HomePosts Tagged "Manic Street Preachers"

Manic Street Preachers Tag

I don’t have much to say as a benediction to 2010. While I enjoy a good disposable pop song as much as the next person, there were so damned many of them this year, it all just became white noise after a while. My moods tended to be a bit darker than usual, for whatever reason, so there were only so many times I could hear “California Gurls” or “Alejandro” or their ilk before tuning out.

That’s not to say I didn’t want to have fun—my album of the year, by the phenomenal Truth & Salvage Co., starts with a chorus about “heads full of reefer and … bellies full of beer.” I bobbed my head to the Roots and the awesome Nas/Damian Marley combo, and looked around for a lighter to hold up when listening to the new Manic Street Preachers record.

But none of these records are as ephemeral as I imagine Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, or others who have commandeered the radio this year. I imagine ten years from now, possibly on my fiftieth birthday, pulling up Truth & Salvage or Oranjuly on whatever we’ll use for music playback then, and listening with a smile. I can’t say I’ll remember any Ke$ha song then. In fact, I’m having trouble coming up with a Ke$ha song right now, as I’m writing this.

Anyway … Fare thee well, 2010. Here’s how I’ll remember you:

Last but certainly not least, Disc Three of Ruby Trax. And there is just no gray area when it comes to the opening song.

In late 1992, the idea of Jesus Jones covering Jimi Hendrix was viewed one of two ways: it was either the most awesome idea ever, or grounds for justifiable homicide. (Bear in mind, this came a full year before the Hendrix tribute album Stone Free, where everyone from the Cure to PM Dawn took Jimi’s songs for a ride.) He’s the greatest guitarist of all time, and they…play keyboards! (*Shake fists at God*) As Popdose resident remix geek, I’m guessing you already know which side of this debate I’m on.

Jesus Jones’ historical legacy is of the one-hit wonder variety, but let’s remember something: their 1991 album Doubt was a damned fine record, and in fact spawned two Top Five hits, not one. (Whither, “Real Real Real”?) So if Mike Edwards decides in 1992 that he wants to tear a Jimi Hendrix song to ribbons, no one is going to tell him no, nor should they have. The end result, a version of “Voodoo Chile” that sounds like the Chemical Brothers before there were Chemical Brothers, stands as the second to last great thing Jesus Jones would do. (Forgive me, but I’m still fond of “The Devil You Know.”) The drum tracks rocked without delving into industrial noise, and the guitar squeals have an otherworldly sound that would have brought a smile to Jimi’s face. And let’s not forget what a unique vocalist Edwards was for the time. That raspy tenor of his was unmistakable.

Wow, I can’t believe I just dedicated two paragraphs to Jesus Jones. Let’s move on.

hooksnyou.jpgStop laughing, you bastards!

A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with David Medsker – my comrade in arms both here and over at Bullz-Eye.com – about Kylie Minogue. He’d just heard “Wow,” the first single from her new album, X, and in the process of researching a post he was writing about the song, he learned that Kylie had gone to Number One in every major country in the world…except, of course, for the US.“Here,” he informed me, “she has two Top Ten singles, which are also her only two Top 20 singles. In England, she has seven Number One singles, 30 Top Tens, and 40 Top 20 singles. Forty. Here? Two. Jesus.”

I totally get his frustration, but I also understand why Kylie ended up being shunned by American audiences.

In 1987, Kylie was already a proven entity in both the UK and her native Australia, courtesy of her years spent as a cast member of “Neighbours,” so it was easy enough for her to score attention with her first single, the dangerously catchy “I Should Be So Lucky,” and take it to the top of the British charts. Stateside, however, it only crawled to #28, so Geffen played the cover-song card and giggled gleefully as Kylie’s take on the Little Eva classic, “The Locomotion,” soared to #3. Unfortunately, instead of making her into a household name, it merely served to transform her into an instant novelty; the follow-up single, “It’s No Secret,” struggled its way into the lower reaches of the Top 40 before dying a quick death soon after, and if Geffen bothered to release any singles from her second album, 1989’s Enjoy Yourself, they didn’t manage to chart. It took the U.S. twelve years to renew their membership in the Kylie Minogue Appreciation Society, and they only did it then because it was painfully evident that no-one…no, not even slope-browed American radio listeners…could deny the brilliance of “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.”

Well, that and the fact that she looked like this:

It was more than half a decade prior to that, however, when I first began to realize that there was very possibly more to Ms. Minogue that I’d originally been led to believe. I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves prone to appreciating someone’s work simply because of the company they keep, and that’s what started me on the road to rediscovering Kylie.