1. XTC – I’d Like That (Apple Venus Volume 1, 1999) [singlepic id=220 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Second track from a great album, bringing together the best material from the period XTC was on strike (1992-1998). Apple Venus was subsequently released on their own label and recorded in their own home-studios, with Partridge on vocals and acoustic guitar here. Very cheerful, very McCartney.
2. Robert Johnson – Hellhound on My Trail (King of the Delta Blues Singers, 1961) [singlepic id=152 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Archaic cornerstone of rock’s discography, already recorded in 1936 but released in 1961 on the Columbia label. They had just contracted Bob Dylan, who had the album lying around on his couch on the cover of Bringing It All Back Home.
3. Genesis – More Fool Me (Selling England by the Pound, 1973) [singlepic id=73 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Closing track on side one of Genesis’ brilliant fifth album, with Phil Collins on lead vocals. Compared to the other songs this one is rather short and very sober, only featuring Collins and Mike Rutherford on guitar. His lover may be gone, but Phil is convinced everything will be just fine.
4. Ride – Vapour Trail (Nowhere, 1990) [singlepic id=296 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Closing track and only single from shoegazing band Ride’s debut album. Written and sung by guitarist Andy Bell, who would later join Oasis on bass. Good album, especially the opening track is a great powertrip.
5. Rolling Stones – Turd on the Run (Exile on Main St., 1972) [singlepic id=297 w=80 h=50 float=left]
A less known track from one of The Stones’ greatest albums, that was born in the south of France while recording in Keith Richards’ basement. Richards might have begun a daily habit of using heroin at that time, his guitar really defines this album, including some country rock sound on this one. Robert Johnson also contributed to the album, with the Stones covering his ‘Stop Breaking Down’ on side four.
6. The Kinks – A House in the Country (Face to Face, 1966) [singlepic id=294 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Finally, The Kinks make their appearance in the shuffle of the week. Face to Face was their fourth album (and definitely one of my favorites), on which this is the closing track of side one. It was their first album entirely written by lead vocalist Ray Davies and marked the beginning of a great period for the band.
7. Lou Reed – Satellite of Love (Transformer, 1972) [singlepic id=295 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Second single from Transformer, an album I dragged across Keith Richards’ south of France last summer, a couple of months before Reed’s death. A song about jealousy, that was originally meant to appear on The Velvet Underground’s Loaded, but that ended up on Reed’s second solo album. With the ever recognizable David Bowie (also the album producer) on backing vocals.
8. The Who – Getting In Tune (Who’s Next, 1971) [singlepic id=298 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Opener on side two of The Who’s fifth album and the fourth song this week with that generously packed sound from the early seventies. Not very surprisingly, this song deals with the power of music and was originally part of Townshend’s Lifehouse-project (as a follow-up to Tommy).
9. Andrew Bird – Scythian Empires (Armchair Apocrypha, 2007) [singlepic id=81 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Talking about richly instrumented pieces of music: perhaps a little less rockin’, but Bird shows off a great deal of craftsmanship on this album highlight. Played the life out of that album last year.
10. Phish – Bouncing Around the Room (Lawn Boy, 1990) [singlepic id=167 w=80 h=50 float=left]
Closing this shuffle just like Phish’s second studio album: with this easy going funky song, influenced by Senegalese music.