MOJO'S SLEEVE FRAGMENT CHALLENGE!31 Mar 2006

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Fancy pitting your brains against the devious minds of MOJO magazine? Then take our special 150th issue sleeve fragment challenge! Can you identify 25 albums from tiny, obscure fragments of their sleeves?

There’s no prize, but you will win the undying admiration of the world’s most respected music magazine. Remember that all of the albums have been released since October 1993. Oh, and please take care with the spelling of the title and the artist as we may be clever but we can’t read minds. GOOD LUCK!

Pick up your copy of Mojo magazine to see all of the 100 albums in order plus that all important number 1! MOJO’S 150TH ISSUE IS ON SALE IN ALL GOOD STORES FROM MARCH 31ST.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE TEST

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THE WHO CONFIRM MOON MOVIE

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Exclusive! Roger Daltrey on drummer Keith's big screen tribute.
As The Who prepare to play the inaugural MOJO-sponsored Hyde Park Calling festival on July 2, Roger Daltrey has confirmed that he has begun working on a movie about the band's legendary drummer Keith Moon who died in 1978.

“The film is prorgressing slowly,” says Roger. “The hard thing is that you can make a million films of Keith Moon's life but I don’t want to make a biopic, I want to try and break the rules. He was a guy who broke the rules all his life and he needs a film about him that reflects that.”
Actor Mike Myers – most famed for his portrayal of Austin Powers - is also onboard as the film’s co-producer and may play Moon himself.

“I approached Mike to do it,” states Daltrey. “I saw him in that Studio 54 film and I though ‘He could really do Moon’. Some people might doubt him but I don’t. He’s a great actor and he’s got a lot going on under the surface. I went and saw him, and said ‘Do you fancy this?’ and he came back to me and said yes so when everything’s ready, the film will get made.”

While the Moon movie may take a while to finally hit the big screen, Daltrey is optimistic about The Who's long-awaited studio album, the band's first since 1982's It's Hard. "We've got about three songs that are really fantastic," states the singer. "They're right up there with the best stuff we've done."

However, The Who's new album won't be finished prior to their summer shows.
"Unless you can find me another six months between now and July then we won't get it finished!" laughs Daltrey. "But it would be silly to make a record because of business pressures. People have waited this long so they can wait a little longer."

Tickets for Hyde Park Calling are on sale now and available via the Tickets part of this site. Click here.

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BUILD YOUR OWN MODERN CLASSICS CD WITH NAPSTER!30 Mar 2006

Choose 10 tracks from a list of the greatest songs since MOJO's birth and download them free from NAPSTER!

MOJO
are pleased to be hooking up this month with award-winning download service Napster, who are offering a free month's subscription worth £9.95 - and 10 free downloads worth a further £7.90 - to the first 5,000 readers to clap their hands and say yeah.

For full details of the offer, see this month's edition of MOJO magazine. Sign on for a month and you can pick ten tracks from the 2 million-plus tracks on Napster, including the 50 we've hand-picked for the exclusive MOJO MODERN CLASSICS Playlist.

More info: Napster.co.uk

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ULTIMATE ELVIS - HAVE YOUR SAY!27 Mar 2006

ULTIMATE ELVIS!
MOJO Editor-in-chief Phil Alexander picks his favourite Presley tunes... and challenges you to do the same. ... 

James Brown described him as "my brother", Little Richard as "the emancipator" and Dylan as "the deity supreme of rock'n'roll". Think about it for a split second and it is quite frankly impossible to imagine a world without the impact of Elvis and his music.

Examine Elvis's catalogue in any meaningful way and Presley's ability to translate material emerges as unique. Indeed, when faced with whittling down an Elvis collection that spans over 50 CDs (and that's before we get down to the vinyl!) down to a mere 15 tracks, your correspondent found the task nigh on impossible. To be honest, this list could have easily run to 100 tracks. But, for the sake of sanity, here's a briefer personal selection. And if you disagree with this Top 15, then we invite you to file your own playlist. You'll find the details below...

