Wednesday 17 October 2007

I've tasted life and I'm ready....

>>>>>ST's ALPHABETICON - Part vii: G<<<<<

Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D, E, F

Right. You know the deal: this is not a definitive list of my music collection. This is a walkthrough a particular set of shelves that hold many (but not all) of my CDs. Blah, blah, blah. You remember CDs, right? They're the things that you can cover in marmalade and put in your freezer and they still play perfectly. Remember now? A bit like an iPod, only with a lot less music on it (although apparently a lot better at scaring birds off your vegetable patch when hung on a piece of string. If you have a vegetable patch, obviously).

Anyway. Where were we?

192. Guns n’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
193. Guns n’ Roses – Use Your Illusions I
194. Guns n’ Roses – Use Your Illusions II

I'm not sure one record has ever dominated my stereo for such a such a long period of time as "Appetite for Destruction". For a long stretch between late 1987 and the first half of 1988, I barely listened to anything else (well, I think I might have alternated it with "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" for some of that time). 20 years later, it still sounds absolutely brilliant. Nobody has produced a rock album quite like this one since.... certainly not Guns n' Roses, anyway. I saw them play Wembley Stadium shortly before the release of the "Use Your Illusion" albums, and although they were pretty good, I think the writing was already on the wall. Izzy Stradlin left the band for good immediately after the gig (to join the beautifully named Ju-Ju Hounds) and it was downhill from there. There's some good stuff spread across those albums, but for every "You Could Be Mine" there was a "Shotgun Blues" or a "Get In The Ring" (Bob Guccioni Jr at Spin magazine must love that song, or do you think he's really pissed off that his dad gets more pussy than him?!). We're still waiting for "Chinese Democracy", aren't we? I'm not expecting a dramatic improvement, to be honest, and I stopped holding my breath nearly a decade ago.

195. Gorillaz – Demon Days
196. Gorillaz – Gorillaz

It sounds like such a bad idea on paper: the bloke from Blur and the guy who created Tank Girl form an imaginary band using cartoons. Madly enough, it works. They're not albums that I can listen to all day long, but they are both pretty interesting and listeneable. "Demon Days" in particular has some fantastic tracks on it, and I'm never very far away from having "Kids with Guns" stuck on my internal jukebox. It's good stuff, and the resurrection of Shaun Ryder for "DARE" was an inspired move. I always used to think of Damon Albarn as being "a bit of a cock", but he's made me change my mind.

197. The Good, The Bad & The Queen - The Good, The Bad & The Queen

Here's another good album that Damon Albarn's been involved with. This is a bit of a slow burner and definitely works best when heard all in one go - there aren't really any obvious singles and all of the tracks sound as though they are meant to be played in order. It's great though. Melancholy and somehow very English. What the hell happened to Paul Simonon though? His bass lines are instantly recognisable, of course, but he used to be such a good looking fella. The years have not been kind.

198. Serge Gainsbourg – de Gainsbourg a Gainsbarre

A French collection of the archetypal Gallic dirty old man's finest work. It's a bit hit and miss (and I'm no fan of "Lemon Incest" or of some of his ill-advised forays into reggae), but you can't argue with songs like "Je t'aime" or "Bonnie and Clyde", can you?

199. Gomez – Bring it On

A Mercury prize winner, of course, but "Whipping Piccadilly" aside, this leaves me cold.

200. Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain

This is the one with "Lovely Head" on it, a.k.a the music from that old One2One advert, and I think this was also nominated for the Mercury Prize. This was before Alison Goldfrapp became the sauce pot that we all know and love.

201. Gene – Olympian
202. Gene – Drawn to the Deep End
203. Gene – To See The Lights
204. Gene – Revelations
205. Gene – Libertine

What can I say? I like Gene and I always have. In their early days, they were rather dogged by the accusation that they were nothing more than a Smiths tribute band...(I remember the NME giving them a particularly hard time about it and a 3/10 review for "Olympian") and although there's little denying that the early albums do have that feel to them, there has always been something different about Gene. Martin Rossiter has a very different voice to Morrissey for starters, and by "Libertine" he's singing in the most soulful croon. They were one of those bands who never really made it as big as they might have done if they'd perhaps been a bit luckier. They were never fashionable, apart from the brief period when they had a run of hit singles off "Drawn to the Deep End", including the fantastic "Fighting Fit", and in the end they were more or less funding themselves. I saw them play a half-full Rock City to promote "Libertine", their final album, and they were magnificent - a band at the peak of their power. Sadly it was all pearls before swine, and they packed it in soon afterwards.

