MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 171 : Underworld, The Early Years 1983-1993. 24 December 2021.
Notcast Ep 171, and I talk about one of my favourite artists, Underworld, and their early years, from 1983's "Doot Doot" as Freur, the 1987-1990 synth pop era as Underworld (mk1), the formation of Underworld (mk2) with Darren Emerson, remixes, remixes, remixes, and the pre-LP singles "M.E.", Lemon Interrupt's "Dirty" and "Eclipse", "Mmm Skyscraper.... I Love You", "Rez", and "Cowgirl". 24 December 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 170 : Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" 1984-85. 22 December 2021.
Notcast 170 : Metallica's second LP "Ride The Lightning" was released in 1984, and today I talk about the album, the number ones of 1984, tape trading, 'selling out', singles - including "Creeping Death", some promo 12"s, and the huge 2016 box set reissue with loads of CD's, LP's, a DVD, a book, and a whole bunch of other stuff. 22 December 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 169 : David Bowie's "The Gouster" + "Young Americans" 1974-1975. 14 December 2021.
Notcast 169 : It's 1974, and David Bowie is Being Prolific. Today I talk through two abandoned / unfinished albums ; The Astronettes album released in 1995, "The Gouster" which was an early configuration with many different songs and mixes, and the final album "Young Americans" which was an unexpected and refreshing new direction as Bowie definitively left his glam rock period behind. I also talk through the numerous bonus tracks on the 1990 Rykodisc box set/reissues, unintentional alternate mixes issued by mistake, the 2007 5.1 mix on DVD, and the 2016 "Who Can I Be Now?". 14 December 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 168 : The Wedding Present "Mini" + "Saturnalia" 1995-1997. 07 December 2021.
Notcast 168 (though I call it 167!) : In 1995, The Wedding Present changed lineup, record label and sound, and released the EP "Mini", following it up with the 1996 album with "Saturnalia", which was their final album before they split up in early 1997. I talk through the three lineups, the changing world around the band, a Roman festival, astrology, the worst director a James Bond film could have, the singles "2,3,Go!" and "Montreal" and the birth of David Gedge's post Wedding Present band, Cinerama. 07 December 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 167: David Bowie's "Brilliant Adventure 1992-2001" unboxing and review. 04 December 2021.
Notcast 167 : David Bowie's fifth career-spanning boxset, "Brilliant Adventure 1992-2001" was released last week, and it covers almost all of his studio work from "Black Tie, White Noise", via "The Buddha Of Suburbia", "Outside", "Earthling", and ".... Hours", as well as the full version of the BBC 2000 show, and the previously unreleased "Toy" album. I talk through the CD box set - what is, and isn't missing - other reissues, remixes, the sub-optimal "Brilliant Live Adventures" releases, and my least favourite TV game show host. No prizes for guessing who that is! 04 December 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 166 : Pet Shop Boys "Super"/"Inner Sanctum" 2016-19. 30 November 2021.
Notcast 166 : Today we rewind back 5 years to 2016, when Pet Shop Boys released their 18th studio album "SUPER", and the singles "Inner Sanctum", "The Pop Kids", "Twenty Something", "Say It To Me", "Undertow", with detours via live shows in London, Brixton, The Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, and Rio, as well as the "Inner Sanctum" live BR/DVD/2CD. I talk through the albums minimalism, the narrative structure of the songs, which song might be a sequel to 'Can You Forgive Her?', and anything else my brain lands on. 30 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 165 : Oasis at Knebworth and the toxic masculinity of Britpop. 28 November 2021.
Notcast 165 : Oasis released their "Knebworth 1996" live documentary and concert CD / DVD / LP last week and I talk about the retrospective, the various bootlegs of the show, seeing Oasis in 1996, the casual sexism of Britpop, "Loaded" magazine, TFI Friday, Sleeper, and my theory that without Britpop both Brexit and Boris Johnson wouldn't have happened. It gets political at times! 28 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 164 : "Achtung Baby 30" and the psychology of packaging. 25 November 2021.
Notcast 164 : U2's "Achtung Baby" had its 30th birthday this week, and that means time for a second reissue, this time with no new bonus tracks, but new packaging and design, and only on vinyl. Today I discuss the psychology of box set packaging, the concepts of "Mental Accounting", "Irrational Value Assessments", "Decision Anchoring", demographic information on a bands fanbase, and the human ability to remember no more than about 12 numbers. What is it like to be the Indiana Jones, opening hefty and ancient artefacts which feel like raiding The Lost Ark Of Rock? Find out (ish) here. 25 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 163 : Depeche Mode's "Violator", 1990. 18 November 2021.
Notcast Ep 163 : In 1990, Depeche Mode released their 7th studio album - "Violator" - and 4 singles - "Personal Jesus", "Enjoy The Silence", "Policy Of Truth", "World In My Eyes", sold 7,000,000 albums, toured the world, and generally conquered the world. I go deep into the album, B-sides, the production and themes, cover art, lyrical obsessions, and everything else I can think of. I also run out of time as I am wrapping up! 18 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 162 : Idles, "Crawler" is my album of the year. 14 November 2021.
Notcast Ep 162 : Bristol's Idles released their fourth LP - "Crawler" - this week, and it's my album of year. It's a positive force of acceptance and understanding by, for, and to, survivors of an often hostile world and environment we live in. Every song seems to reflect, and understand, someone like me : a survivor of traumatic personal events that made life very, very difficult and tried to crush me. [I know that doesn't make me different from lots of people, of course!]. "In spite of it all, life is beautiful". 14 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 161 : The Cure's "Bloodflowers", their worst show ever, and 1998-2001.
