Wishlist Wednesday: The Avalanches, Since I Left You

Its another Wishlist Wednesday today and my pick for today is by The Avalanches.

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Released in late 2000, I was at a major cross roads in my life when tracks from it were everywhere in the UK.

Of course, like most major changes to your life you never see them coming, and so just as a guy I did not know was introduced to me by my sisters boyfriend, I was unaware of the massive impact he would have on my life, for the next 16 years (and hopefully beyond that).

In 2000, I was engaged, unhappily, to someone who was an utter twat. I felt like I was walking down the aisle to certain doom and misery but was too young, polite or just plain stupid to say anything or, frankly, run the hell away.

The day I met my other half was like any other, it started out with my being shouted at and abused for not having done some minor household chore- I think it was his interview shirt wasn’t ironed or dry, something like that- and I was contemplating going back to bed when my door buzzed.

To cut a long story short, the engagement, the upset and the impending sense of doom all ended that day, the wedding was off and one of a few people who were such a massive negative on my life was gone for good.

A short time after, I bought this album on CD, for the track Since I left You.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Frontier Psychiatrist and Avalanche Rock for their cool and funky silliness. I have Frontier Psychiatrist on 12 inch sitting right opposite me as I type ( Elder has been pillaging my collection for his show on Radioactive).

Yet Since I Left You, with it’s calm, summer sound and its quite fitting lyric most reminds me of how my life changed, it was like someone opened the curtains and let the sun in, and this song is dreamy in the same way.

I, of course have it on the very same CD I bought all those years ago, but as I build up a collection, some sublime, some ridiculous, based mostly on the memories the songs bring to the fore, I feel this is possibly one of the most important albums not yet found.

Being that awkward era though, Discogs currently have no copies on vinyl, nor does Amazon. The last one I saw was around the £300 mark, and I’m yet to justify to myself (or my credit card provider) that £300 is OK to spend on one vinyl.

Its back to hoping I find one at a Boot sale!

 

 

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OASIS: (WHAT’S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY?

Today we have a quintessential UK album from the nineties, it’s the Gallagher’s with my personal, fave album from their back catalogue.

Oasis, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? on Creation Records

SIDE A:

Hello

Roll With It

Wonderwall

SIDE B:

Don’t Look Back in Anger

Hey Now!

 

Bonehead’s Bank Holiday

SIDE C:

Some Might Say

Cast No Shadow

She’s Electric

SIDE D:

Morning Glory

 

Champagne Supernova

(Gaps denote nameless gaps in the album).

“CRELP 189” -First UK pressing with “Damont” matrix.

This was an album I had wanted on vinyl for as long as I have been seriously collecting it. Its just a slice of pure nineties class. In a sea of shite that epitomises that era, of pop and Euro dance that was constantly on the radio in the middle of the decade, Oasis came along and made it all OK again.

It would have been a Wishlist Wednesday too if it hadn’t been that I accidentally ended up getting off the bus at Jackson’s Corner in Reading rather than where I’d meant to when I was grabbing a costume for my daughters dance performance.

I love Oxfam in Reading town centre and will, no doubt, be bringing you other little gems I’ve picked up in there soon. You’ll certainly have seen my humble brags of finds if you follow my Instagram (or Elder’s).

They even let you listen to your possible finds on the deck they have, like a proper old school record store. I was rather miffed recently as they shut for a few weeks to be redecorated. It made the place a bit brighter but it still has that air of record store grubbiness with hunched people looking through the racks and lots of flyers for local bands and radio shows.

Back in the nineties, I was, shamefully, not that much of a massive Oasis fan. I’d have rather heard them of course than the likes of Aqua or Outhere Brothers, of course, but I certainly went for the more pop centred variation of Brit pop and indie in Blur, Sleeper and Supergrass. My Dad was far more appreciative than me.

As I got older though, my appreciation grew. I think perhaps that my head was turned by the turbulence of Liam and Noel who seemed to be just as often in the press for their spats and naughty behavior as for their music. To be fair, they just seemed like a right pair of prats to me, and they had the most bushy of eyebrows. As Mancunians went, I was far too interested in Robbie than the Gallagher brothers.

In fact, it was when Robbie seemed to give them the boyband nod of approval by going on a “mad one” at Glastonbury when he ditched/was sacked from Take That that made me reconsider (see, listening to crappy boy bands can sometimes lead you to better things).

Ever since, I think of 95 and I think of this album.

Back to Oxfam, and there it was, on the show off shelf behind the till, and I thought sure it would be priced accordingly- after all, you can get this reissued in HMV now for around £25, and, with it’s original price sticker of £2.95 on the front, I felt that it would be priced up further than the re-issue (and the original price).

However, my luck was in and I bagged it for £11.99.

It was in good condition although a little dusty and duly we gave it a spin.

I know this album off by heart, including lyrics. Elder knows it too. So, when side b finished on a track neither of us recognised, we both looked up at the same time and said “this isn’t on the album usually, is it?”

The track is Bonehead’s Bank Holiday and no, it was never on other copies, just the first press. You can also tell a first press as it has “Damont” in the run out/matrix to the side of the label.

