BURNING BADGER’S VINYL – THE (NEARLY) A-Z OF INDIEPOP (Part 5, M and N)

 

M has been written by SWC, so you can expect the usual rubbish.

N, however, sees a very welcome return to the blog by Lorna.

M is for Mazzy Star

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You (Taken from So Tonight That I Might See)

You probably already know this song. We probably all know it. Its beautiful. Wonderful. One of the few songs that I could generally stick on repeat and listen to for a couple of hours without ever getting bored of, even one second of it. I’ve sort of done that today, I listened to it about six times back to back and each time I am transported back to different hazy memories.

I remember a friend of mine getting married about fifteen years and his bride to be walking down the aisle (well it was a path in a rose garden) to this song and the groom just standing a crying blubbing mess of a man as Hope’s vocals floated across the garden.

I remember another of friend of mine, seconds after this came on the stereo at a house party about five years ago, telling me about the time that he split with his long term girlfriend and him just walking down the road whilst this played on his Walkman. You could see the minute the song came on the stereo his mind had gone back to that exact moment.

I remember OPG playing this song after we’d had two bottles of strong cider and us just dancing slowly to it her bedroom her head perched on my shoulder and me holding her like she was the most precious thing in the world. Which she was, at the time I suppose. She used to say that the thing about Hope Sandoval was that she looked exactly like she sounded, and she was right.

It’s that kind of song. The sort of song that makes you half smile because it reminds you of another time when you might have been happier than you are right now or just associate it with a lovely moment in your life, but it’s also the sort of song that makes you half weep because it reminds you of a time when you felt fragile or lonely or that you missed someone or never got an opportunity to right a wrong.

There is a video out there on the internet, of ‘Fade Into You’ being performed by Mazzy Star on Later with Jools Holland (Jools is barely in it, so its ok). It is incredible, perfection personified. Everything about it is brilliant, from the stunning slide guitar that kind of holds the song together to Hope’s vocals, which are just insanely wonderful.

But the one thing that does it for me is the way Hope just stands there. She barely moves during the whole track, occasionally her right hand moves up and down, when you drag your eyes away from her face, you realise she is playing the tambourine, and even that, is bloody perfect. Frankly, watching Hope Sandoval in 1993 standing still gently tapping a tambourine is the sexiest thing I have seen on TV in about twenty years.

Loads of M records in the box, I’ll skirt over the Manics and the Massive Attacks and give you this…

Mega City 4 – Iron Sky

…..which I think was the band’s biggest ever hit and as close to a pop record as the transit rock pioneers got. In fact, I knew a lad called Danny who went to Kent University who painted the lyrics to this on his student digs wall when it came out and lost his deposit because of it.

Oh, go on then

Masses Against the Classes

Bumper Ball Dub (from ‘No Protection’ – Massive Attack vs Mad Professor)

N is for New Order

New Order – Everything’s Gone Green (Taken from ‘Substance’)

‘Substance’ is as you will know, an essential record. Another record that you should all own. This is the second version of ‘Substance’ that Badger owned. I know this because the first one got destroyed, and this version came from a record shop in Birmingham (it still has the sticker on it – he paid £12 for it). But here’s Lorna to tell the tale.

“In January 1997, Tim and I bought our first house. We’d been married about a year and had previously rented a one-bedroom flat overlooking Exeter Canal. The house was an old two bed Edwardian terrace in a nice part of Exeter. Within a week we’d painted it, taken up the revolting blue carpet (like you used to get in schools, the sort that gave you an electric shock) and replaced them with fancy new designer rugs straight out of the Habitat catalogue. We painted the kitchen a smashing shade of duck egg blue and stripped the stairs back to their original wooden state.

A week later, we went skiing in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee. We travelled up to Bristol airport in Tim’s VW Polo, which was sound tracked by a mixtape he had made the night before we left. I remember this was playing as we parked the car at the airport, I know this because Tim always ended his mixtapes with New Order and this must have been the last track as knowing him he would have planned it meticulously to finish at the airport.

Confusion (new version)

I learnt to ski. Tim, who could already ski, tried his hand at snowboarding. He bruised his arse colliding with an old Italian guy, who on learning we were British, swore at him brilliantly. It was like listening to Bruno Tonioli channelling his inner Danny Dyer. Apart from that we had a lovely time, after skiing we fell into the small après-ski bar next to our boot room and get slowly drunk on Gluwein and very strong vodka.