1 That's All Right(Recorded: July 1954)
During his first 'proper' session at Sun Studios Elvis started goofing his way through a version of an old Arthur Crudup track. On hearing it, Sam Phillips set the tape rolling and recorded the sound of the future - a sulphurous mix of hillbilly spirit soldered on to Crudup's 1946 blues base.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 1) (RCA, 2000)
 

2 Baby, Let's Play House
(Recorded: February 1955)
Another Sun scorcher, this time with Presley hiccoughing his way through this old Arthur Gunter hit and, once again, making it his own with that wired blend of curled-lip cool and instinctive musical ability.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 1) (RCA, 2000)


3 Mystery Train
(Recorded: July 1955)
Having recorded Little Junior Parker's original version of this track at Sun, Sam Phillips knew that it would suit Elvis. The slap backbeat is topped by Scotty Moore's economical guitar playing whose style defines a track that has grown to symbolise the romance of rock'n'roll. Indeed, Moore's taught solo inspired everyone from Keith Richards onwards.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 1) (RCA, 2000)


4 Heartbreak Hote
(Recorded: January 1956)
Elvis began 1956 as a local star capable of selling 20,000 singles and ended the year as a global superstar responsible for a youth-quake on an unprecedented scale. This Mae Axton track - written after she'd read a tale about a business man who'd committed suicide - was Presley's first million-seller for RCA. Odd when you consider the subject matter, but irresistible from a musical standpoint.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 1) (RCA, 2000)


5 My Baby Left Me
(Recorded: January 1956)
If this sounds like a throwback to Elvis's finest Sun sides then it's down to the fact that it's another Arthur Crudup cover. Drummer DJ Fontana's drum intro is hooligan enough to fire up this track, while Bill Black's bass evokes Presley's hillbilly influences.
Available on: Elvis Presley - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 1) (RCA)


6 Blue Suede Shoes
(Recorded: January 1956)
Fellow Sun heor Carl Perkins's million-selling classic is cleaned up and given what diehard rockabilly fans would probably view as a cornball makeover. In fact, Elvis's performance is tough, the singer's machismo reverberating throughout the track as he challenges any would-be opponent to lay off his footwear of choice.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 1) (RCA, 2000)


7 Hound Dog
(Recorded: July 1956)
Initially viewed as a novelty hit - Presley had to sign it to a bassett hound when he appeared on a TV show - Hound Dog took over 30 takes to record. Today, it remains one of The King's signature tunes, resplendent with yet another sulphurous Scotty Moore solo that simply rips the track apart at 1:22.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 1) (RCA, 2000)


8 Jailhouse Rock
(Recorded: April 1957)
Along with Blue Suede Shoes, Jailhouse Rock is possibly the most covered track of all-time. If you think you know it, you find it hokey or you're bored with it's all too familiar intro, go back and listen to it again. Maybe then you'll realise how shot through with sheer rocking spirit it actually is.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 3) (RCA, 2000)


9 Crawfish
(Recorded: January 1958)
"Elvis can act!" ran one headline when his fourth film King Creole premiered. In fact, while it is possibly Presley's best movie, it is also his least commercial. Nevertheless, this track - evocative of New Orleans with or without the moving images that accompany it - packs a streetwise Elvis vocal performance which Johnny Thunders would later attempt to reprise.
Available on: Elvis The King Of Rock'n'Roll - The Complete '50s Masters (Disc 4) (RCA, 2000)


10 Fever
(Recorded: April 1960)
Purists will argue about the inclusion about this track in any playlist as slender as this and yet, as such a well known standard, Fever is a fine benchmark by which to measure Elvis by. And indeed this smouldering performance confirms both his vocal agility and the sensuality with which he imbued his music.
Available on: Essential Elvis Volume 6: Such A Night (RCA, 1999)


