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Today I’m picking out 20 of the best Idlewild songs. Idlewild are a Scottish indie rock band that formed in Edinburgh in 1995. The band consists primarily of Roddy Woomble (lead vocals), Rod Jones (guitar, backing vocals), Colin Newton (drums).
My journey with Idlewild began in 1998 when I heard “A Film for the Future” on the Radio at work during the night shift. It wasn’t like love at 1st sight or anything but there was enough intrigue from the sound they were producing to get my attention. You just know when you hear a genuine band with a future ahead and you know what you like when you hear it. The next day I made a trip to the local music shop to find some of their music. I couldn’t find anything so I asked at the counter.. “Have you got any Idlewild?”. The response from the guy who looked like a member of Metallica was “WHO???”. After checking their database the album “Hope is Important” hadn’t been released yet and I left empty handed.
Even though it was a wasted trip I was both pleased with myself for knowing of a band the guy at the music shop didn’t and disappointed because it’s such a downer when you make a trip especially for an album and come up empty. Things have changed in that sense in a huge way (Instant gratification is the default lifestyle now). I eventually got the album and loved it and discovered the song “When I Argue I see Shapes” on it which was more like it, this was more like what I wanted to hear.
I’ve been a loyal fan ever since, not only to Idlewild but to singer Roddy Woomble’s solo work & also Rod Jones’ side projects.
On with the show.. Captain (No actually, we are leaving that one out)..
Hope Is Important (1998)
Rating: (3.8 / 5)
Key songs: When I Argue I See Shapes, Paint Nothing
This album is somewhat of a continuation from their mini debut although slightly more contained and progress has clearly been made with their instrument playing ability. Also, check out “I’m A Message” & “Safe and Sound”.
100 Broken Windows (2000)
Rating: (4.2 / 5)
Key songs: Roseability, Quiet Crown
The 1st song I heard from this was “Little Discourage” which was enough to keep my anticipation for the album high and I wasn’t disappointed. “Roseability” quickly became an instant favourite for me with the Blur “Song 2” style guitar pedal stomp before the Chorus & the line “Gertrude Stein said “that’s enough”, even though it would be a few years till I actually took the time to find out what Gertrude Stein was, or rather who. To this day I don’t know what “Roseability” even means but who cares!
Also check out “These Wooden Ideas” & “Little Discourage” from this one.
The Remote Part (2002)
Rating: (3.9 / 5)
Key songs: Stay the Same, American English, Live in a Hiding Place, You Held the World in Your Arms
Upon hearing this for the 1st few times I was drawn towards the more heavy tracks but the album blends the two (Heavy & the more Ballady) together so well I started exploring, overlooking my initial expectations.
Rating: (4 / 5)
Key songs: I Understand It, The Space Between All Things, El Capitan
Make Another World (2007)
Rating: (3.8 / 5)
Key songs: In Competition for the Worst Time, You and I Are Both Away, A Ghost In the Arcade
Post Electric Blues (2009)
Rating: (3.9 / 5)
Key songs: All Over the Town, Younger than America, Readers & Writers, Post Electric
Two songs initially overlooked but then came to love are “All Over the Town” which is very Smiths-esque. The other “Post-Electric” which overlooking caused me to miss out on the epic 2-minute jam towards the end. Just goes to show you can’t judge a song by the 1st minute. The rest of the album is littered with great songs.
If you’ve got access to Amazon Unlimited there are 3 additional songs one of which is “Again (Let the Buildings Burn Bright)” which is a great song & makes me think of the Warnings/Promises period of their music.
Everything Ever Written (2015)
Rating: (3.7 / 5)
Key songs: Collect Yourself, Every Little Means Trust
Roddy released 2 Solo albums during this time & Rod formed “The Birthday Suit” and released 3 albums with them. 2013 came & the core members of the band started writing again and in early 2015 released Idlewild’s seventh full-length studio album.
Upon checking Wikipedia it claims Hope Is Important (1998) was recorded between February and June 1997 and released October 1998 (Almost a year and a half between recording & release?? I doubt it). This can’t be correct when their previous mini-album Captain was recorded October 1997 and released in January 1998. According to the “ever credible” Wikipedia.
I hope you enjoyed my best Idlewild songs choices. One thing about Idlewild is that they always consistently put out good songs, even the B-sides are as good if not better some of the time. Because there are quite a few B-sides I shall be adding a 2nd post with B-Sides soon. If you want to be made aware of when this is up, subscribe to the email list below and you’ll be the 1st to know.
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