52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

if I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor....

>>>>>ST's ALPHABETICON - Part x: J<<<<<

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

Remember... this is not an attempt to exhaustively run through every album that I own... it's more of a meander through one particular set of dusty shelves.

234. The Jam – Greatest Hits

Whatever you think of Paul Weller - and I happen to think he's a twat - you surely cannot deny the brilliance of his first band. Well, I suppose you can, but I find that they're one of those bands who just seem to get better and better as I get older. The sound is very obviously rooted in the punk era, but it hasn't dated at all and the quality of the songwriting is simply brilliant. Two examples:

"They smelt of pubs and Wormwood Scrubs
And too many right wing meetings"

Just how evocative is that image? Doesn't it just perfectly conjure up an image of the thugs in that tube station? How economical is the phrasing?

What about:

"Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight
Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude"

That's poetry. Weller was in his very early twenties when he wrote those, and it's hard to believe that there have been many better lyricists. Weller is many things, but he also knew that he should get out of the Jam whilst the going was still good, breaking them up at the very peak of their commercial success - much to the disappointment of their fans and no doubt to Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler (Morrissey once referred to Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke as "Bruce and Rick"). Actually, Foxton and Buckler are touring as "From The Jam" at the moment, packing out medium sized venues and playing nothing but Jam hits. Apparently they are very good, and I'm pleased to say that I'll be going to see them at Rock City in December. Actually, I think they'll probably be better for Weller not being there.....

235. JJ72 – JJ72

I saw this lot live not so very long ago, and they were actually pretty good, even if their moment probably past long ago. I always liked "Oxygen", but I can never get away from the lyrics to "Snow":

"Why won't it snow
Like they said it would?
What is it that they know
That I really should?"

Damn those weathermen!

236. Jet – Get Born

This is pretty straightforward RAWK music with not many frills, not much imagination and absolutely no sophistication or subtlety. Mind you, well worth it just for "Are You Gonna Be My Girl", which is a FANTASTIC song.

237. Jane's Addiction – Ritual De Lo Habitual

I bought this in the middle of my heavy metal years, and to be honest I haven't really listened to it as much over the years as I probably should have (and when I have listened to it, I've mainly concentrated on "Been Caught Stealing"...which is a great song, true, but it's not the only great song they've done). I've actually got their entire back catalogue on iTunes, so I really must give it a spin on the iPod some time.

238. James – Laid
239. James – Best
240. James – Millionaires
241. James – Whiplash
242. James – Pleased to Meet You

I love James. They're one of those bands who never seem to have quite achieved the level of success that they really deserved, and yet most people are familiar with their work - when they put out their Greatest Hits, it was a massive success and there was lots of talk about how they could finally achieve the commercial success that they so richly deserved.... they promptly released "Millionaires" - one of their finest albums - and it bombed. There really is no justice in the world. I've seen them playing live several times, but the most memorable was a gig on Thursday night at Oxford Poly, the night before they played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. I was due to be working in Nottingham on the Friday, but I drove down just for the gig and they were absolutely amazing. Without a shadow of a doubt, it was one of the very best concerts I have ever seen. What a band.

243. Billy Joel – Essential Billy Joel

Speaking of brilliant gigs, seeing Billy Joel at the NEC a year or so ago was an absolute joy. Ah. The man is quite simply a legend. I'm sure it's not very cool of me to say so, but I think he's one of my all time favourite song-writers. So there. Actually, now I think about it, I think I've got "The River of Dreams" on CD single somewhere too. Beat that!

244. Tom Jones – The Lead and How To Swing It
245. Tom Jones – Complete Tom Jones

Ah. Yes. Clearly he's a great big embarrassment with what looks like a wig made out of pubic hair... but Tom Jones certainly had his moments. The Greatest Hits album is essential, of course, but actually "The Lead and How to Swing It" is worth it just for "If I Only Knew", which features one of the most ridiculously sustained notes ever recorded. Remarkable. When I was 12 years old, my class once appeared onstage in front of the whole school and performed a mime to "The Green, Green Grass of Home". It was really very moving.

