I’ve had this idea of reviewing – or at least commenting on the music, TV, film and other media stuff that passes through my world – bubbling around my mind for a while. So when I picked up a recent issue of Q Magazine featuring their list of the ‘250 Best Albums of Our Lifetime’ I thought this would be a great opportunity to get the ball rolling.
I’ve been reading the Q since (almost) their very beginning back in 1986 when I was just about leaving school age; so their musical life is pretty much the same as mine, at least in relation to me finding and buying regularly for myself rather than just listening in on the radio. Some of the album list I bought and loved, some I wouldn’t have touched with someone elses barge pole, and some I’ve never even heard of before reading the list. But with my record collection pretty handy on mp3 and a Napster subscription to fill in the gaps, I’ve decided to have a go at working my way through the albums on the list and also looking forward to seeing what comes up. I might stick to it, I might divert into other stuff if it comes to mind; or I might get bored and give up. It’s going to take a while after all.
Anyway, enough with the preamble; here we go…
BRING IT ON – GOMEZ (1998)
Great one for me to start with, as I can really place myself when this came out – in the company car travelling around North London as a sales consultant for Scottish Equitable. I would guess that I first heard Gomez on the rather wonderful and sadly missed GLR (Greater London Radio), a station that I truly loved and which largely informed my listening pleasure at the time. The line up of presenters was great – Fi Gover and/or Claire MacDonnell with Gideon Coe on the breakfast show; then through the morning with Robert Elms and in the afternoon my personal favourite Jeremy Nicholas. Most of these guys are still working for the BBC in various places, and GLR itself has pretty much been replicated (at least in music policy) by BBC6 Music.
I can’t say for sure but I guess it would’ve been ‘Get Myself Arrested’ that caught my attention first, and hearing it now, I still love the rhythm and style; it was unlike anything I’d heard at the time and yet somehow instantly familiar.
What I don’t remember noticing at the time is the Eddie Vedder-esque sound of the vocals on some of the tracks, and there are songs on this collection, ‘Tijuana Woman’ for example, that still sound a bit, well, odd? Or at least written by the very young men they were at the time. This was their debut album, and it’s a pretty eclectic bunch of songs. I never kept up with Gomez after this although think I may have their second album around somewhere. But if I have, I’ve forgotten it completely. Might be worth seeking out to see why it didn’t make as much of an impression as album N01. Are they still going?
Listening to this album was like meeting an old friend and reminiscing about the good times you spent together. And anyone who calls a song ’78 Stone Wobble’ is always likely to make me happy.