Monday, 28 January 2013

Top 102 Albums. No 60. Colossal Youth

Top 102 Albums. No 60.
Colossal Youth - Young Marble Giants

There is something tentative and provisional about this album. It can seem at times like a blueprint for something grander, more elaborate but I can't help thinking that this is its greatest strength. It was in the air at the time, everyone seemed to know enough about deconstruction to namedrop Jacques Derrida when too drunk to remember they didn't understand it. So here we have some of the pieces of popular music, put together with sticky tape,  paper clips and precision.

There are times when the music can sound like the soundtrack to a children's tv series about clockwork toys (Wind in the Rigging). One of their early songs was called Ode to Booker T (it's on the expanded version) but they have removed the swagger, the emotional engagement of soul. I also love Include me Out for sounding like Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love but NOT. The music pulses to the bass and the gently metronomic beat of their early drum machine. It's a close enough relation to XTC's Go 2 (No 61) for one to have led me to the other.

The singer, Alison Statton sounds like one of the cool girls standing outside the youth club, smiling and diffident, scraping her shoe on the kerb as if to remove something unpleasant. She sounds like she's somewhere else. You know you're not smart enough or cool enough to engage her but you wish you were.

In the end this sounds like itself and little else. A great record. Listen.


  1. This well off my musical map Seamus.
    I need to stay in more...

    1. As you probably have noticed, my ears spend a lot of time in the late 70's, early 80's. This was actually a big 'indie' hit at the time and remained in the indie chart for ages. I've added very few to my favourite albums since the eighties and remain ignorant of much that has happened in the last twenty years. I tend to dig down into the period I know best rather than conduct surveys of the periods I know less about.
      Must go back to school.

  2. I brought the three disc reissue ,they were quite unique in there time ,all the best stu

    1. I got that one as well, Stu. Short lived but pretty unique alright.