100 Songs with One Word Titles (75 – 71)

Welcome back to week two of the One Word Title Countdown.  We will continue to group the songs in groups of five until we reach the Top 50.  Each morning this week I will have a little game for you all to play.  Of the five tracks that appear today, two of them were voted at number one by jury members in their respective returns.  Your quest should you choose to accept it is to work out which ones you think they are, suffice to say the rest of the jury didn’t necessarily agree with them.  Let’s start here.

75. Squares – The Beta Band (2005, Sony Records, Taken from ‘Hot Shots II’)

Back in 2005, The Beta Band stumbled across a great idea, they heavily liberated a large section of a relatively obscure track called ‘Daydream’ by Belgian easy listening combo Wallace Collection (in fact the sample they used was from the cover by the Gunter Kallman Choir, but let’s not split hairs) and used it to make a wonderfully off kilter pop record. Pleased with the outcome the band sat back and waited for success to roll in.  What the band didn’t know was that the electronica group I Monster had exactly the same idea, and their track ‘Daydream in Blue’ was much better.

74. Columbia – Oasis (1994, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Definitely Maybe’)

With the possible exception of ‘Live Forever’, ‘Columbia’ is the best song that Oasis ever recorded.  It was the song that made me believe in all the swaggering posturing that Oasis talked of.  It is superb from the first words uttered by Liam to the way that Noel’s guitar swirls around your speakers as Liam yells “Yeah, yeah yeah” in the background.  Right then, I believed that Oasis could do anything, and even now, knowing that ultimately, they were just a band, it still makes me smile with expectation.

73. Run – Spiritualized (1992, Dedicated Records, Taken from ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’)

Spiritualized were of course, another band that I expected to do way better than they did.  Again, perhaps I picked the wrong song.  ‘Run’ is an amazing record, a sort of early mash up of a Velvet Underground song and one by JJ Cale.  It is a breathtaking slab of psychedelic garage rock, all about cutting loose – I suspect it’s a thinly veiled dig at the demise of Spacemen 3, but regardless, its sublime and as damn close to perfection as you can get.

72. Unbelievable – EMF (1990, Parlophone Records, Taken from ‘Schubert’s Dip)

MJM number 7 writes – “I almost can’t believe I’m saying this, because I know you will use it against me, but I saw EMF live the other week.  I last saw them in London in 1992.  They were incredible and somehow, don’t ask me how, ‘Unbelievable’ sounded, well, unbelievable, it was almost like I was 17 again, which judging by the size of my hangover the following morning, I am clearly not”.

71. Atlas – Bicep (2020, Ninja Tune Records Taken from ‘Isles’)

I think ‘Atlas’ by Bicep maybe the most recently released track in this rundown (therefore automatically making it the best one word title track released in this decade).  However if this turned out to be a long lost track made in 1995 by Orbital back in then it really wouldn’t have surprised me.  The breakbeats and the sampled Ofra Haza vocals are all eerily reminiscent of ‘Halycon’ era Orbital.  It’s still fantastic though.

The Ramshackle Brilliance of the Chart Show Indie Chart #3

This week 17th August 1991 and at number seven

Sploosh! – Ozric Tentacles (1991, Dovetail Records)

In August 1991 my mate Chris and I went on a day trip to Broadstairs in Kent. There is nothing particularly exciting about Broadstairs in Kent, Charles Dickens wrote Bleak House there and I think the comedian Lou Sanders may come from there. None of these two things were the reason we went there. We went there because Chris had found out from somewhere that the Ozric Tentacles were playing a secret gig there in some run down theatre. The only song that I had ever heard by the Ozric Tentacles was ‘Sploosh!’ and I only went because it beat hanging around the Medway Towns for another afternoon.

Our plan was simple. Go down on the train around lunch time spend the afternoon on the beach pissing about, find the gig and catch the first train home in the morning. Literally nothing could go wrong.

Only, the rumour about the gig was bollocks. We found the theatre and it told us proudly that live at the theatre that night was something called “A Tribute to Cilla…”, which was almost certainly not the Ozric Tentacles. Yet we were still utterly convinced that this gig was going to happen. Particularly when Chris decided that the long haired bloke hanging around in the gardens behind the theatre was ‘one of the band’. Turns out he was just a drunk who hung around in the park behind the theatre.

We got suspicious when around eight pm old grannies started to turn up at the gig and not one of them was wearing anything tie dyed or looked like they had dropped some acid. By half eight we’d wasted about six hours moping around Broadstairs, spent all our money on rubbish chips and some ale that Chris managed to get some half drunk off licence owner to sell him and so we caught the train home.

