An intense and beautiful epic, this track is the opener on the band's superb 1998 album, 'Deserters Songs'. I'm quite fickle, and usually prefer two to three-minute songs, but this track is so brilliant that it seems short at 6 minutes. It builds up beautifully, starting with just an echoey string aura, with vocals, synth (a Supertramp-like wurlitzer sound) and guitar coming in one by one. The music finally explodes after a couple of minutes, with full drums and eerie oscillating noises. It's incredibly beautiful and dense, and the song has a melancholy air that is very affecting. Mercury Rev have a habit of putting incredible tracks at the beginning of their albums. I'm glad they are now getting more of the attention they deserve.
from Deserter's Songs (V2 VVR1002772), available on CD
Post-punk "pop" at its most gorgeous/baroque/bewilderingly extreme - and the perfect introduction to the God-like genius of Alan Rankine and the late/great singer Billy Mackenzie. A four car-pile-up between Roxy Music (circa "For Your Pleasure"), Bowie (circa "Heroes"), Scott Walker's "Scott 3" and Kraftwerk's "The Man Machine", (with King Tubby and Shirley Bassey acting as ambulance attendants), this song is both empty and lush, creepy and hilarious, ice-cold and almost embarrassingly emotional. I have loved/lived/died by this song for almost two decades, and I still can't begin to tell you what its about. It's like something from outer space - like so many of the greatest pop songs are.
from The Fourth Drawer Down (Situation Two) available on CD - From The Fourth Drawer Down (V2)
A superb tale of wronged love and wounded pride performed with a mighty swagger, drenched in latin rhythms and horns, but with that bittersweet humour and English setting that have been hallmark's of Kirsty's whole career.
There are so many songs from Kirsty that I love in so many musical styles, but the "Tropical Brainstorm" album is really the best thing she ever did. She has absorbed the influences from her travels in Latin America, but the album is no pastiche, it is pure MacColl. Whilst occasionally missing its mark, it has so many fine, joyful and wryly funny moments, and, to me, all the signs of an artist entering a new, fiercely creative and joyful stage of her career.
Sadly we will never know where Kirsty's musical journey would have taken her.