Super Furry Animals

TrackAlbum / Single
Something 4 The WeekendFuzzy Logic
Ymaelodi Â'r YmylonMwng
Shoot Doris DayRings Around The World
Crazy Naked GirlsDark Days / Light Years
For Now And EverFuzzy Logic
Fire In My HeartGuerrilla
CalimeroMwng (Bonus CD)
Hello SunshinePhantom Power
Mountain PeopleRadiator
The Man Don't Give A FuckCreation Records CRESCD 247

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Contributor: Simon Jones

Ten tracks from Super Furry Animals, simple.

Days later, literally hundreds of crossed out lists, albums all over the place, trying to remember Welsh language tracks and gigs over the years and I have closed the list off.

Memories, emotions, sprained ankles, gigs in tents and fields all played a part in the selection process, as well as the laughs and total lack of understanding as to quite what they have been thinking over the years. One of my favourite bands, and to even scratch the surface of their output, let alone the myriad side projects is a challenge for anyone.

Like all good musical lists I am already itching to make some changes and I will never be happy, but, here is the list as of this moment in time …

Presented in no specific order, just ones that seemed to always appear on lists and mixtapes over the years.

First conscious memory of the band, hearing Something 4 The Weekend (from the first album, Fuzzy Logic) on what would have probably been Steve Lamacq at the time. Going to see the Manics in Cardiff and the support band I had never heard of – and I was soon in love with Super Furry Animals. They played probably half an hour, and I recognised a couple of other songs as well. It was an excellent Manics gig, but the memory was just being struck by something different. They were never going to be Britpop, but they were important, that I knew by about 8.30 that night in Cardiff.

Ymaelodi Â’r Ymylon from Mwng is up next (see top clip). Reaching fame levels that were, I am sure, as baffling for them as for many like me, what better way to get back to basics than release a Welsh language album. To almost guarantee no airplay and half empty gigs. They did it, and I sing along to the album with no idea at all what I am saying. Apparently there are loads of jokes and puns that only make sense in Welsh on this album. I am loath to point them out – see if you can find them!

Rings Around The World is possibly the most known album and with some of the best pop music you will find anywhere, and hidden in the middle the words Shoot Doris Day appear. A stone cold classic SFA track, lyrics that you can make fit happy and sad moods equally, some lyrics you are not 100% sure if they are English or Welsh and a tune that makes you want to turn it up.

People never stay the same
It’s a fight between the wild and tame
I’ve some feelings that I can’t get through
But those feelings never bothered you

Crazy Naked Girls opens the 2009 album, Dark Days/Light Years, a psychedelic mess of a track and lyrics. Excellent. Really hits into some of their different sounds and experiments. A band constantly evolving and changing, no constraints, nobody to please but themselves and somehow managing to be instantly recognisable.

Back to the first album. The closing track, For Now And Ever, is also the song that my wife and I signed the marriage documents and certificates to at our wedding. It wasn’t even a discussion, I think we both knew that was the first song to be played. And we are still together, for now and ever.

Fire In My Heart (Guerrilla) is another love song. Another perfect one, and yet you can pick the lyrics apart to fit your mood. Like the best tracks by many artists over the years, the opening line is the title; you are dragged in straight away.

I’ve got pins and needles for you
You’ve got needles and pins and the seven deadly sins
Still I’ve got a fire in my heart for you

More Welsh language sing-along fun in Calimero from Mwng again. By now you should be getting the format of their work and building up to expectations of funk, soul, psych and just wonderful music. Like all the Welsh ones, no idea at all what it is about, I could be singing along to the most offensive words known but having a smile on your face will stop any negativity…

Hello Sunshine (Phantom Power) is a live favourite for many, the soft lilting start just building into the opening line, again being the title. A warming song where it is a welcome to happier times, and the line “I’m a minger, you’re a minger too” has to be one of the best love song lines for a while.

If they do political, and they do, Mountain People (Radiator) is a superb example of how to do it. Gruff’s voice, as always, sounding so smooth, but the words cut.

So far away from those
Tree lined streets
Look so neat, not for us
No fat chance
We’re the mountain people

If you ever get the chance to see them live you have to hope they end with The Man Don’t Give A Fuck (Out Spaced). There was a period when this appeared mid-set, but it’s natural place is as the closer, which it was last time they toured earlier this year. (Oddly, I just looked at the set list and Mountain People was the penultimate track that night!). Anyway, I must have injured myself more to this over the years than any other song I think, but the memory that sticks out was at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Festival in London a decade or so back where they were playing in the afternoon. To say the crowd was middle class and not really a festival bunch would be an understatement. My wife and I were on the barrier at the front with a few others who were clearly there for the Furries like us, and about half way through the song, in the particularly sweary bit, I turned around to a sea of disgusted faces. It was hilarious. Sadly that day it only lasted about 6 or 7 minutes, the memory lives on.

A small introduction to Super Furry Animals then, a band where I could easily have just listed the tracks on the first album alone with no qualms. Amazing live, on record superb, and in person all wonderful people.

There is no bad place to start listening to their output, but once you start, you will never stop.

 

Super Furry Animals official site

The Gruffington Post: Gruff Rhys website

Super Furry Animals biography (iTunes)

Simon Jones can be discovered @SimonJ68 on the twitter and @SimonJ68i on the Instagram.

TopperPost #484

1 Comment

  1. Keith Shackleton
    Oct 22, 2015

    Nice job. I don’t know how you narrowed it down, I’d find it impossible. I shall say that Dark Days and Phantom Power are the SFA albums that are most often playing in this house.

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