The album that this track is taken from was one of those strange albums that acquired mythical status in my mind. Based on a mixture of rumor and personal imagination (I could never actually find a copy), I convinced myself that this must be the coolest album ever made, a perfect fusion of moog, latin and mod sounds. A few years later I picked up the album very cheaply on ebay. Beautiful and interesting as it is, many of the tracks go slightly over the line for me.
'Dansero' is the only track on the LP that captures the blend that I was looking for. It's nice and short at under 3 minutes, and features a delightfully kooky introduction that sounds like the Jean-Jacques Perrey moog flourishes that the group Stereolab sampled on their 'Transient Random Noise Bursts...' album. The drums and moog then join up for a nice pop instrumental, catchy and bouncy. Different moog effects are piled on, but always quite effectively, making this one of the most enduringly successful moog-pop tracks in my collection.
from Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine (Command)
This sounds very different from most of what I've recommended. In fact, there are days when I wouldn't want to listen to this song at all. It is pretty incredible, however. I like it both for its remarkable mood and instrumentation (this is a Phil Spector production), and for its lyrical content (a melancholic but resigned tale, remembering a love affair). Leonard sings 'A heavy burden lifted from my soul/I learned that love was out of my control', with a reverb effect on his voice, accompanied by a sweet string arrangement and a faint, echoey backing choir. His delivery is casual, yet committed - a style that definitely influenced Nick Cave.
However you look at it, this song is simply too good to have not yet been recommended by me on this site. The final track on Ride's 1991 debut, this is simple, formulaic even, but very nicely executed. It opens with the same nice chord sequence that makes up most of the song, played on a solo guitar. Mark Gardner's vocals are wavering and delicate (ok, they're a little out of tune as well), but charming. The drum beat hints at the indie-dance sensibility of the time, and is extremely catchy without being ridiculous.
The real hook of the song for me lies in the harmonies introduced by the string parts which periodically underlay the chords. As the song builds, these string arrangements become more full. The rest of the band fades away and leaves them at the end. I'm surprised at how much I still enjoy this.
22 Mar 02 ·shaka_klaus: ye-ye! nice one! 24 Jun 03 ·andrew76: first you look so strong then you fade away the sunlight blinds my eyes i love you anyway - pure genius - and then one of them joined Oasis. Bugger.
This is a simple but rather bitter pop song, although on the surface it sounds quite sweet. If I recall correctly, it was written about the singer that Twinkle was seeing at the time. The gentle arrangement features acoustic guitar and some brass. It's not hard to hear why Morrissey liked this song enough to cover it with The Smiths.
Twinkle has a lovely clear voice, and much as I respect Moz, this version towers above the one done by The Smiths, which suffers from a strange mix of production styles. That said, I have a strange mix of emotions on hearing the song, since I heard the Smiths version at 14, but only got into this one in the last few years.
from the single Golden Lights available on CD - Twinkle (RPM)
Another amazing version of this fantastic tune. This features several very different-sounding multitracked guitars, and really is quite astounding. It feels very short at a little under 2 and a half minutes. The opening features an acoustic guitar playing a wonderfully delicate and precise rhythm, accompanied by a nice wall of strings and electric guitar hits. A twangy picked guitar plays the melody, building gradually for about a minute.
The track then explodes into a quite amazing sequence, in which a dirty-sounding fuzz guitar picks out a bassline while a manic and jazzy improvised guitar solo moves around over the top and the strings maintain some solid bluesey chords. The sound is extremely funky, and vaguely reminiscent of some tracks from the late 60s 101 strings album 'Astro Sounds from beyond the year 2000', but ends up being more tasteful. Pure genius!
from Land of a Thousand Guitars (Accent ACS 5026) available on CD - 25 All time hits (Accent)