Beginner’s guide to Ladytron

If you only ever watch the top forty, you won’t have come across Ladytron before, because they have never actually been there. But quietly, in the background, they have been around for fifteen years, producing dark and slightly subversive electronic pop music.

Key moments

Their only truly commercial release, Witching Hour (2005), with its exceptional singles Destroy Everything You Touch and Sugar. And probably those remixes that they did of your other favourite artists, such as Dave Gahan, Goldfrapp, Kings of Convenience, and plenty of others.

Where to start

Skip their 2010 best of album and jump directly to the high point of their career, Light and Magic (2002). Give it a bit of time, as it may not be the easiest album to listen to initially.

What to buy

Roll back to 2001 for their brilliant debut 604, then Velocifero (2008), and then Gravity the Seducer (2011), and you’ll have nearly everything you need.

Don’t bother with

Any of the singles – even the occasional b-side is not worth the bother, and the remixes are rarely of any interest. Each album has an accompanying Remixed and Rare collection, but these are really only of interest to absolute completists. And surprisingly, unless I was just very unlucky, they turn out not to be very good live.

Hidden treasure

The patchy Witching Hour (2005) includes a couple of exceptional singles. Tender Talons, a bonus track from the Extended Play mini-album (2006), is an unexpected pleasure.

For stowaways

5 thoughts on “Beginner’s guide to Ladytron

  1. Witching Hour is a solid album, not patchy at all. I mean, EVERY song is gold. Definitely one of the best album in the history of electronic music.

    • Hmm… I’ll accept I might be wrong about the use of the word “patchy” (I’ll listen again and report back in a few weeks!) but one of the best albums of its genre? Really? I suppose I’ll find out when I listen…

      • I’m looking forward to see your new opinion about it.

        It’s usually considered their best work (by critics, fans and even the band). I listened tons of electronic music and I think it’s on the same level with classics like Depeche Mode – Violator, Kraftwerk – The Man-Machine, OMD – Architecture & Morality, The Human League – Dare, Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle, New Order – Technique, Goldfrapp – Black Cherry, and others.

        Witching Hour it’s more than synthpop. It has a strong influence from shoegazing music like My Bloody Valentine, Lush, and Slowdive. I think it requires some listens to start appreciating it, especially if you’re not familiar with shoegazing.

        By the way, you did a great job so far with these Beginner’s guides.

  2. Also I’d like to mention that Ladytron is a truly astonishing band. Since 1999 when they formed, they never released even one bad album and they always tried to evolve their sound. All their albums are essential listen (preferably in chronological order, to see the evolution in their style).

  3. Pingback: The complete beginner’s guide | Music for stowaways

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