Thursday, April 27, 2006

Week in pop April 27th 2006

Robbie Williams will appear with Take That on their current UK live comeback, Gary Barlow has claimed.
The pop heroes made their long-awaited return to the stage in Newcastle on Sunday evening, with Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange playing without Robbie.
However, Williams, who is in the midst of preparations for his own world tour, was projected onto the stage at Sunday's show as a hologram for "Could It Be Magic".

I personally would prefer Take That WITHOUT Robbie, if it's all the same to you. The very fact that Gary Barlow's solo career lasted about fifteen seconds whilst we were submitted to an extra decade of that tosser Williams leaping around on stage liked some kind of tattooed seaside entertainer just goes to show that musical talent gets you nowhere in showbuisness - the chunky bloke who wrote all the songs gets forgotten whilst the circus monkey up front gets proclaimed as 'entertainer of the century' or something stupid like that. Bollocks and shite!! I'm no slavish follower of Gary mind you, but if I were him I'd be one bitter old bastard by now at how that whooping great knucklehead has capitalised on my legacy while I was left doing crap chat shows and eating pies for the next ten years!

John Lennon appealed for world peace in a controversial séance in America last night, it has been claimed.
The former Beatle was the subject of a televised attempt to contact him from beyond the grave in a pay-per-view US TV show.
The programme saw a psychic, audio crew and an expert in the paranormal suggest Lennon had contacted them and reiterated his demand for an end to global conflicts.

Some things just take the piss out of themselves. I can't even be bothered ripping into this. Who are they planning to contact next for such revelatory comments? Suddenly Bob Marley comes back from the grave to proclaim that we should all 'Get together and feel alright?'. Or Marc Bolan telling us that we are all 'Children of the revolution'?? What about Janis Joplin asking for a new Mercedes??? Bollocks and further bollocks!!!

Johnny Depp is being lined-up to play Michael Hutchence in a movie biopic about the INXS star, it has been claimed.
Depp is amongst the names apparently being considered for the lead role in the film, which is being put together by Hutchence's brother, Rhett.
Although plans to make the movie are understood to have been met with some opposition from the family of the star, who committed suicide in 1997, Rhett Hutchence is said to be heavily involved.

I say leave Johnny Depp for someone worth his time - I mean, it was sad that Michael Hutchence had to cancel himself out in some kind of wank strangulation sex game, but that doesn't change the fact that INXS' music sounded awful then and sounds even WORSE now. Rock biopics only work when the band has some sort of musical legacy to its name, rather than recounting the tale of some faceless bunch of Aussies fronted by some twat in a pinstripe suit with too much conditioner in his hair. By the time Hutchence bought the farm, nobody gave two short fucks about them anymore and even his suicide couldn't raise an interest in them, but now in the age when every bloke who was once in a rock band is suddently writing a tell-all biography on it, we have to endure cinematic trawls through ever minor sidenote in rock history. No-one gives a toss about Michael Hutchence anymore, and even less so about INXS!! Name me one other person in that band!! Eh??? EHH? You can't can you??

Rapper Snoop Dogg has had to cancel a gig as part of the Freedom Day celebrations in South Africa because he is being held in police custody in the UK.
The row broke out after his 30-strong entourage was refused entry to the British Airways first-class lounge at the airport's Terminal 1.
His party was then alleged to have moved to a duty-free shop where it was said they threw bottles of whisky to the floor and argued with staff.

It's nice to see fame and cash haven't gone to Snoop's head then - when travelling, he still knows how to behave like a grown-up instead of dragging along a bunch of his mates in first class and getting all pissed up and rowdy in customs. They should give this twat a latex glove up the arse just to teach him a few manners! Obviously more will be made of his missing the Freedom day celebrations, but I'm not sure how keen Nelson Mandela would be on loudmouth yank rappers with pigtails singing about beating up women to commemorate the end of apartheid.

Justin Hawkins has recorded a World Cup anthem which makes direct reference to the defeat of the German army by British forces, he has revealed.
The lyrics include the following lines: "Football will be our only weapon / skill and power will be our only shield / we've fought them on the beaches / now we'll play them on the field."

VERY subtle Justin! I bet they loved that in the Sun! Why don't you just stick to darts and leave football out of it, you goofy posh twat!

Week in pop April 11th 2006

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has rejected accusations that he is a Nazi in this week's NME.
The singer had been attacked following his performance at Glastonbury last year where he was accused of giving an Nazi salute from the stage.
However hitting back in this week's cover story, Gillespie insists his anti-fascist credentials are beyond doubt.

- Accusations from where??? It seems a bit rich that of all people, Bobby Gillespie gets labelled a 'Nazi' but then again that's the NME for you. I remember Bobby getting interviewed in the same rag a few years back when he was promoting 'Exterminator', which by the way is their best record, and the interviewer basically laid into him for being too far to the left. Having said that, he was spouting ill-directed liberal bollocks and it was too easy to poke holes in his arguments. But still, this sounds a lot more like the NME cooking up controversy to serve their own ends than a genuine political scandal in rock music.
Let's get things straight - Primal Scream are a great band but their singer is a complete nipple. I am sick of this wanker spouting off at everyone around him for no valid reason, other than that he's a 'hard cunt from Glasgae' and therefore has the right to hate on anyone he feels like, especially if there's from London (Basement Jaxx anyone?). Have you ever noticed how Glasgow bands are so eager to lay into bands from the capital (remember the Mogwai/Blur T-shirt furore?). What, does this make you look really tough or something? Fair enough, Basement Jaxx are a bunch of yuppie new-age types that make dance music for the sort of wankers who study drama and wear wraparound skirts cos they don't shave their legs - but still, if you're going to pick on someone then at least go for more impressive target. How about 50 Cent for example? I don't hear anyone bad-mouthing that bloke, despite the fact that his music SUCKS bigstyle. Let's face it, Scottish bands rip on London ones to score cool points, nothing more than that. Which is fine of course, but let's call it as we see it. And by the way, we can rank Glasgow alongside Manchester and Liverpool in 'cities which have produced a few decent bands, thus enabling anyone else living there to proclaim themselves as inheritants of great, ingrained musical talent'. Which basically means taking too many drugs and ambling about on stage like a sedated fucking orang-utang mumbling doggerel in a ludicrous accent.
Ahem. Slight tangent there. I'm still going to see them on tour this summer. But Bobby is a twat.

CHICAGO (AFP) - Rap star Proof, a founding member of D-12 and close friend of Eminem, was shot dead at a Detroit nightclub, his publicist said.
DeShaun Holton was killed after a fight broke out at Club CCC on 8 Mile Road, the street memorialized in Eminem's quasi-autobiographical film. Holton had a small role in the film as a rapper who made Eminem's character choke during an early battle scene.
In an eerie irony, Holton's character was shot and killed in Eminem's Like Toy Soldiers video which warns against hip-hop wars escalating into violence.

For fuck's sake, if you did a bit of research into how many prominant rappers HAVEN'T appeared in some kind of video featuring their own death at some stage then the list would probably be pretty slim. This just makes it easier for everyone to scratch their chins and pronounce how 'eerie' it is that reality imitates art in such a way - ignoring of course the fact that these guys spend half their time talking about blowing each other's brains out, so we probably shouldn't be surprised when it actually happens. Obviously it's sad to hear about one of these guys getting cut short like that, but from what I hear Proof might have started the fight anyway, so what are you gonna do?

In typical Glastonbury fashion, the rain poured down on the premiere of the movie of Glastonbury, Britain's most famous music festival.
The premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema in London's Leicester Square was attended by the likes of festival veteran Rolf Harris and DJ Lauren Laverne, who has covered the event.
Singer Billy Bragg also attended the event, saying: "Other festivals can be so commercial and you don't see that with Glastonbury."

