Let us enter a realm where the only politics are those to do with which Able Tasmans album is best, whether the Dead C were done wrong, what was the finest hour of Shayne P Carter's Flying Nun era and whether the Gordons' debut album is really a Flying Nun record. (Given that the bulk of its sales have been as a Nun release, we're making the "yes" call here. But the Toy Love album and Tall Dwarfs' '3 Songs' don't count.)
I'll be doing some more on the Nun tip closer to the box set's release in late November, but for now I couldn't think of any better way of handling 50-odd reader responses than to just paste them in, basically verbatim, in the order they appeared.
The exercise I referred to last week - compiling some lists for Real Groove magazine - still needs to be concluded via the magic of email, and those involved have this list in hand, as does Roger Shepherd, who's choosing the compilation tracks. So your voices have been heard …
Before we begin, special mention for Jimi Kumara, who has mustered his customary mix of passion, erudition and punctuation into an excellent post on the matter.
Now, onwards, beginning with Mr P …
Name: Alan Perrott
by releases do you mean tracks or records?
tracks, I guess, anyhow...
Fetus Productions - What's Going On
Bird Nest Roys - Aint Mutatin'
The Clean - Don't Point That Thing At Me
The Gordons - Adults and Children
Tall Dwarfs - Nothings Going to Happen
Yeah, all oldies, but then so am I.
Name: Mark Turner
What Fun! you should do this stuff more often. much more fun that ' should we Auckland-bash'...
These are the albums that meant the most in my dim, dark, student days; in my dim dark, student flats. no great surprises, just lots of memories. so, here it is:
Toy Love- Toy Love
Boodle Boodle Boodle - the Clean
Clean Out of Our Heads - The Great Unwashed
Three Songs- Tall Dwarfs
and last, but not least cos it was played at every party for a decade,
Tuatara - comp
Name: Grant Smithies
Nun top five, you say?
Off the top of my caffeine-addled right-on-deadline head, I'd go for:
The Gordons: The Gordons (self-released, then reissued by Nun)
The Clean: Boodle Boodle Boodle EP
3Ds: The Venus Trail
Jean Paul Satre Experience: first EP
Shocking Pinks: Infinity Land
But tomorrow it might well be a different five...
Name: James Littlewood
1. Afco, skeptics
2. anything by JPSE
3. Do the aligator, BD
4. Pull down the shades, Toy Love
5. What's going on, fetus
(note generous geographic representation!)
1) Chookies, Stunt Clown the whole damn album
2) Chookies, Gaskrankin' Station 12"
3)Verlaines, Some Disenchanted Evening
again the whole thing
4)Chookies, Mr Moon
5) JPSE - I Like Rain
no reason, just because
D4 - Party
Chris Knox - Not Given Lightly
Headless Chickens - one of George, Cruise Control, Donde Esta La Pollo or Mr Moon
Tall Dwarfs - always too pissed to remember the song titles, but one by them
Garageland - see above, but thank RDU for playing them a lot
Name: Andre Dromgool
I reckon the best that I heard were:
If I Were You by the Straitjacket Fits
I Love my Leather Jacket by the Chills
Verlaine by the Verlaines
Cactus Cat by Look Blue Go Purple
Sake Bomb by The D4
Name: Anton Angelo
In no order, the top 5 records of my adolescence.
1. "Dunedin Double" EP
2. Verlaines 10 o'clock in the Afternoon EP
3. Pink Frost Chills single
4. Pin Group EP
5. Life In One Chord, Straitjacket Fits EP
Name: Peter Darlington
Right, here's mine. I haven't listened to much of the later Nun stuff because reggae stole my ears, so you'll see that I've gone for all oldies.
1. The Clean - Tally Ho
Astonishing debut. It was like the country had somehow changed, become more modern, and we'd stopped stealing American and British music and made our own.
2. The Verlaines - Death and the Maiden
Music made by music geeks, pure South Island with a great video recorded in the living room of a Clifford flat.
3. Bored Games - Colonel Mustard EP
Joe 90, knew all the words, spilled beer etc...
4.The Gordons - Future Shock EP
Stood outside the Gladstone in Christchurch listening to them because I was too young to get in. The footpath was shaking.
