Me, Myself, and I

Morning,all.

A couple of weeks ago,ATHINGOFBEAUTY commented that she was really impressed by the wide variety of songs posted on our site,and by the wider knowledge of those doing the posting. Wondering what our group’s favourite albums were,I suggested that she turn it into an article and we would post it for her.

As good as her word,she came up with this.

It went down a treat,as you can imagine. All brought back some great memories for us. Like when we had hair,or could still be bothered to run for a bus. Or even allowed outside to look at one! So I thought we could make it a three-parter,with today’s article on Five Favourite Debut Albums followed in a week or so with Five Favourite Albums By Scottish Artists.

Here’s mine,in no particular order.
*
UNKNOWN PLEASURES-JOY DIVISION

I was a 16yo when I bought this in early 1980. To be honest,I knew little about the band at the time and have no idea why I even considered it at the time. It seems obvious that I’d read about it somewhere,and presumably in glowing terms. Nothing prepared me for how I felt when I removed that shiny piece of black plastic from its matt black cover. A strange cover indeed. A depiction of a radio wave from a distant pulsar,I later found out.

That meant nothing to me-but the sound coming from my speakers soon did!

A glance at the inner sleeve told me that the sides were Outside and Inside,and the LP itself only had Outside and Inside on the sleeve. So I sat down to listen to Disorder,the first track on the album. The run-out from each side had A or B on it,so Side A it was.

Which is why I still think that She’s Lost Control is the best opening track to a debut album ever! Seems that Disorder wasn’t confined to the recording studio,it extended as far as the pressing plants. I didn’t care. I’d never heard anything like this,still haven’t. God,it was bleak,it was dark,it was as black as the sleeve or the vinyl. Was it good? Hmmm,naw.

It was f…..g brilliant! And the opener,a starter for ten,only set the scene for the rest of the album. Completely unrelentless,you could listen to it forever,even though to do so could take you to some dark places at times. Driving bass,thumping guitar-at times!-crazy synths and doleful vocals right at the front of the mix.

Instant classic for me.
*

BOY-U2

What can I say? My Mum is responsible for this! Told me that a Stiff Little Fingers gig was on BBC2 as I wandered back from the pub,so I sat down to watch it. Some young fellas were the support,and they really blew the Queens University audience in Belfast out of the water. I bought the album a couple of days later. I wasn’t disappointed.

This was clearly a few young fellas making their own way in life. It was raw,by hell it was raw. They weren’t yet the masters of their own music,much less their own instruments! Some of their songs,well,they had potential but might have been improved by taking a month or two more to refine them. But how could you refine this-it was simple Garage Rock! Oh yeah,there was the occasional change of pace but this was high energy at a time when high energy in music meant something completely different. That high energy wasn’t for me. This,very much,was.

The standouts for me are the fast moving tracks,the quieter and more reflective ones give you a pause for breath and then The Edge cranks up the guitar again,pulls that rhythm section into place and Bono gets the Dextrosol energy tabs out. Out of Control? No,very much in control. They had it made after this.
*
THE DOORS

By the time I got round to buying my first Doors album,Jim Morrison had been dead for half of my lifetime. Still,they were far from fashionable in the late 70s,but I’d heard enough about them from people whose knowledge and enthusiasm I trusted to go and find out for myself. One of them described them to me as the first punk band,pointing out that Velvet Underground just thought that they were. There’s an argument for another day!

Tell you what,though. This album must have come as a shock to the system in 1967. Aye,I know that the anti-establishment movement was on a roll with Civil Rights and Vietnam in particular to the fore. But was the world really ready for this? This was poetry,and anger. And raucous and quiet and Oedipus Complex.

Twelve bloody minutes of the latter,in what I still think is their finest moment. God,the looks I used to get when I put that on in The Golf,Prestwick in the late 80s. First time I’d ever seen a CD jukebox,five goes for a quid.

Of course,it also has some classic tracks that most of you will be aware of even if you haven’t heard the album. Such as Break On Through,and of course Light My Fire. On radio,you get three lousy minutes of fire. On the album,you get seven minutes of burning down the house!

But listen to The Crystal Ship,then tell me that you still don’t quite get The Doors. Go on,I defy you!
*
CRUMBLING THE ANTISEPTIC BEAUTY-FELT

Drawing attention to this one,as obscure as it is,isn’t an attempt to prove something. Or anything. It’s only to highlight an outstanding album which really should have propelled the band to greater things. In fact,it did. Their second album,Splendour of Fear,was probably better-but the band didn’t make the breakthrough. The main man of the group-there were only three of them-was determined not to become a darling of the music press.

