It was THIRTY YEARS AGO TODAY….
I love this album. I’ve played it every one of those thirty years.
For many of them it’s been my most played album.
I’ll admit to being a bit slow on the uptake. I quite liked the singles but at first few listens the album passed me by a bit. I think the mastering on the CD was a little thin and toppy as was the norm for the late 80s. The remaster, since you ask, is fucking brilliant. Thicker, harder and more in-your-face. Eye-opening and significantly better.
But oh my those songs seeped in and stayed in. Everyone one a winner and crossfaded into a perfect sequence. This, kids, is how you lift a set of songs into being an album.
Beautiful, haunted, delicate, angry, sarcastic, defiant songs.
At the time I never really saw the link between this and acid house that I kept reading out in NME. Mainly, I think, because there wasn’t one. As I got older and met our friend drugs, I saw that it is the perfect comedown/stoner record. It wraps you up and takes on a very beautiful arc and then ends. ….and then g’dung-g’dung-g’dung starts again. Then ends for real. Then you put it on again. Or maybe it was on repeat. Whatever. It washes over you and it sounds like summer and sunlight and youth and rebellion and it understands the importance of not giving a fuck.
It changed the country. The way people dressed and talked and thought and, yes, took drugs. It was smart and literate and it always had a pithy riposte to any complaints. So few bands or records can claim that. Attitude adjusted.
It has become quite fashionable to hate this band and, for the life of me, I cannot see why or how you could. The playing is exquisite, the production is masterful and, while Mr Brown is not a singer per se, he was one hell of a front man, and he is made to sound like a seductive and mischievous angel on this record. Shout to to John Leckie for the magic. They are obviously directly responsible for Oasis which, though very unfortunate, is not their fault.
I’ve not played it for a few months. It’s on now. It’s making me happy. If you haven’t heard it, go and play it loud.
Make a friend.