The Kiss

Posted on 30th December 2021

This entry's poll year is 1987.

First up is The Cure with Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. Their best album opener ever, The Kiss, is then followed by one of their worst songs on the album. Unsurprisingly, back in 1987 I made my own version of the album, replacing a few of the low points (IMO) with some infinently better b-sides from the album's singles, which were later released as an extra orange vinyl accompaniment to the album. It definitely deserved to be a double album, as there were some wonderful songs on it, such as The Kiss, Just Like Heaven and Like Cockatoos.

In 1987 I fell in love with In My Tribe by 10,000 Maniacs. I saw them many times with Natalie, but just the once without her. I once knew the words to every track on this album without looking, I played it so much, and even got to sing the Stipe part of A Campfire Song with Natalie at Nottingham in 1989. A Campfire Song and Don't Talk being instant favourites, and still love hearing both now.

While at Coventry Polytechnic, a friend found out I like a lot of Indie and Gothic music, and recommended I listened to Fields Of The Nephilim, and played me the Preacher Man and Blue Water singles. I loved them, and so went looking for their back catalogue and found Dawnrazor, and so began a long standing love of the band, and associated acts. Vet For The Insane and Dawnrazor are my personal highlights from the album.

Although I'd know of R.E.M. for a while, it was the album Document that got me hooked. Learning the lyrics for It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) I felt was quite an achievement at the time, especially as I can't sing that fast now! Disturbance at the Heron House, The One I love and Finest Worksong are still favourites from their whole repetoire.

I first heard The Jesus And Mary Chain on John Peel, and loved their fresh approach to feedback as music. I liked their debut, but Darklands took them to a new level, and contains some of their best songs. The title track, Darklands, Nine Million Rainy Days, and April Skies being particular highlights.

1 The Cure Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
2 10,000 Maniacs In My Tribe
3 Fields Of The Nephilim Dawnrazor
4 R.E.M. Document
5 The Jesus And Mary Chain Darklands
6 The Sisters Of Mercy Floodland
7 IQ Nomzamo
8 Bruce Springsteen Tunnel Of Love
9 Indigo Girls Strange Fire
10 Icehouse Man of Colours
11 Nanci Griffth Lone Star State of Mind
12 Marillion Clutching At Straws
13 Pink Floyd A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
14 Niadem's Ghost In Sheltered Winds
15 Rush Hold Your Fire
16 INXS Kick
17 Simple Minds Live In The City Of Light
18 Billy Joel Kontsert
19 Suzanne Vega Solitude Standing
20 Jethro Tull Crest Of A Knave
21 Heart Bad Animals
22 U2 The Joshua Tree
23 Grateful Dead In The Dark
24 Prince Sign O' The Times
25 W.A.S.P. Live...In the Raw
26 Metallica The $5.98 E.P. - Garage Days Re-Revisited
27 Depeche Mode Music for the Masses
28 Front Line Assembly The Initial Command
29 Front 242 Official Version
30 The Pixies Come On Pilgrim
31 Judas Priest Priest...Live!
32 Belinda Carlisle Heaven On Earth
33 Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night
34 Midnight Oil Diesel and Dust
35 T'Pau Bridge of Spies
36 Ozzy Osbourne Tribute
37 Motörhead Rock 'n' Roll
38 Whitesnake Whitesnake
39 Def Leppard Hysteria
40 Aerosmith Permanent Vacation
41 Guns 'n' Roses Appetite for Destruction
42 Gary Moore Wild Frontier
43 Steve Earle & The Dukes Exit 0
44 Roger Waters Radio K.A.O.S.
45 Echo & the Bunnymen Echo & the Bunnymen
46 Then Jericho First (The Sound Of Music)
47 Toyah Desire
48 The Silencers A Letter From St. Paul
49 Eurythmics Savage
50 Siouxsie and the Banshees Through the Looking Glass

File Under: music / polls

Rebels In Kontrol

Posted on 29th December 2021

This entry's poll year was 2018. A year I listened to a lot of industrial / EBM / Goth music, as highlighted in my top 5.