5. Pin Group - Ambivalence 7"
The first Flying Nun release and I have the original 7" squirreled away at home. Black on black, true Flying Nun style.
That was difficult, also loved early Tall Dwarfs, Double Happys, 3D's and Skeptics.
Name: mark cubey
Chills: Pink Frost
Clean: Twist Top
SJ Fits: Dialling a Prayer
LBGP: Codeine (live)
Name: Scott Common
Well couldn't pass up on an opportunity to express my fave picks of the label which got me into music to start with (and I'm still playing 12 years on!). No doubt some of these will show up quite a bit but a few just have a special place in my heart.
In no particular order..
JPS Experience - The Size of Food
Difficult second album but I still consider it brilliant in that it's less mainstream than Bleeding Star and more experimental than Love Songs.
Straitjacket Fits - Melt
Need I say more, sums up a certain era of NZ history if you ask me.
Bailter Space - Robot World.
The album where they could finally afford a proper studio - huge guitars and whispered vocals and just about all texture and rhythm.
The Clean - Vehicle
Just brilliant NZ pop coming in at an angle no one else could see at the time of it's release.
The 3Ds - Hellzapoppin
Just - well - it's the 3Ds y'know! Can't go past David's terrorist guitar playing!
Name: michael keating
1. Bressa Creeting Cake
2. Rik Starrr
Randolph & the 3D's
Name: Bevan McCabe
The Chills Submarine Bells
JPS Experience Bleeding Star
Straitjacket Fits Melt
Under The Influence 21 years
Bailterspace Robot World
Squeeze: Toy Love
Pink Frost: Chills
North by North: the Bats
Verlaine Verlaine: Verlaines
Mystery Train: Magick heads
Anything by the Renderers
Name: Paula Lambert
Am pretty sure Clean's BoodleBoodleBoodle was actually first NZ music I ever bought, after hearing them live - can't recall where though.
But for me absolute most standout FN band were Gordons, at Station Hotel, I think EP Future Shock was awesome, and thankfully still is.
Big Ups to all Flying Nun bands . . .
straitjacket fits - melt
the clean - getaway
jpse - bleeding star
the subliminals- united state
various - in love with these times/pink flying saucers double cd
the last one is a total fudge, being a re-release of two compilations as a double, but, to hell with it, it covers a lot of ground.
the other four are the best albums (non-compilations, otherwise the best of the fits might usurp melt) by the best acts to appear on the Nun.
Name: Glenn Cassidy
HA hah ha 5 ..yeah right!
I like Rain
Not given Lightly.
Thermos B Space
3Ds first album
Name: Gordon Inkson
My top-of-the-head Friday arvo selection -
Bride of Frankenstein - Toy Love
Pink Frost - The Chills
Death & the Maiden - The Verlaines
Expecting to Fly - Headless Chickens
She Speeds - Straitjacket Fits
All pure pop sensibilities but with a hard edge that typified FN back in the day. Keen to hear the real results (I'm way out of touch with pretty much anything after Garageland :-( - that's parenthood for you)
* The Verlaines - Slow Sad Love Song
* Bailter Space - fish eye
* Able Tasmans - Sour Queen
* 3Ds - Outer Space
* The Clean (w. P Gutteridge) - Point That Thing Somewhere Else
HDU- Higher ++
The Skeptics- amalgam
3D's- Venus trail
King Loser- you cannot kill what does not live
urghh... i didn't get any bailterspace in there.....
HDU's albums need re-issuing!!
The Abel Tasmans:
Size of Food
Name: Dave Hermans
oooh this was tough:
Bailterspace - Tanker
Verlaines - Bird Dog
Bressa Creeting Cake - Bressa Creeting cake
Straijacket Fits - Melt
David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights - David Kilgour & the Heavy Eights
In the meantime, not necessarily the best five releases but a selection from our record collection that could only be from flying nun, truly unique music, all on vinyl of course.
Sensible Shoes ten inch by The Skeptics
Anything by Scorched Earth Policy and others out of Christchurch 1980's
The Stones, Another Disc Another Dollar
Anything by The Gordon's
Stunt Clown by The Headless Chickens
Regards, ilmars, flying the nun flag in Melbourne
this is a toughie but ...