11 Trouble/Guitar Man
(Recorded: June 1968)
Elvis first recorded Trouble in 1958. A decade later it became the opening track for his comeback show and boasted a new, harder edge. The fact that it segued into Guitar Man debunked the tough guy posturing that preceded it but it did little to alter the impact of the '68 Comeback itself.
Available on: Memories: The '68 Comeback Special (RCA, 1998)


12 Long Black Limousine
(Recorded: January 1969)
The King of melodrama as well as rock'n'roll, Elvis's performances always appear to go up a notch whenever the lyrical tale he's spinning deals with maudlin subject matter. And it doesn't get much more maudlin than this, a funereal tale that ends with a drive in a Long Black Limousine, a vehicle more commonly known as a hearse. Elvis's rough-cut, emotive vocal is evident, set against an intro backdrop of chiming bells and swirling winds. Then comes an irresistible mid-tempo '70s brass-and-backing-vocals groove...
Available on: From Elvis in Memphis (RCA, 2000)


13 In the Ghetto
(Recorded: January 1969)
Another slice of melodrama from the landmark From Elvis In Memphis set, In The Ghetto could easily have sounded trite bearing in mind Presley moneyed status. Instead it is almost cinematic in impact, his voice sounding rich, sensitive and knowing in equal measure. Proof that Elvis, despite the criticism he received for his films, could method act.
Available on: From Elvis In Memphis (RCA, 2000)


14 Tomorrow Is A Long Time
(Recorded: May 1966)
The King does Dylan, interpreting this version of the song before Bob had recorded his own. In fact Elvis heard the track via the version covered by Odetta. But this reflective rendering - which features Dylan sideman Charlie McCoy on guitar - proves that, despite the received knowledge that Elvis failed to adapt to the '60s, Presley could turn his remarkable voice to almost any tune and make it his own.
Available on: Tomorrow Is A Long Time (RCA, 1999)


15 Always On My Mind
(Recorded: March 1972)
The break up of Elvis and Priscilla added gravitas to The King's already pronounced sense of melodrama, as evinced on this public apology to his wife. Twinned with the fatalistic Separate Ways, the sense of regret is palpable, rising about the schmaltz and while certain parties view Willie Nelson's rendition as the definitive take on the track, Always On My Mind remains quite possibly Elvis's last great performance.
Available on: Burning Love (RCA, 1998)




VOTE ELVIS!
"Wot? No Love Me Tender? Or Suspicious Minds?" you scream. Well, cast your own votes for your favourite Elvis tunes. Then here the results of your poll on MOJO Radio. Yes, as part of MOJO Radio's Elvis Weekend, we'll collate your votes and compile Elvis: Most Wanted - a show which runs down Presley's choice cuts according to you. T

he show airs on MOJO Radio on April 17 at 9.00pm. Tune in to MOJO Radio on Sky Digital (channel 0182), Freeview (channel 721) or here on the website
4 Heartbreak Hotelbr>

CLICK HERE TO HAVE YOUR SAY 

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MOJO CLASSICS DEBATE ON 6MUSIC

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MOJO’s Danny Eccleston will be appearing on BBC 6Music’s Music Week programme on Friday March 31st from 7pm. The programme features a round-up of the week's music news and includes a debate on MOJO's 'modern classic' albums – the records you’ve voted as the best releases in MOJO’s lifetime.

You can listen on DAB digital radio, Digital TV or at www.bbc.co.uk/6music

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DAVID GILMOUR SPECIAL24 Mar 2006

This month's MOJO cover star, David Gilmour, has returned with a new album, On An Island. He took MOJO behind the scenes of the making of the album, granting an audience on his floating recording studio on the Thames. "I think it's good stuff," he tells us, modestly...

