84 - Horsebreaker Star by Grant McLennan 1994
The only double lp on my list and part of me still wonders if this should be a lot higher. I guess it is here as although I love the solo lps there is a sense of sugar without the spice that made the Gobetwens so good . Also as ever with double lps there is a sense that in every great double and perfect single exists.
"I wanted it to be the kind of record that could be played by anyone, but not too obvious. You know, the London Symphony Orchestra doesn't have to do the ballads, Johnny Cash doesn't have to do the country songs. I don't like to be that predictable. I like surprises,"
As ever the lp sold poorly but it is full of delights and whilst not as extreme as the Triffids Black Swan the lp is a mix of styles and surprises. The overall feel is more American than anything else he had done or did since.
Sixties pop , sat along side acoustic ballads , mixed with Americana and a shot of country all over 24 tracks
As ever with his lyrics you are never sure which are from personal experience and which are Carver like short stories and character portraits. Although one thing this that is consistent is his ear for melody that makes his songs instantly familiar.
My favourite track is this one and I used to think it was addressed to Robert Forster and read into that a reunion was on the cards ( the desperation of a male fan!) which did happen eventually but listening back I think I was reading a hell of a lot more into it than was intended
Coming up for Air - Grant McLennan
Disc one is consistently tremendous whereas the second disc has 2 or 3 misfires strangely all in a row, which makes them feel like an odd little blemish rather than a temptation to hit the skip button
As usual the lp seems to be going for silly money but you can get some second hand copies here and it is worth it for such peerless songwriting