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The Quietus' Self-Indulgent Reissues, Comps & Mixes Of The Year List: 14 to one
Luke Turner , December 10th, 2008 09:41

The Quietus rounds off its list of reissues, compilations and mixes by using means no more scientific than casting a goat's entrails across the office.

It is a tiring job being a music journalist - make no mistake. After you've spent all day pretending to understand what dubstep is; lying through your teeth about how much you like Wiley when the last UK rapper you actually heard was Rodney P; and playing Sunn O))) albums at the wrong speed, it's nice to settle down with a cup of tea and some 'proper' music from years gone by.

So say goodbye to all that shouty, angst-ridden nonsense from the bleeding edge of current music like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes and instead relax with the soothing sounds of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Killing Joke and Einsturzende Neubauten.

For a recap of positions 30 to 15 visit the first part of our reissues feature here. And while you're at it, here are the Best Albums of 2008 Oh Yes.

14. New Order Power, Corruption & Lies

What they say: "There's not one of our songs that uses a black note on the keyboard. That's true!" Barney Sumner

What we say: "It was with Power, Corruption and Lies that the quartet stepped out of the monolithic shadow of Joy Division for the first time. The efflorescence of roses on the front cover reflects the first splashes of colour outside the grey scale in the music especially in tracks such as 'Age Of Consent'. And on the bonus disc . . . well, what is there to say about 'Blue Monday'? One of the greatest pop singles (sorry 12"s) ever released. It was written, so the mythology goes, round a pre-programmed rhythm on a store bought synthesizer's drum machine. A pulverising Moroder synth bass line is combined with stentorian bursts of haiku like lyricism about death . . . and beaches. The serious business of cold war dancing signalled by the rat-a-tat of syn drums, the swoosh of ICBM missiles and the Ligeti 2001: A Space Odyssey drones signalling that we were truly in the age of satellite defence systems." John Doran

Read the full Quietus review of New Order's back catalogue reissues

13. Prodigy More Music For the Jilted Generation

What they said: "'Poison' is our favourite track on the first two albums. Things were getting faster and faster and we were flipping it back and dropping it right back down to a hip hop tempo. It still had the heaviness and the toughness though. It had a great video as well. Everything was right about that track. It wasn't a massive hit but it was . . . proper. We realised a lot of things about ourselves around that time." Liam Howlett

What we say: "By the time Music For The Jilted Generation came out, the Criminal Justice Bill had illegalised ecstatic, communal music. Jilted... was also a fuck you, though, to those who had blamed the chart-topping Prodigy for the death of rave. Yes it crossed over. It fucking transcended" Melissa Bradshaw

Read the full Quietus review of the Prodigy's reissues

12. Killing Joke The Peel Sessions 1979 – 1981

What they said: "Our most requested session" John Peel, 1980

What we say: "In 1979, the year Thatcher rose to power, the group took the already tired punk blueprint and blew it to pieces. They took the anger and fury and honed it into a laser sharp tribal dance. They added dub reggae, disco and goth to the mix and came up with a style of music that people are still aping to this day. From Metallica to Nirvana (Coleman once memorably claimed that they enjoyed all of these "little bands" copying them); from Big Black to LCD Soundsystem; from Ministry to Nine Inch Nails; Killing Joke are arguably the most influential rock band of the post punk era." John Doran

11. Robert Wyatt Rock Bottom

What they said: "Music has its own meaning to me, its own demands, and just trying to get the records to sound as right as I can for what feels right is almost without connotation to me. It's almost a different dimension to me from daily philosophising and anxieties. Consciously, all I'm trying to do is make the most listenable record I can, and that's all I know about." Robert Wyatt

We say: "Wyatt himself maintains that he can't see what the fuss is all about and judges Rock Bottom to be 'quite euphoric', but there's no denying the record derives much of its power from its occupying of a liminal space deep in the psyche; a place where thought patterns slip their moorings in reality and all kinds of weirdness starts looming up out of the deep, dark blue." Al Denney