206. Green Day – American Idiot

Is it me, or is this album unbelievably overrated? It's alright, and it has a couple of decent songs on it, but is it really all that? They've certainly done better.

207. Girl Talk – Night Ripper

This is a sporadically entertaining mix album, in the 2ManyDJs mould, but with more sweary rap on it and not quite as good.

208. Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump

Beardy people. Moderately interesting indie.

209. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere

Most famous for "Crazy" of course, but actually this is a pretty good effort.

Missing in action somewhere in iTunes: Grand Funk Railroad, Gun, Groove Armada, Gossip, Gorki's Zycotic Mynci, Goldie Lookin' Chain, Go! Team, Girls Aloud, Ghosts, Garbage.....

Next time: H !

Shuffleathon 2007 update.

Okay, UK postal strike over, so hopefully the CDs will start to trickle through now. I've even managed to get mine burnt now and I've been very slack.... so if you haven't got your CD done yet, now would be a good time to start pulling your fingers out.

We've only had one review so far, but a few CDs have been plopping onto doormats in the last couple of days, so hopefully we're not far away from a few more. I'll be putting my review of Mike's CD up in the next couple of days... perhaps after a few more listens (although I think it's already fair to say that I've never received such a well paced compilation...). I've also received a bonus CD all the way from Canada this morning, which I'm very much looking forward to giving a listen... so thanks for that asta.

So, where are we? How many CDs intercepted and examined by customs? (just the one so far, and they were at least good enough to send it on)

1. Tinayes

2. Sarah

3. Cody Bones

4. Mark

5. Michael

6. Hen

7. Cat
8. bedshaped

9. Pynchonyes
10. J

"examined by customs"
11. The Great Grape Ape

12. Ian

13. Martin

14. Monogodo

15. Threelightyes
16. Paul
17. Charlie

18. LB
19. Katyola

20. Lisa
21. Graham

22. Del

23. Spins

24. Ben

25. Dragon
26. Adem

27. Mike
28. JoeInVegas
29. Wombat

30. Max Bob

31. Stevious

32. Asta

33. Alan

34. Russ L

35. E.

36. Mike T-D

37. JamieS

38. Briskate

38. Me
ready to go!

It's all starting to warm up nicely, I think.


  1. I'll have my review up by the end of the weekend, promise.

    I heart Guns n' Roses. Reminds me of middle school :)

  2. I've gone through a similar shift of opinion re. Damon Albarn, who I now think is one of the sharpest and most intriguing figures currently working. The Good/Bad/Queen project suffered from over-hyping at the beginning of the year, and I do agree it's an understated slow grower. Well worth perservering with, and probably my favourite 2007 album by a British act thus far. And, yes, whatever happened to Paul Simenon - he used to be one of the sexiest men in rock - it's so sad!

  3. The Great Grape Ape18 October 2007 at 09:42

    "Moderately interesting indie"! Ahem. I think that should have been "glorious conceptual soundtrack for a trip to the glistening land where ELO meet Sigur Ros with someone with a Neil Young whine singing over the top". Such a good record although I think He's simple, he's dumb...etc and So you'll aim towards the sky are the clinchers. What I really like is the (sorry for this) juxtaposition (Well ? Can you think of an alternative word to use which sounds any less poncy ?) of the epic and the intimate within the same record and in fact the same song in several cases.

    Agree on Damon Albarn as well. Before hearing it I wrote off his "Mali Music" as a classic case of cultural magpieism but I love it - it works really well and comes across as Albarn simply fitting in and playing along rather than dictating any musical direction which often can be the case (mentioning no names - Paul Simon, Sting, Peter Gabriel). And the music itself is lovely.

  4. I'd love you and RH to meet - he can wax lyrical on the wonders of Gene for hours on end.

  5. Just to let you know, I'm posting my shuffleathon disc in the 'morrow.

  6. CD received. Review to come later.

  7. I just put my disc in the mail, but because it's coming from America, it'll take a few days to arrive.

  8. My CD arrived yesterday from Briskate. Review to come soon!

  9. CD received by Rullsenberg safe and sound! Much ta!

  10. after my computer gave me the blue screen of death, i have finally rebuilt it, better, stronger, faster! and my shuffleathon cd has been posted.

  11. i'm old enough to recall olympians in its heyday. nice to see it has a place in history and your collection. a bit of trivia: i don't know if it's true. i have a friend in the music business who said that libertine was written about their publicist. she said both rossiter and the pr left the music biz after the album's release.
    damon albarn isn't the twat he appears. i think blur and gorrillaz stand up.
    couldn't agree more about green day tho.