This article continues the series from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

4. Pepper

My only run-in with the Butthole Surfers was at a concert in Hamburg, in a small club which had been massively oversold. Inevitably, it ended in an all-out riot featuring ambulances and police arrests.

To be frank (and not necessarily because of that experience), I've never been too keen on the Surfers' unique blend of musical styles and their less-than-subtle sense of humour.  Nevertheless, 1996's Pepper, their most successful attempt at going mainstream, pushes many of my favorite musical buttons.  It's a captivating mixture of trip-hop and psychedelia with a plenty of backwards effects including the chorus.

5. Let Forever Be

In the context of this series, there are certainly plenty of tracks to choose from within the Chemical Brothers' repertoire.  I very much admire the way Mr. Tom and Mr. Ed constructed a groundbreaking synthesis of past and present pop idioms.

Their first explicit nod to Tomorrow Never Knows was Setting Sun, a 1996 collaboration with Noel Gallagher.  It was close enough to Lennon's masterpiece in both spirit and execution to provoke accusations of illegal sampling from overzealous Apple lawyers.

Along the same stylistic lines, The Private Psychedelic Reel and Surrender could also have been titled Mark 3 or mistaken for remixed Revolver outtakes.  But I'm going to instead cast my vote for Let Forever Be, another Gallagher co-creation from 1999.  Why?  Because:

  1. It's strongly reminiscent of Tomorrow Never Knows, not just in style but also in the feel of its lyrics.
  2. It has a captivating video featuring Michel Gondry's pseudo-kaleidoscopic effects.
  3. It's permanently burned into my brain due to several years of usage as the opening theme to Estudio Fútbol (the only football punditry show I watch regularly, if only for the occasional appearance by the deliciously knowledgeable Luciana Rubinska).

Check out the Chemical Brothers and Noel Gallagher reminiscing about the genesis of Let Forever Be.

Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2008
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