His new album On An Island features guest appearances from David Crosby, Graham Nash, Robert Wyatt, Georgie Fame and a cast of thousands. Gilmour took MOJO behind the scenes of the making of the album, granting an audience on his floating recording studio on the Thames. "I think it's good stuff," he tells us, modestly...

CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH THE VIDEO PLAYER (QUICKTIME).

More info: www.davidgilmour.com

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MOJO HYDE PARK SHOWS ANNOUNCED!17 Mar 2006

Roger Waters will be performing Dark Side Of The Moon live in Hyde Park on 1 July... with The Who performing in the park the following day with support from Razorlight, Primal Scream and more... Tickets are on sale now - book via the MOJO Ticket Shop here...

Click here to buy tickets..

Posted by MOJO at 11:12AM | Leave a Comment (0)
MORRISSEY AND THE STORY OF MANCHESTER10 Mar 2006

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MORRISSEY AND THE STORY OF MANCHESTER
A 148-page special edition from the makers of MOJO, featuring...

  THE SMITHS
  JOY DIVISION
  OASIS
  NEW ORDER
  STONE ROSES
  HAPPY MONDAYS
  THE FALL
  Exclusive New Interviews, Unseen Photographs and Eyewitness Tales from The City That Changed Music
  Plus: Memorabilia, Competitions & THE 50 GREATEST MANC ALBUMS OF ALL TIME!

Order online from here...

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GREEN MAN FESTIVAL

MOJO Magazine will be supporting this year's Green Man festival, held at Glanusk Park, Usk Valley in the Brecon Beacons Powys, Wales from 18 - 20 August 2006. More info here...

Following the success of 2005's Festival, where it was cited by many as one of the summer's best events, the Green Man Festival, will return for its fourth year in August 2006.

Taking place in a fantastic new venue, the Glanusk Park Estate in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the festival will run over the third weekend - 18th, 19th and 20th - of August.

Set in over 20,000 acres of lowland hills and parkland and nestled beneath the Sugar Loaf mountain range, this is the first time Glanusk Estate has ever been opened up to the public. Amongst the historic buildings are the Tower Bridge over the River Usk, the Stable Courtyard, Walled Garden, ancient Celtic Standing Stones and tiered lakeside lawns. The new site is only 25 minutes from Hay On Wye, yet more accessible by road and by mainline railway stations.

In addition to the live acts on 3 stages with music over 3 full days there will also be a DJ tent, improved film, literature and science workshops, stalls and children's entertainment, with DJs playing into the night. The site and bars will both be open from Thursday 17th August at 6.00pm and there will be a new 1.00am licence on Friday and Saturday nights.

This year will also see the addition of a whole new range of vegetarian and meat stalls, from Paella and Organic hamburgers, through to fresh vegetables, salads and Mexican dishes. There will also be new areas added, whilst retaining the unique and intimate Country Fayre atmosphere of the Festival.

THE ARTISTS
Acts so far confirmed include (in no particular order):

Bert Jansch
John Renbourn
King Creosote
Aiden Smith
James Yorkston
Little Wings
Gruff Rhys
Kieran Hebden and Steven Reid
The Television Personalities
Alasdair Roberts
Tunng
Adem
it's jo and danny
Archie Bronson Outfit
Wizz Jones
Jack Rose
Circulus
Skygreen Leopards
The Sunburned Hand of The Man
Marissa Nadler
Euros Childs
The Aliens
18th Day of May
A Hawk and A Hacksaw
Adrian Crowley
Don's Mobile Barbers
Chris TT
James Green
Culprit One
Shady Bard
Viking Moses
Onions ...
... with loads more to be added plus Folk and Psychedelic DJs (including Peter Paphidies Andy Votel James Yorkston it's Jo and Danny DJ Pickles & Maris Piper). The literature room will feature Joe Boyd on making music in the 1960s and MOJO Magazine will be contributing further to the entertainment.

HEADLINE ACTS and other artists and performers will be announced soon ...

TICKETS
Tickets go on sale 3 March.

