Thursday, September 21, 2017

40 From 40: 1996

Welcome to one of the busiest and most quietly epochal years there ever was if only for the emergence of the Spice Girls. First appeared on TV three months before Wannabe's release, lest we forget. At one end of the pop spectrum Oasis were colonising the land at Knebworth, at the other Take That were splitting, and where those points met Jarvis was pointing his bony ass at Michael Jackson (and, lest we forget, being arrested for assaulting children he'd gone nowhere near) It was the year of the Sex Pistols reuniting and the Stone Roses publicly disintegrating, the hammer coming down at Reading. It was the year of Dave Gahan overdosing and Madonna giving birth. It was the year of Macarena and Firestarter, Gina G and Babylon Zoo, Three Lions and Robert Miles. Tupac died. Bowie released a digital-only single, the first by a major label artist. Virtual Insanity made people internationally go "actually it's the floor that's moving, right?" You'll note a lack of full-on Britpop here in this most Cool Britannia of years, this kind of being the year it chose to celebrate its own being more than produce lasting legacies, and really the closest it comes is those bands who got sucked into its publicity machine's jetstream while idling about their own business well off to the left of what was otherwise going on. Yes, Your Woman did originally come out in 1996, before you say it. No Broadcast or Edwyn Collins on Spotify, BTW.

Arab Strap - The First Big Weekend
Belle & Sebastian - The State I Am In
Animals That Swim - Faded Glamour
Garageland - Beelines To Heaven
R.E.M. - How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us
Trembling Blue Stars - Abba On The Jukebox
Stereolab - Cybele's Reverie
Broadcast - The Book Lovers
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Patio Song
Eels - Susan's House
DJ Shadow - Midnight In A Perfect World
Tricky - Christiansands
Primitive Radio Gods - Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand
White Town - Your Woman
The Olivia Tremor Control - Jumping Fences
Weezer - Tired Of Sex
The Flaming Stars - Ten Feet Tall
Barry Adamson - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis
Edwyn Collins - Keep On Burning
Beck - The New Pollution
Busta Rhymes - Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check
Butthole Surfers - Pepper
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Wail
Sebadoh - Ocean
Urusei Yatsura - Kewpies Like Watermelon
The Delgados - Under Canvas Under Wraps
Kenickie - Come Out 2 Nite
Super Furry Animals - God! Show Me Magic
Guided By Voices - The Official Ironmen Rally Song
Jack – Wintercomesummer
Mansun - Stripper Vicar
dEUS - Roses
The Auteurs - Tombstone
The Divine Comedy - Songs Of Love
Beth Orton - She Cries Your Name
Low - Over The Ocean
Bis - This Is Fake DIY
Earl Brutus - The SAS And The Glam That Goes With It
Lionrock - Fire Up The Shoesaw
Tortoise - Djed

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

40 From 40: 1974

Everybody knows rock attained perfection in 1974, it's a scientific fact! This was the year of Abba winning Eurovision, the Osmonds being given their own week of prime-time BBC1 programming, Kung Fu Fighting, Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Centre of the Earth and, in a far-off place, the Ramones' debut at CBGBs. Meanwhile...

