Tag Archives: 1995

Yo La Tengo – Blue Line Swinger (1995)

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Last week, Broadcast made me think of Yo La Tengo for the first time in a little while. The band hit its stride by the 1990s, releasing a sequence of classic indie-rock albums: 1993’s Painful, 1995’s Electr-O-Pura, and 1997’s I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One. The latter’s superiority is hard to dispute, but Electr-O-Pura boasts the epic ‘Blue Line Swinger’. It grows from a fragile start to something full of musicianship and swagger: an organ, drum fills, the feedback and Georgia Hubley’s “Ba da ba ba-dop, ba da ba ba-dop, ba da ba ba-dop”. Glorious.

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The Stone Roses – Ten Storey Love Song (1995)

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I thought about The Stone Roses yesterday. It doesn’t happen everyday, but certainly not as much as it used to. Five years in the making, the second album, The Second Coming, would inevitably disappoint. However, ‘Ten Story Love Song’ is classic Roses – a 4-min-plus slice of glorious uplifting alt pop. It wasn’t worth that very long wait, but we would take what we could get. Perversely, by 1994/1995, Britpop, which was arguably a product of the Roses phenomenon, was in full flow.

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Moby – When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die (1995)

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If it wasn’t for his go-to house music anthem ‘Go’, ‘When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die’ would be the best thing Moby has ever done. It is the closing track on his 1995 album Everything Is Wrong. Have a great weekend.

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Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees (1995)

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Radiohead 1995

I have a tendency to talk about the 1990s with some nostalgia. ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ is a touchstone for those memories. Radiohead was at risk of being branded a one-hit wonder after the immense success of  the single ‘Creep’ – a grungy calling card. Perhaps it bred resentment, because the band came out fighting with a staggering retort – the epic The Bends. ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ is the torch song at the centre of the album. Many listened, enjoyed and did something about it. Coldplay formed a year later. Have a great weekend.

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Red House Painters – Summer Dress (1995)

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Red House Painters 1995

The sun worship does not seem to be working. ‘Summer Dress’ is a much more sober affair. By the time their 1995 album Ocean Beach was released, Mark Kozelek’s introspection dominated the Red House Painters’ output. But as you can hear in ‘Summer Dress’, the melody is there. Have a great weekend.

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The Beatles – Now and Then (1995)

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The Beatles 3

Not strictly a Beatles song as Lennon wrote and part-recorded ‘Now and Then’ in the late 1970s. However, Yoko Ono later passed Paul a batch of unfinished tracks to mark their mid-1990s Anthology compilations. The tapes included demos of this track, ‘Free as a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’. The three Beatles began recording their version in 1995 by overdub. It was then discarded only to later appear on a 2009 bootleg. This floaty and ever-so-nearly-lost gem sounds part Fab Four, part The Flaming Lips.

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Underworld – Born Slippy (1995)

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Underworld

On the subject of song association, undoubtedly one the best songs of 2014, Future Islands’ ‘Seasons’ does actually sound a little like Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’. It was mentioned to me and I don’t know why I have not spotted it before. The famous Nuxx mix of ‘Born Slippy’ was originally released as a B-side in 1995, but would reach wider acclaim a year later as a standalone release on Junior Boys Own and as the music to the final scene of the beloved movie Trainspotting.

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Aphex Twin – Alberto Balsam (1995)

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Richard David James

A year before DJ Shadow brought a new depth to progressive house music, and two years before Radiohead revolutionised progressive rock music, Richard D. James of Aphex Twin was out there. Released on Warp Records in 1995, ‘Alberto Balsam’ is the type of atmospheric layered sound that is just begging to be listened to in a large pair of cans.

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Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Shimmy Shimmy (1995)

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Ol'Dirty Bastard

“Hey, baby, I like it raw… Yeah baby, I like it raw.” Okay, subtle it is not, but ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ propelled Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s first solo album Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version to the same heights he scaled with the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut two years earlier. I apologise to anyone with a sensitive disposition first thing in the morning.

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Moby – God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters (1995)

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Moby

As unearthly as Gounod’s take on Bach, ‘God Moving Over the Face of the Waters’ is a very different spiritual experience. Moby had already struck it big on the dance floors with his progressive house classic ‘Go (Woodtick Mix)’. But before he went stratospheric in 1999 with his acclaimed album Play, he created this ambient gem. The track was released on Everything is Wrong, his third studio long player. But more significantly to me, this meditative tune serves as a poignant end for the cracking crime flick Heat.

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Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II (1995)

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Andrew Weatherall

I was chatting to a gent at a BBQ last month. No idea why, but we got talking about Andy Weatherhall and his mark on dance music. From the part he played on the production of Primal Scream’s legendary Screamadelica to his Sabres of Paradise output on Warp Records. And more specifically, we both agreed that his ‘Smokebelch II’ was one of the finest moments in 1990s house music.

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The Sphinx – What Hope Have I (Our Tribe Mix) (1995)

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Sabrina Johnston

Already with a couple of stellar house productions (incl. Felix’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’) under his belt, Rollo Armstrong decided to move nearer front stage in 1995 and founded Faithless with Maxi Jazz and Sister Bliss. But he couldn’t leave the side projects alone, and with erstwhile collaborator, Rob Dougan, he produced this classic. Sabrina Johnston’s powerhouse vocals had already made their mark on the dancefloor with the club anthem ‘Peace’. But to place those vocals over that synth riff – one that Paul Van Dyk would borrow ‘For An Angel’ – that makes ‘What Hope Have I’ a bonafide belter. Sphinx’s sound is in stark contrast to Rollo’s ethereal work with his sister Dido.

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Oasis – The Masterplan (1995)

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Oasis

‘The Masterplan’ was a song released by a band at the height of its powers. As good as ‘Wonderwall’ is, to release this song as its B-side seems beyond belief now. Noel Gallagher has since acknowledged it as one of the best he’s written. I think Noel may have smiled when he said as much; not only is it sung by Noel, but also it doesn’t feature frontman Liam. Noel can be heard singing The Beatles’ ‘Octopus’s Garden’ towards the end of the song. A sense of brotherly love, indeed.

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The Flaming Lips – Placebo Headwound (1995)

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The Flaming Lips '95

I was not really familiar with The Flaming Lips until all the hullabaloo surrounding 1999’s The Soft Bulletin and that moment I listened, speechless, to ‘Race For The Prize’. But signs of greatness were there before. Quickly catching up with their back catalogue, as you do, it was evident the album had built on the inspirational psychedelia of Clouds Taste Metallic. The opening track ‘The Abandoned Hospital Ship’ would not sound out of place on The Soft Bulletin. But, as so often is the case on a long player, the real highlight is track 3, ‘Placebo Headwound’. The acoustic guitar, the full bass, the chaotic backdrop and Wayne Coyne’s evident fascination with noggin trauma.

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Rob Dougan – Clubbed to Death (1995)

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Rob D

With its use of Elgar’s Enigma Variations followed by the Skull Snaps’ New Day break, ‘Clubbed to Death’ was more electronic cocktail than house track. Let’s face it, house music is about dancing and this sound was more suited to the slowmos of The Matrix. Perhaps that was the premise of the title. Regardless, Rob D’s blend is dramatic and the video’s a cracker. Have a good week.

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