Category Archives: ProgRock

Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill (1977)

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Solsbury Hill is located near Bath, where Peter Gabriel would often stroll. It became the setting for his all-important first single as a solo artist after leaving Genesis. It was a big deal for him and the lyrics say it all: “My heart going boom boom boom/’Son’, he said ‘Grab your things, I’ve come to take you home’. The song is the second track on the first volume of Peter Gabriel’s eponymous body of work, later retitled Peter Gabriel 1 (Car). Despite his trepidation, it’s incredibly uplifting sound. Have a great weekend.

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9 of the best – sounds of noughties

It would seem that 2004 was peak noughties (to these ears…):

The Avalanches – Since I Left You (2000)

 The Strokes – Modern Age (2001)

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize? (2002)

Broken Social Scene – Stars And Sons (2003)

The Walkmen – The Rat (2004)

Sébastien Tellier – La Ritournelle (2004)

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla (2005)

 Midlake – Bandits (2006)

Beirut – Nantes (2007)

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Honourable mentions also go to: Lambchop for ‘Up With The People’ (2000); Outkast for ‘Ms. Jackson’ (2000); Ian Brown for ‘F. E. A. R.’ (2001); The Shins for ‘New Slang‘ (2002); Kings Of Leon for ‘Red Morning Light‘ (2003); Radiohead for ‘A Wolf At The Door’ (2003); Mew for ‘Comforting Sounds’ (2003); Kasabian for ‘Club Foot’ (2004); Danger Mouse for his remix of ‘Public Service Announcement’ (2004); The Good, the Bad and the Queen for ‘Herculean’ (2006); The Hold Steady for ‘The Chillout Tent‘ (2006); The Strokes for ‘You Only Live Once’ (2006); and Jay Electronica for ‘Exhibit C’ (2009).

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9 of the best – sounds of 2001

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 2001 and in no particular order:

The Strokes – Hard To Explain

Ian Brown – F. E. A. R.

The Shins – New Slang

Daft Punk – Digital Love

Radiohead – Pyramid Song

Spiritualized – I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You

Lift To Experience – Falling From Cloud 9

Röyksopp ‎- Remind Me

The Strokes – Modern Age

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Honourable mentions also go to: Weezer for ‘Island In The Sun‘; Zero 7 for ‘In The Waiting Line‘; Jay-Z for ‘Izzo (H.O.V.A.)‘; Golden Boy feat. Miss Kittin for ‘Rippin Kittin‘; The Other People Place for ‘Let Me Be Me‘; Muse for ‘Bliss‘; Cannibal Ox for ‘Iron Galaxy’; Roger Sanchez for ‘Another Chance’; Radiohead for ‘Knives Out’; and Yann Tiersen for ‘La Valse d’Amélie‘.

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Augie March – The Hole In Your Roof (2000)

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Augie March formed in Victoria, Australia, in 1996 when English major Glenn Richards got together with a group of fellow students, and between them they cooked up the Saul Bellow moniker. In 2000, Rob Dawson joined the band as a pianist and the band recorded their debut album, Sunset Studies. The Radiohead-influenced album was lauded by critics, but not so much by the record-buying public. ‘The Hole In Your Roof’ was the opening tack off the album. In January 2001, as the band were looking to work on a follow up, Dawson was killed in car crash.

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Peter Gabriel – Intruder (1980)

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‘Intruder’ is the opening song off Peter Gabriel’s third and arguably best solo album. The Melt album saw the reunification of former bandmates Gabriel and Phil Collins. The latter’s instantly recognisable gated snare drums, which became one of the signature sounds of the 1980s.

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Radiohead – Pyramid Song (2001)

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radiohead-2001

Melancholy channeling itself through ascending chords. It’s hypnotic, sweeping and a little trippy. It ends up in a sort of jazz-rock. This was Radiohead’s prog rock from circa 2000. At the time, it’s a well known fact that they considered releasing a double album, but then opted for two releases eight months apart – Kid A and Amnesiac. ‘Pyramid Song’ is the centrepiece of the latter.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2002

Before we get to the nitty gritty of choosing some favourite sounds of the year, a quick canter back to 2002, with songs in no particular order:

The Knife – Heartbeats

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize?