Kraftwerk - Autobahn
Cluster - Caramel
Robert Wyatt - Sea Song
Vivian Stanshall - Truck-Track
Average White Band - Pick Up The Pieces
Commodores - Machine Gun
Parliament - Up For The Down Stroke
The Javells feat. Nosmo King - Goodbye (Nothing to Say)
James Brown - My Thang
The Jackson 5 - Dancing Machine
Stevie Wonder - You Haven't Done Nothin'
Labelle - Lady Marmalade
Al Green - Take Me To The River
10cc - The Wall Street Shuffle
Sparks - Amateur Hour
Roxy Music - All I Want Is You
Big Star - September Gurls
Steely Dan - Any Major Dude Will Tell You
Randy Newman - Rednecks
Gene Clark - Strength Of Strings
Gram Parsons - $1000 Wedding
Joni Mitchell - Free Man In Paris
Tom Waits - (Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night
John Cale - Fear Is A Man's Best Friend
Cockney Rebel - Judy Teen
Queen - Killer Queen
Suzi Quatro - Devil Gate Drive
David Bowie - Rebel Rebel
Dr Feelgood - Roxette
Brian Eno - Baby's On Fire
Roy Wood - Goin' Down The Road (A Scottish Reggae Song)
Betty Davis - He Was A Big Freak
Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information
Gil Scott-Heron - Winter In America
George McCrae - Rock Your Baby
Augustus Pablo - Please Sunrise
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Natty Dread
Ansel Collins - Stalag 17
U-Roy - Words Of Wisdom
Rupie Edwards - Ire Feelings (Skanga)

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Friday, September 15, 2017

40 From 40: 1998

In retrospect, something appears to be coming together around 1998. Three of the year's biggest music stories - George Michael's arrest, Elton John's knighthood, Geri leaving the Spice Girls - feel like the first stage of coalescing into the next superstar clique, with Madonna on the outside waving her Kaballah red string (for newcomers, Kaballah was the Scientology of its day) at passers-by. The slow demise of the Spice Girls phenomenon left quite a bit of room to fill in its wake too, 1998 being the year of All Saints' rise, Billie Piper, B*Witched, Boyzone's peak (with Westlife newly formed in the wings), the irresistable rise of 1997's Angels, and in America the release of Baby One More Time and the launch of TRL. And yet if you look at the year's biggest selling worldwide singles - My Heart Will Go On, Believe, I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, It's Like That, You're Still The One - a story far from youth is being told, especially when you remember Jane McDonald had three weeks at number one. This is the year we came closest, we think, to being able to put out an entirely different reserve list, and even now we're not sure it's as strong as it can be. Sod it, it's up now. And actually quite a bit of that B-list is missing from Spotify, as are Royal Trux, Derrero and Silver Jews in the 40 that actually made it. Obscurity for art's sake on our part or labels and bands letting the streaming side down? You decide.

Refused - New Noise
Asian Dub Foundation - Free Satpal Ram
UNKLE feat. Badly Drawn Boy - Nursery Rhyme
Royal Trux - Liar
Six By Seven - Candlelight
Sonic Youth - Sunday
Swell - Make Up Your Mind
Clinic - Cement Mixer
Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945
The Olivia Tremor Control - Hideaway
Quasi - The Poisoned Well
Sparklehorse - Sick Of Goodbyes
Eels - Last Stop: This Town
Derrero - Radar Intruder
Beck - Tropicalia
Boards Of Canada - Aquarius
Black Star feat. Common - Respiration
Massive Attack - Inertia Creeps
Mercury Rev - Opus 40
Pulp - This Is Hardcore
The Delgados - Pull The Wires From The Wall
The Beta Band - She's The One
PJ Harvey - The Wind
Cat Power - Cross Bones Style
Elliott Smith - Waltz #2 (XO)
Black Box Recorder - Girl Singing In The Wreckage
Silver Jews - Random Rules
Vic Chesnutt - Maiden
Songs:Ohia - This Time Anything Finite At All
Arab Strap - Soaps
Mogwai - Xmas Steps
Hefner - The Sad Witch
Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap
Kenickie - Run Me Over
Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing)
Jurassic 5 - Jayou
Beastie Boys - Intergalactic
Spearmint - A Trip Into Space
Dawn Of The Replicants - Candlefire
Quickspace - Quickspace Happy Song #2

