|Oh no, he's talking about music again
||[Sep. 4th, 2007|08:04 pm]
|[||Tags|||||meme: list, music: buzzcocks, music: children's hour, music: crowded house, music: dave dobbyn, music: dudes, music: exponents, music: hunters and collectors, music: jethro tull, music: joy division, music: magick heads, music: r.e.m., music: robert scott, music: schnell fenster, music: skyhooks, music: small faces, music: space waltz, music: split enz, music: terminals||]|
|||||The CD shelves||]|
|||||Sneaky Feelings - "Everything I Want"||]|
Back when the earth was young and giants walked the land, stubbing their toes on mountains because dinosaur leather boots just didn't cut it, micheinnz posted the following challenge:
So there's this thing going round which says "tell me in a comment to give you a letter, then name your top ten favourite songs which start with that letter". You don't have to if you don't want to, but it might be fun.
I signed up for the letter L. These are the results, fairly much in chronological order. Not of the songs themselves, but of my memories of them. And there are a few more than ten. I couldn't be bothered narrowing them down any farther. If the excess of music offends anyone, they are most welcome to copy and paste this message into a document and to delete as many entries as they need to until their sensibilities are no longer offended.
Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart" 1981 was a dreadful year for popular music. The top selling single of the year was a covers band playing a medley of `sixties songs (with heavy emphasis on the Beatles) along to a disco beat. The whole thing was perpetrated by those masters of popular music, the Dutch. So it's not so surprising that when anything a little out of the ordinary showed up, it was snapped up by the punters. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" debuted in the singles charts at #1 and woke thirteen-year-old me up to the concept that popular music wasn't all just chirpy pop sort of stuff.
Of course there was still a lot to like of the chirpy pop sort of stuff. Songs such as Small Faces - "Lazy Sunday" got a bit of airplay on 4ZA back in the early `eighties, leading to the Small Faces being my first favourite `sixties band (to the extent that I eventually paid big money - over $15! - for an imported record of their greatest hits once I left school and started work.
It didn't take too long for me to figure out a Favourite Rock Group Of All Time... what is surprising is that I haven't found any better group out there, even now. I first saw Split Enz - "Lost for Words" in a live-in-the-TV-studio thingy on a music show - it may have been Karyn Hay-vintage Radio with Pictures; my memory isn't what it used to be - and even then was impressed by the percussion-and-piano break in the middle of the song.
Jump forward a few years and I'm working and buying records (some of which I have now found, much to my surprise, were rather good investments. Except I bought them to play, not to profit from). Skyhooks - "Living in the Seventies" is a record I bought for ten cents and would be lucky to get that much for now: it's totally worn out.
The Terminals - "Love Hate Revenge", off their first album Uncoffined (later released on a CD, with bonus tracks off their debut EP and the whole lot re-titled Cul-de-Sac), is one of the records that might be worth a little bit if I ever got bored enough with having vinyl around the house that I'd want to sell any of it. A version of a song most notably performed by the Avengers, and first performed by a group I can't even remember the name of, it may have been a `sixties cover but it actually fit in quite well on the album.
Schnell Fenster - "Love Hate Relationship" was a song off their debut album. They only ever recorded two albums. They should have recorded a lot more. There is nowhere near enough Phil Judd music in this universe.
REM - "Losing My Religion" isn't my favourite song of theirs, but it's a damn good song for all that. There is also a rather amusing Gregorian chant version of the song doing the rounds.
Hunters and Collectors - "Love All Over Again" is one of the few later songs of theirs where their brass section gets a decent workout. If only the boring half of Ghost Nation had been this good instead.
By the `nineties it looked like records were about to become a lost art form (although they seem to be making one of the more unexpected comebacks of recent times); CDs had managed to do what cassette tapes had never done, and replaced the format for the general public. I bought my last record needle at about that time (I still have a player, which may or may not still go, but no needle to put in the appropriate slot...) Dave Dobbyn - "Love Over All" was off an album from the early `nineties, and in a rather amusing tweak of the nose of the new format, fills less than half of the 75 minute playing time of a full CD. Otherwise it's probably best known as being The One For Which He Borrowed A Couple Of The Attractions To Play On It (The Elvis himself must have been looking the other way).
