Monday, 10 July 2017
Nostalgic fans who are only interested in Neil Young’s boring old material will be thrilled to learn than the cantankerous Canadian will finally release one of his long-lost albums on July 14. Hitchhiker was originally recorded in 1976 but the material was binned when Young became distracted with other projects such as cocaine.
Young isn’t the only musician with an album or twelve tucked away at the back of his audio pantry. Here are six more records that have yet to see the light of day that it would literally be worth injecting your own grandmother with a lethal dose of diamorphine to hear.
Green Day - Cigarettes And Valentines And The Same Three Chords
The Californian trio abandoned this album when its master tapes were stolen by a benevolent Robin Hood figure hoping to spare the masses from yet more Green Day. Instead, Billy Bobby Thornton and co. dusted themselves off and wrote the bloated concept album American American. But what would that original album have sounded like? Pop-punk, obviously. Working titles included ‘Oi Oi’, ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’, ‘Boohoo Ballad’, ‘Spank Spank’ and ‘Mickey The Mohawk’s Tragic Tale Of Social Security Woe (Woe, Woe, Woah)’.
U2 - Trilogy
According to Bono’s water-polo partner George W. Bush, U2 have at least three albums worth of unreleased material which ranges from bombastic arena rock to acoustic arena rock. I’m not surprised because one of them once slipped down the back of Bono’s sofa only to find its way into my iTunes library and now I can’t delete it without the webcam taking my picture without permission and automatically adding my name to a secret government list of known atheists.
Donald J. Trump - The Art Of Making A Really Really Great Album Like A True Champ
Much like Jesus, little is known about Donald Trump’s teenage years other than he was almost certainly a precocious tool. One theory is that the young Donald spent much of that time working on an ambitious space-prog concept album inspired by Orson Welles, golden shiny things and several books he hasn’t read. It is thought that Trump abandoned his musical aspirations when it finally dawned on him that he could not operate any grown-up instruments with such tiny hands. He then decided to focus on his second dream of becoming America’s least qualified human.
Billy Joel - Everything Since 1993
In a reversal of the hideous portrait in Dorian Gray’s attic, the songs Billy Joel records in his secluded basement are as sprightly and vibrant as the work of his youth while, externally speaking, Joel slowly transforms into a pink fleshy egg. In concert, Joel’s piano has to be secured to the stage floor with extra reinforced bolts to prevent it from being sucked into the air by the force of an entire arena crowd gasping in unison at this upsetting reminder of mortal decline.
Gary Barlow - Eyebrow Of The Tiger
At the nadir of his portly wilderness years, Gary Barlow recorded an entire concept album dedicated to his own right eyebrow. Tracks included ‘Back For Eyebrow’, ‘Everything Eyebrows’, ‘A Million Eyebrows’, ‘How Deep Is Your Eyebrow’, ‘It Only Takes An Eyebrow’, ‘I Will Eviscerate Robbie Williams And Feed His Gunky Entrails To That Prickhole Max Beesley’ and ‘Relight My Eyebrow’. Gary Barlow’s right eyebrow was so touched by the gesture that it has remained raised in erotic stimulation ever since.
Noel Gallagher, John Zorn and Autechre - Vol. 1: Definitely Quabungzizz-X
A couple of years ago, word got out that the ex-Oasis songwriter had recorded a whole album in collaboration with the avant-garde composer John Zorn and groundbreaking electronic duo Autechre. Regrettably, Gallagher shelved the project when he suddenly remembered that it could jeopardise his long-cultivated reputation as Britain’s dullest musician.
Saturday, 8 April 2017
Most of the time the phrase “Easter egg” will make you think of stuffing your insatiably greedy face with Lindt rabbits while intravenously injecting the gunk from a Cadbury’s Creme Egg directly into your bloodstream. However, in the world of video games, films and software, “Easter egg” doesn’t have anything to do with the resurrection of Christ. It basically means hidden messages or secret quirks, like when pressing up-down-left-right-left-right-start-up-up-up-down-up-down-up-poweroff-start-pause-pause during Level Three of Desert Strike for the Sega Megadrive would reveal a bonus cut scene in which defenceless Iraqi hostages were murdered in cold blood by Gilius Thunderhead from Golden Axe.
There are plenty of them in music too, including secret songs, backwards voices and loads of other rubbish. Here are five of the best Easter eggs in music. Please don’t tell us your own favourites in the comments below.
The Beatles - ‘Her Majesty’
Nirvana - ‘Endless Nameless Pointless Celebrities’
Tool - 10,000 Days
If you play all the tracks on Tool’s 2006 album 10,000 Days at the same time while simultaneously holding separate sleeves of the LP up to windows on opposite sides of the room, then a hologram of lead singer Maynard James Keenan (pictured above) will appear and gleefully announce that there will be eight Pucifer records, another A Perfect Circle reformation and three more appearances of Halley’s Comet before the next Tool album arrives, you patient maggots.
Desert Sessions - ‘Shepherd’s Pie’
Absent from some copies of the album, this piss-around track was reputedly inspired by the delicious shepherd’s pie that PJ Harvey (pictured above) cooked for Josh Homme, Twiggy Ramirez, Chris Goss and other rockin’ rockers as they recorded together in the Californian desert. I wish PJ Harvey would cook some shepherd’s pie for me. Why does PJ Harvey never cook shephard’s pie for me? God I’m lonely.
Radiohead - 0 to 10
OK Computer and In Rainbows both have ten letters in their title. The latter was released a decade after OK Computer, on October 10th. The band made it available for download on ten servers. When touring the album, Radiohead’s support slots were given to Tenpole Tudor, The Three Tenors and Ten Inch Nails. What’s the significance of the number ten? Create a playlist that alternates the tracks of OK Computer with those of In Rainbows, and you end up with one massive seamless Radiohead album. Unfortunately though, it’s still a Radiohead album which is 10 million per cent less enjoyable than Jason Donovan’s seminal debut record Ten Good Reasons.
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Following the success of their atmospheric movie soundtracks, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have been hired to provide the backing music to the forthcoming series of the BBC’s toughest cookery competition.
In what looks to be the biggest shake-up of the show’s ambience since it was rebranded MasterChef Goes Large and then quickly re-rebranded back to MasterChef again, its producers felt that Cave and Ellis’ gothic soundscapes could bring a sense of drama and class to the format which has recently suffered from an over-reliance on thumping house music to embellish the acts of dicing up carrots and deconstructing a fish pie.
A statement from their management said that both musicians are huge fans of the show, even though Cave’s own diet is limited strictly to snakeskin soup, washed down with the crimson blood of virgins.
MasterChef co-presenter Gregg Wallace was also deeply involved in the recording process, advising, guiding and critiquing the composers despite possessing zero musical ability of his own. Producers felt that by shouting “you’ve got three minutes” at Cave and Ellis as they approached the desired running time, Wallace made a valuable contribution in his own special way.