THIS IS OUR MUSIC: The Jam – “Start”.
The chasm that separated critics and The Jam’s buying public was never greater than that which opened upon the release of this single. The journos were blind-sided by Paul Weller’s rather obvious lifting of The Beatles’s “Taxman” bassline in its entirety for “Start”, and were unable to see or hear anything beyond that fact. Still, at least drawing Beatles comparisons did allow them to new some new territory. Previously, all they’d harped on about was Weller’s debt to Pete Townshend.
But their musical tunnel-vision insured they missed what the rest of Britain heard, the song’s funky undertones, its splendid jangle around Weller’s guitar chords, and the incredible crispness to the sound, producer Vic Coopersmith-Heaven at his best. Plundered in part the song may have been, but composer Weller gave it his own twist, his band their own unique take, and the single, released in August, 1980, started up the chart and didn’t stop until it hit the top, to become the trio’s second #1.
UNDER THE RADAR: Model Aeroplanes – “Crazy”.
Ferociously catchy indie pop filmed live on BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway show.
Hailing from Dundee, Scotland, the lifelong friends have been playing music for years in a variety of bands and formations. Settling rather successfully into the Model Aeroplanes groove, they have uploaded a handful of promising tracks to their SoundCloud page, ‘Crazy’ is their official debut single.
THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Cocteau Twins – “Orange Appled”.
Cocteau Twins perform Orange Appled. Rare performance shown on SnubTV 1991.
1986′s “Orange Appled” is an underappreciated gem from the largely ignored Love’s Easy Tears EP, the best track from that otherwise substandard release.
One of the Cocteau Twins’ most upbeat tunes and one of the very few times where the tempo breaks above their accustomed slow, stately pace, “Orange Appled” has an almost giddy, spinning melody featuring a chorus of three overdubbed Liz Fraser vocal lines that dart and swerve around each other to create a genuinely psychedelic tapestry of interwoven sounds.
Underneath this, Robin Guthrie creates a similar effect with his overdubbed and richly processed guitars, this time including a high, warbling sound very similar to a musical saw alongside the usual Cocteau Twins washes of pure sound. Somewhat difficult to locate until the Stars and Topsoil collection came out in 2000, “Orange Appled” is well worth seeking out not just for Cocteau Twins fans but also for those detractors who claim that all their songs sound alike. While this song is clearly built on the same sonic elements as their other work, its spirited, genuinely sunny mood proves that a wide range of emotional colors were available to the group.
UNDER THE RADAR: The Sundowners – “Into the Light”.
The Sundowners are a psychedelic rock five piece from The Wirral (North West UK).
They’re cooking up a musical melting pot of musical influences including Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills and Nash, The Byrds and Tom Petty. They’re taking their time, writing real songs, putting on great gigs and capturing an audience all around the country.
This is the first release from The Sundowners debut album released on Skeleton Key Records, Produced by The Corals James and Ian Skelly at Parr Street Studios.