Bad move.

Shame really. Because this is a kind of music that was different. Two guitarists playing to the front of the mix. A drummer with no cymbals. A vocal almost lost in production. It shouldn’t work. But it does,and it works beautifully.

I’m not even going to try to explain it. Google it yourself. It’s only about half an hour long,half a dozen songs. This is real chill time stuff-which makes you sit up and go-WOW!!!!
*
COLD FACT-RODRIGUEZ

Just to prove that I didn’t buy all these albums in a very short period of my life,I bought this in 2010. £20,and the most expensive piece in my collection. Fortunately not the most valuable,not that I’m selling! Bit of a cheat though,as it was released in 1970.

So why did it take me so long to get round to it? Well,this might be the original definition of Lost Classic,and I’m hugely indebted to Tony,my Aussie brother-in-law,for introducing me to it. Along with my sisters,he bought me a laptop back then. Loaded up their CD collection to my new ITunes account. I bought an iPod,loaded up my own CDs and heard this.

Oh,wow. Why had I never heard this? From the opening track of Sugarman-which you really must listen to using headphones or a well set up system-to the,och here’s the track listing. See if you can guess the anger and bitterness he so beautifully plays out.

No.
Title
Length
1.
“Sugar Man”
3:45
2.
“Only Good for Conversation”
2:25
3.
“Crucify Your Mind”
2:30
4.
“This Is Not a Song, It’s an Outburst: Or, the Establishment Blues”
2:05
5.
“Hate Street Dialogue”
2:30
6.
“Forget It”
1:50
7.
“Inner City Blues”
3:23
8.
“I Wonder”
2:30
9.
“Like Janis”
2:32
10.
“Gommorah (A Nursery Rhyme)”
2:20
11.
“Rich Folks Hoax”
3:05
12.
“Jane S. Piddy”
2:54

Edit

He does so superbly well,like a master of his trade. Yet he was far from that. The album sank like a stone,as did his Follow-up Coming From Reality. Regarded even at the time as a masterpiece in the Southern Hemisphere,he was apparently unaware of that-as he didn’t receive any royalties!

It’s a fascinating story,and in,erm,Cold Fact,that story won an Oscar for Best Documentary as his tale,and eventual recognition,was brought to a wider audience.

Google the man,google the album,google the film. They’re all available on YouTube. You’ll honestly I Wonder why this stunning album escaped your notice for so long.

I know I did. Thanks,Tony.


There you are,folks. Five of my best. I’ve left out one or two top contenders as they will make an appearance on the Scottish one! Let us know your best.


Above article by BMCUWP. As always,we are keen to put the thoughts of our readers out there for all to see as Article of the Day. If you have anything to say,say it here. Mail it to Mahe.

sentinelcelts@gmail.com

591 Comments
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Mike in Toronto
April 4, 2020 5:25 am

Mahe

I figured you would be a fan of this guy … criminally underappreciated album.

mahe
April 4, 2020 5:32 am

You enjoy melody,,so I give you

Mike in Toronto
April 4, 2020 5:32 am

Some old school a Chicago deep house .. this has soul…

Mike in Toronto
April 4, 2020 5:39 am

Was never a big fan of acapella stuff, but I did like that. The original was such a great song. Loved AM’s voice.

mahe
April 4, 2020 5:40 am

Love the first, will check him out more cheers, and know the second, an old classic indeed.
Calling it a day here buddy, as usual an absolute pleasure.
Take care and Hail Hail

Mike in Toronto
April 4, 2020 5:43 am

Good night, M

Can’t sleep tonight, so I’ll keep listening to music

mahe
April 4, 2020 5:58 am

Insomniacs are us it seems as last night I could swear I got absolutely zero despite taking the full dose of that natural sleep fairy. Thats not the first time. Unfortunately natural seems to have failed me. The unnatural leave you groggy. Great. Whats a man to do. Complained to Bobby about this not long ago actually. Dad had this issue also, seems quite a few do.
The blog is growing and a witchdoctor will join soon hopefully for some advice.
Until then Nano Nano

Saltires en Sevilla
April 4, 2020 6:16 am

Good choices Mick!

Bert Jansch – Bert Jansch

Magazine -Real Life

Ian Dury & The Blockheads – New Boots & Panties

Aztec Camera – High Land Hard Rain

John Squire – Time Changes Everything

Big Audio Dynamite
April 4, 2020 7:47 am

Ohayo, fellow Celts

HH?

