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.