"Other festivals can be so commercial and you don't see that with Glastonbury."????? Are my ears playing tricks on me???? Of course, after fighting like a piranha to get tickets with your fingerprints and eyeball-scan on them, then queueing for hours to get through the electric cattle grids surrounding the site, only to be unable to watch the latest British fashionista pop troupes because despite the outrageous ticket price, that cunt Eavis can't even sort out decent drainage for his own festival, you'd be hard pressed to decry such an event as 'commercial'. Billy, I'd happily bring in a few more coke vans to keep the price down and put the control back into the hands of nice reliable multinational corporations who can at least prevent the bloody site sinking when it starts to rain! Face it, anywhere else in Europe last year's event would have been seen as a shamefully organised patchwork job and everyone would have asked for their money back, whereas in Britain everyone just grins like a fucking idiot and flops around in the mud. Go ahead and wallow, you stupid fucking primates!! You've paid enough for the privelege!!


LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Pop singer Britney Spears and husband Kevin Federline, parents of a seven-month-old son, got a visit from local child protection services, the Malibu sheriff's department confirmed.
Local Department of Children and Family Services visited their home in Malibu, California on Saturday, according to sheriff's deputy Ismael Lua.
Spears came in for criticism after photographs showed her at the wheel of a large sports utility vehicle with her infant son Sean Preston, born in September, sitting on her lap instead of in a baby seat in the car's rear, as required by law.

Oh come on, cut her some slack! I mean, Spears senior obviously got dropped on her head a few times when she was younger and it never did her any harm...

Madonna and Guy Ritchie will stay together for their children, according to Ritchie's father.
Confirming media claims that the couple have been experiencing difficulties in their marriage, John Ritchie says their recent decision to move back to America has helped.

At last!!!! And you fucking well stay there woman! I can handle Madonna's music, but I have had just about enough of the whole 'country lady' thing, with her wanky kids' books and her stupid outfits. Oh, so you're suddenly the biggest fan of 'British style' then?? Nice to see you Yanks have kept your trademark subtlety when abroad! At least she didn't move to Japan and paint her eyes all slitty whilst wearing a kimono to try and blend in with the natives! Go back to live in your cartoon world, you silly bint!

The demise of Limp Bizkit continues in public as Wes Borland and Fred Durst bicker through the media.
Borland recently said he thought the nu-metal icons were finished, following the global disintegration of both the band's profile and fanbase.
However, Durst has hit back at his guitarist, after he said he is looking forward to a new career with his new band "Black Light Burns".
In "Unacceptableinterlude", a sixty second new song posted on his myspace site, Durst accuses Borland of "manipulating" Limp Bizkit's remaining fans.
He rants: "Stop making plans to manipulate fans and finally stick to something you believe / 'Cause you had us all fooled and, I'll admit, even me / Manipulating like a crook who's arrestable / It's unacceptable, f*cking unacceptable."
However, Borland has responded immediately, saying he has no plans to work with Limp Bizkit again and admitting his relationship with Durst is difficult.
"After years and years of dealing with each other, it seems that Fred and I still have not figured out how to keep it positive. I'm to blame, he's to blame," he commented.

At least Wes can keep his dignity in interviews, unlike that fat oaf Durst who still needs somene to cork him up Prince Phillip style ever time he does an interview or records another one of his witty 'raps'. 'Unacceptable'! That's the sort of thing Gordon Brown says when faced with an insufficient financial proposition for his next budget! Fred, you're a lost cause, fuck off and sell some insurance or something! And how old are you now anyway??

Week in pop April 4th 2006

Bruce Springsteen has announced details of three live shows in the UK next month.

The rock legend will play the hat-trick of dates in Dublin, Manchester and London in support of his new album.

"We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" is a tribute to the folk pioneer Pete Seeger, and features 13 reworkings of his tracks by Springsteen.

- Bruce rules, but only in small doses. 'Nebraska' is totally brilliant, really desolate stuff. 'Tom Joad' also rules and apparently his last one wasn't bad either. Thing is, you never know what he's gonna play so if it ends up being all that burger rock from the 80's or the lame soundtrack stuff from the 90's then I ain't shelling out thirty quid to go see him. And if he's just doing covers of some old smelly commie guy's songs then I'm DEFINITELY not going.


New Order have dismissed the Football Association's decision to choose Embrace to record the official England World Cup anthem.

The band's bass player Peter Hook has called the decision a "travesty" and claimed the FA should have re-released New Order's landmark "World In Motion" instead.

- Aye, World in Motion is doubtless way better than anything those smegdrips in Embrace are going to come up with. But still, it'd be a bit of a cop out to just re-release a song fifteen years old with John Barnes rapping on it. Just deal with it, the England theme song will be no less insufferable than the endless TV footage of Rooney, Gerrard et al contemplating victory and a voice-over saying 'This time, it really MIGHT happen'! And pubs full of red-faced twats drinking Carling! Carling for fucks sake!!! I can understand why Scotland and Ireland support against us even if we're playing Afghanistan or someone like that.
Still, whatever Embrace come up with cannot possibly be more irritating than 'Three Lions'. A special circle in hell is reserved for Frank Skinner and that lumpy faced gimp from the Lightning Seeds for creating that particular musical abortion. The bastards.

Week in pop March 27th 2006

Morrissey has refused to play any live shows in Canada after launching a furious attack on the country's "barbaric and cruel slaughter" of seal pups.
- How much sense does that make? Fair enough if you want to bang on about animal rights and all that bollocks, but look at who you're picking on - Canadian Morrissey fans! The poor bastards are presumably going to have to travel to the States just to see one of your concerts! That is, assuming you haven't cancelled all the dates there in protest against the widespread slaughter of human beings as supported by their government! If you really want to make a statement against the seal cull then keep it directed at the government, not your own fans who have nothing to do with it you great prissy old twat! Alternatively, come up with a valid reason for cutting Canada off your tour - for example, because all Canadians are a bunch of tree-felling, ice-hockey watching wookies who can't go anywhere outside their own country without covering their clothing with that fucking maple leaf flag! OK guys, WE KNOW YOU'RE NOT AMERICAN - you point it out within the first five seconds of conversation anyway!

Duran Duran's "Thank You" has been voted the worst album of all time in a new poll.
The band's ill-fated 1995 covers LP saw the group rework landmark tracks by the likes of Lou Reed, Public Enemy and Grandmaster Flash.
The record, which was badly received at the time of its release, has gone onto new levels of ridicule in recent years, with the band themselves describing it as "career suicide".
The survey, in this month's Q Magazine, also cited Mick Jagger's "Primitive Cool" solo album, "Cyberpunk" by Billy Idol and Naomi Campbell's only musical effort, "Baby Woman".
Also in the Top 10 are Westlife's tribute to Frank Sinatra - the spectacularly titled "Allow Us To Be Frank" - and "Urban Renewal", the hip hop tribute record to Phil Collins, featuring Kelis, Ol Dirty Bastard and Lil Kim.
- Alright fair enough, it was a bit hard to hear Simon Le Bon covering a Public Enemy song where Chuck D complains that the ambulance won't come and pick him up because he's black, but surely there are worse offenders out there.....Bear in mind that Q conducted this survey and their regular 'Best album ever' polls invariably come up with the most bog-tedious drivetime radio selection of Coldplay, U2, pre-Kid A Radiohead and more fucking U2!! 'Thank You' might have been 'career suicide', but by 1995 so few people had any patience left for the 80's hangover that was Duran Duran that it was just a case of cheating the hangman! If they hadn't committed commercial hari-kiri then they would have just dried up and fizzled out in a cloud of who-gives-a-tossness - at least they hit the skids so hard after that album that it allowed them to play the old 'reform with the classic line-up and stick out a new album' card so they could be hailed as comeback kings. And anyway, Lou Reed was quoted saying that their version of 'Perfect Day' was a favourite of his, so what the fuck do Q know anyway?
As for the rest of the list, I can't comment having not heard any of them and good job too - I do remember a few bits of Billy Idol's 'Cyberpunk' record (which came out roughly ten years after William Gibson coined the term - nice timing Billy!) but it certainly wasn't much worse than that David Bowie drum and bass record that no-one bought - where was that on the list?
Incidentally, my nomination for worst album ever would go to 'Chameleon' by Helloween, which someone sold me at a party for a fiver back in the day. Now I hasten to point out that their 80's 'Seven Keys' double album is a masterpiece of German widdlyness, and their mid-90's comeback records when they changed singers were even better, but this one got stuck in the middle somewhere before they changed line-ups but after they ran out of ideas. The one before it was pretty bad (apart from 'Heavy Metal Hamsters' obviously) but this one stunk so bad that I could hardly even listen to it all the way through - it sounds like fucking Christian rock!! The only redeeming feature was 'Windmill', possiby the most unintentionally hilarious song EVER - I read on Wikipedia that the drummer threw himself in front of a subway train because that song sucked so bad! OK, that was possibly an erroneous entry but I urge you to check out this record just to appreciate how truly fuck awful it really is - compared to this, Duran Duran sounds like a pretty attractive alternative.

