The Pitchfork 500 Indie Explosion Part 2 – Cocteau Twins To Billy Bragg

In the mid ’80’s, British Indie music woke up from its glum post-punk nightmare and started to produce music that was, if not out and out happy, at least willing to step outside its front door with something approaching a smile. Of course, this was largely due to the huge amounts of drugs it was consuming, but never mind. IndiePop sprung to life. All was sunny. Kind of.

Cocteau Twins – Lorelei
New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
Billy Bragg – A New England

In 1984, Cocteau Twins were a promising, if slightly Gothic, ambient/dream pop band, hailing from the unlikely environs of Grangemouth, Scotland. Then they released “Treasure”, the first in a series of records that are as good as any other records you could care to mention. New bassist Simon Raymonde (now owner of the superb Bella Union record label) helped the band develop; they built entire worlds from spiralling shards of sound, cascading like waterfalls through a cathedral made of champagne ice, and….

Ok, ok, I’ll stop there. Writing about Cocteau Twins brings to mind the classic Frank Zappa quote: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”1. Whilst I can happily write about Liz Fraser’s shockingly beautiful singing, Robin Guthrie’s effects-laden guitars, Simon Raymonde’s looping, graceful basslines, the thundering drum machines, often all tied together with additional sounds from Lord only knows where, nothing can quite prepare you for the majesty of their music. At their heights – heights which precious few bands reached even once, let alone over three or four albums and as many EP’s – they were, quite simply, the best example of how music can transcend the mundane and become something utterly transcendental.

“Lorelei” is probably the first time they peaked. Starting with a guitar line so simple that even a 5-year old could play it2, then bursting into their trademark booming drums with Fraser singing a deceptively simple vocal line. It’s often said that she sang nonsense lyrics, or made-up words, but this isn’t entirely true. Interviewed in the mid-’80’s, she stated:

Well, I do sing about life. Life with Robin; coping with him. They’re all words that I sing. There’s none of it that’s just nonsense

(You can see the seeds of their destruction in those three little words, “coping with him”. More of which later).

I must have listened to this song well over 1,000 times. No exaggeration – when this was first released, I taped it from my brother3 and played it again, and again, and again. I’ve always had a copy on CD; I used to play it early in the morning when chilling out after club nights; I’ve argued with myself many times whether to put this, or Blue Bell Knoll, or Heaven Or Las Vegas onto whatever iPod or iPhone I’m currently messing with. Even returning to it for this article, I was hearing new things; all those overdubs of Liz’s vocals and the subtle ways the drums change throughout the song, for example. This song showed the world just what they could do.

After this, the band rose to even greater heights during the rest of the ’80’s, but Fraser and Guthrie’s relationship went downhill as Guthrie’s drugtaking got out of hand. A major label deal took them away from the loving bosom of 4AD and their records made clear that all was not happy with the band. They broke up in 1994, after some promising changes to their sound that had pointed to a potential way out of their creative hole.

Cocteau Twins have slowly but surely been gaining recognition for their amazing records. Whilst they were reasonably big in the ’80’s and ’90’s, they seem to have fallen away from sight since their split. Sadly, it seems as though a reunion just won’t happen. The scars from Fraser and Guthrie’s separation are apparently too deep to heal enough to perform together; from a purely selfish point of view, this is a massive shame. Considering the complexity of their music, they were a fantastic live band and one of the best I’ve ever seen. Maybe they should do the re-release, re-master thing (with extra material, please, folks). One of the few faults you could ever raise about the Cocteaus was that the production was never quite up to scratch; a quick wash and brush up could do wonders. In any case, this track is the perfect introduction to their magical world. If you have never listened to them before, I can happily say this with religious fervour: Listen. If you are don’t like this, you don’t like music.

New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” is another gold-plated, sure-fire, utter 100% classic record. Arguably, it’s their finest moment; only “Thieves Like Us” and “True Faith” can beat it. Those famous New Order trademarks are all there; the easy melodies, the lyrics that teeter on the fence between profundity and nonsense, and the deft mixing of rock and dance in a way that hardly anyone has bettered since. This isn’t Indie music; it’s pop, of the highest order.

