Musically typecast

It’s a resided fact in the music business that a band or artist will become most well known for one single, especially if they are not a pop band.

We’ll play some band association, shall we?
I give the name of a band, you name the first song that comes to mind…
(use your cursor to select the hilighted line to see answer)

Joy Division
Love will tear us apart

Smells like teen spirit

Franz Ferdinand
Take me out

Spandau Ballet

The look of love

That exercise should have gone some way to proving my point. I’m sure we got at least some of the same answers.
Note; the above doesn’t apply if you are a big fan of the band. I’ll come to this later.

My cinicism was roused when compiling a CD this morning from tracks by The Smiths, I wanted to make a disc that contained songs that weren’t already on the ‘Best of…’ albums, of which there are a 4 that were compiled post-split, totalling 69 tracks in all.

The very best of The Smiths

What struck me when trying to pick tracks was how many songs kept cropping up, time and time again, songs which I don’t necessarily class as their best and how many great pieces were omitted from every one of the compliations.

For a song that isn’t actually representative of the style of The Smiths, How Soon is Now manages to end up on 3 of the 4 discs, as does This Charming Man, the latter for more obvious reasons, being their first big single.
The gloomy Heaven knows I’m miserable now and There is a light that never goes out are also on all of them, again, tracks that most people will be able to name if you ask them to give you a the name of a Smiths song.

Why oh why are we not seeing songs that made the original albums as great as they were on these releases which are supposed to be pushing the band and representing their ‘best‘ songs? I refer to gems like A Rush and a Push and The Land is Ours, You’ve got Everything Now, Cemetry Gates and I Want the One I Can’t Have.

In 1987 Morrissey pleaded with his fanbase not to grow out of his whimsical lyrics through the song Rubber Ring, but, through no fault of his own, new fans are being force-fed the same old (veggie) tripe with every compilation release. We get it, How Soon is Now was huge, now, leave it.

My fantasy Smiths compilation album;

A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours
Barbarism Begins At Home
Handsome Devil
I Won’t Share You
Is It Really So Strange
I Want The One I Can’t Have
Nowhere Fast
Rusholme Ruffians
Vicar In A Tutu
What She Said
You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby
You’ve Got Everything Now
Accept Yourself
Cemetry Gates
Frankly, Mr. Shankly
Paint A Vulgar Picture

Welsh Labour down and out?

Why is it that the Welsh Labour party, in the run up to the Assembly elections on May 3rd are running such a negative campaign?

Any of the literature that I have seen dropped through the door or handed out in the street has been about how ‘if you vote for any of the other parties or independents, then you’re letting the Conservatives in through the back door, vote Labour so you don’t get the Conservative party’.

Well, that’s a profound reason. We want to let Rhodri Morgan and his bunch of do-nothing cronies continue to do barely anything for this country, just because…?

I can name three things that the Welsh Assembly government has done since it came into power, 7 years ago, none of them affect me though;

Free bus passes [but I’m not a senior citizen]
Free prescriptions [I’m rarely ill]
Smoking ban [this would have happened anyway, Assembly or not]

Even their 2007 campaign website doesn’t list much more than these as their acheivements over the past term, except for spurious claims such as “record spending on education” and “a huge increase in investment in health”.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan resided to loss a long time ago, announcing that if his party does badly in the polls, he will resign. This surely isn’t the mantra of a fighter, a leader, someone in control of his destiny or sure of his previous achievements.

All the other parties have latched onto this perception too, never before have I seen so much literature piled through my letterbox and this is simply because Plaid, the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives, Independents and even UKIP know that there are potentially huge gains to be made with the greatest of ease.

I have a feeling that Wales will have a new, possibly coalition government come the day after polling, and for the better it will be too. Wales needs to be represented from within its own borders, but not in the way that it is now;
A small country with a small political voice.
We need to be a small country with a National Assembly that acts as a megaphone.