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Blog: Whither Pipes Of Peace?

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Much to my JEALOUS ENVY Mr Francis Albert Machine went to Somerset House last week, to see The Lemonheads do "It's A Shame About Ray", as part of the Fairly Cool Bands Doing Their Best Albums FESTIVAL that they're doing at the moment. It's a REALLY good idea, and I was especially pleased to find at least a couple of the albums lined up are ones that I'D have said were some of the best EVER. Indeed, it was only a few weeks ago, driving to Bristol that he and I named, respectively, "It's A Shame About Ray" and "If You're Feeling Sinister" as two of THE best Albums We Actually Bought At The Time... EVER!

This, by the way, is an ACE Pub Conversation or Car Journey Topic - "The Best Albums Of All Time" tends to get a bit BORING really, as everyone has to say "Revolver", "Pet Sounds", blah blah, and there's not much space for a FITE. HOWEVER! If you limit it to albums that you ACTUALLY BOUGHT when it ACTUALLY CAME OUT, and then also add a clause saying you can only have one album per BAND, then it is much more fun, and means you get to wax LYRICAL about THE TIMES and THE PLACES you first heard it, and where possible show off about... oh, I don't know, seeing Belle & Sebastian at QMU and... what? OK, I shall not go on about THAT yet again, but here is my Off The Top Of My Head Top 5 Albums I Actually Bought When They Actually Came Out (but not in order of preference):
Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix
Lou Reed and John Cale - Songs For Drella*
Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
The Boo Radleys - Giant Steps
Half Man Half Biscuit - This Leaden Pall

*my friend Chris taped it for me, but it still counts

I was going to go for TEN, but then realised i may have to do something ELSE today and can live without the emotional TURMOIL. As stated, "It's A Shame About Ray" would be in there, probably "The Stone Roses" and "The La's" (though i know that's a fairly DULL choice), and maybe "Promenade" by The Divine Comedy. There's also alternative choices by FOUR of those FIVE that could have got in there ("Kingsize" by The Boo Radleys ESPECIALLY), which is why the Only One Album Per Band RULE is so good. Hey hey, why not try it at home?

Anyway, it's quite nice to discover that my musical taste is not ENTIRELY unsupported by other people, though it's slightly odd to find that albums which, to ME, came out very recently, have actually slid into mainstream acceptance, and that it's obviously people MY age who are starting to define such things. Is this how baby boomers feel? I guess all those Britpop Documentaries were similar for me to how my parents must have felt watching "The Rock & Roll Years", during which my dear step-papa LECTURED me at SOME length about how "The Moody Blues Were Better Than The Beatles: FACT!"

If this is so, can we NOT have Cat Power in THE CANON? I've not actually HEARD "The Covers Album" that was supposed to be one of The Greats in the season, but i DID go and see her when she was promoting it, and it WAS absolutely THE longest and WORST gig i have ever been to. It was like watching an already sick pigeon that had just been knocked down staggering around in a daze, whilst surrounded by people unused to smiling clapping their hands in DELIGHT saying "Marvellous! It's been sick! And look - it's deconstructing the nature of song by walking into the kerb again and again!" Yes yes, i know, THE LESSON OF THE SMITHS and all that, but it was SUCH a SPECTACULARLY AWFUL GIG that i felt GUILT by association to be stood watching it.

Hmmm... I've just realised, Jeff Wayne's doing "War Of The Worlds" as a LIVE SHOW isn't he? I didn't buy that at the time it came out (my DAD did, like everybody else in the whole country, by LAW) but i'd pay GOOD MONEY to go and see it. Oh baby! THE CANON, it NEEDS more Martian Death Rays!

posted 19/9/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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