Sunday, December 10, 2006

Today is the greatest day I've ever known (thoughts on music)

Reading Northern Planner's post about music habits got me thinking about my own musical consumption. You, faithful reader, can improve this by buying me some of my musical wishlist.

I felt like thinking about my own musical journey (obviously, this will be massively sparse and incomplete).

1986: I am two years old - Paul Simon's Graceland and Billy Joel's Innocent Man are played a great deal in the car . To this day, 'Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes' remains my favourite song, and Graceland my favourite album.

1989: Tapes of Fleetwood Mac and the Beatles 'Love Songs' are played. Still can't track down the Beatles cover of Buddy Holly's Words of Love on CD. Cracking tune.

1990 - 1991: Bad is on almost constant repeat in the car. It was the first album I ever 'owned'. Dangerous is notable because it's the first time I felt let down by an album. So much so that I can't remember half of the tracks on it.. unlike the next era of music.

1992 - 1994: Aka the Dad rock years. Albums by Dire Straits, Genesis, Chris Rea, Van Morrison and the Eurythmics dominate my listening habits. I've still got a soft spot for most of these albums. However, interspersed with some New Order, I began to (along with practically everyone else of that age) play a lot more football and listen to a lot more indie music. I think the two were intertwined with me at that age.

1995 - 1998: I must confess, I overlooked 'Definitely Maybe'. But when WTSMG came round, it pretty much dominated all my music buying. Hence, I went on a bit of an indie binge over the next few years; The Verve, Echobelly (snap), The Bluetones, Ocean Colour Scene, Stereophonics and Ash amongst many many others.

1999 - 2001: As well as getting caught up in the inevitable 'The' band craze (White Stripes, Vines et al), I went backwards and listened to Revolver properly, as well as buying and listening to everything Stone Roses related. I still hadn't lost my indie tendancies. Again, Mersey Paradise from their B-Sides album still proves to be one of my favourites.

I began getting into heavier, more feedback inspired albums, such as Psychocandy by the Jesus & Mary Chain, along with the odd psychadelia of Gomez and the bouncy punk pop of Greenday and Jimmy Eat World. Jurassic 5's EP was the sole concession to any form of hip-hop.

2002 - 2003: Going backwards before forwards, I finally picked up some classics by The Smiths and the first RATM album (having bypassed angry teenager music, I now seemed to discover it at University), along with the eponymous Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream still being a favourite of mine.

Intelligent bubblegum pop made an appearance with Fountains of Wayne's Utopia Parkway. Some classical also came into play; I began listening to a lot of Beethoven as a result of this Classic FM (not quite that one, couldn't find the exact one) album. I remain bloody awful at remembering the names of different pieces though. At some point during this year I bought all of Massive Attack's albums.

2004: The bubblegum pop trend continued with some Brendan Benson, but to go with it this time came some groove oriented indie (Kasbian, The Music). However, the biggest discovery that year was Nick Cave. Going to one of his gigs that year, I began collecting most of his albums. I also finally bought the only good Weezer album, after listening to an old tape copy for most of Sixth Form. A musical discovery that year was Robert Randolph and the Family Band; some funky stuff.

2005: I listened to Soundgarden a lot this year, as well as RJD2. For some reason, the tracks 'Rain City' and 'The Imploding Voice' (by Turin Brakes and the SP respectively) remind me of writing my dissertation. On a slightly more chilled out vibe, I got into Elliott Smith and Nick Drake at around this time as well, along with most of the rest of Nick Cave's back catalogue.

2006: So far this year I've been listening to Hot Chip (over and over, like a monkey with a minature cymbal), along with some Secret Machines (who says prog is dead?) and Paul Simon's latest album.

On the suggestion of Jeffre, I've bought some Scritti Politti and I have to say, I'm enjoying it a great deal. Gartside's voice is really's a voice of a 14 year old, albeit one with immense talent and a good line in a esoteric lyric. I've also recently bought some Tori Amos, and I'm liking that as well. After seeing DJ Shadow live, I've bought Entroducing. Can't believe I didn't own it before.

So yes, this list is by no means exhaustive.. I think I spent the majority of my student loan on music. No mentions of Mew, Idlewild, Tom Waites, Radiohead or The Clash.

All of these songs are tied up with different parts of my life. Tellingly, there's one song (you've guessed it, Heartbeats) which has got me to buy an album on the back of an ad. If more ads could carry this kind of emotional weight, then they'd be in a very strong position indeed.
I can remember exactly where I was when I was listening to the above albums.
Sad, but the same can't be said for many ads. Anyway.. a question:
What's your musical journey, readers?


Kirsty said...

Wowsers. Mammoth effort, I'm impressed. Mine is incredibly similar strangely enough, although perhaps I'm just not as unique as I thought I was...

I'll skip the years but suffice to say the early stages were dominated by dad rock (excellent term, I have long needed a term to describe something that largely defined my tastes) - namely, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits, Bob Seger and the Eagles, all of whom I still adore and worship to this day. Intersperse this with some must do growing up music like Michael, Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. As well as Sade.

Maintaining my dad rock as a constant, to this day, I then did things the other way around, first hitting Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Radiohead and Stone Roses and then moving on to a huge lighter Indie binge, in the same way that you did, defined by The Verve.

Found Barry White in a nice side step. And Counting Crows.

And then regrouped by passionately moving on to the likes of Gomez and Ben Harper.

I stepped out to the side by falling in love with Tom Waites, Roxy Music and Nick Cave.

Got into Fatboy Slim shit.

Woke up and went even 'softer' by venturing into Dave Grey, Elliot Smith, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake, still huge favourites.

Now on a Nina Simone fix, am I getting old? Perhaps its just Paris.

And throughout all of that I maintained a secret affair with jukebox classics like the Doobie Brothers or Lynard Skynard or Cat Stevens, as well as a penchant for Willy Nelson and Crosby Stills and Nash, don't tell anyone....

(No apologies for any wrong ordering, my memory is useless)

Will said...

Hey Kirsty.

Glad you liked the post. To tell you the truth, it's kind of inspired by a job interview I've got on Thursday (they want me to bring along my favourite song).

Can't believe you've not heard of 'Dad Rock' - I think it defines Mark Knopfler.. by the way, his album 'Sailing to Philadelphia' is absolutely amazing, I have to say. Another dad rock staple, Status Quo, don't quite do it for me - too many Woolies ads with their music in the background.

Was never a Pearl Jam fan, but then, I don't own 'Ten'. I'm a big Counting Crows fan (yes, it's very MOR) - listening to Mrs Potter's Lullaby now. Seeing them live in California is probably a top 3 gig for me.

Still trying to get into Tom Waites - am listening to Blue Valentine, on a friend's recommendation.

My guilty secret would probably be the Pet Shop Boys. Still like their greatest hits.

Feel free to blog about your favourites.. I'll let you know what I'm listening to at the moment.

Kirsty said...

Good tip re Sailing to Philadelphia, I will look that one up.

I can imagine the Counting Crows gig would have been a top three, very envious. My top two are highly embarrassing - Neil Diamond and The Eagles. I'll crawl under a desk now but they were both sensational concerts...

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