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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Bands to listen to before you are thirty-ish, forty or whenever you have the time. (Part One)

It seems that we are being herded like sheep towards cultivating a narrow view of our musical past.
Top ten, twenty, fifty and hundred lists are bombarded at us from everywhere and I'm not too keen on them.
The best albums, the best album art, the best live bands and the most influential are neatly bundled up, wrapped in a bow and punted forward for us to consume.
My problem with them is that they seem to operate as a check list for people.
You must have Sgt Pepper, Exile on Main Street, Transformer, London Calling. Live at Leeds, NMTB, Pet Sounds, Highway 61 Revisited and Forever Changes or you are somehow lacking in the music appreciation department.
Of course they are all classics, but it's a very subjective issue.
I guess what bugs me about it is that for some people these lists are the be all and end all.
Once they are ticked off the list then that's them. Nothing they are listening to acts as a catalyst to discovering anything else.
If they could buy the top 100 albums as a deluxe box set then that would do them forever.
It's as if the attitude of, here it as, this is your lot, and it is all you will ever need, is being promoted.
Now that is wrong to me.
Buying music should be like an addiction. One hit should leave you feeling like you need another, and then another, and then maybe you could try some experimentation.
Always be on the look out for a bigger, better and maybe even just a different high.
So with that in mind I thought I would share my views on a few albums that I consider classics and that are ill deserving of being sidelined into obscurity.
Please feel free to add more in the comments.
First up, well how about The Godfathers with their Birth, School, Work, Death album?
This, their second album, delivered on everything that their d├ębut promised, but for some strange reason is now more a cult classic than a just simply a classic.
Why that is I don't know because from the moment the needle is lowered into the groove it doesn't put a foot wrong.
I could hazard a guess that it was down to them being too late to ride the punk wave and too early to maximize on the return of guitar rock to these shores.
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time sort of sums it up.
Regardless of that though there should have been some sort of reappraisal with them getting a greater degree of recognition for this release.
Once the rave scene had abated a bit then The Godfathers should have been dusted off and pushed forward to have another bite at the apple with this album being used to kick in the doors.
It's not pretty boy rock music, but something more than that. Something that hints at working class aggression belligerently filtered through loud guitar with an accompanying snarl that pre-dates Oasis and their ilk by more than half a decade.
It swaggers like the Stones or the Dolls, There's some Johnny Thunders in there somewhere, but a very English take on the New Yorkers style. Then there's The Who, some psych work outs, some Canvey Island and huge sense of them being being articulate enough to mirror lyrically the reality of who they were and where they came from. An album by the people for the people so to speak.
Technically the guitar work of Kris Dollimore is beyond reproach and the vocals of Peter Coyne are like a iron fist in a velvet glove.
This is a band at the top of their game and revelling in proving it. They have the songs and the talent to make them a reality and it is heartbreaking to think that this didn't catapult them into teh stratosphere.
Even the production is rich and textured without diluting the power of the band in the slightest.
I've got it on just now and it sounds as fresh as the day I bought it over twenty years ago.
So if you were to slavishly kowtow to these best of lists then you would miss out on this gem and that would be a great shame. Not for me as I know this is a great album, but for you. So on you go. Do something different.
Take a step off the well beaten track and try this and see how it fits.
If you like it then see what else the band are up to as they have seven other albums under their belt and just released a new single proving that they aren't yesterdays men and never will be.
Next it's going to be the turn of The Redskins, but in the mean time let's here your recommendation for the alternative list to the mainstream ones.


  1. Hmm where do i start...The Triffids Black Swan album, The Pixies Doolittle, The Cure Pornography, The Associates Sulk,and anything by The Meteors up to 1990 :)

  2. Defo The Triffids. Doolitle seems to do alright for itself as I doubt many indie loving kids would be without it. Pornograhy is a great album as is Sulk, but while I like The Meteors I wouldn't personally add them to a list of forgotten gems.

  3. ahem,half of these so-called classic albums only represent what a particular journalist thought of these albums. Personally, The Beatles White Album was more superior to Sgt Pepper,and The Clash Sandinista oozed of creativity more so than London Calling did. :)

  4. Sulk was the very first album that blew me away,no album and no band has sounded like them since. Thier recording studio techniques were rather weird too,eg pishing into an acoustic guitar and filling drumkit full of water.lmao :)

  5. Well maybe not one journalist as they seem to appear all over the place. Initially it would seem based on the opinion of the music journalists, but even those of the public reflect a similar list now, but I reckon that's partially conditioning.
    They say it is a classic, therefore it must be a classic.

  6. If anyone wants to write a specific piece about a much loved album that maybe didn't get the recognition they feel it deserved then feel free and just add it here.

  7. thats true.Its as if the public never had a mind of its own and are brainwashed by NME into thinking that a particular album must be great and another album must be crap etc,as if they have the power to decide this. Many a great band has slipped throught the net due to music mags dissing them,time the public thought for themselves :)

  8. I will get back to you in a few days or hours idf i think of a underated classic :)

  9. That would be good. The more the merrier.

  10. The new Godfathers single gets a review over on NUZZ PROWLING WOLF. The link to the site is on the right hand side of the page here.

  11. The Screaming Blue Messiahs - Gun Shy.

    Just bought The Godfathers - Shot At The 100 Club dvd/cd awesome as ever!!!

  12. Ahhh. The Screaming Blue Messiahs. I seen them supporting INXS of all bands on their first UK tour. Good call.
    I'm going to have to get myself the 100 club release as all I've heard is good things about it.