sylvian - worst to best

From Brilliant Trees through Died In The Wool...

Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby javier on Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:52 am

Good point...I agree, some of his most beautiful tracks are on mediocre albums.

A more meaningful ranking, but one whose challenge I'm not yet ready to attempt, would be every track from worst to best.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby svendutchmountains on Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:43 pm

Which then poses the question: what is David`s best track... ever?

- Forbidden Colours?
- Blemish?
- Maria?
- Wasn`t I, Joe?
- Red Guitar?
- Wave?
- Playing the Schoolhouse?
- Wanderlust?

Actually a very hard question to answer I find! I will have to think a while on that one!

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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby Foales Arishes on Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:18 am

svendutchmountains wrote:Which then poses the question: what is David`s best track... ever?


I'm not going to say its his best, as I think its not possible to pick one track over another as 'best'... but, for me 'Small Metal Gods' holds a special place. Being the opening track of Manafon, it was the first time I'd ever heard DS properly [ :roll: I know :lol: ]... I love its atmosphere, its lyrics and his vocal delivery.

'Do you Know Me Now' is another track I love... again its a very atmospheric piece, and his cracked, slightly worn-out sounding vocal sends shivers down my spine.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby natsume on Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:01 pm

Foales Arishes wrote:
'Do you Know Me Now' is another track I love... again its a very atmospheric piece, and his cracked, slightly worn-out sounding vocal sends shivers down my spine.


Agreed. I don't have one. It changes. I listen to September annually the first week of that month, and it is always my favorite then.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby Foales Arishes on Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:45 pm

natsume wrote:Agreed. I don't have one. It changes. I listen to September annually the first week of that month, and it is always my favorite then.


That is very specific :)

I certainly have music I only listen to at specific times of the year... some music for me is only Autumn and Winter, such as Arvo Part. Once Spring comes I'll not think about listening to him until the leaves start to turn.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby svendutchmountains on Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:11 pm

Foales Arishes wrote:
natsume wrote:Agreed. I don't have one. It changes. I listen to September annually the first week of that month, and it is always my favorite then.


That is very specific :)

I certainly have music I only listen to at specific times of the year... some music for me is only Autumn and Winter, such as Arvo Part. Once Spring comes I'll not think about listening to him until the leaves start to turn.


Yeah, I have that as well... when Spring comes I automatically pull out Never Mind The Bollocks from our friends The Sex Pistols! There`s something about the weather that really allows me to get my head around that album again.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby Tin Bird on Sun May 01, 2016 8:27 am

Yes, hard to pin down "best ever" track...a short list for me would contain:

Ghosts
A Fire in the Forest
Orpheus
Brilliant Trees
Damage
Blackwater
Thalheim
Wanderlust
When Poets Dreamed of Angels
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby after the bullfight on Mon May 02, 2016 2:29 am

Shortlist seems like a good idea (I've limited it to post-Japan): -

forbidden colours, steel cathedrals, before the bullfight, wave (original), september, orpheus, cries and whispers, damage, wanderlust, transit, the librarian, manafon. I also love his version of 'it'll never happen ggain' which was played on the slowfire and, I think, E&N tours.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby qdes on Sat May 28, 2016 3:57 am

Best songs:

Darkest Dreaming
Snow Borne Sorrow
A History of Holes
Blemish
A Fire in the Forest
I Surrender
Snow White in Appalachia
Manafon
Do You Know Me Now?
Cover Me With Flowers
Exit / Delete
Transit
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby Tin Bird on Sat May 28, 2016 5:13 pm

