‘Spillyear 2003

I’ve been slowly unpacking my CDs from the loft and catching up with things I haven’t listened to in ages. One of these was “Magic and Mystery” by The Coral, and it was a lot of fun, so I’ve decided this week’s year should be 2003. Although now, having looked at the other records that were released that year, I’m not sure The Coral are going to make my top 3 after all. So I’ve cheated and posting Liezah above.

Listen to the playlist here

Add your 3 songs here


62 thoughts on “‘Spillyear 2003

  1. Rufus Wainwright – Go Or Go Ahead
    Belle & Sebastian – Piazza New York Catcher
    British Sea Power – Carrion

    (Though I discovered all of these at the very end of the year when I was home for Christmas. I spent the first half of the year in Germany and the second half in Greece, pretending to be a writer while my girlfriend, soon to be fiancée, then to be wife, taught English.)

    Near misses: Kings of Leon – Joe’s Head, Blur – Out of Time, The Coral – Liezah, The Go-Betweens – Caroline and I

    Didn’t know at the time, so excluded otherwise choosing a top 3 would have been impossible: Okkervil River – The War Criminal Rises And Speaks, Sufjan Stevens – Romulus, The Decemberists – Los Angeles, I’m Yours

  2. Apart from compilations I can only see three albums from 2003 in my ITunes. Elephant, Black Cherry and Kish Kash. I wasn’t still buying cassettes at that stage so I suspect I was mostly acquiring old music. Not sure if it was just a bad year for me or what. Anyway, here’s a track from each which make it sound like a very good year indeed:

    White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
    Basement Jaxx – Cish Cash
    Goldfrapp – Strict Machine

  3. BASTARD!!

    Lost a really long comment about my musical & personal year.

    CBA to redo it. My 3 for ’03 in ’03:

    Electric Six – Danger! High Voltage
    My Morning Jacket – One Big Holiday
    Elbow – Grace Under Pressure

    DBT, Killing Joke, Cooper Temple Clause and other noisy bleeders were staples of my 2003 listening.

    With what I now know, possibly only Elbow would survive an attack from DCFC, Richmond Fontaine, Lucero, Dolorean, Twilight Singers, Damien Rice, Damian Jurado, Sun Kil Moon and more.

  4. Sam was one year old. I had returned to work but was semi-comatose most of the time. I remember (off the top of me ‘ead):

    Damien Rice – Cannonball
    Michael Andrews feat. Gary Jules – Mad World
    Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not the One

  5. 1. Fountains Of Wayne – Stacy’s Mom – One hit wonders are what make music so interesting
    2. Jayhawks – Save It For A Rainy Day – Always had a bit of a Macca sound to me
    3. Stripes – Seven Nation Army – Pretty much THE universal stadium anthem whatever sport is being played

    Honourable mention: Transplants – Diamonds And Guns, Flaming Lips – A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So), The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Marilyn Manson – mOBSCENE (Rammstein Remix)

  6. In no particular order, I have selected:
    Amy Winehouse – Help Yourself
    Otis Taylor – House Of The Crosses
    Songs Ohia – Hold On Magnolia
    (Someone put demolition derby footage on the vid. Ignore that if you can)

    A bit of a dead period, I thought. A lot of rehashing. Not a lot new and bold and exciting. The pop chart stuff was especially uninspired and hackneyed.

    • the rehashing (like Amy Winehouse) was evident – but there were a lot that created new vibrant additions to the musical hall of fame even though it was based on traditional rock/singer-songwritter/ pop ideals… like Amy.

