197. bimbo

“Labelling Yello synth-pop is missing the point. True they had synths and even a few hot pop songs, but listen to their first album, the aptly named Solid Pleasure, and a different picture quickly gets painted. Sambas, ambience, outright strangeness, and yeah, in the case of the lead-off track, Bimbo, a nifty bit of synth pop, albeit with Swiss tongues deeply in cheek. Dedicated to a guy I used to know (friend of a friend, I forget his name now) who told me his idea of perfection was to stay at home, get drunk, put Solid Pleasure on and bash away to it on his drum kit. Over and over again. Last I saw him, he wasn’t drumming anymore, just passed out on a couch.” (Philip Random)

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410. her eyes are a blue million miles

An almost normal song from the good Captain which proves beyond doubt that there was serious method in his oft savage strangeness, because as Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles makes clear, he had it in him to nail a whole other career of chart topping, unit shifting odes to blue eyes and their imponderable depths. In fact, you get the idea, Beefheart could’ve done it all his sleep. But nah, that was somebody else’s dream.

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952. beyond the valley of a day in the life

In which the Residents sample the Beatles and make such a glorious mess of things that rumours eventually surface that they are in fact The Beatles themselves, undercover. And all of this at least a decade before sampling-stealing-pirating in the name of art had even begun to achieve hip status. “I actually heard this when it was new in 1977. Not that I was remotely cool at the time, more the opposite. A friend’s big brother heard me talking loud about how progressive rock was the only music that really mattered, because it was so inventive, so ambitious, so strange … so he got me high and set me straight on the fact that there were far, far stranger things going on out there in the name of music than I ever could have imagined.”

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