“Because sometimes the music just needs to be BIG. And who better to lay it all down than the band that put a name to such stuff, The Waterboys, who yes, as a matter of fact, were more relevant than U2 in the power and passion realm come the mid-1980s. Because in main man Mike Scott, they had a proper a poet on board, and thus more colours, clearer visions, greater incision. At least that was the argument a few months ago. This Is The Sea (album and song) versus The Unforgettable Fire (album and song), both high water marks, no doubt, but Waterboys had more of it, whatever it is, because water beats fire every time. I guess. What I can easily say now, many years after the fact, is that the album (and band) that still speaks to me is the outfit that Mr. Scott put together way back when, because unlike U2, he found a way to haul on the reins at just the right moment, stopped the whole mad and beautiful thing from charging off into the abyss of fame and ridiculousness which, I figure, mainly meant not losing focus, making sure the music and poetry that infused it remained bigger than all other concerns. Or something like that. Because like the song says, this ain’t no brook, no creek, no river even, this is this, as big as it gets. Bigger than words anyway.” (Philip Random)
Fisherman’s Blues is the album where main Waterboy Mike Scott went to Ireland for a few days, ended up getting lost on the west coast somewhere, not returning for years (or so the legend goes, and goes, and goes). We Will Not Be Lovers feels like the result of a powerhouse jam session wherein rock and folk attitudes piled into each other in a sustained and brilliant collision. “The words are pretty sharp as well, concerning the opposite of a love. Not hate so much as … well, you know the feeling. You look that other in the eye and all you can see is carnage. And yet you are compelled.” (Philip Random)
Tracks available on this Youtube playlist (somewhat inaccurate).
The Final Countdown* is our longest, most random and (if we’re doing it right) relevant countdown yet. Which doesn’t mean we’re one hundred percent clear as to what it’s all about – just the end of result of a long and convoluted process that finally evolved into something halfway tangible a month or so ago. The 1297 Greatest Records of All Time right now right here, if that makes sense. And even if it doesn’t, we’re doing it anyway for as long as it takes, and it will take a while.
Installment #5 of The Final Countdown* went like this.
1211. Negativland – The Playboy Channel
1210. LCD Soundsystem – yeah [crass mix]
1209. Residents – suburban bathers
1208. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – messages
1207. Ulrich Schnauss – on my own
1206. Love + Rockets – lazy
1205. Dr. John – Danse Kalinda Ba Doom
1204. Harmonium – un musicien parmi tant d’autres
1203. Gary Wright – love is alive
1202. Art Ensemble of Chicago – funky AECO
1201. Mothers of Invention – dog breath in the year of the plague
1200. Mothers of Invention – Montana
1199. Waterboys – nobody ‘cept you
1198. All Mighty Whispers – Love Revolution
1197. War – seven tin soldiers [the middle jam]
1196. Clash – junko partner [and dub]
1195. Fiery Furnaces – one more time
1194. Flying Lizards – in my lifetime
1193. Flying Lizards – glide-spin
1192. Simple Minds – seeing out the angel
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.
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.
Randophonic’s first ever attempt at a proper Christmas show aired December 20th on CiTR.FM.101.9.
Here it is in two Mixcloud streams.
Plus a very special Movie of the Week — Monty Python’s Pleasures of the Dance.
The podcast of the full program is available for download here …
A special program in which we look back with fondness at cherished memories of Christmases past. Try to anyway, as it turns out the Jukebox is still stuck in minimum 49-percent prog-rock mode after the previous week’s 1974 blowout.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of highlights, seasonal and otherwise.
Sorry about that. The rest are guaranteed highlights, presented more or less in the order they were broadcast.
Van Der Graaf Generator – theme one
Written by George Martin for some TV show or other. Reimagined for drums, keyboards and various horns by Van Der Graaf Generator at their 70s freakout peak.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Joybringer
Ripping off Gustav Holst, and owning it.
Jethro Tull – King Henry’s Madrigal
They don’t say which King Henry, though this strikes us as decidedly Shakespearean. Which raises the question. Where the hell are all the rocked up Shakespearean Christmas carols?
The Clash – if music could talk …
… then we truly would have peace on earth.
Delaney + Bonnie – where the soul never dies
What it’s really all about.
Beatles – Christmas time + The Word
The word is love. The time is now.
Emerson Lake + Palmer – Jerusalem
An interpretation of William Blake’s cosmic musing on Britain’s industrial revolution (those dark Satanic mills) and Jesus Christ himself taking a little walk ‘cross England’s green and pleasant. ELP at their least annoying.
Waterboys – December + Spirit
December even mentions the Christ child, but it’s not so much a Christmas song as a meditation on the gloomiest time of year, and how we always seem to find the light to see our way through, which seems to be what spirit’s all about.
Van Morrison – St. Dominic’s Preview
A song about many things, most of them indecipherable, but there is homesickness at the root of it. You think Buffalo’s a long way away? Try Belfast.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – father of night, father of day
In which the Earth Band manage in ten minutes what Bob Dylan’s original accomplished in less than two. And yet, we’re pretty damned sure that the good Lord has love enough for both.
Link Wray – alone
Sad but true.
Mandalaband – The Eye of Wendor
From the first part of a long lost trilogy.
Joseph Spence – Santa Claus is coming to town
No one’s ever mumbled it better.
Ian Anderson – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Philip Random’s favourite Christmas carol is not completely ruined by this sort of jazz rock arrangement … with small orchestra.
Gryphon – second spasm
The band that brought bassoons and krumhorns to rock. And one more time, why is there not more of this sort of Shakespearean groove available this time of year?