December 1982: I’ve just seen E.T. at the Ritz cinema. A child’s fantasy, an adult’s memory. Amid the glorious story of friendship and loneliness, there’s a Dungeons and Dragons scene. It’s very brief but sparked my interest. Fast forward about 18 months and I’m in my local area’s most US-style home. It’s got loads of space and a fancy VCR. The video nasties are in full effect but there’s no sign of Spielberg’s classic. Upstairs there’s an attic that runs the length of the house. That’s where I learned to play Dungeons and Dragons. The Basic Set with the polyhedral dice. You got four human classes: Cleric, Fighter, Magic User and Thief, and three demi-human classes: Dwarf, Elf and Halfling.
I’ve already written about Waterford’s KG Discs; see the review of Rave. In 1993, a friend of mine – let’s call him Buddha – bought a compilation called Loaded there. So back to the attic and 10 years after the role-playing, there’s now a pool table. He and his mates potted balls to its 18 tracks on an infinite loop. Another option: Christy Moore Live At The Point.
Loaded would also find its way into a local CD jukebox. A pub named Galavan’s where various punk and ska bands would play in the cavernous back area which was built on the face of rocky cliff. As a venue, it held sway from late 1992 to 1996; the gig itinerary for groups frequently listed as Dublin – New Ross – Cork. When Galavan’s shut down its owner re-located 100 yards away to Ma Byrne’s. They brought the jukebox. Loaded remains there to this day, a seminal soundtrack to our collective youth. In endless time.
Loaded is the fifth of six releases in EMI, Virgin and Polygram’s CDEVP series. Compiled by Ashley Abram who was also responsible for CDEVP1 Awesome!! 2, CDEVP2 The Ultimate Rave, CDEVP3 The Mega Rave and CDEVP4 Mega Dance – The Power Zone.
Primal Scream – Loaded. The 7″ mix. Charted in March 1990, some three years before this compilation came out. The title track, a call to arms that’s somewhat misleading given the strong attacking guitar energy. The Screamadelica house was a stage build; Come Together soaking up the post-Italia 90 vibes with Higher Than The Sun and Don’t Fight It, Feel It soundtracking the following summer. Féile with Ride, The Farm and the Happy Mondays. Impromptu Black Francis. Finally the epic Weatherall production arriving in September ’91. Dixie Narco EP during the spring of 1992. The double LP still caned in parties from the South Circular Road to South Knock. “Deep down, deep down”.
Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way. On first listen, an unusual second track. Think of I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have before the remixers got their hands on it. Then the searing riffage makes sense. Paint-stripping rock, perfect for drinking or driving.
Suede – Animal Nitrate. Obviously amyl nitrite. Pun-tastic yet thrill-seeking and moodily cynical. A pig’s head. Tivoli gig in Dublin coincided with the release of the debut. Pivotal.
Jesus Jones – The Devil You Know. No you don’t. One that rarely gets played nowadays despite its #10 placing. Third 45 from Perverse; Zeroes and Ones has lasted longer.
Stereo MCs – Connected. The song utilises the disco tune Let Me (Let Me Be Your Lover) by Jimmy “Bo” Horne. It also contains a vocal sample from the Third World single Now That We Found Love. Peak exposure came when supporting the Happy Mondays on the Yes Please tour. Disappointingly it’s the longer album cut as opposed to the tighter 7″ edit.
Depeche Mode – I Feel You. An Ard Na Greine track. Harsh but compelling; the big sound just became massive. Opening track on Songs Of Faith And Devotion; an album that’s almost the equal of Violator. A special order from Bridge Records because new LPs were dying a death in 1993. Look at them now.
Lemonheads – Mrs Robinson. Hastily thrown onto later pressings of It’s A Shame About Ray. We had our own Ray. Top road, top man. The abiding memory: headbanging indie ladies in flowery dresses on The Word. The album was still painfully short even with this addition. Sensitive people in university played it on their walkmans constantly.
Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine – The Only Living Boy In New Cross. Undertones are local. 1992: The Love Album deserves a re-appraisal. Released on Chrysalis after the demise of Rough Trade. High points of their year: Glastonbury and Féile appearances. The latter set was so good that most of it is on The Love Album deluxe. Fun, fun, fun.
Therapy? – Totally Random Man. Things take a harder edge with this memorable track from the Shortsharpshock EP. Classic punk homage sleeve. Green, pink and a zip. The pink vinyl 7″ quickly sold out in Dublin but those who thought outside the box picked up unsold copies in dance emporium Abbey Discs. Good advices: search the cheap bins in the heavy metal stalls at record fairs for treasure trash. This is classic Therapy? A fantastic live act but they would crash and burn on the appallingly turgid Nowhere.
The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary. Reissued as Sanctuary MCMXCIII to promote Pure Cult: For Rockers, Ravers, Lovers, and Sinners. A bunch of remixes were commissioned but it’s a missed opportunity as it’s the 1985 original that’s here. Dedicated to the lads in Cheers.
Dinosaur Jr. – Start Choppin’. Taken from Where You Been, a slackers’ delight and ridiculously catchy. Don’t mind those who say it’s too long, not a second is wasted.
Belly – Feed The Tree. We stay stateside with their big hit; a song about respect. Star was one of those LPs that totally defined 1993. Dream pop with an indie rock twist; a mirror turned on The Breeders as you slug Jameson and scoff roasted and stuffed chickens.
The Frank and Walters – After All. The Cork lads were on a rollercoaster all through 1991/1992. Three singles of the week in Melody Maker; two in the NME [I think] plus a front cover. Add a UK tour with Radiohead as support. After All was the peak and sadly the last hurrah. Of course, they made better records in the aftermath but for me, there’s something totally endearing about this love song. This Is Not A Song etc.
Sugar – If I Can’t Change Your Mind. Copper Blue, the album from Bob Mould’s new project came out just before I started in UCD. I made a lifelong friend with somebody while moshing to A Good Idea; a few weeks later I hooked up with future mates at a student residence party that had the Changes 12″ spinning on the stereo.
Morrissey – Certain People I Know. An odd turn. Your Arsenal was mostly glamtastic with a menacing edge. This single came out in December 1992 but only reached #35.
Auteurs – Showgirl. Debut singles don’t get much better than this. Gritty guitars, stop / start / slow / get sick. New Wave and I Am A Cowboy: Britpop’s lost masterpieces. The infamy of Luke Haines; a memorable Vicar Street appearance in late 1999 with Engine Alley’s lead singer sharing our table. A sonic busman’s holiday.
Radiohead – Anyone Can Play Guitar. One of the few highlights on the distinctly average Pablo Honey. Playes like an anthem-in-progress with an unusually stirring chorus and riffs that remind me of Talking Heads. In a packed New Ross boozer this sounds ace.
Faith No More – Easy. A cool and relaxing conclusion. You know it makes sense.
Loaded also came out on vinyl. While 1993 was the format’s nadir, my neighbour did buy the LP. Nine tracks on each side with the record companies’ credits displayed in a white speech bubble – unlike the CD where they’re neatly typed at the bottom of the inlay.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was eventually released on VHS and laserdisc on October 27 1988. To combat piracy, the tapeguards and tape hubs on the videocassettes were coloured green, the tape itself was affixed with a small, holographic sticker of the 1963 Universal logo (much like the holograms on a credit card), and encoded with Macrovision.
“The stars are brighter
Then they have been
Auteurs – Showgirl
Sugar – If I Can’t Change Your Mind
Lest we forget
The Frank and Walters – After All