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2002 – Let’s Push Things Forward

March 22nd, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

I think that 2002 was a good year for music. Looking at the albums I bought I can see they are split between ones I got from the market stall in Lower Marsh and ones I would have had to go up to Tower Records for. Or possibly I was getting some from the Internet by this time. It wouldn’t have been from Amazon though. Back in 2002 I still thought of Amazon as being for books and would go to Play123 for music or DVDs.I can see that I was getting a mixture of new chart-bothering albums, compilations and greatest hits CDs, some more niche interests and some albums bought purely because I was in the habit of buying albums by those artists. I’m sure we all have artists where we continue buying the albums even after they have obviously peaked. In 2002 and earlier it was often only possible to find out that you didn’t like the new REM or Metallica album as much as the previous ones by buying it.

In my case the habit-purchases of the year were Rude Awakenings by Megadeth (a live album so effectively a greatest hits), Up by Peter Gabriel (which I remember as being disappointing) and Black Ivory Soul by Angelique Kidjo (pleasant enough but exploring the Latin influences on West African music rather than just being West African. Only the title track really retains my attention).

The more chart-friendly albums I bought were 18 by Moby, The Eminem Show by Eminem, Dutty Rock by Sean Paul, Original Pirate Material by the Streets, and Under Construction by Missy Elliot. Sean Paul was a real phenomenon. Jayne and I went to New York either this year or early the year after and the window display in the huge record store on Times Square was almost entirely Dutty Rock, or that’s how it felt anyway. For me, the real highlight was the Streets. That album has already featured as one of the early entries on my All-Killer-No-Filler albums. It is simultaneously down-to-Earth and magnificent, but also amusing and engaging. I loved it then and I still do.

I also bought In Their Darkened Shrines by Nile. It was purely on the strength of hearing one track on the radio. We had been on a day trip to Calais and were driving home through Kent late at night and it must have been a late show on Radio 1. I can remember being thrilled by the sound of it. I can also remember being less than thrilled with the album. They must have cherry-picked the track to play on the radio.

Another album bought on the strength of hearing one song was Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips. Again it was only the one track that I keep going back to. Nothing wrong with the rest of it, but in hindsight I would have been better off just getting the single.

Some less disappointing purchases were Bag of Hits (the Fun Lovin’ Criminals greatest hits double CD) and Dub Come Save Me (the album of remixes of Roots Manuva’s Run Come Save Me album). A friend who generally doesn’t like rap music described Roots Manuva as  the rap artist he could get behind because he is not always banging on about “sucker MCs” like all the others, and I can see what he meant by that.

This year also saw the release of two more of my favourite compilations. Firstly the double CD dancehall compilation from the Greensleeves label. It really was the best of dancehall, with everything from General Echo and Eek-a-Mouse to Clint Eastwood & General Saint and Yellowman. Strictly speaking the other album is not so much a compilation as an early example of a tribute album: Mano Negra Illegal. Also strictly speaking it was not a 2002 album because it was released in 2001 in France but I didn’t know about it until I found it while browsing through the record shop in Calais a year later. It is all different Mano Negra songs covered by other French bands. Apart from being good in itself it led to me seeking out albums by some of the artists like La Ruda Salska.

There were singles too, but most of the ones I liked most were taken from those albums. Probably the standout singel for me was We Are All Made of Stars by Moby. It starts with a lovely drum/cymbal sound, then adds the electronic drone before throwing in the acoustic guitar motif and vocals together and then the chorus comes with its Heroes-type electric guitar. Completely hypnotic and uplifting.

I chose the track Let’s Push Things Forward from the Streets album to go on my playlist because that album really was the musical highlight of the year for me, but also for the huge amounts of street credibility it got me with my staff when they found out what I was listening to.


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