heard on the wire

You can’t justify it, not a word

Wah Nah Poo

Pete Wylie encapsulates everything that bemuses me about popular music. Despite being one of the greatest singers of the last 30 years, yet he remains a marginal figure, famous, or at least reasonably well-known, for a single top 10 hit, yet worthy of much wider acclaim.

In large part, of course, it’s his own fault. Despite an ego the size of his home town, Liverpool, he has restricted himself to just five studio LPs in a career that began in the late 1970s.

And that from a man who, it has been said, believes that if there were only seven minutes left to live, you should spend three of them recording a song.

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Here’s some stuff to keep your mind off things

Wind-Up Bird

The Wind-Up Birds are from Leeds and make records tinged with a rare mix of intelligence and humour sung in their own vernacular.

Their debut LP, Acting Thick for Money, appeared in 2011 to be followed by this year’s The Land, which confirmed the Birds’ status as probably the best band from Leeds since The Wedding Present.

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You just can’t believe the joy I did receive

A “covers album” comes in one of two forms, neither of which has made much of an impression on the listening public. The first is the generally dreadful and impeccably misnamed “tribute”, which generally comprises 20-or-so bands of which you’ve never heard performing terrible versions of much-loved songs. The Smiths, the Clash and Joy Division, among others, have all suffered this disrespectful fate.

The second form, however, can excite and delight. For some, the covers LP, is an entertaining diversion, for others it’s a raison d’être, but given a good artist armed with a decent record collection the result can be terrific, though I took some convincing.

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Is this the blues I’m singing?

The Gallagher brothers have been responsible for so much ordinary music in the past 15 years or so that it’s easy to forget that for a brief, heady time, Oasis were the future of English rock ’n’ roll. Unfortunately that future was one of “more of the same” but for a brief period they bestrode the musical stratosphere.

That brief period was the week running up to christmas 1994, between the releases of the band’s first LP, the uneven but at times mightily impressive Definitely Maybe, and its more commercial and hugely successful sequel, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?.

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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.