Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Before Playlists we had the Skip button...


With the recent re-issue of Nirvana’s breakthrough album ‘Nevermind’ calling to arms all the ex-grungers of my generation to pull out their old baggy jumpers before giving the ol’ girl another listen with fresh re-mastering and extra tracks I was alarmed to see drummer Dave Grohl’s view that ‘Lounge Act’ was simply considered filler and was simply written to order to complete the album. He even went as far as to say that it was his least favourite of the tracks that he played on with the group. I always loved the track and although I can see where his points may originate I can’t possibly agree with them.

This leads me very nicely into my latest inclusion of bile and random chat, what are the tunes that should have been chucked off your favourite albums? The ones that you ALWAYS skip but you feel bad for not liking as the rest of the material is of such strong stock? Like the little bow legged middle child, you don’t hate them, but they aren’t holding their end up properly in the great scheme of things. In 2011 such trivialities no longer matter with playlist keeping all the good stuff together and quietly un-ticking the dregs off to the recycle bin like a cyber room 101.

Here are a few of my choices…

Ctrl-alt.Del!

‘Sloop John B’ – From one of (if not) the greatest album of the 60s. ‘Pet Sounds’ by The Beach Boys. The album to teenage love and romance has this old folk song crow barred into the mix for no other reason than Rhythm Guitarist Al Jardine mentioned it to Brian Wilson who saw this as a personal challenge to take the bare bones structure and chord sequence apart and then re-make it in his own style. A fine piece of work on it’s own but one that doesn’t fit in with the whole cycle and concept of the album as a separate entity.

‘Rainy Day Women #12 & 35’ – The opener on the bone’ fide classic ‘Blonde on Blonde’ by Bob Dylan. First of all it’s a long album anyway so the fact this stoned nonsense wasn’t binned either shows the unwavering backbone Dylan had/has or simply that he was too stoned to care. The musical example of your drunken relative telling you a joke…maybe you had to be there to get it?

‘Love to You’ – Right, this has always been a bone of contention with me regarding George Harrison. He loved to moan about not getting enough songs on Beatles albums, Lennon/McCartney give him a space or two for his own creations and how does he repay them? With tosh like this. On ‘Revolver’ he was given 3 spaces no less, the amazing ‘Taxman’ (with McCartneys Fuzz guitar solo keeping the sitars at bay) and ‘I Want to Tell You’ on side 2 of the album, but ‘Love to You'?… Really? Imagine if this was swapped with the single ‘Rain’ or ‘Paperback Writer’ both written within the same time period, how much better would this already phenomenal album be? This is why he was quickly demoted back down to 1 song per album on the follow up album ‘Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and his contribution? I can’t chuffing believe it either ‘Within Without You’… we had to wait until 'The White Album' before he finally stepped up to the mark and produced the goods, stay away from the brown acid.

‘Pentonville’ – Right before I get my windows bricked in I’m not standing on a soapbox and crowing that Babyshambes debut ‘Down in Albion’ is a classic album, it definitely has it’s moments but this track (which features ex-Doherty cell mate The General) is beyond comprehension. Pointless is too weak a word for this dribble. Smacks of "you promised I could do a track" during the recording sessions, just ignore and play ‘Loyalty Song’ again without a hint of irony.

‘Don’t Stop’ – Shields up once again. I love the Stone Roses as much as the next post baggy Oasis fan but there is no need for this. For those not in ‘the know’ after the 5 star indie banger that is ‘Waterfalls’ the demo version of the same song is played backwards (keep awake at back!) and then a ton of reverb is dropped over it while Ian Brown mumbles over the top. Poor show indeed, maybe the extended version of ‘I am the Resurrection’ for the closer is a blessing, otherwise we might have had ‘Fools Gold’ backwards, remixed and featuring Jazzy Jeff.

'Little James'? – Oasis… too easy. In fact the whole album doesn’t have many saving graces. ‘I Can See A Liar’ would have to be right up there too for ‘Standing on the Shoulder of Giants’


God bless The Ramones

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