Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

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Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Deebank » 26 Mar 2012, 13:21

Am I the only BCB member with a sibling that posts too? I suspect I am, so you may want to cross-reference my efforts with my big brother’s (Copehead’s) dessert island choices elsewhere in these annals.
The afore-mentioned big bro is three years my senior, so inevitably much of what I listened too – far more than by my parents – was predicated by Will’s tastes. That said we still managed to diverge quite widely and I think this is reflected in my choices.
Unlike Will – who is a scouser by birth – I was born in Anglesey, North Wales, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, to be precise. My parents bought me my first record for Christmas – or perhaps a birthday, I can’t remember - some time in the early’70s. The album had Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf on one side – narrated by a sinister Boris Karloff - and the Lieutenant Kije suite on the other. Although I absorbed a lot of music in my early years – mainly through the radio and TV testcard, of which I was an avid fan– Kije remains a favourite, unsullied by Sting’s appropriation of its melody. I used to stand on a little chair and conduct.
It is my Choice 1



As a nipper through the glam years I dug Slade and The Sweet, bits of Bolan, Showaddywaddy and Bowie, but it wasn’t really until later in the decade that the bug really bit. My first proper favourite band was The Boomtown Rats and their Tonic For The Troops was just that for a year or so.
Next up were The Police – representing the first of many taste divergences with my big bro. Although we both agreed on much new wave / punk stuff, he went down the heavy metal route… A route that I myself liked aspects of for sure, but not to the extent he did. Although some mutual ground remained – we were both partial to a bit of Quo and I grudgingly liked some AC/DC - our paths wouldn’t fully re-join until the noveau-prog years. But back on track. The poppy dubbiness - the space - in The Police’s best stuff was fantastic and they were a great live band as I was to discover when I saw them at the turn of the decade, my first experience of a big time live band – I was hooked.
Choice 2



Still sounds great, but I could equally have picked Deathwish or Bring On The Night from the same LP.

At around the same time, some years after the fact, I was floored by a great timeless track. For me it had all the ducks lined up. Darkness, melody, mystery, weirdness and a twist of psychadelia. I’m not sure whether we got Secret Treaties or Agents Of Fortune first, but Don’t Fear The Reaper became a family favourite. That said, for a pure epochal nostalgic buzz I’d rather have the next track on the island.



I seem to remember a dodgy acquaintance of Will’s shop-lifted the LP to order for him from a shop in Beaumaris, or perhaps I’m mis-remembering. Will also despatched me into the middle of London one summer when I was 11 or 12 (Our dad lived in Blackheath and Will was doing a summer job at BP) to buy tickets to see Soft White Underbelly (a BOC nom de plume) at the Victoria Venue. I had to hang around for hours for the ticket office to open and could barely reach the kiosk window. They asked how old I was – I told them, but added that the tickets were for my 16 year old brother – they chuckled and told me to piss off. Will got into a mighty bate when we hooked up later. The Venue was pretty much a nightclub!

Although Blue Oyster Cult were patchy over their whole career, when they are on form they certainly ticked all the boxes. They could be seen as a kind of ‘gateway drug’ into prog however and this proved to be the case.
Once again the despicable influence of big bro and his hippy mates opened the gates to all manner of prog twaddle and I am still in thrall to some of it!
It’s not all his fault though to be fair. The Social Secretary at Bangor University – where my stepfather was by this time the Safety Officer as well as being a chemistry lecturer – was a total proghead. Will had already been to see Marillion at the Uni’s JCR. In the years that followed, John (my stepfather) would pay a visit to the Soc Sec and after a bit of discussion, myself and a bunch of my mates would be let in to the shows. We witnessed the horrors of Pallas (humourless Aberdonian prog at its most bombastic), Solstice (mad eyed hippies with Stephane Grapelli violin interludes from Milton Keynes) and Trilogy (basically a Netto Rush, all FX pedals and silky dressing gowns).
I did however also catch IQ – Supper’s Ready era Genesis freaks – who had a few catchy tunes (and a few catchy passages in their 20 minute epics) to recommend them. I had heard them on the Radio Wales rock show Rockpile (Thursdays 10pm), where DJ and sometime BBC Wales continuity stalwart Richard Rees would ditch his usual diet of Doobie Brothers and Meat Loaf to spin their Awake & Nervous which I liked a lot.
Much better was their second LP The Wake – still, I am utterly unembarrassed to say, a firm fave with me – and especially Choice 4, Headlong. I don’t know why, it just is…



