Wednesday, January 19, 2011

P is for...

- Popol Vuh
- Penguin Cafe Orchestra
- Pink Floyd
- Pet Shop Boys
- Psapp
- Andrew Poppy
- Plaid
- Jocelyn Pook
- Richard Pinhas
- Portishead

Popol Vuh get top billing. At their peak (for me 1973-83) they were unique, mystical, peerless, playing spiritual music without the religion and world music before World Music. They could rock (Einsjager & Siebenjager, Herz aus Glas), but they were probably at their most sublime with Fricke's gorgeously intense yet-at-the-same-time minimal piano compositions or any of their soundtracks to Herzog's films. Bruder des Schattens is one of my favourite albums ever.

And the rest... Penguin Cafe Orchestra - for almost everything they did; Pink Floyd for the obvious pre-Wall stuff and great concerts; Pet Shop Boys for being such a consistently intelligent pop group; Psapp for their eccentric charm; Andrew Poppy for his grand mid-80s albums on ZTT; Plaid for their great electronica on Warp; Pook for her excellent sountracks; Pinhas for helming Heldon and for the odd, excellent solo album (Iceland for sure); and Portishead for Dummy which they could never again equal.

And the rest of the rest, in no particular order... Propaganda (mid-80s version), Passport (mid-70s version), Pole (both the 70s French group and German glitch guy), Arvo Part, Pentatonik (which on another day might have made the top 10), Pere Ubu, Carlos Peron, Phantomband, Sam Phillips, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Iggy Pop (on a good day), The Pop Group, Public Image Ltd (eponymous single and Metal Box only), Pigbag, Pigyn Clust, The Police (in small doses), Psychic TV (ditto), PFM (in even smaller doses, and I mean the Italian 70s group not the current dance act), Colin Potter, L Pierre, Pjusk, Pansonic, Plone (great one-off album on Warp), Andrea Parker, Piano Magic, Porcupine Tree, The Pretenders, Prince (80s only), Public Enemy, PM Dawn, Parliament & Lee Scratch Perry (if in the right mood), Poodles, Psychedlic Furs, Pyrolator, David Parsons, Pelican, Photek, Propellorheads but not The Prodigy, Piano Circus, Primal Scream (maybe for Screamadelica), Prefab Sprout... and of course, the King himself, Mr Elvis Presley.
Oh, and maybe Pump.


  1. This month's sins of omission:
    The Pretty Things
    Augustus Pablo
    Van Dyke Parks
    Panda Bear
    Clive Palmer
    and lest we forget...
    Chubby Parker and His Old Time Banjo

  2. Well, you know I agree with you about Popol Vuh. Ahead of the pack by a long way.
    Second would be Penguin Cafe Orchestra - the more I hear them the more I think that Simon Jeffes was one of the great figures in music of the last 50 years.
    The only "missing" one for me would be the Japanese group Pascals. A great mix of PCO, Pascal Comelade & Japanese quirk/cute.

  3. Ooops, yes, forgot about Pulp and Pascals (I have albums by both). Pentangle...? Yup I guess they shld have made the Rest of the Rest, and maybe the Pretty Things too.