For every original Lyons Tea Room, there’s a Comic Sans Dentists… God damn you Microsoft fonts!!!!
Britpop was a cringeworthy time for some but it was my musical education – it was a ‘gateway’ period for me, without Britpop i wouldn’t have discovered so much other music…. here’s my favourites…
- Oasis – Columbia (White Label)
- Supergrass – Lenny
- Pulp – Sorted for E’s and Wizz
- Blur – This is a Low
- Cast – Finetime
- Echobelly – Dark Therapy
- Elastica – Connection
- Ocean Colour Scene – Hundred Mile High City
- Shed Seven – On Standby
- The Verve – History
Youtube playlist is found here:
To finish off the series on music documentaries, I’m covering the other ones… erm, that couldn’t go under ‘Genres’ or ‘Artists’ or whatever…. That was pretty slick weren’t it.
KEEP ON RUNNING – 50 YEARS OF ISLAND RECORDS
It’s funny cos I seem to have the over-riding memory regarding Island Records that it was good. Right back in the day when I used to buy/steal Q magazine during my ‘wild’ teenage days. Dunno why – didn’t really know anyone on their roster back then. But my initial feeling seemed to be confirmed with this brilliant brilliant film. It demonstrates how a good record company should be created. One that looks after it’s artists and is driven by the quality and individuality of the music. The roster is pretty amazing – Traffic, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Tricky, Amy Winehouse… it goes on and on. Plus, you can’t help but LOVE Chris Blackwell. What a guy.
FYI, I don’t know where you can get this documentary. iPlayer is the only place I’ve seen it. This bit is the only clip I’ve found on youtube…
HOW MUSIC WORKS
Despite it appearing like a bunch of educational films from the 80’s, this really is one of the most interesting studies into music theory I’ve seen. I fully admit that I prefer not to know theory as I feel that it can stifle creativity. I’ve seen it in a few accomplished musicians. But Howard Goodall (he of Blackadder theme fame) goes deep into theory in a way that is so accessible to musicians and normal people alike – it’s a joy to watch. Additionally, there’s nothing quite like a really posh guy saying a gangsta rapper’s name.
All the 3 parts of the documentary are on youtube…
So the future king is getting married to a mucky commoner and the whole world is rejoicing… well, us British are just happy to get an extra bank holiday. But in any case, it’s time to celebrate and my little contribution is in the form of a special playlist of tunes in tribute to the royal couple… and the extra bank holiday.
Billy Idol – White Wedding
Come on, it’s just a classic that should be played at all weddings. “Nice day to, start agaaaaaaaaaaain!”
Pulp – Common People
Bit obvious i know but this one goes out to the Middletons and especially what the tabloids call ‘the pushy mum’ Carole Middleton.
Snoop Dogg – Drop It Like It’s Hot
When I heard that Prince Harry was trying to get Snoop Dogg to play at the stag do, I thought it was genius. Imagine all the toffs having it to this. Especially Prince Phillip.
Prince – Kiss
Just IMAGINE if this was the first dance. With a sexy routine. HOT.
ABBA – Dancing Queen
The Queen. Dancing. Having the time of her life. What an image.
The Osmonds – Crazy Horses
The royals love their polo don’t they? Then they should love this pop classic.
…and one that they probably wouldn’t play
The Beatles – Her Majesty
Going out to Kate, if you become Queen one day. Bless her, she doesn’t seem to have a lot to say.
“Who’s number 1?” was a common Monday morning question when I was entering my teens. I actually used to write up the top 20 for my tutor group to see (not that anyone noticed) and without one piece of technology, I couldn’t have done it.
That’s right – the joy of tapes.
I’m reminiscing on a time that seemed so innocent. A time when ‘sharing music’ didn’t have connotations of criminality. When all it meant was that you’d taped a whole album, normally while listening to it, and taken it home with you to play until you could afford to buy it. When you did buy it, it was probably on tape so you could listen to it on your walkman.
The really great memories of cassettes were the times when I was making my own mixtapes – it took real time, effort and expert planning to make a good one. You had to really know your music and what went with what. Then there’s the classic ‘tape it off the radio and try not to miss the start’. Fun and frustration in one easy package.It’s a shame that some kids will never have to own cassettes – there was an innocence that is hard to recapture.
But considering that what we were doing with sharing music then, it was pretty much exactly what a lot of people do digitally these days. You share an album with someone to see whether you want to buy the album at a later date. Is that too simple an analogy? I don’t think so but I’m sure there’s struggling bands who’d disagree.
But I love my tapes – it takes me back to when the music industry wasn’t freaked out all the time and you didn’t feel bad about sampling music before you bought it. Or perhaps I was too young to give a shit…
There’s nothing like some Old Skool (in it’s original sense) to ‘get it started’ – I bloody love it. The start of something truly original and groundbreaking. There always seems to be some debate over what period is ‘old skool’ but for me, it has to be the late 70’s/early 80’s and here’s my personal favourites for this Easter Bank Holiday!
- Sugar Hill Gang – Rappers Delight
- Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel
- That’s the Joint – Funky 4+1
- Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock
- Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – White Lines
- Kurtis Blow – The Breaks
- Herbie Hancock feat. Grandmixer VXT – Rockit
- It’s Like That – Run DMC
- West Street Mob – Breakdance Electric Boogie
- Sugarhill Gang – Apache
Carrying on from my last blog regarding the best music genre documentaries, here I list my favourite music docs that focus in on a band and/or solo singer…
‘Rock n roll’ is a pretty good way to describe this film. You cannot believe that two frontmen be so self-unaware. I’m not quite sure how to describe the drug addled lunatic that is Anton Newcombe. Drug addled lunatic does pretty well I suppose. What’s interesting is the insight into a successful band and the reactions that their friends have who are essentially, jealous. Egos, tantrums, drugs, madness, kicks in the head… it’s all here.
THE PETER GREEN STORY – MAN OF THE WORLD
Peter Green is the best British blues guitarist. Simple. Even Noel Gallagher understands that. Apparently BB King said that he was the only white guy playing who had the feel of an old bluesman from the deep south. With Fleetwood Mac, he outsold The Beatles and The Stones put together in 1969. Yet Peter Green’s slide into schizophrenia from LSD intake meant that he never rose further than that. Definitely one of my favourite guitarists (as I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog). A very good advert for not taking acid.
OIL CITY CONFIDENTIAL
Now, some people might claim that I’m being rather biased with this choice as Dr Feelgood are ‘The Best Local Band in the World’ and hail from Canvey Island, Essex. This association definitely gives me a localised view on the film but it’s so well done that it’s hard not to love it. It reflects the members of the Feelgoods – a lovable rogue of a film that you would expect to have cigarettes stapled to it.