Saturday, 24 November 2012

Desert Island Discs 92 - Black Swan by the Triffids

92 The Black Swan by the Triffids 1989

This is what I've written previously about the Black Swan

This is the last record the band made before they split up. it is a masterpiece just because of the quality of the songwriting and the variety of styles. It is flawed just because of this variety. Originally planned as a double the mission was that each song should be in a completely different style to all the others, as a result it is almost too varied with the album not really holding together (styles jump from vaudeville, to gypsy, to 60s girl group). As could be guessed the record company balked and the band had to edit the original down to a single cd.

Ever a sucker for wildly over ambitious intentions, it is for this fact that it just pips Calenture to the top 125.

That and the fact that despite the variety in styles there isn't really a song that doesn't work. These 2 tracks show just how varied the styles are. First up is a country song , subtitled the country widower it is a widescreen story of loneliness. Compare that to the glacial electronic pop of Falling Over You!

New Years Greeting - The Triffids

Falling over You - The Triffids

Finally a 60s girl group pop song that further proves the rule of good bands awful videos make

You can buy the Black Swan here this is the extended version where you can enjoy the lp as it was meant to be heard in all its 19 track glory, plus a 2nd disc of demos


  1. I love this album. I just may have to splash out on the 'original' version. And now I'll have to pick a different Triffids album for my list.

  2. Hi Seamus - it is worth it as teh songs that were left off are all as good as the ones that made it on

  3. I'm surprised that you guys are going for this one. Born Sandy seems to be the critic's choice. But they certainly achieved their mission here.... a challenging and sprawling potpourri of a project, with some impressive tunes. I especially love New Years Greeting, but I've always found the album unfocused and not as emotionally involving as my fave, Calenture. Hell, any Triffids pick is a good one!

    #92 - Gretchen Peters - Hello Cruel World (2012)

    - had it higher, but having just done the blurb with TJ, invoking the No Particular Order rule here.

  4. Black Swan my favourite Triffids pipping Sandy & Calenture; I really like his solo album too.
    I see that Seamus is on the Triffids' Trail too.
    I'm using 'Seamus's Rule' today and including a freshly discovered CD in my list; let's hope it endures...

  5. well, it's 'Calenture' without doubt for me. I've got to admire the ambition of 'Black Swan' but the result , to me, is an album that sounds like 12 different artists on a compilation. Maybe that's the idea.
    Tim - Just ordered 'Hello Cruel World' yesterday. The tracks posted over at 'Hissyfit'were just fantastic. I'm really looking forward to hearing the whole album.
    My # 92 is Kraftwerk - Man Machine. Bowies 'Low' and 'Heroes' turned me on to this which in turn got me into Ultravox, Human League and OMD. A real turning point in my listening pleasures.

  6. Funny, I'm listening to Calenture now and enjoying it. I remember finding it very disappointing at the time. I have the album on vinyl but it is hardly played.


  8. Hi Phil I eventually bought this cd about 20 yrs after it was released !
    Seamus I can imagine that if you had in teh pines or Born the calenture might seem a bit of a shiny polished tilt at the charts when it first came out

    Anon thanks for the link but what is it?


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