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 7:56 am

SALTIRESENSEVILLA

Got two of your picks,Aztec Camera and Magazine. Always intended to get the Bert Jansch one but even Beano’s in Croydon didn’t have it when I eventually realised I wanted it!

Lordy,the times I spent in that place. It was only a couple of miles away when I lived in Streatham/Wimbledon/Sutton and maybe the only times I was ever sober on a Saturday afternoon.

Never planned that way,of course. Few Guinnesses in The Fox and Hounds at West Croydon station,casual saunter down to the centre,wee look here and there,then-Bingo,Beano’s!!!

I could be in there so long,I needed another shave. Eighth wonder of the world for a vinyl mad and just mad kid. Not that mad,mind. Only ever bought what I reckoned was the berries. No time for the speculative punt as even then space was becoming limited.

Plus,I was petrified of leaving the stuff on the train-I could fill a whole Lost Property Office on my own,and probably have.

Hope life’s treating you and yours as well as can be at the moment. Bit of a bummer when the working man says at the end of the working week-canny wait to get back to work. AND I moved my furniture about a month ago,so I don’t even have that excitement to look forward to. Still,the grass seems to be growing again,so there’s always that…

HH and a wee hug for M.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 7:58 am

BIGAUDIODYNAMITE

Awright,son? What do you think about the report from Roddy Forsyth in The Telegraph? League over,Celtic champions. Cup to be played regardless. Seems the quadruple may be on!

big packy
April 4, 2020 8:25 am

MORNING ALL, a thing of beauty, im sure there is some good music in among that, when I find it I will let you know???

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 8:38 am

BIGPACKY

ATHINGOFBEAUTY was so last week,man. My turn this week.

As a drummer,how would you feel playing a whole set/album without cymbals? No lie,it took me over thirty years to notice it,but there was always something at the back of my mind about the FELT album.

I always put it down to no bass guitar,vocals at the back of the mix. Then,eureka!!!!

Very strange and very unusual. Works wonderfully well.

Next time you’re out with the dogs,nip into Poundland and get some batteries for your nosey neighbour’s watch. That stopwatch function drains them.

Just say-here’s a battery. Where I come from,the word would have ended in -ing. Prick.

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 8:45 am

Heard an interesting programme at 7.30am on R4extra about Andy Partridge from XTC. Brought up in a council estate in Swindon, returned to live there after London & USA !. Difficult life at times. Now partially deaf and terrible tinnitus – a nightmare for a musician – he contemplated suicide. I loved this song in 1982, one of their few ‘hit singles’.

big packy
April 4, 2020 8:49 am

BOBBY, apologies just read the leader again, will have a look at that album, ive got feckin nosey neebors as you say both sides I just ignore them, but would you believe a police car kept passing joan and I yesterday when we were out with the dogs, must have passed us half a dozen times, slowing down to look at us each time, bit scary to be honest HH

big packy
April 4, 2020 8:54 am

MORNING JIM, joan says im deaf, but ive got an excuse, hitting a snare drum and crash cymbal for 20 years??

JimmynotPaul
April 4, 2020 8:55 am

Morning all.
B.P.
Don’t worry, the Po!ice were probably checking out that you were really the original Big Packy, they are building up to asking for an autograph.
???

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 8:56 am

Morning Packy 🙂

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 8:58 am

oops Andy, not Terry. sorted.

big packy
April 4, 2020 9:02 am

JNP??

big packy
April 4, 2020 9:09 am

JIM, need to go out and get some supplies today, I m fed up eating tinned mince, will see if I can find some Aberdeen angus minced beef somewhere, wish me luck??

Big Audio Dynamite
April 4, 2020 9:20 am

Bobby, if anything proves we are living in exceptional times, it’s me & Roddy Forsyth being in total agreement!

big packy
April 4, 2020 9:21 am

could not believe its Saturday, you lose count of the days when its like this, or maybe its my age? no comments from you, JNP or MCAFF??

1TimMalloy
April 4, 2020 9:24 am

Sol Kitts – Thoughts and prayers with you Mother, yourself and the family at this sad time.

Gordon64
April 4, 2020 9:25 am
BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 9:34 am

JIMTHETIM53

A few of my younger friends formed a band about 2004. Two Scousers who had been down here for a while and were besties. Gaz in particular was a very good friend,though for some reason his girlfriend Nikki didn’t like him going for a drink with me. She loved me dearly. Just not allowed to take her bloke out drinking.

A rule casually ignored about one week in four!

