Most Influential Albums Of The Decade : The Frames – Setlist (2002)Tweet
The Third in our series of the most Influential Albums of the Decade, we present an album whose success was an acknowledgement of the change in how Irish music was perceived by the mainstream, a change bred from the hard work and dedication of a generation of talented Irish musicians.
The success of the album signalled the band’s rise to national prominence after more than 10 years of hard graft, record label trouble and member changes. Considered one of the best live acts in the country, The Frames had a fiercely loyal fanbase, many of who had followed the band from “Fitzcaraldo” or even earlier, but it was the success of “For The Birds”, considered by many as the best Irish album of the decade, that gave the band the mainstream boost that made it possible for Setlist to reach the top of the charts. Also their excellent live performances at Witnness 2001 and 2002 won them many new fans.
The album’s success is even more impressive when you consider it was self finance and released on The Frames own Plateau record label. The Band followed up Setlist with the Single ‘Fake’ which received massive mainstream radio play and reached no.4 in the charts and their next album, “Burn The Maps“, went to number one.
Setlist’s topping the charts wasn’t just a triumph for just The Frames, but for the Irish music scene as a whole. It was an acknowledgement of all the hard earned success the Irish acts had been achieving in the charts at the time, from Mundy’s ’24 star Hotel’ to Damien Rice’s debut ‘O’, and gave recognition to the efforts of all the Irish trying to break through, such as Bell X1, Turn and Gemma Hayes. It also gave kudos to all those integral to the the Dublin Music scene, such as Phantom FM, Road Records and Whelans.
One of the most important aspects of Setlist’s success was the realisation of the commercial potential of Irish acts by those in the music industry. This opened doors for many homegrown acts to make it in the business and the Irish music scene went through a boom period that saw a new wave of Irish artists achieve mainstream success, such as The Thrills, David Kitt, Jerry Fish and The Mudbug Club and more recently Republic of Loose, The Blizzards and Director.
Setlist reaching number one was in my opinion one of the the most important events for Irish music this decade, It gave long awaited mainstream recognition to one of Ireland’s best bands, It opened industry doors for other Irish acts and it gave us all a story about about a dog called D-for. Top Stuff.
Words by Kev Meagher
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