Saturday, 27 December 2014
Listed below are the bands and singers featured for each month in 2014. The December 2014 blogs can be found due right, and include articles on The Beautiful South and Paul Weller.
The complete list for the year is shown below:
January 2014 - Genesis / Elvis Presley
February 2014 - All Saints / The Charlatans
March 2014 - Madonna
April 2014 - Morrissey / Ash
May 2014 - Foo Fighters
June 2014 - Biffy Clyro / Green Day
July 2014 - Siouxsie And The Banshees / The Stranglers
August 2014 - Supergrass
September 2014 - David Bowie / Super Furry Animals
October 2014 - The Stranglers
November 2014 - Badly Drawn Boy
December 2014 - The Beautiful South / Paul Weller
To look at blogs from January to November, click on the relevant month, then for the blog you wish to look at, click on the relevant link that will then appear. Each month of 2014 is also home to part of a 12 month long article called "How I Learned To Hate Record Collecting", looking at the marketing techniques of the UK record industry. Jan 2014 is part 1, Feb 2014 is part 2, and so on and so forth.
"Well I've met God, and he had nothing to say to me"
Friday, 26 December 2014
The Beautiful South were always an odd proposition. On the one hand, they seemed to peddle a rather mainstream, almost AOR brand of pop, and in the 20 odd years they existed, didn’t sound particularly different at the end to what they had sounded like at the beginning. But on the other hand, there was always something far more daring going on underneath - the lyrics were often clever, or biting, or just plain vicious. Even the band name was a sneering grumble about those London-centric types. They didn’t always hit the spot - even members of the band themselves thought the anti page 3 girl diatribe “36D” was going for the wrong target - but overall, they left behind some decent records, including some genuinely classic 45’s. The group are sort of still going, albeit in two halves, but it’s the original stuff that we are looking at here.
The group were formed in 1989 out of the ashes of Hull based political indie types The Housemartins, and were signed to the same label, Go! Discs. They were formed as a five piece around the dual vocalist pairing of Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway, but by requiring a female singer for several numbers, Briana Corrigan was employed as an additional member for the first album, before later “officially” joining the group. Their debut 45, “Song For Whoever”, set out their stall from the off - an almost polite and polished piece of music, but the lyrics were of the clever-clever variety (maybe too clever for some...”I love you from the bottom of my pencil case...oh Cathy, oh Alison, oh Phillipa, oh Sue, you made me so much money I wrote this song for you“). B-side “Straight In At 37” was a sly reference to the lesser performing chart heroes of the day.
Debut LP “Welcome To The Beautiful South” caused upset to some, as it was originally housed in a controversial sleeve depicting a photo of a woman with a gun in her mouth - later copies replaced this with a “Cuddly Teddy Bear and Fluffy Rabbit” sleeve. Once again, this showed that the music was actually masking a more sinister band. “Straight In At 37” was added to Cassette and CD copies as a bonus track, whilst all three singles from the album went top 40. It was followed by 1990’s “Choke”, the album which spawned the band’s only chart topper, a duet between Corrigan and Hemingway called “A Little Time”. The b-side of the extended play versions of the single, “What You See Is What You Get”, was included on selected pressings of the album, but not all - the copies that do include it seem to be German editions with a slightly different catalogue number to the UK ones.
Late 1991 saw the release of the first single from the band’s next LP, “0898 Beautiful South” (0898 was a premium telephone dialling code number in the UK at the time). “Old Red Eyes Is Back” was a storming comeback of a 45, melodically powerful, complete with lyrics about a character deep down in the gutter, a regular subject matter for the group. Future singles stuttered, even though the quality of said 45’s were not in question. Work began on the follow up album in early 1993, but Corrigan was beginning to fail to see eye to eye with some of Heaton’s lyrics, and after hearing rough copies of some of the new material, decided to quit the band. She was replaced by an unknown singer, Jacqui Abbott, whom Heaton had seen sing at a party some years before, and was very impressed. When Corrigan left, Heaton contacted Abbott and asked her to join - she was working in a supermarket at the time, and was amazed that Heaton remembered who she was.
1994’s “Miaow” was both the rebirth of a revitalised band, sales wise, but was also the start of a troubled period in Heaton’s life resulting in some bleak lyrics on this and follow up album, “Blue Is The Colour”. “Miaow” was originally housed in a sleeve mimicking the famous HMV “Nipper” image, but HMV cited copyright theft, and subsequent pressings used a completely different “dogs in a boat” image. The first two singles featured Abbott quite significantly, indeed, she was the sole vocalist on their cover of “Everybody’s Talkin”, released as the next single after the LP had been issued. First single from the LP, the horn driven blast of “Good As Gold”, became one of the band’s most recognizable singles.
By the end of the year, the band prepared to release their first “hits” set, “Carry On Up The Charts” - again, using a pop culture reference, this time to the Carry On films. A new song, “One Last Love Song”, was included on the set, which was also issued as a single. As well as being issued as a VHS collection, double disc pressings were made with a second disc of random B-sides, with some copies playing an alternate version of “Let Love Speak Up Itself” as well.
