Times Of Our Lives: 2001 – What A Time To Be Alive

2001. It was inevitable, I suppose; a fine film and all that, but we didn’t even get past the first day of the year before the BBC was reporting a screening of Kubrick’s masterpiece at the NFT.

2001 was the year Mir returned to earth just as man landed a spacecraft on an asteroid for the first time. The videofeed showed it to be like Grimsby on a wet Tuesday afternoon.

Time and space were recurring themes during that year with John Cage’s composition, Organ²/ASLSP (As Slow as Possible), playing on a pipeorgan in Halberstadt, Germany. According to the Washington Post, 1,000 people pitched up in 2008 to hear one note change.

Cage is, of course, having a laugh at everyone’s expense. In 2640, when the recital ends, a hologram of his face will appear and declare, “Now the organ is properly tuned, the piece will begin…”

A day no-one should forget is 6th October 2001. It’s the day music died, with the first airing of Pop Idol. I was never a fan of Opportunity Knocks back in the day so shows like Pop Idol, X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, were never going to light my fire.

I suppose that there is little harm in these manufactured bands so long as there is a thriving music scene in the ‘real’ world. Yes, I despair of those who buy the output from these shows in their droves but even without television, bands were manufactured by svengali’s. Despite surveys telling us otherwise, it is a revenue stream which never seems to dry up.

The Monkees, The Archies, all the way through to PWL, via Boney M and many other points in between. Most are dross – The Monkees excluded – and I can’t immediately think of any ‘manufactured’ bands I’ve liked listening to beyond Peter, Micky, Michael and Davy.

If it floats your boat, so be it. I wouldn’t dream of telling anyone what they should and should not listen to. Music is an individual taste; keep your ears and mind open and you can travel on a wonderful journey through life.

Where manufactured pop is a problem, is killing the opportunities for ‘proper’ musicians. There’s room in the world for the bands from the garage or spare bedroom, so long as there is a will to listen to them. And long may that will never cease.

Among those we bade farewell in 2001:

  • James Carr
  • George Harrison
  • Don Bradman
  • Robert Ludlum
  • John Phillips
  • William Hanna
  • Charles Pettigrew
  • Harry Secombe
  • Joey Ramone
  • Douglas Adams
  • Perry Como
  • Joan Sims
  • Ken Kesey
  • Rufus Thomas
  • Nigel Hawthorne

We’ll end today’s post with 2001’s playlist:

Crystal New Order
F.E.A.R. Ian Brown
Clint Eastwood Gorillaz
It’s Not the End of the World? Super Furry Animals
Cool’n’out Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros
Chains of Love The Dirtbombs
Watching Xanadu Mull Historical Society
I Don’t Do Crowds Camera Obscura
Salvation Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
St. John the Divine Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
I Wanna Be Around Jools Holland, John Cale
Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Underdog (Save Me) Turin Brakes
Imitation Of Life R.E.M.
Snakes in the Grass Quantic
Primitive Notion New Order
Bhindi Bhagee Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros
Love Is The Key The Charlatans UK
Little Atoms The Black Seeds
We Laugh Indoors Death Cab for Cutie
Loco Fun Lovin’ Criminals
Ode to a Black Man The Dirtbombs
Up On The Downside Ocean Colour Scene
Hotel Yorba The White Stripes
Say Hello, Wave Goodbye Jools Holland, Marc Almond
Streets Of Laredo/Not Long For This World Prefab Sprout
Intravenous Agnostic Manic Street Preachers
Under the Hedge Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
I Was a Kaleidoscope Death Cab for Cutie
Disappear R.E.M.
Have A Nice Day Stereophonics
Lou Reed In My City Love of Lesbian
Pen And Notebook Camera Obscura
Sit There The Black Seeds
Handbags And Gladrags Stereophonics
Miss Europa Disco Dancer Manic Street Preachers
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