An unplanned ICA. One with a difference. And in all honesty, one that doesn’t hang perfectly but it might spark off some ideas among all of you out there.
I was loading up Angel Interceptor for yesterday’s posting when I noticed that the hard drive contained many examples of songs called Angel. There’s even more with the word Angel in the title, and if I was to extend it to that, I’d likely come up with a more than half-decent ICA. But I’m being strict for today, even to the extent of not allowing the plural to qualify and thus ruling out Ballboy, David Byrne, Flight of The Conchords and The XX.
1. Angel – Massive Attack
The very obvious opener. It’s probably the best known of the ten songs on offer today, It’s also, in my opinion, by far and away the best. It also works as the opener as it is the first track on the 1998 album, Mezzanine.
2. Angel – The Style Council
It’s time for some Smooth Radio tunes here on TVV. From the 1987 album, The Cost Of Loving, it’s a cover of a song originally released four years previously by American soul singer, Anita Baker.
3. Angel – Long Fin Killie
Long Fin Killie were a Scottish group from the mid-90s, described on wiki as experimental rock/post-rock. There were three albums and five EPs between 1994 and 1998 on the London-based Too Pure label, best known for the early work of PJ Harvey, The band got some prominence in 1995 when Mark E Smith did some guest vocals, with the song Heads of Dead Surfers being voted in at #10 in the Peel Festive Fifty.
Angel is taken from the Hands and Hips EP, released in 1996.
4. Angel – Andre Salvador and The Von Kings
This is a band from Nashville whose debut album was recorded in Brooklyn and given a physical release on the Last Night From Glasgow label in August 2020. The promotional blurb offers the following:-
“Built around the songs of Tim Cheplick, the album takes inspiration from the likes of Elliot Smith, Camper Van Beethoven and Big Star and delivers something fresh, new and yet altogether comfortable and reassuring.”
It’s an album that I’ve grown increasingly fond of, having been a bit unsure when I first played it. Click here for the bandcamp page where you can have a listen.
5. Angel – The The
Side A closes off with a b-side, from the 12″ release of The Beat(en) Generation back in 1989. It’s a three-minute-long, piano based track with a spoken vocal in which it sounds as if a sermon of some sort is being delivered.
1. Angel – Happy Mondays
You can find this one on the 1992 album Yes Please, the one recorded at great expense in Barbados with Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club in the producers’ chair trying their very best to make sense of it all. I say Barbados….that’s certainly true for the music. Shawn Ryder was so addled throughout that he couldn’t contribute anything, and as such his vocals were added weeks later in a studio in Surrey.
2. Angel – Belly
The second track on Star, the debut album released by Belly in 1993.
Fun fact. This was the second song called Angel written and recorded by Tanya Donnelly. The previous effort had been in 1989 on Hunkpapa, with her previous band Throwing Muses. It was a rare occasion when a Throwing Muses song wasn’t composed by Kristin Hersh.
3. Angel – Everything But The Girl
I was in two minds about placing this here on the ICA or as the closing track given that it fulfilled that purpose on the album Love Not Money. I’ve instead gone for the edited version, released as a 7″ single, but which barely dented the Top 100 when it was issued in that format in June 1985, but that was the fate which befell just about all of EBTG‘s early singles.
4. Angel – Kevin McDermott Orchestra
A Scottish musician who still does well around these parts on the rare occasions he releases new songs and/or plays live gigs. He was part of The Suede Crocodiles whose sole single, Stop The Rain, is an absolute classic from 1983 as recalled in this post on the blog in March 2019.
The solo career never quite clicked with me, although I do own a copy of Mother Nature’s Kitchen, an album written and recorded in Glasgow in 1989, and released by the wonderfully named Kevin McDermott Orchestra, on which Robbie McIntosh of the Pretenders and Blair Cowan of Lloyd Cole & The Commotions were among the contributing musicians.
5. Angel – Rosa Mota
Formed in London in the early 90s, Rosa Mota would release two albums and a handful of singles on 13th Hour Recordings, a subsidiary of Mute Records. As I’ve mentioned before, they came to my attention when Clare Grogan contributed a guest vocal to one of the songs on the second of these albums, Bionic, produced by Steve Albini and released in 1996. Angel, a string-laden instrumental that also features clarinet, flute and basouki, just felt like the best way to finish off the ICA.
5 thoughts on “AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #302: ANGEL”
A great idea and a good looking – and sounding – ICA, JC. I’ve nearly been down this rabbit hole: it’s a popular title and, applying your rule, I’ve got enough for another couple of ICAs. Other essential Angel songs I’d highly recommend are Kirsty MacColl, Gavin Friday, Aretha Franklin, Goldie, Saint Etienne, The Wolfgang Press and Jam & Spoon ft. Plavka.
For all that, there’s lots here that I hadn’t heard before (or for many, many years) and really enjoyed: André Salvador & The Von Kings, Rosa Mota (I think I’ve only heard one other song of theirs) and I especially enjoyed Long Fin Killie’s cover of the Madonna classic. I think you got the opening and closing tracks spot on and Everything But The Girl would have sounded great wherever you placed them. And of course Shaun Ryder would be singing about Angel Dust, wouldn’t he?!
The work of Britpop outliers My Life Story has not aged well – with the exception of the track Angel from their debut LP. Back at the tail end of the last century I spent quite a lot of time waiting for a Northern Line connection in that very tube station with this on the headphones.
I only have the The the [say that three times fast…] and EBTG songs, natch, but many thanks for not including the first one that came to mind by Eurythmics. Their ship had sailed by that point.
Great concept with a strict criteria . The The for the win.
Definitely has gears working… great ICA, great concept. As Khayem mentioned first track I thought of after EBTG and TSC was Wolfgang Press’s Angel.