So chuffed this fortnight to have Link ‘Meanie’ McLennan share with us his Top Ten. Amongst Link’s many bands throughout the years, check out this lost classic from ’97 by his short-lived group Tomorrow People called “Proof” (you can find the clip on YouTube), it’s an absolute killer guitar-pop gem, worth hunting for. And for a few of my other favourite moments of Link’s check out the Bakelite Age’s “The Dead Play Well” from Malleable Demons Plus Q (2006) and the great tones of “In Love With The World” from Primitive Clockwork (2012) by his current project Sun God Replica.
Link: “I’ve left bands like the Beatles, The Who, Bowie, Stones, etc. off this list as it’s probably uninteresting to hear about those records for the millionth time. I’m sure I’ve missed some pearlers, but here goes.”
X At Home With You (1985)
One of the world’s most unique sounding bands. Great raw rock‘n’roll songs with moments that will hit you in the heart as much as any artist. With the unmistakable individual styles of Rilen, Green and Lucas, there’s a reason why no band (to my knowledge) has ever sounded quite like this.
THE NAZZ Nazz (1968) or Nazz Nazz (1969)
I can’t decide. Amazingly structured melodic 60s rock with killer hooks. Some great ballads too. I remember seeing a clip for “Open My Eyes” in my teens and thinking it was the coolest thing ever apart from “George Bean And The Runners” in the film Privilege which I saw when I was even younger.
BLACK SABBATH Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)
THE JAM Snap! (Best Of) (1983)
My brother got me into The Jam and owned all of their records but I would usually just go to Snap! It’s a platter of wall to wall hits that should make some so-called “best of” albums shrink with embarrassment and excuse themselves from the record collection.
GAME THEORY The Big Shot Chronicles (1986)
I heard ” Erica’s Word” off this album on 3PBS or 3RRR back in the mid-80s I think and it had a huge impact on me. I asked for it for Xmas and the rest of the album didn’t disappoint. Check out the amazing chorus on the acoustic “Regenisraen”.
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN Psychocandy (1985)
Okay, few bands made a bigger impression on the teenage me. Forget what I said about The Nazz clip. The clip for “You Trip Me Up” was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I jumped the gun after seeing the clip and went to Missing Link when Monday came only to find out that Psychocandy wasn’t even out yet. I bought the “Some Candy Talking” single instead. I went to see them at the Metro in ‘88 and saw them in the cinema asking directions to the venue (I think). I was too nervous to go up and help. I befriended Ash Naylor that night who was very gracious about my band ‘The Brain Donors’ letting down the tyres of his car at some uni in the middle of nowhere. We thought his band ‘The Swarm’ had stolen our slab.
THE GUN CLUB Fire Of Love (1981)
My eldest sister got me into this album and I played it to death (my own copy, not hers). I was jealous of J.L. Pierce’s ability to sing out of tune and make it sound fantastic. I think it takes a combination of a certain voice and shitloads of conviction to pull that off. I experimented with it on 4-track cassette recordings but it didn’t really work. I only sound half decent if I’m in tune.
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN Ocean Rain (1984)
I owe a lot to my two eldest siblings in terms of a musical introduction and here’s another one my brother showed me. This album is a great Sunday record that carries you away and sets you adrift on a raft in the middle of a melancholy sea.
SONIC YOUTH Goo (1990)
Whilst I love Daydream Nation and “Teen Age Riot” is one of my all-time favourite songs, I can’t go past Goo for its amazing and consistently great track list. There’s such a great flow to the record and my overall emotional response is romantic, warm and fuzzy melancholic nostalgia.
DARK THRONE Transilvanian Hunger (1994)
I thought I’d put something a bit different on here just for the hell of it. I used to listen to more metal in my early teens and to this day still have the occasional Celtic Frost, Kreator, etc. nostalgia session, but nothing gets played more than this album which I only discovered about 8 or so years ago. It is relentless from start to finish but has some amazingly beautiful chord progressions under the throat-shredded vocals and ultra low-fi production. The effect it had on me was so unique that I could listen to it and then go straight to playing rhythm and blues with The Breadmakers half an hour later. Normally listening to those sorts of bands would be too jarring beforehand. As I said, I have listened to very little of this stuff for the last 30 years but this one is always there.