Incidentally, it has come to my attention that YouTube has loads of killer old skool metal videos posted on it (not like I spend ages on the net looking for stuff like this obviously.....). My favourites at the moment are 'Covenant' era Morbid Angel (big hair, crazy solos and lots of monks, demons, crucifixes etc...), Cinderalla (the glam band, who totally SLAY) and some early 90's shoegazer stuff I found like the Telescopes, Swervedriver etc.....However, I admit being somewhat disappointed in the 80's comeback Aerosmith videos up there - have you ever seen the promo clip for 'Angel'? Eeuugh!! I don't think I've ever seen a song I really like put through the mangle like that! The others are pretty much as bad, until they decided to quit filming the guys in the band and concentrate on fit young ladies galavanting around in short skirts. Definitely a smart move.

Week in pop March 20th 2006

Limp Bizkit are finished, according to guitarist Wes Borland.
Fred Durst's flagging nu-metal icons have dropped completely out of the public spotlight in recent years, culminating in the dreadful public reaction to 2005's "The Unquestionable Truth" LP.

- I for one will be hanging out the bunting for this one and raising a toast to one of the worst bands EVER. Or, to be a little fairer, the worst movement in rock music ever - the big shorts, Nickelodeon whiteboy rap-metal massacre. Limp Bizkit were pretty awful but they were just the figureheads for a whole bunch of equally moronic groups that suddenly got big label attention in the late 90's and suddenly kids in Basingstoke were wearing their belts around their kneecaps and getting crap tattoos. JUST PLAIN WRONG. I remember when LB broke on their first album, and at the time it was harmless enough moshclub music but once it became a massive youth movement and you were faced with stadiums full of steakheads stomping the fuck out of each other this whiny, woman-hating drivel, it all got a bit scary. Limp combined the lamest bits of metal and rap to create something that was the sonic equivalent of sweaty teenage bedsheets. I would gladly never hear any of that shit EVER again.

A new investigation into the death of Notorious BIG will be held later this year, after a fresh team of detectives were assigned to the case.
The slain rap legend was gunned down in 1997 in Los Angeles and the crime remains unsolved almost a decade later.

- Why not instead launch an investigation into the graverobbing that's been going on recently of Biggie's back catalogue? Do we need a bunch of new generation rappers 'busting some new rhymes' over re-cycled bits of his back catalogue? Cheeeeeeeah right!! How fair is it when you release an album of 'duets' where a guy who's been dead for nigh on a decade has to suddenly split four minutes with a bunch of guest vocalists he's never even met??? You can imagine Big looking down from heaven and yelling 'Nooo!! Don't stick Nelly on there!!!'. Incidentally, 'Ready to Die' is the best rap record ever for my money. My introduction to that one was when my dad drove me back to university after a holiday and we walked into the flat just as my mate Mark had cued up the fuck soundtrack interlude bit at full volume! Set the tone nicely for the rest of the term.

Roger Daltrey is almost completely deaf, the legendary Who singer has revealed.
Daltrey, who is preparing for a Who tour across the globe, including a headline show at T In The Park in Scotland this summer, says his hearing has been destroyed by rock.
The impact has apparently been so severe that he now listens to only light classical music at home. "I haven't got much hearing left and what I have I want to keep," he explains in a new interview.

- Well at least he's honest enough to admit it - I have long suspected that Simon Cowell may well by totally fucking deaf judging by some of the shite he tries to pass off as 'popular music' but I won't hold my breath for a confession.....


WASHINGTON (AFP) - America's starlet of the moment, movie actress and pop singer Jessica Simpson, detoured from the red carpet for a visit to the US Congress, where she made an appeal for a group that aids children afflicted with facial deformities.
Simpson is in Washington to lobby on behalf of Operation Smile, a non-profit group that provides corrective surgery for children with cleft palates and other disfiguring conditions. She currently serves as the group's youth ambassador.

- Oh great, so this bubblehead spunk puppet is campaigning on behalf on deformed kids now? In their place, faced with that shit-for-brains vacant grin that Jessica sports pretty much every minute of the day, I reckon the relative attractiveness of a cleft palate would become all too clear....

Week in pop March 11th 2006

Former Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman has called for the band to split, branding them "ridiculous".
Wyman, a founding member of the rock'n'roll legends, quit some 15 years ago and believes Jagger, Richards and Watts should now call it a day.
The Rolling Stones have toured prolifically in recent years, with their latest "Bigger Bang" tour smashing all live records, and playing to over a million people on beach in Rio.
However, Wyman believes the band are surely coming to an end, commenting: "I can't see them going on too much longer, I really can't. It's getting a bit ridiculous, innit?

- Any slight hint of sour grapes here? The Stones bust out their biggest record in fuck knows how long, rock huge crowds all over the world and this crusty old kiddie fiddler sticks his head out of has-been bassist obscurity to rip on them and insist that the band was so much better when HE was playing with them....C'mon Bill! Let's face it, it's nothing short of a miracle that the rest of the band can still string a sentence together, let alone crank out their old stuff in front of a million frenzied Brazilians in this day and age - 'A Bigger Bang' isn't their best ever work, but it certainly isn't their worst and anyone clued in on their rock history should be giving up some serious respect to Keef and co. Face it grandad, you jumped ship way too early! Go back to drooling over adolescent girls and counting your royalty money you clueless old fuckwit!

Chico has held onto the UK Number One single for a second consecutive week.
Meanwhile, in the album charts, former Pink Floyd star Dave Gilmour is in at one with "On An Island", displacing Corinne Bailey Rae's self-titled debut at two, ahead of Andrea Bocelli's "Amore", which is in at four.

- Again, we need to give a bit of respect to the elderly and infirm here - I haven't heard Dave's new stuff and to be frank, it's probably going to be pretty lame in comparison with Meddle, Darkside, the Wall etc....but at least he's still playing right? Let's face it, we need to be reminded of Floyd's legacy and if this provides the necessary link for 14 year olds to go search out their old shit then I'm all for it. It speaks volumes that these guys can not put out anything for decades and still come out of retirement to headline Live 8 above U2, Robbie Williams et al - bow down and pay your dues earthlings, you are not worthy. I still think 'Division Bell' stands up to their old shit, so this new solo thing might not be so bad after all. It's almost certainly going to be easier on the ears as another bog standard bunch of Tesco nu-soul bullshit like that CBR record. As for Chico, I haven't heard his record either but I am hoping it's about his past life as a stripper, otherwise the odds are pretty high than I ain't gonna like it.

NEW YORK (AFP) - The would be pop star niece of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has signed on for a reality television show about her attempts to break into the music industry.
Wafah Dufour, a US citizen who lives in New York, inked the deal for the as yet untitled series with producer Judith Regan, whose previous credits include the mafia reality show "Growing Up Gotti."

- That has to be one of THE least morally defendable cash-ins I have heard about recently! What point are they trying to prove there? That some unknown Arabian-American singer can't get a record deal because the suits won't give her a chance? Fair enough, but do we really have to tape some rich kiddie from the Bin Laden legacy to get the argument across? Nice to see US telly are handling this issue with their standard amount of tact and diplomacy! I can't wait to see the organisers 'accidentally' pencil her in for a moral-boosting trip to the Middle East to entertain all the 19-year old steakheads wiping dung all over the Koran and feeding it to their captives....Expect to see a Jerry Springer style melee backstage, which they will then put out on DVD to enormous sales. Is there not limit to how low they can go?