KMFDM have been a long time favourite, and this live album pulled together a collection of songs for various periods of the bands history, although most came from the latest album (at the time) Hell Yeah, and was the last tour I saw them on too. Freak Flag and Rebels In Kontrol being particular favourites.

VNV Nation were a band I first saw in London around 20 years ago, and have enjoyed their live sets on several occasions since. The last couple of studio albums didn't quite grab me as much as earlier albums, but I think Ronan must have had a reset, because Noire is quite simply the best album they've made. Difficult to pick a favourite, as every track is so good, but Lights Go Out and When Is The Future? do get turned up a bit more when they come on.

I first saw Gary Numan in 1984 on the Warriors tour. The difference between that tour, and this The Savage Tour, are a stark contrast to how Gary has changed his sound. While back then there was more syntheziers in the mix, now it's a much more guitar, bass and drum focused sound. Samples and synthesizers are still there, but now the whole show is quiet emotive, plus Gary talks to the audience a lot more too. Favourites from the shows were Here In The Black and My Name Is Ruin, the latter with Persia on backing vocals and video screen.

I hadn't listened to Front Line Assembly for sometime, but after listening to some instrumental albums, this got suggested to me, and I think it's one of their best. A follow-up to AirMech, WarMech is another video game soundtrack. As such, several of the tracks are very atomspheric, and as a consequence another album that's difficult to pick a favourite, but Meteorfall does amuse me for the ZX Spectrum like loading sounds at the beginning.

I missed on seeing Steve Hackett with Genesis, and I also missed his first couple of tours playing his Genesis Revisted shows. However, After a friends rave review a few years back, I listened to the Hammersmith live album, and was hooked. Since then I've managed to see every tour, and was delighted to walk in to Birmingham Symphony Hall on the 2017 tour to be told they were recording the show for CD & DVD release. The show itself was fantastic, and Wuthering Nights: Live In Birmingham goes some way to capturing the live experience that night. Show opener, Every Day and Firth Of Fifth were definite highlights.

A notable mention to my sixth placed album, The Girl In The Trees by my wife, Nicole. An amazing album, and all her hard work that went into writing, recording and producing the songs and the arkwork, was certainly worth it. If you'd like to hear more, check out her bandcamp page

1 KMFDM Live In The USSA
2 VNV Nation Noire
3 Gary Numan Savage – Live at Brixton Academy
4 Front Line Assembly WarMech
5 Steve Hackett Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham
6 Nicole Perrott Hughes The Girl In The Trees
7 Yes Fly From Here: Return Trip
8 Mogwai Kin
9 Bruce Springsteen Springsteen On Broadway
10 Ministry AmeriKKKant
11 Mono Inc. Welcome To Hell
12 Night Verses From The Gallery Of Sleep
13 Steve Wilson Home Invasion
14  <PIG> Risen
15 Therapy? Cleave
16 Funker Vogt Wastelands
17 Everyday Dust Landscape X And The Valley Of Foghorns
18 KT Tunstall Wax
19 Indigo Girls Live with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra
20 Cowboy Junkies All That Reckoning
21 R.E.M. R.E.M. at the BBC
22 Live Local 717
23 Kingcrow The Persistence
24 Mike Shinoda Post Traumatic
25 A Perfect Circle Eat the Elephant
26 Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs King Of Cowards
27 Gnod Chapel Perilous
28 Echo & The Bunnymen The Stars, the Oceans & the Moon
29 Halestorm Vicious
30 Die So Fluid One Bullet From Paradise
31 Of Mice And Men Defy
32 Neil Young Songs For Judy
33 Kirstin Hersh Possible Dust Clouds
34 Leah The Quest
35 Bardo Pond Volume 8
36 Prince Piano and a Microphone 1983
37 The Breeders All Nerve
38 She Drew The Gun Revolution Of Mind
39 Arena Double Vision
40 Ann Wilson Immortal
41 Magnum Lost on the Road to Eternity
42 The Ocean Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic
43 Sevendust All I See Is War
44 Dee Snider For the Love of Metal
45 Twelfth Night Sequences
46 Breaking Benjamin Ember
47 Judas Priest Firepower
48 Thrice Palms
49 Clutch Book of Bad Decisions
50 CHVRCHES Love Is Dead

File Under: music / polls

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