Follow-up of our TOP 100. As a reminder, clicking on the title related to the artist/band will give you more information about them.
80. The Colourfield / Terry Hall
from : Manchester, England / first great sounds : 80’s / style : sensitive pop/ essential album : Virgins and Philistines (1985)
Terry Hall was/is the main singer in great UK ska band The Specials. All his career has been made of musical experiences with different partners, sometimes with artistic or commercial success…and sometimes not. The Colourfield was a band he created with Toby Lyons in the 80’s and they made two LP’s only, the second one being nice but very 80’s sounding. Which leaves us therefore with their first LP….whih is a real masterpiece and sounds as fresh today as it did 27 years ago. I already reviewed this album when doing the best of 1985 and its title might have influenced this blog…
Lead by John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival represents as far as I am concerned the quintessence of American music. In other words, this band had American country-rock basics but went way far away creating punchy soul-influenced songs, sometimes lasting for a very long time, never in a “muso” way but on the contrary on a hyper sensitive one. Difficult music to describe actually except one could say it could satisfy a very large audience coming from very different universes. Hear their cover of “I heard it through the grapevine” and you will understand what I am trying to write.
from : Versailles, France / first great sounds : 00’s / style : euphoric pop/ essential albums : United (2000) / Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)
After years of not knowing if admitting having done my studies partly in Versailles was something to be proud or ashamed, the early 00’s brought a new wave of great French bands, allowing to answer “yes” to this question. I remember not understanding why such a melodic and creative band could not be more successful when I saw them live in Strasbourg at the time of their second LP in a half empty concert hall of eighty people… But they kept oneplaying and recording and their talent has eventually being recognized, which is justice. A band to recommend to see live as they are particularly great when on stage.
from : Rugby, England/ first great sounds : 90’s / style : dreamy repetitive gospel-rock / essential album : Ladies and Gentlemen…We Are Floating In Space (1997)
Essentially the child of Jason Pierce which he created after disbanded the great Spacemen 3, Spiritualized has been a band which only did good or great records in their whole career. The formula is indeed often the same and based on a slow mantra that accelerates during the length of the song and therefore creates a repetitive and hypnotic atmosphere but with something else on top brought by Jason Pierce. Their 1997 masterpiece is the kind of record everyone should play loudly at home often and even if Jason Pierce has been closed to death in the past years following a complicated surgery, the guy is with us more than ever, as can be heard in their great “Sweet Heart, Sweet Light” 2012 recent LP.
from : Oxford, England / first great sounds : 90’s / style : shoegazing godfathers / essential albums : Nowhere (1990), Going Blank Again (1992)
I remember very well starting the 90’s, reading the NME talking about the first EP by an amazing new band called Ride and having bought this same record. Quite magical the way young and exciting new bands can arrive out of nowhere… I saw them as well opening for then very good The House of Love and the band played probably with more intensity compared to the main act. They did not last very long (1990-1996) but their melodic fuzzy rock gave us four beautiful studio albums and many great EP’s. Andy Bell and Mark Gardener went on having a so-so career after this (Andy being the bass player in Oasis!) and never managed to get better than their first records. The first two albums have been reissued so get them if not the case yet.