It turns out there weren’t that many copies around, it was only released in small number before it went mega and Creation had to send out more to meet demand. Another reason too was that by ’95, most people had switched format to CD, so vinyl was getting scarcer (which makes finding originals from the time harder and more costly than someone who, like Elder, collects stuff from the 60s, 70s or 80s).

Bonehead’s Bank Holiday isn’t the best track for me, it’s a bit of a b side for sure, but its always nice to hear a new track on an old album.

For me, Champagne Supernova is the stand out. In fact, I am so sure it was the standout that if Oasis had of released this and not the far less impressive Roll With It against Blur’s Country House in the well known battle for number one, they would have won hands down.

It is a beautiful, atmospheric, glass of something cold on the side, sun blazing type of tune which makes me get the warm and fuzzies. Its Oasis at their thoughtful, less sneering best and I love it. That it closes the album is perfect, as it’s just the right full stop for an album that mixes it up so well.

Whether you have the special one or the new, go stick it on when the sun’s out and stick the barbecue on. You wont be disappointed.

Wishlist Wednesday: The Offspring, Americana

Hello there and sorry for being MIA. Life gets rather in the way sometimes (that and Twitter users threatening you with bodily injury for having an opposing view) but I’m back and hoping I get round to restarting the Vinyl project.

Today is Wednesday and that means its time to give you a view into my Wishlist of albums- sublime and ridiculous- which I would love to add to my overstuffed shelves but haven’t for whatever reason.

americana

The album currently annoying me by not being in my collection (well, I have it on CD, but that doesn’t count as its rather scratched from over use) is Americana by The Offspring.

Now, some may think that The Offspring were the worst side of the 90s grunge era, the dying strains of it and partly responsible for the rubbish which came after the likes of Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam had either lost too many members or gone awol.

However, they came out just as I was at 6th form, when I partly didn’t know any better just yet of non pop punk crap and so found them rather good, and when I was just starting to explore the fake lip piercing and daft Woolies kids department Barbie vests. I could just as easily listen to The Offspring as All Saints- and did, frequently- as they were less scary than the likes of Korn and Nine Inch Nails.

I bought the album purely on the basis of Pretty Fly for a White Guy, arguably their most well known hit in the UK. Pretty Fly spoke to me not just in a “this is a funny, summer  tune which kind of allows me to nod along with my goth friends” and partly as I could look around my local town center and see chav approximations of the guy the song is about.

However, the album does take some dark musical turns, none more so than The Kids Aren’t Alright.

That song really resonated and was constantly on my playlists, purely down to my being able to relate to it. It was at the time when a friend from school who was seen as a bright star of the future in the art world had sadly committed suicide, and the area I was born in was more and more being held up as the poster town of Broken Britain. A once thriving, vibrant area turned into a pit of teen pregnancy, high unemployment, and youth who had widely given up.

That’s why my poor CD copy has seen much action in very badly put together car stereos and scratched via being chucked across a common room by others.

Its not in my collection as, yet again, its the curse of the nineties when CD and tape were so much more available.

If I want to get the album, not only do I have to either face import tax from the states, or wait for it to possibly turn up as a proper copy from Japan, paying £200 for the privilege. Ouch.

So, The Offspring go into the Wishlist pile, for now.

 

 

Today, We Lost An Icon.

It was my typical rushed Monday morning, when I sat down to glug back a cuppa, and have a quick look at my phone for my social media fix (some people light the first fag of the day, I write my first tweet).

On my timeline, a newsflash.

At first, hope that this was yet again another ridiculous hoax, like so many before it.

Alas, no.

Today, the world got a little less cool.

David Bowie, icon, legend, purveyor of styles, sounds and songs which launched a thousand other acts, a million other stories and memories, has died.

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The fact that this style and musical God left us in the classiest way possible- two days after the release of another cool album, with not a word of the 18 months of illness he suffered through- says it all.

His music, his art, will no doubt live on through generations to come.

From kids like my youngest, who today experienced the first major loss of a hero, to old fans like me who first saw him as Bowie, the actor in the Labyrinth, and beyond to glam rockers old and not so old, Bowie will be remembered as one of the last great and true icons.

Who could be named from our generation of musicians as inspirational and highly regarded as him across decades? I can’t think of any.

He was a cut above, a genius.

Whatever your go to Bowie era, play it loud, play it proud.

RIP.

 

Musical Finds: Vintage Melody Makers

Wow folks, it’s been a while since I posted.

That’s not down to me having had no finds or running out of choices for you. Its because life took over a bit and my love for blogging in general did sort of hit rock bottom. I’ve also been working on a new radio based project but here I am, back, and with a special type of find.

I am a massive fan of online free site Freecycle, and have been for ten years. We’ve had some amazing things gifted to us over the year, most recently amongst them some vintage Tannoy Speakers (possibly the best speakers a hifi head could find. They are things of beauty).

I saw an advert Saturday, for a collection of Melody Maker newspapers from 1979-80. It said on the advert that the offer-er didn’t think anyone would want them, due to their age and that they’d gone a bit yellow, so if there was no interest he’d chuck them in the local dump.