      ….and there was a crazy amount of re-imagining the template in Drum and Base – hip/hop – beats – singer/songwriting – indie etc etc:

      3rd Line Butterfly 2003 Time Table (didn’t have then but love now)
      Yo La Tengo 2003 Summer Sun (most accessible album -still creative)
      Yeah Yeah Yeahs 2003 Fever To Tell
      TV On The Radio 2003 Young Liars
      stellastarr* 2003 Stellastarr*
      Slumber Party 2003 3
      Shut Up And Dance 2003 Reclaim The Streets
      RJD2 2003 The Horror
      Relaxed Muscle 2003 A Heavy Night With… (Jarvis Cockers party album!)
      The Real Tuesday Weld 2003 L’Amour et la Morte
      The Postal Service 2003 Give Up
      Pest 2003 Necessary Measures
      Pepe Deluxé 2003 Beatitude
      Mink Lungs 2003 I’ll Take It
      Metric 2003 Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
      Martina Topley-Bird 2003 Quixotic
      Manitoba 2003 Up In Flames [Special Edition] [Disc 2] B-Sides
      The Lucksmiths 2003 Naturaliste
      Laika 2003 Lost In Space
      The Kills 2003 Keep On Your Mean Side
      Joy Zipper 2003 The Stereo and God
      Jeffrey Lewis 2003 It’s The Ones Who’ve Cracked That The Light Shines Through
      I Am Kloot 2003 I Am Kloot
      Her Space Holiday 2003 The Young Machines
      Goldfrapp 2003 Black Cherry
      Freq Nasty 2003 Bring Me The Head Of Freq Nasty
      Erlend Øye 2003 Unrest
      Ed Harcourt 2003 From Every Sphere
      E-Z Rollers 2003 Titles Of The Unexpected
      Desert Sessions 2003 The Desert Sessions Volume 9 & 10
      Chicks On Speed 2003 99 Cents
      Buck 65 2003 Talkin’ Honky Blues
      British Sea Power 2003 The Decline Of British Sea Power
      Azure Ray 2003 Hold On Love
      American Analog Set 2003 Promise of Love
      Terry Hall & Mushtaq 2003 The Hour Of Two Lights
      Ooberman 2003 Hey Petrunko
      Ed Harcourt 2003 From Every Sphere
      Cass McCombs 2003 A
      Casiotone For The Painfully Alone 2003 Twinkle Echo
      Baba Zula & Mad Professor 2003 Ruhani Oyun Havaları
      A.R.E. Weapons 2003 A.R.E. Weapons

      • Quixotic is a good album. I had that for Christmas in 2003, so didn’t think it was fair to pick it, seeing as I never got a chance to listen to it much before the year ran out.

      • Quixotic was another CD from the loft that I listened to the other day. Lovely stuff.

        Hadn’t thought of Buck 65, though it’s one I listen to, and nominate from on RR, fairly often.

    • Donds for Amy Winehouse. I don’t think that I owned Frank in 2003, it is down on my spreadsheet under 2004 purchases. I was certainly listening to her, though.

      • [More errors there than just those, lad! Wake up! – Ed] Ed the Id would like it known that Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction”; Junior Senior’s “Move Your Feet”; and Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe” should be on any 2003 list.

    • Ah, I’d only been browsing lists of albums, so missed those three indisputable pop classics.

      The internet cafe in Preveza used to play “Crazy in Love” all the time (along with Kelly Rowland’s “Stole”, Dido’s “White Flag” LP, and Travis).

      • I went clubbing a lot in 2003. At home MTV Nordic was constantly on in the background (it was okay – lots of Nordic indie pop or fun Euro disco like In-grid). Plus, I have memories of friends dancing on tables at a couple of clubs. The tables hung from the ceiling and had no chairs.

        A lot of US/UK pop stuff was horrible or brilliant; or even horrible and brilliant. Lumidee’s “Uh! Oh!” is brilliant without the rap, but cringeworthy with it. The same with Blu Cantrell,’s “Breathe”. Seems like any half-decent tune by a female ended up getting some dodgy male rap put on it back then. I’m probably exaggerating.

        Oh! I’ve just realised… Ah! Have to hope others suggest what’s just come to mind.

  7. 2003 was a year of turmoil and upheaval for me, so buying music wasn’t high on my list of priorities.

