As I wrote in my write-up for Something for the Weekend recently, as I was nearing the end of my University days, I thought about starting a music magazine or fanzine of some kind. I wrote to many, many record labels, and waited for the postman to bring me exciting musical packages.
For the most part, postie brought me disappointment, or nothing at all. One label, though, did excel: Setanta were good enough to send me not only a crisp new copy of Casanova, the then brand new Divine Comedy album, but also extensive liner notes and press materials along with it. Now, my music fanzine never did get off the ground, so in a sense I have owed Setanta a review of Casanova for 18 years.
And so, on the anniversary of the release of that album, I bring you Divine Comedy Day, during which I will be listening to and reviewing the band’s studio albums, in order of their release. For this one, I’m not including Fanfare for the Comic Muse (1990) because I don’t have a copy, and if Neil Hannon can dismiss it for not being Divine Comedy enough, then so can I. I will, however, be including A Short Album About Love, which is album-y enough for inclusion even though it is, as its title does somewhat give away, rather short. It’s also technically not a studio album, since it was recorded during soundcheck before a gig, but it’s not a live album, nor is it a compilation, so it’s in.
Which makes the day’s running order look like this:
- Liberation (1993)
- Promenade (1994)
- Casanova (1996)
- A Short Album About Love (1997)
- Fin de Siècle (1998)
- Regeneration (2001)
- Absent Friends (2004)
- Victory for the Comic Muse (2006)
- Bang Goes the Knighthood (2010)
I am looking forward to this one immensely, although I can’t help wishing I had even one tenth of Neil Hannon’s lyrical dexterity to help keep the bon mots flying. As ever, links will be added for each review as I publish them.
Day is done, links have been added, and here’s a bonus spotify playlist containing some of the highlights from what is a very strong set of albums.