop. For a while I was grabbing Noor Jehan -- a Pakistani Bollywood singer Noor Jehan. A year or so again I grabbed tons of low-cost 60s Indonesian recordings. 

    Among the most amazing finds were: 
    • Live ‘n Well by Bert Myrick. One and done jazz album which is widely loved. 
    • Punk 45 compilations. I bought 3 of them, wish I bought the rest of the series. 
    • G.E.M. -- two albums by this amazing Chinese pop star
    • Billos Caracas Boys-- pretty much blew me away --every single album they have done. 
    • Analog Rebellion -- amazing Texas rock  star (see this album).  
    • Mose Allison
    • Kiko Gyan -- amazing African disco singer who toured around USA during the height of the disco craze
    • All these amazing Latin classic pop music: Mag All Stars (all 3 volumes), Disco Fuentes, Chapuseux y Damiron, 
    • Soul Makossa by Lafayette Afro Rock Band
    • El Kravchuk, this Ukrainian techno pop singer with an operatic voice. 
    • Sergent Garcia, multitalented Latino-French pop singer 
    • Gong (progressive band)
    • Black Moth Super Rainbow, experimental arty rock band I can never get enough of 
    • Adams Effect by Pepper Adams.  Minor jazz classic, Listened to it a zillion times. 
    I rediscovered so many  Ukrainian and Russian albums from when I used to live there, plus heard a few new ones. Skriabin, Mummiy Troll, Potap i Nastiya. 

    Given the fluctuating prices, probably the best 99 cent deal I got S/T Weeping Bong Band. 5 tracks, 52 minutes, 99 cents. (ooh, looks like another 99 center has just been released by that same band,  Avifaunal by Pausal (ambient), 

    I know I'm not saying anything interesting here, but the act of testing/previewing songs and albums with a finite sum of credits encourages you to listen critically and seek out the great stuff. Most people don't have the patience for it, but it's both a challenge and a game. I download a lot of music and rip a lot of CDs, but I end up liking what I buy on emusic most of all. 

    I have to wonder though about the Spotify streamers -- are they really enjoying what they listen to? 

    Finally i really liked the music writers and reviewers on emusic. They were first class, although sometimes they seem too aligned to the next sale. That said, when Polyvinyl went on sale, I went ahead and previewed a lot of their collection and now I know all their singers. Which is a good thing. (Of Montreal really is incredible!) 
  • edited September 2019
    Oh this is great timing.  I just moved into a new place, and that means unpacking all the CDs and remembering what I have.  Back when I first signed up with eMusic (2009?), I used to burn the music onto CDs and print out artwork and everything.
    Here's one of the very first purchases I made with my eMusic account.  I was just listening to it in the car on Friday, and I still adore it just as much as when I first purchased it.
    Image result for sitebirdisthewormcom azure
    Azure - "When She Smiles"
    It resembles a moody rainy-day jazz-rock blend not that far removed from the seminal 2008 recording "Seasons of Change" by the Brian Blade Fellowship.
    I wrote a love letter to the album (which includes some embedded music) on my site.
    It really takes me back, too, to when going onto eMusic was so much fun, being presented with that huge block of tiny album cover thumbnails for recommendations and simply checking each one out and often using my monthly download credits on them.

  • Something I got through E Music all is work is wonderful, so many things I do miss about it, but hey onwards and upwards
  • edited October 2019
    I had been thinking about that too.  Bands/Artists I discovered on eMu -  Dengue Fever.     Dar Williams (although I did hear her cover of Comfortably Numb on the Cover Me podcast).  Both of whom I still listen to regularly.
    Really frazzled at work right now so I'll amend when I can think straight again.
    Edit - Anonymous 4 - should have been at the top of the list.  My favorite female early music/chant ensemble who have given me many hours of tranquility over the years.
  • Over on another thread, I explained that my techno/house album list will be unsatisfactory for those who prefer more serious, experimental electronica, as I gather most here do.  I’m not sure there’s enough of it left on the site to give it’s own list, so I’ll co-opt this thread to say what I liked and what of it’s still available (I bristle a bit at nostalgia for its own sake).  Gotta say that eMusic was great for being the nudge to try stuff I’d never heard of, which is most of below, especially in experimental styles that I’d never pay $15 new or even $8 used for.  I think it’s still good for that, but I understand I’m in the minority.  

    Ten experimental electronic albums I enjoyed from the old eMusic:  

    “V/A” - Active Suspension Vs Clapping Music (2003)

    “ambit” - The Cellar and Point (2014)…maybe not electronic enough to be here.

    “Apologues” - Masayoshi Fujita (2015)

    “Be Glad” - Tom Terrien (2016)… actually still available

    “Demissions” - Phoenecia (2011)

    “Elaenia” - Floating Points (2015)

    “4” - Boozoo Bajou (2014)

    “Fatal Light Attraction” - Kerridge (2016)… actually still available

    “It’s All in Your Head” - Negativland (2014)

    “Mo7it Al-Mo7it” - Jerusalem in My Heart (2013)

    “Parergon” - Will Dutta with Plaid (2012)…actually still available

    “Reassemblage” - Visible Cloaks (2017)

    “Music for Life Cycles (I-VII) - Suplington (2016)…actually still available

    any by Hauschka, Oneohtrix Point Never, Solo Andata, Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm, Nobukazu Takemura 

    Mort Aux Vaches series remarkably still available and generally interesting.  Not to mention all the 99-cent drone albums which have usually been worth at least that.

    I suppose I’d seek out many of these from other sources, but I’d sure never have found them without eMu.

    I think there is enough general or non-electronic experimental music on the site to make a proper list, but it’ll have to wait.  

  • edited October 2019
    I discovered some outstanding, obscure Prog Rock from the late 60s and early 70s on eMusic. An era of many outstanding bands which didn’t achieve their well deserved success.

     Probably the best of many great sources was the Akarma label. Around 400 albums of which I completely or in part downloaded well over 200!

    Bands that I came to know and love included Affinity, Arzachel, Atomic Rooster, Black Widow, Broselmaschine, Catapilla, Clear Blue Sky, Damnation of Adam Blessing, Frijid Pink, Fuzzy Ducks, Gracious!, Gravy Train,  High Tide, Ilmo Smokehouse, Jade Warrior, Josephus, Leafhound, Lyd, May Blitz, Odin, Ram, The Sacred Mushroom, Sir Lord Baltimore, Skin Alley, Steamhammer, Third Ear Band, Toad, Ultimate Spinach, Warhorse, Web, Westfauster and Zion amongst many others. 

    All safely downloaded and backed up for posterity!
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