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Best EP Ever?

Discussion in 'music' started by droodzilla, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. mrlamonta

    mrlamonta pfm Member

    The one I can think of, but it is late and my brain feels slow tonight, is The Best Bit ep by Beth Orton.

    worth the price alone for the cover of Dolphins with Terry Callier.

    You might want to pop your headphones on for this, it is lovely.
    Jono_13 likes this.
  2. aedagnino

    aedagnino pfm Member

    Nice thread! I'll leave out quite a few that have been mentioned. Off the top of my head:

    Cocteau Twins - The Spangle Maker
    The Cure - The Upstairs Room
    John Cale - Animal Justice
    Robert Wyatt - Work in Progress
    The The - Shades of Blue
    David Bowie - In Bertolt Brecht's Baal (it's advertised as an LP, but it's so short it's really an EP)
    The House of Love - Feel
    Pale Saints - Barging Into the Presence of God
    Uilab - Fires
    BLACKMASS likes this.
  3. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Remainiac Terrorist

    More thought, some others...

    It's Grim Up North - Justified ancients of Mu MU
    Rubberbandman - Yello
    Slave to the rhythm remixes - Grace Jones
    Soft Cell - Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing
    Orbital - Style
    We've got a fuzzbox and we're going to use it - Fuzzbox

    Recently - three EPs by Exotourisme - Des Ombres being the first, described as "Retro/Futuristic soundtrack for transient replicants and nocturnal renegades everywhere... ... a seductive, neon-soaked sound evocative of Paris’ nefarious ’80s underground
  4. FireMoon

    FireMoon pfm Member

    T, Rex Hot Love; Woodland Rock; King Of The Mountain Cometh; has to be up there.

    I also had a relative who worked for A & M in the 70s who gave me an Elton John EP of Rocket Man; Holiday; Goodbye.
  5. Simon Dawson

    Simon Dawson Angry, Ill & Ugly

    Excellent list I saw the thread title and immediately thought of about 1/2 of these.
    Durmbo likes this.
  6. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Waiting for the streetcar..

    The fact the singer looks like Pris Stratton is a giveaway... :)

    Good stuff nevertheless. One for the fans of Air and Stereolab.
  7. FC united

    FC united pfm Member

    The Ingredients EP
    Neds Atomic Dustbin
  8. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    I only ever had two: Twist and Shout (subsequently stolen) and the Brian Ferry Let’s Live Together, which I still have.
    I only recently played that having re-acquired a deck that would play 45s after a 30 year hiatus and it sounds very good.
  9. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Mustn't forget A.R. Kane's Up Home! EP. Four tracks, all brilliant, but the sum of the parts is even greater than the whole:

    Looking at my choices so far (Nightingales, Bark Psychosis, A.R. Kane, Sudden Sway) I'm surprised by how many of the songs on them are, at least obliquely, political.
  10. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    A bit off topic again but yes.. the Great Beatle Divide is an odd thing. I'm pretty sure that at its most basic level it's just one of those 'tribal' things where you took sides.. Beatles v Stones, Cliff v Elvis, Mods v Rockers etc. I always avoided such idiocy. (I didn't much rate Cliff OR Elvis... ;) ) I suspect there's a slightly more subtle and 'nuanced' version of that and maybe a sort of misplaced musical 'snobbery' in there somewhere. "Well yes..of course they were hugely popular.. but they really didn't.... (insert whatever pseudo-intellectual claptrap)". And there's also the simple Brit tendency to knock anything which is popular, as if doing so signals some sort of 'higher' intellect. ( Strictly anyone? :D )

    For me, the Beatles stand out on several fronts.
    1. In all periods their song writing was not only exceptionally good, but it broke the mould. They very quickly progressed from 'aping' standard US Soul/R&B/Pop..like all the other 'Merseybeat' and UK 'Beat' groups, and began producing fresh new songs, with a completely new approach to both melody and lyrics. The old standby sentiments of 'I Love You', 'You Love Me', 'Please Don't Leave Me' 'I'm Leaving You', 'You Dun Me Wrong' 'I Dun You Wrong..Forgive Me', etc., were replaced with more subtle/complex/poetic stuff ('Yesterday'..'Girl'..'In My Life'.. 'Here There and Everywhere')..or 're-worked' with new melodic approaches. ('Any Time At All', 'If I Fell', 'Things We Said Today', 'Tell Me Why')

    I'm not sufficiently 'up' on musical theory to get into analysing just why their songs were both lyrically and structurally so fresh and different. They just were. There was hardly a 'filler' anywhere in their albums up to maybe 'Let It Be'. Add to this all of the Beatles 'Documentary', 'Surrealist', 'Psychedelic' 'Spiritual' stuff and it's a truly epic catalogue. Even their 'covers' brought a new and different kind of energy to the songs.

    2. The Beatles were outstanding on vocals and harmonies. McCartney for instance, able to switch from a slow ballad like 'Yesterday', to a storming rant on 'I'm Down'. Lennon, able to commit his 'harder' voice to a similar range of styles and Harrison adding his unique, yet entirely appropriate vocals on everything from early 'covers' such as the Cookies' 'Chains' from 'Please Please Me'..and 'Devil in Her Heart' ( Donays 'Devil in His Heart').. on 'With The Beatles' . through to 'Here Comes the Sun' and 'Something'.. modern 'Standards', easily ranking alongside anything from 'The Great American Songbook' Even Ringo's 'singing' has its place... fortunately a small one.. :)

    All of the above could fool folks into thinking I'm a Beatles obsessive. I'm not. I have all the albums, but other stuff gets more listening. I also find that the Beatles stuff is so unique, that it doesn't easily slot into casual playlists. They, like a very few other true greats, need their own listening sesh.

