WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

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I do like it when a band release a single from an LP but change it around enough to turn it into a different song.

I was reminded of this state of affairs by these:-

mp3 : New Order – Sub-culture
mp3 : New Order – Subculture (7″ single version)

Hard to believe that Low-Life, the LP from which it was lifted and and given its makeover for a single release, celebrates its 30th birthday next year.

Oh and rumour has that the reason the single came in just a plain black sleeve is that Peter Savile hated the remix so much that he refused to design anything to house it.

Enjoy

AND WHEN IT WAS WARM SHE DIDN’T WEAR MUCH MORE

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Hindu Love Gods was an American rock band that was, in essence, an occasional side project of  R.E.M.

The band debuted with three scattered gigs (all in Athens, Georgia) in 1984. They played mostly cover tunes, though a few unreleased originals also made it into the mix. The first gig took place on Valentine’s Day, 1984, and featured Bryan Cook (vocals and piano, a member of Athens bands Oh-OK and Time Toy), and R.E.M. members Bill Berry (drums) Peter Buck (guitar) and Mike Mills (bass). The follow-up gig took place two weeks later; added to the line-up was R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe on vocals and drums, and Warren Zevon on vocals.

Zevon’s career stretched back to the late 60s and for over 30 years until his death from cancer in 2003 at the age of 56, he was a huge influence on many big hitters and popular artists within the American music industry without himself ever enjoying much mainstream success. He was also an almost complete-unknown here in the UK.

The third and final gig of 1984 was in June and featured the Cook/Berry/Buck/Mills line-up.

Hindu Love Gods went into the studio as a quintet that summer, with the line-up of Berry/Buck/Cook/Mills/Zevon. They recorded two songs for release as a single, which were eventually issued two years later. The A-Side, Gonna Have A Good Time Tonight was a cover of an Easybeats tune; the B-side, Narrator was a Bill Berry composition that R.E.M. had played live, but never recorded.

After a period of inactivity, Hindu Love Gods played one 1986 gig in Athens as a benefit gig for the family of a musician who had died in a car accident. The line-up for this performance was Berry, Buck, Cook, Mills and Stipe.

Buck, Mills and Berry later joined Zevon as his back-up band while recording the latter’s solo album Sentimental Hygiene  in 1987. During an all-night (and supposedly drunken) session in the midst of recording said album, they also churned out ten cover songs. None of these were intended for release, but such was the demand for R.E.M. product just a few years later that an LP called Hindu Love Gods was released on Giant Records in 1990.

A single was also released. This is the 12″ version:-

mp3 : Hindu Love Gods – Raspberry Beret
mp3 : Hindu Love Gods – Wang Dang Doodle
mp3 : Hindu Love Gods – Mannish Boy

You’ll need to excuse the little hops and skips on the two b-sides as the plastic is second hand and not in great nick….but you’ll hopefully get an idea that it all sounds like some guys who have a love for the blues just enjoying themselves in a recording studio because they can.  But it doesn’t float my boat all that much.  Here’s another cover version of one of those songs which is a unique sort of take on the blues:-

mp3 : PJ Harvey – Wang Dang Doodle (Peel Session)

Enjoy

THE MOZ SINGLES (29)

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OK…..time to own up.

A fair bit of the factual information that has accompanied this series doesn’t sit permanently in my brain. I’ve long relied very heavily on a wonderful fan site called Passions Just Like Mine, something that can truly be described as a work of art….

It really has just about everything you would ever want to know about The Smiths and Morrissey, including an incredible live history, which I can look back on and see that I’ve seen the great man play on 18 occasions, including 4 gigs with The Smiths:-

March 2nd 1984 – Glasgow Queen Margaret Union
September 24th 1985 – Edinburgh Playhouse
September 25th 1985 – Glasgow Barrowlands
July 16th 1986 – Glasgow Barrowlands
July 28th 1991 – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
December 16th 1992 – Glasgow Barrowlands
February 3rd 1995 – Glasgow Barrowlands
February 4th 1995 – Motherwell Civic Hall
December 5th 1999 – Glasgow Barrowlands
May 22nd 2004 – Manchester Arena
August 31st 2004 – Edinburgh Corn Exchange
September 2nd 2004 – Paisley Town Hall
April 23rd 2006 – Stirling Albert Hall
April 26th 2006 – Greenock Town Hall
February 2nd 2008 – Edinburgh Playhouse
May 7th 2009 – Glasgow Barrowlands
June 20th 2011 – Dunfermline Alhambra Theatre
July 30th, 2012 – Edinburgh Usher Hall