    However, I did manage to buy a few albums. According to my venerable spreadsheet, albums released in 2003 that I bought were Goldfrapp‘s Black Cherry, How The West Was Won by Led Zeppelin, King Crimson‘s The Power To Believe, Throwing Muses‘ eponymous fourth album, The Soul Sessions by Joss Stone and PopArt by The Pet Shop Boys. I don’t think that it is really fair to pick tracks from compilations or live albums, because they might be years old, so I shall limit myself to the studio releases.

    So, here goes.

    Goldfrapp – Hairy Trees
    Joss Stone – Fell In Love With A Boy
    King Crimson – Dangerous Curves

  8. Jason Moran – Infospace
    Four Tet – She Moves She
    The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
    I am thinking it’s a sign
    That the freckles in our eyes
    Are mirror images
    And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned

    * lr

    • “And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned”

      yep the freckles in our eyes were perfectly aligned – this is me and the ms.’s song – I was thinking today how and why I liked The Postal Service so much – and found it was because it is so extremely visual in it’s lyrics. Along with the Her Space Holiday album the lyrical content lends itself to story telling about filming or actors, or describing the scenes as if they were un-movies; incredibly visual description – all imagined in a longing way, and a desperate hope of that longing being returned or understanding why it is NOT returned!:

      “I’ve been waiting since birth to find
      A love that would look and sound
      Like a movie
      So I changed my plans
      I rented a camera and a van
      And then I called you
      “I need you to pretend that we are in love again”
      And you agreed to..
      It seems so out of context
      In this gaudy apartment complex.
      A stranger with your door key
      Explaining that “I’m just visiting”.

      I am finally seeing
      That I was the one worth leaving.


      Because the air outside will make
      Our cells divide at an alarming rate
      Until our shells simply cannot hold
      All our insides in
      And that’s when we’ll explode
      (And it won’t be a pretty sight)

      And we’ll become silhouettes


      there’s so many little snippets that would make perfect images or visual art.

  9. I’ve given up trying to remember what I was really listening to at the time – which would in all truthfulness most probably have been ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ and ‘If You’re Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands’ – and have googled album releases for the year, because that’s what I’d have been playing at work: back then we still got to choose which records we wanted to play over the shop’s system. (So I’m allowing myself German release dates)
    As others have mentioned above, what a year for best of’s and re-workings! I know I treated myself to Billy Bragg’s ‘Must I Paint You A Story’ collection, and that may well be the only album I bought all year as my part-time wages were feeding a family of three (and ‘Papa’ thought child support only applied to other fathers).

    Ben Harper – With My Own Two Hands
    Norah Jones – Turn Me On
    Lyle Lovett – My Baby Don’t Tolerate

  10. i was considering tracks from the following stuff i was listening to from around then:
    M83 – dead cities..
    Broken social scene (i’d pick cause = time but I think the album is dated 2002)
    Shout out louds – howl howl ..
    Clearlake – cedars
    Calexico – feast of wire
    Wire – send
    The Kills – ..mean side

    I also have the lightning bolt, deerhoof, mars volta and grandaddy albums from that year. striking in their own ways.

    my cheery 3?
    she sends kisses – the wrens
    I don’t blame you – cat power
    isolation – the warlocks

    • apologies as I posted the wrong cat power track at #19 on the playlist due to the autoplay function on you tube and my own dumbness.

      • I enjoyed the bonus Cat Power, which was an album I didn’t know.

        b00mbox isn’t very user friendly though – might try something different next week.

  11. 2003 was the start of a new phase in my life. I’d fallen for someone with two young lads and we bought a house together. It needed some work, which I threw myself into, and we all moved in in May 2003. We had a great holiday in Portugal in August and a house-full at Christmas, rounding off a lovely year.
    Due to all that domestic work and bliss, I don’t seem to have bought much music. Scanning the album and singles charts, it may also have been that I found little of interest other than a couple of albums from old faves, from which these tracks come:

    Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Craw Song
    Richard Thompson – First Breath
    Richard Thompson – I’ve Got No Right To Have It All

    We lasted until 2010.