Read the full Quietus review of Robert Wyatt's back catalogue reissues

10. Gary Numan & Tubeway Army Replicas

What they said: "I knew that I had become famous and that I was number one meant that everything that I'd wanted up to that point had come true. But what I wasn't prepared for was how much unpleasantness was going to come with it." Gary Numan

What we say: "One of the strangest pop albums ever written involves Numan combining attavistic traces elements of punk and the modernity of the Poly Moog. Add to this his unique way of writing hooks, a ramshackle story involving William Burroughs, Phillip K Dick, robot prostitutes and a rape machine and you have the album that helped give birth to the 80s." John Doran

9. Artery - Live at Meltdown

What They Said: "I last saw Artery on the 23rd of June 2007 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. I remember the date because, earlier in the evening, I had played a concert to close the Meltdown festival I curated that year. Getting Artery to reform & play at the festival was only right: without their inspiration a lot of what took place in the intervening years probably wouldn't have happened. Sometimes you see something & it opens a door somewhere in your head. I hope this does the same for you." Jarvis Cocker, writing on The Quietus.

What we say: Quite why Artery have remained unrecognised among the post punk canon is a mystery to me. Perhaps it's because they were from Sheffield, a town associated with pioneers of electronica than Artery's intense and precise guitar and organ driven post punk. In his Quietus piece, Jarvis Cocker wrote how their performances were dominated by the presence of singer Mark Goldthorpe. This live CD captures that, even after two decades away and a reunion that should never had happened, they can out play, and out vibe, any of the current crop of post-punk revivalists. Just listen to the crowd response to the free concert in the lobby of Royal Festival Hall; muted and polite at first, baying for more at the end." Luke Turner

8. Einsturzende Neubauten - The Jewels

What they said: We certainly flirted with (a) mood of doom. But we also had a lot of fun with it. Life was good, we felt fantastic. We weren't goths after all." Alexander Hacke

What we say: "The Jewels sees Einsturzende Neubauten underlining their position as the premier exponents of experimental industrial music. They're certainly not desperately cool, the experimental crowd oft preferring the widdly laptop piffling of hip Americans (the perennial problem of fear of both the gothic and Teutonic), but none have the power, the eloquence, the panache of Blixa Bargeld and his merry cohorts." Luke Turner

Read the full Quietus review of Einsturzende Neubauten's Jewels

7. Gas - Nah Und Fern

What they say: "The most important aspects of the song's structure is to transcend the song's structure." Wolfgang Voigt

What we say: "Four slabs of the most sublime, eerie, beguiling and beautiful electronica you are ever likely to hear." Jonny Mugwump

Read the full Quietus review of Nah Und Fern

6. Teenage Jesus & The Jerks Shut Up and Bleed

What they said: "On average a Teenage Jesus & the Jerks set would last only about 12 minutes, but any audience members who caught our act by chance or miscalculation usually wished the set would be even shorter. Our music was eardrum splittingly screechy and brutishly crude but also coolly precise, and our stage demeanor ranged from sneering disdain to sullen hostility." Jim Sclavunos, writing for the Quietus.

What we say: "Not stupid old punk but a razor sharp mix of mutant disco, jagged funk and noisy free jazz. No Wave from NYC. One of the most suitable soundtracks for the billion-footed city of high population density and ragged nerves." John Doran

5. Various Artists - Dancehall: The Rise Of Jamaican Dance

What they said: "Shoodlee boop dee woodlee diddlee oh-woah-oh! Zee-wee-oh! Oo-ee-oh! Shoodlee waddlee boop deee woodlee diddlee woah-oh-oh. SWEEN!" Barrington Levy

What we say: "Soul Jazz are not trying to make a 'definitive' document; rather attempting (and succeeding) to present an intoxicating and effervescent anthology that will delight the absolute novice and general fan alike with a mix of standards, rare-as-rocking-horse-shit gems and interesting versions." John Doran

Read the full Quietus review of Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dance

4. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92

What they said: ""I'm just some irritating, lying, ginger kid from Cornwall who should have been locked up in some youth detention centre. I just managed to escape and blag it into music." Aphex Twin

