The Chart Show – Rock The Nation (Dover, 1988)

Chart Show Rock The Nation

Chart Show Rock The Nation r

The second Chart Show spin-off saw the focus move to rock with a double LP and CD tie-in being released in time for the mid-term break of 1988. The vinyl had 24 tracks while the CD contained 19. So early adopters of perfect sound forever missed out on Icehouse – Crazy, John Parr – St Elmo’s Fire, The Rainmakers – Let My People Go Go, Paul Carrack – Don’t Shed A Tear, Jethro Tull – Said She Was A Dancer i.e. most of the vinyl’s side 4.

The Chart Show’s annual awards for each genre always made for interesting viewing. The roll of honour for the Rock Chart was as follows:
1986 Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name
1987 Heart – Alone
1988 Iron Maiden – Can I Play With Madness
1989 Metallica – One
1990 Faith No More – Epic
1991 Bryan Adams – Everything I Do (I Do It For You)
1992 Ugly Kid Joe – Everything About You

In September 1986 our school started up a music library. For a nominal membership fee, pupils could rent out albums for home listening and copying. There was a stock of about 150 titles – equally divided between LP and cassette. It would open two lunchtimes a week – I usually tried to work in it at least one of those days. Hard rock and soft metal were both extremely popular; possibly due to the number of boarder pupils in the school. Boarders typically came from well-off families who were predominately farmers. Their music tastes weren’t completely uniform but a significant percentage were big fans of AC/DC, Europe, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard etc. Accordingly Slippery When Wet was massive all through the winter of 1986 and well into the spring of 1987. I hated it at first but gradually the lunchtime plays saw its songs worm their way into my skull and the two later singles, Wanted Dead Or Alive and Never Say Goodbye gradually became sickly favourites.

Rock The Nation blasts off with a rocket – Crazy, Crazy Nights by Kiss. It was produced by Ron Nevison and features a radio-friendly almost poppy sound with decent harmonies and swirling guitars. There’s no let up with track 2, Robert Palmer’s signature song, Addicted To Love, which was supported by one of the most iconic music videos of the decade. “You wanna dance, yeah?” intones Billy Idol on his raucous cover of Mony, Mony. A live version was used to promote the US reissue of Vital Idol. Its call ‘n’ response garage style was an instant hit in the clubs, with the stonewashed jeans’ brigade cutting some serious moves to it in the Crosbie Motor Hotel. Their dancefloor was dazzling as their white socks and black slip-ons set off the shiny wooden tiles. It was the era of free admission before 11.00pm and suppers were served a requirement when a bar extension was permitted. Usually chicken curry and rice or steak and kidney pie in a foil tray + two scoops of mash.

That Friday night disco during late 1987 and early 1988 was the place to hear INXS. New Sensation, The Devil Inside, Mystify, Mediate, Never Tear Us Apart, Need You Tonight. “You’re one of my kind” was like a secret code to us who dug the cool sounds of Kick. Here, the compilers drop a curveball by choosing the band’s 1986 single Listen Like Thieves. An inspired choice, the band rock out with a real swagger. Just before it, Marillion’s Fish era comes to a end on the driving Incommunicado. Now to Wanted Dead Or Alive, a song about Jon Bon Jovi’s admiration for Old West heroes, and how he identifies with them as being hated and loved at the same time. The lifestyle of every rock band was similar to that of outlaws in that each was “a young band of thieves, riding into town, stealing the money, the girls and the booze before the sun came up.” It’s pump your fist in the air time for the next three tracks – Whitesnake’s intensely deep & paranoid Is This Love?, Steve Winwood’s euphoric Valerie and Huey Lewis’ time travelling jam, The Power Of Love.

Amen…Send Money was the name of the Miami Vice episode – broadcast on RTE1 during November 1987 – that had The Hooters’ Satellite, a satire of the excesses of televangelism. The accompanying video depicted a young girl and her parents attempting to watch The Three Stooges interspersed with The Hooters performing, but being constantly interrupted by transmissions from a Christian show. A fist-pumping rock classic. Next come The Cult – re-invented as rockers on the Electric LP – with Lil’ Devil, purchased on the day I cycled 15 miles to Waterford to see Platoon in the cinema. And ideally paired with Motley Crue’s basic but effective Girls, Girls, Girls. Jay Sean remembers this era with unerring accuracy “Cigarettes, neon bar lights, leather clothing, waist high underwear…what a time.”

