«

»

Jun 02 2018

LCD Soundsystem, the best songs

LCD Soundsystem (apoplife.nl)

LCD Soundsystem

Introduction

This month I will see LCD Soundsystem live again. This time as part of the line-up of the Best Kept Secret Festival. Together with my eldest son a day of listening to (hopefully) great concerts. An impressive line-up, by the way: Ty Segal & The Freedom Band, Spoon, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Father John Misty. Looking forward to it, but I bought tickets for the day (and festival) closing act: LCD Soundsystem.

For those who regularly read this blog, the name is familiar. LCD Soundsystem is a New York band, that combines dance and rock. Driving rhythms and beautiful melodies.

LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (2005), Sound Of Silver (2007), 45:33 (2007), This Is Happening (2010) & The London Sessions (2010) (dfarecords.com)

LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (2005), Sound Of Silver (2007), 45:33 (2007), This Is Happening (2010) & The London Sessions (2010)

The band debuted in 2005 with LCD Soundsystem, 2 years later followed by Sound Of Silver, by many considered to be their best album. The same year saw the release of 45:33. In 2010 This Is Happening! was released. Front man James Murphy had always stated he would stop around the time he turned 40 years old. He kept his promise. A farewell tour was announced. In 2010 a radio session was released: The London Sessions, number 3 in my album top 50. After the last show in Madison Square Garden, New York (April 2nd, 2011), it was all over for the most fun and most exciting band of the 21st century.

LCD Soundsystem - American Dream (lcdsoundsystem.com)

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

Until December 25th, 2015. On the first day of Christmas a song was made available on-line: Christmas Will Break Your Heart. On January 4th, 2016, it was announced that the band would go on tour and, better yet, would start recording new music, which was to be released as a new LCD Soundsystem album. The end result was American Dream, which was released on September 1st, 2017. Once again a great record. Two weeks later I saw them perform at Amsterdam’s Paradiso: concert of the year!

As a tribute to LCD Soundsystem, my top 10 songs by the best band of the 21st century.

 

LCD Soundsystem - Shut Up And Play The Hits (head-fi.org)

10. You Wanted A Hit

(2010)

You Wanted A Hit is about the fact that the band is incapable of writing hits. One year later the band would sell out New York’s Madison Square Garden within a couple of minutes and the album that holds this song, This Is Happening!, had almost reached the number 1 position on the albums charts (which they did achieve with 2017’s American Dream).

You wanted a hit
But maybe we don’t do hits
I try and try
It ends up feeling kind of wrong

Yeah you wanted the time
But maybe I can’t do time
Oh we both know that’s an awful line
But it doesn’t make it wrong

Yeah you wanted a hit
But tell me, where’s the point in it?
You wanted a hit
But that’s not what we do

© 2010 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD Soundsystem - All I Want (pinterest.com)

9. All I Want

(2010)

All I Want is about the period following the end of a relationship, when self-pity seems to be the only emotion possible. Beautiful lyrics.

Musically it’s a tribute to David Bowie’s “Heroes” (Bowie greatly admired LCD Soundsystem). There’s no other song that comes that close to the sound and feeling of Bowie’s classic.

Wait for the day you come home from the lonely park
Look for the girl who has put up with all of your shit
You’ve never needed anyone for so long

You look in the bed; you’ve been gone for too long
To put in the time, but it’s too late to make it strong

© 2010 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD Soundsystem - Movement (discogs.com)

8. Movement

(2005)

LCD Soundsystem ‘goes punk’. A definite highlight when played live. LCD Soundsystem can rock relentlessly. It’s about the so-called re-experiencing of the rock-scene during the early 2000’s, when bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes were heralded as saviors of the genre. Murphy states that, despite the music’s quality, it’s nothing more than rehashing old moves (which can be applied to grunge as well, can’t it?). Gloriously exciting song.

It’s like a movement
Without the bother of the meaning
It’s like a discipline
Without the discipline of all of the discipline
It’s like a fat guy in a T-shirt
Doing all the saying
It’s like a couple dads and a few friends
Trying hard to stay in

© 2005 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD Soundsystem - Tonite (studiodaily.com)

7. Tonite

(2017)

Single off comeback album American Dream. How time goes on imperturbably. Some kind of 1999-like message: despite the fact we’re on the roads to our inevitable deaths, let’s make the best of it while we’re here.

And you’re getting older
I promise you this; you’re getting older
And there’s improvements unless
You’re such a winner
That the future’s a nightmare
And there’s nothing I can do
Nothing anyone can do about this

© 2017 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House (spotify.com)

6. Daft Punk Is Playing At My House

(2005)

In Losing My Edge Murphy states: “I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. I played it at CBGB’s. Everybody that I was crazy“. Even though Losing My Edge is about Murphy (desperately) trying to keep up with current trends, the admiration for Daft Punk is genuine. Even the cowbell, a recurring instrument in LCD Soundsystem’s body of work, sounds cool.

