Recommend some Belle & Sebastian songs. (Tired of being ignant.)

I’d like to think I’m pretty well-versed musically. I listen to just about everything, and my music collection has everything from rock to punk to country to folk and everything in between.

I first heard of Belle and Sebastian from the movie “High Fidelity.” Is anyone here a fan? Can you describe their music, and maybe give me an idea of what they sound like? What are some good CDs or tunes to start with?

If you’re familiar with twee pop, that’s Belle and Sebastian. If you’re not, it’s moody, melodic, fey, slightly precious guitar pop, about as far from grunge as you can get.

I find a little B&S goes a long way, so I only have one album, If You’re Feeling Sinister. I still enjoy putting it on now and then; “Seeing Other People” and “Me and the Major” are faves.

They release a lot of three or four song EPs so their discography can look a little intimidating. You can’t go wrong with If You’re Feeling Sinister. It has a lot of their catchier songs.

I love Belle and Sebastian! My favorite album of theirs is “The Boy With the Arab Strap,” but their new one, “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” has some catchy songs too. I also own “Tigermilk” and “Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant.”

With two recommendations in a row for “If You’re Feeling Sinister,” I can see my music collection has a major hole in it! I need to pick that one up some time.

I’m a big fan and I have all their albums and EPs, plus their recent DVD and a handfull of bootlegs. I can’t pick a fave…but “If You’re Feeling Sinister” and “Tigermilk” are very awesome.

I’ve never heard of “twee pop” but what nonsuch says, it’s spot on.

Their music is generally about feeling bored, or weird, or lost, or riding on a bus (one of the songwriters actually does spend alot of time on busses, hanging out).

If you want SONGS…some of my favorites are:

Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying
Lonliness of a Middle Distance Runner
Judy and the Dream of Horses
Dirty Dream #2
Lord Anthony

There’s like 8 people in the band, and sometimes they sound huge (like in Dirty Dream) and sometimes very small (Get Me Away From Here).

I tend to think of it as “sissy rock” but I made that up myself :slight_smile: My “sensitive” brother thinks they’re cool but my manly-man friend who heard them being ripped on in High Fidelity won’t give them a second listen :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

There’s absolutely no doubt that “If you’re feeling sinister” is their finest moment, and almost 10 years later, it doesn’t look like they’re going to top it. It’s a truly perfect album, and one that sounds just as good today as it did in '96.

“Twee pop” refers to indie rock that’s overly sentimental, cute, cheeky, lovey-dovey, but contrasts all of that with awkward sexuality. The term was coined in the 80’s to describe bands like the Vaselines and Pastels (two Scottish bands that B&S borrow heavily from), as well as labels like Sarah records and their ilk (14 iced bears, Secret Shine, Talulah Gosh, etc.)

Oh my! If you’re a B&S fan, and you don’t have their debut, get yourself to a record store on the double! Pretty much every single song on that album is great, with great songs like “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying,” “The Stars of Track and Field” and “The Fox in the Snow.” Seriously. Get it. Now. As freejooky said, it’s clearly their finest moment.

In terms of songs, I like “Stars of Track and Field”, the first song off of If You’re Feeling Sinister and “I’m a Cuckoo” off of Dear Catastrophe Waitress and a bunch of others.

Their sound is described by my wife as “Hipster Partridge Family.” In fact, she starts singing “Feelin’ Happy” whenever I put them on.

If you don’t have any, has a bunch and you can get them on the cheap if you don’t mind not owning the albums.

As alluded to above, Belle and Sebastian periodically release EPs. These have a few songs which are not later replicated on albums, so they’re good value if you want a small taste of what the band has to offer.

“Books” is a recently released EP; it contains the single “Wrapped Up in Books”, which is my favourite track from “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”. It also has “Your Cover’s Blown”, which is an absolutely cracking quirky B&S track.

In order of my preference (best at the top and the gulf between the first 4 and the last 2 is quite wide):

The Boy With the Arab Strap
If Your Feeling Sinister
Dear Catastrophy Waitress
Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant.