Notcast Ep 161 : 1998-2000 saw the release of The Cure's "Bloodflowers" album, a determined gloomfest that had no singles released from it (so avoiding the pitfall of not having hits anymore!), , some of the bands worst shows ever, a tour that didn't really tour and only played smaller venues to mask poor sales, a whole bunch of extra songs farmed out onto compilations and vinyl releases, a contractual obligation Greatest Hits album, and a few weird single releases. It wasn't a fun period to be a Cure fan in some respects : I think The Cure overthought what The Cure were, and I didn't like the results. 10 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 160 : David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs", and a lorra lorra live LP's. 08 November 2021.
Notcast 160 : In 1974 David Bowie released the "Diamond Dogs" album, got halfway through producing an abandoned album by Ava Cherry and The Astronettes (later released in 1995 as "People From Bad Homes"), re-recorded "Rebel Rebel" as an American single, toured the US three times, recorded three live albums "DAVID LIVE", "Cracked Actor" and "I'm Only Dancing (Soul Tour '74)", and also was subject of a BBC documentary "Cracked Actor" that is rough viewing. Also, how much is an LP at the David Bowie Pop Up Store in Heddon Street? Find out at the end. 08 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 159 : The Mound - London's £6,000,000 folly. 04 November 2021.
Notcast 159 : My brother (who is invisible) and I visit "The Mound" in central London, a £6m taxpayer funded folly designed to bring tourists into London. It's ... not very good. 04 November 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 158 : Manic Street Preachers "Gold Against The Soul" 1993-94. 02 November 2021.
Notcast 158 : In 1993, Manic Street Preachers released their second album "Gold Against The Soul", a powerful, and underrated diatribe about adulthood, power, poverty, and identity. I love this album - it articulated a rarely heard viewpoint about being forced to fit into a hostile world - and talk through the album, the singles "From Despair To Where", "La Tristesse Durera", "Roses In The Hospital", "Life Becoming A Landslide", live shows, B-sides, album tracks, remixes, Japanese deluxe edition CD's, a rare live EP, and some obscure promo trinkets. 02 November 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 157 : John Carpenter movies ranked...Happy Halloween! ...
Notcast 157 : It's Halloween, so it's time to rank all the John Carpenter movies. From 1974's "Dark Star" to 2011's "The Ward", via "Halloween", "The Thing", "Escape From New York", and everything else I have seen including not-quite-directed-by-but-heavily-involved "The Eyes Of Laura Mars", "Halloween II" and "Halloween III : The Season of The Witch".
Because they've never been released in the UK, I haven't seen "Pro-Life" or "Someone's Watching Me!", but everything else gets a mention - including his great soundtrack and solo albums. 31 October 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 156 : R.E.M's "New Adventures In Hi-Fi" 25th anniversary edition 30 October 2021.
Notcast Ep 156 : R.E.M.'s "New Adventures In Hi-Fi" gets a 25th anniversary reissue on marble/clear vinyl and a 2CD+BluRay box set with a 5.1 mix. Today I talk through the album, the "Monster" tour, the albums lyrical focus, the singles "E-Bow The Letter", "Bittersweet Me", "Electrolite", the US only "How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us", the special edition book of the CD in 1996, the 2005 5.1 mix on DVD, Monster tour recordings, unissued demos, b-sides, live shows, the R.E.M. show I never got to see, and major changes in Camp R.E.M. in 1996-1997. 30 October 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 155 : Happy 40th Birthday Metallica + "Kill 'Em All" box set. 28 October 2021.
Notcast 155 : Happy 40th Birthday to Metallica, who formed on 28th October 1981. I was a teenage metalhead and I talk about the bands early years, tape trading, metal clubs, Birmingham, Metallica's early lineups, the many demo tapes they made, an aborted 2015 "No Life 'Til Leather" box set, the 1983 album "Kill 'Em All", the "Jump In The Fire" 12", live shows, demos, rough mixes, the huge 2016 reissue box set, and how home taping saved my life. 28 October 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 154 : The Wedding Present's "Watusi" LP, 1994. 24 October 2021.
Notcast 154 : 1994 saw The Wedding Present release their out-of-time "Watusi", an album that takes its influence from 60's spy movies, surf rock, and Michael Caine's glasses in "The Ipcress File". Therefore, it was utterly out of step with the then current world of fetid nostalgia that infected Britpop. The album has never been repressed on vinyl, none of the singles made the Top 50, and the band changed labels, bassplayers, and styles. I talk through the album, singles "Yeah Yeah Yeah", "It's A Gas", a promo 10" of b-sides, two radio session albums, and the 2014 3CD+DVD reissue. 24 October 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 153 : Depeche Mode's "101". 17 October 2021.
Notcast Ep 153 and today it's Depeche Mode's first live album "101" recorded at the last show of the 1987-1988 tour in Pasadena. I talk about the tour, the film by D.A.Pennebaker, the live single "Everything Counts", a bunch of remixes, solo releases by Alan Wilder (as Recoil) and Martin Gore's "Counterfeit" EP, the VHS/DVD/Blu-Ray release of the film, and anything else I think of! 17 October 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 152 : Pet Shop Boys "Electric" 2013-14. 14 October 2021.
Notcast Episode 152 : In 2013 Pet Shop Boys announced their 'Electric' tour, followed it up with the "Electric" album, the singles "Axis", "Love Is A Bourgeois Construct", "Vocal", "Thursday", the Record Store Day 12" "Fluorescent", and a one-off live performance of the still unreleased "Man From The Future" album about Alan Turing. I also go deep into the albums lyrical obsessions, the recurring motifs of language, sexual identity, and the associated - and very strong - b-sides. 14 October 2021.