In April 2014 I featured CD2 of a single by Idlewild with the following words:-

Back in 2000, Idlewild released a hugely enjoyable LP called 100 Broken Windows.

Four singles were lifted from the LP, all of which charted – none higher than #23 and none lower than #38 when they were all deserving of a minimum of Top 10. It was an era when singles came out in multiple formats, which was usually 2 x CDs but sometimes you’d also have a 7″ single thrown in.

It’s no real surprise that many acts ended up putting remixes or different versions of previously released material to fill up all the required b-sides, while cover versions were also a popular way of doing similar.

CD2 of the third single lifted from 100 Broken Windows is a perfect example of what I mean as it featured an acoustic version of the most recent single and a cover of an Echo and The Bunnymen track that was bound be well-known to and therefore be of appeal to most of the band’s fans:-

The acoustic version is quite lovely and rather fragile. Not only does it show how good a song it is but it helps display a softer and highly accomplished side of the band that is all too often neglected. The cover however, in the opinion of someone who is a fan of both bands is rather pointless and bitterly disappointing. It just sounds like a pub covers band’s take on the song…

The third single lifted from that album was These Wooden Ideas and the other week I picked up CD1 and gave it a listen.  One of its two b-sides was a really decent Idlewild original which, coming in at just under two minutes was probably disregarded from the LP purely on the basis of its shortness, while the other is yet another cover, this time of a Bob Dylan number from 1964 and I’m delighted that this time, the Idlewild boys did it proud.  As a guitar-driven band it’s really interesting to hear the band going down the route of a song that leans heavily on piano and a vocal that isn’t totally reliant on Roddy Woomble.

So all in all, five tracks over 2 x CDs with just the one duff song to endure.

mp3 : Idlewild – These Wooden Ideas
mp3 : Idlewild – There’s Glory In Your Story
mp3 : Idlewild – When The Ship Comes In
mp3 : Idlewild – Actually It’s Darkness (acoustic version)
mp3 : Idlewild – Rescue

The other week I mentioned how underrated Gene were. I’d say that Idlewild fall into the same category – a band who released a ridiculously good number of singles and albums over the years and who never got the fame they deserved. They were never ever hip enough….

And since I feel this post is kind of short-changing regular readers, I thought I’d throw in another tremendous but more traditional cover of Mr Zimmerman’s number:-

mp3 : Billy Bragg – When The Ship Comes In (live)


6 thoughts on “AN UPDATE ON AN OLD POST

  1. Totally underrated band JC. I saw them years ago in a tiny upstairs venue in Fort William, that held about 100 people, and they were outstanding. Haven’t really kept up with all their side projects, but what a talented bunch they are. Always pisses me off when bands like Biffy Clyro are headlining festivals and Idlewild are still relatively unknown to most people.

  2. Criminally underrated is how I see it. And as a music fan that bleeds Bunnymen, Idlewild’s version of Rescue is simply amazing… They caught the vibe – live and otherwise of Mac and Will. The guitar playing is on par with the great Sargent! The improv coda is full on Mac homage!

  3. One of my favourite bands of all time: I’d also love to see your take on an Imaginary Compilation JC! Although I recognise it would probably be torture trying to whittle it down to 10 tracks!!

  4. An Idlewild compilation would be a very welcome to the blog but I’m nowhere near enough qualified for the task……

  5. Very deftly dodged JC! I’m not saying I’d find it impossible, but it could take me a VERY long time to whittle my favourites down to only 10 songs and I’m pretty sure my final list will only please me: I don’t necessarily go out of my way to be obscure but I can say with a degree of certainty that not many of their singles would be on it.

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