So this project finally comes to fruition although it’s not quite the end as there’s a pop version to be done too.
I’m uncomfortable mixing everything together and after all, could you really have a chart where Savage Garden, for example, follow a Sonic Youth number?!
Keane were another consideration as they could easily slide into the pop category.
Originally the shortlist was over three hundred songs and it’s been a long road narrowing it all down but here we are and just into October, I aim to countdown this chart by releasing a song each day but for me, not just explaining why I like each song and what it means to me, it’s about learning too along the way.
When we hear and buy new music, how many of us bother to check where the artist is from and their background? Unless you become a real fan then generally I think not.
I’d always thought the Waterboys were Irish, not Scottish – true! And on that note, you’ve band like The Levellers who sound Irish in their style – but you discover they’re from Brighton!
The 100 songs here cross all paths. There are classic songs like Substitute, Shapes Of Things, Subterranean Homesick Blues but comprising folk, alt-country and punk to boot.
Another bugbear; way too many genres and sub-genres on one hand but on the other, in this case they help me to compartmentalise the charts.
Only three artists have more than one song in this chart, they are The Smiths, Red House Painters and Ride, with three songs apiece.
So that’s the plan. Post a song each day and if the timing’s right, number one to be posted Christmas Day!
So let go, jump in, what are you waiting for? It’s alright, ’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.
100 – Your Feet Never Touch The Ground – The Brilliant Corners
Our journey beginneth in the south-west of England. The Brilliant Corners hailed from Bristol & lasted a decade, 1983-93, the pillar to post members being Davey Woodward (singer/guitarist/writer), Chris Galvin (bass) & Bob Morris (drums). Various members helped complete the line-up along the way, most notably being Winston Forbes (guitar) who was there at the start & Dan Pacini (trumpet).
Their first release was at the start of 1984 a fast, stomping, yawp ‘She’s Got Fever’. Only 500 pressings were made & the band say they wrecked a lot of them with their D-I-Y not being up to much & some covers getting glued to the actual record. Two more singles followed that year, ‘Big Hip’ coming out in May, it was in the same vein as the previous release but you had to wait until midway through the song before the beat was cranked up to top gear. ‘My Baby In Black’ saw the band get bigger, well it was their first record to be released as a 12″. Out in October this was to be the last single release for well over a year, but gave a taster that not-so-fast & more melodic songs were to come.
The spring of ’86 saw the release of ‘Fruit Machine’ ep, four great tunes which included the ‘classic’ ‘Meet Me On Tuesdays’. The other stand-out track being ‘Jim’s Room’. The band certainly arrived on the jangle-scene a few months later with their ‘What’s In A Word’ mini-lp. Eight great slices of pop which contained possibly their most famous track ‘Brian Rix’, or maybe infamous, as it became a weight around the band’s neck as they struggled to shrug off the jangle label as their music moved on. It was re-recorded & released as a 7″ inch only in aid of Mencap. October saw the release of ‘Delilah Sands’, another single overflowing with catchy tunes.
By now The Brilliant Corners were one of the main players on the Indie scene & in 1988 they were to release what many claim to be a masterpiece. As a taster, ‘Teenage’ was released in March just to warn the world what was about to be unleashed. Then in May their first full length album ‘Somebody up there Likes Me’ hit the shops.
Sharing one full wall of Tower Records on Piccadilly Circus with The Sugarcubes latest. A dozen songs full of great tunes & equally as good lyrics, & quite faultless from start to finish. During the Autumn the record for longest song title was attempted with ‘Why Do You Have To Go Out With Him When You Could Go Out With Me?’. Also ‘Everything I Ever Wanted’ lp, a compilation of ‘Growing Up Absurd’ & ‘Fruit Machine’ plus two bonus tracks were released.
And that’s where I came in. I’m pretty sure I bought the vinyl copy of Somebody Up There Likes Me at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus, Often if we were in London for football, my mates and I would go to Tower, carrying our purchases onto the game.
“Oh” and “Teenage” are great tracks but it’s the brass section and sheer quirkiness of it all that grabs me and makes it my favourite and kicks things off here.
As time passed it seemed that The Brilliant Corners had concluded their charity to the DJs turntable. Just the odd mini-tour teased the fans that they were still together. Then in 1993 ‘A History of White Trash’ was released. Paul Sandrone was now part of the gang (replacing Phil) & as well as playing guitar added plenty of backing vocals. The guitar sound was back with a very mature feel. ‘I Like It Here’ possibly summing up the history of The Brilliant Corners sound. Sounding very old Brilliant Corners in a very new Brilliant Corners way. The author saw the band at The Princess Charlotte the day the Grand National was cancelled never to see them again.
Davey & Chris resurfaced as The Experimental Pop Band in 1995. That band still exist today. But tragically in 1998 Chris was diagnosed with terminal cancer & died on December 22nd of that year.
Seven years pass since The Brilliant Corners last release & it’s like stepping back in time. Vinyl Japan release the BBC Sessions of The Brilliant Corners, 20 songs many unreleased dating from 1984 to 1987.
This site is dedicated to The Brilliant Corners & their music. Although I’d like to particularly dedicate it to the memory of Chris Galvin who along with the other Brilliant Corners gave us some great days out & happy times only for his life to be cut tragically short.