Fall Rocks: A playlist for the chilly season

Posted In: State Library Resource Center, Reviews
Permanent Link   All Posts

By Brian Manning

It’s November, and the fall is finally in full regal: there are pumpkins on stoops, rich yellows and oranges, and an air of mischief in the cool night airs. This air of degeneration is captivating, to the point that the December Holidays—already looming—threaten to eclipse this too quick passing season.

However, before we are inundated with Christmas carols, nothing marks the onset of the changing seasons for me than listening to another form of music... a guilty pleasure, if you will: post-punk European bands from the early eighties.

That’s right, I admit it—for years now, I have found that the perfect soundtrack to the cool autumn nights to be albums cut by gals and blokes with macabre sensibilities, and thrashing guitar riffs that are as haunting as they are dark and catchy.

Cure & SouxieHere are some albums which comprise my perfect fall playlist:

Echo & the Bunnymen: Ocean Rain (Wikipedia)

Siouxsie and the Banshees: Once upon a time: the singles (Catalog)

Depeche Mode: The Singles 81>85 (Catalog)

The Fall: 458489: A and B sides (Catalog)

The The: Soul Mining (Wikipedia)

The Smiths: The Queen is dead (Catalog)

The Cure: Join the dots (Catalog)

U2: October (Wikipedia), or anything pre-Joshua Tree

Tears for Fears: The Hurting (Wikipedia) & Songs from the Big Chair (Catalog)

Admittedly, there are other dark musicians/albums that complement the fall. (For instance, Jandek and Black Sabbath come to mind.) However, for me, the overall oeuvres of the post-punk European bands have the ideal groovy machinations to celebrate autumn.

How about you? What is your perfect fall playlist?

Great picks, Brian! Glad you mentioned Black Sabbath--"Paranoid" would make my playlist, as would Dream Theater's "Images and Words," Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks," In Flames's "Reroute to Remain," Van Morrison's "Too Long in Exile," and any Erik Satie compilation. Loreena McKennitt is a perennial favorite, but her music always compliments the fall.
Posted by: Claire Wang at 11/23/2012 11:49 a.m.

Great list, Brian! I too love the Fall (the season and the band), for it's a time of wistful reflection and what Beth Orton called "the sweetest decline" - before the onslaught of Black Friday, holiday shopping stress and Apocalyptic Winter weather conditions.
Posted by: Tom Warner at 11/24/2012 10:24 a.m.

Great fall playlist, Brian! I grabbed a bunch of seemingly random library CDs for my long Thanksgiving road trip, and one was the Smiths, Hatful of Hollow: http://pac.epfl.net/uhtbin/cgisirsi/0/0/x/5?searchdata1=ocn781688921 - I didn't know why I picked it up, but I think you're right, it has the sound of autumn. I've always liked that oscillating guitar sound in How Soon Is Now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Soon_Is_Now but didn't get why the lyrics said "I am the sun and the air of nothing in particular". Finally almost 20 years after hearing it for the first time I opened the CD to read the lyrics and find that it's actually "I am the SON and the HEIR" - mystery solved! Listen to a sample here: http://www.amazon.com/How-Soon-Is-Now/dp/B001KPUZ90
Posted by: Teresa at 11/26/2012 10:28 a.m.

Leave a comment
Name *
Email *