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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Because The Night

For those of you who ever listen to Singapore FM stereo during the early 90’s, you might remember the show ‘The A-List’ on The Perfect Ten 98.7FM. At that time, format radio was just taking off in Singapore, model after the Fox station in Australia (from which I think the current Astro radio channels follow, too). At that time, format radio was not heard of in Malaysia yet, we were still stuck with Janet Ambrose on the Blue Network / Radio 4.

In the post grunge era of the early 90’s, ‘The A-List’ (hosted by the composed Suresh Menon) focused on an emerging sub-genre called ‘modern rock’, a term that still survives today, although it refers to something a little different now.

I didn’t catch that many episodes of that radio show, it came on at a weird time of 7.30pm on Sundays. But they played mainly what was perceived as modern rock at that time – Soundgarden, Maniacs, Manic Street Preachers, Blind Melon, Smashing Pumpkins, you know the ilk.

But one song from that show really stayed in memory was 10,000 Maniacs’ “Because the Night”. Simply loved Natalie Merchant’s take on that the classic by Patti Smith. From that song, I started to explore some of the Maniacs’ older music, but I still felt that was the pinnacle of their underachieving career.

Merchant left the group soon after that, and released a solo album called ‘Tigerlily’.


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