I’ve mentioned on a few occasions of a very stupid incident in late 1986 which resulted in me losing a few boxes of 7” singles.
Thanks to my recent purchase of the 5xCD Big Gold Dreams box set, I’ve had my memory jolted in respect of some of the bits of plastic which came to grief, one of which has turned out to be something quite rare and valuable:-
It was released on the Glasgow label No Strings in the summer of 1983. It was a time when Glasgow was awash with great bands making astonishingly good jangly-guitar based music, much of which has been greatly celebrated on this little corner of t’internet. I do remember the lads involved in the label saying that they were determined to sign the best of local talent and them having their eyes on the newly emerging Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. The big offer put on the table by Polydor meant they missed out that time and so the initial releases were 45s by two highly regarded local groups – Del Amitri and Popgun. But by the time the latter went into the studio, the name had changed to The Suede Crocodiles.
I bought the single without having heard it, but I had seen Popgun play a few times in small venues across the city. It was also being mentioned in the local media that No Strings was hoping to prove to be every bit as important as Postcard had been a few years earlier and as far as I was concerned, buying this particular piece of plastic was a no-brainer.
As it turned out, Stop The Rain wasn’t quite as outstanding and instantly memorable as I had hoped it would be. I’m not saying it’s a poor or disappointing single – far from it – but the thing is, it was being compared to a lot of other great stuff which was emerging from the city and it didn’t quite do enough to stand out. Having said that, I was pleased with the purchase and it did find its way onto a couple of compilation tapes that were made at the time and also managed through requests, to get it aired a couple of times at Strathclyde Students Union.
The next thing I heard, and it came from a mate who was a regular at the Student Union (and who knew a few folk directly involved in the local music scene) was that The Suede Crocodiles had split up as one of their two singer-songwriters, Kevin McDermott, wanted to pursue a solo career.
It wasn’t something that bothered me much – I did keep an eye out on what Kevin was doing, going along to a few shows and in due course buying some records; but, as with The Suede Crocodiles, it didn’t ever quite fully click with me.
Over the years, and not having the single to provide any prompt or reminder, that connection between Kevin McDermott and The Suede Crocodiles ended up being forgotten, brought only back into my mind by the occasional mention on a blog or website that I’ve stumbled across.
It was just the other day that I got to hear Stop The Rain again thanks to purchasing the afore-mentioned box set. Seeing a picture of the sleeve in the accompanying booklet was the reminder that I had actually once owned the single. I went onto Discogs to see what it’s going for nowadays.
There are six copies for sale and the price range is £100-£200 (albeit the most expensive comes signed by the four members of the band).
Wow. That was way more than I had expected….and again got me thinking about what I really should be doing with my vinyl going ahead. I’ve no kids to leave it to and other than Aldo (who isn’t all that much younger than me!!!) no-one is of an age to whom it could really be passed onto. I must have a few bits of vinyl that are worth a reasonable amount, and when you add it all up, it will be a very tidy sum. There’s even a few CDs that some folk might be interested in!!!
But all that’s for another time. Today is all about bringing you the one single ever recorded and released by The Suede Crocodiles. And I can even offer up the b-side:-
Turns out that, back in the day, the band had made a number of recordings for potential release by No Strings and these eventually were brought together, along with a few live renditions that had been captured, and issued as a vinyl-only 13-track compilation on Accident Records in 2001, with a later CD version being released in Japan in 2010.
Oh and the Big Gold Dreams box-set has provided me with loads of potential material for the blog. You have been warned.