    YMMV obviously..
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Though ‘were’ is the right word IMO. They were highly innovative and creative within the context of their time, but it all sounds very old/dated now. I don’t feel they ever attained the true timeless thing the way so much great jazz has, even the way some post 67 rock and especially Krautrock has. As an example the first Velvet Underground album still sounds far more ‘now’ than anything the Beatles ever produced including Tomorrow Never Knows (their high watermark by far IMHO). Same with Hendrix who still sounds light-years ahead of the billion copyists he spawned. I could happily live my life never hearing another Beatles song though I obviously respect their skill and place in history. I actually file them with bands like Queen and Abba, or for that matter Elvis, who all certainly did something lasting and of value, but what it was had very little real impact on me. This is just not my music. Plus spending so many years living in Liverpool I ended up absolutely sick to death of it! Tourist music!
  12. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    Definitely NOT 'Tourist Music', as you put it.. though it does rightly attract a lot of tourists. If you extend that idea half the art and other culture on the planet falls under the same derogatory definition. Not your finest sentiment Tony.

    As for the rest. Much as I like it.. a lot of the 'timeless jazz' you refer to sounds just as dated to me..and I was considerably more contemporary with it than you. As for music sounding 'now'. That to me is a complete red herring. Music is what it is, it all reflects its times, but some remains relevant for longer.

    I find it hard to understand how you can find songs like 'Yesterday', and any number of other Beatles ballads 'dated' They are just great songs which, as I said, rank alongside any in the great catalogue of 'Standards'.

    Apart from the above..it is obvious that our differences are mostly the result of that old chestnut... 'Chronocentrism'. Most of my favourite popular music dates from my formative years.. as does yours.
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I think this is where we differ as I seem much less rooted in my teenage years liking a lot of stuff from far before and far after, plus I’m still doing it and liking a lot of contemporary music (current jazz, electronica, rap, Americana etc)! I think the real difference is I have never had much interest in ‘pop’ music, most of the stuff I like of all eras exists a fair few steps away from the mainstream, and it has from a very early age (e.g. I went straight from T. Rex to prog rock as a 12 year old!). I certainly don’t view any era as a ‘golden age’ and can find great music with any date on the label.
  14. Jono_13

    Jono_13 Duffer

    Joy Division - An Ideal For Living...

    @Tony L - you can close the thread now ;)
  15. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Funny how tastes vary. I like Terry Cs work and I really like Beth O, got plenty of their albums, but you can keep this.
  16. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I did think of that one, but I’d argue it was miles from their best work!
    Jono_13 likes this.
  17. Jono_13

    Jono_13 Duffer

    You're probably right but it was the first real release....

    I was also thinking about the New Order Peel Sessions release as well.
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Re "chronocentric" , good word btw, I'm like Tony in having a gap. That said, my teenage years were the 80s, and let's be honest, it wasn't a great time. Sure you could find stuff, but as a teenage kid in small town I was hardly likely to stumble on a hidden gem. Wham, Duran, Spandau, all the other Radio 1 275/285 stuff you can keep. Wogan on R2 played better stuff. When I tuned into R1 it was Tommy Vance on Thursday and Friday, Alexis Korner, some of the Andy Kershaw world music stuff. I'd picked up on blues and soul and preferred it to the routine 80s pap. Fast forward 10 years and Britpop came along, with something to say. As a result I still listen to a lot of stuff 1995-2005. I probably lost touch with UK pop in 2003 when I went to France. Picked up again about 2006-7 but I was getting old for a teenybopper by then. Is there any interesting pop music around at the moment? Taylor swift? Please make it stop.
  19. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    It's interesting. I started out 'defending' the Beatles.. not that I think they need it.. so more likely defending my own appreciation of them.

    Thing is, whilst I was very 'into' the whole 60s 'pop' thing, I veered very much towards blues and soul, or those 'white boy' bands who drew their influences therefrom. Also Ska/Rocksteady etc. Definitely wasn't into the likes of Cilla Black, Cliff Richard or any of the other 'true pop' pap. I've also since discovered the original US versions of many of those songs which propelled otherwise fairly average British 'Beat' groups to the top of the charts. Mostly, the US version is better, but oddly, I still think that Herman's Hermits version of 'I'm Into Someting Good', knocks the Cookies US original into the weeds when judged purely as a pop single. Conversely, the Token's 'He's In Town', came as a revelation compared to the strained and wobbly vocals of the UK hit version by the Rockin' Berries. If only I'd known then.. etc...

    By the early 70s I'd had enough of 'rawk'.. especially prog. I mostly pursued an interest in 'singer songwriters', especially Joni M and Co, alongside 'traditional' British and Irish folk music..

    I never bought a Beatle album at the time because what money I had went on less easily heard stuff. John Renbourn, Bert Jansch and Co, Some classical. Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond/MJQ etc. Not having anything other than 'The Light Programme' available at home didn't help in my knowledge, or exposure to other music, but I loved a lot of early jazz-blues and much from the 20/30s/40s. Still do. In any case I've always had an almost separate interest in the history of recorded sound.

    I still find odd gems from more or less now, though they rarely come from the 'pop' or 'chart' scene and almost never from the field of dance/rap/hip-hop/grime/grunge/ or whatever it's called this week.

    I can almost separate my taste into unashamed nostalgia for the 60s .. which does not mean that the 60s were all just disposable pop.. and 'the rest', of (nearly) all genres from before or since.
  20. Wolfmancatsup

    Wolfmancatsup Empire State Human

    Eddie & the Hot Rods - Live at the Marquee is a favourite of mine. I’ll have a rummage through my singles to see what else is there...
    bigjonny and FireMoon like this.

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