Pre-blog post (08.07.13)

August 7th, 2013

Hello to anyone reading this. I am cramming it all in here to finish up the This Mortal Coil series.

So the next song from the album, if you have been keeping track, is number 7:
This Mortal Coil – Another Day
I’m not going to bog you down with a ton of info on here as I have tended to do on some of the previous posts. This is a cover of a song by Roy Harper which is performed by Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins). Roy Harper is probably most well known for having worked with Jimmy Page although his stuff is not rock at all, mostly folk songs. The only song on the album that I am giving you that resembles rock is actually pretty bad. It’s the last track on the album, “Hell’s Angels,” unfortunately it really leaves a bad taste after an otherwise well put together and fluid album. I’ve read some apologists for his crappy throw away songs, defending them as somehow making some kind of statement, but I’m not buying it, I want enjoyable music.
Anyway, here it is, and I might just be bogging you down despite the aforementioned claim that I wouldn’t. I’m trying to keep it minimal.
Here it is:
Roy Harper – Flat, Baroque and Berserk

Song eight is:
This Mortal Coil – Waves Become Wings
Okay, this one is basically just Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance doing her typical thing, although it has more of a Cocteau Twins feel to it than Dead Can Dance, and for that it is better. On it’s own, I am not a big fan, but taken as a whole with the rest of the album it fits in nicely, especially with the Simon Raymonde song that follows it up. As you can probably tell from previous comments in this and other posts, the flow of an album is rather important to me. I’m going to give you the first disc of:
Dead Can Dance – 1981– ’98
The funny thing is that I am giving this as an example because it is more enjoyable to me than a lot of their other material, partially because there is a lot more of Brendan Perry’s vocal in this as well as more traditional songs even though I’m doing it in response to a song sung by Lisa. Most of their later material focuses on Lisa’s vocals and songs that jump around from world music to chanting and medieval sounding stuff. If I had my way I would put Brendan in the lead and have them stick to the structure of this early stuff, which is a sentiment probably shared by Glen Johnson, considering that he got Brendan Perry and Peter Ulrich of Dead Can Dance, conspicuously without Lisa Gerrard, for Piano Magic’s album Ovations. The result of the collaboration is a good example of what DCD could (should) have been, but sadly never were. Lisa doesn’t have a bad voice, but her Enya type moaning and chanting can become annoying, just sing words already. Gahhh!! There are actually two more discs in this box set, but I don’t want to fill up all this space with a bunch of material, that I honestly don’t think anyone is going to like that much despite how much it pains me to post something incomplete. If you guys want the rest I can put it up later, I just won’t do it now.

Up next is:
This Mortal Coil – Barramundi
This is some more instrumental noodling by Simon Raymonde, again of Cocteau Twins. I’m sure you guys have had enough of them by now and I don’t need to expound on this. So that is that.

Now we have:
This Mortal Coil – Dreams Made Flesh
Lisa Gerrard does some singing and banging on a dulcimer, and Bob’s your uncle.
To me this song goes for about a minute too long, I got the point at around the two minute mark.

Now back to something fun:
This Mortal Coil – Not Me
This song is a Colin Newman track that is now included on expanded versions of his album A-Z, I believe it was originally recorded for it but never actually made it onto the LP. If the vocals sound familiar that is because this is more or less a Wire album from back when they had a temporary split in 1980 and Colin went on to start a solo career with this being his first album. Incidentally another track from this album, “Alone,” was covered by This Mortal Coil on their second release, Filigree & Shadow, it also appears in the film, Silence of the Lambs.
The TMC version here is interpreted by Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins) and Robbie Grey of then 4AD’s Modern English, before they had any inclination of becoming the authors of the ubiquitous “I Melt With You.” Modern English was a much darker, more abrasive band back then more akin to Joy Division. It’s pretty good stuff, although I still think their second album, After the Snow, though losing a lot of the edge, still retains elements of the darkness from Mesh & Lace while beginning to formulate the pop sound that would produce their hit “I Melt With You,” and is a far more accessible, polished and overall better album.
Despite that I’m presenting:
Modern English – Mesh & Lace
I’m doing this because a lot of you are probably already very familiar with the material from After the Snow and also because I think it is very interesting to see where they were when they were starting out. Plus, some of these songs would be the material that was covered by This Mortal Coil on the Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust EP just before the release of It’ll End In Tears.

Lastly is a lovely song that closes the album very nicely:
This Mortal Coil – A Single Wish
Again we have Gordon Sharp pulling the album together with a somber, yet almost uplifting sounding track that washes you with warm feelings while telling you, “It’ll End In Tears.” Lovely, a perfect end to the album.

– J. Sparks


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