Yesterday’s posting on Government Administrator by Eggs attracted this comment from Wirey:-
Amazing. Was in John Peels Festive 50 in 93. Great tune. Seek out ‘I Suck’ by New Bad Things from the same Festive 50, if you haven’t done so already.
And so I consulted one of my reference books – the one that deals with Peel’s Festive Fifties – and found something really interesting:-
1993. The first ever festive fifty to be broadcast in one show, on Christmas Day evening.
One of the undoubted highlights of the chart came with the appearance of New Bad Things with ‘I Suck; at number 16. Although the record would gain an official release (with different, and nowhere near as good, lyrics) in the following year, the original release proved impossible to track down in the UK even on import and, as Peel mentioned in the broadcast, it became commonly accepted that he possessed the only copy in the country , which suggests that those who voted for it here had either taped it from the radio or simply had it lodged blissfully in their memories, which would be understandable, or that the votes all came from abroad. There were, after all, 610 copies of the disc somewhere in the world. Anyway, it was a gratifyingly high placing for a unique record and one of those occasions where an entry genuinely reflected what the Peel Show was really about. The applause after the singer reveals he doesn’t have a job , incidentally, was sampled from Cheap Trick’s Live At Budokan album.
Next stop was wiki and here’s what it says:-
New Bad Things (later No Bad Things) were a Portland, Oregon indie rock band active during the 1990s. They recorded for Candy Ass Records, Rainforest Records, Lissy’s Records, Pop Secret, Punk in my Vitamins Records, Kill Rock Stars, and Freewheel Records.
The band formed in 1992 for a one-off opening set at a Sebadoh concert in Portland, and initially comprised Matthew “Hattie” Hein, Luke Hollywood, “Prince” Mattie Gaunt, Jasin Fell and Dave French. Their first single was “I Suck” (backed with “Concrete” and “Knott St.”), which was picked up by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, and reached number sixteen in the 1993 Festive 50. They recorded their debut album, Freewheel! in 1992, released on the local indie label Candy Ass Records. The album was described as having a “sloppy charm”, and drew comparisons with the likes of Beat Happening. Second album Society followed in 1994, released on the United Kingdom label Lissy’s. Ennui Go was released in 1997, by which time the band’s sound was more pop-oriented, and in the same year Hein left to pursue a solo career. An album of previously-unreleased and rare tracks, C-sides, was released in 1999, containing tracks ranging chronologically from their earliest recordings to their latest. Later band members included: Christine Denkewalter, Lars Holmstrom, Eric von Borstel and Andrew Leavitt. The band toured Europe twice and recorded John Peel sessions for Radio One in the UK each time. The band name changed to No Bad Things in 2001.
And then I went searching….and to my genuine surprise found the version of I Suck that was played by Peel was available via i-tunes
mp3 : New Bad Things – I Suck
It’s a superb five minutes of slacker pop. Made me think musically of Violent Femmes and Pavement and lyrically could be linked to Half Man Half Biscuit (with a nod to Public Enemy about halfway through); I don’t think they were entirely serious……
I also discovered that in 1997, their then label Lissy’s had issued a split single with one of Glasgow’s finest (albeit I don’t think it’s one of said Glasgow’s finest finest-ever few minutes)
Thanks for the head-up Wirey. What’s most interesting is that the song which ended up in the Festive 50, and therefore arguably their best known bit of music, was actually the b-side of the debut single.
You learn something new every day!