Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Year in Music: 1992-1993

Catching up on a few years that have popped up on my friend V's music lists.
The biggie was Eric Clapton with Tears in Heaven, which was a sweet and sad song...initially...but by the 100th bazillion playing on radio it was ruined for me, and by the time Rob Sitch's Mike Moore played it with such earnest irony on Frontline it became a bit of a joke. Which I guess is sad given it's subject matter. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody got a re-run due to Wayne's World and "that" scene. As did John Paul Young's, Love is in the Air (Strictly Ballroom).
There were some great novelty songs, such as Detachable Penis by King Missile, Dizzy by Vic Reeves and Wonder Stuff and Right Said Fred with I'm Too Sexy!!
In the funk, hip hop and dance categories, Prince was still on a roll with Diamonds and Pearls. Salt 'n' Pepa wanted to talk about Sex, and En Vogue My Lovin'. Stereo MC's were Connected, and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy told us Television was the Drug of the Nation.
There were some great ballads with Annie Lennox releasing Why off her debut album, Diva. Others included Stay by Shakespear's Sister, Goodbye by The Sundays, Saltwater by Julian Lennon and To be With You by Mr Big.
My favourite songs of the year were, in no particular order:
Man on the Moon by REM
This is one of my favourite songs from REM, and about Andy Kaufman. Years later the title (and song) would be used for the Jim Carrey film, which I love! Stipe's humourous but good Elvis impression in the lyric, "hey baby" never fails to amuse and impress. I love it's almost but not quite twangy country feel to the verse and the anthem like rock/pop feel chorus. Oh, and Stipe looks amazing in that white shirt and cowboy hat in the filmclip!
Friday I'm In Love - The Cure
I know everyone loves The Cure for their angsty, slit your wrists songs and I do a certain degree. But they wrote and played some of the most delightful, perfect pop tunes and this is absolutely their best!
It's only the beginning - Deborah Conway
The first single off Deborah's debut album, String of Pearls, is pop perfection. Her voice never sounded better, clearer or stronger, the lyrics are wonderful and the whole song sounds great. This song always takes me back to a certain time in my life that just makes me smile.
The way I made you feel - Ed Kuepper
The clear, strong and stunning guitar opening to this piece is also perfection. This was the big single from the amazing Honey Steals Gold, which I played and played and played. Ed never sounded better, but this was brilliant. You never hear stuff like this anymore...shame.
Goin' out west - Tom Waits
From Bone Machine, possibly one of Tom's more accessible songs. It was my first experience with Tom and I was sold. It was the lyrics, "I know karate. Voodoo too" and the funky riff in the chorus. Hypnotic and sexy, that gravelly voice and the old school percussion. Not long after I saw him interviewed and I was a fan for life. Sometimes I think I love Tom more than his music. He is indeed an unique character!

And so the unusual and novelty songs kept coming with Dennis Leary singing about Assholes and Radiohead about Creeps. Shaggy was singing Oh Carolina, and Ace of Base had All That She Wants. Actually I really did not like this song, it irritated me AND it was then only song I heard that I 'knew" when I travelled through Africa later in the year...again and again and again!!!!!
The indie scene was blowing up big, The Breeders and Cannonball, Cranberries and Linger, Blind Melon and No Rain, and Ween with Push The Little Daisies.
I have to include Ween's video, hil-ar-i-ous!!! I tell you, whatever they were on, I want it!!!! Very odd, but a very funky guitar riff!
Speaking of being on something, Stoner Hip-hopers, Cypress Hill, had a hit with Insane in the Membrane and followed it up by sampling Dusty with Hits from the Bong. 

On the dance scene, Salt 'n' Pepa made us want to Shoop, Tony! Toni! Tone! sang If I Had No Loot, and everyone was dancing to Jamiroquai's Emergency on Planet Earth. The Pet Shop Boys covered The Village People's Go West. And even Kate Bush got funky with Rubberband Girl. 
Crowded House released Together Alone and my favourites were Private Universe and Distant Sun. Also in Australia, Dave Graney became the King of Pop with You're Just Too Hip Baby and The Honeymoon was Over brought us The Cruel Sea. Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly re-released From Little Things Big Things Grow as a duet (they had both written it and it had been on an earlier Kelly album) and it never charted!!!!

REM released Automatic for the People in 1992, but 1993 was the bigger year, with hits such as Nightswimming, Find the River, The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight and the huge one, Everybody Hurts.
U2 released Zooropa, with Stay, Numb, and Lemon being the released tracks.

Other big hits, Are You Gonna Go My Way from Lenny Kravitz, Killing in the Name Of by Rage Against the Machine, And 4 Non Blondes had the big power ballad, What's Up.

And then there was The Sharp, I really thought they were going to be the next big thing. They were an Australian Trio, with great harmonies and a Double Bass playing lead singer who was rather cute. I remember seeing them at the Cambridge and they were far better live and thrilling to see. At the time I likened it to seeing The Beatles at the Cavern Club...I was just a kid, looking back on their clips it is rather funny. They aren't bad, not THAT good, lol!

My favourites for 1993 were:
San Francisco Days by Chris Issak
Title track from his 4th album. It's smooth and glorious. Chris has the sort of voice that would be at home in the 50s and 60s. I remember playing this album over and over again. This song has a Hawaiian feel to it.
Human Behaviour by Bjork
This is one of those perfectly formed tunes. From the catchy percussion introduction with her note perfect Soprano voice sounding oh so sexy and sultry, it draws you in. The guitars slowly join the rhythm and the song builds beautifully. A song you can dance to and if you dare, sing along with. And just when you get into the rhythm, it backs off, slows down and quietens, until her voice bursts back in. And up and down it goes, seemingly unpredictable. Then add in a funky guitar riff, a slow down to almost nothing and back it goes again. I will never tire of this song. And I love the sorta bastardised Goldilocks and The Three Bears filmclip directed by Michael Gondry.
Trout by Nenah Cherry and Michael Stipe
I love this Sex Education duet by two of my favs, very cool and sexy. They sound great together.
(This would only load this way as it is not really a video!)
Stone Me Into the Groove - Atomic Swing
This is from their debut album, A Car Crash in Blue. They didn't last long, but apparently have recently reformed. They were Swedish and he was gorgeous, but I really loved his deep voice and the songs.
Cantaloop - US3
I loved this song (and the album it came from, Hand on the Torch) more than anything else this year. A Jazz fan and Herbie Hancock fan, some people thought this was a bit of bastardisation. I didn't, it was a great way to showcasing some very cool and funky music to people that might otherwise have not heard it. US3 sampled exclusively from Blue Note records (ALL the cool stuff) and this of course is from Hancock's Cantaloupe Island. Sublime to listen to and to dance to!!!! Funky Funky!!!!


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