1) Bird Nest Roys 1st Album (or CD) - writers of some of the catchiest NZ pop songs, and incredibly undersung.
2) Able Tasmans Hey Spinner - writers of some of the catchiest NZ pop songs, and incredibly undersung.
3) Dunedin Double - 4 great bands, bunch of great songs, rough as guts recordings and all the better for it.
4) The Clean Boodle Boodle Boodle - the perfect EP, fantastic songs never outlasting their welcome, entirely essential.
5) David Kilgour's first solo album, Shayne Carter Peter Jeffries Randolphs Going Home, 3Ds Beautiful Thing etc etc etc
1. She Speeds
2. Pink Frost
3. Tally Ho
5. North by North
If you meant albums/EPs:
1. Brave Words
2. Life in One Chord
4. Boodle Boodle Boodle
Exluding compilations, obviously.
Name: John Tulloch
Classic Nun releases
1. Pink Frost (Chills): Not sure why, but this gave me the same thrill level as when I first heard the Sex Pistols. A kiwi band doing something incredibly unique, mysterious and intriguing. Dudes-style pub rock this definitely wasn't. Heard it first late one night on Barry Jenkins rock show (ZM FM I think) and I was "wedded to the Nun" from that moment.
2. Send You (Sneaky Feelings): One had to admit to this point that the overall recorded sound of the bands on the label was tinny. Then came Send You. It was lush, layered and jangly guitiar-tastic (well at least to my 16-year-old ears). Nun purists argue this band didn?t really fit the Nun sound, but that lump of vinyl is to me the quintessential Flying Nun album and I have dragged it around the world with me. The P.I.T. song - has there even been a more bitter, angsty track?
3. Randolph's Going Home (Carter/Jefferies): Stark, bleak, brilliant. And listen to that drum track. Heard Carter achieved the distant echo effect by simply moving to the back of the hall where he was recording and screaming the lyrics (nice story if it's true).
4. Boodle, Boodle, Boodle (The Clean): Just one hell of a fun record. Any record that contains 'Billy Two', 'Point That Thing' and 'Anything Could Happen' is guaranteed to whip off the top off your skull and dive into your brain?s pleasure zone. And was it just me or was the bass just simply magnificent on this record?
5. Jaffa Boy (Birdnest Roys): There was something shambolic and joyful about this band which threatened to be brilliant but just appeared to want to have too much fun to pull it off. However they do live up to their potential with this recording (and the wondrous 'Aint Mutatin' and 'Severed Days'.) Played this just the other day and had to smile as my four-year old yelled it along with her old dad. It's that kind of song.
Name: bruce wurr
1) Peter Jeffries and Shane Carter - Randolph's going home
2) The Clean - Any early releases, and vehicle
3 )The Skeptics - Anything
4) The 3ds - Anything
5) Bailter Space - Anything but esp. Thermos
And I do have to say I hate top 5 lists! So no real emphasis on one better than the other
So much more...
Name: Keith Shackleton
Verlaines - Death & The Maiden
Davd Kilgour - Crazy
Bailterspace - X
Look Blue Go Purple - Hiawatha
The Clean -Tally Ho
So hard and arbitrary to cull a legacy like Tha Nun's to a mere five pieces of aural gold, but that's the point of being a music fan ... being opinionated & geeky.
I have all this and more on my iPod in London, and nothing gives me more pleasure than whipping around on slow public transport here, listening to music from home. So here goes:
1. The Clean - "Beatnik". As the FN website states, they were "The Band That Started It All". I think this was one of the first NZ songs I ever thought of as 'cool' as a kid.
2. SJ Fits - Life in One Chord. The EP and the later track on HAIL ... live gods.
3. Sneaky Feelings - "Husband House". For all the label's mellower moments.
4. Skeptics - "AFFCO". Banned/edited video on state TV? Anyone ever see Shihad cover this? Primal music about a primary industry.
5. Bressa Creeting Cake "Palm Singing" - Glockenspiels never fail to make me smile.
Non-Kiwi Hon. Mention: Fall In A Hole!
