Thursday, October 8, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 11)

11. "Nothing Can Stop Us"
Artist: Saint Etienne
Year: 1991

As most of you have surmised by now, I'm much more into the indie pop that Bob Stanley listened to as a kid than the dance music he would generate with Saint Etienne, if that's even the right word to describe it, but the fact that I wasn't into the genre and still loved this band is quite a testament to how good they were at their craft. For me, this is particularly true of the first two albums when they were embracing that infectious swingin' '60s sound, but I also liked a few singles in later years, especially "Hug My Soul." All of the singles spawned from 'Fox Base Alpha' could have made it here, but I went with "Nothing Can Stop Us" because this was the lovely Sarah Cracknell's coming out party. Big crush. At the same time, I don't want to undersell the Moira Lambert fronted "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." This might be the most imaginative cover of all time, and it deserves more than the passing mention I'm giving it here. I have a feeling many of you will have a different favorite from Saint Etienne, and I would love to to hear what you would have selected.

12 comments:

drew said...

Has to be People Get Real for me

Brian said...

Great choice. I like every second of that album, Drew.

Ian Balentine said...

I'm with Brian, word for word. So Tough is almost as good, but this one is still their moment.

Echorich said...

I'm torn here, because Only Love Can Break Your Heart is really a landmark track. It's foundational to the crossover of Indie into Dance through the Balearic prism.
But Brian is on to something. Nothing Can Stop Us is Saint Etienne putting this idea to work on an original composition and with the remarkable voice of Sarah Cracknell. Bob Stanley and company really filled the track with the Saint Etienne signatures of radio samples, 60's beat-itude and an easy dance rhythm.
Yes, Foxbase Alpha and So Tough are two albums it's hard to separate and that's because they are so full of eager ideas about what pop music could be.
Great choice Brian!

TheRobster said...

I'm still very much a So Tough kind of guy, but it's hard to fault Foxbase Alpha. There's a cracking semi-official bootleg version called Foxbase Beta with the entire album remixed by Richard X. Well worth tracking down if you can find it.

kevinpat said...

Nice. But I'd switch for "Big Time Sensuality" by Bjork. Little bit more meat on the bone.

Brian said...

Kevinpat, Big fan of that song and the album it's taken from as well. So much so, in fact, that it did make this list at No 47. I just happen to like Saint Etienne a little better that Bjork.

Robster, I didn't know about 'Beta' until earlier this year. I still don't have it, but I enjoyed what I heard.

Echorich, Yep. I think Only Love Can Break Your Heart probably just missed for this list because I really wanted to go with an original composition and Sarah. What a tremendous song, though. Certainly deserving.

Ian, I remember you writing about Fox Base Alpha not so long ago. Completely with you on So Tough too.

TheRobster said...

Brian - check your email, mate. Little surprise for you...

charity chic said...

Glad you've moved to Zippy Brian - can now d/l those I like but don't have - a good few in your case.
Lookng forward to the top 10 from this epic series

Brian said...

Robster, Thanks. You are a gentleman.

CC, I should have done it a while ago. When kevinpat mentioned he couldn't download Terry Hall's "Sense" at No. 16, I realized I had gone through my Box bandwidth yet again. I just couldn't bring myself to create a new email and account for yet another round. If there is a song you missed because of the download debacle, don't hesitate to let me know. I can make sure you get it.

McPop said...
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McPop said...
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