As the ’80s progressed – no pun intended - while still cocking an occasional ear to Rockpile, I was being seduced by the ersatz scouse tones of John Peel over on Radio 1. And it was through him, and a free NME EP, that I became aware of the Cocteau Twins. Ivo was the tune that led to Aikea Guinea and thence to Treasure, for many their defining LP… but not for me. For me their peak came with their rave-era comedown classic Blue Bell Knoll from which I will pick my next track, an aural barbiturate in all the right ways.
By now I was a student at Brighton Poly and I would listen to this LP every night for the next few years without fail.
I had a girlfriend who following a row said I could ‘bloody take that music off for a start’ when I hit play – she thought it was my ‘shagging’ music, but in reality it was my ‘everything’ music.
Anyhoo, this is the choice…



Through the Festive 50 and the unique vocal talents of Liz Fraser, I was lead to another perennial favourite band, although they proved to be something of a slower burn than the Cocs. Felt’s Primitive Painters – much to Peel’s chagrin, he never played the band or liked them much – was a high flier in the Festive 50 in ’87 or ’88. Fraser’s backing vocals hooked me, but also sent me off to Cob Records on Bangor’s unlovely High Street in search of a copy of their Ignite The Seven Cannons. I was going through a late teens acquisitive phase and snapped up all I could get by them, which actually wasn’t a lot. Despite being a fan, they managed to release probably three LPs that I never heard of until much later.
For pure joie de vivre I will pick this track, but really it could have any one of dozens.



Pure class.
I recently ordered a Felt picture book, a beautifully produced objet, signed by Lawrence himself. He does a bit of a commentary with the pics inside. I was shocked to read about one of his ex girlfriends who he mentions and am now convinced she was also an ex of mine! I knew she had been associated with various of the Creation crew from that era, but didn’t know she and Lawrence were an item (well, perhaps they weren’t, it’s a bit of a long shot on cold reflection).

Onward
One thing that always fascinated me about the proggers was the gear, the FX, the keyboards etc. I had no compunction to sound or play like them, but I loved all the stuff. That is perhaps why I like stuff like Boards Of Canada. Another anonymous, mysterious group (or pair in their case) of baldy boffins, but there is something very archetypal about their music. It isn’t just paying lip service to the ’90s, to me this BOC are (workshy) titans who should get their fingers out and release something. I would have had more to say about The Orb, or Underworld or even Squarepusher or Aphex Twin in the electronic arena having had more direct experience of them, but Boards Of Canada are a mainstay.
I’ll chose Telephasic Workshop off their first full LP because of the way it made the doors on my old VW Camper boom – and if that’s not a stereotype I don’t know what is.



And finally Cyril…
And finally Esther… The Shins.
Fuck me! James Mercer is a phenomenal artist. Beautiful music pours out of the man and he is a fantastic lyricist to boot. The problem is which track to choose. Kissing The Lipless? New Slang? Phantom Limb?
He has just released a new Shins LP and it is shaping up to be a classic, but I’m not sufficiently in to it yet to pick something representative – Bait And Switch is great though.

Anyway this track is a suitable closer to proceedings.



Faultless.

Book? Difficult. His Dark Materials maybe – a kids book!

Luxury. Insulin and a fridge would come in handy.

Cheers.

With apologies to Martin for not hitting my deadline!
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby TG » 26 Mar 2012, 13:40

You may have missed the deadline but that was still a nice read. Interesting choices and nice to see someone pick B.O.C.
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Moleskin » 26 Mar 2012, 13:45

Yes, a nice read. Will compare and contrast with Copey's later.
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Copehead » 26 Mar 2012, 17:45

Fair and reasonably accurate - although as to the Scouser charge I will say being born in a stable doesn't make one a horse.

I think Secret Treaties came first with BOC although I remember hearing DFTR on the radio a fair bit in the late 70s, the shop lifter was, of course, the mighty Paul Bod, Secret Treaties was a personal choice that he tired of quickly and passed on, I have to say on one level I admired the way he wcould walk into a shop and order a record and come back the following week and shoplift it but he probably didn't do much for the shop in question or to local music selling in general.

and on a sad note Cob Records Bangor closed it doors for the last time on Saturday past.

