Destroyer is also a cool bootleg by Led Zeppelin recorded by someone on April 27, 1977 in Cleveland. It has great songs, for example a 20 minute version of No Quarter. The quality...well it's a bootleg, but it's not too bad.

  1. The Song Remains The Same
  2. The Rover (intro)
  3. Sick Again
  4. Nobody's Fault But Mine
  5. Since I've Been Loving You
  6. No Quarter
  7. Ten Years Gone
  8. The Battle Of Evermore
  9. Going To California
  10. Black Country Woman
  11. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
  12. White Summer/Black Mountain Side
  13. Kashmir
  14. Over The Top/Out On The Tiles/Moby Dick
  15. Guitar Solo/Achilles' Last Stand
  16. Stairway To Heaven
  17. Rock And Roll
  18. Trampled Underfoot
This is a very well known bootleg, so you'll even find it at Napster, and it even got remastered. It is worth the time you spend downloading it.

Contraction of "Torpedo boat destroyer"; a development of the torpedo gunboat originally designed (in the last decadeds of the 19th century) as a counter to the threat posed by small, cheap torpedo boats to the major vessels of the navies of the pre-dreadnought era should they operate in coastal waters or not far from land, which is where most important naval engagements tend to take place. At that stage the destroyer was a craft of around 300 tons displacement with a crew of 20-30, armed with a couple of light quick-firing guns of maybe 50 mm - 100 mmm (2" - 4") calibre, fast for its time, probably 20-23 knots, and maybe itself carrying a couple of torpedoes in order to be able to duplicate the role of its ostensible prey.

By the time of the First World War, destroyers had grown to the 700-800 ton mark and had definitively taken over the attacking role of the torpedo boat as well as their original defensive one. The introduction of steam turbine engines had pushed speeds up to about 30 knots; the same technology increased capital ship and cruiser speeds enough to make their predecessors an obsolete liability. Armaments were generally three or four guns of around 4" (100 mm) calibre and six torpedo tubes and the ships were ocean going, if not comfortably so; they were also used for minelaying duties.

During World War I the growing use of submarines brought destroyers a new role, or possibly restored their original one, as escorts. Fitted with hydrophones to detect submerged submarines and depth charges to attack them with, they were the main opposition for the new weapon.

Between the wars, the navies of the world pushed the envelope a bit further; new destroyers were now around the 1500-2000 ton mark, with crews of 2-300, speeds of 35 knots and up being common (the French Mogador was the fastest of the era, at 42 knots, and with gun armament that pretty much put it in in the light cruiser class). Main armament was mostly four to eight guns in the 4.7-5.1 inch (120-130 mm) range, with guns being more frequently mounted in enclosed turrets rather than behind gunshields as before, and two banks of four or five torpedo tubes were normal.

During the Second World War destroyers' role as torpedo attack vessels became sidelined, faced by the twin threats of submarines and air power. Once again they were the mainstay of antisubmarine warfare, escorting convoys and heavier warships, carrying increasingly sophisticated methods of detection (ASDIC/sonar and continually improving radar) and ASW weapons; this and the threat from the air led to many ships having banks of torpedoes and conventional guns replaced by light anti-aircraft guns, depth-charge throwers and radar installations. The main armaments and control systems of newly built vessels were normally dual purpose, serving as heavy anti-aircraft guns as well as for surface use. In the carrier war in the Pacific, they also often served in the dangerous role of radar pickets, standing a distance away from the main fleets to extend the range of radar cover for the detection of incoming aircraft.

By the end of the war there a fairly clear split had emerged, with smaller, cheaper, slower destroyer escorts and frigates being designed for the anti-submarine role, and larger, faster fleet destroyers capable of serving as anti-aircraft cover for carrier fleets. The introduction of guided missiles for surface-surface and surface-air use replaced much of the gun and torpedo armament, often leaving just a single semi-automatic quick-firing dual purpose gun; hangars and decks for anti-submarine helicopters also became commonplace. The guided-missile destroyers of today are ships of 4000 tons and upwards (ships which would once have been labelled as cruisers), carrying complements of 2-300 or so, gas-turbine powered to speeds of 40 knots or so, and are the largest front line vessels apart from aircraft carriers in many navies.