While I’m quite proud of that number, it pales into total insignificance alongside the many fans who somehow manage to make the time to follow him across the UK, Europe and indeed further afield on tour. Nor is it a list containing every gig he’s played in my home city as I’ve missed at least three over the years. Two of the gigs turned out to be flukes – the Royal Concert Hall in July 1991 was when someone who had tickets for the original date in May 1991 couldn’t go to the re-scheduled gig, and then the 45th birthday gig in Manchester only came my way as a friend’s football team reached the Scottish Cup final that day, and he just couldn’t miss that for anything…so myself and Mrs Villain landed very lucky. (So if you’re reading this Aldo……thanks for being so wonderful. I’m still not sorry your team lost that day tho’).

All this is just background to this week’s single offering – one released back in March 2005 with a track taken from the LP Live At Earl’s Court and a track from the Manchester gig played on 22nd March 2004.

mp3 : Morrissey – Redondo Beach (live)
mp3 : Morrissey – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (live)

There has long been an argument a live recording can’t ever match the excitement of actually being there. For a while, I wasn’t sure if this was something true or a mere myth, but my mind was made up the day I bought Dig The New Breed by The Jam which contained two tracks recorded at gigs at the Glasgow Apollo that I had been lucky enough to have tickets for.

That was the day I learned its no myth….

Morrissey has released a fair number of live albums in his career, and in addition, a number of the b-sides of singles have been taken from live performances. Most of the time, the live versions don’t add anything to the previously released versions, although I will hold up my hand and admit that I prefer the version of Disappointed recorded in Utrecht, Holland in May 1991 that can be found on the Pregnant For The Last Time single as being better than the original. And does anyone really think that the solo performances of any of The Smiths back catalogue have been anything other than a letdown?

Please…..I’m not advocating that Morrissey shouldn’t sing any of the songs that helped establish him, but it really is the musical equivalent of a masterpiece painting being reproduced by a talented but well-meaning copyist….

So you can guess my views on There Is A Light…..

As for the cover of the Patti Smith song, well I need to put it into perspective that I don’t own a copy of the original. I’ve certainly heard it as I’ve been in someones room when the Horses LP was played, but here’s another admission that will get me drummed out of the indie-kids club……I think that’s an LP that’s well over-rated, and thus I’ve never bought a copy. Now if Redondo Beach as performed by Morrissey was something that excited me, I might have maybe gone back and listened again. But no.

The CD single came with a previously unreleased extra track:-

mp3 : Morrissey – Noise Is The Best Revenge

Recorded for a BBC radio session back in 2004, it’s a reasonable song but nothing special. If it had ever been placed on an album in recent years, it would most certainly have been considered by most as one of the weaker tracks.

There was also a DVD single released which also had a track this from the same radio session on it.

mp3 : Morrissey – It’s Hard To Walk Tall When You’re Small (radio session)

The original version appeared on the b-side of Irish Blood, English Heart and is one of the best vocals he’s recorded over the past few years…..and part of the tune reminds me of the magnificent Sweet And Tender Hooligan.

Live singles don’t normally do all that well in the charts, but this reached a more than respectable #11, although this might have had a lot to do with fans buying the different formats to get all the different versions (but hey….Morrissey and his record label are far from the worst offenders in that regard). The photo was taken in a cemetery in Hollywood by Sasha Einmann, and the sleeve notes advise that the ‘Johnny Thunders teardrop guitar is courtesy of the Morrissey archive.’

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 110)

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Some of you might think I’m cheating this week, but with a bit of music that is this exceptional, I’m prepared to bend the rules a bit.

This Mortal Coil are NOT a Scottish band and so shouldn’t really be in this alphabetical series.

This Mortal Coil was a project led by Ivo Watts-Russell, co-founder of the 4AD record label. Although Watts-Russell and John Fryer were technically the only two official members, the band’s recorded output featured a large rotating cast of supporting artists, many of whom were signed to, or otherwise associated with 4AD.

