45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 23)


23 – Ride – Leave Them All Behind (1992, Creation Records)

Released as a single in February 1992 (Reached Number 9)

A long time ago in the early 1990’s, there was this little music scene called shoegaze. Ride were the kings of that scene, largely because, if you put the band that probably invented it, My Bloody Valentine, to one side for a minute, they were the only band that really crossed over into the mainstream long enough to be important. They also made ‘Nowhere’ which is still to this day one of the greatest guitar records ever made. Yes it is. Face facts Skunk Anansie fans.

Ride were for about half an hour or so, the biggest band in the UK. For reasons that were quite obvious, girls loved them and nearly every girl I knew between 1990 and 1992 wanted their boyfriends to look like Mark Gardner or Andy Bell, it was never the other two. We boys tried in vain to do that, we grow our fringes so that they flopped over our eyes. Then we bought stripy long sleeved T-shirts in their thousands and traded on blue denims for black ones. After that we threw our Adidas pumps into the back of our wardrobes and bought eight hole Doc Martens, and we learnt how to stand perfectly still at gigs and just gaze at our shoes, swaying gently to a blaze of feedback strewn guitars, and whispery vocals about the sky, the rain and dreams.

Roughly at the same time that we boys were doing this, Ride were recording their second album, ‘Going Blank Again’. The lead track from it was ‘Leave Them All Behind’ a swirling, kaleidoscopic feedback inspired inspired eight minute blast of brilliance. It has this long drawn out intro to which, I, at the time, proudly declared it to be ‘the greatest opening two minutes of music, ever’ to anyone that would listen to me. Saying that I do have form for this kind of thing, because roughly six months earlier, I said the same thing about this

Perfume (All on you) – Paris Angels (Sheer Joy Records 1990, Number 55)

to anyone that would listen, and this too I think, (but only for that rumbling bass)

A Good Idea – Sugar (Creation Records 1992, Number 65)

And I was probably right on all accounts.

Anyway, back to girls and them liking Ride. In 1992, OPG turned 18 and a few weeks before that special day I sent a letter (ask your dad, kids) to Ride, via the address on the back of their ‘Taste’ EP asking them for a signed photo. Some six months later one popped through my letterbox, of course, by that time, OPG and SWC, had consciously uncoupled for the time being. What actually popped through my letterbox was a signed print of the cover of ‘Leave Them All Behind’ and for about five years that took pride of place on my bedroom wall, that was there until 1998, when I was about to graduate, my dad phoned me and told me that as I was ‘moving to bloody Devon – he was redecorating my old room and had chucked all my old crap into a box’ which he had then put in the loft. I never saw that print again.


6 thoughts on “45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 23)

  1. Wow, I forgot all about that Sugar album. It’s amazing how ‘A Good Idea’ is such a direct rip off of Debaser by the Pixies. The Ride tune still sounds great. Cracking as our host might say.

  2. My first year in teaching was that year and I remember saying to my students ‘ You wait – the biggest stars of the 90’s will be the Smashing Pumpkins and Sugar’…whilst I was most definitely wrong ‘Copper Blue’ I still think is fantastic and early Smashing Pumpkins still stands up today – a pity that Corgan was such a twat..

  3. A very enjoyable article.

    My Bloody Valentine
    Paris Angels

    augmented with …
    Smashing Pumpkins

    What’s not to like?

    Nowhere is an incredible LP and Leave Them All Behind a fantastic journey.

  4. They were booked to play Kent Uni in my first month there, then Chelsea Girl got them noticed by music press and they were suddenly too good for small gigs in Uni Common Rooms, so they mysteriously had an excuse to cancel the gig. I was gutted so avoided them from there on!

  5. This post evokes great memories of these
    bands and songs. Another super entry in this

  6. You are not wrong about anything in this post SWC. For me, the sound of Ride in the 21st Century traces back to Leave Them All Behind.
    What I have always loved about the song is that it seems to me the band determined that they needed to open the song with what EVERY other band would have created as the ending coda to their track. It says everything without the band singing anything that the title represents.

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