Much of what will appear in this new series will be lifted from wiki as I’m reserving the right to have lazy Sundays for a bit. The idea is to feature all the EPs and 45s released over the years by Belle and Sebastian.
It was back in 1996 that debut LP Tigermilk came out, followed just a few months later by If You’re Feeling Sinister. So you had the very unusual circumstances of two albums (albeit one of which was near impossible to get a hold of) and no singles. That changed in May 1997 with the release of the Dog On Wheels EP on Jeepster Records, but as wiki reveals:-
The four recordings on the EP actually pre-date the band’s début album Tigermilk, produced whilst band members Stuart Murdoch and Stuart David were on the Beatbox music course in Glasgow. Murdoch, David and Mick Cooke are the only long-term members to play on the songs. The drums were supplied by David Campbell, whilst Brian Nugent played flute on “String Bean Jean”, and Gerry Campbell, a tutor at Beatbox, provided keyboards on “The State I Am In” and “Belle & Sebastian” as well as lead guitar on “String Bean Jean”.
The sleeve notes also credit Mark McWhirter, Michael Angus and Steve Mackenzie so that means (not for the first time) that wiki gets it wrong!!
Four really good songs. The lead track has a Latin feel to it, not least the trumpet solo about halfway through; the second track is an earlier version of what was the opening song on Tigermilk and which to this day is among the most popular of all B&S songs amongst fans; listening now to tracks three and four you can hear their demo nature in contrast to the polished sounds on If You’re Feeling Sinister but given they would never get any other airings via re-recordings they are well worth having.
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Dog On Wheels
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – The State I Am In
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – String Bean Jean
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Belle and Sebastian
The EP did make the UK charts, entering at #59 on 24 May 1997, before dropping out of the Top 75 the following week.