Supergrass – Prophet 15

Layo & Bushwacka – Lovestory

Sigur Rós – Vaka (Untitled)

The Notwist – One With The Freaks

Boards Of Canada – Alpha And Omega

Interpol – Obstacle 1

Wilco – Ashes of American Flags

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Honourable mentions also go to: John Murphy for ‘In The House, In A Heartbeat‘; Múm for ‘Green Grass Of Tunnel‘; The Promise Ring for ‘Become One Anything One Time‘; People Under The Stairs for ‘Acid Raindrops‘; The White Stripes for ‘Fell In Love With A Girl‘; The Libertines for ‘Up The Bracket‘;and Red Hot Chili Peppers for ‘Universally Speaking‘.

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Roxy Music – In Every Dream Home a Heartache (1973)

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A year before Cymande were paying tribute to another, Roxy Music were doing something completely original. ‘In Every Dream Home a Heartache’ features on the band’s second album For Your Pleasure. Eno’s shimmering synthesizer, Bryan Ferry’s sultry opening tones, Phil Manzanera’s extended guitar solo… blinding talent at the top of their game. The classic lineup would never again get the chance to better their combined sound.

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Midlake – The Old & The Young (2013)

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Has it really been a decade since Midlake released their sublime second album The Trials of Van Occupanther? To my ears, they have never again reached those high sounds. That said, in 2013, the troubadour in them had a momentary return. From their fourth album Antiphon sprung ‘The Old & The Young’ with its echoes of the psychedelic side of Laurel Canyon.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2003

My favourite songs of 2003 and in no particular order:

Broken Social Scene – Stars And Sons

Kings Of Leon – Red Morning Light

Outkast – Hey Ya

Richmond Fontaine – Barely Losing

My Morning Jacket – One Big Holiday

Mew – Comforting Sounds

Radiohead – A Wolf At The Door

The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army

Broken Social Scene – Lovers Spit

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Honourable mentions also go to: Sun Kil Moon for ‘Carry Me Ohio‘; U.N.P.O.C. for ‘Amsterdam‘; The Postal Service for ‘Such Great Heights‘; Junior Senior for ‘Move Your Feet‘; The Weakerthans for ‘Plea From A Cat Named Virtute‘; and The Killers for ‘Mr. Brightside‘.

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The Besnard Lakes – Chicago Train (2010)

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Someone once said that listening to The Besnard Lakes is like listening to Supertramp singing Sigur Rós numbers. ‘Chicago Train’ is the third track off their 2010 album The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night. You make your mind up. Have a great week.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2005

I featured a few tracks from 2005 this week, but none of them made the cut. And so, in no particular order…

Kanye West feat. Adam Levine – Heard ‘Em Say

Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne-Gacy Jr

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla

Brakes – You’re So Pretty

Arcade Fire – Wake Up

Spoon – The Beast And Dragon Adored

Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor

Okkervil River – A King And A Queen

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Baby C’Mon

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Honourable mentions also go to: Devendra Banhart for ‘Santa Maria Da Feira‘; Gorillaz for ‘Hong Kong‘; Smog for ‘Rock Bottom Riser‘; My Morning Jacket for ‘Wordless Chorus‘; Lindstrom for ‘I Feel Space‘; Dangerdoom for ‘El Chupa Nibre‘; Kelley Stoltz for ‘The Sun Comes Through‘; Super Furry Animals for ‘Zoom!‘; and Little Barrie for ‘Free Salute‘.

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Sigur Rós – Starálfur (1999)

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SigurRos

Ágætis Byrjun was the breakthrough album by our favourite Icelandic prog rocksters Sigur Rós. It was released in 1999 and critical acclaim ensued. Electronic, dreamy, ambient and instrumentally artistic, ‘Starálfur’ was one its many standout moments. It made everyone want to go Beyond The Wall and stare at the geysers.

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David Bowie – It’s No Game (Part 1) (1980)

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David Bowie Pierrot

Disconcerting vocals will be a short-lived theme, certainly now that I pull out my ace – David Bowie’s 1980 songbook Scary Monsters (Super Creeps). If you think Billy Corgan and Tom Verlaine can be discordant, check out ‘It’s No Game’ and ‘Kingdom Come’. I discard the latter because it’s actually painful. Whereas ‘It’s No Game’ opens the album, features Robert Fripp on lead guitar and is a damn good song despite Bowie sounding like he is having his intestines pulled out. That last bit came from an NME review. Have a great weekend.

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Sigur Rós – Vaka (Untitled 1) (2002)

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A pretentious start to the week – the untitled third track off the untitled third album by the Nordic progsters Sigur Rós. Enjoy. Have a good week.

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