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

40 From 40: 1980

1980 has gone down as the year of unusual numbers of rock deaths - Lennon, John Bonham, Ian Curtis, Bon Scott, Malcolm Owen of the Ruts, Tim Hardin - which tends to overshadow that the improbable pace of development and diversification around these years was coming into its own. Things came from all angles, the clubs becoming a sales influence in the year when Top Of The Pops was off TV for nine summer weeks due to Musician's Union strike action while the indie chart was launched in January to give a sector deep into the shapeshifting oddity of post-punk and its cousins 2-Tone, electronics and goth more exposure. The American hardcore and punk underground reared up with SST starting to put out records other than Black Flag's, while at the other end of the sales scale pop itself went in strange exploratory directions as percussive, feedback-laden sloganeers Adam & The Ants became pretty much the biggest band in the land. And look at rap starting to make itself known in its original, straightforward form down there. These really were accelerating cultures, which is obviously why the year's 40 starts with a knowingly retro record. Peter Gabriel and A Certain Ratio (only available in remixed form) are the Spotify refuseniks this time.

The Barracudas - Summer Fun
The Undertones - Wednesday Week
Martha & The Muffins - Echo Beach
The Soft Boys - I Wanna Destroy You
XTC - Generals And Majors
Paul McCartney - Coming Up
Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime
Adam & The Ants - Don't Be Square (Be There)
A Certain Ratio - Shack Up
Young Marble Giants - Wurlitzer Jukebox
Grace Jones - Private Life
UB40 - King
The Specials - Do Nothing
John Foxx - Underpass
The Cure - A Forest
Orange Juice - Blue Boy
New Musik - This World Of Water
Squeeze - Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
Diana Ross - My Old Piano
Susan Fassbender - Twilight Cafe
Dexys Midnight Runners - There There My Dear
Magazine - A Song From Under The Floorboards
Madness - Embarrassment
The Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom
Joy Division - Isolation
David Bowie - Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
Mission Of Burma - Max Ernst
The Birthday Party - Mr Clarinet
The Cramps - Garbageman
Dead Kennedys - Holiday In Cambodia
Motörhead - Ace Of Spades
The Jim Carroll Band - People Who Died
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Happy House
Spoonie Gee and the Treacherous Three - The New Rap Language
Kurtis Blow - The Breaks
Kate Bush - Babooshka
Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers
The Jam - That's Entertainment
Robert Wyatt - At Last I Am Free
John Cooper Clarke - Beasley Street

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Friday, September 08, 2017

40 From 40: 2003

2003 was in some ways the year everything we knew about pop splintered - Phil Spector's arrest, Michael Jackson's post-Martin Bashir arrest, Britney being kissed by and then duetting with Madonna with the precipice starting to hove into view. Johnny Cash reinvented raw emotion in music videos with Hurt, and later that year died. Elliott Smith also passed on in still unexplained circumstances. The Libertines really kicked into gear, for what that did for UK indie (whatever did happen to Peter Brame? Actually nobody knows what became of Alex Parks, who actually won that series of Fame Academy, so...) Apple opened iTunes store. And as The New Rock Revival splintered some fascinating things happened out there. We left out Crazy In Love as it's even too obvious for a playlist that includes Seven Nation Army.

Super Furry Animals - Slow Life
Manitoba (Caribou) - Hendrix With KO
Colder - Crazy Love
The Postal Service - We Will Become Silhouettes
Broadcast - Colour Me In
Outkast - GhettoMusick
LCD Soundsystem - Yeah (Crass Version)
!!! - Me and Giuliani Down By The School Yard (A True Story)
Zongamin - Serious Trouble
Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U
M.I.A. - Galang
Rachel Stevens - Sweet Dreams My LA Ex
The Go! Team - Junior Kickstart
The Sleepy Jackson - Vampire Racecourse
Franz Ferdinand - Darts Of Pleasure
The Futureheads - Carnival Kids
Million Dead - Breaking The Back
The Thermals - No Culture Icons
Jetplane Landing - Brave Gravity
Mclusky - Undress For Success
Radiohead - 2+2=5
The New Pornographers - The Laws Have Changed
Mew - She Spider
J. Xaverre - Great All Great
TV On The Radio - Young Liars
The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love
The Hidden Cameras - Ban Marriage
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
Hope Of The States - Black Dollar Bills
Tom McRae - Human Remains
Mogwai - Hunted By A Freak
Jaylib - The Red
Sufjan Stevens - They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For The Homeless In Muskegon)
Patrick Wolf - To The Lighthouse
Explosions In The Sky - First Breath After Coma
British Sea Power - Blackout
Rufus Wainwright - I Don't Know What It Is
The French - Gabriel In The Airport
Cat Power - I Don't Blame You

