Having released their new album Machineries Of Joy on Monday (1 April – they joined in some Fools Day fun with us too pretending Sellafield Nuclear plant was going to be named after them – British Sea Power have machines on the mind. Guitarist Martin Noble has created us this “machine music” Playlist to celebrate.
The Tornados – Telstar
“The famous satellite-based smash from the mind of Joe Meek. Me and Yan worked with Joe’s songwriting chum Geoff Goddard in the kitchens at Reading University. Geoff reckoned he wrote Telstar and the two of them went to court over it.”
Lou Reed – Satellite Of Love
“More satellite rock… I love the Loaded-era rock version of this that was in a Velvets box set – classic cruising Velvet Underground in the vein of Foggy Notion. The vesion on the Transformer album has that amazing David Bowie choral ending. Everyone likes to sing the Bom Bom Bom bit.”
The Wurzels – I’ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester
“Scrumpy and Western classic about one of the more endearing rural machines. We once had The Wurzels support us at London Forum. We had a tug of war with them beforehand. We lost of course.”
HAL 9000 – Daisy
“From 2001: From A Space Odyssey. Hal sings this twice in the film. The gradual slowing down of this weird nursery rhyme while Hal is being terminated really makes the scene creepy.”
Hawkwind – Silver Machine
“Lemmy! Machines that fly sideways through time! Lemmy is so perfect as face of sci-fi rock that he even looks like one of the Ogrons, the Daleks’ biker-boot space greasers from Doctor Who.”
Prince – Little Red Corvette
We’re not really a car loving band, but this is one of the funkiest and steamiest car songs. Prince can’t decide which way he wants to go though. One minute he’s all “your going too fast” then it’s “you’ve got a great ass”.
Pixies – Bone Machine
“One of Frank Black’s many saucy songs. I guess when people refer to humans as machines in a song it means that they’re driven by their programmed, automatic innate nature. That’s why most are about sexy stuff.”
Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
“Amazing stuff. Like Bruce Springsteen put through an existential car wash. Suddenly the motorbike is no longer about reassuring rebellion, more a symbol of this brilliant melancholy and consumerised alienation. Then the tune takes everthing right back to the classic-rock heartland. Brilliant.”
Jonathan Richman – You’re Crazy For Taking The Bus
“From Jonathan Goes Country, with Jonathan bigging up the stinking long haul bus ride: it’s cheaper, he sleeps well, no one’s asking for his name, no baggage claim, his guitar can sit next to him and he can meet weird folks.”
Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator
“Who else could find such bittersweet power in mechanisms from the maths lesson? But even Kraftwerk don’t always perfectly judge the appeal of machines. I was reading about the time they posed for publicity photos in a nuclear power plant. All their fellow Germans reacted with a big ‘Nein Danke!’ to that one.”
For more head to Britishseapower.co.uk, plus listen to the new album’s title track below now.