Title: Music Is My Radar
Format: 12" Single
Catalogue Number: 12FOOD135
Year of Release: 2000
A Music Is My Radar 4:21
B Black Book 8:30
Despite the fact that this single was recorded solely to try and improve sales of a Best Of compilation - a hateful practice and insult to fans that I thought would have died out by now, what with iTunes and all (take note Mozza) - Music Is My Radar is a still a spankingly good single.
The Can influence that was noticeable on Popscene is unavoidable on here. The drumming comes straight from Halleluwah, and the half-sung half-made-up vocal style a direct lift from Damo Suzuki.
On top of this they add harmonica, electric guitar (that at some points contributes just the right amount of mangled noise, and at other points God Speed-like melodic runs up the fretboard, matched by the bass), 70s synth effects and a joyous "doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo" section, and they turn this potential swamp of sound into something that veers from barely coherent to a 4/4 stomper.
It sounds longer than its 4:21, but even then is too damn short. Unlike the promotional video, which simply looks cheap, and is a bit cringe-worthy.
Maybe they spent all the video budget on filming something for Black Book, which was, according to Wikipedia, supposed to be the A-side. It starts with light percussion and keys that seem to have been lifted from Eels' Susan's House, but this feeling soon fades when the vocals and acoustic guitar comes in, and by the time of the first "Give you my soul/Gave you my soul" section it has gone completely. Electric guitar has joined, and the drums become heavier as the song builds through a near-falsetto vocal delivery. The bass is noticeably high in the mix and reminds you that Alex James was actually quite good too, something you might have forgotten if all you read about him these days is cheese-related.
A long instrumental jam follows, where the keys are mostly prominent, but there are token guitar sounds from an otherwise [hypothetically, benefit-of-hindsight-speaking] disengaged Coxon, his siren noise towards then end seemingly a valiant attempt to stop the tune going all Spiritualized. This fails, and when the vocals come back in for another build-up, they are joined by the London Community Gospel Choir, previously used by Blur on Tender to out-Spiritualize Spiritualized, but a bit tagged-on here.
It's a good enough tune, but not really a patch on what ended up being the A-side.