One of the label’s earliest signings was Modern English. In 1983, Watts-Russell suggested that they re-record two of their earliest songs, Sixteen Days and Gathering Dust as a medley on the basis that the band was closing its sets with such a medley and the label owner thought it was strong enough to warrant a re-recording. When Modern English rebuffed the idea, Watts-Russell decided to assemble a group of musicians to undertake the task and a 12″ EP, Sixteen Days/Gathering Dust, resulted from the sessions.

Recorded as a B-side for the EP was a cover of Tim Buckley‘s Song to the Siren, performed solely by Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins. Pleased with the results, Watts-Russell decided to make this the A-side of the 7″ single version of the EP.

Cocteau Twins were a Scottish act, and I therefore claiming this version of Song To The Siren as eligible for this series.

mp3 : This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren

A work of genius. Watts-Russell originally wanted it to be a cappella but ended up including what was a one-take of Guthrie, and I quote ‘leaning against the studio wall bored out of his mind playing these chords’.

Fraser’s vocal was also, quite astonishingly, recorded in one take.

OH MANCHESTER, SO MUCH TO ANSWER FOR….

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The four handsome devils pictured above are the members of Frantic Elevators circa 1981. They had formed some five years earlier as a Manchester punk band, but strangely enough none of the three original founding members were around by the time some records and two John Peel sessions came about.

By 1981 the band were your classic or perhaps bog-standard four-piece with vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer with the guitarist and vocalist being the songwriters.

I don’t own any of their songs other than a short sharp number, coming in at just under two minutes long, which was recorded in February 1981 and later made available on Manchester, So Much To Answer For, a compilation CD released in 1991 and featuring a Peel session track from 20 Manchester bands:-

mp3 : Frantic Elevators – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This had actually been planned as their second ever single back in 1979 but it never saw light of day. In the end, the band only ever got round to releasing four singles before calling it a day. The last of these was in late 1982:-

mp3 : Frantic Elevators – Holding Back The Years

I suppose its time, if you already didn’t know or haven’t yet already worked it out, to mention the name of the band’s singer. It was Mick Hucknall. His band mates were Neil Moss (guitar), Brian Turner (bass) and Kevin Williams (drums).

The continued failure of the band led to Hucknall leaving. The other three soldiered on for a bit but disbanded in mid 1983. All the while their former vocalist got another band together under the name of World Service, who later underwent changes of name to Red and the Dancing Dead, then Just Red, and finally Simply Red.

A completely different version of Holding Back the Years was re-recorded by Simply Red and provided them with their breakthrough hit. As a co-writer, Neil Moss who would later pocket around £50,000 in royalties. Nice work.

A SLIGHT CHANGE TO THE LAYOUT…

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I’ve added a new ‘Categories’ section to the right-hand side. It’s basically a list of all the bands who have been featured across all the postings. It acts as a sort of index if anyone drops by and wants to just read about a particular singer or band.

While it will be of some use to readers old and new, I’ve introduced it to help me improve the service on offer. I realised it was necessary when I drafted a post on Therese by The Bodines only to discover I’d posted on them not so long ago and that I’d also given them a mention via one of the old posts copied over from the extinct blog.

Enjoy.

THE JAMES SINGLES (17)

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I can’t remember where I first read of heard that James had chosen to work with Brian Eno. All the accusations of selling out and embracing stadium rock were being denied by everyone associated with the band but here they were having a producer who had helped turn U2 into the biggest and most popular contemporary rock band on the planet by forging a sound which was radio-friendly, anthemic and extremely appealing to the masses. I feared the worst….

………which is why I still find it hard to properly put into the words the sheer joy I felt the first time I heard the first new song since those that had been slipped out as part of the Sound EP some fourteen months previous. This remains my favourite James single of all time:-

mp3 : James – Sometimes

It’s a helluva comeback and not at all the sort of sounds I was imagining would be the fruit of their labours with Eno. Indeed, the producer himself has stated that hearing the band’s first playing of this song in the studio was one of the highlights of his entire career….and let’s face it, he’s had plenty to choose from.

It was released into the shops in August 1993 but by then had become quite familiar to radio listeners having been put on heavy rotation some three or four weeks prior. Rather surprisingly and disappointingly, it only entered the charts at #18 which was still good enough to enable a Top of the Pops appearance which, due to touring commitments, had to be filmed and beamed in from Pittsburgh. It was a memorable performance and I’m happy enough to break my self-imposed rule of nothing from you tube so that I can share it with you:-

Despite this, the song dropped down the charts the following week which must have been a bit of a concern to the band. After all, tradition has it that you put out your strongest and most catchy song as the lead single, but little did any of us know that the band and producer had an ace hidden up their collective sleeves….