At Faversham an old lady got off the train and as she stood up, a packet of marshmallow biscuit things fell out her bag and landed on the seat next to me and she never noticed as I slide my coat over them. Its not often that an illicitly gained packet of biscuits is the highlight of your day.

The rest of the chart show indie chart that week was in places pretty good, here are the edited highlights

At Ten – Indian Rope – The Charlatans (1991, Dead Dead Good Records)

A non mover at eight – Flying – The Telescopes (1991, Creation Records)

At four, spelt incorrectly but played nearly in full was ‘Run’ by Spiritualized but as I’ve already posted that song, let’s post the B Side. Incidentally the snippets about the band genuinely say that their hobbies are “Drinking, Whinging and Sleeping”. (the other song played was ‘Mind’ by The Farm, but its The Farm, and I’d rather punch myself repeatedly in the face than listen to that again).

I Want You – Spiritualized (1991, Dedicated Records)

At three, sadly going down the chart was

Move Any Mountain – The Shamen (1991, One Little Indian Record)

And at Number One….which was largely ignored because back then Mudhoney apparently didn’t do videos, was…

Let It Slide – Mudhoney (1991, Sub Pop Records)

Nearly Perfect Albums #8

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space – Spiritualized

I Think I’m Love – Spiritualized (1997, Dedicated Records, Taken from ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space’)

Now, I rather deliberately left two important things out when I was explaining how this series was going to work.  What I have done is made a huge list of albums that I consider to be ‘nearly perfect’ and then selected one track from all of them put them into a ‘nearly perfect’ playlist and each week an album is selected by shuffling the playlist.  The second thing I deliberately left out was the eight albums that don’t qualify because they are too perfect to be considered ‘nearly perfect’.  One of those eight albums is by Spiritualized. 

So folks, here we have a record, which despite being ‘nearly perfect’ (and it is so close to being perfect – if ‘Cop Shoot Cop was perhaps 90 seconds shorter…) isn’t even the best record released by Spiritualized.  That readers, is how utterly insanely brilliant Spiritualized are.

‘Ladies and Gentlemen We Area Floating In Space’ is obviously a masterpiece, an epic combination of psychedelic rock, gospel, drone effects, jazz, ambience and horn blaring wave your arms in the air total brilliance.   It takes you an audio journey through the highs (prescriptive mainly) and lows (and there are several of those) of Jason Pierce’s life at the time.  It has moments on it that will take your breath away, like the sheer jaw dropping brilliance of ‘Cop Shoot Cop’ or the ways that ‘Cool Waves’ shimmers so majestically.  Or the way that ‘Electricity’ crackles into life before manifesting itself into a garage rock stomper and the way that it still makes the hairs on my arm stand up, every time I hear it.

Electricity – Spiritualized (1997, Dedicated Records, Taken from ‘Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space’)

Let’s cut to the chase, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating Space’ is the probably the greatest break up album ever written, even though Jason Pierce will swear blindly that it isn’t a break up album.  Nearly all the songs were written after his painful split from Kate Radley (the legend goes that Pierce only found out about their relationship breakdown after Radley had secretly married her new lover, Richard Ashcroft), an act which saw Pierce moved from a recreational drug user to a fully blown addict and its that sinking feeling and heartache that is dealt with so vividly on the record.   If you need an example listen to ‘Broken Heart’, there is no song on earth that deals with the raw unbridled pain of heartbreak in such beautiful agony as ‘Broken Heart’ does.

Broken Heart – Spiritualized (1997, Dedicated Records, Taken from ‘Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’)

The Sunday Shuffle

Effervescent (Chimes) – Spiritualized (2004, Arista Records, Taken from ‘The Complete Works Vol 1’)

Morning everyone. Sundays on here will be the day of the shuffle. One track (maybe more) provided at random from one of four devices in this house that is capable of shuffling music. Todays device was the iPod Nano, largely because I took it running with me on the day I wrote this.

Spiritualized, are, as anyone who knows me, probably my favourite band of all time. So I am really pleased with the choice today. ‘Effervescent (Chimes)’ first appeared (I think) as the fourth track on ‘Run’ one of the early Spiritualized singles. The sleeve of the 12″ glowed in the dark, which although clearly a gimmick, was kind of cool.

Here is the A Side in case you needed it.

Run – Spiritualized (1991, Dedicated Records, Taken from ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’)