246. Elton John – Very Best of Elton John

Not a great favourite of mine, although he certainly has his moments. Pretty good live too, as I recall.

247. Jamie T – Panic Prevention

Blimey. Another one that I've seen live. I heard Zane Lowe playing "Sheila" a couple of times on his show and was curious enough to check out the playlists on his website to find out who it was. From there, it was only a short step across to iTunes and then to buy tickets for his gig at the teeny-tiny Social in Nottingham. He's scruffy and sounds a bit like a shambolic version of The Streets, but he's definitely got something. The record was a bit of a disappointment, but live he was really good, with echoes of The Clash. Definitely one to watch.

248. Joan as Policewoman – Real Life

Yeah... I've seen this one too. Joan Wasser backed Rufus Wainwright at the Nottingham Concert Hall back in April 2005 (and was part of his backing band). She made enough of an impression on me that I sought out the album when it came out. It featured in a number of "best of the year" type lists, but I haven't really listened to it all that much... which is a bit of a shame really, as I remember it being pretty good. I'll have to dig it out again (which I suppose is part of the point of the alphabeticon, right?)

Lost somwhere in iTunes: Jackson 5, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Jilted John, Joy Division, Judas Priest, Justified & Ancients of Mu-Mu....

Next time: Carole King! The Killers! The KLF! And more!

Shuffleathon 2007 Update

ShufflerPosted
Received
1. Tinayes
review
2. Sarah

3. Cody Bones
yes
yes
4. Mark
yes
yes
5. Michael

6. Hen
yes
yes
7. Cat
yes
yes
8. bedshaped
yes

9. Pynchonyes
review
10. J
yesreview
11. The Great Grape Ape
yes
review
12. Ian
yes

13. Martin


14. Monogodo
yes
yes
15. Threelightyes
review
16. Paul
yes
review
17. Charlieyes
review
18. LB
yes
19. Katyola
yes
review
20. Lisa
yesreview
21. Graham
"this weekend"

22. Del


23. Spins
yes

24. Ben


25. Dragon
yes
yes
26. Adem
yes
review
27. Mike
yes
review
28. JoeInVegas
yes
yes
29. Wombat
yes

30. Max Bob
yes

31. Stevious
yes
review
32. Asta
yes
review
33. Alan
yes
review
34. Russ L
yes
review
35. E.
yes

36. Mike T-D
yes
yes
37. JamieS
yes

38. Briskate
yes
review
38. Me
yes
review

'Nuff respect as always to YokoSpungeon for the original Shuffleathon concept.

Labels: , ,

5 Comments:

  • At 9:24 pm, Blogger Charlie said…

    As of two days ago, both of mine have been posted.

     
  • At 7:22 am, Blogger Michael said…

    I've been bad...

    Last time I had mine posted within two days... this time I'm majorly slacking.

    I'll get on it.

     
  • At 8:46 am, Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said…

    Can I just say "ta" for the title of this post which proper made my Friday. That line remains one of my most favourite ever. And I still remember the original version of the song which had the verses/lines in a different order...

    I saw James at Rock City on the Gold Mother tour - and exhausting whirling Dervish of a gig - and went to get the GM LP signed at an event at HMV in Broadmarsh. I have a lovely photograph that I took that day where Tim was supping from his mug of tea, but at the precise second I took the pic he saw me taking it so he's directly looking at the camera over the top of the mug. He gave such a grin after I took the shot! Happy happy memories.

    I also remember recording off TV (from I think Snub) a live performance of James [at Manchester I think] where they did "Sit Down". It was probably one of the first gigs after they had really took off (I still love 'Stutter' let alone their later works). The crowd just took off with the chorus and gradually the band all stood back and you could just see the awe on their faces watching this crowd - all seated on the ground - singing at them. I think I wore out the tape watching that back...

     
  • At 12:21 pm, Blogger Cat said…

    I promise to get my review done this weekend too. I've been sitting on it for ages - the CD has a lot of tracks on it!

     
  • At 4:31 pm, Anonymous j. said…

    Ah, my favorite letter. :)

     

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