Friday, September 16, 2011

New Model Army. The 20 Best Songs

Several years ago, a promoter contacted my band to open for New Model Army. I had heard of them for years, but wasn't too familiar with their music. So after we finished our set at The Mason Jar in Phoenix, I went out into the crowd... NMA started their first song and my jaw just hit the floor. I had never been so blown away by a band in a live setting, that I had never listened to before. Frontman Justin Sullivan was so intense, with a pure sincerity to what he was singing about. By the end of the show, my brother and I were right up against the stage - completely won over. That same night their manager, Tommy Tee, walked over and handed me a $10 bill for an Audra CD. Sadly, Tommy, who was with the band since their beginning in the early 80s, passed away in 2008. We've been fortunate to play with NMA a couple of times since. They are truly a great band.

I'm guessing that many of you out there haven't heard of New Model Army. Below is my mixtape for you - of what I think are their 20 Best Songs. Click on any of the links to purchase a song/album - or scroll down for a Spotify playlist.

Once you open your ears to them, you'll be a hardcore fan. Please enjoy.  :)

20.  Paekakariki Beach
From the album Eight (2000)
'And so we walk away from the battlefield through the clearing smoke to the other side. Lay down in the morning sun, and high above the ocean birds are wheeling, turning, circling, flying...'
Buy this song:  Amazon

19.  Wired
From the album High (2007)
'You can gather up the stars like seeds and throw them back into the night.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

18.  Snelsmore Wood
From the album Eight (2000)
'Let it not be said that everything must die without some mark made of its passing.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

17.  Brave New World
Non-album Single (1985)
'No, there's nothing wrong here, nothing at all.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

16.  No Rest
From the album No Rest For The Wicked (1985)
'Is it that we were eating while other people were starving? Is this our crime?'
Buy this song:  Amazon

15.  White Light
From the album The Love Of Hopeless Causes (1993)
'Out in the sun, out in the wind. I'm nearly ready now to come back again.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

14.  Knife
Unreleased track from 1991, later compiled on Lost Songs (2002)
'The hardest part is choosing and watching all the doors closing. No turning back, no turning back.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

13.  Fate
From the album The Love Of Hopeless Causes (1993)
'I've done the same thing over and over again, as if I never ever wanted to learn.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

12.  Western Dream
From the album The Ghost Of Cain (1986)
'Watch the dirty hands that labored hard for you, stretching out like children for a crumb that they can chew.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

11.  You Weren't There
From the album Eight (2000)
'So you think you know what's going on - but you don't.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

10.  Ballad Of Bodmin Pill
From the album Thunder And Consolation (1989)
'We are lost, we are freaks, we are crippled, we are weak. We are the heirs, we are the true heirs to all the world.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

09.  51st State
From the album The Ghost Of Cain (1986)
'You can say what you like, but it doesn't change anything.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

08.  Poison Street
From the album The Ghost Of Cain (1986)
'We were singing in the rain, like we invented singing.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

07.  Better Than Them
From the album No Rest For The Wicked (1985)
'We tell ourselves over and over again - we're better than them, we're not like them.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

06.  Vagabonds
From the album Thunder And Consolation (1989)
'We are old, we are young, we are in this together.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

05.  Here Comes The War
From the album The Love Of Hopeless Causes (1993)
'You screamed give us liberty or give us death. Now you've got both, what do you want next?'
Buy this song:  Amazon

04.  Orange Tree Roads
From the album Eight (2000)
'No one cares anymore where you've been. So you find a quiet place to shed that old skin. You won't need it again.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

03.  Green And Grey
From the album Thunder And Consolation (1989)
'Is it true that the world has always got to be something that seems to happen somewhere else?'
Buy this song:  Amazon

02.  One Bullet
From the BD3 EP (2006)
'Do you keep one bullet left for yourself, for when it's all over and done.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

01.  225
From the album Thunder And Consolation (1989)
'But even in the freshest mountain air, the jet fighters practice overhead. And they're drilling these hills for uranium deposits, and they'll bury the waste for our children to inherit. And though this is all done for our own benefit, I swear we never asked for any of this.'
Buy this song:  Amazon

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  1. There's no way to dislike someone else's list of top NMA songs, because you almost can't go wrong! Still, here's my own...

    24. Another Imperial Day
    23. Ballad of Bodmin Pill
    22. One Bullet
    21. Better Than Them
    20. Here Comes The War
    19. Today Is A Good Day
    18. You Weren't There
    17. Vengeance
    16. Luhrstaap
    15. One Of The Chosen
    14. Ocean Rising
    13. Over The Wire
    12. Someone Like Jesus
    11. These Words
    10. 225
    9. All Of This
    8. Brother
    7. No Sense
    6. Innocence
    5. Far Better Thing
    4. Ten Commandments
    3. Green & Grey
    2. Higher Wall
    1. Vagabonds

  2. Rather then try to rank them (the list order would depend on the day of the week) I have listed my favourite 25 chronologically

    Smalltown England
    Waiting (first song I heard from them, shows all the anger and power they have had their whole career)
    My Country
    Brave New World
    Better Then Them
    51st State
    Lights Go Out
    The Hunt
    The Charge
    White Coats
    Green and Grey
    Get Me Out
    Whirlwind (K, lets do it)
    Here Comes the War
    Understand U
    Gigabyte Wars
    You Weren't There
    Paekakarike Beach
    BD3 (all these years and they are still writing songs this good)

  3. Purity is my favourite but not by miles.
    I love Here Comes The War, If You Can't Save Me, Vagabonds, Devil, Angry Planet, Fireworks Night, Heroes, 225, Great Expectations, Vengeance , Winter, Better Than Them of course No Rest plus many many more.
    NMA are simply pure quality with no bad albums and many really good ones.
    If pushed Impurity would be my favourite with Thunder & Consolation very close while Winter and Dog & Wolf very close too.

  4. Great blog and nice writings about this underrated band.

    "NMA are simply pure quality with no bad albums and many really good ones."


    NMA is an incredible band and their last album FROM HERE released last year is very good as usual, with stunning songs like "Conversation", "Never arriving", "From here", "the weather", "where i am", "passing through", "end of days", "maps"... well the whole album, mostly!

    Justin Sullivan released also a wonderful solo album in 2003 named "Navigating by the stars", honestly it's as good as NMA and maybe better! Very haunting and moving album, do not miss to listen to it and do not miss (if we can!) the 40th birthday concerts of NMA next autumn and winter.