Eels – Beautiful Freak (The ’59) #231

The ’59 2018 #231: 180819

Eels – Beautiful Freak (1996)

 

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 38 – 1996.

Beautiful Freak was the debut album by from Eels, was released on 13 August 1996. It was the first album released on the DreamWorks record label.

Four singles were released to promote it: “Novocaine for the Soul” in February 1996, “Susan’s House” in May, “Your Lucky Day in Hell” in September, and the title track the following year.

“My Beloved Monster” would appear on the soundtrack of the DreamWorks animated movie ‘Shrek’ five years later.

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Leftfield – Leftism (The ’59) #230

The ’59 2018 #230: 180818

Leftfield – Leftism (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

Robin Risk and I went to a Leftfield gig at Brighton’s “The Event” back in early 1995 when they were promoting the release of Leftism, released on 30 January. Preceded by a DJ set, the band didn’t get to the stage until two in the morning, but then gave us a blistering two hours of progressive house, techno dub electronica.

Apart from the early hours start (a first for us), what blew us away – quite literally – was the power-wind of the bass. I guess the two drum kits either side of the stage should have given us a clue; those and the massive stacks of driver bins.  But the pulse of the absolute depth of it was a living thing. It just grabbed you, gave you good shaking and didn’t let go. It still hasn’t 23 years on.

On 5 May 2017 Leftfield released Leftism 22. This re-release features a remastered album as well a bonus disc of remixes by current artists, including Adrian Sherwood.

Black Grape – It’s great when you’re straight, Yeah (The ’59) #229

The ’59 2018 #229: 180817

Black Grape – It’s great when you’re straight, Yeah (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

It’s Great When You’re Straight…Yeah was the first album from Black Grape, released in 1995 on Radioactive Records.

It was a critical and commercial success, particularly in the UK, where it topped the Album Charts for two weeks and produced two Top 10 hit singles and a third Top 20 hit. “Reverend Black Grape”  (No.9), “In The Name of the Father” (No.8) and “Kelly’s Heroes” (No.17).

The album was seen as something of a triumphant comeback for both Shaun Ryder and Bez, who had suffered from a decline in popularity and interest in their former band, the Madchester and pre-Britpop indie dance/rock innovators, the Happy Mondays. “It’s Great…” represented what some considered an evolution of the Happy Mondays sound on their 1990 album ‘Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches’, with a stronger hip hop influence, down mostly to the rapping of Kermit, formerly of the band ‘The Ruthless Rap Assassins’.

Pulp – Different Class (The ’59) #228

The ’59 2018 #228: 180816

Pulp – Different Class (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

Different Class was Pulp’s fifth studio album, released on Island Records on 30 October 1995, and in the US on 27 February 1996.

The album was a critical and commercial success, entering the UK Albums Chart at No.1 and winning the 1996 Mercury Music Prize.

‘Common People’ was the album’s lead single

Alanis Morisette – Jagged Little Pill (The ’59) #227

The ’59 2018 #227: 180815

Alanis Moristte – Jagged Little Pill (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

Jagged Little Pill was the third studio album, and international debut, from Canadian singer songwriter Alanis Morissette, released on June 13, 1995 through Maverick Records.

Morissette began work on the album after moving from her hometown, Ottawa, to Toronto. She made little progress until she traveled to Los Angeles, where she met producer Glen Ballard. Morissette and Ballard had an instant connection and began co-writing and experimenting with sounds.

The experimentation resulted in an alternative rock album that takes influence from post-grunge and pop rock. The lyrics touch upon themes of aggression and unsuccessful relationships, while Ballard introduced a pop sensibility to Morissette’s angst.

The album topped the charts in thirteen countries; with sales of over 33 million units worldwide. It was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning five, including Album of the Year, making Morissette the youngest artist in history to win the honour, a record she held until 2010.  Rolling Stone ranked Jagged Little Pill at No.327 on its 2003 list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

 

Teenage Fanclub – Grand Prix (The ’59) #226

The ’59 2018 #226: 180814

Teenage Fanclub – Grand Prix (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 37 – 1995.

Teenage Fanclub formed in Bellshill, Scotland in 1989.  Comprising Norman Blake (vox, guitar), Raymond McGinley (vox, lead guitar), Gerard Love (vox, bass), Francis MacDonald (drums) and Dave McGowan (keyboards),  the songwriting is shared shared equally between Blake, McGinley and Love.

Grand Prix was their fifth studio album, released on Creation Records in May 1995.

Radiohead – The Bends (The ’59) #225

The ’59 2018 #225: 180813

Radiohead – The Bends (1995)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 37 – 1995.

The Bends was Radiohead’s second studio album, released on 13 March 1995 by Parlophone in the UK and Capitol Records in the US.  It was the first Radiohead album with cover art by Stanley Donwood, who, with singer Thom Yorke, has produced all of Radiohead’s artwork since.

The album produced five charting singles: “My Iron Lung” (released as an EP in 1994), “High and Dry”, “Fake Plastic Trees”, “Just”, and “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”, the latter of which became Radiohead’s first top-five UK single.

It reached No.4 on the UK Albums Chart but only No.88 in the US. It would take the popularity of later albums to secure Radiohead’s tenure stateside.