More info:  www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk
Venue web site:    www.glanuskestate.com
Ticketline UK: 08700 667799

Posted by MOJO at 11:03AM | Leave a Comment (2)
ULTIMATE PINK FLOYD!1 Mar 2006

MOJO Editor-in-chief Phil Alexander chooses his 30 favourite Floyd tracks to celebrate this month's cover stars. But do you agree with him? Have your say!

THE CHALLENGE? To compile a playlist of 30 tracks that sum up the very best of Pink Floyd. Easy. Until you start thinking about it…. Get the albums out, starting playing them and you realise owever, after a night of playing every Floyd album back to back, selecting favourite tunes and arranging them in chronological order, here's a celebration of close to 40 years of unique music. And, as, in the current issue of MOJO magazine, we celebrate the return of Floyd guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour, we have taken the liberty of adding the title track of his new album, On An Island, as a so-called 'bonus track' to this playlist. Strangely it fits quite well when you listen to it in that context.

Doubtless there will be those willing debate this selection - "Wot? No, Money!?" you rage. "Or See Emily Play?!" "Or One Of These Days?!" Well, no. None of those. Nor is there any live material - although a swift listen to Pulse during the compiling process did reveal it to be a far finer set that your compiler had recalled it to be.

Anyhow, this playlist is a personal selection - reasons for inclusion at times being listed below. Disagreements are best dealt with by simply compiling your own Pink Floyd Playlist, an invitation to do so being included below. In the meantime, here's one man's view…

1 Arnold Layne
(Available on: Relics, 1967)
The band's first single is famously based around a true-life tale of a local Cambridge cross-dressing clothes thief and encapsulates Barrett-era Floyd's very British, LSD-and-tea take on psychedelia.

2 Astronomy Domine
(Available on: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, 1967)
With Neil Armstrong's "small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" still two years away, Floyd nevertheless transport the audience to the outer limits via a crackling space-speech effect, moon-morse guitar patterns and a lyrical view of intergalactic travel that suggests a steady diet of vacuum packed brown acid. Stars, as Syd points out, can indeed frighten.


3 Matilda Mother
(Available on: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, 1967)
"There was a king who ruled the land/His majesty was in command," begins Syd on this enchanted tale that appears to deal with the Brit psych quest for a bygone, more genteel version of Albion. It's a quest underlined by the melodic flow and ebb that contrasts with early Floyd's more violent interludes, as typified by...


4 Interstellar Overdrive
(Available on: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, 1967)
The descending bass-and-guitar riff drags you into the vortex of that primal Pink Floyd sound on this nine-minute-plus epic. An inspiration to everyone from fellow sonic travellers Hawkwind  and on to the likes of Loop, Piper's instrumental track remains a mind-shredder close to 40 years on.


5 Bike
(Available on: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, 1967)
Including Bike on this playlist rather than The Hobbit-esque charm of The Gnome provided your compiler with a real dilemma. Having watched the extras on the Syd Barrett Story DVD recently that included Graham Coxon performing this, it became impossible not to include the original expression of Syd's naïf psych at its most bewildering.


6 Careful With That Axe, Eugene
(Available on: Relics, 1968)
The title alone implies the threat of the track itself, matching Rick Wright's mellifluous keyboard work with a disconcerting space whisper that reaches its climax as a harrowing scream. The B-side to the ill-fated Point Me At The Sky single, Eugene is a oscillates between the soothing and the downright psychotic. The live version (on Ummagumma) is even scarier.


