A GUEST SERIES by SWC
I’ll be honest, 2019 was the year that I feel out of love with music. For a good six months, everything I listened to sounded boring, dated, uninteresting and worthless. I mean everything. I have my reasons. I downloaded precisely zero music throughout 2019. I listened to a lot of podcasts instead.
This malaise ended in December. Three days before Christmas I came home for work and found my daughter sitting on the sofa listening to music via the Amazon sponsored listening device that is Alexa. The song she was listening to was ‘the Mince Pie Song’ by Santa.
Which is awful but it does contain the immortal line ‘Oooh they are so tasty, they are my favourite kind of pastry’. When it had finished, my daughter told me that it was ‘Her Favourite song of the year’ and then she asked me ‘What my favourite song of the year was’ and I didn’t know. Normally I could reel off a Top 50 for her (not that she’d be interested in whether I thought Denzel Curry was better than Jamelia Woods or not – he’s not, just in case).
So I said “Well, ‘The Mince Pie Song’ I suppose”. And I meant it because it was genuinely the only song that I heard in 2019 that stayed in the mind. At that point I thought I must be able to do better than that. So that evening I went online and read a ton of end of year charts, I listened to a bunch of playlists and slowly the love ebbed back into my life.
There was this for example
Big – Fontaines DC
Would You Rather be Lonely? – Red Rum Club
And, rather unpredictably, this
Hero – Michael Kiwanuka
All of which made me realise, exactly what it was I loved about music.
By New Years Day, music was back in my life. On January 2nd I sat at my computer and found myself browsing old posts of the Vinyl Villain (I was looking for a particular track by The Fall, I’m not some weirdo fanboy, well I am, but…anyway…) and I stumbled across the excellent 45 45’s at 45 series and a little light pinged somewhere – this is my 45th year on the planet and I suddenly whirled away into a reverie compiling a list of my favourite 45 records of all time. Which I’ve sort of already compiled elsewhere in the past at a blog that no longer exists. So instead I’ve compiled a list of 45 singles that have in some way influenced my life – they are not the Best 45 Records Ever (although some are) and if JC will indulge me I’d be honoured if you’d let me talk you through them. To tempt you further I’d like to start with this.
45. Mogwai Fear Satan – Mogwai (1997 Chemikal Underground Records)
Released a single in March 1998 – it did not chart
In 1999, I saw Mogwai play in Berlin, by complete chance at it happens, (I’ve told this story before) in a burnt out cinema, it was one of the greatest evenings of my life – they ended show with Mogwai Fear Satan and it was utterly incredible. I could barely hear for three days afterwards.
‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ for those in the dark is a sixteen minute instrumental track that closes Mogwai’s debut album ‘Mogwai Young Team’. It is an incredible sixteen minutes of music that is centres around a chaotic drumbeat that fades in and then out again and then in again and a guitar riff that does the same thing. It also features a flute before it fades away into a blur of feedback.
In March 1998 it was released as a single to accompany ‘Kicking A Dead Pig’ a Mogwai Remix album. Which saw the likes of u-ziq, Surgeon and My Bloody Valentine tweak the track beyond all recognition.
Mogwai Fear Satan (My Bloody Valentine Mix)
This new series will appear at regular intervals over the coming weeks and months, leading up to the #1 song being revealed on the day that swc turns 45. The second part is tomorrow…..