Someone posted it on an article on CiF about Spiller's in Cardiff.

Cob records was the most important shop in my youth by a country mile, I must have spent practically every Saturday morning for 3-4 years in there.

And I am still angry about not seeing Soft White Underbelly
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby kath » 26 Mar 2012, 18:45

what a great list of songs. siiiiigh. dominance and submission?? are you kidding me?? i luvv that track.

i also luvvvv prokofiev, the police (i still remember the first time i heard roxanne on the radio), IQ and the cocteau twins. the other two aint bad, either. interesting, what you say about BOC being a gateway into prog. of course, i didn't think about all these terms and boundaries back in my day, when i was a teen, but i can see it. (mind ya, there are BOC lyrics that rival john anderson in the silly, freaky and indecipherable zone.)

i must admit, i was kinda expecting stories of copehead giving ya wedgies... or copehead beatin the crap outta ya... or copehead lockin yer ass in a closet before dinnertime... or copehead tying you up to a parking meter, stealing yer pants, pouring whiskey over yer head, throwing a rock thru a nearby store window to set off the alarm and then driving off, laughing... ya know, all that fun stuff. (ahh, my older brother was such a card.)

i can understand yer need to be discreet, however.

cheers.

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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Deebank » 26 Mar 2012, 20:14

We had our moments - he got a bit shitty about me not getting him that ticket for BOC/SWU, but if I couldn't go...

Although we got on fine most of the time, we certainly got on better once he left home :)

The 'gateway to prog' thing was tongue in cheek, but there is something in it I reckon BOC could get a bit proggy, especially in their Cultosaurus period (I'm thinking Black Blade).

Dominance and Submission is a massive tune though and owes more to the MC5/Stooges than and of the more fanciful brit bands of the era.
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby kath » 26 Mar 2012, 20:34

Deebank wrote:The 'gateway to prog' thing was tongue in cheek, but there is something in it I reckon BOC could get a bit proggy, especially in their Cultosaurus period (I'm thinking Black Blade).

Dominance and Submission is a massive tune though and owes more to the MC5/Stooges than and of the more fanciful brit bands of the era.


i've been missing a fair amount of tongue-in-cheekery lately. maybe i'm catching a bug. i agree with you on the dominance sound.

'black blade' is a great track. it's not that BOC had any what i would call prog albums, per se. but i think they always had a couple of tracks on every album that could be called proggish, ya know what i mean? just the other day i heard 'shooting shark' and thought it had proggy leanings.

yeah, i know i use the term prog and all its forms too loosely. i guess any band that does whatever outside-the-lines, out-the-box, weird, different, cerebral or surreal stuff could be called proggy. as i said in my last post, when i got exposed to all this music, none of those terms applied. i would've called the huge majority of my collection "proggy" if i went by my loose definition. anything from low spark to dwight frye to liz reed to no quarter to the end. it would make more sense for me to try to classify what was left over as non-proggy. um, AC/DC and the ramones. that about covers it. ahem.

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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Deebank » 26 Mar 2012, 23:02

kath wrote:
'black blade' is a great track. it's not that BOC had any what i would call prog albums, per se. but i think they always had a couple of tracks on every album that could be called proggish, ya know what i mean? just the other day i heard 'shooting shark' and thought it had proggy leanings.


Good example, it sounds a bit like Asia perhaps or Yes.

yeah, i know i use the term prog and all its forms too loosely. i guess any band that does whatever outside-the-lines, out-the-box, weird, different, cerebral or surreal stuff could be called proggy. as i said in my last post, when i got exposed to all this music, none of those terms applied. i would've called the huge majority of my collection "proggy" if i went by my loose definition. anything from low spark to dwight frye to liz reed to no quarter to the end. it would make more sense for me to try to classify what was left over as non-proggy. um, AC/DC and the ramones. that about covers it. ahem.


Correct again :lol:
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Copehead » 27 Mar 2012, 11:09

kath wrote:'black blade' is a great track. it's not that BOC had any what i would call prog albums, per se. but i think they always had a couple of tracks on every album that could be called proggish, ya know what i mean? .


