Chartroose’s Favourite Bands Meme (J to R)

Saturday, March 7, 2009 0:07 | Filed in Memes, Music

Right, now where was I. Oh yes, my favourite bands.

J is For …

Apparently, Johnny Hates Jazz. Meanwhile, Jack dislikes both Jazz and Johnny Hates Jazz. There’s a few in here which have some resonance for me: when you’re in the need of a Metal Meltdown, Judas Priest can supply that for you: Elton John wrote ‘Your Song’, which was the song for my first dance as a married man, and at the other end of the romantic spectrum, you have Joy Division, and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

But my list simply must have a place for The Modfather, and so I am happy to introduce you to The Jam, and their Town Called Malice…

K is for …

Well, there’s the Kaiser Chiefs, whom I’m quite fond of, the Kings Of Leon are growing on me, there’s the KLF who were absolutely fantastic, but the stand out winner for this letter is The Kinks. No matter which sort of mood I’m in, there’s a Kinks song that will match it: from Death of a Clown through Lola to Apeman to Sunny Afternoon to Autumn Almanac, the Kinks music covered such a range, and was so influential for other bands, that they’d probably deserve a place in here even if they weren’t that good in their own right.

But they were that good.

L is for …

Lennon. Whatever he may have been like personally (let’s remember, he was a fallible human being rather than something god-like), he was a good singer-songwriter, wasn’t he?

I’ve therefore chosen a song to illustrate this which illustrates both the fact that he was aware of his own personal imperfections, and also a song which has been covered a good many times — illustrating the quality of the song.

M is for …

There’s only really one band it could be. The band who introduced me to the genre of Heavy Metal, from where my musical tastes spread further into the much wider more eclectic mish mash it has now. I have that to be thankful to them for.

But that’s not the only reason. They have a range of tracks from thrash, through more thrash, through slower, more melodic — yet still gritty — performances. They are of course the hardcore metal monsters with Hetfield and Ulrich… Metallica.

And here they are with what in my opinion is one of their most powerful songs, Unforgiven, demonstrating that the musical tone can get your message across just as well as the frantic thrash-speed guitars which had served them well earlier.

N is for…

Well it’s certainly not Nirvana, I can tell you that much. Yes, they influenced a huge great big music ‘scene’, but I didn’t like them much to begin with, and the fact that seemingly every third student on campus at time spent about three months wandering around being all sad and generally trying to make out like they were really suffering, and that the world had lost it’s greatest ever musician really got on my nerves. So not Nirvana, then.

I almost selected Nine Inch Nails pretty much by default, because I do listen to them quite a bit. Then it occurred to me that I was missing out a band I far preferred, whom I owned more albums by, who have one of my all-time favourite tracks, and are named after something relating to the English Civil War.

They are a difficult band to pin-down: their songs are frequently angry but sometimes joyous; sometimes political, sometimes social commentary, sometimes just about life experiences. Post-punk, possibly.

Say hello to New Model Army.

O is for …

This was another problematic one. I appreciate Oasis’s talents, but I don’t like them, so that rules that one out. Des O’Connor was never in the running, nor was O.M.D. or Mike Oldfield. The problem here was that when I went through my iTunes and my CD collection, I found I didn’t actually own any albums by someone beginning with ‘O’.

It was time to call upon the book of British Hit Singles and Albums to find someone. After ruling out the Osmonds (too much in the way of teeth, and not really my genre anyway) this left me surprised at how few bands actually did begin with ‘O’. I nearly went for Roy Orbison, as I do quite like some of his stuff, but in the end, it was the video that convinced me to plump for André 3000, under the Outkast umbrella, specifically for Hey Ya!

Although rather annoyingly I couldn’t find a version of this where embedding was allowed, so you’ll have to bugger off to YouTube to see it.

P is for …

Ah, some proper candidates again. I’ve liked PWEI for some time, so they are the first band to put down a ‘marker’. Pantera I quite like (or at least some of their stuff), but crucially not as much, the same problem that P.I.L. and The Prodigy have.

I also like the Pet Shop Boys, and Placebo, and Public Enemy and Pulp. But I am instead going to pick another ‘classic’ band — The Police.

Q is for …

There can be only one. As they themselves said. Not only did they have a lot of great songs, but they also certainly knew how to make a pop video.

Freddie Mercury. Gone, but never forgotten.

R is for …

Well, this is another one where I thought there was only one real candidate — at least for me. And that was Rage Against The Machine. And then I started thinking of other ‘R’ bands I liked: R.E.M., Chris Rea, the Chillis, the Ministry-inspired Revolting Cocks, Right Said Fred, Roxy Music and the Rolling Stones.

Hmm. Okay then, a choice of two: the Rolling Stones or Rage Against The Machine. The Stones are more influential, cover a wider musical genre, lasted an awful lot longer, have had a bucket load more hits; Rage Against the Machine were more in your face, spitting out energy and venom, part of that sort of Rock/Rap crossover genre I like when done well, and few did it better than Rage.

And so even though I’ve often said if I could pick one band I like to be liked by my children, I’d pick the Stones — because they are musicians, because you can get from there to rock, to blues, to a lot of other things with quality music — I’m going to take advice from Zack de la Rocha, and “fight the war, fuck the norm”. So here’s RATM with ‘wake up’.

And S through to Z

…me dear daddy said, will be written on the street barricades. Or possibly included in a third post to follow at a later date.

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7 Comments to Chartroose’s Favourite Bands Meme (J to R)

  1. Mike Houlsby says:

    March 7th, 2009 at 1:02 am

    R IS for Rammstein!

  2. steve says:

    March 7th, 2009 at 9:16 am

    yeah I had to make a decision between The Jam and Joy Division but went for Ian and the boys.

  3. duncan says:

    March 7th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I hadn’t seen that Kinks video before (how many bands were making videos in 1966?). How similar is it to Oasis’ “The Importance of being idle” music video:

  4. mark says:

    March 7th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    i’m holding my breath for T mind

  5. Steve says:

    December 5th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    OMG! M is for Morrissey – there’s no more to be said on the letter “M”.

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