  12. Another fine year:

    AGF – Private Birds
    Fujiya & Miyagi – Electro Karaoke [Cassetteboy RMX] (Funniest intro ever).
    Super Furry Animals – Slow Life

  13. Looks like a great year to me:

    Libertines, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, Rapture, !!!, ARE Weapons, Hidden Cameras, Duke Spirit……what to pick, what to pick….?


    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
    The Duke Spirit – Red Weather
    The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Mister Mental

    …will probably change my mind in a minute…1

  14. Late to the party here, but a lot of people made my life easier. I listened to a lot of music this year, but mostly MTV stuff. Donds for White Stripes, Joss Stone, Beyonce, Kelis, Damian Rice, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Lotta decent nu-metal this year too. Some good comebacks. Tough to actually pick, so eenie meenie.

    Strokes – 12:51
    Libertines – Don’t Look Back into the Sun
    Jane’s Addiction – True Nature

    alts –

    Godsmack – Serenity
    Deftones – Hexagram
    Marilyn Manson – This is the New Shit
    Dropkick Murphys – Kiss Me I’m Shitfaced, Worker’s Song
    Tindersticks – Sweet Memory
    Black Eyed Peas – Where is the Love, Shut Up
    Linkin Park – Faint
    Red Hot Chili Peppers – Fortune Faded
    White Stripes – The Hardest Button to Button
    Jane’s Addiction – Just Because

    I’m sure that i forgot many.

    • I must check out JA’s Strays again, I didn’t love it at the time apart from Pets, but need to listen to it again. Donds to Tindersticks and Strokes too.

  15. In 2003 I was living near Kirkcudbright with my father and listening to a lot of jazz, which I don’t like very much but he did. Luckily I discovered Bob Harris’ country music programme on Radio 2, to which I escaped every Wednesday evening (unless it was Tuesday) and discovered three of my all-time musical favourites: Mary Gauthier, Diana Jones and Gillian Welch, whose Look At Miss Ohio came out in 2003 on the album Soul Journey.

    That same year saw the release of the first of Richard Thompson’s 1,000 Years Of Popular Music albums. Apparently he’d been one of several musicians approached by Playboy for an article they wanted to write as part of the millennium celebrations. RT reckons he threw himself into the task too enthusiastically for them – most of the people they asked didn’t actually go back 1,000 years but RT did (sort of), and subsequently did a few shows where he sang some of the songs he’d unearthed. This annoyed the people sitting behind me at the concert I attended who hadn’t realised they weren’t going to hear any actual RT songs. Anyway, from that album I’ve chosen the medieval Italian piece So Ben Mi C’ha Bon Tempo.

    My friend Maggie Holland released an album called Circle Of Light in 2003 and I’ve picked her version of The World Turned Upside Down, a song which probably every British lefty has recorded. In the video she’s explaining the background to the song at length, because she’s in Belgium.

  16. I’ve just spotted that Chart Pimp by Part Chimp was released in 2003. It’s not the kind of music I listen to every day but my mate Nick was the bass player on that first album so here’s a link to the distressingly titled Li’l Bummerboy. I’m afraid I can’t vouch for the lyrical content. In fact I doubt anybody can.

  17. Not my favourite ever year but there was enough stuff – the fisr couple here are from a wave of bands with studs, spikes , bullet belts etc that were all copping the UK82 look and sound in the wake of the Casualties. A lot of it hasn’t stood up for me but there was the odd gem.

    The Virus – Benefits Of War

    Cropknox – Just Can’t Live

    Killing Joke – Seeing Red

    It was also the year I got to see Dexys and Killing Joke live for the first time.