This boy could,as the song says,play guitar. Mind-boggingly good. Probably not technically good,certainly couldn’t afford the full Monty of equipment. But aye,wow.

Spike,and I never knew his real name,was the other scouser. What a voice and what a presence on stage. He threw everything out there. They liked to play just to friends and maybe occasions like a 21st. I’ll mail you about that later. With backing tracks that Gaz had uploaded on one of them computer things.

Anyway,Spike,Gaz,me. We’re down the pub one night and I said they really should form a band. They’re writing songs,they’re early twenties. They’ve got the audience,the hooks,the songs. But they can’t do it to a backing track of their own ok computer.

So they did. A mate of mine played bass,I pointed him in their direction. Somehow they found these two pretty boy teenagers who could actually play the drums and rhythm/second guitar. All of a sudden,they had twice the audience,because even Nikki was throwing her knickers at the stage.

Andy Partridge produced a couple of demo CDs for them. I’ve got both of them. They’re bloody good. Andy has been a big help for music in this area,and even though his band was never to my liking,he is very much appreciated here. He’s one of life’s good guys.

So are Spike and Gaz. Happy days. I should write a book,as if!

ASWGL
April 4, 2020 9:47 am

Morning All, wee background change, I thought something bright to try cheer us up in these trying times, hope it’s not too bright. if so let me know. Got a job this morning so i’ll be on later. Have fun

HH

BT
April 4, 2020 9:49 am

Albums in no particular order
White Riot Clash( my pals big brother got us into them)
Joshua Tree U2 , last decent album before they lost the plot
Blondie Parallel Lines ( every young bhoys dream ghirl)
New Gold Dream Simple Minds ( again great album before the mid Atlantic accent took over )
What’s the story Morning Glory( best Brit pop) band imho

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 9:50 am

Thanks for that info. Bobby, it reinforces my impression of him from what I heard earlier and then read on Wiki. Other than their 2 hit singles I knew little about XTC.
Andy had a hard time with his mother who suffered mental health issues. He was prescribed Valium at a young age and became adducted. Poor soul. Good to hear he is helping others.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 9:56 am

1TIMMALLOY et al.

I’ll make sure he sees the condolence messages. I know they’ll be a comfort for him and his family,if hardly a replacement for the smashin’ wee wummin they have lost.

It’s nearly forty years ago that I first met SOLKITTS,so nearly the same time that I met his parents as I picked him up to go to the pub or the fitba or whatever. So time is of the essence!

Haw,big man. Plenty of time. Yer Mum won’t allow me to leave without a coffee and a full family history. Sit down and relax.

About ten years later,I was living in London. SOLKITTS was due to celebrate his 30th birthday. He lived in a wee place to the east of Musselburgh. Seton Sands. Just beside a nuclear power plant. He has a habit of that,and it explains his rosy glow.

It’s also off the beaten track,as TWISTSNTURNS knows quite well. Taking a detour to Ardrossan was a mere bagatelle. An extra 80 miles maybe,so what.

I’ll always remember that journey and the one back. My contact with them beforehand had only really been fleeting. Pleasant,aye. But this was fun.

It was a great weekend spent with someone else’s parents. Eh,whit?

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 10:00 am

BT

BLONDIE?

Mind the time she appeared on TOTP with that,sorry,THAT grey dress that hid nothing.

I’ll say no more.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 10:04 am

ASWGL

That’s outstanding. Absolutely stunning.

Cheers,mate.

HH

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 10:13 am

Seton Sands?
When Packy told that story of a miserable holiday in a caravan back in the day, I immediately thought of Seton Sands. Went there twice for family week-ends. Brilliant. You would never get bored there, plenty of activities for all age groups. Even got a swimming pool! Good entertainment at night. Mind you I’m talking about the early 2000s.

My sisters used to save up coupons in The Sun which got you a right cheap deal! 🙂

BT
April 4, 2020 10:26 am

Sol Kitts
Just offered up the rosary for your mother and all who have lost their lives recently
And to all who are needing our prayers at this time

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 10:27 am

Pretty sure she wore this dress on a live appearance on TOTP,but I can find it. Soheres the official video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WGU_4-5RaxU

My sisters give me a bit of abuse on occasion about Debbie Harry. And a lot of other things too. My response is that my female musical heroines are Joan Baez,Kate Bush,Joan Armatrading. The fact that the other two,Debbie Harry and Stevie Nicks are f…..g stunning has got nothing to do with it.

I judge them purely on their artistry.

