Thursday, 14 October 2010

October 2010


This month, we continue our look at the Rolling Stones and Bowie discographies, with a look at the Stones from 71 to 86, and Bowie from 71 to 82.


We also look at pop punk goddesses (and goddess) Kenickie, and the band that pretty much invented them, and every other post 60's guitar band, The Velvet Underground. To look at any of these blogs, click on the relevant link top right.























































"Hey Punka"

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Rolling Stones - The "Rolling Stones" Records Years 71-86


If the Stones’ 1960s output had been issued in a slightly haphazard way (totally different US albums to their UK counterparts), this was pretty much stamped out at the start of the next decade. The Seventies also saw the Stones start their own label, the imaginatively titled Rolling Stones Records. It did, however, feature the most iconic logo design in rock and roll history.

In this blog, we shall look at the band’s releases on this label from 71 to 86 - 1986 may seem like a slightly random cut off point, but this was the year that the band almost split up (the next releases from Jagger and Richards were both solo albums, following a huge falling out), but it was also the point at which various “events” occurred - the next album, 1989’s “Steel Wheels” was a major return to form, and the band’s singles started to appear on CD for the first time. The band’s 1989-2010 years will be covered in a future blog.

The Studio Albums

For such an established band, it seems slightly strange that the band’s albums from the period have never really been given much of an overhaul. Yes, there have been more reissues of these albums than you can shake a stick at, but with only one exception, there has been a complete absence of bonus tracks on all subsequent releases. Some interesting editions of the band’s LP’s from this period do exist.

1971’s “Sticky Fingers” was originally issued in a Warhol designed sleeve, a famous image of a close upshot of a pair of jeans, zoomed into the male crotch area, complete with working zip. The album has been issued both with or without working zip over the years, the latest pressings are “zip-less”. 1972’s “Exile On Main Street” was given a, erm, 38th Anniversary issue in 2010 - with ten previously unissued tracks/mixes on a second CD. A ridiculously priced deluxe box set was also pressed, with extra vinyl and DVD discs, but didn’t actually feature any material that couldn’t be gotten hold of on any other “cheaper” release. The most interesting version was actually the 2-CD edition sold via HMV, which came in a unique black slipcase with the band name and album title printed on the cover, and nothing else.

1976’s “Black And Blue”, home to the genius that was “Fool To Cry”, was originally issued in two different covers. The LP came in a gatefold sleeve, which featured a photo of the band spread out across the front and back covers, but this picture was deemed too awkward to use for the Cassette edition, so that version came in a black cover with the band name and album title printed at the top. More recent Cassette pressings reverted to the original LP cover photo. 1978’s “Some Girls”, the moment where the Stones went Punk, has been issued in a bewildering number of variant sleeves over the years, helped along after initial copies were withdrawn when the images of famous celebrities on the front were seemingly used without consent.

1986’s “Dirty Work”, generally regarded as the band’s nadir, nevertheless came in an unusual Vinyl edition - copies were housed in a strange semi see through red plastic outer cover, which I am sure had some significance, although god knows what that was. I seem to recall that in some countries, coloured vinyl editions of all of the band’s studio albums from this period were repressed, but that could just be my imagination.

The Live Albums / The Compilations

Whilst in recent years, the band seem to have issued a live album from every tour they conduct, they were a bit more “selective” up until 86. Often overlooked is that even though the live album might be seen as a bit of a cop out, the Stones actually played covers on stage and then offered some of these up on these LP’s - and these songs never resurfaced, in studio form, on any subsequent record. 1977’s double album, “Love You Live”, therefore featured two “new” songs - “Mannish Boy” and “Crackin’ Up”, whilst 1981’s much maligned “Still Life” spawned “Going To A Go Go” and “Twenty Flight Rock”. The latter LP was issued as a picture disc LP on it’s original release, and both albums - like their studio cousins - have been reissued on CD on at least two occasions.

Whilst Decca (and others) spent the 70’s repackaging the band’s hits across a variety of compilation records, the band also put out their own, dealing exclusively with material from the Rolling Stones Records label. The first of these, 1975’s “Made In The Shade”, was supposed to be a greatest hits - but as the band hadn’t issued many singles on their own label by this point (they were averaging one and a bit per album), it didn’t actually have many hits, and was thus padded out with album tracks like “Dance Little Sister” and “Bitch”.

In 1979, they released the even more baffling “Time Waits For No One”, a seemingly random pick of tracks from “Sticky Fingers” up to, but not including, “Some Girls” - but was of course issued after “Some Girls”. The reason? The earlier albums had been distributed by Atlantic, but “Some Girls” was handled by EMI, and thus this was really a collection of the Atlantic years. “Bitch” made it’s second appearance on a compilation album, and there was even a pair of live tracks off “Love You Live”.

In 1984, a somewhat more comprehensive collection was issued - “Rewind” covered the period from 71 to 84, and included most of the big hits plus a few album tracks. An accompanying Video, “Video Rewind”, came in a different cover and included a mix of official promos and live clips. The track listing, unsurprisingly, was completely different.

There was a fourth compilation - “Sucking In The Seventies” had appeared in 1981, a sort of odds and sods set, which included a previously unissued live version of “When The Whip Comes Down”, a new song called “If I Was A Dancer”, and a US only B-side, “Everything Is Turning To Gold”, which had appeared on the flip of “Shattered”. Although the album's "official" cover was a black and white image, I believe some US pressings over the years came shrinkwrapped with a big tongue logo sticker covering the front (possibly only from the CD era), whilst this (and other) Stones albums were reissued in Argentina to coincide with the band's tour there in 2006, and was housed in a numbered tongue logo slipcase, with the Argentinian flag emblazoned on the tongue itself. In recent years, there was a concerted effort to put together a Greatest Hits which included the material from the Sixties, Seventies and beyond - details of the “Forty Licks” set will appear in a forthcoming blog.

The Singles / The Rarities

Having issued a single every few months during the 60’s, the Stones relaxed this policy once on their own label. Furthermore, for a band who issued an enormous amount of exclusive songs on the A or B side of their latest 45 during that decade, they stopped doing B-sides for most of the Seventies and Eighties.

At first, the band’s singles in the UK came housed in superb “tongue logo” die cut sleeves - although a copy of “Angie” in one won’t sell for much more than one in a bog standard plain bag, they are such fantastic pieces of art, I would suggest you DON’T buy a Stones single from 71-76 unless it comes with it’s tongue sleeve. The exception is 1971’s “Brown Sugar”, which was initially released in a picture sleeve which featured each member of the band holding a strategically placed vinyl copy of “Sticky Fingers”. “Brown Sugar” was one of the few Stones singles from the period to feature a ’new’ song on the B-side, as a live version of “Let It Rock”, taped in Leeds in 1971 (at the same venue where The Who taped “Live At Leeds”), appeared on the B-side along with the aforementioned album track “Bitch”. In the US, “Let It Rock” was not included on the single. “Wild Horses” was also issued as a US 45, but not in the UK - a practice repeated by the band many more times before 1986.

It wasn't until 1974 that the next B-side surfaced, when “It’s Only Rock And Roll” came backed with “Through The Lonely Nights”. By 1978, the 12” single was king, and the disco-fied “Miss You” appeared on this format, pressed on Pink Vinyl - it was also the start of the period whereby every subsequent 45 would come in a picture sleeve. The 12” also featured an extended mix of the track, and played at 33 instead of 45rpm. A normal, black vinyl 7” was also issued, with the album track on the A-side. Another song from “Some Girls”, “Far Away Eyes”, was released on the B-side of both formats.

For some reason, the band did not take to issuing 12” singles as a regular thing, and every single they would release from now until 1982 would appear on 7” only. The last such release that appeared on 7” only before their next 12” was a live version of “Time Is On My Side”, from “Still Life”, in September that year, but 1984’s “She Was Hot” was also issued on 7” only, which included a previously unissued B-side, “I Think I’m Going Mad”.

“Undercover of the Night”, like “Miss You”, was issued on both 7” and 12” in 1983. The 7” was aimed at the casual fan, with nothing rare on either side of the disc, but the 12” had remixes of both “Undercover…” and “Feel On Baby”. The next 12” was not released until 1986, the band’s cover of “Harlem Shuffle”, which featured new remixes on either side. Again, a 7” with album mixes of album tracks was also pressed. The follow up, “One Hit To The Body”, was both edited and extended for single release - in the UK, these mixes were housed on the 7” and 12” respectively, but a hyper rare Mexican 12” on red vinyl exists which has both mixes.

Although it is slightly outside our remit here, in 2005, the “Rarities 1971-2003” set was released with the aim of including some of this material. It included the live version of “Beast Of Burden” which had been included on the “Going To A Go Go” 7”, “If I Was A Dancer”, “Through The Lonely Nights”, and that live take of “Let It Rock”. Also included were the extended mix of “Miss You”, “Mannish Boy” from “Love You Live”, and one of the two “Harlem Shuffle” remixes, but all three tracks were edited for this release.

Essentials

Listed below are all of the Rolling Stones releases on their own label from 1971 to 1986 which I would suggest you track down. I have decided, for the albums, to list the original vinyl pressings only, although other notable pressings in different covers or with extra tracks are also included. For the singles, I have listed 12” singles where they exist - if not, then the 7” is shown. Any 7” singles which exist but are not listed offer nothing exclusive - hence their non-inclusion. We shall conclude our look at the Stones, from 86 to the present day, in a future blog.