But reading between the lines, the tensions in the band were starting to show. The album version features Peter “Hooky” Hook’s at the forefront of the mix, driving the lead melody. The single version (presented here) misses it entirely. Whilst Bernard “Barney” Sumner wrote most of the music (with some help from The Other Two, mostly drum programming), Hooky became increasingly disgruntled at how much he was being sidelined. He was also the least enamoured with the dancier direction the band were taking – partly because this seemed to make him redundant. After all, when you’re completely removed from the single version of one of your band’s best songs, you’re entitled to be concerned. The odd thing is that the song, in its single mix, is weaker without Hooky’s bassline.

Plus, the band had a unique setup, which didn’t really help matters. Every day, they travelled to a detached house in South Manchester and worked on their songs, making demos etc. They were paid a salary by Factory Records, and they effectively didn’t get any royalties. These were, by and large, pumped into The Hacienda nightclub. So, the band – Hooky in particular – decided that, as they were being paid a pittance by their record label and their substantial royalties were being spent on a mostly empty club, they might as well take advantage by drinking large amounts of alcohol there. Not a recipe for success. Still, tensions aside, the band continued to make classic records, and continued as a band (on and off) until last year, when it was finally announced that they’d had enough of each other4.

Anyway, back to “Bizarre Love Triangle”. What a song, eh? At their finest, New Order were so far ahead of their peers it was laughable. Trying to make sense of what makes this song so brilliant is a tough call, and one I don’t have the music theory chops for. So, if anyone can explain how the interplay between the differing keyboard and bass lines causes such a swelling of the heart, or how Barney makes the daft lyrics actually feel like they mean something, or how the song somehow straddles euphoria and melancholy, then you’re better at this than me. In any case, this is a brilliant, brilliant record.

I used to really dislike Billy Bragg. His ultra-stripped down sound, his overt politicism, and his Estuary English accent could make him easy to dislike to an unreconstructed snob like me. With years of living between hearing this song first and writing this now, I can finally see him for what he is5 – if not quite a genius, then a fine songwriter, a decent guitarist and an honest and emotional singer.

Of course this is by far his best known song, covered by many, but most stunningly by Kirsty MacColl. Starting off with a line stolen from a Simon and Garfunkel song, he wistfully sings of his lost love and yearning for a new romance to take his mind off his last one. With just him and his guitar, the song is a brilliant combination of the simple and complex, from lovelorn moaning to singing about satellites looking like shooting stars.

Chalk this one up to the value of this list. I’m very glad I finally heard this song for what it really is.

Next up, we go back to Metal; the new, thrashy, mutated Metal of Metallica and their peers.

1 Though admittedly you could see Michael Clark giving that a go.

2 So simple that Simon Raymonde actually played it live. Sorry, Simon.

3 Home taping is killing music.

4 Or more accurately, Hooky decided he’d had enough of Barney and Steve Morris, who initially stated they didn’t know what he was on about, and then decided they agreed with him.

5 And what most other people have seen, except me. The teenage me was a right dick sometimes.

You can find the rest of the Pitchfork 500 articles here.

MP3: Lorelei by Cocteau Twins

MP3: Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order

MP3: A New England by Billy Bragg

Buy “Treasure” by Cocteau Twins (CD/MP3)

Buy “Brotherhood: Collector’s Edition” by New Order (CD)

Buy “Must I Paint You a Picture – The Essential Billy Bragg” (CD)

The Pitchfork 500 – New Prince Heads

The next bunch of Pitchfork songs aren’t quite grouped in the same way as previous sections, in an easily discussed theme. Instead, the thing that unites these songs is that pretty much everyone knows them, and by and large, they are pretty damn good. And yes, I know I promised this back in August 2009. I’ve been busy, alright?

New Order – Blue Monday
Prince and the Revolution – When Doves Cry
Talking Heads – This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)

New Order’s “Blue Monday” is one of those songs that is groundbreaking in so many ways, it’s almost impossible to know where to start. Unique melding of early ’80s New York Disco with Mancunian post-punk? A dance tune that isn’t about anything remotely funky or sexy? A record that was so expensive to manufacture that despite being the best selling 12″ ever, it managed to lose the massively entertaining but entirely hapless Factory Records money?

Having spent much of the Eighties listening to New Order, I know this song inside-out. So writing about it 25 years (25 years! Sob!) later is a bit odd. And personally I’d have put “Thieves Like Us” on here instead. It’s a much better song. (Funnily enough Peter Hook agrees, saying “I honestly thought Thieves Like Us, the single after Blue Monday, was far superior.”) If anything, New Order wrote at least three better songs (“Thieves Like Us”, “True Faith” and “Bizarre Love Triangle”, and I’m taking requests for “Temptation” too), but this is arguably the first song to ever mesh dance and rock. Few people have done it since (if you say Primal Scream, or Stone Roses, you can leave now, as you are beyond redemption).