Pat Benatar’s dramatic Love Is A Battlefield may have been a 1983 / 1985 hit but it was still aired frequently in ’88, especially on RTE’s MT USA (ran until the year before) which really helped to prolong its life. Elsewhere Status Quo’s In The Army Now still rocks out in – especially in this company – sequenced before the Georgia Satellites louder than hell Battleship Chains. Another somewhat forgotten gem from this period is Broken English’s Comin’ On Strong, a enjoyable Rolling Stones rip-off. No disco is complete without a slow set and we’re not disappointed here as Foreigner’s provocative I Want To Know What Love Is kicks in. Ah the memories. We then wrap up with The Final Countdown, a typical end-of-night tune and The Cars’ Drive. “If you drink, don’t drive… but if you do, two will do.”

Favourite tracks
Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead Or Alive

The Cult – Lil’ Devil

Lest we forget
The Hooters – Satellite

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Indie Top 20 Volume 3 – War Of Independents (Beechwood Music, 1988)

Indie 3

Indie 3 r

Volume 3 saw the Indie Top 20 series turn a sort of dayglo. The design style became more consistent – logo, paperclip, the Melody Maker sponsorship more prominent and it was now on a new label, Beechwood Music. We also saw the first of a sub-heading or byline – War Of Independents. “There is life outside of the majors.” proudly stated the back cover.

Like the first outing, both Joy Division and New Order appear and again their tracks are taken from Peel Sessions. The key details are as follows:
Joy Division #1, recorded 31 January 1979: Exercise One / Insight / She’s Lost Control / Transmission. Released November 1986, grey sleeve and reached #4 on the indie chart.
Joy Division #2, recorded 26 November 1979: Love Will Tear Us Apart / 24 Hours / Colony / Sound Of Music. Released September 1987, brown sleeve and got to #3.
New Order #1, recorded 26 January 1981: Truth / Senses / I.C.B. / Dreams Never End. Released December 1987, brown sleeve.
New Order #2, recording date unknown, sometime during spring 1982: Turn The Heater On / We All Stand / Too Late / 5-8-6. Released September 1986, grey sleeve.

I don’t like New Order’s Movement. It suffers from a sheen of blandness and comes across as claustrophobic. The songs are almost suffocated by the production. The only one worth saving is Dreams Never End and when I saw the announcement of the £150 super deluxe edition, I thought we’ve reached peak nostalgia. However the Peel Session is somewhat better and the songs can actually breathe. Truth is included here and despite the austere sound, is almost hypnotic. Meanwhile the compilers decide to close this volume of Indie Top 20 with Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart, a superb version – the first recorded – with the most unreal drumming I have ever heard. “Some things are eternal for as long as they last. Love Will Tear Us Apart will be circling the globe for all time.” (Jen Kesler)

Towering over practically every other act on this compilation are the boys from Basildon; Depeche Mode with their epic stadium hand-waver Never Let Me Down Again. One of the greatest ever singles ever, this plays like a symphony and takes me back to lunchtime spins of Music For The Masses. The next song (The Leather Nun’s Lost And Found), despite its industrial flavour, sounds totally ineffectual beside it. Elsewhere Danielle Dax has been described by Jon Lee as “if David Bowie and Kate Bush had produced a child this is what she would have sounded like.” Big Hollow Man is bass-heavy with a glam twist. Another enduring video from The Chart Show was Beaver Patrol, played often by me and Pop Will Eat Itself’s third successive appearance. It now sounds like a cut-price Beastie Boys rip off.

I didn’t get to many concerts in 1987 but one that I did manage to attend was in Dublin’s SFX that September. The Jesus & Mary Chain on the Darklands tour. Support came from The Motorcycle Boy, which essentially consisted of ex-Shop Assistants vocalist fronting ex-Creation band Meat Whiplash. They featured on the cover of the NME around then too. Big Rock Candy Mountain is a lovely tune, almost heartbreaking and seems to have been forgotten now. Get it on Cherry Red’s C87. Meanwhile Darklands still occupies a special place in my collection, full of overt misery, sweet vocal melodies and drum machines replacing Bobby Gillespie. Primal Scream later recorded a cover version of the album’s title track as a B-side to their 1998 single If They Move, Kill ‘Em. William Reid sings on Darklands, Nine Million Rainy Days and On The Wall. The latter is particularly amazing both here and in Porta Studio demo form on Barbed Wire Kisses. Melancholy ecstasy.

