Super Furry Animals: Where to start

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Psychedelic rock band Super Furry Animals (SFA) could put in a convincing bid for the title of ‘best Welsh band’ (though possibly challenged by Manic Street Preachers and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci). Across three decades, they have maintained a large following, frequently headlining festivals in the UK, and touring tirelessly with up-and-coming Welsh support acts. This article serves to introduce new listeners to the band, picking out their best tracks from each album, and getting rid of the filler.

“But didn’t the band release a best of album just last year?” Yes, they did. However, this album contains almost 40 tracks, clocking in at two hours and 35 minutes. For a new listener, the sheer length of this release could be off-putting: who wants to spend over two hours of their life listening to a band they’re not sure on, when they can be listening to one of their favourites? This is where the playlist below comes into its own. Containing 25 tracks, and taking just an hour and a half to listen start-to-finish, this playlist serves as a more appealing introduction to the band.

Whilst producing this playlist, I tried to ensure the tracks were not too similar as to avoid the playlist merging into one continuous rock song. As a result, you will find tracks within the playlist that the official best of album chose to ignore. This is not to say that these tracks are inferior, but rather they tend to be excluded from live shows, and hence, they are less popular. As was the case with the Eels playlist, the songs are listed in chronological order, with one exception: ‘The Man Don’t Give A Fuck’ is placed as the final track, despite featuring on their very first album. This is to give the playlist authenticity. SFA have always closed with this track (combined with full sized furry animals suits), and hence, it only made to sense to close the playlist with this song, that once held the title of ‘most frequent use of the word ‘fuck’ in a single song’.

Once again, it seemed intuitive to provide you with a taste of their live music as well as their studio albums. Whilst their studio albums are good, they don’t give you an insight into their performances, which are both brilliant and unique. Hence, below I have attached a performance of their latest single “Bing Bong” which I chose not to include in the playlist. This performance last year at Pitchfork Festival shows their standard attire, but also their tendency to sing in Welsh. Gruff Rhys, lead singer of the band, is a vocal activist for the maintenance of the Welsh language, which is slowly dying out. Their commitment to the cause is a testament to their values, and has facilitated the release of many great welsh-language tracks.

I hope you enjoy, and thanks for visiting.

This post has been written in response to recent communication with an account titled ‘a1000mistakes’. Clicking here will take you to his page, where you will find a selection of music articles, written in a unique style.

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Eels: Where to start

Mark OE

Eels – formed in 1995 and writing ever since – have massed a sizeable discography over their 22 years. As a result, whilst their collection contains some brilliant tracks, it can be hard to find your way around. Is the band’s work best currently, or was it best back in the late 90’s? Is it worth listening to Eels at all? This post will answer these questions through the medium of a Spotify playlist. Below is a user-made ‘best-of’ for Eels, arguably one of the best bands to form in the 1990’s. Press play, and then have a read of the notes below.

This playlist has been created in chronological order however, i’d recommend you choose to ‘shuffle’ as Eels’ style does tend to differ between albums, and it would be a shame to form a judgement based on just a single album.

You will notice there is a mix of live and studio tracks. This is to highlight that Eels tend to heavily produce their studio albums, and that their live performances can almost seem like an entirely new song.

Finally, there is a single track which features twice on the playlist: ‘My Beloved Monster’. This is for two reasons. Firstly, ‘My Beloved Monster’ is one of Eels’ most popular tracks (assisted by its appearance in Shrek), and secondly, the live track is arguably an improvement on what could already be considered a classic. Note the differences in vocals between the two, and decide which version you prefer.

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For your pleasure, attached below is a full-length radio set performed by Eels on KCRW. Once you feel you’ve had your fill of the playlist, I recommend watching this. Highlighting the difference between live and studio Eels, but also the wide range of instruments they use in their music, this set is one of the best I’ve watched on the KCRW page.

I hope you enjoy these offerings. If you feel anything his been neglected in this article, post a comment!

Thanks for stopping by.

This post has been written in response to recent communication with an account titled ‘a1000mistakes’. Clicking here will take you to his page, where you will find a selection of music articles, written in a unique style.