A GUEST POSTING by MARTIN ELLIOT
I believe I rather well qualify as an obsessed collector of material by The Associates and the late Billy MacKenzie. Sid Law has earlier provided some excellent rare songs here at TVV, but you can’t have too many – can you?
This OCD EP is made up of tracks recorded using the Associates moniker, with side A having tracks where Alan was still in – at least when the tracks where originally written/recorded – while side B are demos Billy recorded later. I’m not sure any longer where I got the side A session recordings from, I have a couple of more. Could potentially be for a TV or radio show, but that’s only a guess. There is no audience on the recordings but on one track, not included here, Billy thanks for the session.
1. Even Dogs In The Wild (studio session) – A favourite song of mine, which has surfaced in many different versions. This session recording has a jazzy feel to it. Not too far away from the Irrationale cassette version.
2. Gloomy Sunday (studio session) – Here is also a slightly jazzy feel. Haunting vocals.
3. Message Oblique Speech (studio session) – bring in the band, and go full throttle. Great version.
3. Fever (demo)
All having a slightly rougher, or at least less polished, edge than the released versions. These give a good picture of the road from demo to completed, commercial, release. Still, that voice!
A lot has been said, and can still be said, about what could have been had Billy still been among us. We will never know, I’m convinced in today’s digital world he would be able to find better platforms for his artistic outlet than traditional record companies. Useless speculations, at times I need to listen to the demo of “Outerpol” to remind me he could also occasionally do stuff I find unlistenable…
I hope he found peace wherever he is now.