This week I thought it might be nice to take a trip to the future...of...the 20th century, and spend a bit of time in the UK in the 80s and 90s, and then just wander around a bit, because there's a century of music out there, dang it, and that's a lot.
The Guys From do not hold the rights to any of these songs, it is more our hope to expose our readers to new (*cough*) and different retro music, or re-expose them to things they may have forgotten about.
At the top of each section, will be the song name, followed by the artists' name linked to their website (if possible), so you can fall down the rabbit hole, finding and supporting what you dig.
Going Underground - The Jam
Surrey's punk/mod revival band The Jam, featuring Paul Weller (a great musician who I am sure will appear on this list for some of his solo work at some point), Bruce Foxton (voted one of the top 10 bass players of all time by NME) and Rick Buckler (great drummer, and now an antiques dealer/restorer). They were active for roughly ten years, 1972-1982, but were mostly known for their work from 1977 onto when they broke up.
What makes The Jam awesome, to me, is that while you can hear the edges of the British punk movement of the time, especially in "Going Underground", The Jam were also part of a revival of mod musical stylings, AND not completely out of place in the rise of New Wave at the start of the 1980s. The band had 18 consecutive Top 40 hits in the UK, and are remarkably interesting musically.
Plus "Going Underground" is just a great track.
Laid - James
Manchester based Alt-Rock band James were working from the 1980s through to 2001 (when lead singer Tim Booth left, until a 2007 reunion), but are perhaps best known in North America for their fifth album Laid, and the title track. This is one of those songs that you may have even forgotten about, but was absolutely huge (especially on College radio) in the mid-90s. This is just one of those snappy post-punk songs, complete with a bit of a falsetto, a melancholy, risque tone, and no one should kid themselves about how much they love that snare.
I've gone with the "cleaner" version here, primarily because I prefer the video (it's more fun); however if you're interested in the original, it's right here
Movin' On Up - Primal Scream
Scottish indie dance rock band Primal Scream is next this week with 'Movin on Up', which proved to be the bands breakthrough into North America. Primal Scream is a band whose direct influence you can hear in a lot of the indie stuff I'm putting into Tuesday Tunes, as they really experiment in the blending of genres and tempos; 'Movin on Up' has a bit of a Rolling Stones feel to it, combined with tinges of gospel, and a combination of piano, acoustic and electric guitar that all melds together into a real feel good track to start off their third studio album Screamadelica.
Primal Scream are still working together, and still making music, with their eleventh studio album Chaosmosis releasing this year.
Rusty Cage - Soundgarden
Most people when you mention Soundgarden, one of the biggest early 1990s grunge/alt bands in the world, immediately think "Black Hole Sun", or maybe "Spoonman", but for whatever reason, I am generally fonder of "Rusty Cage". "Rusty Cage" is the third single off of Soundgarden's third studio album Badmotorfinger (1992), and it's the ridiculously strange, yet compelling guitar work, combined with the echoing lyrics that make this track stand out from the rest of their often more musically dense songs--I really like the strange, but still recognizable rock feel this song has...
Plus, there's a pretty stellar Johnny Cash cover which is about as far into country music as these lists (when written by me) will ever get.
Oh Sweet Nothin' - The Velvet Underground
The sun just went down here, which means there's a bit of a break in the heat (we're having something of a heat wave here right now), and as I was finishing up writing about "Rusty Cage", I literally turned this song on, grabbed myself a drink, and checked my balcony to see if it was cooler. Upon returning (and the song, at seven and a half minutes, was obviously still going) I thought "what the hell am I doing", and thus, our last song this week is one of my absolute favourites from the 1970s: "Oh! Sweet Nuthin" by The Velvet Underground.
Released as the final track on their 1970 studio album Loaded, "Oh! Sweet Nuthin" is not the most famous song by the band...hell it's not even the most famous song on the album (that would probably go to either "Sweet Jane" or "Rock & Roll"), but there's just something about this song that is so perfectly calm, builds so patiently, and incredibly well layered (those harmonies on the chorus get me singing along every time), that I find it hard to believe that this song is not way more popular.
Until I remember how long it is, and how it really really does not work if you try and radio edit it....
The May Throwback Tracks Apple Music Playlist is now ready to go! As per usual, I've done my best to turn them into a cohesive list, but it's a little all over the place...Plus, the first Throwback Tracks Apple Music Playlist, with all of the songs from the inaugural month of 'Throwback Tracks' here on The Guys From is still available.
See you again next Thursday with some new....oldies...