574. red cinders + song without an ending

“Two tracks from the first The The album that I’ve always thought of as one, because of how they flow together. Although technically, Burning Blue Soul is not a The The album as it was initially released as a Matt Johnson solo album. But nobody really heard it, so after the success of Soul Mining, it got repackaged for a bit of cash-in, which isn’t as bad as it sounds because The The was always pretty much just Matt Johnson anyway. Either way, Burning Blue Soul is a darned fine album, a dense and connected and beautiful flow, even with all the noise and chunks of rusted metal just left lying around — an essential piece of soundtrack from a movie about the ongoing decline and fall of the British Empire that no one’s gotten around to making yet. But they will someday.” (Philip Random)

652. Old England

Old England being the grimmest track found on the Waterboys‘ otherwise mostly uplifting 1985 masterpiece This is the Sea. Because what value empire when it’s children are giving up, choosing instead the kingdom inherent in refined opium? You can see it in their heroin eyes. The sun is most definitely setting. And just to make it clear he wasn’t messing around, main Waterboy Mike Scott would soon be relocating to Ireland with (again) almost entirely uplifting results.

MikeScott-1985