Wild Mercury Sound’s New! Improved! Top 75 Of 2008

With blogging, of course, you publish and be damned, then, once damned, you publish again. So it is with the Top 75 I unleashed on an unsuspecting world on Tuesday, only to soon realise that it was, basically, a bit of a cock-up.

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With blogging, of course, you publish and be damned, then, once damned, you publish again. So it is with the Top 75 I unleashed on an unsuspecting world on Tuesday, only to soon realise that it was, basically, a bit of a cock-up.

Thanks to those of you who pointed out that Nick Cave and Bon Iver should both have been in there. Here’s the full 75 on one page, with them added and, unfortunately, Stereolab and The Fall making way at the other end. I’m conscious that I could keep messing about with this rundown for the next 12 months, so I’m going to let it lie now, but please keep your comments coming.


Before I try again, though, I ought to answer a couple of questions posed on the original thread. The Duke Of Monmouth wondered whether my omission of the My Morning Jacket, Drive-By Truckers and Felice Brothers was “a statement that the folk rock genre which as Assistant Editor your Magazine promotes (very well by the way) either has run its course in your eyes or have the above had a off year”?

I’d say that, on the contrary, any list containing Lambchop, Jenny Lewis, Campbell & Lanegan, Calexico, American Music Club, two Will Oldham albums, Fleet Foxes and, um, Bon Iver suggests that it was actually a rather good year for Americana.

Fortunately for me, Wild Mercury Sound is a reflection of my own taste, which contributes to Uncut’s editorial position, but doesn’t entirely dominate it. Plenty of people here were very enamoured by the Truckers record – hence some grief when I explained why I was disappointed by it here (I also had a moan about “Evil Urges” here).


As for The Felice Brothers, I’m very in the minority on this one, but I find them a hokey comedy band, I’m afraid (another small part of me died the other day when I discovered one of them had written a book called Hail Mary Full Of Holes). I haven’t blogged about them, but I did rather foolishly try to take on their immensely prickly fans here. If you ever want to really irritate me, by the way, say things like, “They sound like people living it, not talking about it.” That always goes down well.

Not a huge amount of love for Deerhunter here, Kris, no. I liked the odd bit of “Cryptograms” and the Atlas Sound album, but the thin indie vocals are a real distraction, and there’s a whiff of shoegaze to the whole project I’m not hugely keen on. I seem to be in a minority on this one as well, though.

Finally, this backhanded compliment. “I always enjoy WMS most when it’s talking about new music rather than my fellow Saga generation demographic of Sprinsgteen/Zeppelin/Cohen etc.” Sorry to disappoint, but I’ll keep writing about all the music I like, whichever generation makes it (am I not qualified to write about these people because I’m younger than them? For God’s sake. . .). One of the points of Uncut, and this blog, is that we try and convey our excitement about all the music we like, whether it’s a Leonard Cohen gig or a Sun Araw 12-inch.

But enough for now. Here’s 75 good records. . .

75 Greg Weeks – The Hive (Wichita)

74 Zomes – Zomes (Holy Mountain)

73 Sunn 0))) – Dømkirke (Southern Lord)

72 Amadou & Mariam – Welcome To Mali (Because)

71 Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Lie Down In The Light (Domino)

70 Hot Chip – Made In The Dark (EMI)

69 Peter Walker – Echoes Of My Soul (Tompkins Square)

68 REM – Accelerate (Warner Bros)

67 Inara George With Van Dyke Parks – An Invitation (Everloving)

66 Lambchop – OH (Ohio) (City Slang)

65 The Heads – Dead In The Water (Rooster)

64 Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue (Rough Trade)

63 Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Sunday At Devil Dirt (V2)

62 Philip Jeck – Sand (Touch)

61 Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid – NYC (Domino)

60 MV + EE With The Golden Road – Drone Trailer (Di Cristina)

59 Black Taj – Beyonder (Amish)

58 Bird Show – Bird Show (Kranky)

57 Neon Neon – Stainless Style (Lex)

56 Be Your Own Pet – Get Awkward (XL)

55 Chairlift – Does You Inspire You (Kanine)

54 Fucked Up – The Chemistry Of Common Life (Matador)

53 The Breeders – Mountain Battles (4AD)

52 Calexico – Carried To Dust (City Slang)

51 American Music Club – The Golden Age (Cooking Vinyl)

50 Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing (ATP Recordings)

49 Earth – The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord)

48 TK Webb & The Visions – Ancestor (Kemado)

47 James Jackson Toth – Waiting In Vain (Rykodisc)

46 Abe Vigoda – Skeleton (Bella Union)

45 AC/DC – Black Ice (Columbia)

44 Little Joy – Little Joy (Rough Trade)

43 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (Universal/Island)

42 Sic Alps – US EZ (Siltbreeze)

41 Buraka Som Sistema – Black Diamond (Fabric)

40 Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid (Fiction)

39 Joan As Police Woman – To Survive (Reveal)

38 Patti Smith & Kevin Shields – The Coral Sea (PASK)

37 Boredoms – Super Roots 9 (Thrill Jockey)

36 Jack Rose – Dr Ragtime and His Pals (Beautiful Happiness)

35 No Age – Nouns (Sub Pop)

34 The Night Marchers – See You In Magic (Full Time Hobby)

33 Kelley Stoltz – Circular Sounds (Sub Pop)

32 Sun Kil Moon – April (Caldo Verde)

31 Lindsey Buckingham – Gift Of Screws (Reprise)

30 Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Is It The Sea (Domino)

29 Hush Arbors – Hush Arbors (Ecstatic Peace)

28 Marnie Stern – This Is It And I Am It. . . (Kill Rock Stars)

27 Diskjokke – Staying In (Smalltown Supersound)

26 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (Bella Union)

25 Black Mountain – In The Future (Jagjaguwar)

24 James Yorkston – When The Haar Rolls In (Domino)

23 Matmos – Supreme Balloon (Matador)

22 El Guincho – Alegranza (XL)

21 Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna (Warp)

20 The Week That Was – The Week That Was (Memphis Industries)

19 Toumani Diabaté – The Mandé Variations (World Circuit)

18 White Denim – Workout Holiday (Full Time Hobby)

17 Sun Araw – Beach Head (Not Not Fun)

16 Wild Beasts – Limbo, Panto (Domino)

15 Fennesz – Black Sea (Touch)

14 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Mute)

13 Department Of Eagles – In Ear Park (4AD)

12 The Hold Steady – Stay Positive (Rough Trade)

11 Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Dolores (PIAS)

10 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (XL)

9 Portishead – Third (Island)

8 Endless Boogie – Focus Level (No Quarter)

7 TV On The Radio – Dear Science (4AD)

6 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Real Emotional Trash (Domino)

5 The Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely (XL)

4 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (4AD)

3 Howlin Rain – Magnificent Fiend (Birdman)

2 Brightblack Morning Light – Motion To Rejoin (Matador)

1 James Blackshaw – Litany Of Echoes (Tompkins Square)


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