Friday, September 28, 2018

McQ's Best Of 1977 Vol 6 - All Roads Lead To Berlin

By the middle of 1976, David Bowie's cocaine addiction had gotten so bad he was a physical, emotional, financial, and mental wreck, and had begun to fear for both his life and sanity. He knew he had to get straight, fast, and to do so, he had to leave his home of the last few years, Los Angeles, or as he called it in the day, the "cocaine capitol of the world."

So he moved first to Switzerland, became fascinated with the classic fine arts and literature of the region, then at some point was joined by his great friend Iggy Pop, and the two gradually drifted to the Schonenberg district of Berlin, couch surfing at the home of Tangerine Dream's Edgar Froese for a while before ultimately sharing an apartment of their own nearby.

As Bowie tried to kick his habit, Froese introduced he and Pop to the many emerging krautrock and electronic acts of the Berlin scene - Kraftwerk, Can, Neu, Faust, Cluster - and Bowie and Iggy became obsessed with their sounds, as well as that of a British artist Bowie had just met the year before, electronic pop/ambient pioneer Brian Eno.

Bowie convinced Eno and producer Tony Visconti to join he and Pop in Berlin, and over the twelve months of 1977, the three artists would collaborate extensively and produce six albums, Bowie's Low and Heroes, Iggy's The Idiot and Lust For Life, and Eno's Before And After Science and his ambient collaboration with Cluster, simply titled Cluster & Eno, that along with Bowie's third collaboration with Eno in 1979, Lodger, would become the cornerstone albums of the famed Berlin era.

And while not all of these albums were recorded in Berlin (in truth only Low and The Idiot were complete Berlin productions, and Eno had started amassing a large number of the over two hundred songs  he considered for Science back in 1975), all three were inspired by the new sounds emerging from the German scene, and share a very consistent sonic DNA.

So here we go, the Bowie-Berlin era, containing at least four tracks from each of the big three, and to round the celebration out, additional 1977 cuts from the emerging electronic/experimental artists that were inspiring them at the time... Kraftwerk, Italy's Giorgio Moroder, France's Jean-Micael Jarre, Eno's old Roxy Music bandmate Bryan Ferry, and industrial music originalists Throbbing Gristle.

Yes sir.  It's time to skronk the f*** out!

About The Artists/Albums/Songs:

1. Slug Bait - Live at Southampton - Throbbing Gristle: England's Throbbing Gristle is the one act on this mix that had no stylistic, personal, or spiritual connection to the acts and scene of Berlin, but from the standpoint of groundbreaking experimentalism, these noise rock pioneers absolutely belong here.  Presenting harsh, jarring music devoid of any melodic or rhythmic convention, and amongst the most confrontational and offensive live bands of the era (rolling in soiled diapers and used tampons on stage was not beneath band leader Genisis P-Orridge), they appealed to virtually no one in their day, and their fanbase hasn't grown much since. Despite that, over the years, their 1977 debut The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle has come to be viewed as one of the seminal and most influential early releases, or maybe even the first true release, of the industrial genre.

2. Sound And Vision - David Bowie: When Low was first released in January of 1977, it was such a stylistic departure from the sound of Bowie's popular Thin White Duke-era albums that it threw a portion of his fans and critical supporters for a loop (as well as Bowie's label and manager at the time, who fearing a death blow to the continuation of the big money paydays they'd enjoyed from Young Americans and Station To Station, sought to block Low's release). And while it did receive some laudatory reviews upon its release, many others did indeed hate it on first listen, reacting with revulsion to its turbulent, fragmentary, over-in-a-blink avant-pop first side, and the dark, slow, lumbering instrumental passages that informed side two. I still remember even a year later, when I picked up my first edition of the Rolling Stone record guide in 1978, that Low and Heroes were still regarded as mediocre efforts, both bequeathed just a measely three stars out of five rating.  But based on the success of this side one single, Low gradually took hold in England, and began to win fans over, finishing as the second top-selling album of the year in the UK, and from there, the album's reputation has only grown to the venerated landmark status it holds today.

