Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Year in Music: 1995

1995 was all about Britpop, and Oasis versus Blur.
I liked them both, but Blur never had a hope once (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was released. One of the greatest British albums ever released and a huge favourite of mine, then...and still.
The singles in 1995 were Some might say, Roll with it, Wonderwall, Morning Glory. Wonderwall is a stunning tune that was everywhere that year and covered instantly, over the years the song became a bit played out for me, but I heard it for the first time in ages recently during an episode of Girls and it got me a little undone, sometimes lyrics touch a part of you that you thought you had forgotten.
So Blur had Country House, Pulp had Common People, and Supergrass thought it was Alright. I love the filmclip, it reminds me of The Goodies!
Annie Lennox had a huge hit with the stunning No More I love You's, while Chris Isaak's Baby did a bad bad thing, and the Pretenders had I'll Stand by you. And Nine Inch Nails released Hurt, now almost redundant after being covered by the late great Johnny Cash in 2002. Reznor himself prefers Johnny's version. 

Other popular hits I didn't mind were I'll be there for you by The Rembrandts (you would think constantly hearing it on Friends each week would dampen it, but no!), TLC's Waterfalls, and the biggies were Alanis Morrissette with You Outta Know and Gangster's paradise by Coolio. I admit these two were not quite to my taste at the time but have grown on me over the years.
The indie scene was still pumping with Misery by Soul Asylum, Sick of myself by Matthew Sweet, A Girl like You by Edwyn Collins, I can dream by Skunk Anansie, Sparky's Dream by Teenage Fanclub. But my personal favourites were Carnival by Natalie Merchant, Underground by Ben Folds Five, Zombie by The Cranberries, and Buddy Holly by Weezer

Australian music was on fire. Everyone was gobsmacked at the hit duet of the year by Kylie and Nick, at the time going through an anti-Kylie period I was thrilled to see her smashed in the head by a rock and wondered what the hell was going on with Nick! Of course it gave her instant cred that even cynical ole me couldn't fight! Funk and dance were happily covered by Regurgitator and Blubber Boy, Apple Eyes by Swoop and Up to our necks in it by Skunkhour. Rebecca's Empire had Empty and Christine Anu released the seminal My Island Home. The Whitlams had their first hit with I make Hamburgers and of course You Am I released Hi Fi Way, how could I not love Cathy's Clown, but the angsty Tim singing Purple Sneakers did it for me...sigh...

And then there was TISM!!! God I loved these guys, if you don't know them, the only way to explain is to watch their seminal song and biggest hit, (He'll never be an ol') Man River. They wore the costumes to protect their identities, rumour had it they were prominent Melbourne business men! I saw them live at the Big Day Out and was amused and amazed.

My Top Five for the year are (in no order)
Apartment by Custard
Custard were huge favourites, a catchy pop/thrashy guitar band from Brisbane and in my mind totally underrated. The filmclip is so Dave, astronauts and the Opera House. I never saw them live, but saw Dave play a solo show about 8 years ago, he was spectacular!

It's oh so quiet by Bjork
This is such a catchy tune, almost a 30s show tune, but with Bjork sensibilities, great clip too! Another Spike Jonze, he was the hot music clip director at the time.

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something
This is a sweet pop song and it references a favourite movie, how could this not make my top five!?!  Plus fab video shot in NYC!

Better Man by Pearl Jam
My favourite Pearl Jam song ever, love this for many, many reasons, there is nothing more to say. It means more to me now than it did then though. The fact Vedder wrote this in high school only makes its appeal stronger. What a remarkable heart.

Lightning Crashes by Live
A haunting song with stunning vocals...that is all...

Miss Sarajevo by Passengers (U2 and Pavarotti with Brian Eno)
And I don't even know where to include this...a piece of history and perfection.

I saw this performed live by U2 the last time I saw them, Bono sung the entire piece, and whilst he is no Pavarotti, it was a remarkable performance, one that sent shivers up my spine. That aria within brings me to tears...every...single...time...


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