The single was released on 7″, 12″, cassette and CD single with just two new songs made available across the different formats so there was no need to shell out loads to complete any collections. The b-sides were also of a very decent quality:-

mp3 : James – America
mp3 : James – Building A Charge

It’s worth noting that America was recorded live using solar power as the band sought to promote the activities of Greenpeace.

BOOT THE GRIME OF THIS WORLD IN THE CROTCH, DEAR

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Not only is this a fantastically funny, upbeat and wonderful single, you flip it over and find two quite special b-sides:-

mp3 : The Smiths – Sheila Take A Bow
mp3 : The Smiths – Is It Really So Strange?
mp3 : The Smiths – Sweet and Tender Hooligan

Here’s some facts and background info.

It was released in April 1987, reaching No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart, their highest chart single placing while The Smiths were together.

Morrissey‘s original idea had been to bring back Sandie Shaw to be a second vocalist on the track but after she had recorded her vocals, that version was scrapped. Sandie was not happy in being reduced to what she perceived just to be a backing vocalist. Another early version of the track was produced by John Porter but it was also deemed unsatisfactory, this time by the band. It featured a prominent sitar-sounding riff:-

mp3 : The Smiths – Sheila Take A Bow (John Porter version)

Stephen Street came on board. He scrapped the sitar (which had been played by Porter) and instead used a brief audio clip of a marching temperance band from the 1954 film Hobson’s Choice in the song’s intro.

Oh and to complete the catalogue of woes, the scheduled promo video had to be scrapped at the 11th hour when Morrissey refused to show up for the taping.

The two b-sides were lifted from a John Peel session recorded and aired in late December 1986. Just as well as the band never got round to recording and releasing their own studio versions of what are rather outstanding songs.

In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

G’DAY FROM OUR ANZAC CORRESPONDENT : DOOZIES FROM DOWN UNDER (1)

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You’ll hopefully all know that I’m more than happy to accept guest contributions for T(n)VV. Up until a few weeks back, Tuesdays were set aside for posts submitted by SWC until his career opportunities took him off to the deep jungle of Guyana and far removed from the world of nonsencial musings about indie-pop. Someone has come forward and offered to step into the breach. His name is Craig Neale. I’ll let his e-mail take up the story:-

1 March 2014

So, here goes. With JC’s kind permission I’m going to attempt to start a series featuring some tracks/artists from New Zealand & Australia that i hope you might be interested in, and perhaps haven’t heard.

…2 months later (!)… after having my computer die, replacing it, re-loading everything, and having some major doubts about doing this after realising i won’t be matching the heights of other guest contributors such as the swc and dvd on the writing front, I’ve decided to (try to) continue, and maybe just let the music do (most of the) talking.

First cab off the rank is  78 Saab – seems they needed to come up with a name pretty quickly to enter a battle of the bands, and one of them used to own a 1978 Saab… the name stuck. (my first band played our first couple of gigs named after the suburb 3 of us grew up in cos our drummer couldn’t think of anything else when he rang some pubs and managed to score us some work… we were most unimpressed!)

Formed in Canberra, Australia in the mid 90’s, 78 Saab recorded a couple of ep’s and 4 albums before splitting up in 2012.

All their stuff is well worth a listen, but I’ve gone for their first single ‘Sunshine’, off their debut album ‘Picture A Hum Can’t Hear A a Sound’… It’s just one-of-those-songs.

… it’s also one of those songs I quite happily sung the wrong words (chorus) to for many years until I googled the lyrics (“suddenly ice isn’t easy”? – that can’t be right… “suddenly life… ? oh – “sun in the eyes”! of course)

Some other personal revelations about lyrics include:-

– the first lines of ‘These Days’ by Joy Division (ah! – thought it was about the army or something);
– the first line of ‘Talking to a Stranger’ by Hunters & Collectors (oh right – it’s in french);
– pretty much the whole first verse of Alternative Ulster’ by Stiff Little Fingers (learnt the chords to it but couldn’t sing along til “THEN YOU WALK BACK TO THE CITY”!)

The list goes on – I probably search song lyrics three-or-four times a week after listening to my ipod each day at work. Pretty much the only song lyrics I’ve checked thinking I couldn’t possibly be hearing right … but was, is ‘This Is a A Call’ by Foo Fighters!

