Friday, June 29, 2007


The Ten Best Baggy Bands?

It's Friday and so here is the famous list as decided by those taste makers at Uncut, despite the fact that they gave them a number from 1 to 10 I don't think for one minute that this is a strict classification.
1. The Happy Mondays, absolutely no surprise here as they are perhaps the band that best sum up the form of music. Originally from the harder side of Manchester, if they hadn't of made it in music they would probably all be in prison by now. Two albums that was them finding their direction in the late 80's that was followed by the genre defining album 'Pills Thrills And Belly Aches' to herald in the new decade, ever since then it's been downhill ropey live album, coke hell in the Bahamas and shit album, splitting up, pointless reunion tours. They back together again with a new album out next Monday, can't wait..............
2. Stone Roses, slightly less hedonist than the Monday's with a more laid sound probably due to their heavy consumption of grass. Hardly the most prolific of bands but they did manage to leave us one classic psychedelic guitar album in 'The Stone Roses' 1999 before smoking away a fortune at the expense of Geffen and taking 6 years to deliver the bloated 'Second Coming' that sounded like Led Zeppelin out takes. And they were gone after a dodgy Reading appearance, very little chance of a get back tour from this bunch.
3. Flowered Up, personal favorites of mine with their loopy songs sung in a typical East London voice with language that I last heard as boy in Green Street Market as barrel boys were selling their wares, they were the proof that southern boys could take drugs and make good music. Their debut single 'It's On' was originally released by Heavenly and drags you in with its stomping beat and use of flute, this is the original version far superior to that that would turn up on their sole album 'A Life With Brian' 1991. The following year they released their swansong in the 12 minute long 'Weekender' a tale of rave culture and it's ups and downs a very brave and pertinent song that has always made me think of film maker Ken Loach, this version of the song was recorded live at 1992's Glastonbury Festival. And they too were gone.
4. World Of Twist, see Tuesday's post.
5. Blur, hard to remember but at the beginning they were aligned with baggy circa 'Leisure' 1991, probably more out of journalistic laziness than anything Else. They were one of the rare baggy bands to survive the demise of the musical form by reinventing themselves and continually changing. Hardly surprising that in the 90's they were the only band capable of standing up to Oasis. Still together in an on off sort of way when Damon has time from his many other projects.
6. Paris Angels, who you may well ask, I checked out their "classic" 'Perfume' single again and can now remember why had already forgotten about them.
7. Inspiral Carpets, see last Monday's post.
8. New Fast Automatic Daffodils, already posted on them back in March 2006. An excellent band introducing a colder edge to the music with infectious rhythms and dogmatic vocals, three classic albums 'Pigeonhole', 'Bong' and 'Body Exit Mind' before disappearing due to a criminal lack of interest.
9. James, I never really liked the second hand folky Smiths influenced version of the band but I did love the funk inspired rebirth of the band with 1991 'Gold Mother' the album that gave us the incredibly sexy 'How Was It For You'. Success went to their heads and they trod the same path as Simple Minds that led to leaden indie stadium rock as could be found on their follow up 'Seven', they continued until splitting in 2001 though they were incapable of returning to their heady past glories. 2007 has seen a well received reunion tour, I for one remain dubious. James were also on the Bill of 1992's Glastonbury where they recorded this version of 'Gold Mother'.
10. The Farm, now here were a bunch that could be described as bandwagon jumpers but we can forgive them their sins for their beat heavy classic pop album 'Spartacus' featuring their house take on the Monkey's 'Stepping Stone'.
There is of course one very big omission from this list in the Charlatans who were as baggy as anyone else and of the highest quality and are of course along with Blur another band that survived the movement to go onto bigger things.

Flowered Up are playing at least one gig in London later this year ... although I miss Republica too!


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