Because, at its heart, “Blue Monday” is barmy. At the time, everyone knew New Order were unusual, and probably unique – the combination of their record label’s laissez-faire attitude to release cycles, their own obstreperousness, and their open-minded attitude to music (and drug-taking) made them quite like anyone before or since. “Blue Monday” mixed the dance beats they had heard during their New York trips with their own dour Mancunian heritage, producing something quite astonishingly different. And you’ve got to love their live version recorded in a sweltering Maida Vale studio:

After moaning about Pitchfork’s choice of Prince song earlier, they’re far more on the money with “When Doves Cry”. It’s an odd little song, veering from a declaration of lust into how people take on characteristics of their parents. Again, Prince is happy to show us just what a marvellous musician he is. Lucky get. Have a look at this rehersal footage (apologies if it’s been taken down):

Just look at the ease with which he sings and dances around; just listen at the elegant simplicity of the song, a dance record with no bassline. What a mover. What a singer. Git.

Talking Heads managed to combine out and out kookiness with a sharp sense of melody, and this track – cunningly subtitled “Naive Melody” – had this in spades:

But again, I can’t say it’s my favourite song of theirs1. I just can’t get that excited about it. One of their more funky little numbers, it gracefully showcases their ability to mix their fluid post-punk with soulful backing vocals and Nile Rogers-esque guitar lines; but despite all that, it all feels a little cold to me. Saying that, you can hear their influence reverberating through the music of today.

In fact, all three songs (and the artists that made them) had a huge impact on modern music that is still being heard now; everytime you turn on the radio or listen to your iPod or Spotify or whatever, you’ll likely stumble across something that owes a massive debt to these bands. What’s curious is that the three musical geniuses on show here – Bernard Sumner, Prince, and David Byrne – are so different. Sumner can almost be called an accidental genius; despite his obvious gifts, he always gives the impression that he’s stumbled across this great song by accident (he once said something along these lines in an interview, that songs were gifts falling from the sky at night. But he had clearly been drinking). Prince, on the other hand, shouts “GENIUS” at you whilst dressed in purple pants, playing five instruments simultaneously whilst simulating sex with three semi-naked models. Byrne is somewhere between the two; he wears his cleverness and talent on his sleeve but tries to stay cool about it.

No matter though. All three changed pop music and helped diversify it with soul, disco, house, funk, and all sorts of “World” music (I hate that phrase). Without these three musicians, popworld would be a much duller place.

1 That’d be “Once In A Lifetime”, of course, with “Road To Nowhere” as backup. Oh come on, you know I’m right.

You can read the rest of my Pitchfork 500 articles here.

MP3: Blue Monday by New Order

MP3: When Doves Cry by Prince
This ain’t here no longer. As per the note below, there has been a DMCA takedown request. Unbeknownst to me, this track got referenced by someone saying their blog hosted Soundcloud, but then referred it to me. Thanks, folks. In any case, fair cop, removed now, and I’m pretty sure the little fella is up in heaven playing all the instruments God can find him, making some fucking incredible music, whilst Lemmy and Bowie and Reed and Brown look on going “Fuck’s sake. Imagine what it’s going to be like when Dylan pops his clogs”. And he’s looking down slyly going “Man, I love lawyers”.

MP3: This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) by Talking Heads

Buy “The Best of New Order” (CD/MP3)

Buy Prince’s “Ultimate” (CD)

Buy “Once in a Lifetime: the Best of Talking Heads” (CD)

Some content on this page was disabled on May 8, 2016 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from PRS for Music. You can learn more about the DMCA here:
Some content on this page was disabled on October 14, 2020 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Warner. You can learn more about the DMCA here:

The Liverpool And Manchester

Liverpool and Manchester. Two of England’s greatest cities, separated by a mere 35 miles, they have a rivalry that has festered for hundreds of years. The economic rivalry drove both cities to build huge Victorian edifices in their city centres. The football rivalry – the cities are responsible for the two most successful clubs in English football – regularly boils over into rancour with Manchester United fans singing about Hillsborough and Liverpool fans singing about the Munich Air Disaster1.

