Saturday, 18 February 2012

My Top 5: Phil Hogarth

Toronto Tim issued a challenge: 
Name your top 5 Miracle Mile/Jones songs.
Why not email me here with your own top 5.

Phil Hogarth lives in Israel and is a long term 'friend' of Miracle Mile.

Alright Trev, I love this sort of thing. 
I spend far too many hours making up all kinds of 'favourites' and 'best ofs', but cutting your total output down to just 5 tracks I found a mite difficult. Firstly let me say, I've been hooked by your music since buying 'Candids' back in 98 after seeing a few adverts for it in my monthly Q magazine, comparing it to Prefab Sprout and, if I remember correctly, Aztec Camera who are two of my favourite bands. I loved it on first listen and so tried to get hold of a copy of 'Bicycle Thieves', which I remember was really difficult from over here in Israel. Eventually I got in touch with you and you told me you had some copies for a tenner, and I still remember the CD arriving before I'd managed to send the cash off! 
Anyway, to get on with my top 5:

I have to start with the opening track from 'Bicycle Thieves', 'Walking John Wayne.
There's something so simple about the song , but it just stands out as something rather special, and even today 14 years after first hearing it, I find it still just jumps into my head every so often. I liken it to Aztec Cameras best (in my opinion) song 'Killermont Street'. Mainly acoustic, simple and class!

Now from an oldie to a fairly new favourite' 'Folding Sheets'. I love a song that just gives me a strong image of something and I can see the mother and daughter doing the 'folding sheets 'dance on their rooftop. I don't know why but I picture a dusty Mexican shanty town! and both the mother and daughter are sultry latinos (think Salma Hayek!)

Next up, the opening track to 'Limbo', Lights of Home'. 
Again a strong image , this time of my childhood home, a big old farmhouse on the outskirts of Whitby in North Yorkshire. As the road leads to the village the farmhouse lights are the first you see and also the last as you leave.

Next up, from my favourite album 'Glow', comes 'What Kate Did Next'. This was a hard one to choose. I had to pick a song from 'Glow' but I love the whole album. I remember when I first got hold of my copy. I spent a good hour just reading to booklets before I listened to the album.
I remember how I listened to the whole album and then played it again and for a third time and I knew this was the best album I'd ever heard. I played it every night for weeks washing it down with vintage Glenfidich! Wonderful times indeed!

Now, to finish off, my favourite track by MM, 'Milk Moustache'. 
This song takes me back to my childhood From the opening bars that remind me of a kids TV program from the 60's that I can't for the life of me name! I picture my family round the kitchen table. Me as a young kid and my older brother and sister and my younger sister sitting between my Mum and Dad.
Happy, simpler times.
So there you have it!


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  2. Hey Phil, sorry about the "Sophie's Choice" thing, narrowing it down to a measly 5. I just decided to follow Hornby's "Hi-Fidelity" template... You've got a lot of discipline keeping it at 5!
    Keepers grows on me with every listen, so pleased you included "Sheets" - it's a beauty. It's my # 7. Always enjoy your comments, since you've got genuine passion and appreciation of good music. Thanks for coming out of the shadows. Shalom!

  3. Shalom Tim!
    Keeping it down to 5 was really hard!'Agree 'Keepers' is a grower.( really liked it at the start,love it now!).Can't stop playing 'Ghost of Song',those 10 tracks sit so well together.Makes one fantastic album.So,what next? Top 5 albums of all time?,tracks? artists?.....
    Tel Aviv

  4. Hi Phil

    you should start a blog - you write so well and you reasons make mine pale in comparison

  5. I regret not offering a "bubbling under" section, as Barry Cross added. I was concerned about cluttering up Trev's page, thinking comments on the '5' more prudent.
    Since we're here "in the margins"... here's my "Bubbling Under" list... Folding Sheets + Whate Kate Did + Sister Song + Mermaid + Coffee & Stars + Secret Fold...
    You mentioned you felt hand-cuffed? Got another 5 (or so) you would have added??????????

    Re: Other Top 5's... only if someone else initiates it sometime in the future. I promised Trev this was a "one-off" posting, fearful it was frivilous and self-indulgent, especially if others weren't on-board. Trev did me a big favour, picked up the ball and ran with it, and the eloquent responses are wonderful... a great way to get to know the other folks!

    Honestly, these lists get harder and harder... My lists are now dominated by a few artists... MM, Lloyd Cole, Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout, Springsteen, Spiritualized... not a lot of new artists. I'm constantly buying CD's, but It seems like the 60's, LP's with a couple of great songs, the rest filler. I'm either spoiled or getting bloody old.... 56!
    Shalom, again!

  6. Tim, nowt frivolous about the initial idea; I love lists as much as anyone; I do feel a little 'umbled by the compliments; but hey, why not? We all deserve an occasional slap on the back; it's gratifying to hear how the songs are connecting and interesting to see how those connections are received and interpreted. Also nice to put faces to those faceless missives...
    I like the idea of another top 5. It seems that MM are always ranked with: Blue Nile/Aztec Camera/Prefabs/; maybe someone could suggest 2 more MM type bands and we get to choose (and describe our love of) one fave track each from that 'Famous Five'...

  7. Sounds good! Maybe an option when you're feeling lazy or hit a dry spell with ideas... one of your "weaker weeks?"
    I was surprised that as many would come out of the closet, and put as much time and love into their entries. You'd better print Di's piece and post it on the fridge to remind you how blessed you are!
    Golly, I've had to Google 'gormless', 'chuffed', 'jumper', 'in the pink', now 'nowt'. I'm learning a foreign language... like bloody Australian!!!

    PS: Blimey, am I the only one having trouble deciphering those squiggly letters you have to enter to post comments???????????

