Wednesday, July 5

If music be the food of love, play on....

If you're not really interested in music, move along.....

Technically speaking, the sender of my CD for the CD Shuffle-A-Thon broke a rule. This rule being that the track count is limited to 12. I have a CD here with 15 tracks on it, although one of them doesn't really count because it's an intro to a song.
That said, I'm kinda happy about it, as it means I have more music to listen to and who can say no to more music?

Since there's only one song out of the 15 that I don't know, my revue is gonna be slightly different. I don't feel the want or need to verbally describe the track, so instead I'm gonna say a few things about how I feel about the songs....kinda.

As per the rules, here's my review:

1 - "The last time I saw Richard" by Joni Mitchell.
I've always loved Joni. This is a great example of some of her finest work from, in my opinion, her finest album. Joni is responsible for why I love Alanis, Jewel, Paul Cole, Tori et al. Beautiful storytellers, all of them. I think I first heard this song about 10 years ago. Somebody put the album on while some friends and I were having a 'session'.
I love Joni singing "Big yellow taxi", but my favourite of hers still has to be "Woodstock", probably because of the story behind it.
Joni soothes my soul. I can listen to her all night long and know that I'm gonna have a sound night's sleep. She does something to me with her sometimes crystal vocals and moody outlook. I wonder if most female singer-songwriters don't wish they could be more like her.
A legend.
An icon.

2 - "Tainted love" by Soft Cell.
I hated this song when it first came out. I struggled with some of the modern romance era and found myself desperately searching for something 'different'. This was the time I discovered Prince. It is however, a classic. The hook has been sampled many times, most recently by Rhianna, and I thought very successfully as well. Marc Almonds vocals were never anything special in my opinion.
This bouncy song drives ever forward and I defy anybody who lived through the eighties to deny they know it.
It's a great floor filler, a simple tune and infectious as fuck. That said, I must admit to loving the Marilyn Mason version.
Oh....and how shit was the Soft Cell video to this!

3 - "Little lover" by AC/DC.
I really like AC/DC, but admit to being more of a fan of the stuff with Brian singing, instead of Bon.
This is a great, dirty, bluesy number. The drum beat drives the song along, accompanied by the bassline that sets the tone for the seductive vocals. Yes, an AC/DC song with seductive vocals, it's true. I really like stuff like this and AC/DC were always good at delivering slow or upbeat rock that made me wanna dress up like Angus and strutt around.
It's amazing just how long this band have been around. They seem to have a formula that still strikes a chord (pun intended) with so many people.
It will be a sad day when Angus decides to hang up his school uniform.
This is a dirty song, with a riff that oozes images of being perfect playing in the background whilst seducing your lover.

4 - "Sheila na Gig" by P J Harvey.
I wasn't really into P J until I saw her play live at Glastonbury. I got dragged along by my friend who had been raving about her all weekend and as nobody else was playing at the same time that I wanted to watch, I gave in. I've been a fan ever since. She's hugely influential, much more than most people think and I must admit to quite liking the fact that she's never really 'broke' in the UK.
This song's great purely because it sounds so raw, almost like they recorded it in one live take. I love stuff like that. A good mid tempo rock chic song that puts guys in their place!

5 - "The rocker" by Thin Lizzy.
My Cousin got me into Lizzy back in the day. Being older than me, she reveled in being able to tell me stories about her adventures. Her description of her first concert was captivating. I was completely hooked on her descriptions of the band actually onstage, not so far away from her. I was always under the impression that music stars weren't real people, so when she told me about how they stood on stage, how they played their instruments and how Phil used the little mirror on his bass to reflect the spotlights down into the audience, I was intrigued.
Pandy, my brother was also into Lizzy for a while and I guess it's him who I have to thank for getting me really into the whole 'rock' scene.
He was so sad on the day we were told Phil had died. I was sad that he was sad.
I still think "Jailbreak" was their best song, but I can listen to pretty much anything by this band.

