Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pavement - Go back to those gold soundz, 4 Mar 2010
This review is from: Quarantine The Past (Audio CD)
With hindsight it was no great surprise that when Damien Albarn tired of the rat race that had become Britpop he turned his focus to Pavement possibly the greatest American band (along with Wilco) of the past 20 years. The subsequent album "Blur" did indeed caused significant tensions between one time friends Albarn and the creative genius behind Pavement, rocks answer to Einstein, Stephen Malkmus. No need to recount the feud here suffice it to say that I would give up every Blur album I own if it came down to a straight choice to retaining any one of the following three Pavement albums namely "Brighten the Corners", "Slanted & Enchanted" or "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" by Pavement.

Why is such an endearingly shambolic band so loved? After all some of their incoherent performances were legendary and generated such antagonism that they were often booed off stage. Indeed at one time they revelled in the self appointed label of "The Band That Ruined Lollapallooza" as a result of a particularly anarchic performance. It was because of this that they were often dubbed the American "Wire" or more precisely the American "Fall"/ These are comparisons that in this reviewers eyes can only be viewed as wonderful compliments to reputation of an already great band and you will do no wrong checking out Pavements cover of Mark E Smith's "The Classical".

"Quarantine the past" is a thorough if rather badly sequenced "best of" (what do you expect?) and contains enough delights to keep both old and new Pavement fans roundly satisfied. Yes there are curious omissions, not least of the truly brilliant "Pueblo" and "We Dance" from "Wowee Zowee, "Major Leagues" and "Carrot Rope" from the admittedly flawed "Terror Twilight" and that Pavement perennial and great lo fi anthem "Zurich is Stained" from Slanted. It does contain however Pavements greatest hits (oh the irony) which include "Summer babe (winter version)", Trigger Cut/Wounded kite at 17" "Cut your hair" "Here" "Stereo" and everyone's favourite "Range life" with the Malkmus showing yet again that he is best lyricist this side of Morrissey. Who else could have got away in "Stereo" with "Well focus on the quasar in the mist / The Kaiser has a cyst / And I'm a blank want list"

Clearly for this "best of" the albums compilers this must have been a terrifying task. Pavement fans are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder types of the most extreme kind (Yes your honour I too am guilty) and there is no substitute for the owning the three albums highlighted above. Pavement never sought the big time, no great archive of MTV videos exists and on times they were truly dire. Yet like Television or the Velvets their influence is enduring and persuasive and can be heard in REM, Nirvana, Blur and Grizzly Bear et al. Never has such a shambolic and awkward band cast such a giant shadow.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Mar 2010 10:54:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Mar 2010 10:55:36 GMT
BWJC says:
I'm no Blur fan, but even I know its 'Damon' Albarn. And I think you'll find it was gutarist Graham Coxon who introduced the Pavement influenced sound to 'Blur' not Albarn.
You'll never fulfill your oh-so-desperately obvious dream of being a music writer if you don't check your facts!

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2010 18:34:59 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2010 08:11:23 GMT
Red on Black says:
You will be delighted to know that even before your learned and wise intervention I have tried to correct my heinous mistake but sometimes minor changes to Amazon reviews are not accepted. In any case I now intend to leave it as "Damien" to show the terrible consequences of a typo and just to annoy you. As for being a music writer I am afraid that I don't work that cheaply. Can I also take this opportunity to formally congratulate you on your 6th and greatest review which is by far the the most devastating critique of Peter Andre's latest album "Unconditional: Love Songs" that I have read. Great to see that the hardest and most profound targets in modern music are firmly in your sights and hold no fear for you.

Highest regards R o B

Posted on 18 Mar 2010 10:25:57 GMT
So can I deduce you would swap "Wowee Zowee" for "Blur"? Shame on you sir!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Mar 2010 18:27:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Mar 2010 18:28:13 GMT
Red on Black says:
Blodwynswayze

Your dissection of the flawed logic in my argument is both clinical and potentially devastating. I hang my head in shame Sir and shall visit the Priest this evening to seek forgiveness!

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2010 19:01:31 BDT
The Fall song which Pavement covered is actually called 'The Classical' - but I'm sure you know that and tried to correct it as well. ;-)

Joking aside, good review.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2010 20:08:11 BDT
Red on Black says:
Knowledeayton

Thank you for your kind remarks and the correction is "in the post" although it may never arrive!

Cheers R o B
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Red on Black
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