MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 147 : R.E.M.'s "Monster" is their best album. 28 September 2021.
Notcast 147 : R.E.M.'s "Monster" was 27 yesterday and it is their best album. I go deep into the album, the lyrical obsessions with perception/reality/fame and trust through the prism of relationship fraud that drips through every song on the album, the centrepiece of "Strange Currencies" and "Tongue", the singles "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?", "Bang And Blame", "Crush With Eyeliner", a violent green shirt, a promo 12" and an unreleased live EP, fan club singles, and the huge 2019 5CD + 1 BR reissue. I love this album! 28 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 146 : Manic Street Preachers, "Generation Terrorists", 1990-1992. 26 September 2021.
Notcast 146 (though I call it 145!) : Manic Street Preachers changed who I was, in a really great way, in 1991 when I saw them first on BBC's Snub TV. I talk about growing up in an industrial town, the miner's strike, the decimation of community in the Valleys, poverty, equality, capitalism, the lack of representation in TV and film, and through the debut album, the singles "UK Channel Boredom", "New Art Riot", "Motown Junk", "You Love Us", "Stay Beautiful", "Repeat", "Slash N Burn", "Motorcycle Emptiness", "M*A*S*H", "Little Baby Nothing", the US remix of the album, Japanese EP's, 7", 12"s, promos, and the 2012 box set version. 26 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 145 : David Bowie And The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. 23 September 2021.
Notcast 145! Today I talk about David Bowie's fifth album, "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars" from 1972 - David's fifth, Ziggy's first, with an ambitious concept album about a rock star receiving End-Of-The-World warnings from aliens and somehow... turning it into pop music? I also talk about the singles "Starman", "Rock N Roll Suicide", "John I'm Only Dancing", the 1990 Rykodisc version, the 2002 2CD reissue, the 2003 remix, The Stooges, Lou Reed, The Arnold Corns, and the 2015 "Five Years" box set. 23 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 144 : Depeche Mode's "Music For The Masses" 1987-88. 22 September 2021.
Notcast 144 : The summer of 1987 was a staggeringly expensive year for me - hello Depeche Mode, New Order, The Cure, The Smiths, U2, and Prince! (David Bowie was still in a suit, crawling out of a glass spider)... Depeche Mode released their sixth album - "Music For The Masses", and the singles "Strangelove", "Never Let Me Down Again", "Behind The Wheel", and the French-only "Little 15". Today I talk through the album and period, the musical development, the lyrical advances, and my theory around record covers. And what is the best Depeche Mode remix? Find out here! 22 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 143 : The Wedding Present's "Hit Parade", 1992. 20 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 143 : In 1992, The Wedding Present released their fourth(ish) album "The Hit Parade", with 12 singles, 24 songs, 5 radio sessions, 5 producers, 4 Top Of The Pops appearances, 2 albums, and 180,000 singles sold in a year! I talk through the singles, the album, the videos, the songs, the cover versions, the only Wedding Present bootleg LP, a 'lost' Wedding Present song, and some live tapes. 20 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 142 : Metallica Black Album Superdeluxe Box ... unboxing! 18 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 142 : So, um, today I'm doing an 'unboxing' of Metallica's huge mega SuperDuper box set version of 1991's "Black Album". This thing is a BEAST : 5 LP's, a picture disc, a live EP, 6 DVD's, 14 CD's, a 120 page book, 10 live shows, and 350 tracks. 18 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 141 : New Order and Bad Lieutenant 2007-2011. 14 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 141 : Today I talk about the relatively short-lived post New Order band (made of 75% New Order), Bad Lieutenant, and their 2009 album "Never Cry Another Tear", as well as their singles, live shows, and the 2011 reformation of New Order in a new lineup, as well as the London Troxy show from 2011. And some Other Two reissues and an unusual single - "Swing" by Stephen and Gillian. 14 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 140 : David Bowie's "Hunky Dory" and 1971-72. 13 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 140 : David Bowie's "Hunky Dory" is 50 this year, so it's older than me! Today I talk about the album, the singles "Life On Mars" (and "Changes"), the 2017 RSD edition of "BowPromo1" of rough mixes from the LP, the 1990 Rykodisc edition with bonus tracks, the only David Bowie autobiography [of a sort], the "David Bowie Is" exhibition book, and the Arnold Corns singles, include an obscure 1984 Dutch 12". This is not my favourite Bowie LP - so it's not my best ever Episode -, as I've had to work backwards from my favourite era, through the stadium rock years, and whilst I know this is a great LP, I haven't quite connected with it.... yet. 13 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 139 : Vinyl Hauls! ...including a lot of Beatles LP's. 12 September 2021.