ROLLING STONES RECORDS LP’s 1971 - 1986

Sticky Fingers (1971, LP, COC 59100)
Exile On Main Street (1972, 2 x LP, COC 69100)
Exile On Main Street - 2010 Edition (2010, 2 x CD with 10 extra tracks, 273 429-5)
Goats Head Soup (1973, LP, COC 59101)
It’s Only Rock N Roll (1974, LP, COC 59103)
Black And Blue (1976, LP, COC 59106)
Black And Blue (1976, Cassette in “Black” picture sleeve, CO 459106)
Love You Live (1977, 2 x LP, COC 89101)
Some Girls (1978, LP, CUN 39108)
Emotional Rescue (1980, LP, CUN 39111)
Tattoo You (1981, LP, CUNS 39114)
Still Life (1982, LP, CUN 39115)
Undercover (1983, LP, CUN 1654361)
Dirty Work (1986, LP, CBS 86321)

ROLLING STONES RECORDS COMPILATIONS 1971 - 1984

Made In The Shade (1975, LP, CUN 59104)
Time Waits For No One (1979, LP, COC 59107)
Sucking In The Seventies (1981, CUNS 39112)
Rewind (1984, LP, 4501991)

ROLLING STONES RECORDS 45’s 1971 - 1986

Brown Sugar/Bitch/Let It Rock (Live at Leeds 13.3.1971) (1971, 7", RS 19100. Early copies in p/s, single later reissued in various forms in mid 70s and mid 80s)
Tumbling Dice/Sweet Black Angel (1972, 7", RS 19103)
Angie/Silver Train (1973, 7", RS 19105)
It’s Only Rock N Roll/Through The Lonely Nights (1974, 7", RS 19114)
Fool To Cry/Crazy Mama (1976, 7", RS 19121)
Miss You (8.26 Mix)/Far Away Eyes (1978, 33 rpm Pink Vinyl 12", p/s, 12 EMI 2802)
Respectable/When The Whip Comes Down (1978, 7", p/s, EMI 2861)
Emotional Rescue/Down In The Hole (1980, 7", p/s, RSR 105)
She’s So Cold/Send It To Me (1980, 7", p/s, RSR 106)
Start Me Up/No Use In Crying (1981, 7", p/s, RSR 108)
Waiting On A Friend/Little T&A (1981, 7", p/s, RSR 109)
Going To A Go Go (Live)/Beast Of Burden (Live) (1982, 7", p/s, RSR 110)
Time Is On My Side (Live)/Twenty Flight Rock (Live) (1982, 7", p/s, RSR 111)
Undercover Of The Night (Dub Version)/Feel On Baby (Instrumental Dub) (1983, 12", p/s, 12 RSR 113)
She Was Hot/I Think I'm Going Mad (1984, 7", p/s, RSR 114)
Harlem Shuffle (NY Mix)/(London Mix)/Had It With You (1986, 12”, p/s, T6864)
One Hit To The Body (Edit)/Fight (1986, 7”, p/s, A7160)
One Hit To The Body (London Mix)/Fight (1986, 12”, p/s, TA7160)

Further reading:
45cat.com, with images of Stones 7" singles from this period: http://www.45cat.com/artist/the-rolling-stones
Discoogle.com Discography - scans of all the studio LP covers and more: http://www.discoogle.com/wiki/Rolling_Stones_Discography#Single_7.22_.28Vinyl.29

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Bowie - 1971 to 1982


The series of albums that David Bowie released on RCA between 1971 and 1980 remain the single greatest collection of LP's recorded by anybody in the history of music. Better than the “classic” Rolling Stones period from 1968 to 1972, better also than the set of Stevie Wonder albums from “Music Of My Mind” through to “Songs In The Key Of Life”, these records consist of not only some of the greatest songs ever recorded, but the sheer diversity of musical styles covered by these records is simply staggering. Although 1973’s covers album “Pin Ups” is a bit of a throwaway, much of the remainder stands head and shoulders above most of the recorded output of many other singers. From the acoustic stylings of “Hunky Dory”, via the glam rock roar of “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars”, to the nightmare-ish vision of the future on “Diamond Dogs”, to the white boy soul of “Young Americans”, via the post-drugs-comedown terror of “Station To Station”, and the Kraftwerk-apeing genius of “Low”, through to the ‘New Romanticism with noisy guitars’ thud of “Scary Monsters”, nobody has come close to making a series of records as ground breaking as these. The bizarre thing is, these records are so good, even Bowie himself has struggled to top any of them, and this has worked against him - I have lost track of the number of brain-dead journos who will review any new Bowie LP as being “not as good as “Scary Monsters”. Most people who have a record deal these days have never even made one single album as good as “Scary Monsters”, so if you’re going to have a go at Bowie, then you should be doing the same for The Kooks, Snow Patrol and 99% of the rest of the music industry.

At the end of the 80s/start of the 90s, all of Bowie’s RCA period albums were reissued with extra tracks (nearly), which gave the albums that extra gravitas they deserved. But since then, there have been some slightly baffling reissues, and the current situation is that the “on catalogue” editions of these albums may or may not have extra tracks, depending on what LP it is, meaning Bowie’s back catalogue is looking a bit of a mess. In this blog, we shall look at the albums and singles that Bowie released during this period, and what the current situation regarding these LP’s stands at. In order to keep things simple, any Bowie records released by labels other than RCA during this period are not mentioned - details of these releases were in the Bowie article last month. We shall also look at subsequent reissues, but any “new” albums issued on RCA after Bowie left the label at the start of the 80s’ will be covered in a future article. Details of the pre-RCA albums reissued by RCA “post-Ziggy” were also covered last month, and will not be covered in detail here.

The Albums

Not only was Bowie at the peak of his powers during the 70’s, but he was quite prolific as well. He released an album every year from 1971 to 1980, although he cheated a bit in 1978, as the only album that year was the live LP “Stage”. He released two albums in 1973 (“Aladdin Sane” and “Pin Ups”), 1974 (“Diamond Dogs” and “David Live”) and 1976 (“Station To Station” and “Low”). There was no release of any live material from the famous “Ziggy” tour of 1972 and 1973 until after Bowie had left RCA. Earlier releases were on the orange RCA Victor label, later repressings were on the green RCA International label, and where albums had originally been housed in gatefold sleeves, they came in “single” sleeves when reissued.

Most of these albums were reissued on CD during the mid 80s, although all were withdrawn from sale within a few years, reportedly because they had been issued without Bowie’s say-so. However, Bowie endorsed the “expanded” reissues on EMI from1989 onwards, as they were issued to tie in with his so-called “Farewell To The Hits” tour from 1990, dubbed the “Sound + Vision” tour. All of the albums (except one) came with extra tracks, the extra tracks being a mix of stray A-sides, B-sides, alternate takes and unreleased material. Despite most copies stating “includes extra tracks”, the reissue of “Aladdin Sane” had no extra tracks at all - all of the relevant material either being shoe-horned onto the reissue of preceding album “Ziggy Stardust”, or the accompanying ‘hits and rarities’ box-set, “Sound + Vision”. In the USA, many of the reissues were on Cassette as well as CD, and Vinyl editions of several - but not all - reissues were released on both sides of the Atlantic.

Wherever possible, previously rare sleeves were used for the reissues. “Diamond Dogs” came in it’s “uncensored” sleeve, which featured Bowie as a half-man/half dog creature, complete with visible genitalia, whilst “Station To Station” appeared in it’s hastily withdrawn colour sleeve - Bowie opting, pretty much as the album was about to be released, that he wanted the front cover to be in black and white, mirroring the rather dark subject matter of the LP (although Bowie apparently claimed the colour sleeve simply looked “wrong“). Both “David Live” and “Stage” were also re-released, whilst live recordings were also used on “Station To Station”. By the end of the 90’s, EMI decided to re-release all of these records to tie in with the “Hours” album, but removed all of the bonus tracks - there was some talk about “newly improved sound”, but this reissue programme remains the most wasted opportunity in Rock And Roll.

Possibly realising the faux pas they had made, EMI then set about releasing newly expanded editions of some of these albums after the millennium. “Ziggy”, “Aladdin Sane” and “Diamond Dogs” were all given 30th anniversary double-CD reissues, with the original LP on disc 1, and the bonus tracks on disc 2. “Ziggy” cobbled together tracks that had been on a variety of the “Sound + Vision” reissues, although the version of “Sweet Head” included here was an unedited version of the same track that had been on the original “Ziggy” reissue, with bits of studio chat and tuning up before the song started proper. The only real rarity was a previously unissued remix of “Moonage Daydream”, although there was an accidental rarity on disc 1, as the count-in to “Hang On To Yourself” had been lost during the remastering process! “Aladdin Sane” offered more in the way of unreleased material, but whether or not any of it was essential was open to question. There was an interesting acoustic live version of “Drive In Saturday” recorded at a gig some six months prior to the album’s release, but was of such poor quality, I still wonder if EMI included it by accident. There was also a four-song section from a gig in Boston from the same year, but not one of the songs was from “Aladdin Sane”. Perhaps this was the point? There were also the US single mixes of “Jean Genie” and “Time”, neither of which had appeared in the UK before. The “Time” edit is fascinating - it was created so the song could be fitted onto a 7”, but no attempt was made to censor the “falls wanking to the floor” line - this surely wasn’t considered OK for a Radio Edit in 1973 was it?

“Diamond Dogs” is probably the most pointless of the three reissues, offering no unreleased material. It did include some interesting “recorded after 1974” versions of songs like “Candidate” and “Rebel Rebel”, but if you already have the “Sound + Vision” reissues, you would end up getting most of the bonus tracks from the 2004 edition by default, simply by buying other Bowie LP’s and Compilations. The "re-recorded" version of "Candidate" appeared only on a soundtrack, so that makes the release of some interest, but not 100% essential.

1975’s “Young Americans”, supposedly recorded in a style that would ensure it was a hit so Bowie could follow it up with something uncommercial, was reissued again in 2007 with a bonus DVD. The three extra tracks from the “Sound + Vision” reissue made a reappearance, although the version of “It’s Gonna Be Me” was different to the one previously available. The DVD featured the two songs Bowie performed on the “Dick Cavett Show” at the time of the album’s release.