7 Let There Be More Light
(Available on: A Saucerful Of Secrets, 1968)
In the post-rave '90s there were those willing to proclaim a bunch of synth merchants as being "the new Floyd". In truth, the supposed Pink pretenders were largely DJs who'd got stoned to Dark Side once too often. Then again, check out the intro to Saucerful (then fall into the hypnotic state induced by the track thereafter) and you find yourself wondering whether The Chemical Brothers heard this before laying down Block Rockin' Beats…


8 Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
(Available on: A Saucerful Of Secrets, 1968)
Is this tense, bass-driven exercise in repetition the beginning of Ambient Floyd? Perhaps. Certainly those well-known refusenik millionaires The KLF have described this Saucerful track as "the centrepiece for the whole of Floyd's career". Certainly, it remains a key Roger Waters composition that points the way forward for much of Floyd's future adventures. >


9 Cirrus Minor
(Available on: More, 1969)
If Set The Controls hints Floyd's future, so too does More's often overlooked Cirrus Minor, a track whose birdsong intro is an indicator of the band's evolution away from psychedelia into even more pastoral territory. In places, the track itself however does also manage to echo Astronomy Domine, both in terms of subject matter and melodically speaking before Rick Wright's blissed out organ transports the listener onwards.


10 The Nile Song
(Available on: More, 1969)
The antidote to Cirrus Minor is this slice of Trogg-like behaviour by Roger Waters. Play this back to back with anything that Killing Joke have done in the last 30 years and it's clear that Jaz Coleman and co copped much from this slice of proto-metal.


11 The Narrow Way (Part I-III)
(Available on: Ummagumma, 1969)
Written by an under pressure David Gilmour - see the current issue of MOJO for Gilmour's full explanation - this three-part piece from the studio album that completely Ummagumma's double set is nevertheless a track that showcases Gilmour's mastery of the texture that would define the Floyd sound in the '70s. While Gilmour himself is quick to laugh if off today, your compiler would add this to any Ambient Floyd playlist - despite the heavier second part. And it squeezes in here because the other option from Ummagumma's studio meanderings is arguably the Goon-like vibe of Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict - Floyd's most preposterous track.


12 Fat Old Sun
(Available on: Atom Heart Mother, 1970)
If Roger Waters is viewed as Floyd's eternal melodramatic malcontent, David Gilmour is their stabilising influence. Hence, while it would have been easy to include one of Atom Heart Mother's more esoteric moments on this playlist, this Kinks-like cut however reflects Gilmour's natural penchant for the melodic and idyllic.


13 Fearless
(Available on: Meddle, 1971)
In the opening guitar cycle Floyd appear to doff their collective cap in the direction of Led Zeppelin on this mellow and often underrated Meddle cut. Of course, while Zep were already the most successful post-Beatles band on the planet, Floyd would soon join them, the pair charting the forward for rock music throughout the '70s.  On a different note, while ardent Arsenal supporter Roger Waters wrote Fearless, the ending of the track appears to boast The Kop in full effect. Could this be a Waters pop at Liverpool FC who, in 1971, were beaten by The Gunners in the FA Cup Final as they clinched a well earned Double?


14 Echoes
(Available on: Meddle, 1971)
It starts with the now trademarked sonar 'ping' and charts the course for Floyd's further exploration of ambient excess. A glorious and bold piece, Echoes - originally titled Nothing and occupying an entire side of Meddle - is the sound of a band reinventing themselves and beginning to sow the seeds for Dark Side.


15 Free Four
(Available on: Obscured By Clouds, 1972)
If Meddle marked the development of a lusher Floyd sound, then Obscured By Clouds continued that progression. Had Floyd not been so darn British in terms of their outlook and sensibilities, Clouds would also have been viewed as an album that accentuated the band's appropriation of neo-Californian harmonies. Certainly Free Four - despite its subject matter which dealt with the death of Waters' father in World War II, a theme who would of course return to - found itself welcomed Stateside where it picked up a ton of West Coast airplay, setting up what was to follow…


16 Speak To Me/Breathe
(Available on: The Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973)
If Meddle marked the development of a lusher Floyd sound, then Obscured By Clouds continued that progression. Had Floyd not been so darn British in terms of their outlook and sensibilities, Clouds would also have been viewed as an album that accentuated the band's appropriation of neo-Californian harmonies. Certainly Free Four - despite its subject matter which dealt with the death of Waters' father in World War II, a theme who would of course return to - found itself welcomed Stateside where it picked up a ton of West Coast airplay, setting up what was to follow…


