Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Peel Sessions 18

I am rather pleased as during my summer break I actually got round to reading Simon Reynolds 'Rip It Up And Start Again', and it was well worth the effort. Some of the chapters I found disappointing particularly those dealing with Scritti Politti and the Pop Group, why I'm not quite sure as both artists are favorites from my youth, maybe I was expecting more? As far as Scritti is concerned I thought the Messthetics chapter was far too intellectual/pretentious, and despite still liking the early Rough Trade singles it wasn't really until Green dropped all the pretentious 6th form bullshit that the music gelled giving us the band that we know today. By contrast it was the chapters that I thought would be the least interesting that actually turned out to be highly entertaining, I am now much more of an expert on Throbbing Gristle and found the chapter on the San Francisco scene so informative that I will be checking out Flipper and giving Chrome another listen in the coming weeks. My favorite line from the book has nothing to do with music but it put a smile on my face it describes Anglicism as being "non-committal, wishy washy, as close to being agnostic as you can get without pissing off God" seems like a good and witty description to me.
Another chapter that was well thought out concerned the Manchester double act of the Fall and Joy Division, while neither bands and big favorites of mine, I hated the longcoat moody look adopted by Joy Division's followers it reminded me too much of prog rock, I recognise their important contributions to modern music, and am rather partial to certain of their compositions. I hope that no introduction is necessary for Joy Division. During their short life span they released two albums 1979's 'Unknown Pleasure' and the following years 'Closer'. The band both helped to give Factory Records its identity and early financial security. In 1979 they recorded two Peel Sessions the first in January and the second in November, less than six months later Ian Curtis had committed suicide by hanging himself as daylight was breaking. Having recently discovered that he suffered from epilepsy (life in a popular band did nothing to help this) mixed with the turmoil in his personal life proved to be too much. The single 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' was released just after his death and gave the band a belated monster hit, the version here is from their second Peel Session. Ofcourse you all know that Joy Division went on to become New Order and to even bigger success, but that's another story, and so were still Factory's biggest earners.

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