Astronomy and Harvester of Eyes being the examples on Secret Treaties
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Conrad Knight Socks » 27 Mar 2012, 11:14

Deebank wrote:Am I the only BCB member with a sibling that posts too? I suspect I am,


Well this can't possibly be true, can it? There must be at least two.
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Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Deebank » 27 Mar 2012, 11:21

Oh yeah!
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Conrad Knight Socks » 27 Mar 2012, 11:30

Deebank wrote:Oh yeah!


He's a nothing, right?
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Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Deebank » 27 Mar 2012, 11:36

You've met him then.



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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby fange » 27 Mar 2012, 15:27

That was a fine read, Deebank. Cheers!
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby kath » 28 Mar 2012, 01:52

Copehead wrote:
kath wrote:'black blade' is a great track. it's not that BOC had any what i would call prog albums, per se. but i think they always had a couple of tracks on every album that could be called proggish, ya know what i mean? .


Astronomy and Harvester of Eyes being the examples on Secret Treaties


yep yep. there are scads of BOC albums i dig, but secret treaties is still my fave.

p.s. that album also contains some of my most beluvvedly out-there BOC lyrics:

being chased around by the neighbor's cat
well it's so lonely in the state of maine...


... ART, is what that is.

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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Corporate whore » 28 Mar 2012, 08:43

Bump...

I won't get a chance to listen this through until the weekend, so lets keep it near the top.
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Deebank » 28 Mar 2012, 10:28

Corporate whore wrote:Bump...

I won't get a chance to listen this through until the weekend, so lets keep it near the top.


You're a diamond and apologies again for missing the deadline.
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Deebank » 28 Mar 2012, 10:36

kath wrote:
Copehead wrote:
kath wrote:'black blade' is a great track. it's not that BOC had any what i would call prog albums, per se. but i think they always had a couple of tracks on every album that could be called proggish, ya know what i mean? .


Astronomy and Harvester of Eyes being the examples on Secret Treaties


yep yep. there are scads of BOC albums i dig, but secret treaties is still my fave.

p.s. that album also contains some of my most beluvvedly out-there BOC lyrics:

being chased around by the neighbor's cat
well it's so lonely in the state of maine...


... ART, is what that is.


Secret Treaties is I think a classic, it deserves more kudos, no question. Astronomy has such a great solo too - Buck Dharma is a fantastic soloer, he never overdoes it, everything is in the service of the song rather than his ego or seeing how many notes he can cram in.

I also like their mysterious Mask of Kronos symbol and am always on the lookout for minimalist Cult t shirts with this device prominent.

We've linked to this many times, but again Julian Cope's appraisal of the mighty Cult is a bast, even if I don;t always agree with his perspectives.

http://www.headheritage.co.uk/unsung/albumofthemonth/blue-oyster-cult-in-your-dreams-or-in-my-hole
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Copehead » 28 Mar 2012, 12:00

kath wrote:
Copehead wrote:
kath wrote:'black blade' is a great track. it's not that BOC had any what i would call prog albums, per se. but i think they always had a couple of tracks on every album that could be called proggish, ya know what i mean? .


Astronomy and Harvester of Eyes being the examples on Secret Treaties


yep yep. there are scads of BOC albums i dig, but secret treaties is still my fave.

.


Mine too.

I think the eclectic nature of their albums - which goes from proto-metal a la MC5 to progtastic on Secret Treaties - is probably due to the nature of their song writing with no dominant voice in the group musically or lyrically - 8 different people credited on Secret Treaties comprising Patti Smith, Richard Meltzer every member of the band and their producer/lyricist Sandy Perlman; who went on to produce Give Em Enough Rope for the Clash because Mick Jones was such a fan.

I like the Cope appraisal as well, but he is far too harsh on the later albums, they did go for a more pop metal sound after Agents of Fortune and the cross over success of Don't Fear The Reaper but Cultosaurus Erectus and Fire of Unknown Origin are still massive albums full of great riffs and pop hooks.

Every album has something worthwhile on with the possible exception of Mirrors which I have never gelled with.

They also over did the live albums although Some Enchanted Evening is fun and Extra Terrestrial Live is OK as well.

Surely one of the greatest unsung bands of all time, mainly because 90% of people can't see beyond Don't Fear The Reaper.

Time to force a reappraisal by BCB, everybody should be forced to listen to Secret Treaties.
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Re: Desert Island Disks - The Deebank files

Postby Nikki Gradual » 28 Mar 2012, 12:29

Top read. Thanks
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