17 Time
(Available on: The Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973)
Of course The Dark Side Of The Moon needs to be listened to in its entirety and indeed you could argue that the entire album should be included on any list of this type. For our purposes however Time is included here as opposed to The Great Gig In The Sky, Eclipse, Us And Them or Money (the latter being forever tainted following its appearance on President Bush's I-Pod playlist) simply because it draws on previous musical threads while highlighting the band's new, stadium-sized focus.


18 Brain Damage
(Available on: The Dark Side Of The Moon, 1973)
"The lunatic is on the grass" begins the lyric as Floyd deliver another Dark Side track that nods to whether they've been that possesses a greater sense of melody and, of course, the phrase that gave their most famous album its title.


19 Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part I-VII)
(Available on: Wish You Were Here, 1975)
The greatest of Floyd's musical statements, Shine On is both elegiac as well as epic in its tribute to the band's former leader Syd Barrett. The first eight minutes belong to David Gilmour whose guitar playing is beautifully vocal. Then comes Floyd's other voice as Roger Waters evokes his young and carefree comrade ("Remember when you were young…") before chronicling Syd's tragic decline.


20 Have A Cigar
(Available on: Wish You Were Here, 1975)
Unable to sing his own song Roger Waters allowed label mate Roy Harper to assume lead vocals on this anti-music industry slice of vitriol. Recorded in the days when conversations about cash among artists was strictly verboten, Harper asked for a lifetime's season ticket to Lords by way of payment. To date he has yet to receive this recompense, despite this track being released as a single and remaining as one of Floyd's best loved tunes. Gilmour has recently made reference to Have A Cigar's lyricism, mentioning "the gravy train" when discussing Floyd's possible reunion, suggesting that he may be referring Waters to his own cynical world view of the industry by way of a kiss off.


21 Wish You Were Here
(Available on: Wish You Were Here, 1975)
The apex of the Waters/Gilmour relationship, Wish You Were Here is the sound of the pair united in their celebration of Syd. Assimilating classical undertones and guilt-ridden lyricism, it is another perfect example of Floyd's scholarly approach to even the most turbulent of emotions.


22 Dogs (Available on: Animals, 1977)
Originally designed by David Gilmour for inclusion on Wish You Were Here, this co-write with Waters is a symbol of the pair's contrasting views, not only in terms of the track's re-allocation to the band's '77 set, but also in terms of their approach to music. While Gilmour's vocals are typically understated, Waters' reach a point of near hysteria. The upshot is essentially a fusion-filled, 17-minute exposition - sporting another fine Gilmour guitar wringing - packed with a sense of foreboding (both lyrical and real) signals the beginning of the end in terms of Floyd as a cohesive unit. Paranoia, power struggles and production credits in alphabetical order were just around the corner…


23 Sheep
(Available on: Animals, 1977)
In terms of sheer despair and misery, the 10-minute lyrical thuggery of Sheep out-punks-the-punks by serving up the climax to Animals' Orwellian escapade. "Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away/Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air/You better watch out…" begins Waters, before indulging in an outpouring of bellowed angst. In hindsight, it is easy to view his lyricism as possessing a double meaning.


24 In The Flesh?
(Available on: The Wall, 1979))
If Animals marked the dissolution of Pink Floyd as a democratic working ensemble, then The Wall confirmed Roger Waters as having assumed the Orwellian role he'd so readily described on the aforementioned album. In The Flesh, the ominous, sloth-heavy introduction to Waters' conceptual charred tour de force, remains a chilling track for anyone below a certain age who grew up listening to The Wall and found themselves enthralled by the dark emotional war zone it traversed.