  18. 2003 was the year of 3 of the greatest ever albums so I’ll have one song from each

    1) California One/ Youth and Beauty Parade – The Decemberists
    2) Everyone Choose Sides – The Wrens
    3) Fugitive Motel – Elbow

  19. I am late, again, but these are my picks
    1) Cochise by Audioslave some noisy rock which always appeals to me.
    2) Death Whispered A Lullaby by Opeth I do love their collaboration with Steven Wilson
    3) Ocean Rising – Justin Sullivan, lead singer with New Model Army’s solo paen to the sea, right up my street.

    • Dagnabit! Audioslave’s debut!!

      Set It Off is my favourite.
      Righteously angry and very sweaty. I can’t play that quietly, so it only comes out to play when the house is empty.

    • I much prefer Opeth on their more proggy, less death metally albums. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover their music until 2005 or 6, basically because someone whose opinion I thought was reliable told me that they were just Scandi hardcore death metal.

  20. It was a good year for female alt-country singers:

    Kathleen Edwards – Six O’Clock News
    Lucinda Williams – Those Three Days
    Gillian Welch – Wrecking Ball


    Sun Kil Moon – Carry Me Ohio
    Nick Cave – Babe, I’m on Fire
    Angels of Light – All Souls’ Rising
    Tindersticks – Sometimes It Hurts
    King Crimson – Level Five
    Kraftwerk – Aerodynamik
    Spiritualized – She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)

  21. still couldn’t narrow down to just three tracks – this was just one playlists I’ve been listening to this week:

    Pulp Song – stellastarr*
    Dead Disco – Metric
    From Your Favorite Sky – I Am Kloot
    GDMFSOB [Unkle Uncensored] – DJ Shadow Feat. Roots Manuva
    We Know Something… – DJ Format Featuring Chali 2na & Akil
    I Wanna Make It Wit Chu – Desert Session
    No Peace – Terranova [feat Ari Up]
    We Don’t Play Guitars – Chicks On Speed Feat. Peaches
    Number One Son – Camera Obscura
    463 – Buck 65
    Blackout – British Sea Power
    The Drinks We Drank Last Night – Azure Ray

    and this is the next lot of albums I found in my collection from 2003:

    Four Tet

    Cat Power
    You Are Free

    Death Cab for Cutie

    Belle & Sebastian
    Dear Catastrophe Waitress

    Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts

    HaHa Sound

    M. Ward
    Transfiguration of Vincent

    The Hidden Cameras
    The Smell of Our Own

    Rufus Wainwright
    Want One

    Champion Sound

    Super Furry Animals
    Phantom Power

    Dizzee Rascal
    Boy in da Corner

    The Decemberists
    Her Majesty The Decemberists

    Dial ‘M’ for Monkey

    The Dirtbombs
    Dangerous Magical Noise

    Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
    Pig Lib

    Andrew Bird
    Weather Systems

    The Knife
    Deep Cuts

    The Fiery Furnaces
    Gallowsbird’s Bark

    Never, Never, Land

    Dark Island

    Guided by Voices
    Earthquake Glue

    The Stills
    Logic Will Break Your Heart

    The Coral
    Magic and Medicine

    Camera Obscura
    Underachievers Please Try Harder


    The Brian Jonestown Massacre
    …And This Is Our Music


    The Concretes
    The Concretes

    The Heads
    At Last

    Black Box Recorder

    The Raveonettes
    Chain Gang of Love

    On Your Side

  22. V late again, but better late than never. 2003 I was mulched down into Brighton’s bohemian creative life ie I was down the pub a lot. My top tunes of the year (as yet unmentioned) were :
    In & Out – 3rd Edge (my nephew made the top 20, very thrilling)
    The Way You Move – Outkast (Big Boi) ( I always preferred this hit to the ubiquitous Hey Ya!)
    I’m Still In Love With You – Sean Paul (old tune, new version excursion – never gewts old)
    if I could have four, or if my neph is disqualified
    Fuck Me Pumps – Amy Winehouse was fun, melodic, light on it’s feet, cheeky

    not a vintage year though

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