Skeptics - Amalgam
Able Tasmans - Hey Spinner
Verlaines - Birddog
JPSE - Size of Food
The Clean - Vehicle
rusty memory, but p'raps that makes this list more meaningful?
waves - superette
spooky - 3ds
animal - 3ds
buddy - snapper
down in splendour - straitjacket fits
1.Terminals - Touch
2.3D's - Venus Trail
3. Clean - Compilation
4. 3D's - Hellzappopin
5. Crude - Inner City Guitar Perspectives
I'm pretty sure 'Touch' came out on Fnun but maybe it was Expressway? 3d's should have been as big as Nirvana. Their live shows were phenomenal. SJF did great shows and singles but never put out a consistently great record, closest would be Hail. Did Look Blue Go Purple do an album? Chills Kaleidscope and Submarine also must be close.
Name: Richard Wain
a list of best releases for the 25th anniversary of the Nun, Russell?
a bit of an anticlimax one would think, given that they really really are now "a file in a drawer somewhere in Australia", as David Kilgour dubbed them to me in an interview four or five years ago - if they weren't already by then!
Like, isn't The M Chicks their only remaining signed act?
Anyway, the Chooks debut for me. cassette version if poss, had the first EP on it too. and any of The Clean releases, natch.
Name: craig miller
Brave Words - Chills
an absolute gem regardless of the mix, every track a sonic wonderment.
Bird Dog - Verlaines.
Complex but not overstated pop.
Cuppa Tea and a lie down. - Able Tasmans.
Best band live.
Here Come the Cars - David Kilgour
Proof that simple is best.
Chris Knox - Seizure. Go the tape loop!
Stunt Clown - Headless Chooks. Not sure if it was FN, but a classic anyway.
Name: Matt Taylor
Pretty biased toward my uni years:
1) Straitjacket Fits-Melt
2) JPS Experience-Bleeding Star
3) Chris Knox-Seizure
4) Straitjacket Fits-Hail
5) Garageland-Last Exit to Garageland
Essentially because these are the albums (in order) that I still revisit regularly and they still sound great. The first two especially. I could listen to that JPSE wall of sound for hours. I just like them the most.
Name: David Rush
The Clean - Boodle Boodle Boodle
The Gordons - 1st LP
Skeptics - 3
Headless Chickens - 1st mini lp
The Clean - Oddities 1 (org. cassette release)
Hi Russell, first time caller, love your show...
Been a while since I bought a flying nun album but anyways
5)The 3ds - Fish Tales
4)The Velraines-Hellelujah all the way home
3)The Chills -Kaleidoscope World
2)The Clean-Compilation(?the one with the early songs-about 20 songs in the album)
1)Bressa Secreting Cake
Honourable mention-S/Fits, JPSE, Tall Dwarfs, Bailterspace
Man, that was tough.
if there's no SPUD and no subliminals it'll be a travesty
Name: andrew moore
1/ Son of Goblin Mix- Goblin Mix
2/ Great sounds great- the Clean
3/ Birdsnest Roys- Album
4/ 10 o'clock in the afternoon- The Verlaines
5/ Getting Older- the Clean
my 2 cents worth!!!
love yr work,
Name: peter mclennan
my immediate thought - if the Skeptics ain't in there, something is seriously wrong. Easily the most unsettling and most innovative group FNun ever put out. And who was responsible for releasing that band with Jackie Clarke on the Nun? Fess up!
Name: Dinzie Lala (anag 3,7)
just five - but releases right? not just songs...
i'd have ta start with
- Tally Ho (Clean)
- Boodle Boodle Boodle (Clean)
- Dunedin Double (Chils, Verlaines, Stones, Sneaky feelings)
- Tuatara (best compilation)
- Stuck pig/Caroline's Dream (Children's Hour)
hmm all very old school
but all the others don't miss out by much either -
and lotsa gems disappeared in the sediment:
Marie and the atom
Naked spots dance
perhaps not the
Eric Glandy Band
I reckon the best thing from Flying Nun was what I bought last week ... The Mint Chicks new album is just incredible. I have listened to it perhaps 25 times in the last 7 days! "Walking off the cliff again" is perfect
Name: Geoff Kelly
Sorry it's late, and in no particular order, but here goes:
She Speeds - Straitjacket Fits
Mastery - The Bats
The Shape of Dolls - Able Tasmans
School is No Good For You - Able Tasmans
Sour Queen - Able Tasmans
hard to pick only five! so I cheated a bit.
