AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #43 : PETE WYLIE; plus BUNNYMAC SOLO MATERIAL

whattixecho-the-bunnymen-9-12-1981001A very late change of plans at Villain Towers.

Echorich picked out ten great tracks that would make a tremendous Pete Wylie compilation and given that postpunkmonk has said he wished that he had picked up on more of the material back in the day, well I think it’s worth posting something up.  For those of you who don’t perhaps read the comments, here’s what echorich had to say:-

Pete Wylie is my favorite Rock Star of ALL TIME…Probably because he’s the only one I’ve gotten drunk with until 7am in a New York Nightclub 4 nights on the trot, and definitely because he NEVER attained Rock Start status but was always prepared for it.

JC, you’ve picked the three songs which earned him the rank of a great artist. But I will add three that I just can’t live without, and one is among my 10 favorite songs of all time.

The first, and one which first blew my socks off and sucked me into WAH!’s aural vortex was Seven Minutes To Midnight. There might not be any more urgent Post Punk song ever written.

The second, and the one which if count as an all time favorite is Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me). To this day, this song sends chills up my spine and makes me quite emotional every time I play it.

The third is If I Love You. Again, Wylie’s straining, pleading singing just grabs the listener and won’t let go.

And as for an Imaginary WAH!/Wylie Album, here’s mine:
A
1. Better Scream
2. Seven Minutes To Midnight
3. Remember
4. Story Of The Blues
5. Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me)
B
1. Weekends
2. Come Back
3. Sinful
4. If I Love You
5. Heart As Big As Liverpool

All of the tracks selected by echorich can be found on this long-deleted compilation CD which, if you see any second-hand copies kicking around, I would recommend you splash out on it.

In the meantime:-

mp3 : Wah! Heat – Better Scream
mp3 : Wah! Heat – Seven Minutes To Midnight
mp3 : Shambeko Say Wah! – Remember
mp3 : J.F. Wah – Story Of The Blues
mp3 : Wah! – Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me)
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – Weekends
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – Come Back
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – Sinful
mp3 : Pete Wylie – If I Love You
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – Heart As Big As Liverpool

Echorich also made some great observations on the solo career of Ian McCulloch:-

Candleland is the stand out, but there are some excellent moments on Mysterio – Pomegranate, Magical World, Dug For Love – which beats many of his contemporaries at the dance/rock emerging at the time and his gorgeous reading of Leonard Cohen’s Lover, Lover, Lover. In fact I’d say his version of the last song is as beautiful and seminal as Jeff Buckley’s career turn on Hallelujah. My favorite McCulloch song – it’s a b-side to Candleland’s Faith + Healing single – Rocket Ship. It’s an exuberant track with a heartfelt love song built-in.

I’m with him on Lover, Lover, Lover as being a tremendous cover version. Feels right that this week of nostalgically looking back at the class of Liverpool early 80s style should come to an end with these culled straight from the vinyl:-

mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Candleland (The Second Coming) (Extended Version)
mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Dig For Love (12″ version)
mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Lover, Lover, Lover (Indian Dawn Mix)
mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Lover, Lover, Lover
mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Faith & Healing (The Carpenter’s Son Mix)

while these are from CDs:-

mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Rocket Ship
mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
mp3 : Ian McCulloch – Suzanne

The latter two are more great takes on Leonard Cohen originals – and incidentally, it was Mac’s love for the Canadian bard that turned me onto his songs many years after I had initially ignored them on the grounds of him being hippy-dippy and ultra depressing.

Enjoy

BIG, BOOMING AND MEMORABLE

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Pete Wylie didn’t do things by half.  The three occasions that he managed to enter the higher echelons of the UK pop charts left us with magical and timeless bits of music.

I did consider having a go at pulling together an imaginary compilation album featuring his best moments but in all honesty while I have some albums and this fairly comprehensive compilation CD that brings together most of his best recordings I didn’t think my words could do him justice. My cop-out is therefore just to dig deep into the cupboard and pull out the three hit singles in 12″ form as well as a double-pack of 7″ pieces of plastic from his last Top 20 effort:-

1982 : The Story Of The Blues

This climbed all the way to #3 in the charts and is probably the best known of the hits. To my young(ish) ears it sounded like no other record that had ever been released at that point in history. To my old(er) ears it still sounds like no other record that has ever been released in history. Oh and the b-side on the 12″ is a new version of an earlier and much-loved flop single.

mp3 : Wah! – The Story of The Blues (Parts I and II)
mp3 : Wah! – 7 Minutes Live(ish)

1983 : Come Back

Pete was infamous for being a bit of a gobshite who loved to spout opinions about everyone and everything, and an unwillingness to play by the record industry rules and regulations. Nevertheless, he was regarded as such a talent that WEA, the biggest label in the world at the time, signed him up after The Story of The Blues. He delivered an album that horrified them and they refused to release it and in doing so nullified the recording contract.

In due course the album was partially re-recorded and eventually released on Beggars Banquet as A Word To The Wise Guy. There was a Top 20 hit single from it, released in a number of formats including this 12″ version:-

mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – Come Back (The Story Of The Reds)/The Devil In Miss Jones (combined and extended)
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – Come Back! (The Return of the Randy Scouse Git)
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – From Disco Dicko to A Kid in Care

This was an almighty two fingers gesture to WEA. It was the big sound they had demanded of the album but only provided after Wylie had gone to pastures new…and in the b-side version the lyrics were altered to enable a sideways swipe at WEA singers and bands who were enjoying regular chart success…

1986 : Sinful!

Almost thirty years on and this still sounds amazing when it blasts out of the radio. It reached #13 but was worthy at least of Top 3 to match his biggest ever hit. The 12″ Tribal Mix goes on for more than eight minutes and while it does occasionally betray its age thanks to the rather dated production techniques and tricks of the day, it is still hugely enjoyable and a fine commentary on the social injustices imposed on society by the Tories and Republicans in the first half of the ‘greed is good’ decade.

mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – Sinful! (Tribal Mix)
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – Sinful!
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – I Want The Moon, Mother

This was another single released in a multitude of formats and quite recently I had the good fortune to get my hands on the 2 x 7″ release of the single and here’s the two tracks that weren’t otherwise on the 12″ ( a word of warning…..they’re really only for completists):-

mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – Sophie’s Sinful! (for Maurice or Isabelle)
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – The Joy Of Being Booed

Enjoy