25 Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
(Available on: The Wall, 1979)
The most unlikely Christmas Number One of all-time, the oppressive, cloying nature of The Wall is exemplified by the juxtaposition of dashed youthful idealism and the childlike quality audible on the track. Gilmour's repetitive guitar pattern adds to the mounting tension.


26 Mother
(Available on: The Wall, 1979)
Six tracks into The Wall and Waters shows not the slightest sign of optimism, seeking comfort from his mother but failing to find any. Instead, his protagonist's fears are magnified by maternal jealousy and resentment. The result is the aural equivalent of Psycho with the shower scene replaced by a mental skewering.


27 Comfortably Numb
(Available on: The Wall, 1979)
Even when selecting four tracks from The Wall, by the time you arrive at Number Four you feel yourself pummelled by what has gone before. Hence, when this musically lush/emotionally savage Gilmour and Waters' co-write ends with the words  "The child is grown, the dream is gone/I have become comfortably numb" it is impossible to disagree. The only salvation on offer emerges via Gilmour's redemptive guitar solo, which emerges as a necessary pressure valve four minutes and 32 seconds into the track.


28 When The Tigers Broke Free
(Available on: The Final Cut, 1983)
If The Wall is Roger Waters' dictatorial statement, then The Final Cut is an even bleaker affirmation of his autocratic view of the band. Indeed When The Tigers Broke free is taken from The Wall's soundtrack and was added to Waters' overwrought "Requiem For A Post War Dream" (as it was subtitled) on later CD editions. Michael Kamen's lush orchestration does little to alleviate the cloying sense of guilt, despair and fear that permeates the album.


29 Sorrow
(Available on: A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, 1987)
Accepting that we need to include a track from pretty much every 'proper' Floyd studio album - and, let's be honest, accepting A Momentary Lapse as a 'proper' PF is difficult bearing in mind the fact that it vaguely involves Nick Mason and Rick Wright, and finds Gilmour struggling to find a cohesive sound and vision - then Sorrow makes it on here. Of course, close to 20 years on it sounds trapped in a world of Linn drums, sequencers and brick-sized in-car mobile phones. However it remains a track that Gilmour genuinely feels affection for and which fans of his playing will enjoy due to some customarily sparkling guitar work.


30 High Hopes
(Available on: The Division Bell, 1994)
The return of birdsong, chiming bells and a pastoral piano introduction are enough to signal that, after an aptly named self-styled lapse of reason, the Waters-free Floyd were nevertheless back on course. Indeed, Gilmour's collaboration with his wife Polly Sampson on this track suggests a modicum of contentment missing from the band for quite some time. As well as Gilmour's strong melodic sense, at five minutes and 18 seconds in (of the 7:53 minutes that make up the track, discounting the play out which involves his son Charlie on an ansaphone) the guitarist cuts in with one of his most emotive slide solos, bringing the whole track home in a gloriously dextrous manner.


BONUS TRACK!
31 David Gilmour On An Island
(Available on: On An Island, 2006)
Of course it'll upset the diehards, but the title track of David Gilmour's new album is the closest that we're likely to come to new Pink Floyd material for the foreseeable future. And indeed this track wouldn't be out of place on any proposed new Floyd album with Gilmour's vocals sounding remarkably sprightly. Add to that the audacious lobbing in of three (count 'em!) trademarked guitar solo and you have a track that perfectly showcases the taciturn guitarist's contribution to Floyd over the years.

NOW COMPILE YOURS!
Disagree with Phil Alexander's subjective selection? Then compile your own Pink Floyd Playlist and leave your results here for other Floydian scholars to study. The rules are simple: there are no rules! So if you fancy an Ambient Floyd playlist or a Syd-era list or even Roger Waters' Most Miserable Moments, then go ahead. Remember, though, other Floyd freaks are waiting…

CLICK HERE TO HAVE YOUR SAY

Posted by MOJO at 10:45AM | Leave a Comment (1)