Last month saw the Deluxe and Super-Deluxe editions of “Station To Station” get released. Now back in it’s black and white sleeve again, the deluxe edition features the original album plus a new double-CD live set, “Live Nassau Coliseum 76”, housed in it’s own gatefold sleeve. It was this gig that provided the bonus tracks on the original “Sound + Vision” edition. The Super-Deluxe edition adds a monumental amount of extras - reprints of press kits and fan club material from the period, the album and live album on both CD and Vinyl, plus a DVD with FOUR mixes of the LP, and a slightly pointless but quite good fun “Single Edits” EP, featuring the edited versions of four tracks from the LP that got issued on 45’s somewhere in the world - not bad for an album that only includes six songs! “Wild Is The Wind” was edited for single release in 1981, but was not included on this reissue, although a new edit of “Station To Station” was included instead. Also interesting, is that in addition to a CD containing the 2010 remaster of the record, there was also another CD with the 1985 master - the very version that Bowie reportedly asked to be withdrawn from sale 25 years ago…

Both of Bowie’s live albums have also been re-released again post-2000 - not only do they feature extra tracks in addition to the “Sound + Vision” versions, but the running order on both has been revamped so the songs now appear in the order in which they were played on stage - “Stage” originally devoted each side of the vinyl to a specific period of Bowie’s career, starting with 20 minutes worth of “Ziggy” material, and even though Bowie did tend to perform these songs in a single chunk during the tour, they were actually played about halfway through the show. “David Live” now includes a live version of “Panic In Detroit” that was only ever released as a B-side.

This means, at present, the albums available in the shops sans-bonus tracks are “Hunky Dory”, “Pin Ups”, “Low”, “Heroes”, “Lodger” and “Scary Monsters” - the former being a strange omission, given that for many people, this remains the hight point of Bowie’s career. Will 2011 bring a 40th anniversary edition?

The A-sides and the B-sides

Despite Wikipedia claiming Bowie released a huge slab of “stand alone” 45’s in the 70’s, many of these singles were actually released several years after they had first appeared on album. In fact, Bowie released just ONE non-album single between 1971 and 1979. “John I’m Only Dancing” had been taped during the Ziggy sessions, and remains to this day Bowie’s finest 45. Soon after, Bowie ended up re-recording the track - a habit he has done time and time again during his career. This new version was notable for featuring some significant saxophone work during the choruses, and was thus dubbed the “Sax Version”. It seems that this version of the track was released on the A-side of later pressings of the original 7”, but there was no mention on the label that it was the re-recorded take.

In 1974, seemingly determined to include it on an album, Bowie re-recorded the song again during the “Young Americans” sessions. This new version bore little similarity to the original - it was recorded in the same “plastic soul” style of the rest of the album, with mostly new lyrics, with only the chorus remaining more or less intact. This new version of the song was played at least once during Bowie’s 1974 US tour, where it was announced as “John I’m Only Dancing…from our new album”. In the end, it was one of several songs that failed to make the album at all. In 1979, in a slightly random move, it appeared as a single, titled “John I’m Only Dancing (Again)”- two mixes were released, a short one and a long one, for the 7” and 12” pressings respectively. On the B-side, a slightly remixed version of the original single was included, known as “John I’m Only Dancing (1972)”.

During Bowie’s final few years on RCA, he released a series of stand alone 45’s. A slightly psychotic version of “Alabama Song” - also known variously as “Moon Of Alabama” or “Whiskey Bar“, and more successfully covered by The Doors on their debut album - was issued in 1980 after Bowie had played it during his 1978 tour. In Japan, he released the instrumental “Crystal Japan” the same year, but this remained unissued in the UK until the following year. In 1981, his duet with Queen, “Under Pressure”, was issued by EMI - it was included on Queen’s “Hot Space” album the following year, but has only ever reappeared on Bowie compilation releases, as opposed to being on a “proper“ album. A five track EP of new songs, the “Baal” EP, appeared in 1982.

Bowie’s next single, “Cat People”, was released by MCA the same year. Recorded for a film of the same name, Bowie would later re-record it for his first post-RCA album, “Let’s Dance”. But Bowie’s next release, from Christmas 82, was reportedly the final straw, and the reason he left RCA - in 1977, Bowie had appeared on the “Bing Crosby Christmas Show”, where he had been asked to duet with Crosby, even though Crosby seemingly had no idea who he was. They recorded a “mash up” of “Peace On Earth” and “Little Drummer Boy”, but when RCA suddenly issued it as a 45 some five years later, it was reported that Bowie was incensed, and walked. The 12” version featured huge picture labels in a die cut sleeve, and featured the “talking” intro by the two men before the song started for real. The single has since been reissued, in it’s original 12” picture sleeve, as an enhanced CD with the video from the original 1977 show as an extra track.

Most of these A-sides have been made available on CD at some point, although not all are necessarily available on a current release. For the record, the original “John I’m Only Dancing” is on the 30th anniversary “Ziggy”, the “Sax” mix is on the 30th Anniversary “Aladdin Sane”, and “Alabama Song” is on the 2005 triple-CD “The Platinum Collection” - which also includes the “unedited” mix of “Under Pressure”, taken (if I remember correctly) from the “Hot Space” LP, and the shorter mix of “Cat People”. Only one of the five Baal EP tracks has made it to CD, with “The Drowned Girl” making it onto “The Platinum Collection” as well. I shall go into Bowie’s post-1983 compilations in future blogs.

Although Bowie didn’t release too many exclusive A-sides, several of his singles were edited for single release. A handful of other songs, issued as singles, have also appeared in edited form but not on 7” - more of that later on. One single was also extended for a 12”. The list below shows the tracks that were released as singles in the UK or the US after 1974, of which edited (or extended) mixes exist. In recent years, most of these mixes have been included on compilation LP’s, or reissue CD’s, and I have listed what is the most recent/easy to find release upon which the mix exists - if such an album exists. If it’s an LP only listed, that means the mix is unavailable on CD - unless you know otherwise.

Rebel Rebel (remixed for US release, included on 1989 “Sound + Vision“ Box Set)
Young Americans (only edited on US release, included on 2002 “Best Of Bowie“ CD)
Fame (edited version included on 1980 “The Best Of Bowie” LP)
Golden Years (edited version included on 2002 “Best Of Bowie” CD)
TVC15 (edited version included on 2001 “Christiane F”, CD - some sources state two different edits exist, but I can’t confirm this)
Stay (edited for release as US Only Single, included on 2001 “Christiane F“ CD)
Word On A Wing (edited for release as a B-side in the US, included on 2010 “Station To Station“ Super Deluxe Box Set)
Heroes (included on 2002 “Best Of Bowie” CD)
Beauty And The Beast (extended for the Spanish 12” release, never re-released on any Bowie LP/CD)
DJ (edited version included on 1981 “ChangesTwoBowie” LP, briefly available on CD but very rare as deleted within 12 months)
John I’m Only Dancing (Again) (edited version included on 1982 “Rare” LP, normal/extended mix on 2007 reissue of “Young Americans“ CD)
Ashes To Ashes (edited version included on 2002 “Best Of Bowie” CD)
Fashion (edited version included on 2002 “Best Of Bowie” CD)
Scary Monsters (edited version included on 2002 “Best Of Bowie” CD)
Under Pressure (edited version included on 2002 “Best Of Bowie” CD, unedited version appears on 2005 “The Platinum Collection“ CD, as mentioned earlier)
Wild Is The Wind (edited version never re-released, although mix was also used for accompanying video, available on 1993 “The Video Collection” VHS)
Cat People (edited version included on 2005 “The Platinum Collection” CD, extended mix not available on any Bowie LP although soundtrack CD exists which includes it. Even longer mix of track apparently issued on some overseas 12“ pressings)
Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (edited version never re-released, full length version briefly available on US CD Single in 2005, as mentioned earlier)

Bowie didn’t really do B-sides either during this period - many of the 45’s issued came with album tracks on the flipside, and when new B-sides did appear, they had often been recorded during earlier album sessions with a view to them being issued on LP, rather than 7”. The first RCA b-side was his cover of Chuck Berry’s “Round And Round”, which appeared on the “Drive In Saturday” 7”, the second was a cover of “Amsterdam” which made it onto the B-side of “Sorrow”. A pre-RCA song, “Holy Holy”, appeared in re-recorded form on the flip of 1974’s “Diamond Dogs”, whilst the live version of “Knock On Wood”, taken from “David Live”, came with a previously unreleased live version of “Panic In Detroit” also taped on the same tour.

In 1975, “Space Oddity” was issued as a three track maxi single, RCA having acquired the rights to release material from his days when he was signed to Philips. A ‘Ziggy’ outtake, “Velvet Goldmine”, was one of the two B-sides, the other was the album version of “Changes”. Initial copies of this single came in a picture sleeve, but later pressings came instead in a custom “Maxi-Single” RCA company bag. A re-recorded (and rather downbeat) version of “Space Oddity” then surfaced on the B-side of “Alabama Song” in 1980, specifically recorded to prepare the listener for the “fall“ of the Major Tom character in “Ashes To Ashes“, released as a single soon after. The aforementioned “Crystal Japan” made it’s debut in the UK as the B-side of “Up The Hill Backwards”.

Although all of Bowie’s studio B-sides appeared on CD as part of the “Sound + Vision” reissue campaign, the decision to delete some of these records now means the latter period recordings are currently not available on a current Bowie CD - details of the “lost” B-sides are highlighted in the LP discography later in this article.

The post-RCA RCA repressing/The “Best Of” Collections

In 1983, prior to the reissue by RCA of Bowie’s albums released between 69 and 80, RCA decided to reissue twenty of his 45’s as part of the “Lifetimes” series. With consecutive catalogue numbers beginning with the “BOW” prefix, each reissue used the same track listing as the original single, and all were housed initially in picture sleeves. Each sleeve had a cream band across the top of the cover, with Bowie’s name and the songs included on the 7” printed in the band. Where possible, the sleeve used the same picture as the original cover, although there was some artistic license in places - “Space Oddity” used a Ziggy-era sleeve, rather than the 1975-era photo used when the 3-track single was originally released, whilst “John I’m Only Dancing” appeared in the sleeve used for the “John I’m Only Dancing (Again)” release. Other releases used picture sleeves originally used for other singles that also got reissued, rather strangely, whilst some singles used pictures taken AFTER the original single release date!

