heard on the wire

Pretending that I’ve got a clue

Lucky Soul

And so it was that in response to a Facebook meme I posted a list of the 12 LPs that have had the most influence on me, both personally and musically. And it was like looking in a mirror, for all was male and white.

So, I thought, what if the list weren’t male and white (for I like to use the subjunctive). And so I sat down with my MacBook Pro and my text editor of choice (iA Writer, since you didn’t ask) and…. Well the first few records came easily. The rest not so. This puzzled me till I realised that most of the black, female music I like is soul music, a “genre” that has always leant itself to the single rather than the long player.

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Sometimes it Snows in April

Prince Parade

Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending
And all good things, they say, never last

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Such a tender game?

Sabatinit

Five years ago I was an out-of-work journalist, with little ambition in that industry and no idea of what I was going to do next.

A lot of water has flowed under many bridges since then: a change of career, a change of country and a change of life, all of which have made me deeply and fundamentally happy in a way I had never imagined. It’s never too late, kids.

I’ve learnt to open my mind, once more, to possibility.

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And then there were 12

Twelve

I’ve now been asked twice to do this. I know it’s one of those Facebook memes, but this blog got up and running with one of those, so who am I to resist?

Anyone, the challenge, if that’s what it is, is:

List 12 albums that made a lasting impression on you, but only 1 per band/artist. Don’t take too long and don’t think too hard. Tag 12 friends to do the same, including me, so I can see what you listed. No compilations.

So without taking too long and thinking too hard, this is my list, a little predictable perhaps, but I feel that’s perhaps the point. I’m listing them as I heard them — as far as I recall — but feel free to wrest them into any order you wish.

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I want to know what this is all about

Spoke School vinyl

The split single is an interesting phenomenon.

The compilation LP I understand — carefully curated, it’s an excellent way to introduce the curious to a plethora of top tunes — but the compilation single is an oddity.

It begs too many questions. Which is the A-side?, for instance. How do I tag it in iTunes? Where do I file it in my obsessively alphabetised record collection?

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I feel this burning flame

IMG_4016

The boiler’s on the blink. My fingers are cold and all I can think about is heat.

There’s a stew in the oven — beef skirt with Guinness — and wine in my glass but all I can think about is heat.

New Order are not known for their covers. As far as I know their are just two official recordings of other people’s songs: a version of the Velvet Underground’s Sister Ray that appeared on a BBC release of their 1987 Glastonbury set and an earlier take on an obscure reggae song.

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The car is the killer

Bullingdon_Club

If anything encapsulates just how much my life has changed since I became a teacher, it’s quite how I managed to go a whole year without hearing the latest single by Mega Emotion. Such things so easily pass me by these days.

Norwich’s synth-pop (with a difference) trio first made these pages two-and-a-half years ago, with their debut single, Brains, though their esoteric sounds were already quite familiar to regular readers.

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How bad are English musicians?

Wasting_away_and_wonderingWhat better way could there be to celebrate St Valentine’s Day than with a trip to a Sunderland record shop to see The School.

The Cardiff band has inherited the title of the world’s finest Dusty-tinged soul pop band from Lucky Soul and they cemented their claim with their third LP, Wasting Away and Wondering.

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Up, down, turnaround

Music_Complete

Last week’s reactivation of this blog was a familiar affair, featuring perennial Heard on the Wire favourites.It also served as an introduction to this week’s post, with the Joy Division’s Transmission leading nicely into the latest work by two of the three surviving members of the band.

New Order released their ninth studio LP in 2015. It was their first without the defining sound of Peter Hook’s bass playing, Years of tensions between him and singer–guitarist–songwriter Bernard Sumner having finally taken their toll.

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Down beside the lake

Swan_Lake

It has been said that if something’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing properly.

So if you’re going to attempt to reinvigorate a once-again dormant blog, what better way could there be than with a song by the greatest band that ever existed.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.