They don’t believe me either,though it is certainly true in the case of Stevie Nicks.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 10:30 am

BT

Good lad. Thanks,and I know he will be grateful. I don’t expect to see him on here for a while,for obvious reasons. He’s my best pal,and he has lost his best pal,if that makes sense.

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 10:32 am

Great choice in female singers there Bobby. My favourite is Kirsten Flagstad. They reckon she was a beauty too back in her day!

Saltires en Sevilla
April 4, 2020 10:34 am

BMCUW

Thanks for asking …she’s still asleep! Said she doesn’t remember getting home last night …we were on House Party …( old wans are the best!)

XTC would easily be in my top five, but not fitting debut album criteria this time

Black Sea is gold – Towers of London ( where he doesn’t miss the buggers…) and Living Thro’ Another Cuba at a time when I was convinced The Holy Loch was only a matter of time!

Andy really suffered from stage fright too- I have few regrets in life, but missing out on seeing XTC live is one of them

English Settlement is dynamite and fairly sure I read they made it so complex to have an excuse not to play it live …probably bollox, but it stuck in my head….double album sheer bliss -acoustic runs on Yacht Dance alone worth the week’s wages at the time.

Love on a FarmBoy’s Wages from Mummer is typical quality and covered by various bands.

All we have now are these records and some great clips on YouTube, one in particular of the lads playing acoustic on some US cable tv show is fantastic.

King for a Day in 1989

https://youtu.be/VTF60yusJmg

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 10:35 am

GORDON64

I like the cut of the McKenna jib. Read him for years in The Guardian,and then online in same and other publications when he went freelance.

He is wrong on this one.

Bigrailroadblues
April 4, 2020 10:35 am

Good morning all from Govanhill. Debut albums?
Sex Pistols- Never mind the bollocks.
The Band- Music from big pink.
Jimi Hendrix- Are you experienced.
Black Sabbath- Black Sabbath.
Frank Zappa- Hot Rats.
The Zappa album was the first without the Mothers of Invention. Lumpy Gravy doesn’t count. ?

BT
April 4, 2020 10:52 am

BMCUW
Having lost my mother just over a year ago I know exactly what he will be going through

Re female artists , I thought about adding Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night because my young cousin loved it when I played the album when she visited .

voguepunter
April 4, 2020 10:57 am

BMCUWP

Re background……..I’m guessing your bedroom wallpaper?

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 11:23 am

Was just looking at a site for the greatest female singers of all time. Ranked by votes from the viewers.

Madonna – 103 ha ha ha I wouldn’t even have her that high up! 🙂 She’s a disgrace to her name.
Poor Maria Callas – 100. 🙁

https://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/best-female-voice-ever

Bada Bing
April 4, 2020 11:41 am

G64- my own take is the Club is a business, like any other business, and is entitled to use the government furlough scheme, the same as others are,they have said they will make up full salaries of staff that are affected. We have paid our taxes,unlike some, a gesture by the players would be welcome though.HH

Gordon64
April 4, 2020 11:41 am

BMCUWP Imo KMs article was a bit OTT. Hh

Bada Bing
April 4, 2020 12:07 pm

In other news, a 3rd series of the brilliant
Life on Mars is in the making….

Gordon64
April 4, 2020 1:10 pm

Virtual Grand National on ITV today at 5.00 with all profits going to NHS charities https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/52066925 ?

jimthetim53
April 4, 2020 1:14 pm

I was hoping Twisty would come on and do a Naps for today. Missing him on here.

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 4, 2020 1:17 pm

VOGUEPUNTER

How could I get to sleep with pictures of my heroes on the wall,man?

Bedroom is bare,though one wall is sacrosanct and booked for the day that I find my BMCUWP Hootenanny Tricolour. My living rom,that’s a different matter.

Four walls,split by doors and windows. Walk in,the first thing I see,in pride of place,is my mural of The Lisson Lions and Jock. A joy every morning,and I can only imagine the pleasure and exuberance of a downtrodden Tim the morning after those pictures were taken.

The hangovers? Worry about them later!!!!

Other walls,in bits,are taken up with a framed photo of the players celebrating,post match-they achieved so much and the joy is there for all to see. Celtic calendars,including one from Almore commemorating the 50th,which never ages.

Add in my limited addition Concorde prints-a gift from a friend who worked as a steward on that majestic beast,the lucky bastert-and a wee photie of me with my two sisters,my niece,my Dad. Just prior to a Celtic game. Wi my I Wanna Be Adored t-shirt.

Well,I wouldn’t say that my life is complete,B. But I’m certainly struggling to improve on it!!!!!

Hope you and yours are bearing up during all this.

HH