James – Sometimes (1993)

Now, one or two followers have suggested that this blog is a tad to Manchester-centric to warrant the Bestmusicofalltime moniker. To be honest, I do think there is something in this charge but, tonight, after City meted out their traditional thrashing of Newcastle United, it felt right to return to the Mancunian motherlode – to a spiritual record.

I’ve not really been a fan of James since their early releases on Factory and Sire Records. However, I’ve had this track on constant rotation for much of the evening after rediscovering it after a 20 year hiatus …

It turns out that “Sometimes” is a stunning record. Three chords played relentlessly by several guitars makes it simply mesmeric. No surprise to find Brian Eno with the production credits on this one.

The lyrics are superb:

There’s a storm outside, and the gap between crack and thunder
Crack and thunder, is closing in, is closing in
The rain floods gutters, and makes a great sound on the concrete
On a flat roof, there’s a boy leaning against the wall of rain
Aerial held high, calling “come on thunder, come on thunder”

Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes, I swear I can see your soul
Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes, I swear I can see your soul

The original video (recorded in Morecambe Bay, surely!) and then a fantastic version recorded for Top of the Pops with the finest massed guitar orchestra since Glenn Branca and Thurston Moore were comparing notes in New York in the early 80s. Finally, live at 6Music in late 2014 …




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