The EPs contain some good songs but are a bit inconsistent.

As for songs (in no particular order):

Dirty Dream #2 (Strap)
I don’t want to play football (Storytelling)
The stars of track and field (Sinister)
Seeing other people (Sinister- the quintessential B&S song)
The fox in the snow (Sinister)
Wrapped up in books (Waitress)
Get me away from here I’m dying (Sinister)
If your feeling sinister (duh)
She’s losing it (Tiger)
Lord Anthony (Waitress)
Judy and the dream of horses (Sinister)
The state I am in (Tiger)
Beautiful (3…6…9)
Expectations (Tiger)
Le Pastie de la Bourgeoisie (3…6…9)
We rule the school (Tiger)
It could have been a brilliant career (Strap)
Sleep the clock around (Strap)
Ease your feet in the sea (Strap)
Step into my office, baby (Waitress)
The boy with the arab strap (duh)
If she wants me (Waitress, and my current fav)

Or a least that’s my list today. Come to think of it I really like Belle and Sebastian!.

“Tigermilk” is B&S’s debut, not “If You’re Feeling Sinister”.

Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us
With our winning smiles, and us
With our catchy tunes and words
Now we’re photogenic
You know, we don’t stand a chance

I recommend the Lazy Line Painter Jane box set a lot. Before you freak, bear in mind that it’s only 12 songs long. Really, I couldn’t think of a better B&S introduction.

Oh boy, Belle and Sebastian are my favorite band!

In my opinion, the 3…6…9 Seconds of Light EP is their finest moment. The songs on it are “A Century of Fakers,” “Le Pastie de la Bourgeoisie,” “Beautiful” (I took my screen name from the chorus to this song) and “Put the Book Back on the Shelf.” If you’re looking more for LPs, The Boy With the Arab Strap is my favorite, but If You’re Feeling Sinister is right behind it. I’d also recommend that you check out the songs “The State I Am In” (the better version is on the Tigermilk album) and “Dog on Wheels” (the song that got me into Belle and Sebastian).

I was watching the Belle and Sebastian DVD with some friends who are much bigger fans than I am, and in one scene, Isobel (I think it was her) was singing some really cute, perky, poppy song in French. What song is that, and what album is it from? Keep in mind, I don’t have “If You’re Feeling Sinister” or any of the EPs or rarities.

Here are my top 20 choices for B&S songs (big fan; I’ve seen 'em live 5 times - one time even flew to NYC to see them on my birthday):

  1. Women’s Realm
  2. Legal Man
  3. Jonathan David
  4. Seeing Other People
  5. Sleep The Clock Around
  6. Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie
  7. Slow Grafitti
  8. I Don’t Love Anyone
  9. Dog On Wheels
  10. The Model
  11. Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying
  12. Photo Jenny
  13. I’m A Cuckoo
  14. The State I Am In
  15. The Boy With THe Arab Strap
  16. Me And The Major
  17. Marx And Engels
  18. The Gate
  19. It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career
  20. Judy And THe Dream Of Horses

Ah, yes of course you’re right. I always forget. Tigermilk’s initial pressing was so small that I always forget that it actually preceded If You’re Feeling Sinister.

Am I the only one that thought that this thread would be about Beauty and the Beast?

That would be “Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son” by Serge Gainsbourg, made popular by France Gall’s recording (for the Eurovision contest, I believe). The band recorded it for the Black Session, but it does not appear on any of their officially released albums. (To the best of my recollection, Belle and Sebastian have never properly released a cover song, although they often perform them live).

That’s interesting- I’d love to hear B&S cover that. I’m a huge Gainsbourg fan.

I’ll be the next in the long line to recommend If You’re Feeling Sinister in its entirety. I also love “I Fought In a War” off of Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant. I’m also a big fan of “The Gate,” which is on an EP or a single or something. Their latest album is fairly solid, too.