Madonna has vowed to stick to the microphone and give up on her acting career.
The singer has appeared in films such as Shanghai Surprise and Body Of Evidence.
According to IOL.com she said: "What film can survive people saying it's going to be a bomb from the second it's announced?"
"Making movies is such an effort, and to do that over and over again, with the possibility that I am going to get the s**t kicked out of me - and they really enjoy doing it - I mean, it doesn't make sense.

- OK, so those films only sunk like the concrete-coated turds that they were because people slated them just cos Madonna was in them? Maybe the press didn't give her a fair chance as an actress, but let's face it, we know some stuff is going to suck before even giving it a go so why waste your time? There's a reason that nobody stood up to say her films were great, namely cos they weren't - crap baseball tie-ins, ugly comic book adaptations and hideous 80's drama that even hardcore John Hughes freaks agree is the artistic equivalent of eating wet cardboard....it all sucks! Worst of all was that documentary thing from the early 90's with all those gay dancers (ie the period when Madonna was trying to sell pretty much anything apart from her own records) - now when you can't even make a decent film playing YOURSELF, I think we have problems on our hands. And why deny people the oppurtunity to critically 'kick the shit out of you'? That's the one positive aspect of your film career, we get to spend ages talking about how fucking terrible all your films are! It's a purely enjoyable experience! What part of that doesn't make sense???

Week in pop March 4th 2006

Singer Boy George is due to appear before a US court on a drugs charge.
The former Culture Club frontman is accused of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after cocaine was allegedly found in his New York apartment by police in October.
Officers said they went to his home after the 44-year-old called 911 to report a burglary and they found a small amount of the drug next to a computer.

- Not sure if you all followed this, but basically George gets his collar felt for coke possession when the cops turn up and find bags of the stuff in his flat after he falsely reports a burglary, then the drugs charges get dropped but he still gets fined for wasting police time and gets stuck in rehab just for good measure. Why all the press coverage for what was essentially a pretty dull story of an old queen getting drug busted? Is there a new Culture Club best of due out sometime soon? More to the point, have you seen what this guy looks like without his make-up and hat collection? Eeeewwww!!! I say keep on the cabaret gear, at least try and preserve the myth that you're not really just a fat old bus driver underneath all the slap and feather boas!

Axl Rose has reignited his public spat with Slash in the abusive aftermath of the disintegration of Guns N' Roses, accusing his former guitarist of "betrayal".
The pair have exchanged insults and lawsuits over the group's legacy in recent years, although are not thought to have seen each other for a decade, since the demise of the seminal line-up.

- Excuse me, but didn't Axl end up kicking most of the others out of the band anyway? The only one who didn't get the boot was Dizzy Reed, and that's only cos he was Beavis to Axl's Butthead and nobody would have cared about him otherwise. Sure, most of the other members' solo stuff has been pretty lame, and Velvet Revolver certainly aren't half as good as a lot of people seem to want them to be, but at least Slash, Duff et al stuck their heads about the parapet a couple of times since 1994 to throw out some new stuff. In the time that Axl has been harping on about 'Chinese Democracy', old skool GNR fans from back in the day have grown up and had kids, who themselves have grown up and had kids.....We are getting generations away from the people who actually gave a fuck about this project in the first place! All the old stuff still rules and it's a bit disheartening to have reheated versions of the real thing à la VR foisted upon you that just remind you how much GNR fucking slayed up until 'Spaghetti', but let's face it, like England winning the world cup, the moment came and went when these guys were good and it ain't gonna happen again! Axl was 'old at heart at 28' on Estranged back in '91, so what does that make him now? Just let in go and make up you old farts, it was a long time ago! These guys are going to be dancing on each other's graves before we know it!

Jon Bon Jovi believes The Kaiser Chiefs have saved rock'n'roll from extinction.

- Hahahahahahaaaaa!!!! What better recommendation do you need? That's like your dad suddenly deciding he's 'down with your fave band dude!'. I bet they keep quiet about that little bit of praise! Let's see if we can get JBJ to turn up unannounced at their concerts Evan Dando style and do an impromptu duet with Pricky Wilson - watch those album sales plummet!

A federal judge has ordered rock star Rod Stewart to pay a Las Vegas casino more than £1.7 million for not returning advance money he was paid before he cancelled a concert in 2000.

- Did you hear about this? Rod schedules a concert in Vegas, gets paid two million up front, and then sacks it off claiming he's got a 'sore throat' but keeps all the cash anyway!!! This guy has some serious cojones! What did he think, that they were just going to let the matter drop! I guess at least such telltale stinginess lends a bit more credibility to his claims of Scottish ancestry that all that fake tartan bullshit ever did!!

Pete Townshend has launched a blistering attack on Pete Doherty, branding him a "f*ckwit".

- Veeeeeeeery perceptive Pete. But I'm getting a bit sick of all these press slagging matches - why not settle this like real men? Let's get your boney 60-something arse into a pub car park and then get you to slag off PD to his face while he's off his tits on smack....see how mouthy you feel then! Granted, Doherty is to fuckwittedness like Cadburys is to chocolate - the two are inseperably linked - but taking shots at such an open goal is still a girl's move. If you want to slag off someone then why not pick a bit more of an original target? With the amount of 'fuckwits' currently doing the rounds in pop music, you shouldn't have to spend too long looking!

Cleaning out the attic

I just got back from a few days staying with my folks in Leeds and my mum saddled me with the task of going through my collection of old music magazines from the 90's and deciding which ones I didn't want to chuck out. Apparently they were taking up too much space, so she asked me to hang on to a few and bin the rest. This turned into quite the trawl through 90's pop culture (mainly indie via Melody Maker from 95 to about 98, then a couple more years' worth of Kerrang after that when I'd grown my hair a bit). Certainly brought back a few memories of yesteryear, although there's no cause for getting too nostalgic on the other hand - as now, much stuff then sucked very much and it was good to see it disappear. By way of structuring this entry, let's make some lists :

90's bands you don't hear that much these days which is a shame cos their music still tears it up some

Ride - Found the first EP on 12-inch in my bedroom and was surprised at how much it still ROCKS bigtime. The first four EPs and most of the first album were totally fucking ace. I don't remember whether we'd come into possession of a CD player by the time I got into these guys, but I bought all the original EPs on vinyl mainly for the cover photos - roses, daffodils, penguins and sharks respectively - which just looked the business. The music also holds up good. Always like it when bands have a theme running through their artwork. Their second album had some good parts, then they went all sixties and we got into Britpop so there was no turning back, but their earlier stuff is still some of my favourite guitar music.

QFX - Bangin' Ardkore!!! OK, it sounded like they had recorded their songs on a budget of about 15p but they still sound raw as fuck and I still stick on 'Freedom' all the time. Classic townie glue-sniffer techno!

Wildhearts - Technically they're still going, but as a serious old time fan I couldn't even be bothered to check out their new stuff cos.....well, the moment's just gone. Having said that, 'Earth Vs' still blew my mind at age 13, particularly as it was the most swearmungous record I'd ever heard back then. Their early EPs (TV Tan, Suckerpunch, Caffeine Bomb, Lovebank) were all ace, as was 'Don't be happy just worry' and 'PHUQ' wasn't half bad either. Then they kind of lost track but for a while there I was a massive fan, and I still put the old stuff on now.

L7 - I almost forgot about these ladies until I put them into another entry below - great image and attitude, 'Bricks are Heavy' is probably the best example of a perfect rock album that I can conjure to mind. If you don't own it, SORT IT OUT FOOL!

Daisy Chainsaw - OK, they only did the one single that I remember but it rocked bigtime! Again, another one essential if you want to look cool.

Carcass - I only got into them after they split, but 'Heartwork' is possibly my favourite death metal album (if you can call it that). They probably would have been rubbish if they'd have carried on into the second half of the 90's but the earlier stuff still holds up.

The Prodigy - THE best band of the 90's, no questions asked. Rock and Rave were compleletely seperated until these guys did 'Jilted Generation', which was the only thing hard enough to please both audiences and not be seen as a sellout. The fools only got into them on 'Fat of the Land' but everyone else was banging their head to this way earlier.