Anyway, here’s 78 Saab:

mp3 : 78 Saab – Sunshine

17 September 2014

Many months later, turns out my March e-mail didn’t get through to JC the first time. Then I went away for awhile, more problems with computer (and work) … decide to have aanother go with the e-mail while throwing in another tune on the theme of sunshine. So here’s another Australian band The Moffs, know nothing about them, and have none of their other songs, but this is great.

mp3 : The Moffs – Another Day In The Sun

——————————-

JC adds

I’m guessing that Craig’s first e-mail got caught up in the Junk section of the account, but I’m pleased he persisted.  He’s not, at this stage, wanting to commit to a regular series.  As he said back in March, he’s nervous about whether the quality of writing and contributions is good enough and the sort of reaction he gets.  So I’m asking you dear readers to have a read and listen and give Craig a little bit of feedback.  Thank you soooooooo much

 

THE ALMIGHTY MIGHTY MIGHTY

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This lot were from Birmingham in the West Midlands of England but were hugely influenced by Postcard Records and the Sound of Young Scotland.

Mighty Mighty consisted of Hugh Harkin (vocals), Mick Geoghegan (guitar), Peter Geoghegan (keys), Russell Burton (bass, vocals) and David Hennessey (drums). Their very fine debut single came out on their own Girlie label in March 1986:-

mp3 : Mighty Mighty – Everybody Knows The Monkey

(and I’m sure the Inspiral Carpets had a listen and thought that would do nicely…..)

Before long, they were on the established indie oufit Chapter 22, for whom they recorded and released a handful of singles and a sole LP called Sharks which was issued in February 1988. Fame and fortune eluded the boys with Top 10 placings in the indie charts being the height of it. Less than nine months after their LP hit the shops the band had disbanded.

I’ve just the one bit of plastic in the collection, picked up second-hand (my copy of Everybody Knows The Monkey is from a later released compilation CD of C86 bands). This is a great 45 from late 1986:-

mp3 : Mighty Mighty – Throwaway
mp3 : Mighty Mighty – Ceiling To The Floor

Like so many other bands of the era, they have been tempted back to play their songs live, in their case at the Indietracks music festival in 2009 and Popfest Berlin in 2010.

Enjoy

THE MOZ SINGLES (28)

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When I originally did this series a few years back, I mentioned at this juncture that within the comments section a reader had taken a pop at me  with a few words to the effect that for someone who is a Morrissey fan I seemed to spend a fair bit of time being critical of his output.

But the simple idea of this series looking at all the singles in his long and distinguished solo career was and is to bring them all together in one place, complete with the numerous b-sides and by doing so, it only throws up the fact that a fair number of the singles were  rather poor efforts, often saved by the inclusion of one or more great b-sides and or cover versions.

Today’s offering is the lead-off single from the much-criticised 1997 LP Malajusted, and what might surprise some of you is my admission that it’s a song I quite like.

Alma Matters was the first song released by Morrissey, in July 1997, for his new record label, Island. I really thought it was a welcome return to something resembling form after the disappointing lack of half-decent tunes on Southpaw Grammar a couple of years earlier.

mp3 : Morrissey – Alma Matters

It was a view that was seemingly shared by a fair number of fans, as we bought enough copies of the single to allow it to reach #16 in the UK Charts, after the previous six singles had all stalled outside the Top 20, and I don’t think I was alone in looking forward to the album which hit the shops about a week later.  Sadly, the album was a bit of a let-down……but I don’t think it is anything as bad as some of the critics made it out to be, and in Trouble Loves Me you have one of the best things he’s ever recorded. Having said that, it also contained the truly appalling Roy’s Keen. And to be fair, the title track from said LP has usually sounded pretty decent when played live.

But back to Alma Matters…..There’s two extra songs on the CD single, one of which I’m fond of, but the other is damn near unlistenable:-

mp3 : Morrissey – Heir Apparent
mp3 : Morrissey – I Can Have Both

For the avoidance of any doubt, it’s the tuneless and dirge-like Heir Apparent I do my best to avoid.

Trivia facts.

The nipple-tweaking photo was taken by Derek Ion and in small print on the back of the sleeve, Morrissey thanks Willie Garcia.  I have no idea why these thanks were offered…….

More trivia facts.