3. The Passenger - Iggy Pop: Lust For Life, Iggy's second release of 1977, was recorded with Bowie in just eight days after finishing their tour of The Idiot, and truth be told, they were ready to take a breather from electronic sounds. The result was something far more scruffy and immediate than the other albums of this period, not to mention the best album of Iggy's solo career. Still, while there's less of a Bowie feel to Lust For Life than The Idiot, his presence is still strong, even lyrically on this song, as Iggy (who still didn't have a driver's license) reflects upon the countless hours being driven around North America and Europe sitting shotgun in Bowie's car.

4. No One Receiving - Brian Eno: Coming off the adulatory (and completely deserved) critical praise to his 1975 album Another Green World, Eno wanted to make sure his fifth album Before And After Science felt different, and so, after laying down the tunes with an assortment of British and German musicians, including members of Can, Genesis, Fairport Convention, and King Crimson he adopted the Low/Heroes sequencing strategy, placing all his livelier art-pop tracks (Backwater, King's Lead Hat, album opener No One Receiving here) on side one, and all the prettier, bucolic tracks on side two.  It was a strategy that worked, as Science is now considered nearly the equal of Eno's other three 70s pop albums, but it would be his last pop effort of the decade as his attention shifted towards ambient recordings and producing/playing with Bowie and the Talking Heads.

5. Trans Europe Express - Kraftwerk: This song is the title track to Kraftwerk's sixth release, an album now viewed, like several others represented on this mix, as one of the most important in electronic music history, and the record that completed Kraftwerk's transition from their start as instrumental Krautrock improvisers into the visionary minimalist electronic sequencers they are regarded as today. In keeping with the collaborative history of so many songs on this mix, David Bowie and Iggy Pop played a roll here, listening to the album with the band as it neared completion and offering lyrical suggestions.

6. Black Out - David Bowie: Black Out, though not among the best known of Bowie's songs, might be the skronkiest cut of this entire skronky era, and has always been a Heroes standout.

7. Sister Midnight - Iggy Pop: My favorite and the best known track from Iggy's first 1977 release The Idiot

8. By This River - Brian Eno: This lovely track from side two of Before And After Science was actually a collaboration with German act Cluster, whom Eno had released an album of ambient tracks with earlier in 1977 that we'll be profiling later in this mix.

9. Oxygene, Pt. 4 - Jean-Michel Jarre: While Oxygene was French composer Jarre's third album, many consider it his first, as it was his first release not intended as a soundtrack.  Mostly recorded in a home studio, he was probably the first musician worldwide to make public his concerns about global warming, and this album, conceived around such environmental themes, would go on to become a huge success in France and the UK, and is now another record on this mix considered to be one of the most influential electronic album's of all-time, setting a template for the use of analog synth blips and bleeps that endures to this present day. 

10. First Hand Experience In Second Hand Love - Giorgio Moroder: Though Moroder and the album from which this song came, From Here To Eternity, are most often associated with Disco (and we'll hear more from him when we get to our Disco mixes), it's clear on tracks like First Hand Experience, with its New Orderish vibe, that Moroder was as ahead of his time and clear on the directions electronic music would take as any of the key Krautrock bands.

11. This Is Tomorrow - Bryan Ferry: This Is Tomorrow, a minor hit for Ferry, was the lead single from Ferry's fourth solo album In Your Mind, his first solo effort comprised entirely of original material.  

12. Be My Wife - David Bowie: Here's one of those speed-rush deep cuts from side one of Low. It was a tough call choosing between this track and Always Crashing In The Same Car for the final Low representative, but Be My Wife's higher energy punch won out.

13. Wehrmut - Cluster & Brian Eno: Cluster & Eno was the first of many collaborations between Eno and the longstanding German ambient act, and it was met with solid reviews at the time of its release. In particular, listeners loved how the artists punched up these sonic beds with just enough detail and melody so that while the tracks still functioned perfectly well as background music, the were tracks of background music you were compelled to actively process.  The evocative, oh-so-gentle Wehrmut has always been my favorite from the album. 

14. China Girl - Iggy Pop: The original recorded version of the David Bowie song that Bowie himself would slick up and imho improve upon on his 1983 release Modern Love, I toyed with giving this slot to The Idiot's equally cool tracks Dum Dum Boys or Nightclubbing instead, but ultimately decided on a mix with so many lesser known experimental tracks, the song more people would already be familiar with was the way to go.

