Tag Archives: 1997

Björn Olsson – Minnesstund (1997)

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A midweek interlude. Having left The Soundtrack of Our Lives after the band’s first album release, Welcome to the Infant Freebase, guitarist Bjorn Olsson produced Instrumentalmusik… Att Sjunka In I… Eller Kanske Försvinna Till in 1997. Released in the US in 1999, the long player’s third track was ‘Minnesstund’ (Memorials). Sweden’s very own Brian Eno.

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Spiritualized – Broken Heart (1997)

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Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is a majestic album. It was recorded shortly after the break-up of Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce and Kate Radley, the band’s keyboard player. Radley had secretly married Richard Ashcroft of The Verve. ‘Though I have a broken heart/I’m too busy to be heartbroken”. Have a great weekend.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1997

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite 9 songs of 1997, bookended by Radiohead. There are no surprises there; I have showed some restraint by not featuring more of their work.

Radiohead – Airbag

Supergrass – Late In The Day

Yo La Tengo – Stockholm Syndrome

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony

Embrace – All You Good Good People

Pavement – Stereo

Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space

Björk – Unravel

Radiohead – Let Down

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Honourable mentions also go to: Radiohead for ‘No Surprises’; Radiohead for ‘Paranoid Android‘; Radiohead for ‘Lift‘; Supergrass ‘Richard III‘; Spiritualized ‘Broken Heart’; Yo La Tengo for ‘Autumn Sweater’, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for ‘Into My Arms‘; Daft Punk for ‘Around The World’; NuYorican Soul (featuring Jocelyn Brown) for ‘It’s Alright, I Feel It!’ and The Notorious B.I.G. for ‘Mo Money Mo Problems‘.

I realise now that four albums – classic albums – were crowding out others from my ears in 1997.

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Pavement – Stereo (1997)

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Good morning! Some dissonance to clear the weekend cobwebs. The single ‘Stereo’ featured on their Pavement’s fourth album Brighten The Corners. Stephen Malkmus yells, “listen to me, I’m on the stereo!” Has it really been over 20 years? Have a great week.

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The Chemical Brothers – The Private Psychedelic Reel (1997)

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A story of how music can save. ‘The Private Psychedelic Reel’ is the closing track off The Chemical Brothers’ second album Dig Your Own Hole. It’s a great tune in its own right, but is especially remarkable for what it brought about. Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons contacted Jonathan Donahue to fuse their electronic music with his Mercury Rev brand of  psychedelia. Donahue is credited with “Effects [Dub ‘tetix Wave’]”… whatever. Importantly, the track inspired a disillusioned Donahue to start making creative music again and Rev’s best, Deserter’s Songs, followed shortly afterwards. Thank you Tom and Ed.

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Radiohead – Lift (1997)

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Good morning. We kick off today with Radiohead’s lost classic ‘Lift’. It was recorded during the sessions for OK Computer, but never made the grade. That’s not quire right of course, something that listeners can quickly appreciate. In fact, ‘Lift’ had been expected to be the first single from the album due to the band’s predilection for featuring it in their sets throughout 1996. Anthemic and melodic, the song perhaps fits better with the Radiohead in 1995, rather than 1997. It would have been huge, but these guys were perfectionists. Have a great week.

 

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The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (1997)

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What can you say about the The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ that has not already been said before. The song was ubiquitous in 1997/98.  Richard Ashcroft had taken Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s strings cover of The Rolling Stones ‘Last Time’ and realised its potential by writing those sublime lyrics. The bitter sweet would follow when the Stones’ former manager Allen Klein reneged on an agreement they had with Decca and demanded 100% of the song’s royalties, stripping the Verve of their undoubted achievement.

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Primal Scream – Star (1997)

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I have very fond memories of this song. Primal Scream had been dormant in my thoughts for a few years leading up to the release of their Star EP in 1997. I heard it and I smiled. Have a great weekend.

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Radiohead – Let Down (1997)

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Radiohead too

This time last week, I was amazed at having not posted a particular song – and so here I go again. Last month, at a gig in Madison Square Garden, NYC, Radiohead played ‘Let Down’ for the first time in a decade. Is it the best track off the best album ever produced? Arguably, yes. What cannot be disputed is that for one glorious moment, they were everybody’s benchmark.

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms (1997)

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Nick Cave

Tapping into the hurt of broken relationships, Nick Cave was able to create a sound so sad, I am almost happy to hear it. ‘Into My Arms’ was released as a single off The Bad Seeds’ 1997 album The Boatman’s Call. In the same year, Cave performed the song at the funeral of his friend Michael Hutchence.

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Radiohead – Airbag (1997)

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Radiohead 1997

OK Computer redefined rock music. Previous Radiohead album The Bends had been a quantum leap for their own sound, but two years later, nothing had prepared the listening hordes for what followed next. The opening track ‘Airbag’ jumped on stage like an “an interstellar burst” and Thom Yorke was “back to save the universe” with jingle bells, layers of trip hop and Phil Selway’s drum loops. Have a great week.

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Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta (1997)

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Harvey Danger

I have to admit, one of my shortcomings is that I am 95% more likely to be drawn to a well executed melody than I am a well crafted lyric. However, the 5% allows for a little humour. In 1997, Harvey Danger included this amusing slice of power pop on their debut album Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? ‘Flagpole Sitta’ was released as a single a year later and picked up as the theme tune for the long running sitcom Peep Show in the decade that followed.I’m Not Sick, But I’m Not Well.” Have a great week.

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Supergrass – Late In The Day (1997)

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Supergrass 1997

How do you follow up a career-defining album like I Should Coco? By releasing In It For Money of course. Different tricks, more introspection, it seems so obvious now. ‘Late in the Day’ was the fourth track and fourth & final single from the album. These guys were on it in 1997. Have a great weekend.

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Taj Mahal – Queen Bee (1997)

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Taj Mahal too

Taj Mahal has the cool and that’s why this is a third feature in this blog. But ‘Queen Bee’ is the first of the three he penned himself and the only one that he wrote for his 1997 album Señor Blues – a journey through some of his favourite blues styles. As with much his great work, he’s able to blend his influences seamlessly – in this case blues and reggae. Say it’s so, Taj, your queen bee rock you to your soul.

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Cat Power – Nude As The News (1997)

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Cat Power again

Produced by Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, the album What Would The Community Think housed the psychotic overtures of ‘Nude As The News’. It was Chan Marshall’s dark, melancholic third album, and its best song drew on the influences of The Velvet Underground and Nirvana. The song draws on an abortion that Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power) had when she was twenty. Visceral stuff.

 

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