THE £20 CHALLENGE (Week Ten)

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JC explains….

The delay in this appearing is entirely my fault.  Mid-July has proven to be busy and a tad stressful and indeed if it wasn’t for the fact that I pre-prepare so much of this place up to four weeks in advance then it’s likely it would have ground to a halt at some point over the past ten days.  I think however, what follows in this, the last of this imaginative and often hilarious guest series is well worth the wait. Over to Tim Badger….

I’ve really enjoyed this little challenge and I’m amazed at just how much decent music can be found in the various charity shops around the small Devon towns that I visit on a regular basis. Some charity shops are now setting up their own music shops – they are worth checking out – there are some real bargains to be found in them. For instance, you can get SEVEN Madonna albums in the Exeter Oxfam Music Store for around £15 – I mean that is incredible right? You can also get 5 REM albums for £10 as well – one of them is ‘Reveal’ but don’t let that put you off. Embrace your charity shops folks, they are your friend.

Over at our blog (When You Can’t Remember Anything – blatant plug sorry) – SWC and I are currently counting down 200 songs (currently at 165 at the time of writing – probably near 155 by the time I actually send this to JC) that we think are brilliant. Underworld are at 168 in that list – and I argued that the Underworld song should be ‘King of Snake’ – because it’s my favourite song by them. Its also the first track in the film ‘The Beach’ which is my favourite book so it’s a song I love for various reasons. SWC wasn’t having any of it – he said “nope, the only Underworld song you ever need to hear is ‘Mmm Skyscraper I love you’. All the rest are irrelevant until you have heard that.” I agreed having never heard the song and then forgot about it.

Fast forward about seven months to last Thursday. SWC arrives at my house to give me this weeks CD – the last one in this particular £20 challenge. He puts in on the kitchen table, helps himself to a (large) slice of the (yet uncut) carrot cake on the side and says “Thank me later” with that he is off into the night, like a music Milk Tray Man – only armed with a CD, dressed in shorts and Tshirt, and without having to break into my house via a skylight after fighting off twenty heavily armed baddies. Actually on reflection, not like the Milk Tray Man at all.

The CD is the debut album by Underworld ‘dubnobasswithmyhead’. I listened to it on a drive down the coast the next day with Mrs Badger and naturally he is right. This is without doubt the a wonderful album and the fact that he found it in exactly the same shop as I found his last CD (the wonderful PDSA shop in Exeter) underlines and reinforces everything I have said up in the first paragraph and embracing charity shops. Buy it. Download it. Fuck it email me and I’ll email it to you if you need a copy of it (and believe me you need a copy of it). Its essential.

mp3 : Underworld – Mmm Skyscraper I Love You
mp3 : Underworld – Cowgirl

Incidentally as we are talking charity shops, the other day I was in the aforementioned Oxfam Charity Shop and I spent £25 on ten CDs. Here just because I like you all is one track from each of the CDs I bought. So from us to you all for all the kind messages about this series – if you like an ICA on Charity Shop CDs.

Side One

Hey Dude – Kula Shaker

From ‘K’ – An album which SWC actually loves. Unashamedly. It is alright, its just a shame that they went down the swastika route.

The Wild Ones – Suede

From ‘Dog Man Star’ – £1.99 Bargain.

Surface to Air – The Chemical Brothers

From ‘Push the Button’

My Drug Buddy – The Lemonheads

From ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’

Bedouin – The Orb

Taken from ‘Orblivion’

Side Two

Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Dub – Apollo 440

Taken from ‘Single of the Same Name’ – 50p utter Bargain.

Let’s Get Tattoos – Carter USM

Taken from ‘Worry Bomb’ – I already owned this but my vinyl copy is scratched.

She’s Lost Control – Joy Division

Taken from ‘Permanent’ – A greatest hits CD present for SWC.

Nice Guy Eddie – Sleeper

Taken from ‘It Girl’.

End – The Cure

Taken from ‘Wish’ – present for the wife this one.

Thanks all

Tim

A LAZY STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE : 45 45s AT 45 (29)

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON TUESDAY 15 APRIL 2008

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I sometimes listen to stuff other than jingly-jangly pop tunes with an indie bent. But not often.

And while I’m not a huge fan of the dance-music genre, every now and again, something special lodges in my brain and taps away incessantly.

I own a few singles and LPs by Basement Jaxx and Chemical Brothers, but none of their stuff has made this self-indulgent chart. Sometimes I look at the list and wonder if that’s a glaring omission, but then I recall just how many other great bands or acts missed the cut.

And while within the dance genre I have a preference for the two acts I mentioned above, it is another fine combo who delivered what I think is as good a four and a bit minutes as good as anything in my record/CD collection:-

mp3 : Underworld – Born Slippy (Nuxx)

Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy. That’s the four words that to me best describe this single.

Now if you’re an indie-kid like me, you might be interested to learn that this finally became a hit nearly two years after its initial release. Born Slippy was originally a genuine techno record in that there were no vocals, while Born Slippy (Nuxx) was a vocal remix stuck away on the b-side.

