Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Second-Hand Records (90's)

Download Episode (9.4 mb)

Living through a decade really helps when you’re looking for music during it. The list of artists I want to include isn’t endless, but it doesn’t end here. So had I the time or patience I could easily have done another episode, but well I don’t. To all those great artists out there that I missed, you know who you are, keep on loving yourself. Now just because I lived through it, doesn’t mean I got to know all the music along the way. In fact had it been left purely up to me my knowledge would undoubtedly be limited and poor. However that is the advantage of an older brother. While later I would discover his tastes were only the tip of the iceberg, a better start than nothing it was. About a year ago, I discovered his plethora of mix discs, filled with the many songs I loved, yet I had no idea who they belonged to, let alone what they were named. So I underwent the tedious, yet successful task of matching what I heard to online lyrics databases through the ever-handy Google. Now I can call all those songs my own and enjoy them at my leisure. While this doesn’t apply to all songs here, it applies to most and the other two are favourites of others, recommended to me anyway so the common theme still holds.

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
This is simply an epic song. I don’t know why I feel this, perhaps the orchestral sound, but whenever I listen to it, I always feeling that it is being sung for a reason and having some profound effect somewhere in the world. It’s stupid I know but it’s true. Richard Ashcroft played this song at Live 8, backed up by Coldplay, where Chris Martin introduced him as ‘the best singer in the world’. While this is a ridiculous claim, it’s gotta count for something. A truly sad story, but which I find hilarious is that they were sued for including a Rolling Stones loop in this song and subsequently didn’t make a dime from by far their biggest song.

Pavement – Gold Soundz
Pavement never achieved mainstream fame, but meet a fan and you’ll realise just how big a cult following they had. This following includes many high profile bands and they are quoted as influential far more than their success would suggest. Similarly they were one of the first indie (independent (not the genre this term somehow spawned)) bands to make a mark without the help of a major label, inspiring many more to do so. I personally took a while to get into pavement, the timely onset of my realisation of their quality coming only after a few listenings of Crooked Crooked Rain. This song was the first I warmed to and subsequently my favourite though, Cut Your Hair, which for some reason invokes thoughts of Weezer, is threatening to take it’s spot.

Idlewild – You Held The World In Your Arms
This song has always been one of my favourite ‘single songs’. While I would normally call myself an album collector, I also have a small number of songs which I either don’t want to get more of the band or simply never get round to it. I would put this band in the latter category for while I know little about them it appears this wasn’t just a one hit wonder. I especially like the energy of this song and while I’m thinking about it, I guess you could say the long drawn out vocals in the chorus go really well. The quality of this song is a bit off in the file, I tried fixing it but apparently it just doesn’t like being at 80kbps.

Eels – Last Stop: This Town
My memories of Eels consist of pleasant vocals and well crafted film clips. This song definitely brings back such memories. The sound here is also rather unique which makes even better. Mr. E, I would just like you to know that I enjoy your blend of catchy tunes and soothing vocals

Stereophonics – More Life In A Tramps
While I actually don’t mind their latest offering, that is almost irrelevant, for it feels that their older stuff, especially this, is by a completely different band. It seems so much more intelligent, in many ways. It is more complex, there’s more variation and the lyrics are well, they’re about the same. Most notable the voice sounds very different; I personally like this sound better

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