6 - "You leave me dead" by McQueen. (an unsigned band)
This is the track that I didn't know. Why are they unsigned? Perhaps it's because people aren't really into the female rock/grunge stuff anymore. Not wanting to be rude, but Hole already did stuff like this better and so did the Distillers. That said, it's not unlistenable and with each listen, I'm finding myself more atuned to the whole feel of the song. I quite like the build up and let's face it, you can't argue with a girl who can holler!

7 - "Coffee and TV" by Blur.
I can take it or leave it with Blur. For some reason I've never really got into them and to be honest, I much prefer the stuff Damon is doing now with Gorillaz and Graham Coxon's solo stuff. Their last 2 albums didn't really inspire me and I wonder if it's because their were just too many musical differences within the band.
This is a good example of the Blur stuff that I like. My favourite song of theirs is probably "Tender" and I'm reminded of playing that particular song on repeat for ages while I went through a very low period of my life. I loved the whole Blur V Oasis thing that hit the 90's. Neither band won in my eyes and somebody should have just banged their heads together and told them to play nice.
A great video accompanied this track and that's probably why it was so successful.

8 - "Old Codger" by The Stranglers.
Again, it was Pandy who got me listening to this band.
When a lot of people are asked what their favourite Stranglers song is, they will often say "Golden Brown". I fucking hate that song.
This a great song of theirs. The harmonica does it for me. It's got a mad feel to the whole song. Like they put it together as an afterthought. I'd say Bob Dylan was a huge influence on this song and if Bob's in the underline, then you can't go wrong, can you.
The track reminds me of a cross between Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones, back in the day, until of course the vocals kick in.

8.5 - "Theatrical Parts" by Public Enemy.
Just an intro.
I have this to say about Public Enemy....They did what they did very well! They tapped into a niche that had never been touched before and their huge influences can still be heard in rap today. I always liked their hooks, especially those annoying 'screeches' that made me think, "Shit that's sooo annoying, but completely infectious. I need to hear that again!"
Any guy who can get away with wearing an absurdly oversized clock around his neck is good in my books, but what they hell was he thinking when he did that reality program in America!
My biggest issue with them was always that I loved the songs, but didn't really dig the message. I found them a little too political for me.

9 - "Strict Machine" by Goldfrapp.
Alison Goldfrapp is sex, it's as simple as that. They are one band that I've never seen live and would love to see. Ask many a guy about Alison and most of them wouldn't bat an eyelid, but she certainly has something. She influenced Madonna's latest incarnation and I hope they will be around for a lot longer because I don't think they're anywhere near their peak stuff yet. They are the band I always wanted St Etienne to be.
Goldfrapp are a great band to listen to when you've come back from a night out. They seem to have a way of keeping the tempo and the mood levels up, without cranking things out of proportion.

9.5 - "Black hole of the sun" by Jocelyn Brown.
This is just me all over. I love old skool soul like this. It just breezes along, without a care in the world and even though it doesn't do much to actually 'stand out' from the crowd, it's the sort of stuff that you just listen to all night long.
Yep, this is early hours music for me.
This is from back in the day when they made records that had a proper intro that lasted ages, teasing you along to get to the main bulk of the tune. Then it just adds layers and layers of old smoothy silk.
When I used to DJ, I always hoped I'd get a set in a place when I could play this kind of stuff all night. People would just be sat around, chatting and doing whatever, while the ear-friendly soul spoke to them in the background.

10 - "Lilac wine" by Jeff Buckley.
When Jeff died, we lost a major talent. His music, his vocals, the arrangements and the whole damn package was just was ahead of it's time. His silky voice meanders in ways that is seen less and less in male vocalists nowadays and it's such a shame.
Somebody recommended the Grace album to me years back and after a while, I finally got around to listening to it. The whole album is just perfect. Each song telling it's own story in such a way that you somehow feel closer to the man who sung it.
The beginning of the song, with just his voice and a gentle guitar, tells a story of sorrow. The rest of the intruments feed in, leaving just enough breathing space for the rest of his story to be told.