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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

STN recommends... August 2017

Round we go again with our favourite tracks from the month just recently completed:

Monday, September 04, 2017

40 From 40: 1995

Britpop Now! Yeah! There is a little of that, judiciously selected, in our thirtieth timelocked roundup but also a reminder that very interesting things were happening just out of that sightline both in the fringes and in dance areas and American lo-fi (Number One Cup are this instalment's Spotify refuseniks) Of course it's worth remembering that away from a week of mid-August sales competitiveness the charts were for large parts of the year dominated by Robson & Jerome, now a Game Of Thrones-related meme, and the Outhere Brothers, who aren't even that well remembered. Elsewhere Richey vanished, Jerry Garcia died, Robbie left Take That, the Beatles brought out the first Anthology compilation and Free As A Bird, REM's Bill Berry suffered a brain aneurysm mid-gig and a statue of Michael Jackson was floated down the Thames. It now stands outside a McDonalds in Holland, as should be all our fates. There's a cover in here, you may note, but this was the version we first heard and still prefer it, so there.

Ben Folds Five - Underground
Teenage Fanclub - Don't Look Back
Guided By Voices - Game Of Pricks
The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
Echobelly - King Of The Kerb
Yo La Tengo – Tom Courtenay
Buffalo Tom - Summer
Number One Cup - Divebomb
The Muffs - Won't Come Out To Play
Supergrass - Lose It
Morphine – Honey White
Elastica - Annie
Oasis - Headshrinker
Rocket From The Crypt - Born In '69
Foo Fighters - This Is A Call
Cap'n Jazz - Little League
Radiohead - Planet Telex
PJ Harvey - Meet Ze Monsta
Whipping Boy - Twinkle
Long Fin Killie - The Heads Of Dead Surfers
Björk - Hyperballad
Underworld - Born Slippy (Nuxx)
Daft Punk - Da Funk
Josh Wink - Higher State Of Consciousness (Tweekin' Acid Funk Mix)
Raekwon - Criminology
GZA - Cold World
The Pharcyde – Drop
Dubstar - Stars
Pulp - Sorted For E's & Wizz
Eric Matthews - Fanfare
Pavement - Grounded
Sparklehorse - Hammering The Cramps
Harvey's Rabbit - Is This What You Call Change?
Gene - Olympian
Elliott Smith - Needle In The Hay
Tricky - Hell Is Round The Corner
Tindersticks - Travelling Light
Dirty Three – Everything's Fucked
Scott Walker - Tilt
Passengers feat. Luciano Pavarotti - Miss Sarajevo

Previously on 40 From 40: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Sunday, August 27, 2017

40 From 40: 1971

Sit down, David Hepworth. The year of the first Glastonbury Festival, of Jim Morrison's death, The Concert for Bangladesh, the Montreux Casino fire that inspired Smoke On The Water and...

