As you probably are aware, the Olympics just happened in London. All eyes were on the British athletes, who wanted to demonstrate their abilities on their home turf. As a cycling fan, I was most interested in the road race and time trial; in the latter England’s own Bradley Wiggins, winner of this year’s Tour de France, took a decisive gold. To honor this achievement, here’s some classic music from a couple of very important British artists:
Wire started up at the same time punk rock was sweeping through Europe. While the band certainly fit the punk template (kids who couldn’t play their instruments playing fast and aggressive music in short bursts), much of their music was a reaction to the image of punk and the rigid rules that seemed to be in place surrounding the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Clash. They rejected what they viewed as “too rock,” and instead created concise pieces unlike anything else at the time. “Brazil”, from their debut Pink Flag, embodies the band’s minimalist aesthetic, over as quickly as it began. Be sure to check out the rest of the album as well, as it works best as a full work.
London’s very own Talk Talk may very well illicit initial thoughts of New Wave and Synth Pop, but when the early 90s came around, the band recorded some of the most compelling music ever released. 1991’s Laughing Stock is considered by many as one of the first ever “post-rock” albums. Released the same year as Slint’s monumental Spiderland, it helped usher in the genre made famous by the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky years later. Check out Talk Talk’s phenomenal “Ascension Day” above, and let the soulful slow build engulf you. Cheers!