Top tracks of 2018 #8 The Specials, Orbital, Pram & The Good, The Bad & The Queen

The most recent track in my countdown comes from the oldest band, with the largest gap in transmission. ‘Vote For Me’, debuted two weeks ago, marks 37 since their last release, Ghost Town, in 1981 and is the first track from a new album due next year. OK, you can argue that the Special AKA kept the torch burning for a couple more years after that with Jerry Dammers in full control, but that was with guest vocalists, minus the Funboy Three.

This sounds like it could have been recorded in 1981 and has a Ghost Town meets Racist Friend groove. Lyrically though it is of course highly relevant to 2018. A number of acts, not least the triumphantly returning The The, are finding that lyrics written many years ago are now relevant again. These lyrics written this year work the other way. A message to the past saying ‘Nothing changes”. What goes around comes around.

If we vote for you, do you promise
To be upright, decent and honest
To have our best interest at heart
You understand why we don’t believe you
You’re way too easy to see through
Not the best places to start

No video yet, but that adds to the retro vibe..

Roy

My next choice is from another artist/group on the comeback trail. This is the standout track from their patchy ‘Monsters Exist’ album, but as a track one of the very best things they’ve done. Good to have them back – at Number 8, Orbital, ‘Tiny Foldable Cities’.

Andy

At number 8 is probably the latest release to break into my end-of-year list.  Richard has already included it and Ian has already, quite correctly, commented that it wouldn’t be the last time we’d here from Damon this year.  When one hears the sophomore offering from TGTB&TQ, one wonders what a shame it’s been 10 years in conception.  However, perhaps if it was a more frequent occurrence, then maybe the quality would suffer?  Anyway, it’s certainly worth hearing again, so it’s a double Merry helping from Merrieland…

Ian

So, like Richard, I am drawing for number eight on one of the oldest bands in my collection (founded in 1987/88), and who have not released a long player in eleven years. Pram are another largely instrumental collective, who regularly use instruments unusual for a contemporary “pop group”. Apart from brass and music hall motifs, theremin, glockenspiel & toy piano are used on a regularly to create an eccentric basis to their music. Their 2018 album “Across the Meridian” includes a range of tracks that would be at home in any number of pulp fiction movies (I’m thinking Russ Meyer’s “Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!”, or something by Roger Corman or Tarantino). “Shimmer and Disappear” is the easiest video track to find online (we can provide links) but the one I really liked, “The Midnight Room” has no video just an audio track. Further, I suspect will not be accessible in a year or two so listen now to my #8, Midnight Room” by Pram.

4 thoughts on “Top tracks of 2018 #8 The Specials, Orbital, Pram & The Good, The Bad & The Queen

  1. So, like Richard, I am drawing for number eight on one of the oldest bands in my collection (founded in 1987/88), and who have not released a long player in eleven years. Pram are another largely instrumental collective, who regularly use instruments unusual for a contemporary “pop group”. Apart from brass and music hall motifs, theremin, glockenspiel & toy piano are used on a regularly to create an eccentric basis to their music. Their 2018 album “Across the Meridian” includes a range of tracks that would be at home in any number of pulp fiction movies (I’m thinking Russ Meyer’s “Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!”, or something by Roger Corman or Tarantino). “Shimmer and Disappear” is the easiest video track to find online (we can provide links) but the one I really liked, “The Midnight Room” has no video just an audio track. Further, I suspect will not be accessible in a year or two so listen now to my #8, Midnight Room” by Pram.

  2. An anaemic re-write of ‘Ghost Town’ is highly indicative of the fact that The Specials without Jerry Dammers are like Chelsea without Hazard – functional but lacking inspiration and creativity.

  3. My next choice is from another artist/group on the comeback trail. This is the standout track from their patchy ‘Monsters Exist’ album, but as a track one of the very best things they’ve done. Good to have them back – at Number 8, Orbital, ‘Tiny Foldable Cities’.

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