15. Warszawa - David Bowie: Warszawa, the most highly regarded of Low's instrumental tracks, and the only instrumental track included on this mix from either Low or Heroes (sorry V-2 Schneider and Moss Garden), was really 90% Brain Eno's work, with most of its themes composed and recorded while Bowie was off in Paris attending court hearings against his former manager.

16. Here He Comes - Brian Eno: It's been written of Eno's lyrics that he often employs "a sound over sense" approach, and this charming song from Before And After Science, about a boy who dreams of floating up into the sky and transporting himself into a different time, is a textbook example.

17. Success - Iggy Pop: Surprisingly, given the enduring popularity of its title track and The Passenger today, Success was Lust For Life the album's only single. But it takes just one listen this awesome throwaway to understand the choice. Success is as fun as any solo track of Iggy's solo career.

18. The Secret Life Of Arabia - David Bowie: The Secret Life Of Arabia has to be one of the weirdest, goofiest songs of David Bowie's career, and when you're talking about David Bowie, that's saying something. But this Heroes closer has always been amongst my all-time favorite Bowie deep cuts. There's just some inescapable je nais c'est quoi factor to it that I've can't shake, and I've known for years now that when I finally got around to making this Berlin-era mix, it would be concluding Bowie chapter.

19. Maggot Death - Live At Southhampton - Throbbing Gristle: One more very brief, creepy excerpt from The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle to wind things down.

Monday, September 24, 2018

McQ;s Best Of 1977 Vol 5 - Kingston Greetings

1977 was such a huge year for reggae, an amazing 11 of its all-time top 60 most critically acclaimed albums (at least as presently rated on aggregator came out within the year's January 1 to December 31 span.

That said, listening to this mix, it's hard to ignore what a powerful impact poverty had on the Jamaican music scene at the time, not just in terms how it informed everything about the music's politics, but also in how significantly it limited these artists ability to get the best possible versions of their songs down on vinyl.

Once you get past the work here of The Wailer's, Peter Tosh, and US-based artist Garland Jeffreys, most of these songs sound like they were recorded a decade earlier than their actual release on the most rudimentary of four-track technology, and my guess is in many cases, with regard to the technology, that was probably true.

But dated recording issues aside, this is an awesome collection of tunes that captures a golden moment when Jamaican reggae and dub was thriving and had suddenly endeared itself to music lovers all around the world, especially the punks coming into their own in the UK.

About The Artists/Songs:

1. Jamming - Bob Marley & The Wailers: Exodus is so damn loaded, it's practically a greatest hits collection unto itself, so it seemed fitting to kick off this mix with its best known track.

2. Two Sevens Clash - Culture: The title track to roots reggae Culture's stunning debut was a huge hit in Jamaica, and had an Orson Welles' War Of The Worlds-like impact on the island, as its lyrics, which popularized the Marcus Garvey prediction that the apocalypse was officially scheduled for July 7, 1977, inspired a significant portion of the island's population to stay home from work and/or shut down their businesses on that day when it finally arrived.

3. Downpressor Man - Peter Tosh: The first of three songs we'll be profiling here from Equal Rights, Tosh's second solo album after leaving the Wailers, Downpressor Man was a reworking of Nina Simone's 1965 song Sinnerman, a song that many in Jamaica, including the Wailers, had re-recorded prior to this version here.

4. The Sun - Burning Spear: Winston Rodney's 1977 Burning Spear release Dry & Heavy,  while not the finest effort from this ridiculously fertile period in his storied career, is still considered a minor classic. And coming from the most fervently committed artist to Rastafarian ideals of all of Jamaica's major 1970s players , The Sun captures him at his fiery best.

5. I May Not Be Your Kind - Garland Jeffreys: The lone American on this mix, Jeffreys was a Bronx-born New Yorker who actually spent a portion of his formative years working/hanging with the likes of the Velvet Underground's Lou Reed and John Cale before embarking on a solo career in 1973. But by 1977, he had evolved into a broadly eclectic songwriter who could switch with ease from reggae to soul to down and dirty bar rock at the drop of a hat, and emerged with the best album of his long career, Ghost Writer, which like this song from it here, focused on his difficulties growing up as a person of multi-racial heritage.

