Well, this surprised even me. Every year since 2004 (Northern Lite, Jim Bob, Moulin Rouge, Polyphonic Spree etc) I've done one of these best of my year cds and sent them out with Christmas cards. Yes, cds. Old skool.
Well in truth, back in 2004, cds were how we did things. Since then, every year I'd find myself looking through what I'd loved that year. It's never meant to be a best of new music in the year, more a 'what's been playing in my house' kind of thing.
Except I missed 2011. Somehow I was just too busy and it seemed a little pointless. After all, wouldn't a Spotify playlist have the same effect. Maybe I'll do one of those I thought. Except I never did. Got the tracks all ready to do it. And then Christmas came and went.
But this year I realised I was instinctively making the list again, getting it all set up in iTunes and in Spotify, and figured if I was going to do a 2012 (coming soon to the blog) then I may as well do a 2011 disc as well and send it out.
And then I finally got off my arse and did what I always thought I should do - write a blog post about it. Yes, yes, the irony.... I finally get a blog post out about the annual cds in the very year I seem to have made the damn blog a dead thing followed by me and no one else.
As for the mix of music this time round... it's old. Lots of perennial faves; Cure, Cabaret Voltaire, Propaganda, Steve Wynn, Duran Duran, Kate Bush, makes this possible the least forward looking of these compilations yet. Getting old or just looking in the wrong direction for music this year?
Anyway, enough prelims.... without further ado....
The 2011 Year in Music....
A Day Late & A Dollar Short - Scritti Politti (2011)
Classic Scritti Politti, except it's not, it's brilliant new stuff from a best of album.
My Machines (ft Gary Numan) - Battles (2011)
From Gloss Drop, the follow-up album to the favourite Mirrored (including the epic Atlas). Album a bit ropey to be honest, but great single...
Girl Panic! - Duran Duran (2011)
I am a shameless Duran fan. Must admit I didn't like them until they went off the popular boil after Wild Boys. It took an old flame playing Skin Trade for me to really get it. From Notorious album onwards I was absolutely hooked.
Personally I thought getting the 5 back together was a terrible mistake, and the comeback album Astronaut was a bit crap to be honest. But Red Carpet Massacre was back to good stff, and the last one All You Need Is Now is epic Duran-ness..... and then there's the video.... 9 minutes of supermodel lounging...
Resolution - Steve Wynn (2010)
Don't honestly know how he does it to be honest, keeps going, keeps delivering, album after album after album, live tour after live tour after live tour.... and no sense of getting old yet either. Or certainly no slowing down.
I have Nostalgia & Comics boss Dave Hopkins to thank for this love. He stuck a few tracks on the tail end of a C90 years back. Hooked from then on.
Not In Love - Crystal Castles (ft Robert Smith) (2010)
Cure later on, but here's Robert Smith's voice doing a fine, fine job.
Otis - Jay-Z and Kanye West (2011)
It's just fun. There's a sense of them just damn well enjoying themselves. Molly liked it as well, and always nice to share stuff that doesn't involve bloody X-Factor.
Yashar (Insurgent Mix) - Cabaret Voltaire (2011)
Thank you whoever it was at Dudley record library who loved this sort of thing. I got into them probably because they were in the C section when I was looking for The Cure, but those covers sure looked weird. And I was after weird.
My Cabs are definitely the middle bits, the Virgin years especially when Mallinder was doing a few more vocals. But any Cabs is worthwhile, and Yashar still ranks up there as one of the seminal moments.
Dead Souls - Joy Division (1981?)
You know, I never used to like Joy Division that much, far preferred New Order. God bless Spotify as usual. Fancy listening to one song, end up staying and listening to loads. This a fave.
With Love - Elbow (2011)
Oh fuck off, I love this. Bit of optimistic, anthemic beauty.
Let England Shake - PJ Harvey (2011)
In truth, anything off her Let England Shake album would have sufficed.
50 Words For Snow - Kate Bush (2011)
Adored Aerial, but thought 50 Words For Snow the album was poor. May revisit and adore in a few years time, it has the feeling of that sort of thing.
But this is the one featuring Stephen Fry, and it soars in that very Kate Bush way. Predicatbly silly and beautifully Kate Bush.
It's a quite nicely done fan vid ...
Don’t Stop - Claudia Brücken, Blank & Jones (2008)
Oh, Claudia Brücken, how much do I love thee?
Propaganda continue to be a favourite band, and I now have everything they ever did at least 4 times over (up until the hideous not really Propaganda phase at least). Her voice. Swoon.
It’s Over - The Cure (2008)
Off the last Cure album 4:13 Dream, and it probably says more about my love for the Cure and how it's wavered with recent releases that I didn't actually listen to it properly, in full, until 2010.
It's a ropey collection of stuff sure enough, one for just the fans. But this final song... bloody hell. Angry Bob comes back, venom spits between gorgeous guitar riffs...
Perfect Kiss (Video Live) - New Order (1985)
57 seconds in, a twist of the dial, and perfection....
4:40, Peter Hook sticks guitar pick between his lips, moves over to the drum pad and starts banging shite out of them,
5:02; oh, it actually is a cowbell....
5:48; frogs. Bloody magnificent frogs.
I'd never seen this before, never realised there was such a live video, until idly channel shifting one afternoon and this pops up on some vintage music channel. Stop in tracks, fall in love, a really involving version, well worth deafening the family with...