Destroyer is a Vancouver band, the main project and brainchild of its lead singer, songwriter, and mastermind frontman Dan Bejar. He founded the band in 1995 as its only member, and released the lo-fi, relatively folksy, drunken and disoriented debut album We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge in 1996. Bejar is the only credited musician on the album, recorded at his home studio. Gradually though the 1990s Destroyer began adding members and formally becoming a band.

In 2000, Bejar disbanded Destroyer and took a break from professional musicianship, taking an extended vacation in Spain. Later in the same year, Bejar would return and record Thief with John Collins and the rest of the session musicians he'd recorded City of Daughters with in 1998. The band has endured several lineup changes, as bands will tend to do when led by a perfectionist control-freak-genius. But Bejar stated that he intends the lineup which Destroyer recorded 2006's Destroyer's Rubies with to be the lineup for the duration of the band's existence. In 2010, Bejar wrote a piece for Destroyer's 2011 album Kaputt with artist Kara Walker. It is a spacey, existentially frustrated epic called "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker," and is definitely the best song of 2011, from almost the best album of 2011.

2001's Streethawk is generally seen as the band's major turning point, and a discovery of their cabaret pop identity. It's a seething, socio-politically saturated album, and is very much a clean, meticulous hi-fi record, in stark contrast to the first album. The arrangements on Destroyer's records slowly became more layered and elaborate through the 21st century, eventually becoming very ornate. The arrangements are usually a veritable kaleidoscope, unpredictably mixing acoustic instruments, rock instrumentation, orchestral instruments, and midi instruments. The music is messy, but tonally progressive and listenable, if a little scatterbrained and unexpected. The band is largely an extension of Pavement's greatest moment, only without the drug culture.

The lyrics are self-effacing, observational, and nasty-realism, once again borrowing from the Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pavement American 1990s musical influence. There's no reliable way to describe the effect, even just by reprinting the lyrics without the music, so I won't try. Because music is performance, of course, and inherently demonstrative. So, like all art analysis and appreciation, your greatest weapon is the most obvious one - the natural senses. So if you'd like to understand something as weird as Destroyer and the mind of its own, listen. Listen actively, but listen patiently. Most good modern music are very much like penises. There are growers, and there are showers. Destroyer is very much a grower. Give it second and third chances if and when you don't understand it upon first impression. Start with Rubies or Streethawk, then build your way up to Kaputt. It's the most important, but not an easy point of entry. Be generous, and try to be okay with the fact that it will catch you off guard.

As I listen more and more, it seems like that's the point.


Discography as of this writeup:

We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge; Tinker, 1996/Scratch, 2006
Ideas For Songs (Initially a cassette tape release only); Granted Passage Cassettes, 1996/Triple Crown Recordings of Canada (formerly Granted Passage Cassettes), 2011
City of Daughters; Triple Crown Audio/Endearing; 1998
Thief; Catsup Plate; 2000
Streethawk: A Seduction; Misra/Talitres (Europe); 2001
This Night; Merge/Talitres; 2002
Your Blues; Merge/Talitres; 2004
Notorious Lightning and Other Works; Merge; 2005
Destroyer's Rubies; Merge; 2006
Loscil's Rubies; Scratch; 2006
Trouble in Dreams; Merge/Rough Trade (Europe); 2008
Bay of Pigs; Merge; 2009
Archer on the Beach; Merge; 2010
Kaputt; Merge; 2011
Variations EP; Elektrax; 2013
Featured in a hell of a lot of compilations, tributes, remix albums, cover albums, various artists albums, etc. See Spotify>>Destroyer>>"Appears On" section.


Dan Bejar
Merge Records biography
No official website exists as of this writeup


And goddamn your eyes
They just had to be twin prizes
Waiting for the sun

So I lied.

De*stroy"er (?), n. [Cf. OF. destruior.]

One who destroys, ruins, kills, or desolates.


© Webster 1913

De*stroy"er, n.

= Torpedo-boat destroyer.


© Webster 1913

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