10.5 - "Road" by Nick Drake.
Again, for me, this is perfect 'late night' listening. Nick's vocals are always smoothe and this is a great song with melody and meaning. Two things that I love about songs. This sounds like it should have been included in an episode of 'Thirty Something', a program, which I loved! It captivates my attention and then kindof ends, almost like he hasn't finished what he's saying.
Plucky strings, a calming voice....this is pefect music to play after having a smoke.

11 - "Pandora's aquarium" by Tori Amos.
Oh Tori...Tori....
Is there anything that she's done that I don't like? Er,....that would be a "no" then. Tori is sex.....Oh, have I already said that before? Well, fuckit!.
I discovered Tori when she released the Little earthquakes album. I was completely hooked by the lyrics, told by an angry girl who sounded so sweet.
I saw her play live at Glastonbury, when she had technical problems with her keyboards and apologized to the audience for having to play the entire set on her piano. I think it's right about then when I realised that she was just so amazing.
I hated the fact that loads of people cottoned onto her only because some Dj remixed one of her songs and made it into some huge house anthem. She was way, way above that!
Listening to Tori calms me. Listening to Tori makes me feel at peace. Listening to Tori makes me feel like people can beat anything in their lives!
She's gone through some unbelievable shit, you know!
This is typical Tori, with plinky plonky paino and meandering vocals, weaving a tale of love. Her gorgeous voice just sounds so damn agreable, whatever mood I'm in.

12 - "Amsterdam" by Coldplay.
What can I say about Coldplay? I loved them. Loved being the appropriate word here. I saw them play live as a support band, decided to listen to them further, discovered that they were in fact great, particularly Chris Martin's lyrics and vocals, but I have to admit that...and I apologise now if it offends, but since Chris has got married, things have changed. Their last CD did fuck all for me to be honest. Compared to their previous offerings, which in my my opinion were 'genius at work' albums, I feel like their latest stuff just doesn't cut the mustard with me.
My fondest memory of Coldplay was when I saw them live on the last night of their 'Parachutes' tour, in London. We didn't have tickets and decided we would try out luck. After a couple of hours of hanging around outside the venue, we got a bargain price off the ticket touts and I managed to get in with a Wonderstuff ticket for a gig at the same venue a few weeks before and my friend got in with a Morrissey ticket from 6 months previous!
I love the Parachutes album, but I think A Rush Of Blood To The Head is still their finest work to date.
"Bit time, is on your's on your side now."

So there you have it.
I am indebted to yoko who sent me the disc and even though only one song was new to me, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Huge thanks to swisstoni for including me and even larger portions to Yoko, because it was her who actually thought of the idea.
My CD was received by yummybraingravy and got reviewed here.

Cheers guys!

7 parlez:

HistoryGeek said...

Tori's Little Earthquakes helped get me through a very bad time in my life. I agree she's amazing!

Ali said...

So, now I can exhale, I had convinced myself it would bore you silly.

You wrote such a splendid review, and I agree with every single thing you said - particularly the part about Coldplay changing since Chris got married. Oh, remember when they did that launch to promote X&Y on the Radio? We were asking ourselves what went wrong, it really broke our hearts! We speculated on a drug problem, but we all know the score (starts with a G, ends with an eth). The day the music died...

So now I want to come and raid your records, Bedshaped! If you DO set up that club you were talking about, I insist that you send me a flyer :)

Anonymous said...

Another brilliant cd-swapping event is the SummerBurn over at FunJunkie.
Worth checking out, it happens every year.

swisslet said...

good review, and it sounds like a good CD too.... Yoko done good!

Was there ever any doubt.

Thanks for playing.


Kaptain Kobold said...

Glad to see that I wasn't the only one to include Nick Drake on their CD :-)

Me said...

Some good songs here and a nice review. I'm about confused about why Gwyneth is getting the blame for Coldplay's musical output. Is she writing the songs or something?! Or stifling his creative talent? I don't buy that, to be honest. What's she done then?

Ali said...

>What's she done then?

To quote one of the songs (Joni Mitchell) I put on my CD - '...he bought her a dishwasher, and a coffee percolator, and now he sits at home most nights with all the house lights turned up bright.'