Tag Archives: 1999

The Charlatans – Forever (1999)

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In 1999, The Charlatans were flying high off the success of previous album Tellin’ Stories and didn’t they let everyone know it when the needle dropped. ‘Forever’ kicks off the band’s Us and Us Only album and it has the swagger of a small group of standout opening tracks. In relatively recent years, I am thinking comparisons with Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, Radiohead’s ‘Airbag’ and The Strokes’ ‘Is This It’. High praise indeed. Swirling organs, a drumming masterclass and menacing lyrics made for a lesson in post-Chemical-Brothers rock’n’roll. Have a great week.

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dEUS – Instant Street (1999)

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Producing a sound that suggests Spoon were fans, dEUS released their pinnacle album The Ideal Crash in 1999. Kicking off the flipside of the disc, ‘Instant Street’ has a relatively slow banjo-infused beginning before its mood turns to a Bowie-like guitar fest. For a while, the Belgians stood head and shoulders above most of their peers’ ditherings.

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Death in Vegas – Dirge (1999)

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Good morning. We start this week with Dot Allison’s hippy, hazy vocal mantra that is Death in Vegas’ ‘Dirge’. Kicking off their on their second LP The Contino Sessions, the chant became a familiar call in trip hop and indie sets alike. Feel the white noise my friends and have a great week.

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Shack – Comedy (1999)

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Mick Head was inspired to start his own band during his formative years in Liverpool listening to the sounds of Echo & the Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes. Shack was his second group with his brother John and together they made music on the band’s third long player, HMS Fable. ‘Comedy’ is the type of carefully crafted single that Noel G would be proud of. Despite support of the critics, the band would not deliver the hit that their sparkling work warranted.

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Badly Drawn Boy – Once Around The Block (1999)

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Badly Drawn Boy’s album The Hour of Bewilderbeast seemingly came out of nowhere in 2000. Critics told us that he took his cues from from Harry Nilsson and Beck. Listeners simply found themselves lost in the observational baroque pop of Damon Gough. ‘Once Around The Block’ was released a year earlier as the first single off the album.

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Pavement – Spit On A Stranger (1999)

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Pavement’s last album had some serious back catalogue competition. The Nigel Godrich-produced Terror Twilight may not be their best, but it was really good and it featured ‘Spit On A Stranger’. Have a great week.

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Guided By Voices – Hold On Hope (1999)

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GBV! GBV! Fans of Guided By Voices will be over the moon that Bob Pollard and pals have released their first double album August By Cake this year, 30 years after their first record. To mark the moment, I feature one of the band’s more accessible tracks; the classic ‘Hold On Hope’ from their 1999 album Do The Collapse. Have a great week.

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Low – Just Like Christmas (1999)

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Minnesota-based indie group Low did something unusual in 1999. They created a Christmas song with seasonal sentimentality and indie credibility. ‘Just Like Christmas’ featured on their Christmas EP. Happy Christmas Eve!

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The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize (1999)

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Wayne Coyne

Have I really waited 5 years to post this song? The revolutionary sound of The Soft Bulletin. This was The Flaming Lips in 1999 and the glory of their ‘Race For The Prize’. “They’re just humans/With wives and children!”

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Sigur Rós – Starálfur (1999)

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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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Magnetic Fields – Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side (1999)

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Magnetic Fields

In the lead up to its release in 1999, The Magnetic Fields’ behatted frontman Stephin Merritt must have pored over his romantic and lustful memories to create the opus 69 Love Songs. From somewhere near the front end of this longest of players, ‘The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side’ sounds like the love child production of Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon.

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Basement Jaxx – Red Alert (1999)

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Basement Jaxx

Released as the first single off the Remedy album, ‘Red Alert’ was Basement Jaxx’s calling card. It’s a melting pot of electronic sound effects that they brilliantly knit together with a funky bass line pinched off Locksmith’s ‘Far Beyond’, a chorus and some squeals of ecstasy. It defined the dance floor tempo of summer 1999.

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Pépé Bradock & The Grand Brûlé’s Choir – Deep Burnt (1999)

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Pépé Bradock

In 1999, at the height of the French invasion of dance music, Pépé Bradock did this. ‘Deep Burnt’ is the deepest of house tunes, cooking up Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Little Sunflower’, and laced with oodles of filter disco. The result is hypnotic. Enjoy and have a good week.

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Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty (1999)

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In 1997, Mos Def’s partnership with Talib Kweli produced the old school classic Black Star. By 1999, it was another Mos Def partnership that took hip hop by storm. Ayatollah produced his hit ‘Ms. Fat Booty’, the first single off his solo album Black on Both Sides. Mos Def’s humorous gibes are offset by the regal sample of Aretha Franklin‘s ‘One Step Ahead’. Ayatollah was a producer with some crate-digging form. The following year he would find a flip of Gladys Knight & the Pips’ Queen of Tears for Ghostface Killah‘s ‘Wu Banga 101’.

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Blur – Coffee And TV (1999)

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Where to start with Blur… ‘Song 2’, ‘The Universal’, ‘Girls & Boys’. I have plumped for ‘Coffee And TV’. In 1999, their sixth long player 13 felt like a swan song after the much documented troubles within the band. Despite the divergence in musical direction, the missing son of the video, guitarist Graham Coxon, had been able to pull Blur along a new lo-fi Pavement/Beck-inspired path. So the milk carton falls for some strawberry milk, but only for a brief interlude before cruel fate intervenes. Blur would release one more album, Think Tank, in 2003, but do so without Coxon.

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