Morrissey has long been known in the UK (or until this year at least)  for going on the road and promoting his new material. However, there were only two UK gigs in December 1997, one at the Battersea Power Station in London and the other at the Northgate Arena in Chester….it would be 1999 before most of us got to hear live songs from the LP. But I’ll save that for another time.

 

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 109)

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Possibly the only time this series well feature an input from a hip hop act formed in Long Island, New York.

Fallin’ is a collaboration between De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub. Released in March 1994, it was recorded for the soundtrack to the action film Judgment Night and it reached #59 in the UK singles chart, which was marginally lower than TFC’s previous single, Norman 3, which reached #50 in September 1993.

The chorus was sampled from the song Free Fallin’ from Tom Petty‘s 1989 solo album Full Moon Fever.

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub/De La Soul – Fallin’ (Faded Album Version)
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub/De La Soul – Fallin’ (Final Mix)

File under curious.

WRITTEN BEFORE THE OUTCOME IS KNOWN

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The title track of the 1998 LP will sum up the views of many folk today, no matter if we have voted ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

mp3 : Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – I Blame The Government

The Saturday series and Moz singles will be in their usual place over the weekend and come Monday, normal service will hopefully have been resumed.

Thanks for your patience.

THE BURNING QUESTION OF THE DAY

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Today is the day that the people of Scotland get the chance to head over to a polling station, pick up a pencil and put their mark against either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in response to the question of whether Scotland should be an independent country.

This is just a simple, small and hopefully enjoyable music blog. I therefore have no wish to take up any of your time asking you to have a read over the reasons why I have decided to vote in a particular way. But it would be remiss of me not to at least acknowledge this most historic of days in modern history in the small corner of planet earth where I spent the overwhelming majority of my time. It’s been a contentious campaign and a lot of people all over Scotland are going to wake up tomorrow feeling battered, bruised and deflated by the outcome and with a bitterness that could lead to them saying the wrong things at the wrong time and so putting friendships in jeopardy.

I’m going to accept the outcome and live with it. If I ‘pick’ the winning side I will not gloat, and if I end up on the wrong end of the result then I will be sad but not to the point of despair. Today’s song is for everyone in Scotland:-

mp3 : Jamie Wednesday – Vote For Love

Jamie Wednesday formed in London in 1984, and released a grand total of eight songs on two EPs. The band consisted of James Morrison (acoustic guitar, lead vocals), Leslie Carter (bass guitar, backing vocals), Dean Leggett (drums and percussion), Lindsey Lowe (trumpet) and Simon Henry (saxophone).

Neither record sold well and the band remained virtually unknown until after they split up.  A final scheduled gig never happened but band members James and Leslie took to the stage as a duo and improvised for the most part.  Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine had just been born and before long the main main were better known as  Jim Bob and Fruitbat respectively.

THIS IS A VERY VERY VERY FINE POP RECORD

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Ian Broudie was a big part of the Liverpool new wave scene in the late 1970s. A member of Big in Japan (which also featured Holly Johnson and Bill Drummond) he then formed The Original Mirrors in the early ’80s, and was credited as a member of Bette Bright and the Illuminations on their lone album from 1981.

In 1983, he formed the band Care with vocalist Paul Simpson and the duo released three outstanding singles before breaking up. Though he was a busy writer, performer and session musician through the 1980s, Broudie was much more well-known a producer, working with Echo and The Bunnymen, The Icicle Works, The Colourfield, The Pale Fountains and The Fall amongst many others, often using the pseudonym Kingbird”.

In 1989, Broudie began recording alone under the name The Lightning Seeds – he has since said it was an experiment to see if he could cut it as a muso – and in this guise as a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer, he would achieve much success beginning with this wonderful debut single:-

mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – Pure

A #16 hit in the UK, the two follow-up singles from debut LP Cloudcuckooland failed abysmally and like most folk, I reckoned that could very well have been the end of The Lightning Seeds. But two years later, he/they returned and hit the Top 30 with Sense and for much of the rest of the decade became chart regulars, picking up lots of new fans in particular after the huge success of Three Lions, the official anthem of the England football side for the Euro 96 championships.

Some of the later material might have been bigger hits, but I don’t think there was ever anything better than that debut single. Here’s the excellent b-sides from the 12″ copy that’s been sitting in the cupboard all these years after I picked it up for 99p in a bargain bin in Woolworth’s.

mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – Fools
mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – God Help Them

Enjoy.