Category Archives: Rock

9 of the best – sounds of 1992

A compilation for sunny day in June. 1992 could have been a wasteland between what had been (Madchester, shoegazing, grunge) and what was to come (the Wu-Tang, trip hop, Britpop), but no. For one thing, it turned out to be one of the most inventive years in dance music.

Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAvHjoLxxh8

Aphex Twin – Xtal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnTFKWAT-XE

Flowered Up – Weekender

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn2GYzJjR2I

Pulp – Babies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38by00DGid0

R.E.M. – Nightswimming

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahJ6Kh8klM4

The Black Crowes – Remedy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYyRLTveFJQ

Crowded House – Four Seasons In One Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si3dBlNdifE

Pavement – Summer Babe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMjlhIWxfFI

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Honourable mentions also go to: Sade for ‘No Ordinary Love‘; Derrick May for his Illusion First Mix of ‘Sueño Latino‘; Mel’isa Morgan for ‘Still In Love‘; Coco Steel & Lovebom for ‘Feel It‘, My Bloody Valentine for ‘Only Shallow‘, Sergio Mendes for ‘Fanfarra (Cabua Le-Le)‘, Spiritualized for ‘Shine A Light‘, Kevin Saunderson for his Tunnel Mix of Inner City’s ‘Pennies From Heaven‘, Flowered Up for ‘Weekender‘; X-Press 2 for ‘Muzik Xpress‘; and The Pharcyde for ‘Passing Me By’.

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The Black Keys – Never Gonna Give You Up (2010)

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The Black Keys did something remarkable once they joined the likes of Wilco on Nonesuch Records. Over the course of four albums, they completed a journey from a blues-rockin’ duo in Akron, Ohio to awesome glam soul stadium rockers travelling the globe on a cloud of musical distortion. But during this rise, they were also able to fit in a cover version of Jerry Butler’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. Style.

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Vetiver – I Know No Pardon (2006)

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Some midweek midtempo sounds… Vetiver’s frontman Andy Cabic is a good friend of Devendra Banhart. Where Banhart’s neofolk channels Tropicália, Cabic’s work is very West Coast. ‘I Know No Pardon’ features on Vetiver’s sophomore album To Find Me Gone.

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The Kinks – Supersonic Rocket Ship (1972)

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Everybody’s In Show-Biz was The Kinks’ tenth studio album, but often labelled one of their silliest. Despite all of its drunkenness and camp vaudeville, it contains two unqualified classics: ‘Celluloid Heroes’ and ‘Sitting In My Hotel‘. So, let’s put those to the side and revel in the quintessential Ray Davies that is ‘Supersonic Rocket Ship’. And yes, I did see Avengers: Endgame this weekend.

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Flamin’ Groovies – Shake Some Action (1976)

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As with their peers Big Star, Flamin’ Groovies’ mix of bluesy rock and power pop made them a go-to influence for bands that followed. Part of their cult appeal is their ability to create a timeless sound. If I couldn’t see their onstage clobber, I would place ‘Shake Some Action’ in the 1980s.

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George Harrison – What Is Life (1971)

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I can’t mention George Harrison in a week and not revisit the treasure trove that is his 1970 album All Things Must Pass. Harrison originally wrote this for Billy Preston who was one the early artists on the Beatles’ Apple label. But the song was clearly more rock than gospel and he kept it to himself. Insanely though, ‘What Is Life’ was released as the B-side to ‘My Sweet Lord’ in the UK. Have a great weekend.

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Cream – Badge (1969)

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Eric Clapton co-wrote ‘Badge’ with his pal George Harrison. And as with their earlier collaboration on the Beatles’ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, the pair swap guitar lines. ‘Badge’ ended up being Cream’s last charting single, never peaking above no.18 in the UK and no. 60 in the US. How is that possible?

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Silver – Wham Bam (Shang-A-Lang) (1976)

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I missed a post yesterday. Sorry. It’s the heat of the Easter break that’s been the distraction. The Samuel family are on a road trip to the coast with the rest of London. So today, I post a sound made for a sunny day on the tarmac. Silver were formed in late 1975 by John Batdorf. They were short-lived, but were able to release their eponymous album a year later and it featured the guilty pleasure ‘Wham Bam (Shang-A-Lang)’. Have a great weekend.

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Supertramp – Breakfast In America (1978)

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Now for a quick interlude in anything hip about having a music blog. Supertramp. An English band that can contest any list of the most uncool AOR bands that achieved major radio play. They’re a guilty pleasure of mine that compares to the output of Christopher Cross, ELO and Hall & Oates. They are the antithesis of the new wave we’ve heard this week. ‘Breakfast In America’ is the title track off their 1978 album. I spotted that it’s a feature on YouTube for the first time in ages. A completely valid excuse.

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Mark Mulcahy – Let The Fireflies Fly Away (2013)

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Former frontman for Miracle Legion, Mark Mulcahy released the album Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You to small applause. It was his first full album in almost a decade and people may have forgotten. But within the album there are some real treats. The song ‘Let The Fireflies Fly Away’ is one such example. “Waiter, there’s a frog in my…”

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Catfish and the Bottlemen – Longshot (2019)

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In January, Welsh rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen released their first pressing in over two and a half years. The single ‘Longshot’ is a refreshing dose of simple, anthemic rock. It will feature on their forthcoming, third album The Balance, which is due to be released in April.

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Van Morrison – Madame George (1968)

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The one and only Madame George playing dominoes in drag. Astral Weeks is generally considered one of the greatest albums in rock history, and despite not featuring on the LP’s fabled Side 1 (‘The Beginning’), ‘Madame George’ is at the album’s heart. This was Van Morrison at his most powerfully spiritual. Have a great weekend.

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The Motors – Dancing The Night Away (1977)

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Morning folks. I give you ‘Dancing The Night Away’ by The Motors. The track is the opener off their 1977 debut LP 1. I’ve always though that this is the music Status Quo should have made. It’s pub rock, but has those riffs. The London band was formed by former Ducks Deluxe members Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster together with guitarist Rob Hendry and drummer Ricky Slaughter. Have a great week.

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Harry Nilsson – Gotta Get Up (1971)

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“Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes”. When selecting a theme tune for her semi-autobiographical TV series Russian Doll, Natasha Lyonne was struck by the “buoyant doomsday quality” of Harry Nilsson’s famously troubled life – and more specifically the opening track off his 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson. Have a great week.

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Johnny Thunder – I’m Alive (1968)

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Johnny wasn’t always Mr. Thunder. He was born Gil Hamilton in Florida, where he started singing in church at an early age. After working with the ever changing touring party of The Drifters and singing backing for Dionne Warwick, his break came in 1963 with a novelty version of the nursery song ‘Loop de Loop’. But it was in 1968 that he recorded the song that should have made him a household name. Thunder released ‘I’m Alive’. At the time, Bob Dylan referred to it as “one of the most powerful records I’ve ever heard”.

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