heard on the wire

And then there were 12


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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Don’t walk away from everything you’ve ever made

Eight #7 4x4

If you were into “alternative” music in the late 80s, life presented you with one of two options.

Either you scamped up to Madchester, put on the baggiest clothes you could find and shuffled around the Haçienda dance floor or you hung around in London with a load of like-minded people with terrible haircuts listening to super-fuzzy “guitar effects, and indistinguishable vocal melodies”.

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Hurrying to the spoil, he has made haste to the plunder

It’s been a while since this blog featured anything by the greatest band of all time and a rainy afternoon in Brussels is as good a time as any to put that right.

Unknown Pleasures was Joy Division’s first LP, a magnificent work that has arguable only ever been bettered by the band’s magnum opus, Closer. It contains the greatest song of all time, New Dawn Fades, as well as the astounding Day of the Lords and Shadowplay.

By name and by nature, the latter tends to overshadow the subsequent track, but Wilderness is one of the band’s great understated moments, complete with one of Ian Curtis’s most brutal, laid-bare lyrics.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

In 1993 I bought a JVC portable stereo cassette player on the basis of a review by “legendary” producer Pascal Gabriel. I loved it, still have it and it still works.

For the next six months, The Boo Radleys’ Giant Steps was ever-present among the selection of cassettes that I carried around with me. It remains an astonishing record, by a long way the best LP of the year.

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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.