Wednesday, 11 May 2011

101 "favourite" tracks - No 91 -100

91. Teardrop Explodes, Strange house in the snow

Another band I first heard on Peel, yet they were far more commercial, at least initially. I can remember seeing them on an Old Grey Whistle Test programme in the early 80s around the time of the second album. Excellent stuff

This track is from the final, very odd cd "Everybody wants to shag . . .". I thought that was a superb album and I was rather disappointed that it was their last.

Recently I have been listening to Julian Cope's solo stuff more. He has certainly had a diverse solo career!

Alternates: The poppies are in the field, Just like liela Khaled said, Soft enough for you

92. This Mortal Coil, Wind becomes waves

This is probably just an excuse to have a second track by Lisa Gerard in my list. The whole idea of this "band" was pretty odd and I don't think the concept worked very well, with this track and Cocteau Twin's Song to the Siren were exceptional. The droning accordian (?) is a real highlight for me and pre-figures my later interest in artists like Pauline Oliveros or Stewart Dempster.

Oddly enough, I did rather like the second This Mortal Coil album after it dispensed with 4AD's stars
93. Throbbing Gristle, Hamburger Lady

Can you really be said to "like" a track by Throbbing Gristle? I only have vague recollections of TG when they were first active - the occasional article in the music press. But this was enough for me to buy their oddly named 20 Jazz Funk Classics album. Until quite recently, I wasn't actually very sure what this track was about - turns out it is about a burns victim in a hospital!

In the mid 1980s I did go and see a couple of shows by Psychic TV as well as a tiny film festival they held somewhere in Hoxton. All very odd.

Alternates: Discipline

94. Throwing Muses, Surf Cowboy

I have loved Throwing Muses from the moment I heard a track from their first album on Peel one night, and they are a band I have seen quite a few times live (maybe 8 times?). I actually most like this track for the guitar solo in the middle - the strange minor key and relatively low notes.

A few years back, Throwing Muses played a show in London that was one of my all-time favourites, mainly as they were a band I had not expected to ever see again live. But there are rumours that another revival will occur soon - fingers crossed

Alternates: Most of University

95. The Ukranians, Cheresh Richcu

I saw the Ukranians as "support" for The Wedding Present and very good fun they were too. This was just after the WP Ukranian Peel session so it wasn't that I didn't know the joke. Still they do seem to have continued on for several cds in their own right.

I have no idea what this track is about, but it is good fun stuff


96. Velvet Underground, Venus in Furs

The most extraordinary track by the most extraordinary band. Whenever I hear this track I am struck by its sheer brilliance. Of course it is Cale's droning violin that makes it for me.

Alternates: What goes on (live), Foggy Notion (from UV)

97. Weather Report, American Tango

Someone in a room down the hall from me when I was a student in 1981 really loved Weather Report, which is when I first heard them. I am not actually a great fan of them, but this album and particularly this track are wonderful.

Over the years I have repeated tried to listen seriously to them but they just haven't clicked with me.

98. The Wedding Present, Take me I'm yours

Has to be the Peel session version with the extended ending - a work that totally sums up the ludicrously over-the-top early Wedding Present, based on the simple idea of strumming away madly the same chords over and over again.

Never really got in to the later WP albums though - don't know why


99. Yonder Mountain String Band, Their live version of Pink Floyd's Pigs

A band I came across from bootleg live show websites and who are now the band I most want to see live. They are why I booked to go to the Telluride Bluegrass festival in 2006 (though I didn't make it there).

100. Neil Young, Words

I find myself listening to Neil Young more now than ever before. At various times in the past - e.g. when Weld came out - I have had a flurry of interest, but it usually fades. But the last few years have seen me listen to him quite seriously. I am amazed that someone can have recorded so many great tracks!


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