Flying the flag on Shine 7 are Garbage, Suede, Cast, Dodgy, Babybird, Gene, Manic Street Preachers, Sneaker Pimps, Oasis, Skunk Anansie, Longpigs, Super Furry Animals, Pulp, Shed Seven & Space. The detachable questionnaire is for a fabulous Philips Camcorder.
Cast’s All Change was still providing new thrills in 1996; in this instance, the cosmic jam Flying, its biggest success to date. Just getting into the 45 stride for the Coming Up songs were Suede with the cool dandy groover Beautiful Ones. And the Manic Street Preachers drop their new broom on the sweeping Everything Must Go, “I hope that you can forgive us, but everything must go.” The sentiment comes across like they’ve suffered a great loss but now want to move on and start anew. Also moving on were Gene and their second (proper) album era, Drawn To The Deep End. Fighting Fit was the lead, a muscular punch of a tune which was backed by the title track of the new album (which didn’t appear on it) and a cool cover of The Small Faces’ Autumn Stone. This quality sequence is interrupted by the turgid bitterness of Skunk Anansie’s awful Twisted before another great lost Britpop 45 appears in the form of Lost Myself from the Longpigs. Epic and melancholic.
Pulp’s Disco 2000 comes next – inferior album version alert! The 7″ mix (you need to check out Now That’s What I Call Music 33) is way better as it has the following at 3:11
“And now it’s all over,
You’ve paid your money and you’ve taken your choice”
It’s followed by the poptastic Ready Or Not, one of the Lightning Seeds most unsung singles from that joyful summer. And then Ocean Colour Scene’s upbeat retrofest You’ve Got It Bad which leads into the searing C’mon Kids, the Boo Radleys continuing on their psych journey. Next are Silver Sun and their powerpop gem Lava while Placebo’s Teenage Angst still packs an emotive punch. Sandwiched in the middle were Bis, one of the three obsessions in 1996 – the other two were Urusei Yatsura and The Delgados. Kandy Pop was joyful, lifted off The Secret Vampire Soundtrack EP. More about them in a later review.
Soundgarden’s Burden In My Mind makes for an interesting diversion, sublime bass and brilliant riffs. Elsewhere Terrorvision’s mournful Celebrity Hitlist is only mildly interesting while Speedy’s Boy Wonder is a buoyant mod rocker that reminds me of the great Merton Parkas. We’re back on the righteous path next as Geneva’s epic debut No One Speaks fades into view. They headed up the NME’s Bratbus tour the following year. I still think that Echobelly’s Great Things is possibly their weakest moment, an anti-anthem of personal goals while Sleeper’s Nice Guy Eddie is a pale retread of previous glories. Thankfully My Life Story perk things up on their divine Sparkle, made for twirling around Berwick Street at 1.00am on a July night. CD1 ends with another Oasis album track, this time it’s Morning Glory, released as a single in Australia and Japan. All your dreams are made etc.
It was a very good year for Garbage. The eponymous debut album gave up five singles, with Milk being the last. Remixed for a duet with Tricky and correctly here as the Wicked Mix. Next, Sneaker Pimps’ haunting trip hop 6 Underground. Moody, delicious and disturbing. Unusually downbeat is Dodgy’s If You’re Thinking Of Me while Shed Seven’s Chasing Rainbows is magical, chord and lyric perfection with a wistful and misty-eyed quality. Maintaining a sunshine smile are Electronic with the bright For You. The very ubiquitous You’re Gorgeous melts into Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s sublime and wistful Patio Song. Space’s spidery Neighbourhood is joined by 1994 relics Blur – Girls & Boys and Oasis – Whatever. All hail The Divine Comedy’s deeply cynical romantic nightmare The Frog Princess, lifted from the heavily-caned big breakthrough album Casanova.
The Supernaturals’ catchy Lazy Lover is blown away by Supergrass’ frantic Lenny, a track that sounds like a band that’s been on top of their game for years. Back to Wales and there’s Catatonia’s restrained You’ve Got A Lot To Answer For. Plus the Super Furry Animals superb If You Don’t Want Me To Destroy You, the hardest 7″ to locate. Alan’s Wigan in the end. Massive tank poster. From the Another step back in time – to ’95 – with the warm sound of Paul Weller’s Broken Stones. And then up pop The Lemonheads with the lovey-dovey If I Could Talk I’d Tell You. Much better are Radiohead who finally break the top 5 with the spine-tingling Street Spirit (Fade Out) while Dubstar’s melancholy yet sumptuous Not So Manic Now remains of the era’s highlights. We end as we started the disc – on a trippy orchestral tip – with The Aloof’s symphonic One Night Stand.
Lightning Seeds – Ready Or Not
Cast – Flying
My Life Story – Sparkle
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Patio Song
Gene – Fighting Fit
Lest we forget
Longpigs – Lost Myself