Thursday, April 23, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 60)

60. "Telegram"
Artist: The Chamber Strings
Year: 1999 (recorded in 1997)

When you think of all the lousy acts allowed to churn out an album every year, it's a pity a talent like Kevin Junior has only had two LPs in nearly two decades. The orchestral pop of the 2001 album 'Month of Sundays' is the real masterpiece, but there were some fine moments on 'Gospel Morning' too, including this song about... vitamins? Well, I'll let Kevin explain it to you in the video below. This first album isn't lush like the followup. It's chock full of T. Rex, glam Bowie, early '70s Stones and Nikki Sudden influences.

Speaking of Sudden, in this video, Kevin mentions Nikki's brother, the late great Epic Soundtracks. Kevin was in Epic's band for a few years. They both developed similar off-stage issues. Unfortunately, Epic was never able to recover, and Kevin lost some years too, but it seems he is doing well these days. Perhaps the third album from the Chamber Strings isn't too far away. Here's a slightly different take of "Telegram," recorded in 1998, that was included as a bonus track on the Bobsled Records' version of 'Gospel Morning.' Oh, and you'll get to hear some Epic Soundtracks later in the countdown.

Bonus: "Telegram (Where's My Horn)"

The 100 (So Far)
100. Die Funf Fruende - JETZT!
99. Save Ferris - Come on Eileen (Night Mix)
98. World Party - Put the Message in the Box
97. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Merched Yn Neud Gwallt Eu Gilydd
96. The Ocean Blue - Sublime
95. Puffy Ami Yumi - Wild Girls on Circuit
94. The Muffs - Oh Nina
93. Smoking Popes - Need You Around
92. The Feelies - Sooner or Later
91. Luscious Jackson - Naked Eye
90. The Lemonheads - Into Your Arms
89. fIREHOSE - Disciples of the 3-Way
88. The Sugargliders - Letter From a Lifeboat
87. Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks - Orange Crate Art
86. Vegas - Walk Into the Wind
85. k.d. lang - Miss Chatelaine
84. Robert Crenshaw - All I Want to Do Is Be With You
83. The Pretenders - I'm Not in Love
82. Jeffrey Foskett - Thru My Window
81. Superchunk - Slack Motherfucker
80. Blondie - Maria
79. Sloan - Everything You've Done Wrong
78. Brighter - Does Love Last Forever?
77. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - History of Lies
76. Squeeze - Some Fantastic Place
75. Paul Weller - Uh Huh, Oh Yeh
74. Maria McKee - I'm Gonna Soothe You
73. Marine Research - Parallel Horizontal
72. Morrissey - Our Frank
71. Annie Lennox - No More 'I Love Yous'
70. Jellyfish - The King Is Half Undressed
69. The La's - Timeless Melody
68. Jonathan Richman - Surrender
67. Kirsty MacColl - Titanic Days
66. Roddy Frame - Reason for Living
65. The Divine Comedy - Becoming More Like Alfie
64. Siouxsie and the Banshees - Kiss Them For Me
63. Electronic - Get the Message
62. Scritti Politti - Brushed With Oil, Dusted With Powder
61. The Clean - Draw(in)g to a (W)hole


The Swede said...

I've never heard of The Chamber Strings - how can that be? This is a total delight. I need to investigate further.

Brian said...

Hi Swede. I do think this might be a band you would like. They had a big following in what was then my hometown of Chicago at the turn of the century. Kevin Junior grew up in Akron, Ohio, and I understand the latest incarnation of the band is based out of that state now. There is an interesting documentary about the band you can see on youtube: