MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 95 : Pet Shop Boys "Bilingual" and 1995-1997. 09 May 2021.
Episode 95 already! Today I talk about Pet Shop Boys 1996 album "Bilingual" and the 1995-97 era, including remixes of "Girls And Boys" and David Bowie's "Hallo Spaceboy", as well as the singles "Before", "Se A Vida E", "Single-Bilingual", "Discoteca", "A Red Letter Day", "Somewhere" and the Savoy 1997 DVD. It's a difficult period for the band as they were out-of-step with the world around them, and the rest of the UK was mad ferret with Oasis and Blur. With the passing of time, this is a very good album, but it wasn't the right album for the year 1996. 09 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 94 : Depeche Mode's "Speak & Spell".. is 40? 1980-1981. 08 May 2021.
Notcast Episode 94 : Today I talk about Depeche Mode's "Speak & Spell" which is ... 40? It really doesn't seem that long ago! I discuss the bands early years, unreleased songs, singles "Dreaming Of Me", "New Life", "Just Can't Get Enough", the "Sometimes I Wish I Was Dead" flexidisc, the "Speak & Spell" debut album, the alternate US tracklisting of the album, the 2006 SACD/5.1 DVD, and a unreleased remix of "Just Can't Get Enough" from 2006. I also point out the worst Depeche Mode songs (which the band agree with me!), synthpunk, and Twin Peaks, because I can. 08 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 93 : "Standing On A Beach" is 35 today! and The Cure 1985-1986. 06 May 2021.
Notcast Episode 93 : Today The Cure's first compilation LP "Standing On A Beach" is 35 today, and boy do I feel old! I talk through "Inbetween Days", "The Head On The Door", "Close To Me", "Half An Octopus" EP, "Boy's Don't Cry", "Standing On A Beach", and "The Cure In Orange" VHS, as well as an embarrassing confession about "A Forest" and a slight detour talking about late night TV in the 90's. 06 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 92 : Star Wars spinoff movies.. May The 4th Be With You.
Notcast Episode 92 : May the Fourth Be With You! Or something. Here I talk through the spin off Star Wars Movies / DVD's... that's right : "Caravan Of Courage", "Battle Of Endor", the two "Droids" TV movies, "Clone Wars" (2003), "The Clone Wars" (2008), "Rogue One", and "Solo". Some of these are not good. 04 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 91 :New Order..The death and rebirth. 1994-1998. 03 May 2021.
Notcast episode 91 : The death... and rebirth... of New Order, 1994-1998. New Order released several remix singles, a "(best of)", a terrible remix album "(the rest of)", Electronic released an album and four singles, Peter Hook returned with Monaco, and then... New Order returned to headline the Phoenix Festival* and played two of the best shows I have ever seen at the Manchester Apollo and The Reading Festival in summer 1998.. 03 May 2021.
[*which was cancelled due to low ticket sales, so they played Reading instead.]
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 90 : Pet Shop Boys, "Very"/"Disco²"/"Discovery (Live)"/"Alternative". 02 May 2021.
Notcast Episode 90 : Pet Shop Boys released their classic album "Very" in 1993. They also played a small number of live shows in 1992-1993, released six singles, a limited edition mostly-instrumental album "Relentless", produced Cicero and Boy George and Ian Wright, a remix album, toured the southern hemisphere, re-recorded a single, did a great B-sides LP, and had some bonkers packaging. It's a busy period, and I talk about all of it. "Dull soulless dance music, bip bip bip bop bop bop." 02 May 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 89 : The Cure, The Glove, The Banshees, and "The Top" 1982-1984. 29 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 89 : 1982-1984 was a busy time for Robert Smith, being a member of The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, and The Glove, recording "Lets Go To Bed", "The Walk", "Lovecats", "Like An Animal", "Punish Me With Kisses", "Dear Prudence", "The Caterpillar", guesting on a Tim Pope record, touring with The Cure and The Banshees, and releasing the albums "Blue Sunshine" (The Glove), "Japanese Whispers" (The Cure), "Nocturne" (The Banshees), "The Top" (The Cure), "Hyaena" (The Banshees), "Concert" (The Cure) and the "Live In Japan" Cure VHS release. I'm exhausted just thinking about it! 29 April 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 88 : U2's "Songs Of Innocence", 2013-14. 27 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 88 : U2's "Songs Of Innocence" was released on everybody's iTunes free in October 2014, and today I talk through the album, the change of manager from Paul McGuinness to Guy Oseary, the "Ordinary Love" single, 8 minutes about why "Invisible" is the most meaningful U2 song to me, U2's childhood, parents, first loves and last moments, "Iris", the early death of Bono's mother (and my own), and how this record has grown in my heart over the years. 27 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 87 : Hope Of The States, a great 'lost' band I love. 25 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 87 : I love Hope Of The States, a now mostly forgotten British band that burned in a blaze of glory between 2000-2006, got signed via Teletext, got a million pound advance, released 2 albums, 7 singles, 5 hand-distributed CDR EP's, a lot of exquisitely designed promos, and then simply ceased to exist after fighting against a world that didn't seem to care. Loved by few, unknown by many, I talk about how much I love this band. 25th April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 86 : Pet Shop Boys, "Behaviour" 1990-1991. 22 April 2021.
Notcast EP 86 : Pet Shop Boys "Behaviour" is generally regarded as one of their masterpieces... and that's correct! It's an album that soundtracked my evolution from childhood to adulthood, my first relationship, leaving home, growing up and growing old, with a tinge of nostalgia for an impossible past, and a hopeful eye on a future that, somehow, turned out amazing. I talk through the singles "So Hard", "Being Boring", "How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?", "Where The Streets Have No Name", "Jealousy", "DJ Culture", "Was It Worth It?", the "Performance" DVD and Tour, and the "Discography" singles release.