Of course music is in the ear of the beholder, so whatever appeals to someone is what appeals to them. I would note, however, qd, that after seeing your list, you have very different tastes than I do when it comes to Sylvian if you think exit/delete, Transit, Blemish, and Manafon are representative of his best work. I do agree that the Nine Horses record was great though, so we certainly see eye to eye on that one. I have to admit that I simply can't understand a Sylvian fan not including any tracks from what are considered his seminal, "classic" albums Brilliant Trees, Gone to Earth, and Secrets of the Beehive.
I may have made this point before on this forum when someone else noted that they only like his recent work...to me it's akin to a Depeche Mode fan stating that Playing the Angel, Exciter, and Sounds of the Universe are their best work. I can't help but feel like c'mon, you can't really think that's better than Black Celebration, Some Great Reward, Violator, and Songs of Faith and Devotion...really? I mean, to me, those (former) albums don't really even sound that much like Depeche Mode...much less their best work. Same with Blemish and Manafon...oddball, experimental flights of fancy aside, I simply do not think either album truly represents the essence of David Sylvian's career...they are more like sidetracks or temporary blips on the screen in my opinion.
I really like Plight and Premonition, but I don't list it as a top 10 track because it is more an ambient side project rather than a classic Sylvian album to me.
I hope I don't sound too much like our old friend Chad here, but I almost feel like somebody might list Playing the Schoolhouse as their favorite work..that would be just absurd. I do have to draw the line somewhere! :-D
But, like I said...music is in the ear of the beholder, so it's all good. :-) btw I actually really do like all the tracks you mentioned...even exit/delete, I just can't see stating that is one of David's all time best works, that's all.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby Tin Bird on Sat May 28, 2016 5:21 pm

I would add that I do really like Small Metal Gods and Do You Know Me Now?...two recent works...probably not in my all-time faves list, but they would be close.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby Tin Bird on Sun May 29, 2016 7:33 am

..and A Fire in the Forest is in my top 10 all-time...so what do I know huh? :wink:
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby kitaj on Mon May 30, 2016 1:28 am

what irks me somewhat is people considering Exit/Delete and other latter-day collabs as "his" best work.. when really he sang his lyrics and melodies over instrumental tracks emphatically NOT his.. that he then final-mixed at the most. even that most Sylvian-like ballad, 'Do You Know Me Now' is all Jan Bang playing at his most sylvianesque. so I'm really annoyed at this cannibalistic Sylvian character appropriating everything he touches in people's minds. that's also, for me, a sign of his waning interest in 'music proper'. I know the Samadhi output represents the work he's most satisfied with in his entire career, but I think that's an ego thing more than anything. I cannot help remembering we've come to get liner notes where Sylvian's contribution is listed as "album title by" and "album sequenced by". in a word, Sylvian as curator of other people's work - which, really, is what Manafon's all about. he's painted himself out of the picture more and more through the years, and I'm really not surprised at all he's come to a virtual silence now. I think he needs two things for a creative rebirth - 1) more balls/meat in his life and work, and 2) interaction with more actual people near him i.e. not at-a-distance playing (I really hope he would throw away that laptop of his that's making him lazy as it condones his worst tendencies as a musician and human being).
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby Tin Bird on Mon May 30, 2016 8:12 am

Wow...saying it like it is! Good on you kitaj! I would say that Sylvian has always had an element of as you refer to it..."cannibalism" of other people’s sounds/works. Every album has numerous guests going back to Jon Hassell, David Torn, Robert Fripp, Michael Brook, Bill Nelson, Holger Czukay, Ryuichi Sakamoto… etc. etc. ...that said, I think your point is well taken that he has gotten into the habit of making music by computer and long distance trap which does tend to challenge evolution. A counter to that would be the Nine Horses record that I am quite sure was put together at least somewhat via megabits and pixels and I think that is one of his greatest works....so...I kind've agree and I kind've disagree....I am totally cool w David choosing to work whichever way makes him happy..or since it’s him, maybe the correct term is satisfied...As I've noted previously, I would be happy with a return to form with actual songs, lyrics, and fleshed out melodies, perhaps recorded in a proper studio (surely Peter Gabriel would give him use of Real World...no?), but I'm not holding my breath at this point.
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Re: sylvian - worst to best

Postby shoop on Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:26 pm

To his credit, "Do You Know Me Now" seems more like his own acoustic guitar composition with overdubs. I do think there's some sense of a very closed off person finding friends (or peers at worst) revelling in that. We're here because of what he's accomplished over the years. I'm not aware of a Scott Walker forum AT ALL, much less one as devoted to discourse as us, right? :wink:

EDIT: I will admit the "song titles" thing on Kandahar came across kinda goofus.
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