It was only when it appeared on the Trainspotting soundtrack that it was again picked up by Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong who began a campaign for the single to be re-released. Which is what happened, and why its become so well-known.

You might also be fascinated to know that Born Slippy was one of three tracks on the Underworld LP, Second Toughest In The Infants, named after greyhounds that ran at the Romford dog track….

Read all about it here

Incidentally, as much as love Born Slippy, I don’t think I’ve ever danced to it outwith the confines of my living room. Clubs and raves are for young folk….and I was already getting past it back in 1996 far less having the energy for it in 2008 (or even more so in 2015!!).

 

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #25 : UNDERWORLD

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This one comes of my namesake Jim C who has not only been a long-time reader going back to the old blog but an occasional guest contributor:-

HEY JC…

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!

xxxjim

Side A

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.

Side B

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
Rez B-Side

This song is euphoric, it makes me smile and I like dancing to it.

05 DOWNPIPE
Single

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.

Side C

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.

07 JUMBO
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.

Side D

09 REZ/COWGIRL
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.

10 MOANER
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!

xxxJim

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)

LET’S PUT ON OUR CLASSICS AND HAVE A LITTLE DANCE, SHALL WE?

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From February 2009.

In which your humble scribe tries to show that there’s more to him than jangly-guitars, indie-pop and great haircuts from days of old.

Back in the late 1990s, I was in a job that involved the occasional bit of overseas travel. To those of you who don’t ever have to do that for a living it might sound like a great way of life, but believe me, aside from the excitement of arriving somewhere for the first time and enjoying, if you’re lucky, a bit of sightseeing, the joys of being far away from home for a few days isn’t any fun.

It was in 1997 that I went on what proved to be my furthest ever jaunt, to Kuala Lumper in Malaysia to accompany my boss who was giving the keynote speech to a conference of civic leaders – I was there partly as the bag-carrier and organiser, but I was also around to make any last-minute changes to the speech and presentation. I have three abiding memories of the trip.

Firstly, it was very very hot and humid with the most amazing bursts of thunder and lightning I ever imagine I will see.

Secondly, as someone who is not a fan of any sort of exotic food, my participation in a 16-course banquet held in honour of the boss was torture of the worst kind – I was pretty ill for 48 hours afterwards but still had to be seen in and around the conference venue and elsewhere at all times. I made sure I knew where the nearest toilet was.

Thirdly, I heard Moaner by Underworld for the first ever time.

I was having real problems sleeping during the trip, and in the middle of one night I found myself tuned into MTV Asia. It was a station dominated by all sorts of American rock’n’roll stadium acts, particularly Guns’n’Roses who seemed to be on every other song. Then out of the blue came a video that seemed to be a soundtrack to the latest Batman movie – a throbbing, thumping, grinding, intense and manic bit of music that got louder and louder and hugely intense….and just when it seemed to be hitting some sort of ecstatic peak it disappeared without warning, leaving no trace at all of its presence. I was hooked and promised myself that if I ever got back in one piece, I’d immediately track down the song so I’d have one happy abiding memory from it.

This proved to be far more difficult than I imagined as the only way to get hold of it was to buy a single on expensive import or shell out for the soundtrack LP to Batman & Robin. In the end I did the latter. And while it is a soundtrack that I have never played in its entirety (too many things on it that were a total turn-off), the Underworld track became a huge favourite.

Coming in at more than 10 minutes in length, it was of course much longer than the version that I had heard back in Malaysia, but that didn’t bother me in the slightest. However, if the truth be told, for a long while I could really only listen to the opening six and a bit minutes up to the part that I so remembered from that first time….the ecstatic point where the vocal screams ‘down to the waterfront.’ I used to put the track on every C90 compilation of that era but I always hit the stop button right at that moment….but as time has marched on and the full song has found its way on to the i-pod I’ve learned to love every single note.

And despite the title of this posting, I can also say that I’ve never had the opportunity to properly dance to the track (i.e, in a club). Yes, i’ve jumped around an empty flat with nobody watching, and I’ve also lain on a beach throwing my arms above my head while singing along, much to the distress of other holidaymakers who are concerned why a lunatic has been allowed onto an otherwise tranquil Caribbean island.

And given I’m now nearer 50 than 40, I guess I never will get that dance. One of life’s few regrets y’know….

mp3 : Underworld – Moaner (album version)

Looking up info on the song it turnd out that it was released as a single in Germany and the USA with four different versions – ‘short’, ‘album’, ‘relentless legs’ and ‘long’ – with the version on the soundtrack being ‘album.’ Just over a year later later, it was included on the LP Beaucoup Fish as the closing track – the version being ‘long’ (confusingly, the ‘long’ version is in fact shorter than either the ‘album’ or ‘relentless legs versions.’).

This post is dedicated to my dear friends Ctelblog from Acid Ted and Drew from Across The Kitchen Table. If only I had got to know them a few years ago….they would have known where to take me to make my Underworld ambition come true.

Enjoy