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house
I’ll show you the ropes kid, show you the ropes
Got a bus and a trailer at my house, my house
I’ll show you the ropes kid, show you the ropes
I bought fifteen cases for my house, my house
All the furniture is in the garage
Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house
You got to set them up kid, set them up

© 2005 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD Soundsystem - James Murphy - Live (volkskrant.nl)

5. How Do You Sleep?

(2017)

A beautiful and intense song about a friendship that no longer exists. In 1971 John Lennon wrote How Do You Sleep?, his response to the “betrayal” Paul McCartney supposedly committed. Murphy lent the title and lets his emotions wander about the (disappearance of a) friendship between him and Tim Goldsworthy, co-founder of the DFA Records label (through which all LCD Soundsystem output was released). Confrontational and heartbreakingly beautiful.

I remember when we were friends
I remember calling you friend

You warned me about the cocaine
Then dove straight in

Standing on the shore, getting off
You left me here amid the vape clouds
I must admit I miss the laughing
But not so much you

One step forward
One step forward
One step forward
And six steps back
And six steps back
And six steps back

© 2017 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great (genius.com)

4. Someone Great

(2007)

A moving song. Unique sound, as well as within as outside of LCD Soundsystem’s body of work. Impressive instrumentation, completely electronic, and yet very human and warm. The song is about loss (love, friendship?) and the heartache that goes along with it.

I wish that we could talk about it
But there, that’s the problem
With someone new I couldn’t start it
Too late, for beginnings
The little things that made me nervous
Are gone, in a moment
I miss the way we used to argue
Locked, in your basement

© 2007 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD-Soundsystem - Get-Innocuous! (joy.org.au)

3. Get Innocuous!

(2007)

Opening song to the second album Sound Of Silver. The song starts off with electronic percussion. By the time the analog drums kick in the (musical) tension is ever more palpable. The song has a mantra-like ‘feel’ and is highly addictive. The beat is perfectly balanced, combined with an almost Joy Division way of singing.

You can normalize
Don’t it make you feel alive?
Get innocuous!

© 2007 LCD Soundsystem

 

LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge (txcreativep1.wordpress.com)

2. Losing My Edge

(2005)

The song that introduced me to LCD Soundsystem. Losing My Edge is about the fact that the connection to current trends is getting weaker. The fact that a person becomes uncool, is irreversible. This song and this declaration was the start of the LCD Soundsystem career, in which connection (in the smallest and most grand way imaginable) is crucial.

Yeah, I’m losing my edge
I’m losing my edge
The kids are coming up from behind
I’m losing my edge
I’m losing my edge to the kids from France and from London

We all know
I was there
I was there
I’ve never been wrong
I used to work in the record store
I had everything before anyone

But I’m losing my edge to better-looking people
With better ideas and more talent
And they’re actually really, really nice

I hear everybody that you know is more relevant than everybody that I know

But have you seen my records?

© 2005 LCD Soundsystem

Upon which Murphy names a long list of bands and artists, that were important in days gone by. A funny statement, that also shows that Murphy has a deep understanding and knowledge of (music)history and proves he is indeed cool, for he knows (and owns) all the classics.

 

LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends (single) (genius.com)

1. All My Friends

(2007)

Rightfully named as song of the first decade of the 21st century, by many people. The song is about growing older, changes in relationships and looking back without regret. A masterpiece and the best song ever released by LCD Soundsystem.

From the beginning with the repetitive piano theme until the lush ending: the build-up, the intensity, the emotion: it is all perfectly constructed. Every verse more and more instruments are added to the mix and the intensity grows more and more.

That’s how it starts
We go back to your house
You check the charts
And start to figure it out

And if it’s crowded, all the better
Because we know we’re gonna be up late
But if you’re worried about the weather
Then you picked the wrong place to stay
That’s how it starts

It comes apart
The way it does in bad films
Except in parts
When the moral kicks in

Though when we’re running out of the drugs
And the conversation’s winding away
I wouldn’t trade one stupid decision
For another five years of life

© 2007 LCD Soundsystem

I was immediately hooked. Number 2 in my 10 best songs of all time.

In a live setting, it gives me goosebumps every time. Listen to and enjoy the performance during the farewell concert in 2011.

 

 

In closing

No other band has given me more joy in the 21st century than LCD Soundsystem. And that says a lot, because a lot of great music was made during that decade. Way more than during the disappointing 1990’s (dance and hip-hop excluded). LCD Soundsystem reaches, live included, unreachable highs and is capable of conveying a natural combination of emotion, rock and dance and write intelligent and often funny lyrics.

What do you think of LCD Soundsystem? Other favorites? Let me know!