Joe was one of the earliest singles released by Inspiral Carpets back in 1989. It’s a cracking bit of music but it didn’t have much of an impact as the band at the time were on a small indie label and like so many other hard-working touring outfits of the era were making more money from the sales of t-shirts than they were from music sales.
Signed by Mute Records in 1990, they were quickly lumped in with the baggy/Madchester movement which did them absolutely no harm at all. Over the next five years they were prolific in output with four LPs and something like fifteen singles/EPs and although they never gained the popularity of the likes of the Mondays, Roses or indeed The Charlatans, there’s no arguing that they gave us some very fine tunes many of them featuring very catchy and distinctive retro-keyboards.
In 1995, the band released an album that brought together all of their singles and in support they re-released Joe some six years. It came in a number of different formats and with live and acoustic versions also available, was of enough interest to fans that they would part with their money and create enough sales to have Joe hit #37.
My own copy was courtesy of a bargain bin a few months later – the sticker tells me I paid 99p for the CD single, which isn’t bad value given that it also included a version of another of their chart hits (the song that as far as I know got Mark E Smith his one and only appearance on Top of The Pops) together with their cover of a cover-song.
mp3 : Inspiral Carpets – Joe
mp3 : Inspiral Carpets – I Want You
mp3 : Inspiral Carpets – I’ll Keep It In Mind
mp3 : Inspiral Carpets – Tainted Love
The third of these tracks is another that was originally thrown away as an EP track in 1992 (and which unless you have been told in advance I’m sure you would argue is something that has been recorded by Julian Cope/The Teardrop Explodes) while Tainted Love was originally on Ruby Trax, a compilation released by the NME in 1992 to commemorate 40 years of publication, consisting of 40 cover versions of # 1 songs that had gone to #1 (hence my earlier cover of a cover comment).