According to the mighty notifications bell it’s been eleven years since I started putting words on page here. I did toy with the idea of doing ‘eleven things that have changed since’ but then that would move this blog’s wheelhouse into either the personal or political arenas into which it only occasionally dips. Though I think we could probably all benefit from taking a moment to think of how – a relatively short space of time ago – there was once a time when a certain orange defendant was just an annoying twat of a failed businessman and nobody really considered membership of the EU to be a problem.
It’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
Also – thanks to those that have read the increasingly infrequent output of this blog and creating blogs that I continue to read even if I no longer contribute so much.
Anyway, keeping with the music theme I thought I’d mark this historic moment by hurling eleven great Track Elevens at you. Once upon a time only double albums made it to eleven tracks, in the era of CD bloat many should have stopped at that point and now, while we seem to be veering a little closer back to shorter album run lengths, they typically mark an album’s closing point. There is, of course, very little scientific method to the selection and probably a few I’ve missed but, in the immortal words of The Ramones: “hey, you there – let’s get going”
Pearl Jam – Release (Ten)
Ten might not be their best album but ‘Release’ is one of their finest and works as both a great album closer and concert opener.
U2 – Acrobat (Achtung Baby)
Always good to highlight little-known bands. Achtung Baby may be a bit bloated but I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘Acrobat’ even if it took the band 27 years to recognise it and play it live (probably in some dingy basement somewhere).
REM – Nightswimming (Automatic for the People)
There are so many brilliant albums from those first few years of the 90s… and Automatic for the People isn’t even REM’s finest. The ‘Ride’ of their side may be handicapped by its first three tracks – ‘Monty Got A Raw Deal’, ‘Ignoreland’ and ‘Star Me Kitten’ probably aren’t anybodies favourites – but then ‘Man on the Moon’, ‘Nightswimming’ and ‘Find The River’ is one of the best ‘final three’ since The Wild, The Innocent… and ‘Nightswimming’ is just pure gold.
The Black Crowes – Descending (Amorica)
Amorica is a damn fine album, damn fine. In retrospect I don’t think it was just the pubes that killed it – 1994 may not have been the optimum time for a southern, blues-rock album to be welcomed by the mainstream. ‘Descending’ is both a long-time Black Crowes favourite of mine and a great album closer. I’ll get out of the 90s on this list soon I’m sure.
Bruce Springsteen – The River (The River)
When The River was briefly a single album the title track sat in the middle of the running order. Expanded to a double it still, kinda did but by lobbing it on to the end of the first half of the album Springsteen puts one of his finest songs in place as a reward for making it through ‘I Wanna Marry You’
Pink Floyd – High Hopes
Until recently a beautiful final word from Pink Floyd. It’s still beautiful.
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? (Are You Experienced)
Not necessarily stoned…
Portishead – Glory Box (Dummy)
Ah, back to the 90s. Dummy is just sublime and ‘Glory Box’ one of my favourites and they slapped it right at the end of the album.
Dinosaur Jr – What If I Knew (Beyond
Closing off their first album since the original lineup got back together with a great tune felt like a way of saying ‘more to come, stay tuned’,
The Replacements – Can’t Hardly Wait (Pleased To Meet Me)
Yes, the Tim era versions with the ’til it’s over’ was great but this – with Alex Chilton on guitar, horns and strings – is as close to perfect as they got.
The Beatles – Blackbird (The Beatles)
Technically it is track eleven… because that’s what ‘track 3 on side 2’ translates to on CD and streaming etc.
Regina Spektor – Somedays (Soviet Kitsch)
I could, and probably should, write an individual piece on Ms Spektor. Soviet Kitsch is her third album and first for a major and can be seen as the template from which all her future albums would follow: there are pure, well-crafted tunes with just the right amount of refinement while still retaining enough rough edges, quirk and personality to make it engaging and all underpinned by Spektor’s vocals – wonderfully typified by the album closer ‘Somedays’ which she also closed the show with the one time I was able to catch her live some misty years ago.
18 thoughts on “Eleven”
Congrats on 11 Years. And 11 years ago, life was way more simple and less toxic.
Congrats on mumbling for 11 years.
If I make it 15 years of mumbling I qualify to read the announcements for SouthEastern
That’s the dream. Olympic level mumbling.
Wow, 11 years is a long time – congrats, Tony!
In 2012, the world certainly was a different place here in the U.S. and elsewhere. The times they are a-changin’. That’s all I have to say about that!
Last but not least, nice list of songs – always great seeing The Beatles! 🙂
Thanks Christian, The Beatles was the most challenging choice as it was between Blackbird and In My Life for a Fab Four Track 11 but McCartney won the arm wrestle
While as a Beatles nut I’m of course very biased, I can see why picking only one of their songs presents a huge challenge. I also love “In My Life,” one of John’s best songs. The rendition by Johnny Cash is one of the best covers I can think of!
Nice job having your blog go up as high as Nigel Tufnel’s amp. You have four more years than me in blogging but my math shows I should catch up by next year. Please enjoy “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight” by Spinal Tap.
Thank you, sir. I did think about having my tenth be the top number and making that a little louder…
Well we, and you of course, will always have Stonehenge.
Good cuts to mark your eleventeenth.
Add this to your ’11’ play list and get rid of any rodents in the house. CB likes it so I must not be a rodent.
Forgot to mention Art Pepper’s album ‘t Eleven’. I knew I had a couple elevens in the pile.
I am late to the party but I like the Regina Spektor song a lot – I knew a lot of the rest already, but hadn’t heard that one.
Thanks for swinging by man – Regina is always worth a listen, even on her weaker albums there’s a gem or three
I have heard her debut, and I’ve always liked ‘Fidelity’ a lot.
Fidelity is a cracker, I think it’s her best really. Certainly the most consistent
It’s a great hit song – I guess it’s a bit too idiosyncratic to be everywhere.
Happy anniversary. I believe I’m 10 years into it. I’m sure glad you are still going strong.