The last couple of weeks’ selections from Abahachi and AngryIrishPunk gave me a dilemma: do I continue with their policy of driving us down a narrow track, as a way of trying to make you all listen to a dozen (i) classic rock cuts; (ii) Americana adventures; or (iii) minimalist mood-pieces? My long-lists for this thread included enough options for me to do any of those things. Or was it time to give you all a bit of relief; play safe, pick a load of Spill faves, and see how they ended up being ranked? It might have been fun to watch you agonize on how to split one vote four-or-five ways each!
In the end, I’m not sure I have a theme. I did have a draft of this blurb that claimed I’d dug around in the dusty forgotten corners of my collection for these songs, but I’ve played them (and their parent albums) so much each in the last month that they don’t feel like lost gems any more. So what DO we have here? I suppose the clumsy thread title you clicked on is about as big a clue as you’re gonna get: here are a bunch of songs I’m hoping will make you ALL go away happy. I’m not naïve enough to think I’ll please everyone with all the songs, but I’ve definitely targeted each song at least one specific person. So as well as the usual KEEP ONE, KICK ONE, I’ll give you an extra challenge: who was I thinking
“XXXX will like this one”
about for each of the songs?
1. Was (Not Was) – Go … Now!
I found the vinyl LP in a bargain bin just after I’d discovered Was (Not Was) via the What Up, Dog? album. So whilst everyone else was dancing to Walk The Dinosaur, I was playing air-bass to this.
2. Alabama 3 – She Blessed Me
There are a lot of guest spots and collaborations in my selection this week, and here, Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell adds his radio-friendly tones to my favourite Brixtonians. I still haven’t seen them live, and I won’t next week in Manchester either, because I have something else on . . . (I wonder what, eh?)
3. Gangstagrass – Our Life
Darcey insisted I put this in; along with Lana Del Rey’s Video Games, this is her instant request whenever she & I are alone in the car. I’ve not yet found out what her teacher thinks of my not-quite-7-y.o. skipping into class singing “Drinking all night, working all day, this is our life so heaven can wait”
4. Megafaun – Everything
Features the Be Good Tanyas’ Frazey Ford on prominent vocals. That unfortunately meant this was a song I didn’t get to hear the band play when I saw them this summer. I’m still debating whether to include 2011’s self-titled album in my 2012 ‘Spill end-of-year contributions, as I didn’t find this until March of this year.
5. Iron & Wine / Calexico – He Lays in the Reins
I like both artists on their own, but I absolutely LOVE the collaboration mini-album this is from. I haven’t got a Scooby what the Josef Locke-style vocal is about in the mid-section, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to sing along when I’m on my own playing this.
6. Mark Lanegan Band – Strange Religion
Severin said the other week that it was disappointing that so many artists think that to sound soulful they simply have to sing slow. Well this is slow, but my God, is it soulful?! There is so much inner peace oozing from the laid-back delivery, that it may surprise those who don’t know to be told that there are not one but TWO ex-Guns’N’Roses members singing along with Mr.Lanegan.
7. Matthias Vogt Trio – April 5th
One of two selections here from the recent Spirit Of Talk Talk compilation. A dead giveaway who this is aimed at, but I must thank that particular blogger for giving me the tools to appreciate this for what it is. And, as I sit here typing wearing my fantastic PlayeRR T-shirt from Shane, I am reminded that the original of this song was my first EVER A-lister on RR.
8. Recoil – Inheritance
This is also from the covers album Spirit Of Talk Talk released a couple of months ago. This isn’t my favourite off the album by a long way, but by turning it into a slightly menacing Tricky-esque piece with Linton Kwesi Johnson on vocals, it is at least a decent shot at reinventing the song.
9. Embrace – A Glorious Day
A late substitute for Shack, because the song I really wanted from them faded in and out, which meant it didn’t flow with the songs either side. I’m not giving anything away to say that this one isn’t for Chris, who’ll probably tell me it’s unoriginal, wanders in&out of tune, and an identikit crowd-pleaser. I won’t disagree with him, but I’m in the middle of that crowd, bathing in the bonhomie. Come on Chris, dive in: it’s lovely and warm in here.
10. Girlschool – Take It All Away
I’ll admit I had forgotten all about this until it cropped up on a Classic Rock covermount CD recently. That’s nearly three decades of occasional plays I now have to make up! Now, where’s me leather / denim-cutoff jacket gone?
11. Glenn Hughes – Soul Mover
I decided this playlist needed more heavy rock if it was going to be a true reflection of my taste, but without scaring everyone away. So I figured I’d draw you in with some ace “chocka-wakka, chocka-wakka” guitar, and maybe you won’t notice you’re being pounded into submission right at the last!