"I don't know why - I never thought I'd fall in love."
22 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 85 : The Worst Live Albums of all time! 20 April 2021
Notcast 85 : What are the worst live albums of all time? Well, I can really only speak about the ones I've listened to (and I have listened to a lot), but here, I talk about what makes a great live album or video (and what doesn't), and point out some of the worst traits of live albums and DVD's - including one show I was at - and how an artist shows contempt for his fans by not even bothering to listen to/watch a live album and film to check it before it gets premiered at the cinema. Also, a little bit of housekeeping to start with. 20 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 84 : New Order's "Republic" 1992-1993. 19 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 84 : In 1993, New Order released their sixth album, the troubled "Republic", around the time their record label collapsed, their nightclub The Hacienda swallowed all the money, London Records invested a couple of million of pounds in them, played just 13 shows, released 12 songs, did 4 singles - "Regret", "Ruined In A Day", "World" and "Spooky", did videos with budgets of £300,000 (!), one longform documentary movie, and then split up again. It was a strange time to be a fan of a band. Also, a brief excursion into 'Disc Rot' and how much I hate the cheapskates at the PDO Factory in Preston for ruining my CD's. 19 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep 83 : The Work Of David Lynch ... ranked? 18 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 83 : Today I talk through, and rank (by personal preference only), the 10 feature films and 3 major TV works by David Lynch, with a minor detour in talking about Spalding Gray's "Swimming To Cambodia", Shadow People, UFO's, ghosts, the nature of evil, and the books "The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer" and "The Autobiography of FBI Agent Dale Cooper". Mild but not enormous spoilers for Twin Peaks. 18 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep82 : Pet Shop Boys 'missing link' - Results and Reputation. 1989-90. 16 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 82 : Today I talk through the 'missing link' in Pet Shop Boys career, the 1989 album "Results" by Liza Minneli, and the 1990 album "Reputation" by Dusty Springfield, the singles "Nothing Has Been Proved", "Losing My Mind", "Don't Drop Bombs", "So Sorry, I Said", "Love Pains" and "In Private", as well as the Japanese only PSB EP "In Depth" and the "Introspective" 2CD reissue with demos. If you like Pet Shop Boys, and haven't heard these records, please try them! 16 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep81 : "Faith" hits 40...and The Cure 1980-1982. 14 April 1981.
Notcast Episode 81 : Today I talk about three seminal Cure records "Seventeen Seconds", "Faith" and "Pornography", as well as the singles "A Forest", "Primary", "Charlotte Sometimes" and "The Hanging Garden", as well as the 2006 deluxe editions, cassette only releases, and anything else I think of, including cats, BBC TV broadcasts, and The Twilight Sad's fabulous cover of "M". It's only after I did this I realised that "Faith" came out forty years ago today! 14 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep80 : Where to start with Mogwai...? 12 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 80 : I'm on hols so I'm doing a few of these instead of going out to the pub. I put some options up on Twitter, and the winner was Mogwai, so here's a guide to Where To Start With Mogwai.... alongside a guide through their 16 studio albums (including soundtracks), 4 compilations, 2 live albums, 2 remix albums, several EP's, and 1 mega-sized Best Of. And I forgot the "After The Flood" split soundtrack! (sorry). 12 April 2021
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep79 : Pet Shop Boys "Introspective" and 1988-1989. 11 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 79 : Pet Shop Boys "Introspective" and their 1988-1989 period. With their invincible 'Imperial Phase' coming to an abrupt halt with the release of "Domino Dancing", the band released their third studio album "Introspective" (a collection of six extended versions of new - or not on an album - songs), the singles "Left To My Own Devices" and "It's Alright", a Dusty Springfield single "Nothing Has Been Proved", a rarity from producer Shep Pettibone's collection, the VHS releases "Highlights" and "Projections", their first tour, and the great book "Literally" that follows the tour. 11 April 2011.
I can't believe I didn't mention "In Depth"! The Japanese only album, even though it was staring right at me for most of this. Doh!
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep78 : U2's 360° Tour 2009-2011. 10 April 2011.
Notcast Episode 78 : 2009-2011 was a great time to be a U2 fan, with a rush of prolific touring (111 shows in two years), 2,500 songs, 7,272,046 tickets sold, $735,241,584 of revenue, 2 live albums ["U22" and "From The Ground Up"], 1 live DVD Box Set, several unreleased songs played live, 4 fan club releases and a lot of unofficial live albums and DVD's. I went to six shows (2 in London, Barcelona, Dublin, Cardiff, and Paris) and survived to tell the tale! 10 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep77 : Solo New Order 1989-1993. 07 April 2021.
Notcast Ep77 : Listened to every New Order album and want to hear something you might have missed at the time?
Here's a guide to solo New Order 1989-1993 featuring Electronic, Revenge, The Other Two, guest slots with The Beat Club, 808 State, and a Technotronic Remix*, covering the albums "One True Passion", "Electronic", "No Pain/No Gain", "The Other Two And You", and the singles "7 Reasons", "Getting Away With It", "Security", "Rockin' Over The Beat", "Pineapple Face", "(I Am Not Your) Slave", "Get The Message", "Feel Every Beat", "Tasty Fish", "Gun World Porn", "Selfish", "Innocence", and anything else I think of. In short, listen to these albums on YouTube or Spotify, and if you like them, BUY THEM! :) 07 April 2021.
MARK'S NOTCAST Ep76 : The films of Michael Mann... ranked. 04 April 2021.
Notcast Episode 76 : Today I talk about the work of director Michael Mann, and rank his 11 films by order of preference. Guest appearance by a stroppy cat. 04 April 2021.