Dirty Vegas – Dirty Vegas

I’ve talked a bit before about Dirty Vegas, an act who have always seemed to me to be a rock band trapped inside a dance act’s body. Fifteen years ago this week saw the release of their eponymous debut album, and despite some of the misgivings I have about their later career, it’s worth reacquainting ourselves with the release that kicked things off for them.

It opens with I Should Know, which starts off sounding like a gentle piece of pop-rock, until the beats kick in a minute or so later. It’s a great, catchy song, and a strong start to the album. Second single Ghosts is next, a catchy, throbbing dance track which had a great video too.

There is, of course, some filler on here – Lost Not Found isn’t great – but it never lasts too long, and we soon arrive at the brilliant Days Go By. There is, of course, nothing else on the album that’s anywhere near this good, although honestly I’m not entirely sure that its extended album version really does it too many favours – the charm was entirely encapsulated by the four-minute single.

Then there’s some deeper dance with Throwing Shapes, which is kind of fun, but I’m not sure how much it really adds to the album (it might have made a good b-side though?)

By this stage you should be pretty familiar with what this album is likely to offer you, and so Candles should either be great, or more of the same. I tend to err towards the latter with this one. Fortunately it’s very short, and then we’re on to All or Nothing, which is definitely one of the best songs on here.

Alive is a bit questionable though, as is 7am. There’s nothing phenomenally bad here, but you basically have to choose on most tracks between having something that’s interesting dance music, or a good song; rarely can you have both. The Brazilian is really just a very short deep house track with a bit of extra electronica and warped vocal samples.

But then something strange happens – we get an acoustic guitar, playing the chord sequence from Pink Floyd‘s Another Brick in the Wall (Part II). Which sounds pretty great actually, after some of the things that came before it. Simple Things, Pt. 2 is great – a new song based on the classic hit – so of course, this had to be the third single. In the end, it morphs into a cover version of Another Brick in the Wall. Fantastic.

For me, the best version of Days Go By is Steve Osborne‘s acoustic version that appears on the single, but the live acoustic take that turns up at the end of the album as a hidden bonus track is pretty great too, and definitely a good way to close the album.

So Dirty Vegas is a mixed bag, indisputably, but there are some great tracks on there. It’s definitely a cut above their second or third albums. You should buy only one Dirty Vegas album, and it should be this one.

You can still find Dirty Vegas at all major retailers.

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Chart for stowaways – 23 July 2016

Possibly not much change from a couple of weeks ago, but here are this week’s top singles:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Twenty-Something
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre & Pet Shop Boys – Brick England
  3. Clarke Hartnoll – Better Have a Drink to Think
  4. I Monster – The Bradley Brothers…
  5. Jean-Michel Jarre – The Heart of Noise
  6. Massive Attack – Ritual Spirit EP
  7. Clarke Hartnoll – Single Function
  8. Pet Shop Boys – The Pop Kids
  9. Moby – Slipping Away
  10. Dirty Vegas – Let the Night – EP

Retro chart for stowaways – 26 February 2005

Here are the top ten albums from eleven years ago:

  1. Mylo – Destroy Rock & Roll
  2. Erasure – Nightbird
  3. Client – City
  4. The Chemical Brothers – Push the Button
  5. Bent – Ariels
  6. Lemon Jelly – ’64-’95
  7. Depeche Mode – The Remixes 81-04
  8. Kylie Minogue – Ultimate Kylie
  9. Girls Aloud – What Will the Neighbours Say?
  10. Dirty Vegas – One

Greatest Hits – Volume 6

Time for a quick breather, and a chance to catch up on some of the previous posts that you might have missed. Remember these?

Music for the Masses 30 – 2 February 2005

For the seven-week Spring term of 2005, Music for the Masses returned with a Wednesday slot, and was an entirely relaxed affair, with the presenter sitting back and operating the controls with his legs crossed. Or maybe I was just posing for the webcam – it’s difficult to know for sure.

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Show 30: Wed 2 Feb 2005, from 6:05pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Retrospective of 2004, with predictions for 2005 (no artist of the week).

  • Kings of Convenience – Misread
  • Delerium feat. Zoë Johnston – You & I
  • Goldfrapp – Strict Machine
  • Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence (Ewan Pearson Extended Remix)
  • Dirty Vegas – Human Love
  • Bent – I Can’t Believe it’s Over
  • Air – Another Day
  • Zero 7 – Home
  • Duran Duran – (Reach Up for the) Sunrise
  • Mylo – Drop the Pressure
  • Basement Jaxx – Good Luck
  • Télépopmusik – Love Can Damage Your Health
  • Röyksopp – So Easy
  • Lemon Jelly – Only Time
  • Moby – Lift Me Up
  • Daft Punk – Around the World
  • New Order – Ruined in a Day (K-Klass Remix)
  • Erasure – No Doubt
  • Faithless – Why Go?
  • Client – It’s Rock & Roll
  • Sohodolls – Prince Harry
  • Ladytron – Seventeen
  • Deep Forest – Will You Be Ready?

Music for the Masses 23 – 24 October 2004

Three weeks in, and the newly reborn Music for the Masses radio show was finally starting to find a rhythm, even if it was just a week away from its end. Freed from the shackles of the playlists which dogged the show’s previous incarnation, there were now slots for forthcoming new releases, music news, and the new Artist of the Week slot. The laid back, late night nature of the music won the show a lot of praise – the fast talking of the presenter less so…

Show 23: Sun 24 Oct 2004, from 4:00am-6:00am

Broadcast on LSR FM, on FM and online. Artist of the week: Moby.

  • The Beloved – A Dream Within a Dream
  • Leftfield feat. Toni Halliday – Original
  • Monaco – What Do You Want from Me?
  • Moby – Porcelain
  • Röyksopp – Remind Me (Someone Else’s Radio Mix)
  • The Grid – Rollercoaster
  • Olive – Beyond the Fray
  • Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence (Reinterpreted)
  • Peach – From This Moment On
  • Moby – Heaven
  • Way Out West – Blue
  • Bent – Stay the Same
  • Alex Gold feat. Phil Oakey – LA Today
  • Gloworm – Carry Me Home
  • Dirty Vegas – Walk Into the Sun
  • Adamski (with Seal) – Killer
  • Erlend Øye – Sheltered Life (Radio Mix)
  • Beyer & Lenk feat. Tiga – Ananda
  • Moby – The Whispering Wind
  • 808 State – Pacific State
  • Jam & Spoon feat. Rea – Be Angeled

This show was recorded, and for the most part still exists. It will be posted as a Playlist for stowaways soon.