BREAK-UP ALBUMS ARE AWESOME
Break-ups are very, very sad. But they can also be a gift. For instance, according to music industry gossip e-rag PopBitch, James Blunt gave his then-girlfriend half the rights to all the songs on first record, the viscerally appalling Back To Bedlam in what must have seemed a highly optimistic gesture. (Seriously; imagine hearing those songs before they were hits. “Half the rights? For me? Errr…. thanks”). But when they broke up, she rather spitefully refused to let him use the songs on any adverts, thereby not only depriving the shovel-voiced goon of a big wedge of cash, but also rescuing the rest of us from further exposure to said shovel-voiced goon. Thank you, mysterious stranger.
Four more de-couplings that please our ears:
WORDS: Jeremy Warmsley
Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space -Spiritualized
What kind of demon would you have to be to leave Jason Spaceman for Richard Ashcroft? Actually that’s probably not fair on Spiritualized keyboardist Kate Radley, for whom this 1997 space-rock classic was apparently penned. After all, one’s a smack-addled waster with an eye for detail (the album came packaged in aspirin-style foil wrapping and pharmaceutical cardboard box), which is probably really annoying to share a home with. And the other, whilst certainly a shameless ego-monger, is probably quite caring and has nice hair. And is rich.
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Two for the price of one! Bassist John Mcvie and keyboardist Christine Mcvie broke up during the making of this 70s AOR MOR soft-rock classic, and so did guitarist Lindsay Buckingham (male) and singer Stevie Nicks (female: confusing). And lanky drummer Mick Fleetwood broke up with his wife. And then he started going out with Stevie. It’s like an episode of Sunset Beach, only without the evil twins or the diamonds falling down the earthquake crack. The VH1 Behind The Music for this one is BRUTAL.
Blood On The Tracks – Bob Dylan
Dylan broke up with his wife Sara and made this amazing record (standout track: Lily, Rosemary and the Jack Of Hearts, a nine-minute bluegrass murder/heartbreak ballad). According to his autobiography (and, er Wikipedia), it’s not about his personal life. COME ON DYLAN. You break up with your wife and then record a work of staggering romantic longing. Totally unrelated? I THINK NOT.
Gold – Abba
Not traditionally considered a break-up record, Abba’s greatest hits may seem a cheeky celebration of cheesy pop fun. Re-sequence the tracks in the order they were recorded, however, and it turns into a dismal concept album abou the death of love. Love begins as war (Waterloo) and in the end, everyone loses (One Of Us Is Crying, The Winner Takes It All). It’s not surprising – the two couples that made up the band slowly disintegrated over their ten-year reign as chart royalty. Abba are actually really depressing – one of their songs has the lyric “Walking through an empty house, tears in my eyes”, which sounds like it could be from one of Ian Curtis’ less morbid moments. (OK, it’s from Knowing Me, Knowing You, which is otherwise quite chirpy. But it’s the juxtaposition that really gets me).
The founder members of Abba have gone on to have quite different fates – keyboardist Benny lost all his memory, guitarist Bjorn nearly got done for tax evasion, Agnetha dated her stalker and Frida became an actual queen when she married Prince Heinrich. No word on whether she does any dancing, though.