Sunday, 9 March 2014

Senseless Things Top 50

I had already heard a few Senseless Things songs, in fact my brother had the 'Got it at the Delmar' cassette single, which he later gave to me along with his blue Pop Kid shirt.  But when 'Easy to Smile' came out I had a new favourite band.  I went back slightly and bought 'The First of Too Many', also on cassette, and it was just as good.  It wouldn't be much longer before 'Hold it Down' was on its way, followed by the 'Empire of the Senseless' album, by which time they definitely were my favourite band (although the Manics' 'Gold Against the Soul' tipped the balance in their favour shortly after).

If it wasn't enough to have the songwriting and singing of Mark Keds, the leads and harmonies of Ben Harding and the Animal-from-the-Muppets drumming of Cass Browne, the Senseless Things had their secret weapon in the bass-playing talents of Morgan Nicholls.  I've never really heard anyone play in his particular style before or since, there were similarities with others but he was quite unique and once he had inspired me to give up trying to be any good on the guitar, I took up the bass and started playing as much like he did as I could.

Their sound changed over the years from the teenage angst (in a fun way) and scratchy punk of 'Postcard CV', to the shinier, effervescent 'The First of Too Many', to the rockier 'Empire of the Senseless' and finally the loose-limbed swansong 'Taking Care of Business', which, while being a really good album, the title probably described how the band saw making it before they split.  I followed Jolt and 3 Colours Red for their relatively short durations (never really got into Delakota), but nothing was like the band they came from.  Listening back to these songs now they are still one of my all-time favourite bands, and if you haven't heard them before and like a good tune you could do a lot worse than going and discovering them.

1. Easy to Smile
2. Tangled Lines
3. Got it at the Delmar
4. Should I Feel It
5. Too Much Kissing
6. Everybody's Gone
7. Can't Remember
8. Too Much Like I Know You
9. Is It Too Late?
10. Hold it Down
11. 16.18.21
12. Primary Instinct
13. Teenage
14. Something to Miss
15. Trevor
16. Someone in You
17. Homophobic Asshole
18. Standing in the Rain
19. Wrong Number
20. Girlfriend
21. Any Which Way
22. Radio Spiteful
23. Ex-Teenager
24. Touch Me on the Heath
25. Back to Nowhere
26. Leo
27. Best Friend
28. Keepsake
29. Christine Keeler
30. Laura Lamorna
31. It's Cool to Hang Out with your Ex
32. Ice Skating at the Milky Way
33. Watching the Pictures Go
34. Just One Reason
35. Cruel Moon
36. Tell Me What's on your Mind
37. Shoplifting
38. Page 3 Valentine
39. Tempting Kate
40. Say What You Will
41. Runaways
42. Fishing at Tescos
43. 19 Blue
44. Lip Radio
45. Marlene
46. Wanted
47. In Love Again
48. When You Let Me Down
49. Drunk and Soppy
50. Passions Out of Town

By Era
Postcard CV 12
The First of Too Many 12
Empire of the Senseless 11
Taking Care of Business 9
Others (inc. non-album singles and Peel Sessions) 6

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Record Collection by Country?!?!

Well, I've threatened it a few times but now I've only gone and done it.  Going through my albums and making a tally of how many came from each country makes for quite interesting reading.  Certain bands from smaller (or less musically renowned) countries that have had a lot of albums out may skew the numbers slightly, as will countries synonymous with certain movements and genres, but it's my list so that's fine.  Without further ado, here we go:

1. USA 292
2. England 231
3. Wales 50
4. Sweden 43
5. Norway 29
6. Finland 28
7. Brazil 24
8. Holland 17
9. Germany 11
10. Italy 10
11. Canada 6
12. Australia 3
= Ireland 3
= Scotland 3
= Switzerland 3
16. Northern Ireland 2
= Portugal 2

Numbers correct as at 1st March 2014

Just for the record, different versions counted more than once, probably why Wales did so well with my various Manics album formats!  Scandinavia did pretty well for itself with its varied metal bands, while Sepultura, Soulfly, The Gathering and Lacuna Coil all bumped their countries up the list.  Not a great showing from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland though.

Europe and North America unsurprisingly dominated, with South America charting in the shape of Brazil and Australia also sneaking in there.  Now if I can only buy some albums by African and Asian bands I could make it truly global!!  Maybe Dragonforce could count on that score?  Members and ex-members from Hong Kong, South Africa, New Zealand, Ukraine, France....and they were counted as English!

Top marks to anyone who can get Antarctica in there too....Sonata Antarctica?  Emperor (Penguins)?  I'll get me coat....