April 20: The Cramps, Cypress Hill, The Damned, The Divine Comedy, ‘Music for Airports’

The Cramps, ‘Songs the Lord Taught Us’.

The band that launched 1,000 acts that fill the smaller tents at Glastonbury, the Cramps are like if Sun Records’ inhouse producer was Martin Hannett. All twangy 50s guitar and shouting about zombies, but… well… it’s not that good, is it? You know how sometimes people are like “you should meet this person, you’ll love them!” and then you do and you don’t?

Cypress Hill, ‘Cypress Hill’.

I was expecting ‘Black Sunday’ too but no, their first album makes it onto the list instead. I enjoyed this album’s second half more, where they’re rapping in Spanish and rambling about that funky Cypress Hill shit, rather than just blazing 4/20 and killing cops.

The Damned, ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’.

Another of the many albums I should have come to sooner, this record is an incredibly energetic, unpredictable punk album with a ramshackle madcap humour. Darker territory was ahead for the band, but this feels like an act at its apex.

The Divine Comedy, ‘A Short Album About Love’.

I know, I know: I’d never heard any of Hannon’s long-players before. Hannon’s career was going nowhere prior to unlikely breakthrough ‘Casanova’; this, then, was the first album where he had a large audience expecting more hits. It delivers: it starts with the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ theme tune, follows with ‘Everybody Knows (Except You)’ and maintains an arch wit and a willingness to experiment with format for the remainder of the album.

Brian Eno, ‘Ambient 1: Music for Airports’.

Unbelievably boring, but perhaps I’m not doing it justice by properly listening to it; it was designed, after all, as muzak.

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Author: JT Wilson

Listening to all of the albums in the '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die' book (2006 edition).

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