Diary - Sep 06
I guess people expect me to say,
"My Bloody Valentine changed my life!!!". They did of course - but not many people know that my most fave band is the Stranglers!
I like their stuff from both punk and mellow period, and when I say the Strangles I mean the original lineup with Hugh. Well, in my opinion all the 4 members are irreplaceable so things are just not the same without him.
They were a controversial band (I don't support some of their views in that sense)and it seems they are still paying for it. But you can't deny the quality of their music. They have everything - the melodies, the rhythm and the sound. All unique, unforgettable. Sound wise I think their best is No More Heroes - deep and powerful.
I take my hat off for their musicianship. The musical transformation they made is amazing - I think it requires not only a lot of guts but also an integrity to consistently produce quality music without repeating themselves or jumping on the bandwagon.
In the late 90's Elastica re-introduced the Stranglers to the world by their heavily influenced (almost sued) numbers. Now bands like Maxomo Park and Futureheads are openly citing them as an influence, and there is a surge of the followers of new generation. I think their music will live on, no doubt.
Next comes The Sisters of Mercy! A gothic band? I don't know about that. To me the original lineup is the best - a great guitar band with a singer who was (and still is) like no other. He could (and still can) programme the drum machine like no other too- as if it's an eerie living creature! The bass was also so strong that sometimes it sounds like they had 3 guitarists. Their best stuff to me is the early singles they released on their own Merciful Release label with this lineup, which you can buy as a CD compilation 'Some Girls Wonder by Mistake'. Gary Marx and Ben Gunn are the best guitarists in the world to me - but especially Gary, as he stayed longest among the 3 guitarists who played in this period. So original and versatile, his melodies were always rich and melancholic. He is a solo artist now and is selling his music from his website.
I hear the political stance Andrew took virtually ended their career in the 90's. The band hasn't released anything since then, but they are still touring in 2006 and have been showcasing their new materials on stage.
Again, bands like Placebo and other nu metal bands have re-introduced the early Sisters to the world and fans of the new generation, with their Merciful Release T-shirts on, have been emerging. Isn't that wonderful? I'm trying to get the T-shirt too!
The third place - drum roll please - is My Bloody Valentine around Isn't Anything! To me their best stuff is the 3 EPs they released just before and after Isn't Anything - You Made Me Realize, Feed Me With Your Kiss and Soon. They are the band I will never forget. Again, the film 'Lost in Translation' helped re-introduce the band to the world.
Then there are numerous other bands - but must-mention here is early Ecstasy of St Theresa. Fluidum, one of the songs released by the original lineup, is the best song in the world to me. Seriously. The drummer was probably the best in the world too. Today they have a totally different lineup apart from the original guitarist/main songwriter - they are now a successful band in their home country (Czech) on a major label.
From the current scene then it's definitely I Was A Cub Scout! Feels like I haven't heard anything that marvellous for ages - .
So this is my top ten - well, actually top 3 as again I spoke too much - I'll probably come back and do the rest sometime.