90's bands you don't hear much these days whose music is now painfully out of date and embarrassing to find in your collection

Pitchshifter - Remember in the late 90's when these guys cut their hair and ditched their industrial sound to become a sort of toytown Consolidated? Suddenly people were all getting into a tizz about them being 'musical revolutionaries' just cos they had the bright idea of sticking some drum 'n' bass parts onto their punk songs.....I admit I was well into them at the time and I saw them live a couple of times (once in Manchester which was OK and another time at a festival where they were totally storming). Having said that, you put on their stuff on now and it reminds you of that point in the late 90's when everyone in the metal scene was feeling so smug and superior to the older generation who were still into Maiden and Anthrax etc.....You listen to this 'futuristic metal' now and that idea kinda seems a little less convincing.

Bentley Rhythm Ace - We can widen this one up to pretty much ALL big beat, with perhaps the notable exception of Propellorheads (who don't sound as good as they used to but don't sound totally ludicrous either) and Fatboy Slim (he's an old fart with a baldy head but the tunes still slay on the dancefloor). Again, people got snobby to the rave culture at the start of the decade so we had to invent something British that indie kids who liked wearing skate clothes could dance to whilst still retaining a bit of a cool edge. Hey presto - 'big beat'! (Inverted commas obligatory). You could therefore basically loop the same bassline for half an hour and stick in some 'ironic' samples from 70's TV shows, and suddenly the dancefloor was rammed with wiseguy student types all wearing combats and record label T-shirts. Anyone else glad that era shrivelled up and left no trace whatsoever? BTA weren't the worst, I just remember seeing them live twice and both times wondering when the tunes were going to kick in. They had some kind of stage set where the decks were built into some kind of car thing, which was about as zany as it got. To be fair, they were on late in the day at Reading or something and most of the crowd were so stoned that they would have danced to Songs of Praise by that point, so it didn't really matter.

Asian Dub Foundation - OK, their first couple of records were pretty good and they fucking tore it up live with their original singer, but journalists were WAY too in love with the whole idea of a bunch of Asian lads making music to see through the hype and call it in when they made a bad record ('Community Music' anyone?). It would have been nice to see them blow up bigger, but to be honest the only reason they didn't was just that the tunes were better suited to the underground and no-one in the band was into 'compromise' enough to see them go any further. Good festival band though.

Carter USM - Yes I did use to think these guys were cool (but only for about five minutes). However their two guitars and a drum machine thing went out of date incredibly quickly and by about '94 everyone was laughing at them. Having said that, 'After the Watershed' and 'Bloodsport for all' still rule.

Pop Will Eat Itself - Perhaps a testament to the times that you could get away with a stupid name that sounds like a bunch of hippies came up with it during a week long bong marathon. This shit sounds SO old these days that you could pretty much carbon date it. Again, they were good back then (I think they were the first band I saw live, circa 'Everything's Cool') but this is exactly the sort of stuff that wears its years badly.

Curve - Maybe this hasn't aged THAT badly (it doesn't sound much worse than same era Depeche Mode) but you just imagine it being the soundtrack to some Athena-type indie furniture commercial from the early 90's.


90's bands that sucked then and if they still existed would just suck more

Dodgy - AAAAAAAAAAAARRGH!!! Apologies if I just reminded you that these guys ever existed, but they must have set some kind of standard for all round naffness that has remained unsurpassed sinde 1996. I remember that 'Good Enough' song came out the same week that Suede made their sell-out Britpop comeback with some wussy keyboard player, but even that sounded great compared to fucking Dodgy! They also had possibly THE most punchable fat hat-wearing drummer in history. I remember reading an interview with him banging on about how he was really into Wu-Tang and Drum 'n' Bass and all that.....yeah right tubby! I guess you just played plod-rock to pay the phone bill then??

Northern Uproar - I had to pinch myself when I found the copy of MM with these guys on the cover to be sure that I hadn't just picked up a photo of four chimps dressed in C&A wear by mistake!!! To be fair, they had a couple of tunes to their name but I just object to the press getting so into their 'realness' when they were just four scallie twats who had learnt to play the guitar instead of twokking car stereos. Maybe some North Manchester motorists got off lightly, but the rest of us had to endure their music and unbelievably stupid comments in interviews for a good 18 months or so. Teenage scamps rise to fame overnight writing songs about being skint and lusting after girls they can't get....sound familiar? I guess the only reason I can actually deal with the Arctic Monkeys over this lot is that they're not from fucking MANCHESTER.

Coal Chamber - Well, at least their make-up looked good. I actually got roped into watching these guys play live once and everyone in the audience was just laughing at them! Can't argue really - 'The roooooof is on fire!!' Hahahahahaha!!!! Dez does 'black metal' now apparently, but I reckon he's just looking for any way to stay in music as he's never going to get a real job with those crummy face tattoos!

Kid Rock - Who bought into THIS?? Some cracker dickhead rapping over recycled southern rock riffs about how much he can drink and how many 'bitches' are willing to suck him off? Suddenly we got talked into believing that this guy was somehow going to unite the rock and rap fraternities in perfect harmony.....Hmmm. Admittedly, his stuff flows a lot better than most of the other acts around at the time wearing the big shorts and playing two-note mosh riffs on loop, but that's still just like saying that drowning is better than being hacked to death with a penknife. We're a long way from anything pleasant.

Korn - What else do I need to say? Odds on for worst band of the 90's (possibly worst band EVER).

Ocean Colour Scene - OK, their music wasn't quite as bad as a lot of people made out, but they were a proper bunch of wankers and that counts for a lot. I could perhaps enlarge this entry to all 'TFI Friday britrock' à la Shed Seven, Cast etc...The sort of stuff that conjures up images of fat blokes watching Match of the Day in their boxers drinking Carling and farting loudly. And that fucking 'Three Lions' song too. Eugh!

Seahorses - They would fit in the above bracket, but this lot deserve a special mention just because they were an example of how being in one of the greatest ever rock bands doesn't stop you going on to jump on some bandwagon and end up making fuck awful pub rock. They only managed one album and good job too.

Bush - Whatever the Yanks can do, we can do better right? WRONG! They gave us a string of fantastic 90's rock/metal bands (Faith No More, L7, Body Count etc...) and in return we give them a piss weak Blue Peter version of Nirvana five years late. I'm surprised they didn't bomb us for this lot.

Midget - My flatmates loved these guys. We saw them in the Roadhouse in Manchester supported by Idlewild who'd been going for a couple of months by that point. Perhaps a forerunner for Busted/McFly and the like. Fat fucking kids.

Folk whose opinion apparently mattered to the music press back then but now nobody gives a short toss about them

Martin Rossiter (Gene) - This tosswad spent ages trying to pose off as some sort of hard man in the press just so his band didn't get dismissed as a bunch of big jessies....Hmmm, maybe trying just a BIT too hard? He even headbutted Dennis Pennis one time! OK, that guy was a proper dick but it still didn't stop Tosswitter coming across as a total wuffter. You could picture him doing press-ups in front of the NME staff just to prove his point. Dick!

John Robb (Gold Blade) - Over-opinionated twatlike journalist who ditched writing to form his own third rate 'soul punk' outfit, Gold Blade. These dickheads would dress up in tinfoil and bang on about having 'soul power' and stuff like that. Robb himself had a look which consisted of wearing his hair like Gary Barlow circa 1992 and pumping iron. Wanker!

Tarrie B (Tura Satana) - These guys (basically Tarrie and three unidentifiable Latino blokes dressed in black) seemed to be in Kerrang every week for a while back there. Sure, Tarrie was a nice bit of goth skirt, but the music was completely crap and the only reason she even got interviews was because the metal scene was so totally short of ladies with anything interesting to say that girls only needed to string together a coherent sentence and they'd stick them on the cover.

Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers) - Oh thank the good lord that this tosswipe doesn't get his ugly mug in the papers as much as a few years back! I speak as one who foolishly hung on his every word back in the day, and somehow let stuff like 'I hope Michael Stipe gets AIDS' slide cos he was sewww kewwl....Thankfully I have grown up a bit since then and can now recognise this guy for the grade A pecker that he is. I don't need to tell you how cool their first three records where, but once Richey bit the big one all that was left was Nicky to write the lyrics and they hit the skids bigtime. Unfortunately, rugby players had started buying their records by then so we got plenty of Nicky for a good few years after that, but I can safely say that nay fucker cares about what he has to say now.

Chicks from 90's indie bands whose photos I spent some quality time with back in the day

Sonya Madan (Echobelly) - Their music was pretty awful, but I would have gladly overlooked that to get my filthy hands on the singer. Second generation Asian babe from a strict upbringing who dresses as a schoolgirl at the Reading festival.....promising stuff! We would have made a beautiful couple.

Annie Holland (Elastica) - I had to be different as a teenager, so I fancied the bass player instead of the other two (who came across as a bit too London posho for my liking). Annie had a good fringe and looked vulnerable. Turns out she was ripped to the beacons on smack though, which might explain a thing or two.

All of Kenickie except the drummer cos he was a bloke - Fantastic North Eastern three-way indie gangbang! Their music was cool too, and the ladies had a good sense of humour in there. Lauren Laverne is too thin now. If I had to pick one from back then, it would have been Marie the other guitar player. But big scores all round. I'd have bought the drummer a book to read or something so he wouldn't get bored while I was busy shagging his bandmates.

Louise Wener (Sleeper) - Yeah, I know, we all wanted to. She acted like she was too good for us all but I still would have. Might have had to have taped her gob shut though, otherwise you'd have got a first year politics lecture in one ear and that would just have put me off.

Shirley Manson (Garbage) - Grrrrr!!! Gotta respect the ginger lady! I remember a quote where she said that 'even if I'm in the background in every photo, someone will still pick me out and masturbate over me'!!! Speaking from experience eh? Still, looking at the state of the three other blokes in that band I think you can see why she stuck out. She did a pretty impressive speech on women in rock when I saw them live. You don't get that many rock chicks who can balance a bit of politics with outright horniness. Big score for Shirley. Biiig score.

A record for all occasions

A record for all occasions

Feeling très happy : Stone Roses - s/t
I know this is a pretty clichéd choice and regularly features on those 'Most fantastic album EVER!' lists written mainly by complete dorks who only listen to one sort of music anyway, but don't let that put you off. This was pretty much the first album I owned and despite years of scally twats sticking it on pub jukeboxes (not to mention Manchester nightclubs playing several tracks off it every single night), I still love it and it still makes me happy as a big pink rabbit.

Feeling très blue : Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating in space
Comes packaged like medicine for being all bummed out and whiny, which is pretty apt cos it's best suited to those days when you're just too fed up to listen to anything more cheerful. Not self-pitying either which is pretty rare in breakup records. The follow up 'Let it come down' is pretty good too, but with a big orchestral type sound. This one is more like being covered in Vicks Vapo-Rub and then bashed with a big guitar.

Feeling très angry : Consolidated - Play More Music
This guys were PISSED OFF. Half of the album is their own fans slagging them off for blabbering on about politics instead of playing their music. Alright, they were maybe a little too hardcore for their own good (how many people can really relate to straightedge feminist vegan industrial bands?) but there are still some seriously brutal cuts on this record. 'Guerillas in the mist' is possibly the most vicious thing ever.

Nailing some fine lady : Led Zep - How the West was won
Namely cos it's got loads of long instrumental bits with Jimmy Page whacking his guitar with a violin bow, which I reckon would suit the dirty deed quite well. However, be careful not to get too carried away during 'Immigrant Song' or you'll find yourself banging your girl's head against the bedposts and bellowing 'VALHALLA I AM COMIIIING'!!

Feeling très drunk on the booze : Dropkick Murphys - Live on St Patricks Day
Pretty much anything sounds great when you're drunk (even stuff that sounds crap when you're sober) but this is probably the best choice seeing as Dropkick Murphys seem to have been specifically created to make stuff that makes you want to throw back some serious ales and stomp on your fellow man. Irish music also sounds fucking horrible when you've not had anything to drink, but once you're three sheets it suddently sounds great!

Feeling mashed to the paps on ganja weed : The Orb - Live '93
This seemed like the trippiest thing EVER when I was fifteen. The sort of music you couldn't picture anyone listening to without some kind of chemical assistance. It's good to wake up slowly to, but I can certainly recommend it for those late night spliff sessions (if that's your thing). I haven't smoked any blifter in a long time but back in uni I remember doing space cakes and passing out listening to this, then having some kind of lucid dream where I was walking through a magical forest and ever sample on the album corresponded to someone coming up to talk to me. That was cool.

Shaking some tail on the dancefloor : Ramones - anything by....
Everyone can dance to the Ramones - it all sounds exactly the same yet that didn't stop me buying loads of their records anyway. Drop their stuff anywhere in the world (especially in South America) and you will be able to tell who is cool and who isn't by who starts to rock out immediately. And don't let anyone tell you that they went shit after the first few records later either, the 80s and 90s stuff is just as cool and if they hadn't all split up and dropped dead then chances are they would still be touring and putting out classic stuff.

Feeling all hungover : Underworld - Beaucoup Fish
I actually got into this when I had tonsilitis and someone lent me the CD to listen to whilst I was recovering. It totally brought me out of my grebby sickness and so I reckon it wins in this category. Also storming stuff to dance to. I saw them on tour in Belgium at a festival around 2am and they fucking SLAYED.

Rocking out with your dad : Phil Spector's Xmas Album
I bought this for my dad last year and he got so excited he nearly burnt the turkey!! My mum had to lay down the law and insist he stopped playing it so much cos he cranked it up loud pretty much all Xmas Day. Cracking pop music with a massive production. My dad rules. He knows where it's at.

Rocking out with your brothers : They Might be Giants - Mink Car / Pearl Jam - Vs
Two choices cos I have two brothers - Alex's favourite band are TMBG and this is probably their rockiest album. Alex likes to rock out and stomp up a storm in his bedroom. Luckily our house has strong floorboards. He likes that shit LOUD too. Andy's favourite band are PJ (as anyone who's spoken to him for more than about five minutes will probably know) and I probaby like their second one best cos it has a few more classic mosh-outs on there. Plus that 'Glorified version of a pelican' song.

Rocking out with your mum : ??????
My mum doesn't rock out - she doesn't even listen to music apart from through the walls when the rest of us put it on in the house. She's too busy ironing and stuff to get into music. However, my mum rules all the same.

Taking a wee snooze : Sepultura - Arise
Alright, that might sound like a weird choice but I actually like going to sleep to this sort of stuff. I somehow manage to zone out despite all the jungle zombie thrashiness. Failing that, maybe that Aphex Twin album with no proper song titles - that's pretty mellow (actually, I find that's better suited to cracking one off when no-one's around, but I didn't create a category for that in this list).

Waking the hell up in the morning : Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Starts really nicely and has some good fast bits to get your boney arse out of that comfy bed. Also has some really nice soft bits just to eeease you into another day. I refused to listen to this at first just because NME got so frothed up about it, but turns out I was wrong cos it's really good (yeah right, they're still full of shit at the NME though, that doesn't prove anything).

Waking all your flatmates up in the morning whether they actually want to get up or not : Dragonforce - Inhuman Rampage
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! WIDDLY WIDDLY WOOOOOO!!!!!! GET OUT OF FUCKING BED YOU LAZY BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, admittedly I got yelled at for putting this one on but you can't deny that it kicks big hairy arse all the same.

Listening to really loud on your headphones in the metro : Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness
Makes you want to perform animal sacrifices whilst waiting for your train. I have so far resisted the temptation. It's cool to listen to songs about praising the horned one while you're sat on a commuter train surrounded by dorks going to work at the bank.

Convincing people that you're a total headcase : Khanate - s/t
JUST PLAIN WRONG. I got this after reading a review saying it sounded like it had been 'marinating in its own filth for centuries' or something like that and they weren't far off. I think this would clear the room pretty much immediately.

