James spent years in obscurity watching lesser talents become world-wide superstars but at least they could hold their collective heads high that they made music that was, in general. a class apart. Even when they did crack the charts and some fame and fortune landed at their feet, the band were doing so through songs which could be traced back to their indie and idiosyncratic roots. And then, in January 1992, they released this abomination of a single:-

mp3 : James – Born of Frustration

I hadn’t been all that fond of previous single Sound but this was positively the first single by the band that I took an instant dislike to. The demand for tickets for the live shows had taken the band into arenas and it was looking as if outdoor stadia were next….but did they really have to write and record singles that ticked every one of the boxes in the book of stadium rock cliches.

There’s just no denying it…..Born of Frustration is a lazy re-hash of the equally despised Don’t You Forget About Me which turned folk against Simple Minds some six or seven years previously….right down to the la-la-la-la singalong. If I was being kind I would describe it as epic. But I can’t do that…other than the opening 20 seconds which features a nice wee bit of acoustic guitar, it’s shit.

B-sides aren’t much better:-

mp3 : James – Be My Prayer
mp3 : James – Sound (Diceman Mix)

The single entered the charts at #13 which got the band an appearance on Top of The Pops. It fell down the charts the following week….not the greatest of signs for the parent LP which was imminent.

5 thoughts on “THE JAMES SINGLES (14)

  1. Thought you were way too harsh on sound , but agree this is their worst single. Even has one of those annoying mid song key changes , where you must repeat what has gone before in a different key

  2. I hated it when it first came out too. I was working in Our Price at the time and screamed “Sell Outs!” when I heard it. My colleagues thought I was mad and reckoned it was a great track. It has grown on me only everso slightly since then, but in general the ‘Seven’ album was a pompous stadium rock album which is, a couple of songs aside, largely unlistenable to this day.

  3. This song was all over “alternative” radio in California. It was my first exposure to the band. Glad to see you getting through these difficult singles. I always love the James posts. Even the non-enthused : )

  4. it was a bad period for them, though I don’t dislike it as much as you do. I do think James should have binned almost every remix that they have released though, they offer nothing new, seemingly trying to make them just a bit more dancey or out there, but they’re bloody awful.

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