Roxy Music, ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’

Brian Eno

For Lent this year, we at Jukebox Junior are giving up all music that isn’t connected in some way to Brian Eno. To celebrate the Enoxification of our Lord, if you will. I wonder what that involves. A patina of magic dust maybe.

So let’s start at the very beginning (or near enough). After all, as Julie Andrews – another artist capable of doing amazing stuff with just a spoonful of sugar – says, it’s a very good place to start. On For Your Pleasure’s ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’, Eno stands at the back wearing a feather boa and “playing tapes”. What would ‘In Every Dream Home A Heartache’ be without tapes? It would be an airless piece of prog with a mannered Bryan Ferry vocal. With Eno’s tapes, it’s an an airless piece of prog with a mannered Bryan Ferry vocal and some whooshy phasing (technical term). Genius.

Junior’s not up on sound beds and production jiggery-pokery (she will be by the time we reach Easter), but from the audio alone she detects a man gritting his teeth as he plays guitar. Phil Manzanera’s fretwork is clearly so meaty it’s almost corporeal. She decides there’s “a little too much guitar” and the song is “too quiet” when Ferry dominates. Bring on the tapes then. Examining the inner sleeve, she declares Andy Mackay “the fashion one, the cool one” and points out that Eno “looks like a girl”. We’re on our way.

[19] The Avalanches, ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’

Junior ran the rule over this yesterday, on her third birthday. She’s come a long way since she was ruthlessly tearing a strip off Julie Andrews and Antipop Consortium (separate singles, not some breathtaking minimalist hip-hop/prim-yet-somehow-racy-nun mash-up) when she was 20 weeks old. Her critical faculties have sharpened, perhaps, but right now she dances to pretty much everything, willy-nilly. ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ witnessed some wiggling about and a dashed-off mime to a violin sample, before she returned to the more demanding matter of unwrapping piles of presents.

It’s a silly record, representative of its parent album Since I Left You only by dint of the ear-popping collage of samples. ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ is a bit Fatboy Slim; Since I Left You is warm, inspired, mood-driven and dazzling. If I were the type to stat these things up and make list upon list – and I am – I’d say it’s not just the album of 2001, it’s the album of the century so far. From the thrilling four-song build-up to ‘A Different Feeling’ to the gorgeous come-down of ‘Summer Crane’, ‘Etoh’ and ‘Three Kings’, it’s a seamless tapestry of ideas, emotions and balls-out party fun. Where’s the follow-up, lads? If they’re making one – and they occasionally insist they are, still – they must be clearing even more samples this time.

As the vinyl presence in charity shops starts to dwindle, you have to fear for The Avalanches’ source material. I might beat them to the punch myself, cutting up rough with those 93 BBC sound effects 7”s I bought in Oxfam last year…

Coldplay, ‘Talk’/Julie Andrews and children, ‘Do-Re-Mi’

So here we have an actual new single, Coldplay’s tilt at the Christmas No.12. More serious commentators than me have seriously pointed out that it’s a limp song hanging from Kraftwerk’s ‘Computer Love’ riff, and there’s a great big anvil of truth in that. In homage, Junior spends its five minutes 10 seconds trying to roll over and ends up looking like Ralf Hutter hunched over his handlebars, negotiating a Tour de France Alpine hairpin bend with cold German precision (there is no other form of precision, really). There’s barely a nod to Chris Martin’s influence, unless you count the puzzling fact that I had “Mojo” written in biro on the back of my hand.

Now, ‘Do-Re-Mi’ has always made her smile, perhaps incredulous at my note-perfect rendition. We tried the crackly old LP today, part of a job lot I nabbed off my mum when she and my dad embraced the CD age. Lorraine Kelly of television fame tells us that The Sound of Music is enjoying a mini revival, and I’m not one to snub a bandwagon.

Junior looked impressed that Julie Andrews didn’t get the “ti” and “so” lines mixed up like some people, but found the children annoying. Especially that Friedrich.

To recap then, a number twelve hit for ‘Talk’ and a timely festive repackage for The Sound of Music.