The musical rivalry, however, has been generally much friendlier. Indeed, Factory Records and Zoo Records used to do joint shows in places like Leigh. The musical heritage both cities have given the world are simply astonishing; with Liverpool generally being the more psychedelic. Since punk they have given us bands as diverse as The Smiths, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Doves, The Teardrop Explodes, 808 State, OMD, The Fall, The Coral, Stone Roses, Lightning Seeds and Happy Mondays. Oh, and Echo and The Bunnymen and New Order.

Which leads me onto the point of this post. Those last two bands have got albums out tomorrow. Well, Echo and the Bunnymen have, and Barney Sumner (with a guest appearance from Steven Morris on many tracks) is back as Bad Lieutenant2. Both bands were hugely influential back in the day, and now have to deal with the fact that so many other bands sound like them. And when so many people sound like them, how can they stand out from the mass? Worse, how can you stop sounding like the bands that you’ve influenced?

This second question strikes you on first listen to both records. With Bad Lieutenant’s “Never Cry Another Tear”, your first thought is “Doves!”; with EATB’s “The Fountain”, it’s “U2!”. Now, this might turn out to be a problem, but thankfully a few listens to each complicates things nicely. With Bad Lieutenant, the Doves-alike singing of Jake Evans tends to distract you from the fact that, on the stronger songs like “Summer Days on Holiday”, a mix of pure-bred Barney guitar-pop and the rather more grandiose Doves is actually a rather tasty one.

“Sail On Silver Water” is a lovely bit of dreamy pop, followed by “Love Vigilantes”, sorry, “Shine Like The Sun”, which does the whole soaring chorus, perfectly written to be played from the main stage at Glastonbury at about 7.55pm just as the sun is setting. “Falling Trees” polishes the album off nicely with the sweet line “We’ll use our love for a shelter”. Barney’s getting all soft on us in his old age.

That'd Be The Album Cover Then

That'd Be The Album Cover Then

In Echo’s weird U2 Feedback Loop, you begin to remember just how good they were at doing portentious, dramatic stadium rock without sinking into the over-egged tosh that U2 have a habit of falling into. Opener “Think I Need It Too” sets the scene marvellously, all echoey guitars and droll vocals, and the album keeps up the pace rather nicely. “Drivetime” makes a decent stab for the, errr, drivetime radio market. Nice move, chaps. Ian McCulloch’s voice is a begrizzled drawl, sounding like he’s been hanging out with Mark Lanegan (this is no bad thing, by the way).

There’s a couple of right shockers on both albums. BL’s “Poisonous Intent” is aptly titled, because you want to round everyone up involved in making the song and give them some Kool-Aid, and Echo’s “Life of 1,000 Crimes” seems to refer to the band’s crimes, of which this song counts for at least 476.

I'm Liking That Guitar

I'm Liking That Guitar

With both albums, I was left with a strange feeling of enjoying them rather more than expected, mixed with a sadness that Bad Lieutenant in particular could have done better. Maybe what they should do is meet up with Johnny Marr. After all, this is a guy who has constantly reinvented his style, from playing with The Pretenders to Modest Mouse and The Cribs. Maybe that old dog could teach these old dogs some new tricks.

But the Echo and the Bunnymen album is better. Ian McCulloch has gone on record to say that he thinks this is their best album since “Ocean Rain”. You know what, I think he might be right. Liverpool 1, Manchester 0.

1 You’ll never catch Arsenal fans being so coarse. We just sing songs about facial tics.

2 Funnily enough, EATB did the same thing as “Electrafixion”, back in the late 90’s.

MP3: Think I Need It Too by Echo And The Bunnymen

MP3: Falling Trees by Bad Lieutenant

Buy Bad Lieutenant’s “Never Cry Another Tear” (CD/MP3)

Buy Echo And The Bunnymen’s “The Fountain” (CD/MP3)

Like my blog? Please help spread the word: Add To FacebookAdd To DiggAdd To RedditAdd To DeliciousAdd To TechnoratiAdd To StumbleUpon

It’ll Get You As The Party Ends

The human brain is a funny thing. You can be doing the washing up, walking the dog, pruning the roses, putting out the bins, or any of the other million and one little chores that make up your daily life, when suddenly a thought comes from nowhere and knocks you for six. I get that with songs (as I suspect pretty much everyone does). And, with a heavy dose of irony, the song that did this the other day was a song about unwelcome thoughts coming when you’re doing the washing up, walking the dog, pruning the roses…you get the idea.