Dave & Ansell Collins - Double Barrel
Niney The Observer - Blood & Fire
Delroy Wilson - Better Must Come
Fela Kuti - Black Man's Cry
The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau Part 1
John Kongos - He's Gonna Step On You Again
Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Express Yourself
Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
James Brown - Soul Power
Sly & The Family Stone - Family Affair
The Temptations - Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft
Funkadelic - Hit It And Quit It
Rotary Connection - I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun
Shuggie Otis - Strawberry Letter 23
Labi Siffre - It Must Be Love
Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine
Al Green - Tired Of Being Alone
Carpenters - Superstar
The Beach Boys - Surf's Up
Serge Gainsbourg - Ballade de Melody Nelson
Carole King - So Far Away
Joni Mitchell - A Case Of You
Elton John - Tiny Dancer
Tim Hardin - Moonshiner
Anne Briggs - Sandman's Song
Leonard Cohen - Avalanche
David Bowie - Life On Mars?
Karen Dalton - Katie Cruel
John Lennon - How Do You Sleep?
Flamin' Groovies - Teenage Head
Harry Nilsson - Jump Into The Fire
T. Rex - Jeepster
Led Zeppelin - Rock And Roll
Yes - Yours Is No Disgrace
Focus - Hocus Pocus
Electric Light Orchestra - 10538 Overture
Cher - Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves
Can - Oh Yeah

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

40 From 40: 2001

We haven't read Meet Me In The Bathroom yet apart from some bookshop flickage, but we're delighted that it gives over a chapter to Jonathan Fire*Eater. Their apparent spiritual bretheren got people all het up from 2001 on, but beyond those 2001 was a year of flux and wane. Nu-metal attempted to build and grow with System Of A Down's breakthrough, but Limp Bizkit's hubris led to its eventual collapse. 9/11 brought Clear Channel into a brighter light with its all-encompassing ban list. Aaliyah was killed. Mariah Carey broke down. Pop Idol debuted as Hear'Say embarked on their firework career. S Club 7 piled in, followed from another direction by So Solid Crew and everything/everyone they brought with them (no, their inclusion below is not ironic - consider it a make-good for forgetting Pow in 2004) Kylie had her big Paul Morley-inspiring moment. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot became a cause celebre. Napster closed, briefly, six months after iTunes debuted, not that anybody quite knew what that was. The charts were assailed by Lady Marmalade, It Wasn't Me and Hey Baby. Meanwhile... just 37 in the Spotify list here as Felix da Housecat disappeared right before we put this up, Jay-Z isn't on due to commerce, nor Mo-Ho-Bish-O-Pi pretty much for the exact opposite reason.

Lift To Experience - These Are The Days
Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong
Death Cab For Cutie - A Movie Script Ending
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - As I Sat Sadly By Her Side
Pulp - Sunrise
Super Furry Animals - Receptacle For The Respectable
Eels - Souljacker Part 1
Fugazi - Furniture
Jarcrew - Paris And The New Math
Muse - New Born
The Dandy Warhols - Godless (Massive Attack Mix)
Ikara Colt - Sink Venice
Mo-Ho-Bish-O-Pi - Hear The Air
The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl
The Strokes - Hard To Explain
Life Without Buildings - PS Exclusive
Jetplane Landing - This Is Not Revolution Rock
Liars - Mr You're On Fire Mr (no, apparently this isn't on YouTube at all)
So Solid Crew - 21 Seconds
Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope)
Jay-Z - Izzo (H.O.V.A.) (yeah, that's not much like a workable version, but what can you do)
Gorillaz - Rock The House
Michael Franti & Spearhead - Rock The Nation
Stereolab - Captain Easychord
Electrelane - Film Music
Ladytron - Playgirl
Felix Da Housecat - Silver Screen Shower Scene
Dub Pistols feat. Terry Hall - Problem Is
Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
Melys - Chinese Whispers
Stephen Malkmus - Jenny & The Ess-Dog
Belle & Sebastian - I'm Waking Up To Us
Mull Historical Society - Mull Historical Society
Murry The Hump - Cracking Up
Comet Gain - You Can Hide Your Love Forever
Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan
J.Xaverre - Saturday
Elbow - Red
Turin Brakes - The Door
Sparklehorse - Gold Day

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Monday, August 14, 2017

STN recommends... July 2017

Obviously nobody's given a shit but we've pulled the new track posts because, well, it's 2017, who cares about meaningless fluff any more. Everyone loves an interactive playlist, though!