Chartroose’s Favourite Bands Meme (A to I)

Monday, March 2, 2009 0:12 | Filed in Memes, Music

I noticed the other day that Chartroose had started doing a favourite bands meme. The idea is fairly simple: to go through the alphabet and pick out my favourite band beginning with that relevant letter. (Although The Langster has picked up on it now as well)

A is for …

It boiled down to a choice of two: Adam or Anthrax. New Romantic or Skate Metal. While I think “Bring The Noise” takes a lot of beating (as does ‘Got The Time’), I’ve been forced to pick Adam and his Ants at this juncture, simply because he’s one of the first artists I remember seeing on television: I remember enjoying the song, although I have a sneaking suspicion that I kept singing one of the key lines as “stand on your liver…”.

Still, as the man himself said, “Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

B is for …

A classic band with a massive amount of influence. Much copied, much parodied. But some of those riffs defined the genre.

I will allow a slight variation of their own words to tell you who they are:

What is this, this band before me?
Begins with a ‘black’, has Tony Iommi

And if you can’t get it off of that, you need to widen your musical knowledge. Or at least read the title off the video.

C is for …

The man in black. Who else could it be? The legend that is Johnny Cash.

Johnny Cash was the man who — admittedly after he’d died — demonstrated to me that country songs could carry a certain power, and that they weren’t just songs with titles like “I Want A Beer As Cold As My Ex-Wife’s Heart” for everyone to take the piss out of.

That’s why we need a man in black.

D is for …

The band which got me ready for most of my nights out during my university days. When I wanted to get psyched up to go out on the beer, there was one song that would describe the manic state of mind I would get myself in. Even when I didn’t, and never was going to, end up in that sort of a state, Jello Biafra’s distinctive voice would be telling me “I went to a party…”.

The Dead Kennedys. That San Francisco hardcore punk band. The first band to reach the UK top 40 with a song which contained the word “fuck” in the title. Too Drunk To Fuck.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a live performance of these, so instead here’s Holiday In Cambodia, showing Jello at his hyped up psyched up weirded out best.

E is for …

A somewhat different musical tone; sort of ballad-rock, sort of almost bluesy, sort of almost easy listening. Although I suspect they would probably be narked at being described as anything other than a rock band.

It’s a mellow sound, one I can imagine drifting off in, one I can easily imagine lying on a grassy hillside with my eyes closed and the sun beating down on my face, as the strains of “Takes It Easy” play on my internal radio.

E is, of course, for The Eagles.

F is for …

With F, I really struggled. I struggled to think of enough bands/singers beginning with F to make this a challenge worth actually thinking about. Beyond Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and Fun Boy Three, Faith No More, Foreigner and the Fine Young Cannibals. I was tempted to include Michael Franti here (off of Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and Spearhead), but I felt that would have been cheating and he’d better go off and fight for the ‘S’ letter because he’d already lost out on ‘D’.

I could have just picked one of them at random, but that would have felt wrong, since we care a lot about this meme. I’d instead have to come up with some proper reason for picking a particular band. Was there something I disliked about some of the other bands — even something virtually buried in my subconscious? Well, I’d have to dig around in there. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Well, at the risk of making it sound like the lunatics have taken over the asylum, I’ll have to plump for the pop princes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Hits such as Relax, Two Tribes, and in particular The Power of Love are just as poptastic now as they ever were.

…although I was tempted to mark them down for the somewhat incomprehensible Spectrum computer game based on the band.

G is for …

There’s the obvious — Guns n’ Roses, starting us off with some hard rock sound. Despite quite liking ‘Radar Love’, I am not aware of anything else by Golden Earring, so they drop out. Gorrilaz are cool: in fact, tune-wise I prefer them to Albarn’s prior outfit, and having been a big fan of Hewligan’s Haircut, any venture including the artist Jamie Hewlett scores points in my book.

Unfortunately, these doesn’t really make them a better band than GnR, who would be clear favourites, if my personal dislike for Axl Rose was to be relaxed enough to allow them to win. As it isn’t — this is about who are my favourites as opposed to who I think are the best, I am instead going to have to go for a band who while being considerably less famous, less successful, and frankly less talented, have at least managed to make me laugh.

I am referring of course to those rappers who are Newport’s finest — you knows it, it’s the GLC. If by some chance you have heard of them, it might have been their satire on the American hip-hop controversy, entitled “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do”.

H is for …

Will it be Jimi? Will it be Hootie? Will it be the Human League?

Well, possibly, definitely not, and no respectively. This is one of the weaker categories, again owing to the fact that I couldn’t think of many bands beginning with H which were ever going to be contenders. In the end I went for House of Pain, as much for ‘Jump Around’ as anything else. Jump Around again defined my student days. Every rock club played it, pretty much every night. And you still hear it sampled regularly now.

Jimi Hendrix was obviously better and more talented, but House Of Pain defined that era for me. Plus I saw them play live in Newcastle*, during Keegan-as-manager era #1 and witnessed the amusing sight of the band being momentarily dumbfounded by a chant of “Toon Army” which sparked up from nowhere and lasted for about three minutes during the gig.

*although what with Jimi having died in 1970, it’s difficult to actually mark him down for not touring.

However, as everyone will have heard Jump Around, I am instead going to offer up “On Point”.

I is for …

  • Run To The Hills
  • Fear Of The Dark
  • Can I Play With Madness
  • Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter

There could only be one hard rock icon filling the I spot, and that’s why one of my mates will no doubt be upset to discover that I’m not putting Iron Maiden in it. Great band, very much like them, but they don’t get the spot. Nor does a Rebel Yell and a White Wedding earn it for Mr. Idol. Instead, I’ll give the I award to one of the craggiest looking people in showbiz, Mr Barechest.

With his liquor and drugs. And what sounds like — but isn’t — a fax machine.


To Be Continued…

For J through to Z, there’s more needs to be said, but these will follow in a later post or posts.

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6 Comments to Chartroose’s Favourite Bands Meme (A to I)

  1. chartroose says:

    March 2nd, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Oh wow, Jack, these are great choices! “Goody two, goody two, goody goody two-shoes…” Now I’m gonna have that song stuck in my head. It’ll be taking turns with HoP’s “Jump Around,” and Iggy’s “Lust for Life.”

    My daughter stole my only Dead Kennedy’s t-shirt and messed it up. How rude of her!

    If I weren’t such a Daft Punk fan, I would’ve listed either the DK’s or Dropkick Murphys as my “D” pick.

    The band I haven’t heard of is GLC. Cool band.

  2. Laurence says:

    March 7th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    intersting C..the clash for me has defined british rock music for the last 30 years, and i love the video on the barge..maybe its because i’m a londoner..

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    September 5th, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Holy shzinit, this is so cool thank you.

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