Favourite musicians

I thought it would be fun to write a little tribute to the bands and musicians that have meant something to me over the years, so here they are in order of Greatest to Not Quite But Almost As Great.

(If you click on the band’s name it will take you to their official page).

The B-52’s

I was hooked from the moment I heard Rock Lobster back in 1980 – I went out and bought the single and my sister gave me Wild Planet for Christmas that year – it was the first album I ever owned, and I think it’s still the most listenable record in the world.

All through my teens they were “my band” and I copped a lot of flack for it – especially at boarding school – but I didn’t care – they were just the best thing. Now I think they’re geniuses, back then I just loved them – now I love and are in awe of them – it’s as if they looked at the world and went – nuh! let’s party instead. And when you read about the background they came out of it makes it all the more admirable and understandable. But I just think they’re complete geniuses for sidestepping all the crap in the world, but still having great integrity – not to mention the music and fun – I mean come on have you heard Quiche Lorraine??.

The tragedy of Ricky dying is something that’s still hard to take – I was buying all their albums and after Bouncing off the Satellites they just seemed to go quiet – a little while after I found out why. It just seems so unjust for a band that was all about fun. It was great they came back with Cosmic Thing, and it was a healing process for them, a different sound for sure, but still some great songs. I saw them on this tour at Festival Hall in Brisbane in 1989 and it was a blast – so happy and sad for them.

So anyway things have come full circle for me and I’m getting back into their catalogue and it reminds me why they’re still the greatest band in the world. There’s probably not going to be any more new music from them but there’s enough they’ve done already and it still sounds as brilliant now as it ever did! They were and still are the best.

The Church

Well after things faded out with The B-52’s no longer recording in the mid 80’s I drifted to The Church and they were basically the soundtrack to my life for the next 30 or so years. Incredible isn’t it.

Their music is hard to describe – but it’s some of the most beautiful textural and lyrical stuff I’ve ever heard. And it’s no exaggeration to say Steve’s beautiful lyrics and the bands music have kept some people alive through hard times. There’s so many songs I could name but here’s a few: Lost, An Interlude, Grind, Anaesthesia, Aura (the epic!), My Little Problem, Operetta, Love Philtre, June, Happy Hunting Ground – I could go on and on.

I can’t thank them enough for how much they’ve meant to me, I guess I’ve just pulled back a little a bit over the last few years because despite the beauty there’s only so much solace and reflection I can take – but it has it’s place and nothing has filled that in me like these guys. Thankyou.

Belinda Carlisle

Well what an interesting person Belinda is! By her own admission she’s struggled and hasn’t handled a lot of things well, but through all that you can still see a beautiful person underneath and that’s what I really love about her.

We all know the big hits from the 80’s – and they’re great pop songs, but there’s so much more to her catalogue and her performing abilities that I wish got the light of day – songs like Too Much Water, Where Love Hides, My Heart Goes Out To You, From the Heart and Since You’re Gone.

We can only imagine the pressure she must have been under, particularly in regard to her looks, and sure that’s all part of the pop business that both the artists and the public buy into – but I just wished she made more albums like Real – because whenever she grabbed the horns of a project it worked so well. She has so much more to offer than just her looks. The control and way she expresses herself through her songs – her phrasing – is just perfect. So go looking it’s there.

Back in the late 80’s and 90’s I liked her but was too far down the “serious” track of The Church to really listen to more other than the hits that I heard, but I listen to her a lot now and I can see there’s so many great songs and performances I missed out on back then, but as I said at the start it’s her true spirit that glimpses out every now and again really makes her work special.

So anyway here’s both a fun and a musical one – it’s sounds like the start of a concept album to me – but look up the other songs too – especially Since You’ve Gone (the live version at the Roxy) and Too Much Water

The Jesus and Mary Chain

Running pretty much concurrently with my love of The Church in the mid to late 80’s was the Jesus and Mary Chain. I read a review of Psychocandy in the paper and was intrigued so I went and ordered the album, and when it arrived – well it took me a year or so to really get into – what a sound!

A few years later my sister arrived back from England with a copy of Darklands – and wow what a different sound that was, but what a gorgeous album. I probably spent way too much time wallowing in that album – I felt like Deep One Perfect Morning was my life summed up – and then when everything ground to a halt there was On The Wall and then the lovely optimism of About You.

I saw them in 88 and 93 (I think) but that sound with all the feedback played at that volume literally does something to your body it’s just phenomenal. I kind of drifted off them in the 90’s as they got into electric beats just a little and again I just couldn’t handle all the introspection and self pity – but man for straight out noise they just can’t be beaten. And they also showed me you can create profoundly meaningful art out of really rudimentary elements.

Anyway just for fun and the great noise here’s I Hate Rock’n’Roll

So that’s it for now – these are probably the main ones – but there are more which I’ll write up one day – special mention for Magic Dirt for the raaawwk!! (had so much fun at their gigs)

The Who and the incredibly spiritual Tommy

Sade for something so ethereal I’m sure it comes from another planet….

REM for the indescribable whatever it is! But geez it’s moving…. (got to admit Automatic for the People is my go to album when I’m sad)

and Kim for the great pop and general spunkiness (ahem….)

And a wonderful time was had by all…