Ten Bowie singles were also issued as 7” picture discs in clear sleeves a year earlier in 1982, with a couple of these not featuring in the 1983 campaign, whilst a limited “book” style boxset titled “Fashions” was released with all ten in one pack. What’s often overlooked about the black vinyl Lifetimes editions, is that after the initial print run had sold out, all 20 releases were re-pressed and housed in grey & red couloured RCA company bags.

Bowie released no less than four “Best Of” records during his time on RCA, all of them appearing during the second half of his time on the label. The first of these was 1976’s “ChangesOneBowie”, the title suggesting RCA were already planning a follow up. A basic Greatest Hits set covering 1969 onwards, initial copies included the “Sax” version of “John I’m Only Dancing” seemingly by accident, before second and subsequent pressings replaced this with the ‘normal’ mix. In 1980, the K-Tel released, RCA endorsed, “The Best Of Bowie” was released. Although it came in a rather cheap sleeve (the “Fashion” 12” with bits and bobs literally glued over the top), it was an impressive overview of the classic period, covering as it did releases from 1969’s “Space Oddity” right up to material from the 1979 LP “Lodger”. In order to cram 16 songs onto a single piece of vinyl, several radio edit mixes were used, whilst the likes of “Diamond Dogs” and “Life On Mars” were edited specifically for the LP - the latter edit, to this day, remains unavailable on any other Bowie record.

In 1981, “ChangesTwoBowie” appeared - a mix of older material that failed to make the first compilation, plus hits from the most recent LP’s. As mentioned earlier, an edited version of “Wild Is The Wind” was issued to coincide, with Bowie filming a video for the single release. At the same time, a video for one of the “Baal” EP tracks was shot, meaning the two clips looked identical. From what I can gather, the album had been released to coincide with the fact that Bowie’s RCA contract was up, although stories regarding the “Little Drummer Boy” single being the catalyst for Bowie’s defection to EMI contradict this. Anybody know the truth?

The same year, another little known collection appeared - it was a soundtrack album to a film called “Christiane F”, but consisted entirely of Bowie material from “Station To Station” onwards. It included edited mixes of “TVC15” and “Stay”, along with the bizarre half-German-half-English version of “Heroes” that had originally appeared on German versions of the 1977 LP of the same name. The album was reissued, in a slightly altered cover now featuring Bowie superimposed over the original cover photo, on CD in 2001.

The UK Discography

Listed below are the most important releases of Bowie’s 71-80 albums. I have listed details of the Sound + Vision pressings, and where they exist, the most recent “expanded” reissues. The Sound + Vision releases, to this day, include material that has not been reissued since, so I have listed the songs on those releases where I consider them to be essential purchases. Any songs since included on “expanded” editions, therefore, do not fall into the list. To avoid complication, I have not listed any other vinyl or CD issues, although several of these albums have been issued on coloured vinyl or as picture discs over the years. The compilation list consists of the most “easy to collect” versions, followed by the complete singles list from 71-82, and the 1982/83 “Fashions”/”Lifetimes” releases.

For the singles, I have listed only essential releases - where a single was released on two formats, I have only listed the version which contains the exclusive (or rarer) mix - in other words, for the singles Bowie released between 71 and 82, you need only buy one format of the two that were available, as any edited or extended mixes not shown below are available elsewhere. Details of later Bowie compilations which included mixes such as the 1982 edit of “Cat People”, briefly touched on earlier, will be discussed at greater length in future blogs.

RCA ALBUMS 71-82

Hunky Dory (CD, 1971, 1990 reissue, EMI CDEMC 3572, includes “Bombers” and additional different versions of “Quicksand” and “The Bewley Brothers”)

The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (CD, 1972, 1990 reissue, EMI CD 79 4400 2, includes “John I’m Only Dancing (1972)” and edited version of “Sweet Head“)
The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (2xCD, 2002 reissue, EMI 539 8262, 12 extra tracks including full length mix of “Sweet Head”)

Aladdin Sane (CD, 1973, 1990 reissue, EMI CDP 79 4768 2)
Aladdin Sane (2xCD, 2003 reissue, EMI 583 0122, includes numerous extra previously-unissued tracks and US single mixes)

Pin Ups (CD, 1973, 1990 reissue, EMI CDEMC 3580)

Diamond Dogs (CD, 1974, 1990 reissue, EMI 79 5211 2)
Diamond Dogs (2xCD, 2004 reissue, EMI 577 8572, eight extra tracks on CD2)

David Live (2xCD, 1974, 1990 reissue, EMI CDDBLD 1)
David Live (2xCD, 2005 reissue, EMI 3112482, two extra tracks including previously unissued “Space Oddity”)
Note: an “edited highlights” LP, called “At The Tower Philadelphia”, was issued in Holland on RCA during the 70’s (RCA PL-42993), featuring half of the original double vinyl LP.

Young Americans (CD, 1975, 1991 reissue, EMI CDP 796436 2, includes unique mix of “It’s Gonna Be Me”)
Young Americans (CD+DVD, 2007 reissue, EMI 351 2582, DVD includes entire album including bonus tracks plus TV footage)

Station To Station (CD, 1976, 1991 reissue, EMI CDP 79 6435 2, colour p/s)
Station To Station (5xCD, DVD and 4xLP Box Set, 2010 reissue, EMI BOWSTSD2010, includes “Live Nassau Coliseum 76” and “Singles Versions” CDs, black and white p/s)

Low (CD, 1976, 1991 reissue, EMI CDP 79 7719 2, includes 1991 remix of “Sound And Vision”, later released on US only single)

Heroes (CD, 1977, 1991 reissue, EMI CDP 79 7720 2, includes 1991 remix of “Joe The Lion”)

Stage (2xCD, 1978, 1992 reissue, EMI CDEMC 1030)
Stage (2xCD, 2005 reissue, EMI 311 2512, includes previously unissued versions of “Be My Wife” and “Stay”)

Lodger (CD, 1979, 1992 reissue, EMI CDP 79 7724 2, includes “I Pray Ole” and 1988 re-recording of “Look Back In Anger”)

Scary Monsters (CD, 1980, 1992 reissue, EMI CDP 79 9331 2, includes 1979 B-side version of “Space Oddity”, “Crystal Japan”, and re-recorded version of “Panic In Detroit”, last track briefly available in 2002 on “Heathen” double-CD)

RCA ERA COMPILATIONS

ChangesOneBowie (LP, 1976, RCA RS 1055)
The Best Of Bowie (LP, 1980, K-Tel NS 4119)
ChangesTwoBowie (LP, 1981, RCA BOWLP 3)
Christiane F (CD, 2001 reissue, EMI 533 0932)

RCA ERA 45's

Changes/Andy Warhol (7”, 1972, RCA 2160)
Starman/Suffragette City (7”, 1972, initial copies in p/s, RCA 2199 - US copies came in similar picture sleeve which was pressed in greater numbers, and these are easier to find than UK picture sleeve editions)
John I’m Only Dancing/Hang On To Yourself (7”, 1972, RCA 2263)
The Jean Genie/Ziggy Stardust (7”, 1972, RCA 2302)
Drive In Saturday/Round And Round (7”, 1973, RCA 2352)
Life On Mars?/The Man Who Sold The World (7”, 1973, most copies in p/s, RCA 2316)
Sorrow/Amsterdam (7”, 1973, RCA 2424)
Rebel Rebel/Queen Bitch (7”, 1974, RCA LPBO 5009)
Rock N Roll Suicide/Quicksand (7”, 1974, RCA LPBO 5021)
Diamond Dogs/Holy Holy (Re-Recorded Version) (7”, 1974, RCA APBO 0293)
Knock On Wood (Live)/Panic In Detroit (Live) (7”, 1974, RCA 2466)
Young Americans/Suffragette City (Live) (7”, 1975, RCA 2523)
Fame (Edit)/Right (7”, 1975, RCA 2579)
Space Oddity/Changes/Velvet Goldmine (7”, 1975, initial copies in p/s, RCA 2593)
Golden Years (Edit)/Can You Hear Me? (7”, 1976, RCA 2640)
TVC15 (Edit)/We Are The Dead (7”, 1976, RCA 2682)
Suffragette City/Stay (7”, p/s, 1976, RCA 2726)
Sound And Vision/A New Career In A New Town (7”, 1976, RCA PB 0905)
Be My Wife/Speed Of Life (7”, 1976, RCA PB 1017)
Heroes (Edit)/V-2 Schneider (7”, 1977, RCA PB 1121)
Beauty And The Beast/Sense Of Doubt (7”, p/s, 1977, RCA PB 1190)
Breaking Glass (Live)/Art Decade (Live)/Ziggy Stardust (live) (7”, p/s, 1978, RCA BOW 1)
Boys Keep Swinging/Fantastic Voyage (7”, p/s, 1979, RCA BOW 2)
DJ (Edit)/Repetition (7”, p/s, 1979, RCA BOW 3)
John I’m Only Dancing (Again) (7” Mix)/John I’m Only Dancing (1972) (7”, p/s, 1979, RCA BOW 4)
Alabama Song/Space Oddity (1979 Version) (7”, fold out p/s, 1980, RCA BOW 5)
Ashes To Ashes (Edit)/Move On (7”, three different p/s, 1980, RCA BOW 6. Each edition came with one of four different sets of stamps, making 12 different “versions”)
Fashion (Edit)/Scream Like A Baby (7”, p/s, 1980, RCA BOW 7)
Scary Monsters (Edit)/Because You’re Young (7”, p/s, 1980, RCA BOW 8)
Up The Hill Backwards/Crystal Japan (7”, p/s, 1981, RCA BOW 9)
Under Pressure (Edit) +1 (7”, p/s, 1981, EMI 5250 - most sources claim LP version is on 7“, but edited version does exist - I haven‘t played my copy for years, so can‘t remember which mix it plays!)
Wild Is The Wind (Edit)/Golden Years (Edit) (7”, p/s, 1981, RCA BOW 10)
Baal EP: Baal’s Hymn/Remembering Marie A/Ballad Of The Adventurers/The Drowned Girl/The Dirty Song (7”, p/s, 1981, RCA BOW 11, also on 12”)
Cat People (6.41 Mix) +1 (12”, p/s, 1982, MCA 770)
Peace On Earth~Little Drummer Boy/Fantastic Voyage (7”, p/s, 1982, RCA BOW 12, later re-released on CD with unedited version of a-side, plus CD-Rom section)

It is also worth noting that a 12” of “Fashion” was issued in 1983 to coincide with the RCA compilation “Golden Years”, with a new sleeve, but with the same B-side (RCA PC 9638) in Germany only.