1. FN003 THE CLEAN boodle boodle boodle
2. TALL DWARFS 3 songs
FN SLUG 001 TALL DWARFS slugbuckethairybreathmonster
3. FN146 SKEPTICS amalgam
FN194 SKEPTICS sensible 10"
4. FN150 3Ds fish tales
FN167 3Ds swarthy songs for swabs
5. FN040 VERLAINES hallelujah all the way home
FN 077 VERLAINES bird dog
So many good 7"s would love to see reissued. Chills "pink moon", "wet blanket"; Bats "block of wood", JPSE "I like Rain" ... Able Tasmans "buffaloes" (I don't that one).
The Shallows "Suzanne Said" wasn't on F Nun but I wish someone would reissue it!
The thought of F Nun putting out this classic stuff and messing with the b-sides or trying some way or another to jam it together with their more recent stuff makes my skin crawl. They don't seem to have the depth of understanding of the back catalogue, the legacy of the best of that stuff LOOONG ago went elsewhere (props to Chris Knox though).
Name: Dave Joll
Hope I'm not too late. For my "top five" I'm going to restrict myself to single-artist album-length (or thereabouts) releases, each from a different artist, partly because I think they give a better impression of the artist concerned, and partly because Flying Nun haven't been all that great at keeping some of their classic albums in print and hopefully if they see the albums getting support they might bring them back.
Sneaky Feelings - "Send You".
Verlaines - "Bird-Dog".
Straitjacket Fits - "Melt".
Able Tasmans - "Store In A Cool Place".
The Bats - "Couchmaster".
There's a whole heap of good stuff that's unlucky to make the cut, but those five are my favourites. I could waffle on at great length as to why they are my favourites, but I'd probably bore you to tears in doing so...
Name: Rob Hosking
Am I too late for the Flying Nun thing? Here's mine, all ancient and mostly singles and EPs...
Able Tasmans - hey Spinner
- Because of Graeme Humphries' harmonies on 'Michael Fay'; because of the lyric 'I'm in Grey Lynn, how are you/It's a Sunday afternoon'; because of the magnificent cascade of 'Hold Me'
Double Happys - Double B side - "Others' way" & "Anyone Else Would" - the surging chord changes on the first song and the malencholy of the second
The Clean - Boodle Boodle Boodle...The EP which really set the scene for Flying Nun; and because 'Anything Could Happen' is magnificent
Mainly Spaniards - "That's what Friends are For" Only 500 copies made, apparantly, and I've owned three of them. A chorus of "we will go out and get drunk together and get depressed together/that's what your friends are for" which sums up being 18, for me anyway...
The Bats' first two EPs, released together as an album called Compilately Bats (Yeah I know, I'm cheating a bit here...)
Name: Paul Le Comte
I have tried several times over to nail down a top 5 flying nun tunes, you cruel bugger - 5 only?
having been introduced to music, and live music, early (my old mans shoulders Neil Diamond 1977 QEII park aged 9), I have seen many of these bands over and over the years and in their various guises.
My early years at Canterbury saw The John Paul Sartre Experience at their live best, The Bats, Clean and Chills more times that I can remember, not to mention their off shoots.
I was also at the Dunedin 20th celebrations, what a great event that was.
So here goes.
1 Anything could happen - The Clean
2 Cat Inna Can - Straightjacket Fits
3 Death and the maiden - Verlaines
4 Made up in blue - Bats
5 I Like Rain - John paul Sartre Experience.
rather pop isn't it?
Name: some old chch codger
1. Pink Frost
3. Dunedin Double
4. Victor DImisich Band EP
5. The Terminals-Uncoffined
Great Sounds Great
Pin Group 7" Ambivalence/Columbia
Bird Nest Roys LP
Fetus Productions EP
Least Honorable Mention:
Name: Caron Copek
The Clean - Anthology
D4 - 6twenty
3Ds - Hellsapoppin'
Bailterspace - Votura (any BS album really!)
