Monday, 24 December 2012

Desert Island Discs 77 Laugh by Terry Hall

77 Laugh by Terry Hall 1997

I was in the middle of a divorce as I was trying to promote it, so it was pretty impossible," he says. "I just allowed myself to fall apart I think. Just let it go. Doing a solo record, you try to write about who you are and what you know, and if life's overtaken that it's very difficult to explain it. It becomes such a painful process. I thought, 'Why am I putting myself through this? I'm talking about divorce and loss and all this shit. It doesn't make any sense. I mean, I can avoid doing this.'"

Ever the sucker for a bit of artistic misery it is the above context that means that Laugh just pips the equally as good Home into the top 125.

Laugh continues the sixties style of classic pop that emerged on Home , this time pulling on Stephen Duffy and Damon Albarn a co writers , although most songs were co written by ex Smith Craig Gannon whose gorgeous guitar playing is all over the lp.

A lot of the songs focus on the break up of Hall's marriage, there is some bitterness but the overall feeling is of sadness and regret

you promised lasting days before you walked away

The lps title features in a number of songs lyrics often dripping with irony

Happy go Lucky - Terry Hall

The best song on the lp is the single Ballad of the Landlord which starts off as a direct link back to the Colourfield's first lp and then moves into a big swirl of a song that feels like it has come form the soundtrack of a classic 60s film

The only track that doesn't really fit is the cover of I saw the Light. Works well on its own merits but feel kind of tagged on at the end of the lp

Often feeling like you are uncomfortably eavesdropping on someones personal sorrow Laugh is one of the great break up lps

you can buy laugh here

Not very festive I know so hope you and all your loved ones have a fantastic festive period

It is also that top ten time of year so here are my ten favourite films I've seen this year

10) The Descendents - a proper grown up film of grief and family belonging

9) Kill List - disturbingly creepy and one of the bleakest endings going

8) Killer Joe - the blackest , seediest noir

7) Crazy Stupid Love - when is a rom com not a rom com , when it is as smart and as funny as this

6) Snowtown - Australian gem about the koss of innocence in the most shocking brutal way possible , a bundle of laughs this isnt

5) Drive - as stylish as film can get

4) Headhunters - classic anti hero film , marvel at how all the loose threads come together in the end and see it quick before the inevitable hollywood remake

3) Prometheus - disappointed many , plot holes you could drive through but I loved it - the only fim I've seen enhanced by 3d

2) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - never have browns and greys looked so sinister

1) Skyfall - I'm as populist as ever when it comes to film (too many art house experiences as a student!) this got a round of applause at teh cinema I saw it at and fully deserved it was too.


  1. I don't recall this album, but I'm adding it to my "buy" list. I loved his super-slick Ian Broudie produced debut Home, and I'm wondering why it's not on my chart, and realize now that I've lost/misplaced my CD...

    #77 - LIGHTNING SEEDS - Cloudcuckooland (1989)

    - a sweet little pop album. Studio version of Pure is perfect, but these two live clips show very different angles that I love too. Also, a six degrees of separation thing here... a clip of Ian Broudie & Terry Hall live.

    Pure (live):
    Pure (raw):
    Sense (w/ Terry Hall):

    PS: Good grief, Top 10 time again... I'm agreeing (Descendents/Skyfall/Drive) & differing big-time (Prometheus/Tinker Tailor).
    I've seen a heap of films this year, many stinkers. Not sure if I can name 10 good ones. Hunger Games, Searching For Sugarman. Um...

  2. Hi Tim

    laugh is well worth getting and picks up where home left off. I almost had Jollification in my chart. Have you heard his latest 4 winds - still as pop catchy as hell but also a slightly more mature sound if that makes sense

  3. Laugh is really wonderful, but I always go back to Home.
    Happy Christmas to you and your's!!

  4. I love both 'Laugh' and 'Home'.If I could have both in my chart they would be side by side, there really is nothing between them, but in the end I went for 'Home'.
    Tim - Lightning Seeds are big favourites of mine. 4 winds is a beauty, catchy pop with a sombre under tow due to most of the tracks being written for or about his older brother who committed suicide.
    #77 Marshmallow - s/t .Alan Gregg of The Mutton Birds released this solo album that's full of bright, 60's influenced pop gems.( Think Teenage Fanclub, Primary 5)
    Have a great Christmas!

  5. Thanks for the Four Winds recommendation. I also see Broudie quietly released a solo LP in 2004 that I'll have to investigate.

    Phil: I just listened to a couple of cuts from Marshmallow. Casting Couch great, very TFCish. Unwritten Unsung album tunes good too. Also, re: your earlier Lightships pick. Seems Gerard Love has been hiding some of his best tunes away from TFC! Hypnotic music, Sunlight To Dawn is gorgeous...

    Merry Christmas y'all...

  6. I've always liked what I heard by Terry post FBT without really following up on it. Must add that to the to do list.
    The first half of Ballad of the Landlord sounds remarkably Momusesque to these ears. He'd listened to Bishonen, perhaps?

  7. Hi seamus - I never really liked FBT except tunnel of love and our lips are sealed but pretty much everything he has done since (and he changes bands as often as vests) has been top notch


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