6. Children Crying - The Congos: There are many who consider The Congo's 1977 roots-reggae debut, Heart Of The Congos to be the finest production effort of Lee "Scratch" Perry career. He took everything on for the band, adding a third band member, and bringing in the Heptones and other reggae superstars to produce a dense, rich vocal blend. But because Perry was also involved in a contract dispute with his previous label Island Records at the time, he was forced to release this album on his own tiny Black Ark label, printing just a few hundred copies on initial release, and wasn't able to land international distribution for years (in fact the full, original mix version of the album wasn't given a proper worldwide release until 2017), causing a huge rift with the band that took years to repair.  Went with my personal fav Children Crying over the album's most reknown song Fisherman here.

7. Do You Love My Music - Horace Andy: Today, Horace Andy might be best known as the reggae singer who prominently lended his vocal talents to all five Massive Attack albums, but he was a mainstay on the Jamaican scene throughout the 70s until moving to Connecticut with his first wife in 1977, where he recorded his fourth full-length In The Light from which we pulled this song here.

8. I Am Still In Love - Alton Ellis: Rocksteady pioneer Alton Ellis, who had already been recording for over a decade by 1977, was an elder statesman on Jamaica's music scene by the time he released this lovely single in 1977, but it's one of my absolute favorites from the year.

9. Equal Rights - Peter Tosh: The title track and one original we are featuring from 1977's Equal Rights, this track would go on to become the second most popular song of Tosh's solo career.

10. Waiting In Vain - Bob Marley & The Wailers: One of the most surprising things about Exodus is though it was the first album Marley recorded after an assassination was attempted on his life, it's amongst the least angry, least political, and most laid back albums of his career, focused to a far greater extent on fostering a positive sense of community and the healing powers of love and sex. Pretty obvious which of those two themes he's focused on here.

11. Born For A Purpose / Reason For Living - Dr. Alimantado: Primarily a singles artist at this point in his career, Alimantado (aka Winston James Thompson) was kinda the reggae equivalent of Daft Punk in 1977, a producer/composer who would write great songs, and then build them around the best vocal talent the island had to offer.  It would be another year before he became know outside of Jamaica, but when he finally did, in no small part due to the 1978 success of this single in the UK, he became one of the Punk scene's most revered reggae artists.

12. Chant To King Selassie I - Augustus Pablo: Augustus Pablo (the performing name for producer and session player Horace Swaby) was one of the most important early pioneers in the development of dub, and is also know for popularizing the use of the melodica in Jamaican music. This song, like most of his work, is purely instrumental, and comes for his 1977 album East Of The Nile River, the follow up to his definite 1976 work King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown.

13. Wolf & Leopards - Dennis Brown: Half of a cheat here, as most of the songs on Wolf & Leopards the album had been released as singles in the years immediately prior. But rather than just collect the existing singles into a greatest hits compilation, they were instead re-recorded in updated form, and it is this rerecorded version of the song Wolf & Leopards (which condemns those island thugs who were adopting Rastifari mannerisms purely as a cover for their criminal activities) that became the definitive version most hear today.

14. Pirate Days - Culture: One more track I couldn't leave off from Culture's Two Sevens Clash.

15. Uptown Top Ranking - Althea And Donna: Despite the abundance of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Culture tracks on this mix, it is this joyous track here from these one-hit wonders that is now considered by critics the best reggae song of 1977. Recorded when the female vocal duo were only 17 & 18, it caught fire in Europe, and ended up as the #1 song of the year in Britain in 1978.

16. Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin: This, the original version of the song, was the biggest hit of Murvin's career, popularized even further by The Clash, and is taken from the Lee "Scratch" Perry-produced album of the same name.

17. Stepping Razor - Peter Tosh: Another cover from Tosh's Equal Rights, this time it's reggae hero Joe Higgs, considered by many the first true reggae artist (and a man who was also an important mentor for Tosh/Bob Marley early in their careers) who gets his work reinterpreted in such fine fashion here.

18. So Much Things To Say - Bob Marley & The Wailers: Had a tough time picking this song over Exodus's title track for the final Marley inclusion, especially since the song's ending is a little wonky and makes for a hard transition into any other track, but I just liked this song too much to leave off, clunky edit into The Heptones and all.

19. I Shall Be Released - The Heptones: Guilt over not including the title track to The Heptones' 1977 classic Party Time, but this cover of Dylan's I Shall Be Released that also appears on the album is just so good, I knew this had to be the closer for this mix. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

McQ's Best Of 1977 Vol 4 - The Yanks & Early New Wave (Punk's Greatest Year Pt 2)

To wrap up our look back at the Punk explosion of 1977, we head across the Atlantic (mostly) to focus on the American East Coast punk scene that was almost as vibrant as that in the UK, as well as a handful of acts that were already moving past punk into artier New Wave territory.

