My Blog – September 2019

Ugh. It’s September again. I mean, it’s actually February when I’m writing this intro but by the time it gets to September you’re gonna be pretty pissed off. The nice weather is done – if you live in Northern Ireland or the UK like I do then May – August are generally sunny and the temperature sometimes tops 20 degrees C, and the rest of the year is cold, dark, wet, grey, dull, grim. It’s why we’re such happy people, yo!

What should we talk about to get rid of these early Autumn blues? I know – remember those hashtag lists that everyone did a while back – #thisisyourfilm. Everyone went through every year of their life and posted their favourite film or book or album or whatever. I did a bunch of them too, right here on the blog, so check those out if you haven’t. With my massive internet following and online influence, I’m going to get my own # going viral. As I sat in one of the traps in work one day, bemoaning the fact that I had to scale two flights of stairs to find a clean one, the idea of a mini musical biography came to me – the kicker being that you can only pick one entry for each year. Obviously for a lot of years either nothing, or nothing out of the ordinary happened, while in other years many monumental things occurred – but I pick the best. It can be the year you heard your favourite album, a year you bought your first single, a year you went to your first gig – anything you want as long as it is related to you and music. You don’t have to do every year – it’s a high level timeline. And with that, I present mine.

#mylifeinmusic

1983: Born. Cried. Crying is music.

1984: Filled nappy. Filling nappy is music.

1985: Walking, and probably dancing. Shaking my ass at the very least.

1986: Taken by my mother to her aerobics classes to hearing a lot of 80s pop

1987/1988: Start school – probably meet a lot of other people who listened to Top Of The Pops, and went to first School Disco.

1989: Already obsessed with Michael Jackson, having both Bad, Thriller, and Michael Jackson Mix (a four cassette remix collection) in my daily rotation

1990: Hear Sweet Child O’Mine for first time, opening the floodgates to a lifetime of metal

1991: Received first guitar

1992: Bought first album – Alice Cooper’s Trash and Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall.

1993: Attempt first band. I want to call it Bitter Type. No one else does. We had a keyboardist.

1994: Cobain dies. Childhood dies.

1995: Finally dedicate self to learning to play guitar

1996: Fully introduced to Manic Street Preachers, becoming my favourite band after previously being aware of them.

1997: Dedicated to writing first fully formed songs – lyrics and music.

1998: My early songwriting voice begins to take shape – slogan type lyrics a la The Manics and a sound somewhere between crappy punk and even worse ballads.

1999: Formed early ideas for future, much better songs such as ‘Powerwalk’, ‘So This Is Suicide’, ‘The Outsider’, ‘The Calming’, ‘Realationships’, ‘Epitaph’, ‘On The Piss’ etc.

2000: Dedicate self to listening to everything by bands I had always liked but had not fully invested in – The Doors, Led Zep, Pink Floyd etc.

2001: First time seeing Radiohead live

2002: Attended first Glastonbury Festival (97 notes per ticket compared to 248 last year, ya scumbags).

2003: Attended first Slane Festival

2004: Fully immersed in writing music reviews

2005: Begin DJing in rock and metal venues

2006: Recorded first demo

2007: Visit Jim Morrison’s grave

2008: Get married – Mariachi play at reception

2009: See Manics live for umpteenth time, this time in The Ulster Hall. Sister comes to, her first time seeing them.

2010: See Opeth live for first time

2011: Finally see Alice Cooper live for first time.

2012: First daughter likes dancing to Michael Jackson. And the South Park Theme Tune.

2013: Second daughter will only not scream in my arms when I sing ‘Shock To My System’ by Gemma Hayes.

2014: Begin introducing kids to music.

2015: Obsessed with Sia.

2017: Second visit to Slane Festival.

2018: Daughter gets guitar for Christmas.

2019: Sell 39 million copies of first album.

There you have it – what is #yourlifeinmusic? Or film, if that works better? I’m running out of ideas for these monthly blog posts, so here are some jaw-dropping pictures of my recent trip to Menorca:

Until next time!

Ranking The Manics Songs – The Holy Bible

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Well now, what the balls am I meant to do with this. It would be like trying to rank the songs of… no, there is no comparison – this is the greatest album of all time, ranking is futile. There’s really only one song I don’t think is on par with the rest, but it has the quintessential sound and tone of the album so it’s not one I can really drop. I’m going to do that in my own version of how the album should look, but I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. Here is the album ranked in terms of my personal favourites – at least 7 of these could be my number 1 on a different day, three others aren’t far behind, and the last three are still better than anything most bands could dream up:

  1. Faster
  2. PCP
  3. 4st 7lbs
  4. This Is Yesterday
  5. Archives Of Pain
  6. Mausoleum
  7. Yes
  8. Die In The Summertime
  9. Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitsworldwouldfallapart
  10. The Intense Humming Of Evil
  11. Of Walking Abortion
  12. Revol
  13. She Is Suffering

As I said above replacing any of these is pointless, and no other songs from the era really fit musically. However, I think they could replace She Is Suffering with Too Cold Here – a version specifically recorded for the album (I don’t believe any such version exists) as it is a much stronger song. Judge Yrself could work better musically, though it’s not great lyrically, some might opt for Sculpture Of Man. I’d nominate Love Torn Us Under over those two, but under Too Cold Here. In any case, it’s perfect as it is.

Let us know your ranking in the comments!