Thursday, September 8, 2011

MEGATOP PHOENIX - Big Audio Dynamite

YEAR: 1989


TRACK LISTING: Start, Rewind, All Mink & No Manners, Union Jack, Contact, Dragon Town, Baby Don't Apologise, Is Yours Working Yet?, Around the Girl in 80 Ways, James Brown, Everybody Needs A Holiday, Mick's a Hippie Burning, House Arrest, The Green Lady, London Bridge, Stalag 123, End

IMPRESSIONS: Here is an album which can always cheer me up whenever I put it on. Infectious beats and subtle humour infuse every track. "Rewind" has your head nodding sideways to the beat, "Contact" propels you along, "Baby Don't Apologise" gets your booty bopping, "James Brown" is a funky funny freakout, "Everybody Needs A Holiday" is one of my theme songs and for me is auditory prozac and "Stalag 123" cools you down with one of the best album closers you could ask for! Back in the day one summer, I was playing the album LOUD with all the windows open. My mother as usual was dancing to it; however we happened to look next door and the neighbour's daughter was also dancing to it in her back yard. THAT'S the booty-shaking power of this album! MEGATOP PHOENIX was also awarded the honourary Penguin Award for 1989 album of the year.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Start, Rewind, Contact, Baby Don't Apologise, James Brown, Everybody Needs A Holiday, Mick's a Hippie Burning, The Green Lady, Stalag 123, End

GUEST ARTISTS: Flea (sound effects)

FACT SHEET: MEGATOP PHOENIX is B.A.D.'s fourth album and the last to feature the original band lineup. B.A.D. is Mick Jones' music project after leaving The Clash; in 1990 Mick Jones would form Big Audio Dynamite II with an entirely different line-up. The title MEGATOP PHOENIX refers to Jones' near-death experience when he nearly died of pneumonia before the recording of the album. There is much use of sampling on the album as usual. "Start" includes the opening narration from the Powell & Pressburger film "A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH". "Union, Jack" includes samples from "Rule Britannia", Charlie Watts' drum solo from "Honky Tonk Woman", Shakespeare's "Richard II", and the films "BRITANNIA HOSPITAL" and "THE KNACK...AND HOW TO GET IT". "Contact" samples "I Can't Explain" by The Who. "Dragon Town" samples George Formby's "Mr. Wu's a Window Cleaner Now". "Is Yours Working Yet?" samples Alfred Hitchcock. "Around the Girl in 80 Ways" samples Bernard Cribbins' "Right Said Fred". "James Brown" samples "Living In America" by James Brown. "Mick's a Hippie Burning" samples Bernard Cribbins' "The Hole in the Ground" and "Withnail & I". "London Bridge" samples Noel Coward's "London Pride". "Stalag 123" samples the theme music and dialogue from "THE GREAT ESCAPE". "End" samples dialogue from "Listen with Mother".

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