Friday, 17 May 2013

Bonus Top Ten - Kevin Byrne

Bonus Top Ten - Kevin B

Here's another top ten that was directed my way through Brendan's auspices. The thing I really like about this list is that if you took any nine albums from it you'd be totally stumped as to what the tenth would be. A thoroughly individual list.

Over to you, Kevin:

I was directed to your listings my  fellow muso Brendan, who recently contributed an engaging Top Ten selection
I am very much enjoying browsing your Top 102, and was delighted to see Babble by TPE and O’Riada sa Gaiety in there among others.
My selection is below, it’s in no particular order except for the No.1. No great plan in making the selections, other than they are 10 albums I would still play right through,  more often than not as opposed to a track here and there. 
Kevin B

Wire – 154 (1979)
It was between the first 3 LP’s and this one gets the nod.  Graham Lewis bass solo on A Touching Display still gives me goosebumps.

Snuff – Flibbiddydibbiddydob (1990)
A collection of covers and adverts (and maybe an original or two) played at breakneck speed. Listen to this band and then Green Day, remembering that Snuff were around a few years before GD. Only difference is the American accent.

Tom Waits - Rain Dogs (1985)
Became aware of Tom Waits after seeing video for “ In the Neighbourhood” on Saturday Superstore or something similar. Funny the things that stick with you. While I like his piano dominated LP’s it was the  80’s material that really got me hooked. This only made 29 in UK LP.  No justice.

Jethro Tull - Thick as a brick (1972)
Classic Tull / Prog rock. Pretentious, overblown (that’s goes for both music and packaging).  Picked up original vinyl in newspaper sleeve in Freebird for £3 sometime in 80’s.  Wouldn’t happen now..

The Golden Horde – The Golden Horde (1991)
Had the songs, the look, should have been huge. Saw them in McGonagles in 1990 when the place was no more than half full. Backed up the attitude with great songs and most of them are on this LP.

Dead Kennedys -  Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegtables (1980)
Their first LP and by general consensus, never equalled, however hard Jello Biafra tried. For a radical punk band they wrote damn catchy songs.

Horslips - Tracks from the Vaults (1977)
Ok a compilation, but a great collection of B-sides and one offs.

The Beatles – Revolver (1966)
A tad predictable perhaps, but ever since purchasing it in Dolphin Discs in 1986 (when the assistant shook my hand and congratulated me on my purchase) this has always been to me the finest Beatles LP, far surpassing Sgt. Peppers (which imho is also surpassed by Help and Abbey Road) Comprises 14 slabs of perfectly constructed and executed gems (yes, even Yellow Submarine and Love  you to have their appeals).  And it has Tomorrow Never Knows. Enough said.

David Bowie - Diamond Dogs (1974)
I could have picked any one of 6 or 7 Bowie LP’s, but went for this for its consistency and flow, particularly side 1 – in my view his greatest side of vinyl. (Side 1 of Low a close second)

And Number 1 is:

1.  Half Man Half Biscuit – Cammell Laird Social Club (2002)
Hard to believe the Biscuits had already released 8 LP’S before making this  one. It benefits greatly from a beefed up sound, decent studio sound (for once) and some of Nigel Blackwell’s sharpest  observations. The opener The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the light of an oncoming train) sets the scene:
She stayed me with until / She moved to Notting Hill / She said it was the place she needs to be / Where the cocaine is Fair – Trade and frequently displayed is the Buena Vista Social Club CD…….”
Also features the perennial classics 27 Yards of Dental Floss (and she still won’t give me a smile) and Paradise Lost (You’re the reason why), not just great song titles.


  1. Some familiars but quite a few that I've never heard, especially Half Man...
    You've got me reaching for Diamond Dogs, Side One it is Kevin...

  2. Great selection.. It's goes to extremes of music.. Ie extremes of punk to extremes of pro rock.. Incidentally, nice to see some prog rock in a top ten..
    I have only dipped my toe in 'half man..' But now will deffo be checking out CLSC..
    Cheers folks

  3. Gents

    Thanks for the feedback. Seamus, awaiting your No. 1 with bated breath. Great to see Stars of Heaven at No. 3, another Irish band which did not get its just commercial reward.

    Cannot recommend HMHB highly enough. Though you will have to travel cross channel to see them live - they have only played outside Britain once. Saw them in Blackpool in 2007, see link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCRtU-T2f58 I'm the guy he gives the mic to at the end.

    (Correction re 154 - Wire bass player is of course Graham Lewis)

    Kevin B

    1. Kevin, Half Man Half Biscuit are on my longer list and will appear in the negative numbers when this list continues on past 0, although I really only know their early albums well.
      Re Wire: Name changed - I'll never make a sub-editor.