371. two-headed boy

Neutral Milk Hotel‘s 1999 album, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea gets a special nod here for giving us the most recent selections on the list. Though it should be noted that the entire decade of the 1990s is rather woefully neglected mainly because Philip Random had mostly stopped buying new vinyl by then. “CDs were the thing at first, and then mp3s. But something about In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – I just had to have it in full twelve-inch form. And not just for the cover, though it’s a hell of a cover. Nah, it just didn’t feel right unless I was getting some vinyl hiss and ticks, like a throwback to those times when the blemishes mattered. The blemishes always matter, which main Neutral Milkman Jeff Mangum makes clear every time he opens his mouth and thus his soul, young man with a whole new way of turning breath to voice. And the whole album’s strong. Not an unnecessary moment. Including the few seconds it takes to flip it over between sides.”

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908. can you dig my vibrations?

In which Doug Sahm (aka Sir Douglas Quintet) finds himself in barely post Summer of Love (and madness) Haight-Ashbury (while fleeing a Texas drug bust) and gets in touch with some pretty serious vibrations. “Serious enough to percolate through the decades and finally find me in early winter 1999, stoned on some un-named island, half-seriously wondering if the world was going to end at midnight, New Years Eve. They settled me. The vibrations, that is.” (Philip Random)

925-924. Computer Blue + Darling Nikki

“Two in a row from the album (and movie) that finally made Prince a fact, even for white guys from the Canadian suburbs – that album being Purple Rain, of course. Not that I didn’t already think the guy was pretty darned cool in a funky r+b sort of way. You couldn’t hear twenty seconds of 1999 without thinking that. But after Purple Rain, I guess I just wasn’t seeing the colour anymore (other than purple). After Purple Rain, I realized this guy was the closest the 80s would ever get to having its own Bowie, or Beatles even. I’d crossed over, drank the paisley purple koolaid, seen God (or something similar). Every song on the album deserves to be hailed, and heard. But you probably have already heard most of them on the radio or whatever. Except maybe Computer Blue and Darling Nikki (the raunchy duo that brought Side One to a dramatic conclusion). Needless to say, they .got decent folk all hot and bothered at the time.” (Philip Random)

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