Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The Skinny's Best Scottish Albums of the Decade

Top 20 write-ups at The Skinny website

50. Lapsus Linguae - You Got Me Fraiche
49. Funk D'Void - Volume Freak
48. Dead Or American - Ends
47. We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
46. De Rosa - Mend
45. James Yorkston - When The Haar Rolls In
44. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
43. Found - This Mess We Keep Reshaping
42. Christ. - Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle
41. Laeto - Zwoa
40. Sons & Daughters - Love The Cup
39. The Delgados - Hate
38. James Yorkston - The Year Of The Leopard
37. Y'All Is Fantasy Island - Rescue Weekend
36. Foil - Never Got Hip
35. Half Cousin - The Function Room
34. Withered Hand - Good News
33. The Beta Band - Hot Shots II
32. Butcher Boy - React Or Die
31. Half Cousin - Iodine
30. Macrocosmica - Art of the Black Earth
29. Life Without Buildings - Any Other City
28. The Phantom Band - Checkmate Savage
27. The Twilight Sad - Forget The Night Ahead
26. Mogwai - Rock Action
25. Arab Strap - The Last Romance
24. Aerogramme - My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go
23. Idlewild - The Remote Part
22. Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
21. Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastophe Waitress
20. Malcolm Middleton - Into The Woods
19. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
18. Uncle John & Whitelock - There Is Nothing Else
17. King Creosote - Rocket DIY
16. Meursault - Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues
15. De Rosa - Prevention
14. Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People
13. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
12. Arab Strap - The Red Thread
11. Aerogramme - Sleep And Release
10. Mogwai - Mr Beast
9. Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase
8. The Delgados - The Great Eastern
7. Arab Strap - Monday At The Hug & Pint
6. King Creosote - KC Rules OK
5. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi
4. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
3. Primal Scream - XTRMNTR
2. The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
1. Idlewild - 100 Broken Windows

I've seen worse lists (even though it is topped by a thoroughly unremarkable album). It doesn't exactly match mine, of course, so therefore it's incorrect. But it's not bad.

I googled to see if there was any reaction. On one forum, I read "what a shite list! Two from Mogwai, Arab Strap and King Creosote in the Top 20? What about promoting lesser known bands? It's all rather mainstream and boring for me!" On another forum, I read "what a shite list! I've not heard of any of that Top 20 except Franz Ferdinand! Where's The View, Glasvegas and Paolo Nutini? Bunch of elistist snobs!" Oh well, can't satisfy everyone. Probably can't satisfy anyone (not even Malcolm Middleton).

There are 7 (seven) albums from 2009 in there. This year has been a fantastic year for Scottish music, so in that way it shouldn't be a surprise. But in another way it's very odd, because canons take time to form, and decade lists compiled before the decade has even finished are more likely to be over-weighted in older years and under-weighted in recent years. That's very true for the Pitchfork list, the Lost At Sea list, the Stylus list. If any of these pubs do it again in a few years, it'll be more proportionate. For 7/50 records in this list to be from this year, which hasn't even finished yet, is remarkable. Even more remarkable is that those seven do not include Dananananaykroyd's incredible Hey Everyone!

This was the top ten which I submitted, which was also 2009-heavy:

1. The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
2. Primal Scream - XTRMNTR
3. Butcher Boy - React Or Die
4. Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People
5. Y'All Is Fantasy Island - Rescue Weekend
6. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi
7. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
8. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
9. We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
10.James Yorkston - Year of the Leopard

and even though I squeezed three 2009 albums into ten spaces, I couldn't find a space for Dananananaykroyd either! Scheisse.

It's also been pointed out to me by a mate that Kode9 is Glaswegian. That reminded me that Kevin Martin, of The Bug, was born in Paisley. If this list was not limited by geography to a country which is still very culturally homogenous, it would be criticised for itself being quite homogenous, being 95% indie-rock. In retrospect, it'd have been pretty cool if Memories Of The Future, London Zoo and Hudson Mohawke's Butter had made it, just for a bit of stylistic diversity. But (not butter) the first two are intrinsically linked with London, it would have been a bit odd to see them on a Scottish list. I wonder if they got any votes at all, just because the association is never made. And the latter (Butter) was released too late to be seriously considered - only a week or two before votes were cast.

1 comment:

Milo said...

All these lists are telling me is how little recent music I've actually listened to. I need to lock myself away with spotify for the next decade just to catch up on this one!