  8. No Tim,I have problems with those squiggly letters aswell!
    My bubbling under:
    I Deny
    Under My Tongue
    Mystery To Me
    Mawkish Mule
    Call It Home
    ...there,I feel a lot better now
    Tel Aviv

  9. Phil & Tim,
    thanks for giving this your best attention...
    I agree about the squiggles; frustrating; I often have to try again 3 or 4 times before I get a set that I recognise...
    So come on you two: I need two more 'MMish' bands (alongside Nile/Sprout/Aztec) to make up the 'Famous Five'...

  10. Well for early Miracle Mile,I'd liken them to Deacon Blue.Other favourites of mine that on occasions stray into MM territory are:
    Crowded House
    The Pearlfishers
    The McCluskey Brothers
    The Bathers
    Love and Money/James Grant
    The Lilac Time
    I think MM's first 2 albums were easier to fit into a music 'style' (Sprouts,Aztec,Blue Nile),but since then you've very much got a sound and style all of your own.
    Have you ever thought of doing an album of covers? Giving some of your favourite songs the Miracle Mile treatment would be really interesting.
    Tel Aviv

  11. How about
    aztec camera / roddy frame
    deacon blue / Ricky Ross
    Blue Nile
    Prefab Sprout
    Lloyd cole with or without the commotions

    Having said that I'd happily join in with any of phil's suggestions

  12. Interesting as, although I love all of those bands, I never really hear the connection; especially Blue Nile who I love and we are always bagged with...
    I know and love all of the bands that you've mentioned (apart from The McCluskey Brothers...) so maybe we should go the populist route and say choose fav tracks from:
    Blue Nile
    Crowded House
    Deacon Blue (much maligned)
    PLUS one wild card choice; something off the radar that reminds of MM...

  13. Street cred' would maybe suggest Lloyd afore Deacon Blue....

  14. Welcome to "HISSYTWIT"

    What is all this "HISSYTWITTER" going on in the margins? I go out for a quick game of squash and a bite with my sister, and I return to see all this buzz!
    Looks like Trev has his teeth into this one, so we'd better get thinking! I think the concept is nifty... a different angle.
    First off, I agree completely with Phil, that MM-Mark-II has it's own unique sound, and most of the comparisons baffle me! If you're speaking more broadly about artists whose work is the paragon of smart and timeless music, that certainly applies.
    Before you guys got ahead of me, I thought Trev's list of BN/PS/AC was a good start.
    I think DEACON BLUE is a given, if only for early MM. "Much maligned?" I guess here in Amorica it was more like "Much ignored." I don't give a crap, "Raintown" is still in my Top 10, and "Hoodlums", "Vegas", and "Pale Rider" were dandy!
    Lloyd Cole (my 2nd favorite artist) is fine, but for some reason my first thought was the GO BETWEENS. In fact I can't believe Dave didn't suggest it!
    I love Phil's "out there" suggestions... showing off his vast knowledge! McCluskey Bros of the Bluebells, right? Bathers, I've tasted, didn't fancy... Love&Money/JamesGrant amazing voice and good songs. Lilac Time compendium, I was listening to on the crapper a few days ago!!! As for Crowded House, I like Neil Finn, why am so I indifferent to the band?
    PEARLFISHERS is the topper of Phil's list. I think they befit the smart and timeless tag, unfortunately criminally ignored...
    I would strongly suggest that comments on each fave be "short and sweet" - maybe only allowing for mention of a couple of runner-up tunes (inevitable).
    So guys that's my half-baked input. I'm "chuffed" with whatever you decide. What's the title Captain? Make sure you get all your important goodies out before you launch this!
    And how do I sign up for "Hissytwit"?

    PS: Hey Phil! What happened? I asked for your "bubbling under" and only one pick from Glow! Don't worry mate, Limbo is my fave, yet I did the same thing!
    One thing to be concluded: MM/Jones song appeal is all over the map for every individual! Very special that an entire musical body connects with the folks...

    PSS: Trev, I got "Lanterns On The Lake" from Amazon a few weeks ago... gorgeous chill out album. Better than the Cocteau's gibberish.
    Speaking of gibberish, I'm off to unravel the code of those friggin' distorted letters! Eric says it's a security feature to stymie hackers...

  15. My god i cant believe i didnt suggest the gobetweens either - I'm going to play all their lps today as penance. For me it is never a sound comparison more of a feeling comparison if that makes sense. i remember buying the first lp on the basis of prefab sprout comparison in a review, listened to it thought it is nothing like prefab Sprount, but i love it. I am happy to go with Trev's suggestion and maybe we all choose a different of the radar one.

  16. Good grief, where's that editor?
    After all that blather, I'm again realizing that I have no touch with the "scene" in th UK. If Deacon Blue is seen with the same contempt as say 'Journey' is here, then please dismiss my plug. I probably downplayed Lloyd because I'm a big fan, it'll be hard to whittle it down. Smart, timeless and actually still producing quality work... Lloyd's an excellent choice.
    Trev mentioned off the radar reminders of MM... Josh Rouse and Hem come to mind (not in the same league in my opinion) but lovely tunes and occassional pedal steel?
    Over here, everyone we've chatted about you could call the "Unfamous 5"... they're all cult status... sold squat.
    Leave it with you chaps...

  17. Ok boys, I'll be flexing my editorial muscles soon to launch 'The Famous 5'.
    We'll have: Prefabs/Blue Nile/Aztec Camera (Roddy solo)/Deacon Blue (or Ricky solo) and an other yet to be decided (maybe from Go Betweens/Crowded House/Lloyd Cole). We'll ask for one 'off piste' revelation also... should be enlightening.

  18. How have we all missed Trashcan Sinatras?!Certainly their last two albums.
    Tel Aviv

  19. Is their new album good?
    LA based now I believe...