Doing a spot of housework : America - Live
Great 70's soft rock - I could maybe put 'Rumours' by the Mac as a second choice here. Makes you feel totally domestic. I like to stick on 'I want to break free' by Queen too but then I feel like I have to dress up as a woman and grow a big gaylord biker tash.

Cruising in your vehicle : Prince - Dirty Mind
Prince is the man. I can just imagine driving along with this or some of his old shit like 'Erotic City' on the stereo really loud. Again, I might have to grow a tash to fully pull this one off. Note to self - start to grow monster tash and hoover the flat.

Playing at your wedding : Elvis - Can't help falling in love
You can't get more hopelessly romantic that Elvis can you? I reckon I'm gonna get married in Hawaii on a big raft and serenade my lady with this one. That sounds like the right sort of idea.

Playing at your divorce : Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle
Well let's face it, I won't be going out of my way to be polite if it's all gone down the bog by then will I? Turn this one up high when her mother comes over.

Playing at your funeral : N-Trance - Set You Free
I don't want it to be a dismal affair so this is going to be on full whack. I want everyone out there with glow sticks and whistles while they lower me into the ground. Then they can all get pissed up and dance on my grave. Just mind the flowers though.

Pump up the 90's

Pump up the 90's

We're halfway through the noughties (or whatever you wanted to call the current decade) and I'm already feeling slightly nostalgic for the good old days of undercuts, Gamesmaster and free university education so I thought what better time to rewind to the 1990s and review what the finest musical output of that particular decade? To determine what made the list and what didn't, I laid down a few criteria :

1. The record in question has to have been released between 1990 and 1999 (OK that sounds pretty bloody obvious but how many of you think of 'Stone Roses', 'Doolittle', 'Disintegration' as '90s albums? They're all from the 80s fools!)
2. The record has to be reasonably original, at least when it came out.
3. The record has to have been at least a little bit influential on what came afterwards (ie : loads of bands copied it and released weaker versions to greater success).
4. The record has to be a good example of a larger movement in popular music (this goes hand in hand with being influential, but it might explain some of my choices a little more clearly).
5. The record has to stand up to repeated listens now, without the aid of booze/drug fueled nostalgia for those innocent days of youth.

You got all that??

OK, so here we go then. Choices are of course open to debate, and this is merely a list of my personal preferences but I am still going to back them up with a bit of historical context. If you don't agree, step up and bring your own suggestions (just don't bitch about my own choices unless you've heard the records in question numbnuts!).

1. The Prodigy - Music for the Jilted Generation (94)
You wanna pick one record that defines the musical trends, political movement and general zeitgeist of the decade? Here it is folks. Liam Howlett has been quoted in the press complaining about how the Prodge are all too often left out of discussions on the musical highlights of the 90's, and my man is bang on the money right there. Trouble is, most of the music press who compile these kind of 'best of' lists are dickless whiteboy journalists who end up writing for Q or the broadsheet music sections after a couple of years paying their dues in the indie press, and have not been near a dancefloor in years. These were exactly the sort of wankers who dismissed Liam and co as a two-minute novelty rave act and then had to shut the fuck up when 'Jilted' shot straight to the top of the album charts in 1994.
I can't explain how psyched I was about this record coming out - like many young teenagers back in the early 90's, I had spent the previous couple of playing Space Crusade whilst listening to the Prodigy's faultless run of early singles on full blast and I was understandably excited about the new record coming out. However, the rave scene was growing a bit stale and none of the hardcore crews of the time could hold it together to put out ONE decent album, let alone two. The first Prodge record was pretty storming but it was more a collection of singles than anything else, whereas number two had a proper structure to it - more importantly, it tied in politically with the government crackdown on outdoor parties (and by extension, a huge section of youth culture that even the mainstream rock press had done nothing but patronise until then). The illustration inside the record sleeve tells it all - a dreadlocked crusty threatening to cut a rope bridge seperating the festival he is attending from the police and riot squads trying to close it all down. The accompanying music was suitably pissed off, fucked up and mashed out to soundtrack the period - looped punk riffs, live drums, manic Goa trance, 100 mph speed anthems and still enough commercial knowhow to rack up another string of hit singles at the same time.
More importantly, I don't remember anyone listening to rock AND rave before this one came out - sure, some of us liked to mix the two but on the whole you chose your camp, dressed accordingly and you stuck with it all the way. Metallers and Indie kids dissed dance music so universely that the general reaction of the ravers was to tell them all to fuck off and stick to listening to nothing but electronic music. They both missed out obviously, but there was so much antagonism between the scenes that someone had to come along and make a record they could both cream over before they came to the same concert. Once they'd sampled Nirvana, suddently NME, Kerrang most of the mainstream press were all over the Prodigy like they'd just put out their first single - so is it any surprise that the same rags forgot all about them a few years later? Still, the punters knew better and it is testament to the fact that this shit still stands up to the times when they can put out a singles compilation years later and still see it top the album charts. They critics can witter on about 'OK Computer', 'Urban Hymns' etc...as much as they want but there is no other record that defined the 90's as much as this one did.

Also :
Only for the Headstrong (FFRR compilation album, '92) - A comprehensive guide to the hardcore years, to fill in what came before.
Scooter - ....And the beat goes on (95) - What would have happened to rave afterwards if nothing had changed. Still rules though!

2. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (91)
This is a stock choice for 'best of' lists, which means you can guarentee loads of fools went out to buy this just because it was a trendy choice and then listened to it about twice but left it clearly visible at every party they ever threw so that other fools could come by and say 'Ooooh! Loveless eh? This is SUCH A COOL ALBUM MAN!!'. Whatever. All that's by the by as this is probably the coolest guitar record of the decade and one that pretty much demands that you turn the sound all the way up before hitting play on the stereo. YAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! Best opening song EVER!! In contrast to the humunguous distorted riffs there are some seriously trippy points where they just go off on one, which is equally effective. The whole package was just so complete - the front cover, the totally faded vocals and the mashed up percussion, it all just combines to make this one bitchin' listen. You can dance to it, rock out to it or sit on your beanbag bonged out of your skull to it - a record for all occasions!! Again, many people tried to imitate this one but they couldn't come close to its sheer blissed-outness. The band nearly bankrupted Creation records too when they took so long recording it, but at least the results were worth it.

Also :
Ride - Nowhere (91) - More commercial but still seriously great in places.
Verve - A Storm in Heaven (92) - Aschcroft and co were turning out total crud by the late 90's but their first one was a killer.

3. Guns 'n' Roses - Use your Illusion 1 & 2 (both 91)
Once again, let me set the record straight here. Nirvana did NOT kill hair metal (although they may have been instrumental in it killing itself) when MTV started playing their videos all the time. This myth has been permeated by dork journalists, crybaby schoolgirls and all-round WIMPS ever since 'Nevermind' hit the stands, but I for one remember back then and whilst a lot of people had that record, that was nothing compared to the fanbase GNR had even at the time. Grunge came along at a time when hair metal was on the way out, but there was no takeover point where fans of one replaced fans of the other - the original wave of hair bands (Poison, Cinderella, Motley Crue) were losing ground rapidly (or 'going blues' as they called it at the time) but by the early 90's they had been replaced by a newer generation of younger, ruder bands like GNR, Skid Row etc....Whilst the others came and went pretty quickly, GNR conquered the whole planet with this double set in the early 90's and toured the arse of it for ages afterwards, right when grunge was on the up. Kurt Cobain may have been prettier, but Axl, Slash and co were bigger, badder and in a totally seperate class to any rock band of the time.
'Appetite' was great stuff and probably hangs together better as an album, but the Illusions set was WAY more ambitious - over thirty tracks you got Dylan and Macartney covers, ten minute epics, blues jams, punk freakouts, two versions of the same song and even Axl wanking around with a drum machine....what else could you ask for?? More to the point, there were enough bonafide hits on both discs to keep the band on the radio and TV for a long long time, and you got the impression that the promo campaign with the world tour, the expensive videos, the guest appearances etc...would go on forever. It all had to end sometime though, and the next step was a naff covers record before they disappeared for the next 10 years or so. Sure, the new record (if we ever get to hear the bloody thing) might not live up to expectations, but even if Kurt were still alive right now, do you think people would be this excited about a new Nirvana record? Y'all be trippin'!!