Side 2 commences with the cowboys of the apocalypse, Fields Of The Nephilim and their graveyard goth monster tune Preacher Man. More doom follows shortly afterwards with Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s Open Up. But lets go back in time, to 1955. Christopher Mayhew, then a Liberal MP took part in an experiment that was intended to form a Panorama special but was never broadcast by the BBC. Under the guidance of his friend Dr Humphry Osmond, Mayhew ingested 400 mg of mescaline hydrochloride and allowed himself to be filmed for the duration of the trip. The Shamen used samples of the audio in the dazzling psychedelic blast off Christopher Mayhew Says, released between their first two albums Drop and In Gorbachev We Trust. A truly pioneering tune with a groundbreaking video.

“Have you got the CD version of Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out)?” Try asking that without pausing for breath. The Happy Mondays were in town with The Velvet Underground’s John Cale at the helm. While I had been buying pop CDs for some time, this was one of my first indie releases purchased on the new format, primarily to get hold of the outrageously brilliant title track. Some weeks earlier, I had picked up the vinyl in the Virgin Megastore complete with transparent PVC liner and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da knock-off Desmond. After a couple of months, this uncleared sample fest was withdrawn and replaced by 24 Hour Party People. It’s a hugely confident track with hooks galore and a memorable video. But I wouldn’t overlook their earlier non-album singles, Forty Five EP and Freaky Dancin’. The former includes the gorgeous Delightful and was produced by Mike Pickering. Loads And Loads More is where you can find both on CD; note it has the rarer 7″ edit of Freaky Dancin’.

Rhythm King supply the opening brace on tunes as we drop the needle on record 2. The Cookie Crew’s Females is a neat boombox jam while Hotline’s Hellhouse is an initially uninspired quasi funk number created by Tony Powell and Trevor Russell. Repeated plays should see you get into its groove. Next comes Erasure’s Victim Of Love, their third single from The Circus, an LP that dominated my stereo that summer. There are some extremely strong album tracks such as Spiralling and Hideaway, all produced by the enigmatic Flood whom the Sisters Of Mercy paid tribute to on Floodland, writing not one but two songs about him. Which brings us to the excellently gothic Fools Gold from Ghost Dance who consisted of Gary Marx (ex-The Sisters Of Mercy) and Anne Marie from Skeletal Family.

In 1988 The Sugarcubes’ manifesto Life’s Too Good turned up in Shaws, Waterford – almost nationwide. I got the green sleeve version. You could also get blue, orange, pink and yellow colours. The band were all punk and post-punk veterans, Björk in particular having been part of the Reykjavik scene since the age of 11. Their mission statement was encapsulated in Blue-Eyed Pop, but it was the debut single Birthday that first drew praise – a single of the week in Melody Maker. Even now, it’s an unnerving song, a mixture of the infantile and the sinister. “Hún á heima í húsinu þarna” is how it goes; we’re now given the Icelandic version which was on the B-Side of both the 7″ and 12″. The latter also included another track in their native language, the crazy Cat, also performed at their 1989 SFX gig. Read more about that night in my review of Now That’s What I Call Music 1989 – The Millennium Series. In Bjork’s words “Life’s both sweet and sour!”

