Various Artists – Getting Older: The Flying Nun Retrospective Compilation 1981-1991
Flying Nun Records, 1991
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
This is probably the best compilation I own, and strangely, features my three favorite Flying Nun related songs. It's a strange twist of fate. The album opens with the Clean's “Getting Older,” which is one of those songs that changed my life. Needless to say, it's my favorite track in the Clean's outstanding discography and I remember the first time I heard it. Nick Dormer called in to one of my shifts at KJ and demanded I play it, especially after I'd told him I'd never heard it. And I had a moment, one of those moments where your life is going to be different after hearing a particular song. Like there's my life before “Getting Older” and my life after “Getting Older.” It's a song that gets better with age, as I'm persistently getting older and not knowing why, and not knowing what to do. This compilation also has “Rolling Moon” by the Chills, which I first heard on either Gabe or Justin's Alternative Flashback on KJ. I can't remember who played it, but I'm sure both of them know the song and both of them love it because it's a goddamned masterpiece. I know “Pink Frost” is typically understood to be their monster jam, and I love that song but as soon as that little bit of the echoy riff hits in the first ten seconds of the song before the drums kick in, I get a woozy feeling. It's a perfect pop song. Also on the comp is Chris Knox's “Not Given Lightly,” which could very well be the greatest love song of all time...that no one has ever heard. It's one that you sneak on to a mixtape to make a girl fall in love with you, just absolutely incredible and while Knock is best known as ½ of Tall Dwarfs, this is his masterpiece. In addition to those three unfuckwithable tracks, there are excellent entries from The Verlaines, Bird Nest Roys, Able Tasmans, the Bats, Look Blue Go Purple, and Straightjacket Fits. It's an excellent starting point for someone looking for a primer in Flying Nun Records, and one that shows what you can do when you're country wants to promote an arts scene and gives you money to make weird little pop records and create a sound that is incredibly distinct and that will inspire artists around the world. This is why New Zealand is awesome. Right here.