SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 120)

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Cheating a bit this week. I don’t actually own a copy of this single, but I used to. I loaned it to someone many many years ago and through one thing and another we lost touch and I never got it back.

What I do have in the collection is a vinyl LP which brings together all the early release by The Vaselines, who, just in case you are wondering:-

The Vaselines are an alternative rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. Formed in Glasgow in 1986, the band was originally a duo between its songwriters Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee, but later added James Seenan and Eugene’s brother Charlie Kelly on bass and drums respectively from the band Secession. McKee had formerly been a member of a band named The Pretty Flowers with Duglas T. Stewart, Norman Blake, Janice McBride and Sean Dickson. Eugene Kelly had formerly played in The Famous Monsters.

The band formed in 1986, and released two short EPs, Son of a Gun, which featured a cover of Divine’s “You Think You’re a Man” on its B-side, and Dying for It, which featured the songs “Molly’s Lips” and “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam,” both of which Nirvana would later cover. In 1989 they released their first album, Dum-Dum, on 53rd and 3rd Records. The band broke up shortly after its release. They briefly reformed in 1990 to open for Nirvana when they played in Edinburgh.

Kelly went on to found the band Captain America (later renamed Eugenius after legal threats from Marvel Comics), supporting Nirvana on their UK tour. Following solo performances Kelly released the album Man Alive in 2004. McKee founded the band Suckle and released her first solo album, Sunny Moon, in 2006.

In the summer of 2006, McKee and Kelly took to the stage together for the first time since 1990 to perform a set of Vaselines songs, as part of a joint tour to promote their individual solo albums.

The Vaselines reformed (minus the old rhythm section) on 24 April 2008 for a charity show for the Malawi Orphan Support group at Glasgow’s MONO venue. Invitation was by word-of-mouth with no press announcements and the band played to a packed, enthusiastic audience. Over the next few months they played a number of other gigs in Scotland and the USA and in March 2009 they played their first London date in 20 years.

The Vaselines second studio album, Sex With an X, was released in September 2010 and earlier this year, their third studio album, V for Vaselines, was released.

But this was the second of the initial EPs from 1988:-

mp3 : The Vaselines – Dying For It
mp3 : The Vaselines – Molly’s Lips
mp3 : The Vaselines – Teenage Superstars
mp3 : The Vaselines – Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam

Those are the song titles as they appeared on the back of the 12″ single (see photo above).  The compilation LP I own (on a sort of red/pink coloured vinyl no less!!) renames the last two as Teenage Jesus Superstars and Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam which, once you listen to the songs, would appear to be the correct titles… it’s certainly the latter which is used on the Unplugged LP by Nirvana.

I still look back and marvel at the lyrics of ‘Sunbeam’.  I was someone who rejected religion in my teenage years (something which got me into a wee bit of bother at my Roman Catholic school) and I was full of the utmost admiration at the way Eugene had managed to write such a beautiful sounding yet bitter and angry song.  This was punk rock at its finest.

Enjoy