Or as the song opens:

It’ll get you on the last bus home
Get you at the discount bend
It’ll get you on the old dance floor
Get you as the party ends

The song is Cherry Ghost’s wonderful “4am”, a charming little country-pop number from their 2007 debut album “Thirst For Romance”. As far as I can tell (what am I,, it’s about lost love and how your brain has a habit of reminding you about it at just the wrong time. And then spells it out at the chorus:

Oh 4am, was the time that you were mine
Frozen in deepest sleep, for only I to keep
Now there ain’t no hiding place on earth
That loneliness ain’t been first

That chorus makes my heart break into tiny little pieces. Seriously, it’s an earworm that has managed to creep up from nowhere and lodge in my brain for the past two days. By the way, the rest of the album is well worth a listen – especially the title track and the fantastic “Mathematics”, even if there is a slightly uncomfortable aroma of Radio 2. Great live band, too.

And I’ve now set up email subscription using Feedburner. Click on the link here to sign up, so you can get your twice-weekly portion of Loft and Lost straight to your Inbox! Modern technology, eh?

MP3: 4 A.M. by Cherry Ghost

Buy Cherry Ghost’s “Thirst for Romance” (CD/MP3)

Bad Lieutenant! Naughty Lieutenant! In Your Bed!

Barney Sumner has been writing songs for more than thirty years. Isn’t that a scary thought? From the early days of Warsaw, through the glorious Joy Division and New Order years, to Electronic then back to New Order again (slightly less gloriously), and now to Bad Lieutenant.

Barney's Changed

Barney's Changed

Teaming up with ex-Marion (remember them?) members Phil Cunningham and Jake Evans, Barney is back making the kind of effortlessly wonderful music that everyone from Broken Social Scene to Smashing Pumpkins have tried, with varying degrees of success, to replicate over the years. It’s great to have him back. I’ll write more about the new album “Never Cry Another Tear” once I’ve had a good listen, but if it’s anything like “Sink Or Swim”, we’re in for a right old treat.

As is usual in these things, there’s a Website, a Facebook bit, a Twitter and a MySpace page.

Have a look at the (unofficial) video above and a listen to the (official) single, “Sink Or Swim”, below. It’s nice to have him back.

On another note, today marks the one-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers death. Let’s all raise a glass to a company at which I spent eight years, and had a great time at. Happy times, and best of luck to everyone who’s still trying to get back on their feet.

MP3: Sink Or Swim by Bad Lieutenant

The Pitchfork 500 The Brits Are Coming Part 4 – New Order to The Beat

So, the last part of The Brits Are Coming starts with the 100th song on the list, and the most important band of the Brits series. Who they? New Order, of course.

New Order – Temptation
The Jam – Town Called Malice
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
The English Beat – Save It for Later

What do you do when, on the eve of your first American tour that might well propel you to stardom1, your talismanic, troubled lead singer commits suicide? As the remaining members of Joy Division learned, you dust yourself off, change your name to New Order, take turns singing, bring in the drummer’s girlfriend on keyboards, and get on with merging rock and dance music like no-one has before (and arguably haven’t done as well since). A combination of visits to clubs in New York and Europe, a love of Kraftwerk, Barney Sumner and Steven Morris’s experiments with drum machines and sequencers, and an open-minded attitude saw them create a whole new sound. It’s a sound that would influence everyone from The Cure and U2 to Broken Social Scene.

“Temptation” was the first real fruit of this questing spirit (“Everything’s Gone Green”, released the previous year, certainly had the dancing beats but still sounded a bit like a Joy Division song that had taken speed and wasn’t sure what all this dancing thing was about). From this momentous single they would go on to the dizzy heights of “Blue Monday”, “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “True Faith”2.

Temptation 7" Cover

Temptation Cover

This is a personal favourite version, from a BBC Radio 1 recording filmed in 1984. I strongly advise you to watch the whole concert, too:

Loving those shorts, Barney.

As the song starts, the pulsing keyboards mesh with the mix of live drums and drum machine, and then the guitar kicks in. Suddenly, all the cares and troubles of New Order’s first couple of years disappear, like the sun bursting through the clouds after a thunderstorm. The effect is electrifying. And the lyrics offer something different to the gloom of Ian Curtis: “Heaven, a gateway, a hope”. Like many of Barney’s words, they can be impossible to decipher – “Oh, you’ve got green eyes\Oh, you’ve got blue eyes\Oh, you’ve got gray eyes”, yes, thanks for that Barney – but they work so beautifully in the song you just can’t help but forgive him.