Skeptics - Amalgam
Chug - Sasafrass
Ok, that's six, not including heaps of favourite EPs and winning compilations.
With best wishes
1. The 3Ds - The Venus Trail - Its just hands down the best pop album ever recorded in this country. Its derivative of NOTHING and was recorded in a masonic lodge. I just can't play it enough.
2. David Mitchell/Denise Roughan: The Ghost Club - Beloved/The Crying Room 7" - Before the Ghost club got all rawk on us they released this (their debut) gourgeous acoustic single. Everyone I've ever played it to has fallen in love with it.
3 Cul De Sac - I Don't Want To Go To Bed - Not from NZ, demo recordings of retrograde krautrock from these Americans. Less muscianship than the rest of their catalouge and therefore heap and shoulders above all of it. Make me nod my head.
4. Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos - River Falling Love 12" - Why this is still out of print is beyond me. Do the people at Flying Nun still actually like truly idiosyncratic music?
5. The Dead C - DR503 - Still confuses people even today. Maybe their 'darkest' album?
Top five that flying nun turned their back on:
1. Alastair Gailbraith - It was Flying Nuns inability to recognise the brilliance of Gailbraiths music that lead Bruce Russell to start the seminal Xpressway records to release it himself. Since then American labels have picked up the slack.
2. The Terminals - F Nun released two early eps, then lost interest, leaving them to but out their masterpieces on German and American labels. Thanks F Nun!
3. The Dead C - Surely one of the most polarising, exciting, radical and IMPORTANT bands to ever come out of NZ. F nun put out two of their albums and then turfed them out of their increasingly 'professional' and squeaky clean pop boat. Again Americans picked up the slack meaning that their albums were only available locally as imports. Thanks F nun!
4. The Pin Group - The ORIGINAL F Nun group (1st 7"!!) and an american label had to be the one to rescue it from obscurity for public enjoyment again. Tragic lack of appreciation for our own culture. Thanks F Nun!
5. The Current F Nun Roster - What a beautiful beginning, what a tragic end. Swallowed by the majors, digested and spat out devoid of all that made it great. Thankfully this country continues to put out beautiful challenging music without the help of majors, and now with the availability of new methods of production and distribution there is no longer any reason artist have to bother thier their little heads about whos going to put their music out. Do it yrself!
Name: Donald Reid
Of the many Flying Nun singles, albums and EPs that have meant something to me over the years, one that may not be catchiest, or even the one I return to most, but certainly, for me, the most evocative is 'Joed Out', by the Verlaines from the 10 O'clock in the Afternoon EP (was it 1983? 84?).
In terms of capturing the mood of groggy, overcast days, hours spend in circular but splendidly meaningful conversations; of instant coffee, cask wine, roll-your-owns and weed, this song will instantly return me to less stressful, but highly important, time of life.
The other FN single worth a mention is the fantastically raucous and unkempt 'Wheatfields' by the mid-80s Dunedin "supergroup" (Michael Morley, Shayne Carter, Bob Scott among others) the Weeds. The b-side of this one-off single also has a great cover of Elvis?s 'Trouble'. God knows what this fetches on ebay nowadays, but my copy, like any 45 worth its salt, has almost been thrashed beyond salvation.
Name: Shayne Carter
they shoulda included eps in that flying nun greatest hits thing. that's where a lot of bands made their best records and it was by far the most popular medium...almost the accepted means of releasing your music. four or five songs, no filler. i think budgets and the relative youth of a lot of the bands meant they found it harder pulling off entire albums . but these ones work...
the gordons - the gordons
here come the cars - david kilgour
love songs - jpse (which is a collection of eps anyway)
super sonic hi fi - king loser
inner city guitar perspectives - crude
snapper - snapper
but eps would be a whole different kettle of pavalova..
PS: Special bonus rock tips for reading this far. The Mint Chicks liked playing Anika Moa's 'Stolen Hill' so much at the Silver Scrolls that they want to make it as regular part of their live set. And it was pretty cool. And Shayne Carter's guestie on the 95bFM Thursday Wire (to plug Dimmer's gig at the Hopetoun Alpha - they're also playing tonight, get along there) was funny in a Ricky-Gervais-podcast talking crap sort of way. Podcast? Now there's an idea.