It’s the penultimate day of the A-Z challenge 2020 and it’s time to ask ‘Y’.
Specifically we must ask ‘Y’ to tell us what today’s album is.
It wasn’t easy. I assumed a lot of album titles would begin with the word ‘you’.
But these were not popular choices in the nineties apparently.
So I’ve had to step a little outside my comfort zone.
I could have gone with Pearl Jam’s ‘Yield’ but I stopped listening to Pearl Jam after their third album ‘Vitalogy’ and didn’t get into them again until many years later. If I was going to include Pearl Jam it would’ve been for ‘Ten’ or the aforementioned ‘Vitalogy’. And I didn’t so I’m not going with ‘Yield’ either. It would feel dishonest.
Another option was Welsh band Feeder and their 1999 album ‘Yesterday Went Too Soon’, but while Feeder always seemed like a band I would probably like, the only album of theirs I really know is 2001’s ‘Echo Park’ so, again, it would be disingenuous to include them.
Ultimately I’ve switched genres and gone with something that screams the nineties like few other albums could.
Y is for You’ve Come A Long Way Baby
While two members of The Housemartins went on to form The Beautiful South, one decided to go in a slightly different direction.
Or a very different direction.
Norman Cook became known as Fatboy Slim and was a pivotal part of the Big Beat movement that was very different to Britpop but largely seemed to exist at roughly the same time.
Not really my cup of tea in theory but I actually did like a lot of the acts associated with that genre of music and they were easily as big a part of the nineties soundscape as any of the indie music I was listening to.
In any case, ‘You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby’ was a massive album that transcended its genre.
The singles off that album were everywhere and on everything. You’d be hard pushed to listen to Radio One (my default radio station until I outgrew their target demographic) without hearing ‘The Rockafella Skank’.
‘Gangster Trippin’ must have been the accompaniment to many a sporting montage.
And you certainly couldn’t expect to go on a night out without at some point finding yourself drunkenly dancing badly and singing loudly to ‘Right Here, Right Now’.
It was unavoidable.
It pretty much was the sound of the late nineties.
And because this A-Z has always been a nostalgia driven exercise, I have to go with the ‘Y’ album that invokes the most nostalgia.
Even if it was rather forced upon me at the time, it’s as evocative of my youth as anything else I’ve written about.
And it’s hard to argue that it isn’t an excellent album.
The track that I liked best back then would definitely have been ‘Praise You’
The video was genius too.