Nooooo!!!!!

Now, I wasn’t born in 1979 or 1980, but I know full well that there was a wealth of musical greatness back then. It was, in the words of The Specials, a dawning of a new era, with all sorts of styles fighting for space in the charts.

We were lucky enough to be given the box of these, and my goodness I am so glad they did not end up in the bottom of a dump filled with old freezers and chip pans.

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There are about 30 of these, with greats from every style of music you can think of. In fact, every major music icon is accounted for.

They are old, some are more tired than others. But history like this is worth saving. Yes, I may be a gigantic geek for thinking it would be awful for these to hit the tip.

I am going to frame some of them, as many as I have wall space for. The adverts on the back and inside are beyond cool, adverts for new albums from Genesis amongst others.

You even have a retrospective on three years from Elvis’ untimely death.

I had a quick look on eBay and some go for over a tenner each, so there is a market for them. Mine are going nowhere near eBay though.

Love,love, love them.

God, I do like a freebie and this has to be my fave obscure one!

WISHLIST WEDNESDAY: SOULWAX, 2 MANY DJS AS HEARD ON RADIO SOULWAX SERIES

Its Wishlist Wednesday time again, and this week it is a particular annoyance to most Vinyl Heads (or I would assume it is cos it narks me right off).

This week it’s Soulwax, and their 2 Many Djs series, which I have the above vinyl of.

The annoying thing is this is Part 2, of a massive set of double albums. Soulwax produce some truly amazing reworkings of popular songs, dance or otherwise.

There is a whole set of mash ups as recorded as part of Radio Soulwax which come under the 2 Many DJs label as the above. 15 at last count.

So, what’s the problem then? Is it too expensive a set- no, in fact, my Part 2 on double vinyl was bought quite easily from eBay for £20. So, no, they are cheap little slices of music to get hold of.

They are hard to come by for the simple reason that, for reasons only known to Soulwax, Part 2 is the only one of the 15 to be released on Vinyl.

How bloody irritating is that?

The first one you’d think would be a given on vinyl purely because the second one is. But it’s not. Its on MP3, it’s on CD, it’s on sodding Youtube.

Vinyl? No.

I’m sure I can’t be the only Vinyl addict who has faced the conundrum of wanting a set of a certain release, only to find it’s on CD bar one of the series. Do you buy the vinyl then buy the CD? Do you buy them all on CD and never be happy that you missed out on a vinyl to add to the Expedit?

I don’t know what way to go on this as I always end up playing them on Youtube and thinking I’d love them all but then stalling down to the lack of vinyl release for the remaining 14.

At least with the Back to Mine series which I also covert, that is all on vinyl (but is sodding expensive).

Why would you bring one out on vinyl? Its so flipping annoying!

I’m off to lie down in a darkened room.

COURTNEY PINE, JOURNEY TO THE URGE WITHIN

As you know, we’re off to Camp Bestival again this year, so I want to bring you a few acts I’m listing as must watch, and those which were highlights last year.

One such highlight was Courtney Pine

courtney pine front inner courtney pine Courtney Pine, Journey to the Urge Within on Island Records

SIDE A:

Miss-Interpret

I Believe

Peace

Dolores

As We Would Say

SIDE B:

Children of the Ghetto

When, Where, How and Why

C.G.C.

Seen

Sunday Song

“This album is dedicated to my son Jamaal”

1986

I have a confession. I had never knowingly heard Courtney Pine until he stormed the stage at Camp Bestival last year. Shocking I know!

The guy, wow, he rocked it. It was an afternoon set on the main stage, when there were lots of kids in the audience who, like me, had probably not heard of Courtney either. So it was possibly quite the tough crowd.

Being a consummate professional of many years, Mr Pine, he didn’t let that bother him, and I bet there are a fair few people like me who came away desperate to locate some albums to continue the start of a musical education.

At a family centred festival, it can be hard I’d imagine to be a stand out performance when you can’t rely on a crowd of people being drunk and happy in a crowd whatever you play.

However, being that he was backed up by an amazingly gifted band, it was certainly on my top 3 list of best ever performances I have witnessed.

Not only that but we all broke a record whilst being in the crowd. Really. Not many can say that after a non headline act in a field in Dorset.

I did have a video of it but owing to my children being evil it appears to have been deleted. The sods.

Courtney encouraged us to jump, as one, 100 times. It was so good, and so many joined in, we did it twice. Yes, I was knackered afterwards, but no matter what age, if someone on a stage, whether you’re a fan of their music or not, tells you, at a festival, on a hot day, to jump like a tit, you jump.

It made everyone happy. Simple as that.

The music of course helped, and I came away from that set very smiley, I danced liked a loon and jumped with lots of other folk.

What more can you ask for?

This album, from 1986, is quite the jazz skat fusion, and thoroughly enjoyable throughout, so I feel it would be rude to pick a stand out track in such an impressive LP.

If you get to see him, do. You’ll be gutted you missed out otherwise.