LIFETIMES RE-RELEASES

Drive In Saturday/Round And Round (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 501)
Life On Mars?/The Man Who Sold The World (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 502)
Rock N Roll Suicide/Quicksand (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 503)
Diamond Dogs/Holy Holy (Re-Recorded Version) (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 504)
Knock On Wood (Live)/Panic In Detroit (Live) (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 505)
Young Americans/Suffragette City (Live) (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 506)
Fame (Edit)/Right (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 507)
Golden Years (Edit)/Can You Hear Me? (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 508)
TVC15 (Edit)/We Are The Dead (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 509)
Sound And Vision/A New Career In A New Town (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 510)
Be My Wife/Speed Of Life (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 511)
Beauty And The Beast/Sense Of Doubt (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 512)
Heroes (Edit)/V-2 Schneider (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 513)
Rebel Rebel/Queen Bitch (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 514)
The Jean Genie/Ziggy Stardust (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 515)
DJ (Edit)/Repetition (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 516)
John I’m Only Dancing/Hang On To Yourself (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 517)
Space Oddity/Changes/Velvet Goldmine (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 518)
Sorrow/Amsterdam (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 519)
Breaking Glass (Live)/Art Decade (Live)/Ziggy Stardust (Live) (Lifetimes 7”, BOW 520)

1982 PICTURE DISC REPRESSINGS

Space Oddity/Changes/Velvet Goldmine (7” Picture Disc, BOW 101)
Life On Mars?/The Man Who Sold The World (7” Picture Disc, BOW 102)
The Jean Genie/Ziggy Stardust (7” Picture Disc, BOW 103)
Rebel Rebel/Queen Bitch (7” Picture Disc, BOW 104)
Sound And Vision/A New Career In A New Town (7” Picture Disc, BOW 105)
Drive In Saturday/Round And Round (7” Picture Disc, BOW 106)
Sorrow/Amsterdam (7” Picture Disc, BOW 107)
Golden Years (Edit)/Can You Hear Me? (7” Picture Disc, BOW 108)
Boys Keep Swinging/Fantastic Voyage (7” Picture Disc, BOW 109)
Ashes To Ashes (Edit)/Move On (7” Picture Disc, BOW 110)


Next month, we shall look at Bowie in the 80’s - the decade which, strangely, saw Bowie start to sell more records than ever before whilst at the same time making some of the weakest albums of his career. There were, however, several moments of genius committed to the singles, and we shall look at the interesting releases that covered both the good and the not so good Bowie records of that period.

Further reading:
The Ziggy Stardust Companion: http://www.5years.com/start.htm

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Velvet Underground - And Nico


For many years, the battle for “Greatest Band Of All Time” has been a three way fight between The Beatles, The Stones, and The Velvet Underground. Whilst the quality of material from the UK contenders has often hit astonishing heights, the Velvets have often been thought of as being the most influential - effectively inventing the entire genre of Indie Rock. Any band who have dared to play some slightly out of tune chords, or have opted to have ended an album with a ten minute freak out jam, will almost certainly have stolen these ideas from the Velvets. And yet, famously, they sold so few records during their original existence, it was only after their split that people started to take notice.

In this blog, we will look - album by album - at the (UK) Velvets history from their first record, “The Velvet Underground & Nico”, to what is currently their last, “The Quine Tapes”. Compilations will, for the most part, be left aside, although a detailed look at the 1995 “Peel Slowly And See” boxset is included. Details of notable repressings are listed, and for each LP, I shall list one (or more) of the CD pressings that have appeared from the mid 80s onwards - where catalogue numbers are specifically shown, these are the editions I would suggest you buy.


The Velvet Underground & Nico

After a pair of slight line up changes, and a demo tape that went un-noticed, the “classic” Velvets line up of Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen “Moe” Tucker was in place by 1966. The abrasive sound of the early albums wasn’t fully apparent on the first demo, but started to come into being once Tucker had been brought into the fold. The band were discovered by artist Andy Warhol, who invited them to take part in his Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows, where the band performed amidst a sea of films displayed on a screen behind the band, and a bevy of dancers. It helped to bring the band some attention, although some members of the group later admitted that it was as much a hindrance, as a help - as they were worried that people were viewing them not as a band seeking a record deal, but simply part of the Warhol crowd.

The band were eventually signed to Verve, and Warhol “produced” their debut album - this, at times, apparently involved Warhol doing nothing more than listening to what the band were playing and giving it the thumbs up. His most notable involvement seemed to be getting a German singer called Nico to join the band, with her singing vocals on three of the album’s eleven songs, as well as providing backup on one other. Again, there have been some stories circulating claiming that some of the band were not happy with this, as there had never been an intention to feature a female singer in the group at any point. The counter claim to this is the fact that, several years later, Reed and Cale played on a solo Nico album, “Chelsea Girl”.

The album’s eventual release date was later than planned. Early attempts to land a deal via an acetate of sessions recorded at Sceptor Studios were ignored, and even after Verve signed the group, they seemed to take a rather long time to get the album into the shops. The band’s profile was quite high during the Plastic Inevitable shows, but had dipped by the time the album was released in March 1967. One of the Nico sung songs, “All Tomorrows Parties”, was released as the lead single in the US the previous year (arguably a controversial choice, as it wasn’t entirely typical of the rest of the album - people may well have thought the Velvets were a band fronted by a woman from that one song), but neither the album nor the single sold well at all. The album did just about dent the top 200 in the States, but even the few critics who reviewed the album were less than ecstatic - compared to the lushness of other records from the period (Sgt Pepper, Pet Sounds), it’s noisy, awkward, sometimes muffled roar, was not exactly easy listening. Nowadays, it’s regarded as one of the most seminal rock and roll records of all time.

The album has been reissued on several occasions over the years. When first issued, it came in a famous Warhol designed cover with a peel-able banana on the front - the cover controversially had Warhol’s name in big letters on the front, but not the band’s, leading some people to assume either the band or the LP (or both) were called “Andy Warhol”. Later pressings have, or have not, had a peel-able banana on the front. In the mid 80s, the first CD edition of the album replaced the original mix of “All Tomorrows Parties” with the ’Single Voice Version’ (Verve 823 290-2) - basically taking the original double tracked Nico vocals, and replacing them with a single set of vocals. A compilation CD issued at the same time, “The Best of the Velvet Underground” (Verve 841 164-2), included the original double-tracked version. When the album was reissued in remastered form in the 90s, this mix was replaced with the original version, making the ’Single Voice’ mix one of the rarer items in the Velvets cannon.

A 2002 deluxe double disc edition (Polydor 314 589 624-2) featured the original mono and stereo mixes on each disc, with some of the “Chelsea Girl” songs at the end of one disc, and tracks lifted from the pair of mono 45’s issued in the US back in 66 to attempt to plug the LP on disc two. Whilst some of these mixes are noticeably different to their album counterparts (“All Tomorrows Parties” was only half as long), one or two others sound - to these ears - to be identical to the mono LP versions.


White Light White Heat

There are two stories circulating as to why Warhol took Nico away from the Velvets soon after the debut LP had flopped. One is that Warhol, upon realising that the band weren’t exactly popular, saw no further need to be associated with them, and walked away. The other is that the band laid the failure of the record firmly with Warhol, and fired him. Either way, the relationship between the two parties was soured, and would never fully be resolved. Now back to the Reed/Cale/Morrison/Tucker line up, the band released their second LP in 1968. It’s often been claimed that the record was far more avant garde than the debut, and whilst there is an element of the band jamming away, with vocals then seemingly laid over the top on several songs, overall, it is far more of a straight ahead rock record than “The Velvet Underground & Nico”. However, the likes of “The Gift” (Cale telling a surreal story whilst the band play in the background) and “Sister Ray” (two minutes worth of lyrics, re-repeated over a constantly revolving seventeen minute jam) have seen it seal it’s place as a more “left field” record than the first.

The record sold even more poorly than the first, and the critics who hated the first record, disliked this one even more. It made it no higher than number 199 on the Billboard Charts in the US, whilst chart positions in other countries were simply non existant. Again, in a re-writing of history, the record has been re-evaluated in recent years, and is regarded as a highly important release.

Originally released in what looked like a plain black cover with the band name and album title and nothing else on the cover, holding it up to the light revealed a slightly lighter image of a tattoo in the bottom left corner of the record. Following a set of reissues in the UK in the 70s and early 80s which used a new “white soldiers” cover (Polydor SPELP 73, amongst others), the CD edition of the album released in the mid 80s (Verve 825 119-2) used a new black cover (with no image), and the name/title now printed much larger at the top of the record. The 1996 remastered edition (the latest version - Polydor 531 251 2) uses the original cover, but there is nothing in the way of bonus tracks on this edition.


The Velvet Underground

Midway through a tour supporting “White Light White Heat”, Cale left the band. He was either fired or left as he could no longer work with Reed - again, take your pick as to which story is true. Trouble was, where would you find another Welshman who could play bass, viola and organ? The answer was, you couldn’t, so the band took the opportunity to reinvent themselves. Cale’s replacement was non-Viola playing Doug Yule, and the band began to craft a slightly more serene, controlled and clearer sound. There was still a rock and roll element to the band - “What Goes On” was a slightly less demented “Sister Ray”, “The Murder Mystery” as ingenious as “The Gift”, but the likes of “Jesus” were quieter than anything the band had ever taped in their lives.