1987 was the year of 4AD’s groundbreaking compilation Lonely Is An Eyesore which introduced me to the weird and wonderful world of the Throwing Muses. Kristin Hersh penned Cry Baby Cry and it’s taken from their 12″ EP Chains Chained. The best way to describe it is primal pop with a real unsettling rural feel. Cry Baby Cry is also a song by The Beatles that appeared on 1968’s White Album, the subject of a significant anniversary last year. In 1992, the Throwing Muses covered it for the Not Too Soon EP, a single from their masterpiece The Real Ramona – a favourite album of mine from 88 Harold’s Cross Road. “A great cover of one of my favorite obscure Beatles songs. Beautiful melancholy guitar arpeggios winding ’round the vocal melody. Also very nice drum work, finding the sweet spot for that snare beat. I love the drifting fade out as well.” (Cyrano 66)

Loveless gets most of the oxygen, Isn’t Anything hoovers up most of the remainder. But there was life before 1988 and sadly it’s still not properly anthologised. Debut LP This Is Your Bloody Valentine isn’t great – it’s a mediocre two-tracker but the pre-Creation stuff doesn’t deserve to remain in scalper oblivion. Maybe a double CD along the lines of:
01-07: This Is Your Bloody Valentine LP
08-11: Geek 12″
01-04: The New Record By My Bloody Valentine 12″
05-08: Sunny Sundae Smile 12″
09-11: Strawberry Wine 12″
12-18: Ecstasy LP
19: Strawberry Wine (Ecstasy And Wine version).
Ecstasy And Wine, released 1989 and purchased by me in Comet, Cork, was a combination of Ecstasy, the two Strawberry Wine B-sides and a new version of the A-Side. This fantasy set would be a licensing nightmare as those seven records came out on four different labels – Dossier, Fever, Kaleidoscope Sound and Lazy. Strawberry Wine features on Indie Top 20 Volume 3 and its blurry, hazy late ’60s sheen along with the next song, the abrasive yet so wistful Anyone Can Make A Mistake, enhances the whole side to sheer greatness.

The world has changed an awful lot in the last 34 years but there are still a few constants that can be relied on. Since 1985, David Gedge, along with a variety of others – collectively known as The Wedding Present – has ploughed a frantic musical furrow encompassing speedy indie thrash with a few diversions along the way, namely Ukrainian folk music and the lush orchestral pop of side project Cinerama. While the line up has changed many times over the years, Gedge remains a totemic force, a walking emotional powerhouse that sings about love, lust, break-ups and revenge. After 1987’s sparkling debut LP George Best and a slew of thrilling singles like Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm and Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now, the band found themselves pursued by a major label and duly signed to RCA in 1989. In April that collection of Ukrainian Peel Sessions became their first release for the new label while they followed this up with a single in September, the fantastic white noise ‘n’ drums mayhem that is Kennedy. I played it at my wedding – mosh city.

The following month – October ’89 – was a crucial one for The Wedding Present. Time to stand up with the big boys. Bizarro was the name of the second LP and on first listens it was obvious that the band had really toughened up their sound. Gone was the tinny indie jangle that made George Best so endearing and in its place were the furious rhythm guitars that showed a group really wanted to rock hard and fast. Reviews were mixed – 6/10 said the NME – while others shouted “sell-outs”. However I loved it from the moment I set it on the turntable and during that cold winter as the Berlin wall fell and the 1980s came to an end, Bizarro was a constant companion. It was a bruising and emotional listen which I, as a angst-ridden teenager who just started third level, could easily relate to. The high points were numerous with the heart-felt anguish of Brassneck and the plaintive and apologetic No stealing side one’s thunder. On the flip the sweetest treats were voyeuristic in nature(Bewitched) and lusty (Take Me). Hector losing his shoe and all that.

The band first visited these shores during the Halloween break of 1988 with a storming gig in McGonagles (tickets were a fiver) and a return to plug the new album was much eagerly anticipated. After two postponements the gig eventually went ahead on 9 February 1990 at the SFX. It was a cracker, kicking off with new B-side Don’t Talk, Just Kiss and climaxing with the overwrought and regret-filled What Have I Said Now? This electric atmosphere was repeated the following year at the same venue when they came back to promote their triumphant third LP, the Albini-produced Seamonsters. Nearly 30 years have now elapsed since Bizarro charged out of my speakers on that rainy October evening. David Gedge was still in his 20s, in 2019 he’ll be 59. However songs about falling in and out of love will never get old. It’s because of this that I salute The Wedding Present, the band of my youth and the soundtrack to my coming of age. One can never have too much apple pie.

