heard on the wire

You’re William and silver transparent, are you amphibious?


Another year, another new LP—some things should never change. Re-Mit is the thirtieth long player from Mark E Smith and his ever-changing collection of troubadours and marks a return to form after the disappointing Ersatz GB.

Wikipedia lists two Sir William Wrays, both born of the same father, Christopher Wray, one after he’d died, apparently. Smith has claimed never to have heard of either, let alone written a song about an obscure, seventeenth century baronet.

The idea of the song was to be anti-music. The verses aren’t on it. The guy who was mixing it said, “are you sure about this Mark?” and I said, “Yeah, leave it like that.” It’s the bare bones of it, no lyrics, just the nasty bits. Stick that up your arse, X Factor. Anti-music.

The Fall :: Sir William Wray

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From a song that appears to be about nothing to a song that wears its nothingness on its sleeve. Steveless were two-men from Bristol, neither of whom was called Steve. They became a staple of John Peel’s radio shows in the months before his death, not least because they were turning out new recordings every day, making even Mark E Smith look lazy. This was one of them.

Steveless :: Nothing

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Ivy take a more laid back approach to music making, producing six LPs in 16 years, one of which was a collection of covers. The fifth, In the Clear, was released in 2005 and its grown-up, adult, but never dull, pop is perfectly encapsulated in this track.

Ivy :: Nothing but the Sky

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Louisiana-born Mighty Sam never had a hit record; Sam Fox had several. There is something very wrong with this world.

Mighty Sam :: When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)

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The Flirtations just missed the UK top 50 with this northern soul classic, though the South Carolina foursome did make number one in the “Bubbling Under” list in December 1968. It’s reminiscent of the Supremes—that almost goes without saying—but with less ego.

The Flirtations :: Nothing but a Heartache

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And I managed to get through a whole post on the themes of William and nothing without mentioning The Smiths—almost.

Photo: Looking up #2 / cornered; some rights reserved
Twitter: Ivy

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