When we returned home, we got back quite late due to a slightly delayed flight and a pile up on the M5. It was about midnight when Tim put the key in the front door, which is when we realised that a pipe or pipes had burst in the bathroom. The pipe burst was behind the bath, and it had flooded out under the bottom of the bath into the rest of the bathroom, which then finally worked through the ceiling and was now cascading into the lounge and kitchen area. It was pitch black and we were lit only by a single light from our hallway (which was largely dry) and a lamppost from across the street.

I can still picture the sheer devastation it caused, all our hard work largely ruined. Our brand-new rugs ruined (I mean we were insured, so it wasn’t the end of the world), a lot of our furniture severely damaged, and work surfaces, cupboard doors and some electrical sockets were all dripping wet. I must have cried because I remember Tim hugging me and telling me it would be OK; he made a joke about the wanting to put a slide in from upstairs to downstairs anyway, which did make me laugh.

It was halfway through that hug that he swore really loudly, and I thought that was him just letting off a howl of frustration, but he broke off the hug and walked (or splashed really) slowly to the table where he had left a few records to gather dust before we left (i.e – he had forgot to put them away). They still sat there next to a small teddy (‘Herbert’) which had now seen better and drier days. The records were ruined:-

Substance by New Order
Dirk Wears White Sox by Adam and the Ants
Galore by Kirsty MacColl
Searching for the Young Soul Rebels by Dexys Midnight Runners

(and SWC will kindly pop a song from each in here I suspect, each one featured on the mixtape from the car, but it was 25 years ago, I really can’t remember all the tracks).

True Faith

Catholic Day

They Don’t Know

There, There My Dear

There’s only one other N in the box, and it’s this, but I don’t know anything about the band though.

Nirvana – Lithium

LORNA

8 thoughts on “BURNING BADGER’S VINYL – THE (NEARLY) A-Z OF INDIEPOP (Part 5, M and N)

  1. Fade Into You on vinyl: boy do I want a copy. A stupendous song, and despite having no relevant memories of my own, I understand how strong a memory trigger this can be, and to bring the Proustian rush. Standing there doing nothing but tapping and singing is easy. Isn’t, but when you have a song like that, and look like that.

  2. I can never forget seeing Mazzy Star opening up for the Cocteau Twins the first time I saw them, on the “Heaven Or Las Vegas” tour in Atlanta. Hope literally said five words to the audience: “Thank you” at the end, followed by one wag in the audience shouting out “it speaks!” To which Hope replied: “Yes…it speaks.” It was stunning and having never heard them prior, I made sure to buy one of their t-shirts. I went out the next day and bought the debut album. Flash forward four years and I was thrilled to see them again, this time headlining in Tampa. I was anticipating buying a 2nd t-shirt [and maybe a 3rd] only to see the one t-shirt design was the same one from four years earlier!

  3. “… she looked exactly like she sounded …” She did. Like sumptuous velvet.

    … and Mega City Four. Hurrah!

  4. Fade Into You is gorgeous, it goes without saying, and that clip on Later is superb. Everything’s Gone Green, especially the original 12″ version, all 7 minutes of it, is inexplicably great- everything about early New Order that made them so great. The production, the ominous and portentous sound, Hooky’s lead bass, the switch from electronic drums to real ones, Barney’s lyrics and non- singing, the synths… it is the exact moment rock met dance and had a dust up. They perfected it with the follow up, Temptation, but EGG is the stuff, the real deal.

  5. I agree with Adam that New Order got it exactly right with ‘Green’. Although I admit that afterwards my interest in the band diminished commensurately as their popularity increased.
    And I agree with everyone else that Fade Into You isn’t a song; it’s a magic spell.
    Great post and a very welcome return by Lorna!

  6. Wonderful. “The usual rubbish” from SWC is another lesson for me in how to write a entertaining and engaging story, and Lorna’s very welcome return was equally brilliant. And the music, well…

    A girlfriend in the mid-1990s had Fade Into You on 10″ vinyl, pretty much the only thing we had in common, musically. When I visited hers – she lived with her folks and sleepovers were verboten – we’d play this on repeat. No dancing, sadly.

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