What we say: "Oooh, he's here again. The man with the child in his shed." John Doran

3. Various Artists Sprigs Of Time: 78s From The EMI

Archives

What they said: "Another and totally strange world of music and people was opened up to me. I was like a drug addict now, ever longing hungrily for newer and stranger fields of travel." Frederick Gaisberg, Recording Engineer, Berliner Gramophone Company

What we say: "This is just superb. A collection of pre-war 78 recordings from all over the world. The lady in Rough Trade East persuaded me to buy it even though I thought I couldn't afford it. I'm glad I did. It hasn't been off the turntable since." John Doran

2. OMD - Dazzle Ships

What they said: "It had neither critical or commercial success. It got panned and no one bought it. People who thought that we were supposed to be synth pop and all about 'Messages' and 'Enola Gay' stood back and went 'What the fuck are you doing here lads; getting a bit too proggy eh?' It's kind of been reassessed a little bit now but quite a few of the journalists were not 100% keen on it at the time." Andy McCluskey

What we say: "Stands the test of time as a heroic statement, succeeding, from the tinny brass opening of 'Radio Prague' onwards, in walking a tightrope of arch camp aesthetics and a seriously-minded, yet ludicrously overblown experiment." Luke Turner

Read the full Quietus review of OMD's Dazzle Ships

1. Suicide - Live 1977 - 78 Box Set

What they said: "I remember the riot in Belgium started with me tossing the mic into the audience so they could scream at me because they were hating us. But it was Elvis Costello's so I thought I'd better get it back but I was pulling and they were pulling. That caused a little scuffle to break out in the audience but the next thing you know the riot police were wading in and all hell was breaking loose. They must have been waiting for the excuse. I was standing at the side of the stage watching this tear gas, glasses everything was flying everywhere. Marty [Rev] and my manager were saying we'd better get the hell out of here. But I was just rooted to the spot. It was really violent but I think the cops started it really. The next day Elvis Costello came by and said: "Do you think you could start another riot for us?" They'd just had a really big world tour and they were fucked up. Really tired. They enjoyed it when there was a riot because it meant they had the night off. And sure enough there was a riot the next night as well. It was a riot filled tour!" Alan Vega

What we say: "The live arena is perhaps the best place to experience the most sonically militant bands from James Brown to MC5 to Public Enemy to The Stooges. This live set immerses you into the pared down radicalism of Suicide's gutter level tour of NYC. Every last cough and spit has been left in - this is a pure document." John Doran

Read the full Quietus review of Suicide's live box set

The List

30 Various Artists - Optimo Sleepwalk

29 A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology

28 Throbbing Gristle - 32nd Annual Report

27 Magazine - The Peel Sessions

26 Various Artists - BBC Radiophonic Music

25 808 State - Ex El

24 New Order - Low-Life

23 Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Union Café

22 Various Artists - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Mix Tape

21 Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret

20 Various Artists - Top Ranking Santogold: A Diplo Dub

19 Various Artists - New Orleans Funk Volume 2

18 Various Artists - Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro Rock & Fuzz Funk In 1970s Nigeria

17 Diamanda Galas - Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! Live

16 Loop - Fade Out

15 Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fungus

14 New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies

13 Prodigy - More Music For the Jilted Generation

12 Killing Joke - The Peel Sessions 1979 – 1981

11 Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom

10 Gary Numan & Tubeway Army - Replicas

9 Artery - Live at Meltdown

8 Einsturzende Neubauten - The Jewels

7 Gas - Nah Und Fern

6 Teenage Jesus & The Jerks - Shut Up and Bleed

5 Various Artists - Dancehall: The Rise Of Jamaican Dance

4 Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85 - 92

3 Various Artists - Sprigs Of Time: 78s From The EMI Archives

2 OMD - Dazzle Ships

1 Suicide - Live 1977 - 78 Box Set

Think you can do better? It's a rhetorical question - of course you can. We will print the best top tens we get. Send them to info@thequietus.com with any notes you want to include.

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