Song of the Day #3,990: ‘Chickfactor’ – Belle and Sebastian

[NOTE: I lost track of my dates and initially thought the 7th fell on a Saturday, so I wrote this post for Random Weekends. Rather than redo everything, I’m going to run this weekend’s posts today and tomorrow and post my final 2001 Decades album on Sunday.]

Happy birthday to frequent commenter Dana! Let’s spin the wheel and see what the Random iTunes Fairy has served up in celebration of your day.

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Song of the Day #3,950: ‘I Took a Long Hard Look’ – Belle and Sebastian

Here’s a track from The Third Eye Center, a collection of previously unreleased tracks Belle and Sebastian put out in 2013.

This is a mostly forgettable collection. There’s a reason these songs weren’t put on official album released in the first place. But it’s worth a listen for completists.

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Song of the Day #3,831: ‘It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career’ – Belle & Sebastian

The lead-off track of Belle & Sebastian’s 1998 album The Boy With the Arab Strap, ‘It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career’ is a classic example of the band’s early style. I’ll stack the music on B&S’s first three albums against pretty much anything ever.

Nobody does acoustic melancholy like the Scottish septet. They later expanded their sound, branching into pop and even dance music quite successfully, but for me this will always be the quintessential Belle & Sebastian sound.

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Song of the Day #3,614: ‘Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying’ – Belle and Sebastian

Today’s Random iTunes Selection comes at a good time.

I’ve been a bit down on Belle and Sebastian lately due to the uncharacteristic mediocrity of their most recent release. The band’s first new material since 2015’s Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is a collection of EPs that combine to form a 15-track album titled How to Solve Our Human Problems. And for my money, it’s the weakest thing they’ve ever recorded.

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Song of the Day #3,319: ‘Big John Shaft’ – Belle & Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian’s 2002 album Storytelling is the soundtrack to the Todd Solondz film of the same name. However, the relationship between the band and Solondz was so poor that only about five minutes of their music made it into the film’s final cut.

As a musical release, this is by far the band’s weakest effort. It contains only two or three actual songs interspersed with brief instrumentals and snippets of dialogue. I believe it was released mostly as a contractual obligation, as this was Belle & Sebastian’s final album on the Jeepster label. Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,250: ‘Perfect Couples’ – Belle & Sebastian

I recently registered my vote for Talking Heads over Stevie Wonder in the Montauk Madness competition. Today’s random SOTD is one of the reasons why.

I hear the influence of Talking Heads all over the music I like. I’d never expect the delicate Scottish band Belle & Sebastian to lay down a groove like this, but here they are, channeling David Byrne’s ground-breaking work in a move that makes me appreciate both bands even more.

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Song of the Day #3,247: ‘Off the Wall’ – Michael Jackson vs. Belle & Sebastian

Here’s a Montauk Madness first round matchup that has me hoping my blog audience skews more toward my sensibility than popular consensus. I assume R&B and pop legend Michael Jackson would take down Scottish indie act Belle & Sebastian in a poll of any significant size, by way of name recognition if nothing else.

But as much as I love the King of Pop, especially in his Off the Wall and Thriller days, I can’t give him the nod over one of my very favorite bands.

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