Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Big Audio Dynamite - Megatop Phoenix (1989)


Released September 1989

In many ways, this is the most impressive of the four albums from the original line-up. Using samples from movies and other songs even more this time, the album plays as one continuous whole and damn good it is too.

Personal highlights are "Rewind", "Union, Jack", "Dragon Town" (about London’s Chinatown), "House Arrest" (about the current house music scene), "The Green Lady" (which tells of an Asian beauty living in a London council flat) and the evocative "London Bridge"

That old Mick Jones tongue in cheek sense of humour is back in “Around The Girl In 80 Ways”However, this is not to denigrate any other others, they are all excellent, particularly the funky “James Brown”.

Here are some of the samples used:-

"Start" – Opening moments of Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death

"Rewind" – Much of what is being tape-rewound during the latter part of the song is from "Stalag 123"; "Mr Custer" by Charlie Drake

"Mink Coat & No Matters" - "Goodness Gracious Me" - Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren

"Union, Jack" – Rule Britannia, Charlie Watts' drum opening from The Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman", Richard II, "You wouldn't know Karl Marx from a toffee apple" – from the film Britannia Hospital and "Heritage in motion" etc. from The Knack ...and How to Get It

"Contact" – Brief use of the main riff from "I Can't Explain" by The Who

"Dragon Town" – George Formby from "Mr Wu's a window cleaner now" and 'aaah aaah' portion of "S.F. Sorrow Is Born" by The Pretty Things

"Is Yours Working Yet?" – Alfred Hitchcock

"Around the Girl in 80 Ways" – Right Said Fred by Bernard Cribbins

"James Brown" – "Living in America" by James Brown. "America" from "West Side Story"

"House Arrest" - "Strawberry Fields Forever" - The Beatles

"Micks a Hippie Burning" – Digging a hole, again by Bernard Cribbins and Withnail and I

"The Green Lady" – Snippet of instrumental break from "S.F. Sorrow Is Born" by The Pretty Things

"London Bridge" – London Pride by Noël Coward

"Stalag 123" – The Great Escape Theme Music

"End" – Listen with Mother

In conclusion, the sheer diversity of this album, musically, lyrically and in the myriad of samples used it has to be considered Big Audio Dynamite's finest album.


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