So, redemption and hope after suffering and despair. What more can you ask for? It goes without saying that this isn’t the last of New Order on this list; and that even Pitchfork devote more than half a page to talking about them – more than any other band so far.

The Jam, hailing from Woking in Surrey, were formed by Paul Weller, a serious young chap with a huge thirst for the mod records of the sixties, along with soul, R&B, new wave and power-pop. This earnest fellow wanted to merge all those influences, mixing in the new punk sensibilities by telling stories of real life. “A Town Called Malice” is the fruit of that idea, and one of their best songs. Late 1970’s Britain being a grim kind of place was manna from heaven for a talent like Weller, and this song tells of “a hundred lonely housewives clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts” and “stop apologising for the things you’ve never done\Cos time is short and life is cruel”. The reality of unemployment hits the people hard: “To either cut down on beer or the kids new gear\It’s a big decision in a town called Malice”.

Stern stuff. Sung in his tense, angry voice, and pitted against Foxton and Buckler’s expert bass and drumming, with tinges of 60’s R&B, the song nearly explodes with tension and rage at the situation people were in. And like “Temptation”, it still sounds fresh nearly 30 years later. Two very different songs then; New Order’s looking solely to the future to try and forget the past, and The Jam’s using the music of the past to tell a tale of the present.

Next comes one of those periodic mis-steps on the list. Now it is safe to say that Duran Duran aren’t exactly the trendiest band from the early 80’s, though bands like The Killers are doing a job in reprising their sound. So to pick a song of theirs was quite brave. But a dodgy album track that sounds like The Cure with Simon Le Bon wailing over the top? Nah. Come on, it should have been “Rio”. Maybe “Save A Prayer”, at a push. Nah, listen to both “The Chauffeur” and “Rio” and tell me what you think:

Come on, if you’re going to do this English Invasion/New Pop thing, at least do it properly. As a bit of an aside, listen to how much is going on in “Rio”; the sequencers, the bass line, the guitar, the multi-tracked vocals, it takes a while to take it all in. There’s a richness and texture you just don’t get in modern pop music (with the exception of Girls Aloud).

Lastly, one of the pleasure of doing this list is hearing songs that have been so obviously influenced by ones that came a few years before. This one, The Beat’s “Save It For Later”, is like an unholy mix of Talking Heads and Elvis Costello, with some ska thrown in for good measure (and indeed, you can hear this song influencing bands like The Go-Betweens):

The Beat (or The English Beat for the Americans amongst you) were one of the Two-Tone Ska bands, who along with The Specials, Madness and The Selecter, turned the Sixties Ska sound into a particularly English phenomenon. More famous for “Mirror In The Bathroom” and their later cover of “Can’t Get Used To Losing You”, this song is more poppy and even has a string section poking into the song about halfway through. I was wondering why this didn’t seem at all familiar; it only got to number 47 in the UK charts (this is when any song in the Top 20 of any given week you’d be able to hum). I even doubt it was anything to do with the double entendre in the title, as Radio 1 didn’t even pick up on “Relax” for about a month. Anyway, I must say I rather enjoyed its power pop energy.

So that’s that; 12 songs that would come storming out of small towns and the largest cities of the UK, some fantastic, others less so. Some of these songs would change the world by showing what could be done with new technology, including making use of videos before any band in the US caught on; others would link back to the past of soul, R&B and Rock and Roll and twist them for the early ’80’s; and some were so shocking to US audiences that they would fuel the boom in guitar driven rock like Bruce Springsteen in response. And some would just quietly go about their own way, waiting for the world to catch up with them.

1 Or at least get you out of Macclesfield.
2 Funnily enough, “True Faith”, probably their best song, isn’t on the Pitchfork list but the other two are. I can kind of see why, but won’t go into it now.

MP3: Temptation (7″ mix) By New Order

MP3: Save It For Later by The Beat

Buy “The Best of New Order” (CD) (And You Really Should)

Buy “The Very Best Of The Jam” (CD)

Buy Duran Duran’s “Greatest” (MP3/CD)

Buy “You Just Can’t Beat It: The Best of the Beat” (CD)

The whole list is available here.

Like my blog? Please help spread the word: Add To FacebookAdd To DiggAdd To RedditAdd To DeliciousAdd To TechnoratiAdd To StumbleUpon