Thanks for the positive feedback after Part 1. I wasn’t entirely sure if looking at the career of Luke Haines would be of much appeal, but there’s certainly enough there to keep it going for a bit.
The Auteurs released their debut album in February 1993.
New Wave contained 12 tracks and was issued on vinyl, cassette and CD. The majority of folk would likely have gone for the CD version as the format was now very popular thanks to dramatic and regular reductions in the price of the technology on which the discs had to be played and everyone with an opinion was now declaring that vinyl was on its deathbed.
Those who went for the vinyl can be smug as copies these days are fetching decent sums via the second-hand market, especially if you have the version that came with a bonus 7” single:-
The latter of the these tracks could also be found on the CD, but only if you were clever/patient enough to wait for a little over 20 seconds after the album had seemingly come to an end as it was a ‘hidden’ track. The former, however, was only available via the free 7” single, a situation that remained unaltered until 2005 when a 3xCD compilation was issued.
New Wave was a well-received album in terms of the music critics and the increasing number of fans being attracted to the band. Reviews were almost universally positive, with many comparing Haines favourably with the likes of Morrissey and Ray Davies as a result of his ability to make wry and humorous observations of everyday life in England. There was very much a playful dark tone to many of the songs, cleverly disguised by some ridiculously catchy guitar-orientated songs, beautifully underpinned by the use of the cello. The album would make it to the shortlist of the recently established Mercury Prize which sought to identify the ‘best’ LP released by a British act in a given year (the first award in 1992 went to Primal Scream for Screamadelica – The Auteurs lost out narrowly in 93 to Suede’s self-title debut effort).
For once, the critics were right as New Wave is an astonishingly good and incredibly confident debut. There’s not a duff moment throughout its 40-plus minutes; furthermore, the inclusion of both songs on the bonus 7” would not have diminished the overall quality. Subculture, in particular, is something of a stand-out.
There were a number of really strong candidates for the next official single, the one that would, from the marketing perspective, hopefully get the band onto Top of The Pops and lead to increased sales of the album as the general public become more aware of what The Auteurs were capable of. Except……………..(ah, you’ll just have to come back and visit next Sunday!)