heard on the wire

Then again the same old story

Recently I was asked to name my favourite New Order song. There was no easy answer. I could have plumped for Blue Monday, a work of genius that has a claim to being the all time greatest pop record of all time; for Lonesome Tonight, probably my all time favourite b-side of all time; for Leave Me Alone, This Time of Night, or any of the first four songs on Brotherhood.

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It’s gross this loss of jaded sanity

In Christopher Brookmyre’s 1997 novel, Country of the Blind one Donald Lafferty is asked whether he knows the source of a government leak.

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Some Lion impressions

Mac OS X 10.7 — aka Lion — is some achievement. Quite how Apple managed to take something so well loved, time-honoured, proven and functional and turn it into the dog’s dinner that is Lion’s interface beggars belief.

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Catalogues and numerous cups of coffee

And so this musical odyssey arrives in 1979, a year that will forever be remembered for the election of Margaret Thatcher, prelude to the wilful and vicious destruction of industrial Britain and its communities. The purpose was to effect a radical shift in the distribution of wealth in favour of the most affluent, in which it was hugely and permanently successful.

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Got to give up life in this netherworld

How can you not love someone who spells their name Siouxsie and sings like a banshee?

Thankfully Siouxsie Sioux’s singing heralded no-one’s death, rather a string of brilliant singles and LPs, up to and including Mantaray, her 2007 solo outing. (Feel free to exclude The Creatures’ catalogue at this stage.)

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Where they teach you how to be thick

And I hand my blog over, briefly and incredibly, to Boris Johnson.

If James Blunt seems drippy next to the rock stars of the good old days, he is positively macho by comparison with the Kaiser Chiefs. These are the weeds from Leeds whose hit single was I Predict a Riot, a tale about the bourgeois apprehension of a chap who tries to get a taxi on a Saturday night in the centre of town.

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Who can tell if we’re going to see the sun?

Obviously the best record of 1976 is Anarchy in the UK, but since everyone who wants a Sex Pistols record has a Sex Pistols record, there seems little point in posting it here.

Instead, a record from the other major musical movement in mid-70s Britain, roots reggae.

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“For my husband, wherever he is”

Sorry rock ’n’ pop fans, but it’s soul time again, perhaps for the last time as we approach the musical watershed of 1976.

I know what you are all thinking that 1975’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life should be. The singer probably agrees.

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And with a finger in one ear…

1974 was the year I discovered football, not jumpers-for-goalposts, in-the-park football, but real, on-TV football.

I remember Liverpool trouncing Newcastle in the FA Cup Final — an event that made me a boyhood LFC fan (the naivety of youth) — and a little while later Germany winning the World Cup.

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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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