Record of the Month – Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I’m trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.

I vacillated between this debut disc, Kite, and Kirsty MacColl‘s sophomore album, Electric Landlady, but I went with this one. Duh.

America most know Ms MacColl for writing Tracey Ullman’s “They Don’t Know”, (not that most have ever really known this fact – or the song) but she was so much more than that. She was a witty and poignant songwriter who also did a great job of performing – in that, oh-so British way.

Jon almost had me post this last month when in Mexico, as we were not far from where Kirsty died in a tragic speed boat accident almost a decade ago. But he certainly got me thinking on when (not if) to include her music.

The version of Kite I have no longer exists. The ones currently out there are remixed within an inch of their life with lots of additional, lesser known and less stellar tracks. I think they dilute the experience.

The disk, produced by her then husband, Steve Lillywhite (responsible for U2’s first three disks, Talking Heads and a plethora of other music out there), comes across as poppy and light-hearted. That is, until you really listen to it. Don’t get me wrong, it can just be pop, but more often than not, it can be sociallyconscious, heartbreaking and/or sad.

The original disk consisted of 15 songs, a third of those not even hitting three minutes in length, they were snapshots almost. Most of the songs are originals, but a few covers. MacColl does a decent cover of the Kinks  “Days”, but ironically, two songs later she does her own song, “15 Minutes” which sounds like it could be a Kinks song.

She also does what I consider an incredible cover of the Smiths “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby” (at least the original release).  It ranks up there as one of the best cover songs ever done and she does it without losing any of Morrissey’s tongue-in-cheek behaviour.  The Smiths, Johnny Marr makes appearances as both musician and co-writer on a few tracks.

As the album goes, I have some favourites, as you might guess: “Free World”, “What Do Pretty Girls Do”, “Dancing in Limbo”, “You and Me, Baby” and “LaForet de Memosas”.

I am not sure how easy Kite is to find outside of iTunes, but it is available there.  Go and sample.  I think you’ll like.

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