ThE InDiE 95


The rage top eleven LP's of 1995 (we crank it up by just one more)

Gene - Olympian

You either hate this LP or you love it to death. At the start of my New Year holiday there was a room of 12 people and just two Gene fans, by the end there were exactly 6 on either side of the fence, I know what they mean, yes it does sound Smithsesque but so what. Sex on a stick tracks include London, can you wait ? Truth rest your head (for the Wandsworth's finest landmark line), Haunted by you , sleep well tonight, Olympian.

Martin Rossister sings like he means every track, the lyrics are perfect, and the music is quietly understated. I want this albums babies.

Tricky - Maxinquaye- Island

Twelve amazing tracks from the Bristol master. If you haven't got this LP already then it's because you've been living on a desert island for the last year.

Standout track of the LP is Black Steel, the best cover version of last year, it takes the Public Enemy track stands it on it's head and then rips it's brains out through it's nostrils.

Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory - Creation

All we wanted and much more. 1995 was the year that Oasis convinced sceptics that they were true stars. Wonderwall has been in the top ten for months and the album is currently number one. Last week all seven of their singles were in the top 75. Negotiations are currently taking place which should see them play in front of 50,000 people. in the summer.

Despite their liberal use of other peoples tunes and lyrics Morning Glory is a magnificent album which will sound fresh ten years on, by which time, assuming the brotherly love hate relationship has survived, we should have plenty of other Oasis albums to enjoy.

Radiohead - The Bends -Parlophone

It seems like only yesterday that Radiohead were gaining a reputation for being a one track wonder not least because they rereleased Creep on a seemingly monthly basis. Their first album, Pablo Honey received mixed reviews, however, The Bends found them knocking on the door of superstardom. An album packed with powerful pent up angst, each track could be a single in it's own right. In order to prove this theory they've already released seven tracks from it. Still, only five tracks to go and they'll have to record something new. Unless they release Creep again .

Black Grape - It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah! -Radioactive.

Sean Ryder returns from the dead with one of the funkiest albums of the year. What his role is beyond some rather banal and sometimes dubious lyrics is anyone's guess. Don't let this detract from the joys of the album though.

Pulp - Different Class - Island

Since the release of Legendary Girlfriend many years ago, few people who'd seen Pulp had any doubt about their star potential. Jarvis Cocker was a man waiting to hit the big time. However, even he must have been surprised at the size of their success. Different Class is a collection of songs about sex. Not the glamorous, clean, boy meets girl under the moonlight kind of songs that most groups of this genre sing about you understand. No, this is the seedy, dirty, shameful sex that happens behind closed doors. It's all sung over kitsch catchy tunes which continue to delight after countless listens.

Baby Bird - Bad Shave - Baby Bird Recordings

Bad Shave is a collection of lo-fi gems featuring the voice and tunes of Steve Jones. It is one of three albums that Baby Bird released last year and is already a collectors item. The great joy of the album is that despite being recorded on a four track studio it's wonderfully eclectic. The opening track , KW Jesus TV Roof Appeal, features an evangelist collecting money to fix his church. 'Put your hands in your pockets, fumble around, and see what you can find' he cries as he encourages the faithful to respond to his pleas. Bad Jazz follows, a funky number with a distorted voice, Too Handsome Too Be Homeless, a quirky little number. By the time you reach track four, Steam Train, a straight forward celebration of love, you know that you're listening to something special.0ther highlights among the seventeen tracks include Shopgirl, 45 And Fat and Bug In A Breeze. The bad news is that you are unlikely to be able to buy a copy because it was only available on limited edition. The good news is that there are still two more collections of his four track recordings to come which will be closely followed by a greatest hits album featuring rerecordings of the most popular tracks. Prepare your ears for the Baby Bird onslaught.

The Tindersticks - Live At The Bloomsbury Theatre

When The Tindersticks became popular enough to abandon performing in the smokey backrooms of Camden pubs and moved on to larger venues such as the Forum a lot of the intimacy was lost. And so it seemed were The Tindersticks. Without close contact they appeared to lose their charm and became a bland shadow of themselves. Recognising the problem, they reacted quickly and booked an orchestra to play with them. The extra depth to the sound was exactly what they needed to fill the gap created by playing larger venues.

Live At The Bloomsbury Theatre is a superb recording of their first orchestral performance.. It features a number of songs that they felt couldn't be played without the aid of the orchestra and, of course, all their greatest hits. It's a stunning album, if you don't own any Tindersticks recordings then this is the place to start.

Supergrass - I Should Coco -Parlophone

A thousand mile an hour debut from teen idols Supergrass. I Should Coco is one of the finest first albums for many a year though few were surprised. From the moment that they released Caught By The Fuzz, there was no question that Supergrass had talent as well as adrenalin. By the time the album arrived they were a number of classic singles down the line and everyone was expecting great things.

Apart from some great tunes, the album also features the most unpretentious lyrics that you are likely to hear. Alright with it's wonderful line 'We are young we run free, keep our teeth nice and clean' while during Caught By The Fuzz they worry about what their mother will say when they are bailed out of jail. It makes a change to hear about the simple things in life rather than the perennial highs and lows of love.

If this is what Supergrass can achieve as teenagers what are they going to be releasing when they reach their twenties?

The High Llamas -Gideon Gaye -Alpaca Park

OK, I know Gideon Gaye was originally released in 1994. Due to general public apathy as far as sales went it was rereleased in 1995 and so counts as one of the albums of the year as far as I'm concerned. Rolling Stone magazine made The Clash's London Calling album of the eighties and that was released in 1979 so if you do want to write to someone write to them.

The High LLamas are the band fronted by ex-Microdisney gutarist Sean O'Hagen and Gideon Gaye is their second album. It starts with some quiet strings which, after about thirty seconds, are politely interrupted by a gentle piano. This is the start of The Dutchman, a beautiful, slow, melodic song which has no surprises just a calm, peaceful feel to it. And it reflects the whole album. A leisurely affair full of simple sounds and pleasant tunes. On initial listens it sounds too slow, it takes a while to adjust from the three minute power pop that we are bombarded with everyday. Once you have adjusted to it's pace, it becomes difficult to stop listening to the glorious melodies. If you fancy a rest from your Britpop and you're not in any particular hurry then this is an album that you need.

Scott Walker - Tilt

Eleven years after his previous album, Climate Of Hunter, Scott Walker finally releases a follow up. Tilt is difficult listening, full of fragmented beats with Scott's voice singing undecipherable lyrics over the top. Initially it is impossible to decide if there is much musical merit, so unlinked are the sounds within any particular song. Repeated listenings pay dividends though and familiarity with the album allows you to enjoy what at first appear to be random noises.

Rather than take the easy route which must have been available to him, Scott Walker has stuck his neck out and produced one of the most experimental albums of the year. Give it a listen if you're open minded enough.

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