Sunday, June 28, 2009

AOTW - 24 Years of Hunger

The last two weeks of AOTW have been spent discussing the pros and cons of two very well known albums (namely Pet Sounds - how prophetic was that? - and Dark Side of the Moon - Songs About Large Objects Orbiting The Earth next week?) so I thought it would be wise to choose an album that most of you probably won't be familiar with.

Eg & Alice were perhaps an unlikely duo - Francis 'Eg' White was, along with his brother David, a founder member of Brother Beyond (you'll be relieved to know that he left the band before the collective terrors of Stock, Aitken and Waterman descended upon them) and then teamed up with former BMX champion Alice Temple to record a truly remarkable album, called 24 Years of Hunger. It's a major Toffee favourite, dating from 1991 but still sounding as fresh today as it did then.

The basic style and content won't come as too much of a surprise to those of you who are familiar with the sort of music I like. If you only listen to one track, let it be Indian but of course, I encourage you to give it all a whirl. Let me know what you think.

In A Cold Way
Mystery Man
And I Have Seen Myself
So High, So Low
New Year's Eve
Doesn't Mean That Much To Me
I Wish

Let's just hope the links work ...


tincanman said...

I'd never heard of them until you mentioned Indian on a podcast last year(?). Back later in the week.

Baroque Pop Radio said...

I remember them from the 90s British scene - sophisticated & romantic - nothing wrong with that

saneshane said...

she did vocals for a couple of UNKLE tracks 'Mistress' and 'Bloodstain' but most of my UNKLE stuff was stolen and sold off.. a pisser because they were lovely.

Great BMXer too and I remember some photos too... ummm what am I saying here?
just never did grab me really.. does she say "I hate this song" in 'I wish' at the end.. my ears pricked up and the album had washed over me....
sorry Toffeeboy
(but if I remember correctly she sings "blue veins, blue blood" a lot in bloodstains... I'll edge out the door quietly)

Mnemonic said...

It's a very pleasant album but I keep hearing a strong Prince influence, especially on I Wish, which sounds remarkably similar to When Doves Cry.

DarceysDad said...

Yes, Mnemonic, you've cleared my cranial fog.

It's a UK Wendy & Lisa, and if I may say so ToffeeBoy, absolutely nowt wrong with that. How much W&L do you know, btw?

Completely new to me. So far I'm up to So High, So Low, which also has a touch of the Steely Dan's about it.

Too tired for the rest now, but I'll be back during my office day-from-hell tomorrow (got to hand over all my 2008/9 ppwk to my accountant on Tuesday).

G'night, TB.

Chris said...

Just listened to Indian. Not my taste (as you'd expect, TB). Part of the sound conjures up an image of Pan's People swanning around. But there are some interesting changes within the smooth exterior.

Poor old Tim Howard, eh TB? I wonder if steenbeck got any flavour of supporting the plucky underdogs in a Cup Final? It were a good match though but.

(Pienaar was impressive in the tournament, too)

AliMunday said...

It reminds me a bit of Steeley Dan too, but smoother. She has a nice voice but it's the songs are too sort of backgroundy for me. Quite pleasant though.

Japanther said...


- this is about as far from being my cup of tea as it's possible to get, but I listened all the way through and it was pleasant in parts; her voice is undeniably lovely.

DarceysDad said...

Evening Toffee.

I've had around three full plays now, and I'll stick with my initial feelings. Brits play Wendy & Lisa in a Steely Dan stylee.

Snadfrod in particular may understand why I'm going to compare this to Colin Vearncombe's 1991 Black LP and Phil Campbell's Fresh New Life.

All three are high-quality, but essentially middle-aged pop. I like it, but I'm not sure how much. I absolutely understand why an album like this can be rated so highly by you (cf me and the two mentioned above), but have to take issue with your "remarkable" tag. Unless this represented a quantum leap in either style or ability from Mr.White's previous output, I can't see that there's anything remarkable about it. I reckon that's why Japanther feels the way he does - too MoR by half. And maybe too smooth for Chris7572 & AliM's (rooted much earlier) tastes, too.

Shoey could go either way; it'll depend what else he's been listening to this week. FP should love it; BaBe may find a track or two he can shoehorn into a radio show.

But other than that, I suspect you'll struggle for any big positive reaction. I'm glad we got back to this kind of AotW posting though, so thanks.

TonNL said...

Fine album, gonna dig it it out of my crates....

Trivia fact: Francis 'Eg' White co-wrote Adele's "Chasing Pavements"....

TonNL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shoegazer said...

Listen #2: Managed to stay awake.

Thanks for coming up with something that wasn't a multi-million international best seller (although the last couple of weeks proved to be interesting diversions).

Can see why Toffee likes this so much, it's like Prefab Sprout lite - & they're not exactly known for their heaviness. The 80's production values, however, must have made this sound dated when it came out, never mind now. Liked the last Prince soundalike track best - but a couple of tracks with strong hooks do not a classic album make. There is obviously some talent at work, but the title of track 4 sums it up for me. Sorry.

Shoey said...

8 would make more sense - must have listened backwards.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ y'all - sorry, I've been out of the loop for a few days. Just wanted to thank you for listening and respond to some your comments:

@ tincanman - .... still waiting [taps feet impatiently ...]

@ Baroque Pop Radio (if that is your name) - thanks!

@ shane - I've got that UNKLE album and will dropbox it when I get a chance (or more likely, will forget all about it).

@ Mnemonic/DsD - yes, I think there's a strong Prince/Wendy & Lisa influence but I think there's also something uniquely British about it.

@ Chris - yes, let's talk about something we agree about. An almost great tournament for Everton players. Pienaar was magnificent against Brazil. I'm excited about next season - having Arteta, Yakubu and Jagielka back will be like having three new players.

@ TonNL - that's more like it!

@ Shoey - if you do listen to it backwards, you'll discover that it has Satanist undertones. You'll hear that one of the tracks contains a message predicting the death of Michael Jackson - and, naming the person responsible for his death!

@ y'all (again) - I think what I like so much about this album (and I agree DsD that my use of the word 'remarkable' probably has more to do with my marketing background than any attachment to reality) is the drippingly gorgeous melodies. I think that more than anything else, a really strong melody is what leaps out at me. This album is packed with them and I actually feel that the production values are ahead of their time - very understated - lots of expansive spaces between the music. Well, I know what I mean.

Anyhoo - thanks for all the comments - I'll pack me bags and try it on another group of random individuals!