Favourite tracks
Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People

The Wedding Present – Anyone Can Make A Mistake

My Bloody Valentine – Strawberry Wine

Lest we forget
The Motorcycle Boy – Big Rock Candy Mountain

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Indie Top 20 Volume 2 (Band Of Joy, 1987)

Indie 2

Indie 2 r

I can’t exactly remember what the gap is between the first Indie Top 20 and Volume 2 – think it could be seven months – but in that time, the music world was rapidly changing. The key change was the demise of The Smiths. I read it in the NME at the beginning of August and was absolutely floored by the news. For the previous three years, I played their records more often than anybody else – indeed, my diary for 1986 shows that I spun The Queen Is Dead 37 times during the first week of ownership. After the split was announced, the final run of releases began with Girlfriend In A Coma. Shelagh Delaney in the house.

Here are some random thoughts on The Smiths’ back catalogue and subsequent treatment of same via the reissue, repackage channels. Let’s start with The Boy With The Thorn In His Side. Originally the 45 version appeared on The World Won’t Listen but was replaced by the album mix on later pressings, including the 2011 reissues. Songs That Saved Your Life outlines the differences: “The album version features extra guitar overdubs as well as an additional string arrangement. The two takes are easily distinguishable at 0:07; a symphonic surge pre-empts Morrissey’s opening line on The Queen Is Dead version, whereas the original single mix bears only the plain marimba three-note scale up.”

I bought the deluxe edition of The Smiths’ Complete. The vinyl reissues sound really good and the 25 7″ singles are lovely. BUT they use the album version of Boy…. and the Reel Around The Fountain 7″ uses the Peel Session version instead of the Troy Tate mix. So the box isn’t Complete. From memory it doesn’t have the following on CD so you need to look elsewhere. Some are on multiple releases but I’ve just listed the most “logical” one.
Handsome Devil (7″ B-Side version) – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
Jeane – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
Accept Yourself – This Charming Man CD single Part 1
Wonderful Woman – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
This Charming Man (London) – This Charming Man CDS Part 2
This Charming Man (New York Remix) – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
This Charming Man (New York Remix Instrumental) – This Charming Man CDS Part 2
This Charming Man (Single Remix) – This Charming Man CDS Part 2
What Difference Does It Make (Edit)
How Soon Is Now (Edit) – How Soon Is Now CDS
Barbarism Begins At Home (Edit) – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
Nowhere Fast (Live Oxford 18/3/85) – The Headmaster Ritual CDS
Stretch Out And Wait (Live Oxford 18/3/85) – The Headmaster Ritual CDS
Shakespeare’s Sister (Live Oxford 18/3/85)
Meat Is Murder (Live Oxford 18/3/85) – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side (Single Version) – The Very Best Of The Smiths
The Draize Train – Panic CDS
Ask (Single Version) – The Very Best Of The Smiths
Work Is A Four Letter Word (7″ Mix)
Work Is A Four Letter Word (12″ Mix) – Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before CDS
I Keep Mine Hidden – Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before CDS
Pretty Girls Make Graves (Demo) – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (Live) – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out CDS
What’s The World (Live) – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me (Edit) – The Sound Of The Smiths 2CD edition
William It Was Really Nothing (Peel Session) – Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me CDS
Rusholme Ruffians (Peel Session) – Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me CDS
Nowhere Fast (Peel Session) – Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me CDS

So there are three tracks that are still MIA or unavailable on CD. The 7″ edit of What Difference Does It Make was included on Now That’s What I Call Music II but I don’t hold out too much hope of them getting it right even if it does get reissued. The Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before CD single was released on the West German Line Records label. Virgin in Dublin had that on import in 1987 – it was £19.99 (!). Ask is a weird one. The original single mix is 2:59. The album version is 3:18. However the single mix on The Very Best Of The Smiths is actually in between – it’s 3:10. The two single mixes have the vocal track lasting until the end of the song. The backing vocals are louder and mixed slightly differently. The album version fades out later and has the vocal track ending before the fade begins. The 2:59 mix is on The Complete Picture VHS / DVD. Christmas 1988 saw all the 12″ singles repressed and new fangled CD singles in the shops. The 12″s shifted quite a bit; the CDs less so – think they were about £6.99 here so pricey.

Basically eight of The Smiths’ singles had unique single edits (there was only one version of the other songs).The eight are:
Hand In Glove
This Charming Man
What Difference Does It Make
How Soon Is Now?
That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me
The 1995 Singles album only includes one of these – This Charming Man – which is also readily available elsewhere. It’s flawed from the very start – kicking off with the album version (“remixed by John Porter”) of Hand In Glove.

