Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008 Top-20 Countdown - No.11

The Long Blondes - Couples

Pity The Long Blondes have already split... this is one of the most beautiful records of the year. Only their second album, their début being "Someone To Drive You" back in 2006, it garnered critical praise unanimously from critics and fans alike. Blending 60's pop, 70's punk and 80's new wave inspiration with modern sensibilities, The Long Blondes manage to morph from each song to the next, with their lead singer, Kate Jackson managing to sound like a different singer on each song - Blondie, Martha Davies, Ari Up and even the Au Pairs, take your pick. Before "Couples" was released, all five members created their own cryptic promo videos "explaining" what the inspiration behind "Couples" was. Kate explained who inspired the album cover, she found artist Richard Hamilton, videos by Abba, Lee Miller and Le Corbusier to be the main inspiration. And their references do not stop there of course. "I Liked The Boys" ends with "Not the most original sentiment I've ever heard, so what's new" which is a line from a radio show by Terry Wogan. Whilst recording the second album, they found an old radio recording form the 50's in one of the old reel-to-reel tape recorders and decided to use parts of the show in some of their songs. "Round The Hairpin" begins with a line by one of my favourite British comedians, Kenny Everett. "Erin O'Connor" is a homage to model extraordinaire Erin O'Connor which also mentions fellow model Lily Cole. It begins with a line by Ronnie Corbett and David Swift from the BBC play No Sex Please, We're British. "I'm Going To Hell" ends with a line by Peter Sellers. Before the official release, they previewed the new album under the name The Dead Eyed Bitches, part of a lyric from their 2004 single "Giddy Stratospheres". They only played a handful of gigs across the UK.

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