Friday, 10 August 2012

Guest Top 5 Bands that SHOULD only have ever made one album by Alun Westoll

The second part of Alun's top five double header, if you want to know anything about him read last weeks post. Over to Al.

It took Depeche Mode 7 attempts before they finally aced it with ‘Violator’. Even the legendary Beatles took 5 tries before Revolver (although every album after that was AWESOME!) On the other hand, here’s my Top 5 list of bands that nailed it at on first go and then probably should have stopped while they were ahead!

1. Stereophonics "Word Gets Around"

The Welsh indie/rock band released their first album in 1997, containing the single ‘Traffic’, one of my all time fav records. The Stereophonics have since gone on to become one of the UK’s biggest acts and although all the following 6 albums were good, none have been as good as the first. The bands original drummer recently died, apparently after finally realising that his curly perm had ceased to be fashionable around 30 years ago!

2. Crowded House "Crowded House"

Although many believe ‘Woodface’ to be Crowded House’s defining moment, for me it will always be their self titled debut, released in 1986. The Aussie/NZ band split in 1996 after the death of their drummer (what is it about drummers – just like bass players in Spinal Tap!) but then my initial excitement at the news of them reforming in 2007 soon evaporated after hearing the next two albums. The original line up of Crowded House was quite possibly the best live band I have ever seen! Amazing tunes, great musicians and plenty of witty banter between songs. Fantastic.

3. Goldfrapp "Felt Mountain"

Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory are an electro pop duo from London who formed the band Goldfrapp in 1999 and released their brilliant Mercury Prize short-listed debut album, Felt Mountain, in 2000. Having loved the haunting ambient sounds I found it a bit of a shame when the band decided to reinvent themselves on subsequent albums, going on to release the dance album, the glam rock album, the folky album, etc, etc. I’m still hoping for another one like the first! Unlike many electronic acts, Goldfrapp are a fantastic live band, with Alison Goldfrapp a sight to be seen (& heard), singing away whist simultaneously simulating masturbation with a Theremin! You don’t see that every day!

4. Oasis "Definitely Maybe"

Yes, the next album was great too but it never got better than their debut, Definitely Maybe, released in 1994. Another album I played to death around the time. As we all know, seven albums later, in 2009 Oasis inevitably imploded with Liam then going on form the truly bloody awful Beady Eye whilst Noel proved he was the talent with the release of Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

5. Zero 7 "Simple Things"

Zero 7 released their first album, Simple Things, in 2001, which went on to win the coveted Mercury Music prize. The British duo of Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker were joined on the album by numerous guest vocalists, by far the best for me being the brilliant husky voiced Aussie Sia Furler. Her contributions to the record being the highlight of one of my all time favourite albums. The ambient, down tempo, trip hop band have since gone on to release 3 more albums but none reaching the heady heights of their debut, although Sia Furler’s 2004 solo album ‘Colour the Small One’ comes very close.

Two top fives & only 1 tiny mention of the Phantoms! Rock on!


Mr. Fatuous said...

I'd have Jesus Jones' Liquidizer in that list. None of the following albums got even close to the energy.

I'd also argue that the Wonder Stuff's Eight Legged Grove Machine is their best album.

Anonymous said...

Is it too late to add The Killers to my list? Hot Fuss was a fantastic debut but their follow up a massive disappointment. ‘Are we human or are we dancers?’ What!! As if that wasn’t bad enough I’ve just heard their latest offering on the radio. At first I thought it was ‘Keane’! Nuff said.

Unknown said...

Arctic Monkeys would be on my list. Each release shows a slight decline. I call it Tarantino Syndrome.