The Final Countdown* is Randophonic’s longest and, if we’re doing it right, most relevant countdown yet – the end of result of a rather convoluted process that’s still evolving such is the existential nature of the project question: the 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here. Whatever that means. What it means is dozens of radio programs if all goes to plan, and when has that ever happened?
Installment #18 of The Final Countdown* went like this.
953. Swirlies – house of pancake
952. Lykke Li vs Holy Ghost – I’m Good, I’m Ghost
951. Sly + the Family Stone – spaced cowboy
950. 10cc – art for art’s sake
949. Al Green – I Wanna Hold Your Hand
948. Blow Monkeys – sweet murder
947. Holger Czukay – der osten is rot
946. Bill Frisell – egg radio
945. Irving – I can’t fall in love
944. Slothomatic – starman
943. Dandy Warhols – Ohio
942. King Black Acid – always crashing in the same car
941. Jade Warrior – [funky] waves
940. Harold Budd + Zeitgeist – breathless
939. Receiver – O’Driscoll’s Curse
938. David Bowie – African Night Flight
937. Can – transcendental express
936. War – gypsy man
935. Brian Eno – Some Words
The numbering was off on-air, but it’s correct here.
Randophonic airs pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and/or download options usually available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
Godley and Crème started out with 10cc and ended up as cutting edge rock video artists, but in the middle somewhere found time for a few albums of overtly strange and accomplished pop experimentation. And it never got stranger than I Pity Inanimate Objects (from 1979’s Freeze Frame) which employs all manner of studio trickery to accomplish a genuinely unexpected end – you actually feel pity for things that are not alive, except they are, of course, they’re comprised of atoms and neutrons and other insanely small actions and reactions, which are the fundament of all life, all matter, all everything. It’s true. Do some research. And be kind to your toaster.
In 10cc‘s hands, pop was alive and rather brilliantly insane in 1976. Or whatever you call the kind of music they were messing around with on the album How Dare You? in general, the song I Wanna Rule The World in particular – spending big money on studio time and album art. “Art for art’s sake, money for god’s sake,” as one of the other songs on the album put it.
Part One of Randophonic’s three part celebration of the 40th anniversary of 1974 aired November 29th, on CiTR.FM.101.9.
Here it is in two Mixcloud streams. All Secrecy No Privacy:
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (an extended Movie of the Week):
The podcast of the full program is available for download here …
Think of it as a halfway cool radio program from forty years ago — a few guys running through some of the essential records of the year, not ranking them so much as just shouting them out. This is the important stuff. This is what has kept the flesheating robots at bay for the past three hundred or so days. And they might have been stoned while they were doing it, so stuff is out of order and maybe a little confused, but in a good way, 1974 proving rather difficult to really pin down.
But there was certainly no shortage of darned fine music.
Kraftwerk – autobahn
Wherein some very smart German guys decide that what the world truly wants and needs is a sort of stretched out and techno-fied version of the Beach Boys’ Fun Fun Fun. And they nail it, a hit single and album world wide. The future is suddenly very cool.
MFSB – TSOP [the Sound of Philadelphia]
Disco wasn’t really a SOUND yet in 1974, so it wasn’t really annoying at all. Not yet anyway.
O’Jays – for the love of money
The root of all that evil. Same as it ever was.
Camel – freefall
Introducing progressive rock, the elephant in the room, which it’s safe to say peaked rather gloriously in 1974, with Camel as solid an example as any. Tight playing, complex arrangements, no fear of cosmic overload.
Alice Cooper – teenage lament ’74
Does it always suck to be a teenager? Probably. But as far as we know, 1974 is the only year that had an actual teenage lament.
Sensational Alex Harvey Band – the man in the jar
Straight outa Glasgow, and not just a little glam, but you would not want to mess with any of them.
Rolling Stones – fingerprint file
74 was not a great year for the Stones with Keith Richard heroin comatose pretty much the whole time and Mick Taylor (the best player they ever had) calling it quits. Yet they still nailed it big time with Fingerprint File. All secrecy. No privacy.
BTO – not fragile
Big meat eating, truck driving riffs and melodies that rocked pretty much the whole world. Nothing pretty about any of it …
ELO – boy blue + Laredo tornado
ELO finally just went all the way technicolour with their fourth album, the concept known as El Dorado. These two flowed nicely together through the middle of side A.
10CC – Wall Street Shuffle
Blood sucking brokers ripping the whole world off, laughing all the way to hell and back. Some things never change.
Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway [an extended Movie of the Week]
It’s hard to grasp now, but forty years ago Genesis were pretty much the epitome of strange and complex cool, with the four-sided Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Peter Gabriel’s last album with the band) believed by many to be one of the genuine monsters of the so-called prog-rock genre, by many others to be simply monstrous.
What’s it about? To be honest, we’re pretty sure not even Peter Gabriel knows, and he wrote the lyrics. That said, it seems to begin with an apocalypse of sorts. On Broadway. But nobody notices except Rael. Who’s Rael? He’s the (sort of) punk hero of the thing, whose weird adventures will take us deep into subterranean regions of mystery, pleasure, torment and lifeless packaging.
What’s the significance of the lamb? Not much, it seems.
Meanwhile from out of the steam a lamb lies down. This lamb has nothing whatsoever to do with Rael, or any other lamb. It just lies down on Broadway.