Closing Out The Decade:
Super Furry Animals -
Rings Around The World (2002)
I wrested with the idea of coming up with a list for the AGP's favorite releases of the last 10 years. After some serious back and forth, I made the decision that the last thing we need is another list. Instead we will feature some of the albums that have made a lasting impact on us. These are the albums that we told our friends to buy, annoyed our spouses with, and ultimately inspired us to launch this blog.
From now until the end of December The AGP will feature our favorite albums of the decade. Each week we will feature posts highlighting our favorite albums of the 00's. We will even have a few contributions from the AGP's extended family. We invite your comments, we want to know why you agree with us or perhaps why you think we're off our collective rockers.
We hope you'll join us as we take a look back at the albums that shaped the past 3,653 days our lives.
After the demise of Creation Records in 1999 Super Furry Animals singed a deal with Sony Music that would afford them a major label budget and the expansive resources that would allow them to follow up the experimental Guerrilla with an equally as adventurous and song driven recording. On July 23, 2001 Super Furry Animals released Rings Around The World throughout the U.K . and Europe simultaneously on CD and DVD album. Unfortunately it took several months for the record to make it's way to the U.S., but on March 19th 2002 the album finally dropped here in the states courtesy of XL/Beggars Group USA and it turned out to be well worth the wait. Fans and critics alike hailed Rings as the finest record of the bands career.
The ambitious Rings Around The World was recorded in two locations between April and September of 2000, Bearsville Studio, NY and Monnow Valley Studio in Manmouthshire, Wales with the band co-producing the sessions with Chris Shaw. Rings Around The World is a varied record that alternates between electro punk, trip hop, and classic pop. For my money the material found on the album are some of the bands finest recorded moments and it's the their most consistent from top to bottom. From Alternate Route To Vulcan Street to the albums somber closing number Fragile Happiness and everything in between, this record found the Furries at the peak of their many powers.
I recall the summer of it's release quite fondly, as that was the summer my wife and I had just purchased our first home and we were expecting our first child. As any expectant mother that's suffered through a hot August will tell you, the summer is no time to be with child. So when Rings Around The World dropped into my lap at pretty exciting time in my life, it provided the perfect soundtrack for those late night ice cream runs or late night painting sessions. I'm pretty sure my oldest son could sing you a good portion of It's Not The End Of The World if put to the test.
With Rings Around The World, Super Furry Animals turned out an eclectic and timeless record, it's also a whole lot of fun to listen to. While SFA have continued to impress with each and every release, Rings Around The World stands as the bands high water mark and an unabashed pop opus.