While it was a relief to see Indie Top Volume 2 being released on double LP as opposed to being cassette-only, a CD version would have been a nice option for those of us who already owned (some of) these songs on vinyl. Nevertheless, the audio quality is decent with only five tunes per side. We go Grebo for track 1, the searing sound of Crazyhead’s What Gives You The Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby?, the single mix has much more energy than the LP. An idea that shouldn’t really work but did was Pop Will Eat Itself covering Sigue Sigue Sputnik. Love Missile F1-11 was only 12 months old & is transformed with muscular riffs and an interesting rap. Speaking of which, we venture into this genre on Three Wise Men’s one dimensional Refresh Yourself. Also on Rhythm King but much better are Renegade Soundwave with their debut Kray Times, all rambling punky chaos. Obscurity knocks for Bambi Slam on the intensely melodic Don’t It Make You Feel?

Shambling strummers unite! It’s the Close Lobsters with the charming Never Seen Before. Veterans of the first volume, The Flatmates return as new and improved on Happy All The Time, a catchy and speedy burst of jangle pop. The bar is now raised by The Pastels and the absolute classic masterpiece that is Crawl Babies. Anorak rock with a childlike twist.
“I wanna build her up
Up as tall as a church
Just to watch her
Just to watch her falling down”

I remember when I bought Up For A Bit; I kept dropping the needle back to Crawl Babies. A song that would make you want to hit the indie disco in your pyjamas. Ten years later, they’d headline the worst gig of my life. All grown up, the dream dashed. Moving on, side 2 closes with two more bands that also graced the first instalment. The Soup Dragons’ Head Gone Astray is less immediate than Hang Ten but repeated plays and a fine rhythm guitar do their magic. And it’s that difficult fourth single for Hector’s favourites Mighty Mighty as the perform Built Like A Car with serious chops and a nifty drum break right at the end.

The second half begins with some hip house & deadly piano; The Beatmasters and Cookie Crew’s Rok Da House, a track which became massive in early 1988 and is immortalised on side 4 of Now That’s What I Call Music 11. While The Beloved’s star wouldn’t really rise until the Happiness era of 1989/1990, Forever Dancing is an excellent effort, all scratchy beats and prominent guitars. We’re back in the purity of indie next with The Chesterfields’ wry Ask Johnny Dee. Familiar to most Dublin music fans, John Dee was Freebird Records most enduring employee, dispensing musical knowledge and Manchester City discussion under a haze of Marlboro smoke. You can read more this great record shop during its heyday in my review of Now That’s What I Call Music 1999 – The Millennium Series. Birds of a feather flock together as Voice Of The Beehive are coupled with All About Eve. Just A City is polished but doesn’t gel with me whereas Our Summer always played a little half-baked – somewhat like an inferior In Tua Nua.

The Texas Campfire Tapes, the first journey for Michelle Shocked was a favourite of Dave Fanning listeners back in 1986/1987. Especially the bearded lads with glasses who thought Galway was cooler than Dublin. If Love Was A Train is competent bluesy folk but nothing to get excited about. The twang continues on the next number, the Passmore Sisters’ rustic but unconvincing Every Child In Heaven. Also upping their game on this volume were The Blue Aeroplanes and their literate out of sorts rock, Tolerance. The mood lightens with the razor sharp wit of Brian Rix, possibly the Brilliant Corners’ finest moment, jaunty pop with a smile. “It’s just you remind me of Brian Rix, when you pull down your trousers it sends me in fits.” Finally the closing song could be described as the sound of C86 growing up – Talulah Gosh’s eponymous third single, a well-produced slice of driving yet resigned melancholia. Parts of it make me incredibly sad – the balloons in the video, seeing Fat Mat, the line: “All the things she does, written in her diary
But when the day is done, she cannot tell the truth.”

When it speeds up before the chorus, I get nostalgic for a future that never materialised.

Favourite tracks
The Pastels – Crawl Babies

Talulah Gosh – Talulah Gosh

The Brilliant Corners – Brian Rix

Lest we forget
Renegade Soundwave – Kray Twins

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