Notcast Ep 139 : Everyone else seems to do a 'vinyl haul' post where they show off all their latest purchases, and I thought I'd try it... also, I went to my first post lockdown gig, and that was an experience. Anyway, I've got more records/CD's/DVD's in the past week than any other week of my life! Plenty of Metallica, R.E.M. and a whole bunch of (mostly original 60's pressings) Beatles records. Everyone else is doing it, so why can't we? 12 September 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 138 : Pet Shop Boys "Elysium" 2011-2012. 08 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 138! Here I am talking about one of my least-favourite Pet Shop Boys album 2012's maudlin "Elysium", as well as 2011's "The Most Incredible Thing", 2012's B-sides compilation "Format", and the singles "Love Life", "Subculture", "Winner", "Leaving", and "Memory Of The Future", as well as the 2017 2CD reissue, the vocal + instrumental 2CD/2LP edition, and the two live shows (in Berlin and Manchester) to promote the album. 08 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 137 : Depeche Mode's "Black Celebration", 1986. 07 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 137 : Depeche Mode's "Black Celebration" was released in 1986, and today I tour through the album, b-sides, the singles "Stripped", "But Not Tonight", "A Question Of Lust" and "A Question Of Time", as well as live shows in Birmingham, London, Hamburg and Stuttgart. 07 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 136 : R.E.M.'s "Automatic For The People", 1992. 05 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 136 : It's 1992, and R.E.M. release their 15,000,000 selling "Automatic For The People" (which, if it were a country, would be the 73rd biggest country in the world!). This episode I talk about the album, the lyrics, the not-nostalgic references to a time past, celebrity, fame, cultural reference points from childhood, the singles "Drive", "Man On The Moon", "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite", "Everybody Hurts," "Nightswimming" and "Find The River", b-sides, The Automatic Box, the demos, the Live At The 40 Watt Club release, the 2005 5.1 mix, the 2017 Dolby Atmos mix, a glorious U2/REM collaboration, Montgomery Clift, and the rusting Sputnik Star on a pole outside a motel in Miami! 05 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 135 : U2's 2018 eXperience Tour. 01 September 2021.
Notcast Episode 135 : and it's the last U2 episode! Three years ago tonight, we were in Berlin, watching a historic U2 show where Bono lost his voice and the band cut the show short. What better time to discuss U2's 2018 eXperience and Innocence Tour which I saw nine times? I talk through the "Live Songs Of Innocence And Experience", "Live In Berlin" and "Live At The Apollo" fanclub albums and DVD, the tours thematic and narrative approach, the setlist and imagery, the shows I saw in Berlin, Manchester, London, Dublin and the final makeup show in Berlin, as well as anything else I think of. It was a fantastic time to be a fan of the band, with 91 songs, 217 shows, and 8 tours between 2015 and 2018. 01 September 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 134 : New Order 2006-2007, "Control", "Lost Sirens" and a split.. 29 August 2021.
Notcast Episode 134 : New Order 2006-2007, which was an ... eventful period for the band. 2005's "Singles" was supplemented with the 12"x12 remix singles, touring, the "Live In Glasgow" 2xDVD + HMV CD, and the belated 2013 release of the 'lost album' "Lost Sirens". Oh, and the bass player left. And the ex-keyboard player got cancer. Hold on, for a bumpy ride! 29 August 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 133 : David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World"..is not his best LP! 28 August 2021.
Episode 133 : And we're talking about David Bowie's third LP "The Man Who Sold The World", released in the US in late 1970 and the UK in early 1971. It's not my favourite Bowie LP, as he's becoming great at this point, not fully formed, and this LP has some of his weaker songs on. Today I talk through the LP, the multitude of cover art options, the singles, the 1990 Rykodisc/"Sound & Vision" box set release, the 2020 "Metrobolist" remix as well as the "Width of A Circle" 2021 box set / 10" EP. 28 August 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 132 : The Cure's "Wish" 1992-1993. 24 August 2021.
Episode 132 : Today I talk about The Cure's 1992 album "Wish", the singles "High", "Friday I'm In Love" and "A Letter To Elise", the live albums "Show" and "Paris", the "Show" film/VHS release, "Sideshow", the tour, the Great Xpectations show (and album), and the "Lost Wishes" mail order tape. Also concerts in Nottingham, London, and New York get a mention. I love this era, and it is my favourite Cure album. 24 August 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 131 : The Wedding Present's "Seamonsters" 1990-1991. 21 August 2021.
Notcast Episode 131 : Normal(ish) service is resumed ... I talk about one of my very favourite albums by one of my very favourite bands : The Wedding Present's 1991 album "Seamonsters", which is a powerful, dense record that tracks the rise and fall of a relationship. This album has been a constant presence in my life for the past 30 years and seems to get better with time. I talk through the album, the singles and EP's, the radio sessions, the Live 1990/1991 compilations, the 1992 US release of the album, and the 2021 2 x LP reissue, and the best cover version of a Wedding Present song there is. 21 August 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 130 : Health Update - I'm going to be ok. 21 August 2021.
Notcast Ep 130 : I had an 'exciting' event happen on Wednesday night / Thursday morning, and was in hospital for a while. Good news : I'm feeling much better with every passing day, all my results came back normal, and I'm probably going to be OK. 21 August 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 129 : Pet Shop Boys, "Yes, etc." 2009-2010. 17 August 2021
Notcast Episode 129 : Today I talk about Pet Shop Boys tenth studio album, "Yes", released in 2009, the singles "Love, etc.", "Did You See Me Coming", "Beautiful People", the "Christmas" EP, "Pandemonium : Live", and the "Ultimate" compilation, as well as the "Together" single. I loved this era of the band, with its relentless, lovely optimism and literate, thoughtful approach, elevating simple pop music to high art. 17 August 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 128 : R.E.M's "Out Of Time", 1991. 15 August 1991.
Notcast Ep 128 : R.E.M's "Out Of Time", their seventh LP, was released in March 1991, and it has simply got better with time. I came to the LP as a 17 year old, and it became a friend to me for the last 30 years. I also talk through the "MTV Unplugged 1991/2001" release, the "Live At The Borderline" bootleg, the "R.E.M.T.V" box set, "This Film Is On" VHS, and the 25th anniversary legacy edition with demos, live material, and a 5.1 mix. 15th August 1991.