Once more, the course of history has changed in terms of the critical acceptance of this record. Ignored by everybody on it’s release, it’s highly regarded nowadays, with the likes of “Pale Blue Eyes” being deemed some of the best material the band ever recorded. Two different sets of mixes were prepared, one by engineer Val Valentin, and another by Reed. The latter, dubbed “The Closet Mix”, has always been the rarer of the two, only ever being released in full on selected pressings in certain countries at different times. At least one later pressing apparently used half of the Valentin mix, and half of the Closet mix, for some strange reason. The album was first issued on CD in the mid 80s (Verve 815 454-2) and used the Valentin mix, but the 1995 box set “Peel Slowly And See” included the whole album in it’s “Closet Mix” form.


Loaded

No sooner had the band’s third album been released, than they headed off on tour across the US again, performing some new songs during the course of the shows. They were quickly back in the studio, and recorded an albums’ worth of material for a potential follow up record, although not everything the band played on stage was taped in the studio. However, as part of a cost cutting exercise at Verve, the band were deemed to be unprofitable and were dropped from the label. The masters of the planned followup to "The Velvet Underground", legally, remained the posession of the label, and although the tapes were later referred to as the “lost” fourth album, the band simply weren’t allowed to keep them and in the event, found themselves looking for a new label, with no new songs in the can.

They were eventually signed to Atlantic, and set about re-recording the fourth album from scratch. Four of the songs from the abandoned Verve album were re-recorded, with John Cale even rejoining the band briefly to play organ on an early version of “Ocean”. Some of the material was attempted more than once - the final version of “Ocean”, for example, was a newer recording without Cale. The sessions were very productive - the band recorded enough material to fill up a double album, but in the end, ten songs only were picked for inclusion on what would become “Loaded”.

In the US, the record was scheduled for release on an Atlantic subsidiary label, Cotillion, with a summer 1970 release date expected. The UK release was scheduled for release on Atlantic. What was interesting about the record was that the ten songs included featured no involvement from Tucker at all, as she was pregnant, with session musicians assisting instead, meaning that the fourth Velvets LP featured what was technically a fourth line up.

Although Wikipedia lists the recording dates as being from April to August 1970, it seems the sessions were over by July. I had often believed that “Loaded” was completed earlier than this, as the band had lined up a residency at a venue in New York called Max’s Kansas City starting in June, and that they would showcase the record on the basis that the LP would have been released just before this - but it seems that the first batch of shows at Max's were indeed scheduled to take place prior to the album's release.

In the event, by the time the band were hitting the stage for later shows in the residency, “Loaded” was not on the release schedules, and the band found themselves playing a slab of new material to an audience who had never heard it before - I still maintain the band had hoped "Loaded" would have been released during August 1970. Tucker did not play at any of the shows, but did remain in the group. Midway through the residency, Reed decided he had finally had enough of the music business, and quit the band, leaving Yule to take over as sole singer and guitarist for the rest of the shows.

“Loaded” was eventually released in September 1970 in the US (Cotillion SD-9034), but would not get a release date in Europe until the following year. It won an “album of the year” award in Holland I do believe, the first time the band had ever really gotten any recognition before their eventual re-discovery later that decade, but it was too late - the band were more or less over. Despite critics adoration of the record, Reed was unhappy - several tracks had been heavily edited, claiming this had been done without his permission, and gave him even more of an excuse to walk away from not only the band, but the record industry in general.

The 1995 “Peel Slowly And See” box set included all of the band’s four albums in their entirety, with “Loaded” appearing in slightly different form - the original unedited versions of “Sweet Jane” and “New Age” made their official debut. The version of “Rock And Roll” was also slightly longer than that originally issued, although again, I can’t really tell the difference, and even the liner notes made no mention of this. A series of extra tracks from the sessions were included as well, and were quite notable in that all were tracks that you might have already heard on Lou Reed solo records, and here were revealed to have originated from these sessions - the aforementioned “Ocean”, “Ride Into The Sun“, “Sad Songs”, “Oh Jim” (here as “Oh Gin”), “Walk And Talk It”, “I Love It” and most impressive of all, “Satellite Of Love”, one of Reed’s most famous “solo” recordings, could have been Velvet Underground "hits" had history taken a different course.

In 1997, Rhino issued an expanded version of “Loaded”, dubbed the ‘Fully Loaded Edition’ (Rhino 8122-72563-2). This featured, again, the Reed endorsed versions of “Sweet Jane” et al, plus bonus tracks from the box set. Also included was another song from the sessions, later taped for Reed’s debut solo LP in 1972, “Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall”, whilst the second disc featured alternate mixes of all ten of the tracks that made the original album. It appeared in a “moving sleeve” - the package came in a die cut slipcase, with the “cut” made around the smoke emitting from the subway entrance. Inside, a thick lenticular insert was tucked inside the jewel case, with a mix of red and green colours making up the so-called ‘front cover’. Basically, this meant that when the jewel case was inside the slipcase, moving the box left and right made the coloured smoke move. Very clever.


Live At Max's Kansas City

After the three-man Velvets finished the Kansas City residency, they did not split. The band were still signed to Atlantic, and even after Sterling Morrison decided to leave, a revamped line up of Yule, Tucker, Willie Alexander and Walter Powers belatedly toured the “Loaded” album after it’s European release in 1971. It seems the band were contracted to record another record for the label, but as time passed, Atlantic were convinced that a fifth album was simply not going to happen, and they released this record instead.

“Max’s Kansas City” had been taped on a bog standard tape recorded by an audience member - it has long been stated that the tape was from the final show with Reed, although some reports contradict this. The tape was passed to an A&R man at the label, and Atlantic took the best parts of the tape to compile into a 40 minute album with Reed’s assistance. The band had actually played a matinee and an evening show on the day of taping, and highlights from each made up the record. As with “Loaded”, the record was issued on Cotillion in the US, but Atlantic in the UK.

Because the tape recorder was simply laid out on a table near the stage, the recording - unsurprisingly - was a bit lo-fi, with chat by other audience members sometimes drowning out the sound of the band. It was, of course, in Mono, but given that Mono albums had ceased to exist in the 60s, Atlantic no longer had a need to produce blank labels with a “Mono” legend on them, so the UK pressings used stereo labels, but with the “Stereo” wording crudely blacked out with the word “Mono” stamped rather cheaply above it!

In 2004, an expanded edition on Rhino was released (Rhino 8122-78093-2). Like the “Fully Loaded” edition of “Loaded”, it was a two disc affair - disc 1 featured the early show, disc 2 the late. The two shows featured quite different set lists, with hardly any songs appearing in both shows. The original LP had not only featured songs from a mix of the shows, but also featured them in the wrong order - the reissue had the two shows with the original running order restored.

To all intents and purposes, “Max’s Kansas City” was the official finale to the band. But things were to take an interesting course.


1969 Live With Lou Reed

At the same time that Reed was helping to prepare the “final” Velvets LP, albeit a live one, the Yule-led version of the band was still going strong. The band were still underground - it was at this point, reportedly, that Velvets fan David Bowie met the group at one of their shows and chatted with Yule, under the impression he was talking to Lou Reed. It seems so little was known about the group at the time, that even Reed’s departure was low-key.

After the “Loaded” tour in late 71, Yule found himself being encouraged to keep the band going by the band’s manager, Steve Sesnick. Yule wrote eleven new songs for a potential album, and thus, the Velvets signed to Polydor in 1972. However, Sesnick somehow managed to keep the other three band members away from Yule, who ended up recording virtually the entire album himself, with a little bit of help from Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice. The resultant album “Squeeze” was issued in 1973, but Yule was unhappy with the whole situation. Tucker, along with Alexander and Powers, were effectively pushed out of the band by Sesnick. A new lineup of the band was put together to tour at the end of 1972, partly at Sesnick’s request, but when he deserted the band mid-tour, Yule struggled to keep it all going, and split the band up at around about the time “Squeeze” was finally released. The band “reformed” again the following year, when Yule set out on what he planned to be a solo tour, but found that the tour manager wanted to bill him and his band as The Velvets - a situation helped along by the fact that one of his sidekicks, Billy Yule, had played drums on parts of “Loaded”. The tour disintegrated after a handful of dates, and the band finally bowed out. A Japanese only Box Set featuring performances from the 71, 72 and 73 tours later surfaced as “Final VU”. I have never heard either of these records, so can’t comment, but opinion on them is divided. What is notable, of course, is that the name “Squeeze” was purloined by Messrs Difford and Tillbrook a few years later for their South London based new-wave band.

Meanwhile, the Reed-led version of the band started to gain a bit more prominence. Bowie had begun performing “Waiting For The Man” and “White Light White Heat” during his 1972 shows, and in 1974, Mercury Records found themselves in the position of being able to release “new” Velvets material. “1969 Live With Lou Reed” was a double album of more (only slightly) lo-fi recordings, taped during the tail end of the year, at around about the same time the band were kicked off Verve.

The album is a fascinating listen - sounding as though it was taped in front of about ten people, it’s hard to believe this is the band who within a few years,would be attributed with recording the most important debut album of all time. The band spend the first few minutes seemingly tuning up, Reed matter-of-factly asking the crowd if they have to go to school the next day…as great as the record is, it really doesn’t sound like a band who would later achieve such legendary status, and in many ways, it captures perfectly the disinterest the world had in the band at the time.

The original 17 track LP included material that was being considered for that “lost” fourth album - some of which did eventually make it (“Sweet Jane”, “New Age”, “Rock And Roll”), two that didn’t but by 1974 had appeared in re-recorded form on Lou Reed solo records (“Ocean”, “Lisa Says”), and three more that would never have been heard by anybody in any form at the time (“Over You”, “It’s Just Too Much”, and “Real Good Time Together”). If studio versions of the first two exist, they haven’t surfaced yet, but “Real Good Time Together” was taped by the Velvets for the fourth album, although it was not issued until the 1980s, whilst a Reed solo version appeared on his monumental 1978 LP “Street Hassle” (possibly the most under-rated record made by anybody in the entire echelons of rock and roll - please check it out if you have never heard it).

