>>>>>ST's ALPHABETICON - Part v: E<<<<<
Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D
Before we start, I found a CD I missed on my shelf... quite how I missed a big orange box is another matter, but it's on these shelves (and it's a great record) so I'm not missing it off the list.
157. Ian Dury & the Blockheads – Jukebox Dury
I saw Ian Dury supporting Madness at Finsbury Park way back in the day, and he was bloody brilliant. A real genius.
...And so now to the business in hand.
You know the drill: this is not an exhaustive list of all of the records that I own. It's only a list of the ones that are gathering dust on the shelves in my study. It does not include the ones by any of the stereos, or in the car or on my iPod. Alright? Right? Let's rock.
158. Editors – The Back Room
159. Editors – An End Has A Start
I know I'm rather prone to guitar music with doomy lyrics played by skinny white boys, but it took a little while for Editors (no "the" apparently). Their debut album was a real grower. I loved "Blood" right from the start, but almost without me noticing, songs like "All Sparks" and "Munich" had seeped under my skin. I saw them playing at the Rescue Rooms, and although they were alright, I was a touch disappointed. When I saw them a few months later on an Arena stage supporting Franz Ferdinand, suddenly they seemed to make more sense.... a widescreen sound designed for the biggest stages. The future looked bright.
And then they released the follow up, complete with that terrible lyric about spiders:
"There are spiders in your room,
But there always will be."
"Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors" aside, it's rubbish. I'm tempted to blame Edith Bowman... she's certainly to blame for Tom Smith's weird haircut.
160. Electric 6 – Fire
A one trick band, perhaps... but what a trick. Worth it for "Gay Bar" alone. Fantastic value live too. Did I consider buying their follow-up album? No.
161. Embrace – Out of Nothing
162. Embrace - Fireworks, the singles 1997-2002
Initially I couldn't see past Danny MacNamara's honking seal voice and inability to carry a tune in a bucket. Then, thanks mainly to LB's patience and unwavering enthusiasm for the band, I started to see the bigger picture.... helped perhaps by a predictable inability to shift their cover of Coldplay's "Gravity" out of my head (to be fair to myself, I didn't know this was a Coldplay song when I first heard it... although it made a lot of sense to me when I did find out). "Out of Nothing" is actually a pretty good album in it's own right, and when I saw them playing a warm-up gig for an arena tour (a thoughtful birthday present from LB), I thought they were really pretty good. It's quite a talent to be able to hold a crowd in the palm of your hand when you can't really hold a tune. See also: Ian Brown.
163. Elbow – Cast of Thousands
164. Elbow – Asleep in the Back
165. Elbow – Leaders of the Free World
Like most of their songs, Elbow are a real slow-burner of a band. They don't make albums very often, and when they do they tend to arrive with the minimum of fuss and disappear with only the bare minimum of sales.... all the while being absolutely brilliant. They're not a showy band, but by God they're good. I think I first heard them in 2001 when I heard "Red" on Real Player (the pre-download age, eh? bless!). I popped out to buy the album soon after, and picked up its follow up from my old stamping ground at Track Records in York at some point in late 2003. "Leader of the Free World" followed in 2005. Not exactly prolific, and no album charting higher than 7 and no single higher than 19. God love'em, they're brilliant, but how do they make money?
Given what's happened to Editors, perhaps it's as well that Guy Garvey isn't seeing Edith Bowman any more. I'm not sure if the world would be the same again if Elbow put out a duff album.
166. Eels – Beautiful Freak
167. Eels – Daisies of the Galaxy
168. Eels – Electro-Shock Blues
To be fair, it took me a little while to realise that there was more to Eels than "Novocaine for the Soul", which I think was a hit when I was still working in HMV in York back in 1996. Some 5 or 6 years later, I discover some of their other stuff. "Mr E's Beautiful Blues" is worth the entry money alone. Good band, although probably best not to invite mainman E to any parties, as I don't imagine he's the life and soul.
169. Elastica – Elastica
In the current edition of Q magazine, Damon Albarn rather ducks the question of whether or not he actually wrote most of this album (which was released at a time when he and Justine Frischmann were the poster couple for Britpop). I don't actually care whether he did or not. I never cared that they stole their riffs from the Stranglers and Wire either - it's still a great album. "Connection" in particular still sounds great today (thanks to that Stranglers steal, I suppose). Did I buy the much delayed follow up? Nah. Why would I bother?
170. The Eagles – The Very Best of the Eagles
A thoughtful birthday gift from the Pollstar... except that I pretty much hate the eagles. For starters, "Life in the Fast Lane" will always remind me of a brainless fool called Hugo from school, and the rest is just dull. Perhaps I'll appreciate them more when I'm old. I think that's what happens, isn't it? Subject of a brilliant documentary I saw on BBC4 the other day about the Laurel Canyon set .... all about how the most amazing congregation of singer-songwriters gathered together in LA in the 1960s: David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Jackson Browne, Carole King... and so on.... and how the Eagles came along and ruined it all.
Next time [can you guess?]: F
Keep your shuffleathon updates coming.... we've already got one or two in the post. Me? I've thought of two tracks to put on mine.