The first CD I ever bought, back in the `eighties, was the Crowded House debut album. Crowded House - "Locked Out" is probably my favourite song of theirs that begins with an L.
Exponents - "Like She Said" was the one single anyone remembers from their best album - i.e. the album nobody actually bothered buying at the time - "Grassy Knoll".
Getting towards the late `nineties and early zeroes, and all the bands I actually like seem to be retiring or imploding or just getting old and I can't really get into a lot of the Young Kids' Music these days. (One particularly horrible song of about 1999 sounded like there was a teenage Dalek in front of the microphone making meaningless sounds). So I started trawling the $5 or $10 tables at places like the Warehouse and found a few gems. Space Waltz - "Love The Way He Smiles" is a great piece of music features some good drumming from Brent Eccles (before he joined the Angels) and superb keyboards from Eddie Rayner (before Split Enz hit the big time).
The Buzzcocks - "Lipstick" is probably my favourite song of theirs. If there was any justice in the world, the Buzzcocks would have been one of the biggest names of their time and genre and if a certain other group ever got mentioned, the reaction would have been "The what Pistols?" (Of course, this would also mean that Ian Morris would have had to find a different pseudonym when doing a country-and-western parody back in the mid `eighties...)
Children's Hour - "Looking For The Sun" was one of the stand-out tracks on the CD release of the first major Flying Nun compilation, Tuatara. It's been a long, strange road between the Children's Hour and when the Chooks made the big time (to such an extent that I've seen them quoted in a role playing book I picked up on the off chance that it might have been interesting...)
The Magick Heads - "Lines of Deception"... I can't believe it's taken this long to get to a Robert Scott band. This is one of the Magick Heads' prettiest tunes.
One of the few positive things about spending about four years working in the same little office - well, two offices in different parts of the building, but that's just the regular game of Musical Desks - with someone who can't exist without having Classic Rock With Lots Of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin And ZZ Top In The Background is that I actually found a few "Classic Rock" groups that play interesting music. I've been familiar with the name of Jethro Tull - "Locomotive Breath" since I first went to one of my favourite little eating places in Dunedin, which named all its dishes after Jethro Tull songs. ("Locomotive Breath" was the coffee. That and a "Heavy Horses" - which I have no idea what the proper name is for it; it's basically half a home-made loaf of bread with salad on top and a mushroomy Bolognaise sauce poured over the whole thing - made a damn good lunch) But actually hearing some of their music was quite a revelation.
Th' Dudes - "Love Me Two Times". Yes, the Doors song. They played it at their concert about a year ago and it was very well received. It's now out on their live CD and is still fairly darned good.
Now I've been picking up a lot of the less mainstream CDs from sellers on Trade Me. It seems that some of them are actual music shops, which means that the CDs are actually new (I do prefer buying new to buying second hand, but entirely too much good music is completely out of print these days). Robert Scott - "Laid To Rest" is off one such CD, his Tascam Hits, released by Powertool Records, which seem to be making a point of finding classic but unreleased recordings by artists such as Bill Direen or The Puddle, and finally releasing them. Of all of them, Tascam Hits is possibly the worst produced (that is, if it was produced at all. My little brother could do better - but then he has some experience in audio gear. I could probably do better, and I don't have any experience). But the songs are interesting, with a few of them potential greats. Of these, "Laid To Rest" is the greatest. If it sounds this good recorded in what sounds like somebody's hallway with the Doublehappy's "Herbie", rescued from the dump, trying to keep time, how good could it sound recorded by a real band in a real studio? (Or even played live by a real band in a real pub?)
So, if anyone's up for a letter, just leave a message and I'll drop one into the conversation. What you do with it after that is your own business.