Another lively mix (at least until Frankie Teardrop), it is interesting to note how much more infantile most of the American Punks come off as when directly compared to their more politically oriented UK counterparts.

About The Songs:

1. Rockaway Beach - The Ramones: While more attention on 1977 gets thrown at the British Punk scene, it is important to remember that punk and New Wave's core aesthetics began gestating in the States, especially on the East Coast and in the industrial Midwest, through efforts by the likes of proto-punkers The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, The Modern Lovers, MC5, and The New York Dolls, long before any British or Aussie acts really jumped into the fray.  And before any of the British punk acts got their first album out, The Ramones were already working on  releases two and three. This track, one of the best and most joyously mindless from Rocket To Russia, felt like perfect track to kick off this mix. 

2. Mystery Dance - Elvis Costello: Considered one of the greatest debut albums of all-time, most of the songs on My Aim Is True were originally intended for another artist.  When Stiff Records first took an interest in Costello, it was as a potential songwriter for one of their top line artists, Dave Edmunds. But when presented with Costello's demos, Edmunds was resistant, so the label ask Costello to rerecord several of the songs with Edmund's producer Nick Lowe in the hope cleaner versions of the songs would turn Edmunds around.  But when the label heard the new demos, they decided Costello was strong enough of a presence to promote him on his own. And the rest (after a few more twists and turns) is history.  Yet another album with so many great tracks you can really pick anything, I'm going with personal favs again, starting with this humorous take on adolescent sexual fumbling.

3. Sonic Reducer - The Dead Boys: Of all the American punk bands of the era, Cleveland natives The Dead Boys were probably both the hardest hitting and the most offensive.  We'll get to an example of their more offensive stuff in a little bit, but for now,  just enjoy the band at their thunderous best, with the biggest song of the band's career from their perfectly titled 1977 debut album Young, Loud, & Snotty.

4. First Week / Last Week.... Carefree - The Talking Heads: And then there was this band. Formed by a trio of RSID art school students, who then later added ex-Modern Lovers keyboardist Jerry Harrison when they began to make a name on the club circuit, they were unlike anyone else out there. I don't know if Talking Heads :77, their debut, is my favorite Head's album, but it's in the running. And one of the things I love most about :77 is that for a band that produced so many bizarre but playful tunes, :77 may be their most playful album of all, a trait well characterized by this song here. 

5. Ghost Rider - Suicide: Unlike the British Punks, the early New York punks were not nearly as locked in to a definitive sound, or as beholden to the past the way most of the Brit acts still held Beatlesque harmonies in high regard.  We've already discussed how Television and The Talking Heads differed greatly from the punk norm. Suicide here was another act that while definitely punk, approached the genre as an attitude far more than something to be defined by pace and sound.  If anything, Suicide's self-titled debut, represented here by its punchiest track Ghost Rider, presaged the arrival of ice-cold new wavers like Joy Division far more than displaying any sonic allegiance with their punk peers.

6. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll - Ian Dury: Another act, like Costello and Graham Parker, caught between punk, bar band and early new wave, I struggled with which mix to include this goofy, timeless classic from Dury's boozy debut New Boots And Panties, but in the end, it played best here. 

7. Born To Lose - Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers: L.A.M.F., the only studio release from this New York Dolls offshoot, was trashed upon its initial release for its piss poor mix (a mix so bad it became a source of constant contention between the band members and tore the group apart). But over the years, the album's reputation has consistently improved, to the point now where it is considered a minor classic of the era.  Album opener Born To Lose is L.A.M.F.'s most popular song.

8. Blank Generation - Richard Hell: A tough dude to get along with with controlling tendancies, Richard Hell had already worn out his welcome with Television and Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers by the time he got around to recording his debut album Blank Generation with backing band the Voidoids. And given how strong those other acts' work became after Hell left, it's maybe not that surprising that of all the albums represented on this mix, Blank Generation doesn't hold up as well as most of the others. That said, the album does boasts two undeniable classics, the title track here, and a naughty little number we'll get to a bit down the road. 

9. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Devo: The band's full-length Brian Eno / David Bowie produced debut Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was still a year away from release, but this early Stones cover from the Akron, Ohio futurists is one of New Waves' first hits and most recognizable singles. 

10. Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth - The Dead Boys: Remember when I said The Dead Boys were among the most  offensive of all the early American Punk acts. Exhibit A. 

11. Friction - Television: I'm still trying to sort out my revised rankings for the best albums of 1977 (something I will update after we've finished posting these mixes).  To my ears, there are up to ten records that can make a legitimate claim for the year's top spot.  But if we were reduce things down to just one album side, there's no question in my mind side one of Marquee Moon takes the crown.  See No Evil, Venus, Friction here, and then the title track we'll be hitting a few songs later on this mix, album sides rarely get better than that.

12. No Compassion - The Talking Heads: It's been said of Talking Heads: 77 that while it may not be fans' favorite Heads' album, pretty much everything the David Byrne-captained outfit would become was hinted at on their debut, and there's no denying that this semi-sociopathic tune feels like a direct predecessor to the anti-social paranoia fest that would become the band's third release Fear Of Music.

13. California Sun - The Ramones: Tough call here. Even though I like The Ramones' first 1977 release Leave Home a lot, if we're being honest, there isn't a single song on Leave Home that's as good as any one of the top eight or nine tracks on Rocket To Russia. But once again, at the expense of Cretin Hop, We're A Happy Family, I Wanna Be Well, Do You Wanna Dance, etc., a sense of inclusion won out, and I went with California Sun from Leave Home here. 

14. Blame It On Cain - Elvis Costello: Song two on this mix from My Aim Is True is one that is open to an array of lyrical interpretations - is it a semi-autobiographical venting anchored in Costello's own early financial struggles? An off-center mocking of traditional government justifications for war? A long, excuse making justification from a co(cain)e addict? Or is it more literal, a song sung from the POV of a suicidal Abel, who knows he's sinned in killing himself, and is now trying to scapegoat his death on his brother in the hopes of still earning entry into Heaven? Any interpretation works to some degree, but however you hear the words, there's no doubt this is one of Aim's most rocking tracks.

15. What Love Is - The Dead Boys: Though this is the original version of What Love Is, we've actually profiled this song in our collections before. The Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears cover version from their awesome funk fest Scandalous also made our best of 2011 mix set. 

16. Love Comes In Spurts - Richard Hell: Like I said in the intro, American Punk was just way more puerile in its lyrical concerns when compare to what was being put out by the Brits. Didn't make it any less fun to listen to, though. 

17. Marquee Moon - Television: Here it is, punk's ultimate - and maybe only - epic jam.

18. Blockheads - Ian Dury: By far my favorite hard-charger from Dury's New Boots And Panties.

19. Watching The Detectives - Elvis Costello: Released as Costello's third single in October 1977 following Alison and Less Than Zero, Watching The Detectives was not included on the original pressing of My Aim Is True, but was later added on all subsequent pressings to close out side one. The song was also the first single to be released after Costello had finally quit his day job as a data entry clerk. A touch older than most of his punk rock / new wave peers, Costello was already married and a father by the time Stiff records took an interest in him in 1976, and it wasn't until buzz had started to seriously build around Aim and the label promised to pay him a weekly salary equal to what he was already making in data entry that Stiff was able to convince Costello to become a musician full time and give the album the promotion it deserved.

20. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker - Ramones: Of all the Ramones' early albums, Rocket To Russia is the one that comes closest to pure pop perfection, and no song on the album highlights the band's talent for delivering irrestible hooks at blazing speed better than this track here, arguably one of the two most popular songs in the band's entire catalog.

21. Pulled Up - The Talking Heads: One more playful, quirky number from :77 to conclude the upbeat portion of this mix before the wrist slitter that follows ruins everyone's day. 

22. Frankie Teardrop - Suicide: Amongst the most disturbing songs ever set to vinyl, Alan Vega's dispassionate description of a murder-suicide by a financially desperate blue-collar worker shares many shock value similarities with The Door's The End, albeit grittier, less poetic and way more psychotic in feel. A unnerving downer supreme that many will hate, but also one of the more legendary songs to come out of New York in the late 70s, it would have been flat-out wrong not to include it on this mix here, no matter how much it bums you out.