The record was issued on CD in 1988, but there seemed to be a record company phobia at the time about issuing double CD’s, and so the album was split in two with the first half appearing as “Volume 1” (Mercury 834 823-2), and the second as “Volume 2” (Mercury 834 824-2) - the original sleeve was used on both CD’s. Each CD came with an extra song - Volume 1 featured a previously uniussed version of “Heroin” (Volume 2 had a version of the song from a different gig), Volume 2 added a version of “I Can’t Stand It”- another, in 1969, “new” song which then failed to make it onto album number 4, but surfaced in rerecorded form in 1972 as the first song on Lou Reed’s self titled debut LP. The version taped for the fourth album remained unissued until 1985 - which is where we are headed next.


VU/Another View

In 1984, Verve announced they had found the “lost” fourth album. Whether or not they had suddenly found them, or knew where the tapes were and decided to capitalise on the band’s new found reputation - well, it depends on how cynical you are. Nonetheless, in 1985, the first Velvets album for 11 years surfaced, consisting of ten previously unheard Velvets songs. Although the sleeve notes banged on about that “fourth” album, two of the songs included were actually taped whilst Cale was still in the band, and had he not left, may well have appeared on the band’s third LP.

Although all of the songs were “new”, six of them had been re-recorded and released by Reed across several of his RCA albums in between 1972 and 1976 - only “Foggy Notion”, “Temptation Inside Your Heart”, “One Of These Days” and “I’m Sticking With You” were completely left on the shelf and appeared on “VU” (Verve 823 721-2) for the first time in any form. “I’m Sticking With You” and “Ocean” were two of the four tracks from the “lost” Verve album that were later re-recorded with a view to them being included on “Loaded”.

In 1986, a second set of unreleased tracks turned up on “Another View” (Verve 829 405-2) - only nine songs made the record, one of which appeared in two different forms, making only eight new songs. Again, two of the eight songs date from the Cale line-up, so it could be argued there was a bit of barrel-scraping going on here. And yet again, two songs from here were taped again during the “Loaded” sessions (“Rock And Roll” and “Ride Into The Sun”), whilst both “Ride Into The Sun” and “Real Good Time Together” had, by 1986 (and as mentioned earlier), both appeared in newly recorded form as Reed solo songs.


Live MCMXCIII

Following the release of an Australian only box set early in 1993, this was the next Velvets “new” release after “Another View”. It’s origins can be traced back a good six years.

Andy Warhol passed away in 1987, and his death left an indelible mark on Reed and co. Following the acrimonious split between artist and band some twenty years before, the wounds had never really healed - Reed and Warhol had even attended the same party some years later and Reed reportedly made no attempt to say hello. As a way of saying goodbye, Reed and Cale recorded an album in 1990 called “Songs For Drella”, “Drella” being Warhol’s nickname - a mixture of Dracula and Cinderella. Although it was released on the label to which Reed was signed as a solo artist, Cale did take lead vocals on a number of songs. Both men shared the instrumentation, but Reed’s profile was so high at the time, it was difficult to not think of it as a follow up to his astonishing 1989 LP “New York”. Reed also played some of the songs on stage during his 1992 tour in support of the “Drella” followup, “Magic And Loss”.

Reed and Cale played a handful of shows before and after the record’s release, which offered up a series of songs either about Warhol, or from his perspective. On 15th June 1990, at the end of one such show, the pair were joined onstage for an encore of “Heroin” by Tucker and Morrison, the first time any version of the Velvets had appeared on stage since the early 70’s. The reunion was not permanent, with Reed and Cale falling out soon after, and that - for now - was that.

However, in 1993, the “classic” line up of Reed/Cale/Morrison/Tucker got back together in one of the most important reunions of all time. A short European tour was lined up (presumably on the basis that this line up of the band had never played outside the US), although plans were also being made for a US tour, and a new studio album. The band played their first UK show in Edinburgh on 1st June 1993, although the English leg of the “tour” was nothing more than a pair of shows in London over the weekend of 5th/6th June. The first show, at the 2000 capacity London Forum sold out immediately, the second show was at the 10000 seater Wembley Arena. The band played more or less the same set each night, and debuted a new song “Coyote” towards the end of the set. I witnessed the Wembley gig, and my overriding memory was that the band sounded pretty much the same as they always did on record, and it was a thrilling spectacle to watch.

Rather than concentrate on the two albums recorded with Cale, material from all four albums was featured, as well as stuff from “VU” and “Another View”, in an attempt to make the set list quite varied. At the end of the month, they returned to the UK for a slot at the Glastonbury Festival - despite the fact the band had invented virtually every other band who played that weekend, they weren't headlining, and instead appeared halfway down the bill on Friday 25th. The band also played some support slots for U2 around about the same time, a strange situation of a band who had influenced another being the opening act for - rather than being THE - headline act. Such is the life of a band who lots of people seem to love, but who never sold many records.

However, life was not all rosy in the Velvets camp and after completing the last set of European shows in July, Reed and Cale had another falling out - and the band split again. Thankfully, somebody had had the foresight to tape and film the three shows the band had played in Paris between the 15th and 17th June, and this formed the basis of a live album issued later that year, “Live MCMXCIII” (Sire 9362-45464-2). The track listing more or less mirrored the full set the band were playing, although “Coyote” was moved further down the track listing so that it now appeared at the very end of the record. A single CD of selected highlights was issued in a different coloured sleeve (Sire 9362-45465-2) - another strange trait that record companies loved to do in the 80s and 90s, presumably aimed at people who couldn’t afford the 2-CD version, although if I remember correctly at the time, the price difference between the two was negligible.

A VHS of the Paris shows, titled “Velvet Redux” was also released to coincide, and has since been made available on DVD. One of my claims to fame is having seen the Velvets in concert, and the chances of you ever seeing the classic line up again are now over, as Morrison passed away in 1995.


Peel Slowly & See

In 1995, the 5-CD Boxset “Peel Slowly And See” was released (Polydor 527 887 2). Discs 2 to 5 concentrated on the four albums released with Reed as the singer, with related bonus tracks padded out to fill each disc. In order to achieve a level of continuity, some of the tracks appeared before the relevant album, rather than after, if they had been taped at an earlier date. Material from “VU” was also included at the end of disc 4 (“The Velvet Underground”) which seemed a pointless decision, but was obviously included to show the transitional period from this album to “Loaded”. As mentioned earlier, the “Closet Mix” of “The Velvet Underground” was included, and “Loaded” replaced the edited versions of “Sweet Jane” and “New Age” with the previously unheard full length masters.

Disc 1 featured the Reed/Cale/Morrison demo tape from 1965 - this was recorded after original drummer Angus MacLise had left the band, but before Tucker was invited to join. Anybody who thought the likes of “VU”, “Another View” and “1969 Live” had exhausted the archives would have been pleasantly surprised to find that the bonus tracks scattered throughout the set included not just alternate recordings of otherwise available songs, but also included demos of tracks that had not been released in any form at all at that point.


The Quine Tapes

In 2001, Polydor issued what was planned to be the first in a series of “official bootlegs” of yet more live Velvets recordings. The band, far from being anti bootlegging, encouraged people to bring tape recorders to their shows, and a fan by the name of Robert Quine (hence the title) taped several shows during their 1969 tour - and material from three venues (but several shows) from this tour were offered up on this triple CD set.

Again, despite there being numerous albums with previously unreleased material on the shelves, “The Quine Tapes” (Polydor 314 589 067-2) revealed that the band were even more prolific during this period than previously thought, as the box contained a never before heard song called “Follow The Leader” on disc 2. “The Quine Tapes” remains, at present, the only release in the series, as a series of legal issues between the band and Polydor have prevented any further releases from escaping from the vaults. As such, it remains, at present, the final word on the history of The Velvet Underground.

It feels, given that the band last played nearly 20 years ago, that the importance of the Velvet Underground is starting to be lost on newer generations of music fans. This is a shame, as when you listen to these records, the inventiveness contained within is breathtaking - some of the stuff that gets passed off as "alternative music" nowadays isn't even fit to clean the (shiny shiny) boots of this band - yes, that's you, One Night Only.

Further reading:
Oliver's Velvet Underground fanpage: http://olivier.landemaine.free.fr/vu/index.html

Friday, 1 October 2010

Kenickie

So, how many people watching “The Culture Show” are aware that Lauren Laverne was once the vocalist in a band named after a character from Grease? For a few brief years in the 1990’s, Kenickie were a bright shining light in the sometimes dull world of Indie Rock, and released several magnificent singles that, heartbreakingly, are pretty much unknown to the current generation of NME readers. I was obsessed with this band, making my one and only visit to the Reading Festival in 1997, primarily to see them. When we arrived, me and my friend were asked at the gate who we were there to see. “Metallica” my friend said, “Kenickie” I said. Kenickie were one of the few bands where you didn’t just want to marry the lead singer, but the second guitarist and bassist as well. They married Phil Spector-esque harmonies with spiky riffs, and as a result, succeeded in releasing possibly the greatest single of 1996, “Millionaire Sweeper”. It’s been a decade since their demise, and I’m not sure anybody has come close to making guitar-pop records as brilliant and beautiful as they did. In this blog, we look at the short history of this near-forgotten great band.

Like so many bands pre-MySpace, Kenickie made their single debut via a limited edition 7” in 1994/95, an EP called “Catsuit City”. Issued on the local (to the band) Slampt label, the single featured no less than EIGHT tracks - proof of how you could make your point in a song in less than 2 minutes if you tried hard enough. Now a £40+ rated collectible, it’s desirability is increased by the fact that none of the songs have been released again since, although some tracks were re-recorded as B-sides for latter period singles.

