Song of the Day #3,866: ‘Simple Things’ – Belle & Sebastian

‘Simple Things’ is the penultimate track on Belle & Sebastian’s 1998 album The Boy With the Arab Strap.

I was going to write that I consider this one of their top three albums but when I checked their discography to be sure, I realized I might have to amend that to one of their top five. Maybe six. And they’ve released only nine full-length albums. The moral being that God damn, Belle & Sebastian are a great band and I should dive back into their catalog soon instead of trying to understand what critics liked about the Cardi B album.

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Song of the Day #3,074: ‘The Boy With the Arab Strap’ – Belle & Sebastian

belle_sebastian_boy_arab_strapThe title track from Belle & Sebastian’s third studio album, 1998’s The Boy With the Arab Strap, is a quintessential B&S song. It’s delicate, quietly rollicking, precious but snarky, unmistakably the work of this wonderful, improbable band.

Lead singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch took the “Arab Strap” reference in this song from a Scottish band of the same name. He didn’t realize it referred to a device used by men to maintain erections.

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Song of the Day #2,745: ‘Play For Today’ – Belle & Sebastian

b-s_girls-in-peacetime_packshot-1Best Songs of 2015 – #1
‘Play For Today’ – Belle & Sebastian

I had more Top 40 hits in this year’s top twenty countdown than I ever have before, so I guess I’ve earned the right to go full indie geek and give my #1 spot to an epic Belle & Sebastian song about battling depression.

What did you expect, ‘Hotline Bling?’

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Song of the Day #2,401: ‘Ever Had a Little Faith?’ – Belle & Sebastian

b-s_girls-in-peacetime_packshot-1When R.E.M.’s 1998 album Up, their first without drummer Bill Berry, was met with mixed reviews, Michael Stipe said this in an interview: “If this record dropped out of the sky by a three-piece band that nobody had heard of, people would be in the street shouting at the top of their lungs, naked, about it.”

He was being overly defensive, but I could see his point. Established bands — especially great ones — are always measured against their own legacy, their finest moments.

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Song of the Day #2,333: ‘Judy is a Dick Slap’ – Belle & Sebastian

legal_manBelle & Sebastian give good instrumentals. This cut from their Legal Man EP is a fine example.

It is more notable, however, for its title, which is both naughty and nonsensical. I have a pretty good guess what a “dick slap” is (and Urban Dictionary is there to support that guess in graphic fashion) but I’m not sure how Judy, or anybody, can be one.

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Song of the Day #2,223: ‘Winter Wooskie’ – Belle & Sebastian

legal_man‘Winter Wooskie’ is the third track on Belle & Sebastian’s 2000 Legal Man EP, released back in the days when the band would put out new material on singles in between their full-length albums.

The 25 songs they released this way between 1997 and 2001 combine to rival any of their LPs, and in fact the whole lot were released on a double disc in 2005 with the title Push Barman to Open Old Wounds.

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Song of the Day #2,177: ‘Piazza, New York Catcher’ – Belle & Sebastian

bellesebasMy desert island countdown continues (see Monday’s post for the full explanation).

Desert Island Musical Artists – Honorable Mention – Belle & Sebastian

The Scottish septet very nearly made my top five but the tough competition edged them out to the unofficial sixth spot.

Eight full-length albums and a couple of dozen B-sides and EP tracks should keep me in twee indie-pop heaven for quite awhile.

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