Friday, February 24, 2012

The Band of Holy Joy selected discography

Such an epic, under-appreciated band, so I'll just dive in....

It's hard to get used to a new tempo. Tempo is probably the biggest commonality tying together any style of music, and when a band maintains all other stylings of their contemporaries but plays to a different speed, it can be a little hard to adjust to. So don't be turned off if these guys don't click on the first listen. They will.

They have changed their tune over the years, and have the capacity to be dark and experimental as well as make hits-that-never-were-but-should-have-been. Most of the time they like a more upbeat Stockholm Monsters/Martyn Bates fused with The Pogues' Irish-y organs and instrumentation fused with Horses-era Patti-Smith's organic vocal meandering* but with exquisite - truly exquisite - pop layering and rich orchestration, whose lyricism and song-writing are both so fantastically good, it will shock you that these guys are so unknown.

*Note: Kind of. This is a stretch, but really couldn't think of a better way to describe this. Hear for yourself and let me know if you think this is a poor/accurate description.

Collection includes:

More Favourite Fairy Tales (1984) 8/10
The Big Ship Sails (1986) 7.5/10
Manic, Magic, Majestic (1989) 9.5/10
Positively Spooked (1990) 9/10

I recommend starting with Manic, Magic, and Majestic, and then Positively Spooked, and then their earlier releases, which can be more chaotic, lo-fi, and experimental (The Big Ship Sails sounds like what taking acid at a circus must feel like). When I get paid I'm going to try and download the rest of their stuff, but in the meantime there is a lot of quality to be found in this collection.



  1. dude, what about "more tales from the city" ? that one might be their best!

  2. Man, I don't know why I didn't have this. Listening now and you're right. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Eight years later and I find this blog entry. Thank you. One of my very favorite groups. I got to see them in London in 1987, a completely life-changing experience. Whither Johnny Brown?