Also :
Motley Crue - Decade of Decadence (91) - Some old stuff, some new stuff and a good idea of what rock was like at the time.
Manic Street Preachers - Generation Terrorists (91) - Basically GNR with political lyrics. Same epic sense of purpose too. Shame they went shit later.

4. Oasis - Definitely Maybe (94)
I know, you're sick to death of hearing this shit now, but cast your minds back to when this one came out and you have to agree it woke a whole lot of people up to what was a pretty stagnant British music scene. No British bands had their eye on going any further than the local students' union before Oasis came along and blew the roof off the place - everything on this record just reassures you how massive they wanted it to be, and it was. There's some serious dancefloor tunes on here, clever lyrics and just an overall sense of style that nobody else at the time had a fucking clue about. 'Rock 'n' Roll Star' is one of the best album openers ever and 'Married with Children' is probably THE best closer on any record. Elsewhere, stick it on random and you'll come up with a classic each time. Three years later they may have put out a king-sized turkey in the shape of 'Be Here Now' but the first one still stands up to repeated listens more than ten years later - hate it all you want but we would be worse off without this album.

Also :
Blur - Parklife (94) - You can't really have one without the other. It has the tunes, the style and defines the era just as well but Oasis just have the edge.
Supergrass - I should Coco (95) - Younger, faster, shorter, these guys were fucking storming on their first record.

5. Björk - Debut (93)
The female solo artist genre is obviously appealing to record companies - all you need is a halfway decent looking singer, a few songs about loneliness and some glossy videos on MTV and hey presto! Platinum album! Fortunately, for all the Alanis/Dido/Katie Meluas that have popped up since, Björk's aptly-titled first records stands out as one of the only albums in the genre with genuine personality, imagination and just plain individuality that so many people wrote off as her being totally wacked out. You don't have to look too far beyond the surface to get to the real soul of this record though, and there's so much in there once you do.
The thing about Björk that nobody else has ever managed to replicate is that she writes whatever comes into her head, in a way that allows you in there with her without any boundaries. She doesn't do clichés because there just isn't the need. Whilst the tunes on here are perfect pop songs, they're also glimpses into a very fertile imagination without being pretentious or willfully weird à la the Flaming Lips. Again, there's not a weak tune on here and the cuts range from dancefloor stompers to really intimate quiet numbers, whilst it all gels together as a whole. Plus, she even records one song in a toilet. Beat that ladies.

Also :
Kate Bush - The Red Shoes (94) - Probably here most coherent record, before she went AWOL for ten years.
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes (91) - Her first two are both ace but this one wins overall. She plays that piano like she's trying to shag it.

6. Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die (93)
Biggie's debut blew up in the middle of the gangsta phenomenon to show everyone else how it was done. OK, his stuff may not have been entirely original, but when he took stuff from other artists (most blatantly 2pac on 'Me and my Bitch'), he only did so to show how he could take a good idea and make it even better. 'Ready to Die' is humourous without being goofy, yet we still get an insight on the troubles on Biggie's mind without it seeming in any way cheesy. Even now, the rhymes on this one catch your attention and there are enough party anthems on there to make this 17 track album a steady, filler-free ride from beginning to end. He may have been exagerrating certain aspects of his ganster identity to fit with fashions at the time, but overall Biggie was still the most talented of his generation and that only makes it more tragic that he had to leave the game so early. OK, if he'd continued then he would probably have fallen too heavily under Puff Daddy's influence and started churning out shite, but we'll never know now will we? 2pac may have sold more posters since his heyday but Biggie will still be remembered as the better rapper.

Also :
Nas - Illmatic (93) - Like Biggie but brainier. All that's missing is a major hit.
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggstyle (93) - Like Biggie but dumber. Can't argue with the party anthems on here tho'.

7. Machine Head - Burn my Eyes (94)
Let's face it, metal had gotten pretty lame by the middle of the decade - the big thrash bands had lost their momentum and the British metal acts of the previous decade were repeating themselves in a nerdy cycle of self parody. Someone needed to come along and rip the scene a new one, which is exactly what Robb Flynn and co did when they dropped this one in '94. Basically, when the first words on your record are 'HWOOOAAARGGHH!!!!', we know you mean business! Right from the title, you know this album is going to be seriously NASTY and it brought back a whole new credibility to the metal scene when it was at a low ebb. Aside from the music (which was hardcore street thrash, rooted in tradition but with a new venom attached to it), the Head had a style that made them seem all the more 'now' back then - hip hop style street wear, tattoos and dreadlocks, which compared to the likes of Iron Maiden posing in castles with their T-shirts tucked into their trousers seemed pretty revolutionary at the time. Flynn went too far with the hip-hop connection later, but this collection stands up as the 90's most essential heavy music release.

Also :
Fear Factory - Demanufacture (95) - Earth-quaking cybermetal from the pre-Matrix years.
Deftones - Around the fur (97) - Nu-metal's only essential release.

8.Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating in Space (97)
Notice how few albums on my list are from the second half of the decade? Well maybe that's cos most of the new music at the time SUCKED bigtime - post Britpop indie, faceless nu-metal, über-trendy drum 'n' bass....we were running low on new ideas. Hence this record was such a big success - basically a total heartbreak drugfest with no commercial potential (at least as far as singles were concerned). Jason Price got his girlfriend pinched by Richard Ashcroft, got ripped to the tits on smack for several months and then put this one out to soundtrack his woes. It's not consistently great all the way through but the first half is pretty faultless and the packaging is pretty smooth too - the album is basically presented as a pack of medicine for a broken heart. Put this one on when you next get fucked over by the ladies (or gentlemn) and you'll feel a whole lot better (either that or you'll head out to buy something stronger, but it'll certainly get some sort of reaction).

Also :
Primal Scream - Vanishing Point (97) - Their weirdest mix of all.
Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs (98) - Sounds like they just came out of hibernation to record this.

9. Senser - Stacked Up (94)
I'm putting this one in as an example of a cultural shift, rather than just on the basis of the music. Back in the early 90's, dance and rock were slowly merging to create the sort of 'festival music' that brought both crowds together in the same pit. A number of acts tried their hand at mixing hip hop lyrics, punk riffs and techno beats but few pulled it off and Senser were probably the most successful, at least at the time. This one doesn't quite stand up to the passing of time, and Heitham's British accent raps sound a little weak these days but back in the day the likes of 'Eject' and 'Age of Panic' could easily turn your local mosh club dancefloor into a mass of flailing limbs and sweaty dreads. They never followed it up properly but this one still stands up as a great example of where music had got to at the time.

Also :
Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy - Hiphoprisy is the Greatest Luxury (92) - Franti goes political on yo ass.
Asian Dub Foundation - Facts and Fictions (95) - These guys never quite lived up to press expectations but their first one still tears it up some.

10. Coldcut - Let us Play/Let us Replay (97 & 98)
The concept of the 'mix record' was greatly promoted in the late 90's, although a lot of what came out was unlistenable bollocks. Coldcut came through with this set (basically a cut 'n' paste record and a remix version of the same set) which pretty much mashes everything up but maintains your interest all the way through. Jello Biafra guests, there's some ear-bleeding bass mayhem and then acoustic weirdness, Peter and the wolf mixes into hip-hop beats and they manage to string it all together so that the tracks all blend together into a single set without losing their personality. These two were the soundtrack to spliffed-out parties back at my house in Leeds when I was a teenager - we'd be stoned and playing Mariokart whilst listening to Coldcut and there was always something new to creep out at you on each listen. OK, that might have been the drugs but even when you're straight this is a pretty great listen.

Also :
Freestylers - We Rock Hard (98) - The most partymunguous album ever!
Propellorheads - Decksanddrumsandrockandroll (98) - Patchy in places but on the whole an imaginative blast of breakbeat mayhem.