Finally after months of procrastination… Here’s my Underworld compilation. I’ve just concentrated on the songs I genuinely love and have loved for years. I’ve seen them live on countless occasions and they never disappoint – I guess that’s influenced most of my choices – the ones I like them to play live. They’ve kind of soundtracked my life since the early 90s and so many of these songs remind me of happy times and friends. It’s incredibly difficult to pick ten songs and then write ten different stories – essentially most of these should all say – ‘This song is euphoric, it makes me smile and I like dancing to it’. My favourite album by them is Dubnobasswithmyheadman – I’m not sure how I’ve managed it but I’ve not included a single track from it – a couple of b-sides and a live version are about as near as I’ve got.
And at 1 hour and 48 minutes long these eleven tracks would have to be split over a double album!
01 BEAUTIFUL BURNOUT
From “Oblivion With Bells”
This is the Underworld song I play most these days. Dark, brooding – the perfect soundtrack for driving through a city late at night. It wouldn’t have felt out of place on Dubnobasswithmyheadman.
02 DARK TRAIN
“Dark and Long” B-Side
I always put Underworld on my ipod when I am on my way home drunk. It soundtracks public transport and keeps me awake – and this is always one of the tracks that I go to. I do try and stop myself punching the air when the big chords kick in. Essentially it’s a remix of Dubnobasswithmyheadman opener ‘Dark and Long’ – but it does what all good remixes do and turns it into a completely new track.
03 SHUDDER/KING OF SNAKE
From “Beaucoup Fish”
Side B kicks off with SNAKE! Always shouted by me and my mates when they play it live.
04 WHY WHY WHY
This song is euphoric, it makes me smile and I like dancing to it.
The most recent song on the list – a collaboration with DJ Mark Knight. If this is the future direction that Underworld take I’ll be a very happy man. I first heard it on the drive to Glastonbury a few years ago – it set up the weekend quite nicely.
06 8 BALL
From “The Beach soundtrack”
Another slow one to start side C. This just makes me smile. I wish I’d seen Karl Hyde’s solo shows where he played this – look it up on youtube (but don’t tell JC) it’s great.
From Beaucoup Fish
Tough call – it was either this or Two Months Off – but as much as I love dancing to that, I guess I like this song just a little bit more.
08 PEARLS GIRL
From “Second Toughest In The Infants”
The first of two tracks named after greyhounds (the other one is Born Slippy fact fans). And the only one with what sounds like a helicopter taking off in it.
From “Bootleg Babies”
A bit of a cheat this one – combining two of their finest records into one with a live version from the “Bootleg Babies” mix – essentially it was the Underworld messageboard putting together a mix of all the best Underworld live tracks to create the ultimate Underworld disc. And this really doesn’t disappoint – it gives a real flavor of what Underworld are like live.
From Beaucoup Fish
JC posted this song recently so I was in two minds about whether to include it – but for me, there isn’t really any other song that could have ended this compilation – it’s almost impossible to follow. They pretty much always played it last as it was guaranteed to get you dancing like a machete and give you whiplash.
BONUS TRACK: BORN SLIPPY (NUXX)
Might seem a little obvious but how can you resist those euphoric opening chords? Seeing them a couple of times on their recent tour this song always turned into an enormous celebration for the audience – everyone smiling and hugging. It’s crazy to think that this was a B-side – I bought the original when it came out in 1995 and told everyone I knew that this was the best song EVER. Eighteen months later it got to no2 in the charts on the back of its inclusion on the Trainspotting soundtrack (and because it really is fantastic). It was also the nearest that my wife and I got to having a ‘first dance’ at our wedding!
mp3 : Underworld – Beautiful Burnout
mp3 : Underworld – Dark Train
mp3 : Underworld – Shudder/King Of Snake
mp3 : Underworld – Why Why Why
mp3 : Underworld – Downpipe
mp3 : Underworld – 8 Ball
mp3 : Underworld – Jumbo
mp3 : Underworld – Pearls Girl
mp3 : Underworld – Rez/Cowgirl
mp3 : Underworld – Moaner
mp3 : Underworld – Born Slippy (Nuxx)