…is where some splendid effort can be made in baseball, so I’m told. However, knowing next to nothing about that, I thought I’d appropriate the title for the first round of results in my end of year poll.
If any of you are unaware of the patience test that has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth in So It Goes Towers (thanks for that, Mick), back in November, I asked my readers and those in the Yahoo John Peel group to vote for their three favourite tracks from John’s Festive Fifties between 1976-2004. Weddings and indecision notwithstanding, enough of you voted to allow the preparation of a top 80!!! Well, if you think all that’s going in a podcast, you’ve got another think coming, but, as a tribute to those who voted, I will now list tracks 51-80, so that you will know I didn’t just trash your efforts. A huge thank you to those who voted, and to those who either couldn’t decide, or who thought participating in a poll like this was beneath them (surely not?), sorry to have missed you.
So here they are, the bottom thirty, but none the worse for that.
51. Fall, Dr. Buck’s Letter
52. Schneider TM, The Light 3000
53. Arab Strap, First Big Weekend
54. Stereolab And Nurse With Wound, Simple Headphone Mind
55. P.J. Harvey, Down By The Water
56. Orbital, The Box
57. Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy, Television: The Drug Of A Nation
58. Future Sound Of London, Papua New Guinea
59. Sonic Youth, Kool Thing
60. Bang Bang Machine, Geek Love
61. Overlord X, 14 Days In May
62. Wedding Present, Corduroy
63. Barmy Army, Sharp As A Needle
64. Public Enemy, You’re Gonna Get Yours
65. Laurie Anderson, O Superman
66. Colourbox, The Official World Cup Theme
67. Neil Young, Cortez The Killer
68. Ruts, Babylon’s Burning
69. New Order, Blue Monday
70. Vive La Fete, Noir Desir
71. Elastica ft. Mark E. Smith, How He Wrote Elastica Man
72. Mighty Mighty, Is There Anyone There?
73. Eggs, Government Administrator
74. Pixies, Gigantic
75. Jam, Going Underground
76. Buzzcocks, What Do I Get?
77. Mogwai, Hunted By A Freak
78. Cocteau Twins, Aikea-Guinea
79. House Of Love, Destroy The Heart
…and, at no. 80, definitely last but not least. Mercury Rev were truly in the vanguard of the avant-garde when they ploughed an esoteric mould with albums like Yerself Is Steam and Baces being psychedelic rock of not immediate user-friendliness. Something that could not be said of All Is Dream, the 2001 album that built on the success of the previous LP. It seemed that original vocalist David Baker’s departure had unleashed their creative powers, and The Dark Is Rising made number 16 in the UK charts (and FF 2001 #44). Maybe its plaintive, keening melodic stance struck a chord with a generation eager to peer into whatever future might be left for a battered world.
The podcast will follow soon enough: for now, enjoy the festive build-up, and let Donahue and Company make you swoon.