Have a really good look at the sleeve for today’s featured song from CD86. Have any of you out there actually ever seen it in real life? I only ask as it is incredibly rare….it is also a ridiculously expensive piece of vinyl. The available copies on Discogs retail for £150 or thereabouts.

mp3 : The Pooh Sticks – On Tape

I can’t even offer a b-side as it was a one-sided single, released in 1988 on Fierce Recordings.

As with Jasmine Minks (featured back in Part 2 of the series), here we have a song that is synonymous with the whole C86 scene which in fact is a bit of a cheat. There is no doubt however, that The Pooh Sticks would not have come into being without the aid of C86.

On Tape is a brilliant record on so many different levels. It sounds as shambolic and cheaply recorded as most of the C86 tracks were, it pays homage to the humble cassette which, after all, was the medium under which C86 thrived and above all else the lyrics gently mock the trainspotter obsessiveness of so many music fans (myself included!!) with lyrics such as “I’ve got Falling and Laughing – the original Postcard version” and “I sent for the Soup Dragons single, mail-order only; £1.30 to Martin Whitehead, but it never came!”

Oh and in Trudi Tangerine (tambourine/piano) they surely have the best-named indie pop star of all time.

The next five singles after On Tape were also one-sided 45s and these were then gathered together in a vinyl only box set before being made available on a CD compilation entitled Alan McGhee. A live LP followed (on pink vinyl) before another run of 7″ singles on coloured vinyl or as flexidiscs. This was a band determined to do entirely the unexpected….

1990 saw another compilation album and a slew of one-off singles and then, just as the world embraced the advent of grunge and loud guitars, The Pooh Sticks moved to a new label – Cheree Records – and released an album which to all intent and purposes was a power-pop tribute to 70s style soft-rock and AOR.

Incredibly, despite no great sales, this effort got the band into major territory with RCA Records via the Zoo Entertainment imprint and this led to the 1993 release of the tongue-in-cheek named Million Seller. If you any evidence of the lack of demand for the music from this era, you can pick up second-hand copies of the CD for about £3.

By 1995, after a third studio LP, The Pooh Sticks broke up….

In the absence of a b-side, I will offer up the only other track of theirs I have in the collection – it’s another of the early one-sided 45s courtesy of its inclusion on a Rough Trade compilation from back in 2004.  All 95 seconds of it:-


mp3 : Pooh Sticks – I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well


3 thoughts on “NEXT YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Part 4 of 48)

  1. Hadn’t heard the Alan McGee one for some time. Their single Indiepop Ain’t Noise Pollution features on the 2013 Scared To Get Happy 5 CD compilation.

  2. Hue had been hanging out with a band in town, but the general opinion was that their singer wasn’t particularly nice to him or appreciative of his efforts helping them out with this and that: I decided Hue should make a record before this band’s singer did.

    Like me, Hue was dismissive of people who’d claim to have things ‘on tape’ (where’s the commitment in that?) and he contributed quite a lot of the lyric to this one (he really did know Mighty Mighty, and really had sent off money for a Soup Dragons record) so I decided that “On Tape” could be his record. I recorded it in my basement one day, and Hue sang it later when he came round for tea. I had recently had Sky Saxon on the phone (from Hawaii, for an hour… must’ve been expensive, but he called me!): that’s why he’s in the song.

    The singer of the local band which inspired making the record is the “Johnny” I included in “Let The Good Times Roll”.

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