The band then released a single on the none-more-indie Fierce Panda label, often a starting point for a new guitar band. “How I Was Made“/“Come Out 2Nite” was a thrilling, punky, poppy roar, both tracks being good enough to be included on their debut album two years later. The CD Single version featured extra tracks, and was dubbed the “Skillex” EP. By the following year, 1996, the band had signed to one of the numerous EMI offshoot labels, EMI Disc (run by members of Saint Etienne), and released two singles that year, both of which would also appear on the debut album. “Punka” was a mickey taking dig at the Indie scene, and the bands who were determined to make unlistenable records that sold no copies - “lo-fi songs are great“ Laverne scowled, with some Glitter Band style yelps from sometime vocalist Marie Du Santiago. Follow up song “Millionaire Sweeper” meanwhile, sounded like a sort of slowed down slightly more-miserable Ronettes, with some fabulous ‘yeah yeah yeah’ style backing vocals. Both singles were issued on three formats, but the only format which contained exclusive material in each case was the CD Single, the 7” and Cassette featuring only one of the three new B-sides that the band had recorded for each 45.

In 1997, in what seemed like a blatant attempt to hit the higher echelons of the charts, “In Your Car” was released on two CD’s, each with different B-sides and in different sleeves. The trick worked, and the single charted inside the top 30, as did a similarly promoted follow-up single “Nightlife”. The single release of the latter coincided with a Radio 1 taped show at the Highbury Garage in North London the same day, 28th April. The band’s debut LP, “At The Club”, was released two weeks later in May 1997, promoted in part by an in-store gig at the now defunct Tower Records at Piccadilly Circus on the day of it‘s release. If I remember correctly, drummer Johnny X failed to turn up, and with a friend standing in for him, only the three girls were available to sign copies of the album after the show. Hitting the top 10 album charts, the album featured a sizeable number of songs already released on earlier singles, and by striking a perfect balance between spiky punk and pure pop, “At The Club” remains a great lost Britpop classic. Following it’s release, “Punka” was re-released, and if I remember correctly, was done so against the band’s wishes. Both “Punka” and “Nightlife” were also issued as 7” picture discs, although unusually, they were not housed in see through sleeves so you could see the images pressed onto the vinyl, but came in normal picture sleeves.

Following a mini Greatest Hits set at Reading, where I seem to recall the band attempted a medley of virtually every B-side they had recorded to a slightly bemused crowd, the band returned to the studio to record material for 1998’s “Get In”. Two singles were issued in the run up to the album’s release, “I Would Fix You” and “Stay In The Sun”, which showed a slightly more ‘pop’ direction. Both singles were issued on two CD’s, and as coloured vinyl 7” singles housed in semi-wraparound sleeves, so the vinyl was partly on show when displayed in record shops.

No sooner had “Get In” been released, than the band seemed to implode. The band ended with a famously near-shambolic gig at the London Astoria 2, with Laverne pretty much announcing the band’s split from the stage. Kenickie were no more. In 2000, a posthumous send off in the form of a mini album consisting of all eight tracks the band had taped for John Peel’s Radio 1 show (two sessions of four songs each) was released, bringing down the final curtain.

Since the split, the two vocal halves of the band then set off on new careers. Marie, along with bassist Emmy-Kate Montrose, formed a new band called Rosita, who released the “Live It Down”/”If You’ve Heard” 7” in 1999 followed by the 3 track “Santa Poca’s Dream” EP. An album was in the pipeline - the band previewed at least one new track at a Radio 1 taped gig in Liverpool at the tail end of 1999, “This Is Tonight”, and another song “Sugar” appeared on a Fierce Panda EP just after the debut 7” . However, Rosita split soon after, although Du Santiago is still involved in music, as part of The Cornshed Sisters, and Montrose has guested with various bands since. Johnny X has also had several musical outings since the band folded.

Laverne has had the most high profile career post-Kenickie. She started to branch off into TV presenting, and at the same time as she presented Channel 4 music show “Planet Pop”, she was asked to provide vocals to the Mint Royale single, “Don’t Falter”, which became a huge hit. Laverne performed the song on stage with the band on at least one occasion. This was followed by a solo EP, and another new song was included on the “Born To Do It Better” music mag freebie CD in 2000, but thereafter, Laverne shied away from making music. She was, for a while, leader of the “Johnny Vaughan Tonight” houseband on his BBC Three chat show, but has now carved out a career as a music TV show presenter, as opposed to being an actual musician.

Listed below are what I would consider the “essential” items in the Kenickie back catalogue. Any singles that are issued in otherwise available picture sleeves, with B-sides on other releases, that are not on coloured vinyl, are not listed. Similarly, the band's debut album was also issued on vinyl and cassette, but with one less track. "At The Club" was also issued in the US, with an altered track listing.

The Peel Sessions mini album has a running time of less than half an hour - it is a shame that no attempt was made by Strange Fruit to include other radio sessions, as the band taped other tracks for the BBC (including songs that never made it onto a Kenickie LP). The only such track that HAS made it from the BBC vaults onto a Kenickie 45 or LP was "Killing Fantasy", taped for the Evening Session in 1996, and only ever released as the B-side to "In Your Car". If an original studio version exists, it has never been released.

It’s worth pointing out that the band also gave away rarities for inclusion on several compilation records, and I would suggest you have a look at the band’s Wikipedia page for details of these recordings. It seems that a demo of a track called "Walrus" actually pre-dates the "Catsuit City" EP, making it their first ever release, and can be found on the "Signal Vs Noise" compilation.

Some of the rarer items from the band's early days were later re-recorded with "new" titles, but most of these can easily be spotted in the list below. Some of the tracks listed below as B-sides were recorded specifically for compilations released at the same time - "I'm An Agent" was actually taped for a Gary Numan tribute LP, having appeared on one of his early solo albums - whilst several promo 12"'s are in existence which feature remixes never commercially released, although such items are restricted to the more "pop" singles from "Get In".

I can wholeheartedly recommend everything you see in this list below.

RIP Kenickie.

KENICKIE SINGLES AND ALBUMS DISCOGRAPHY

Catsuit City EP: Rama Lama Lama/Private Buchowski/Come In/Snakebite/My Nites Out/SK8BDN Song/Perfect Plan/Jellybean (7” with insert, Slampt SLAMPT 31)
How I Was Made (Single Mix)/Come Out 2Nite (AA-side 7”, Fierce Panda NING 16)
Skillex EP: How I Was Made (Single Mix)/Come Out 2Nite/Scared Of Spiders/Acetone (First Version) (CD, Fierce Panda NING 16 CD)
Punka/Drag Race/Walrus/Cowboy (CD, EMI Disc CDDISC 001)
Millionaire Sweeper/Perfect Plan 9T6/Kamikaze Annelids/Girl’s Best Friend (CD, EMI Disc CDDISC 002)
In Your Car/Can I Take You To The Cinema/I’m An Agent (CD1 with free postcards, EMI Disc CDDISCX 005)
In Your Car/Private Buchowski (New Version)/Killing Fantasy (CD2 in different p/s, EMI Disc CDDISC 005)
Nightlife/“J.P.” (7” Picture Disc, EMI Disc DISC 006)
Nightlife/Kenix/Skateboard Song (CD1 in different p/s with free postcards, EMI Disc CDDISCX 006)
Nightlife/”J.P.”/Eat The Angel (CD2 in unique p/s, EMI Disc CDDISC 006)
Punka (Single Version)/Brighter Shade Of Blue (7” Picture Disc, EMI Disc DISC 007)
Punka (Single Version)/Lights Out In A Provincial Town/Waste You (CD1 with three art prints, EMI Disc CDDISCS 007)
Punka/We Can Dream/Brighter Shade Of Blue (CD2 in different p/s, EMI Disc CDDISC 007)
I Would Fix You (Radio Edit)/Rough Boys & Modern Girls (Clear Vinyl 7” with wraparound insert, EMI EM 513)
I Would Fix You (Radio Edit)/Packed In/I Would Fix You (Mint Royale Mix) (CD1, EMI CDEMS 513)
I Would Fix You/Rough Boys And Modern Girls/I Would Fix You (DJ Downfall Mix) (CD2 in different colour p/s, EMI CDEM 513)
I Would Fix You (Radio Edit)/Rough Boys And Modern Girls/I Would Fix You (Mint Royale Mix) (Cassette in unique p/s, originally shrinkwrapped, EMI TCEM 513)
Stay In The Sun (Radio Edit)/Hooray For Everything (Orange Vinyl 7” in wraparound poster bag, EMI EM 520)
Stay In The Sun (Radio Edit)/Hooray For Everything/Stay In The Sun (Fridge Mix) (CD1, EMI CDEMS 520)
Stay In The Sun/Save Your Kisses For Me/Stay In The Sun (Maxwell Implosion Influenza Mix) (CD2 in different colour p/s, EMI CDEM 520)

At The Club (CD, EMI Disc ADISCCD 002, includes hidden track not on LP or Cassette pressings)
Get In (CD, EMI 495 8512)
The John Peel Sessions (CD, Strange Fruit SFRSCD 085)


LAUREN LAVERNE DISCOGRAPHY

Don’t Falter (LP Version) +1 (Cassette, Faith & Hope FHMC 014)
Don’t Falter (Mint Mix)/(Royale Mix)/(LP Version) (45/33 rpm 12” in different p/s, Faith & Hope FH 12014)
Take These Flowers Away EP: I Fell Out Of A Tree/Good Morning Sunshine/To Have A Home (Demo)/Some Kind Of Other Presence (CD, Deceptive BLUFF 078 CD)
Born To Do It Better (Various Artists CD, given free with 11th October 2000 issue of ’Melody Maker’, Melody Maker BTDIB-10-2000, includes “If You Phone”)
It’s A Cool Cool Christmas (Various Artists CD, Jeepster JPRCD 013, includes “In The Bleak Midwinter“)


ROSITA DISCOGRAPHY

Live It Down/If You’ve Heard (7”, For Us FU 009)
Otter Than July (Various Artists CD, Fierce Panda NING 078 CD, includes “Sugar”)
Santa Poca’s Dream EP: Santa Poca’s Dream/Down Here/Demon (CD, Zubizaretta ZUB 006CD)

Further Reading:
Wikipedia Page (includes links to other Kenickie fansites): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenickie
Kenickie at Reading 97 (Video) - plus others: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6estdpJ-7y8
Lauren's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/laverneshow