Rather confusingly, the following summer saw a “new” Beautiful South song hitting the airwaves, when the band’s cover of “Dream A Little Dream” was sent out on a promo. It was released commercially in numerous overseas countries, and had been included in a movie called “French Kiss”, but it would take until 1996 for the track to receive a proper UK release, when it surfaced as a B-side. Equally confusing was that the next UK single was a stunning stand alone release called “Pretenders To The Throne”, not found on the recent hits set.
The very title of 1996’s “Blue Is The Colour” should give you an indication as to where Heaton’s head was at. The record did, at times, veer off the tried and tested path - opening track (and future 45) “Don’t Marry Her” was completely filthy, whilst Heaton attempted to channel Tom Waits on “Liars Bar”, amazingly later released as a single. It represents a strange period in the band’s career - whenever I look at this record, it does conjure up an image, rightly or wrongly, of a band in the middle of a mid life crisis, a miserable looking album that I want to avoid, but the fact was, the band were actually huge at the time - lead single “Rotterdam”, a gentle waltz like shuffle, remains one of their biggest hits, the band had recently supported REM on their stadium tour, and they were now in the middle of the whole Britpop thing, and were gaining a sort of second wind. It just seemed that this LP was that much darker than what had come before, and so seemed less welcoming than the previous releases.
1998’s “Quench” seemed to put the “pop” back into the band, as heard in the vibrant bounce of lead single “Perfect 10”. Initial copies of the album came in a die cut slipcase, thus more or less obscuring the “normal” album cover. It transpires that the artwork was by a painter called Peter Howson, who sued for damages (and won) after claiming the imagery was used without his permission. I am not sure if the slipcase was done to try and “reduce” the amount of damaging being done? Follow up 45s “Dumb” and “How Long’s A Tear Take To Dry” both dented the top 20, and the band played Glastonbury in the summer of 1999, yet again blurring the lines between their links to the indie world and their “boring“ persona. In what seemed to be another attempt to show their Northern roots, a number of b-sides from the period were old BS hits played by the East Yorkshire Motor Services Brass Band.
2000’s “Painting It Red” was initially released in the UK as a double album, the running time of the 20 tracks just pushing it beyond the boundaries of a single CD. I listened to it recently, and can confirm it’s a bit of an underrated gem, the slightly sprawling nature of the thing allowing for a myriad mixture of styles, but all with the underlying melodic pull of the band in place throughout. Only two singles were issued, the second being a double A side of bouncy pop outing “Just Checkin’” and the astonishing tearful big ballad “The River”, which failed to dent the top 40 and which thus saw the promo campaign promptly stopped in it‘s tracks. Either that or the band had run out of B-sides for anymore singles, having shoehorned so much stuff onto the LP in the first place.
A second best of set, the modestly titled “Solid Bronze”, surfaced in 2001. It included radio edits, previously stand alone 45s and new songs in the form of a remixed “The Mediterranean” and “The Root Of All Evil”, the latter issued as a single to help promote the set. It would turn out to be a release that marked another major change in lineup, as Abbott had announced her departure due to family commitments just after the release of “Painting It Red“, making this album something of a signing off point. Shows in late 2000 were conducted without any female singer on stage at all. Her replacement was (eventually) “Lady” Alison Wheeler, so dubbed due to her Cambridge education being in direct contrast to the more working class background of the rest of the group.
Thereafter, the band seemed to fall off the radar slightly. Radio play moved from Radio 1 to the more MOR driven Radio 2, and the attendant singles were generally charting lower, but the pop nous of the group remained intact, with the likes of “Just A Few Things That I Ain‘t“ and “Let Go With The Flow” from 2003’s “Gaze” retaining the trademark sound. A covers album, “Golddiggas Headnodders And Pholk Songs” followed in 2004, although one of the so called covers was simply a Beautiful South original, with the band concocting a fictitious story (and webpage) about the so-called group who had allegedly recorded it originally.
2006’s “Superbi” would turn out - retrospective releases aside - to be the band’s final stand. The final single from the album was backed with a b-side called “Farewell”, suggesting that the band had their finale planned well in advance. They famously split due to “musical similarities” the following year, before a chunk of the final lineup reformed as “The New Beautiful South“, later shortened to “The South“. Heaton and Abbott have also recently recorded an album together.
The Beautiful South once got referred to as making “Mondeo Music”, Mondeo being a make of car. This is sort of reflected in their discography - the band, almost always, included bonus tracks on the CD editions of their singles, making the 7” and Cassette pressings worthless, as they were missing these songs. In their earlier days, the band did actually used to issue 12” singles that had identical track listings to the CD editions, but yes, it is possible to own the band’s entire back catalogue on the Yuppy-esque CD format.
I have listed below the “EP” styled singles that the band issued, as in many instances, these still remain the only way to get some of the flipsides. There were occasional releases on 7” and Cassette which were released as maxi singles, mirroring the track listing of their cousins, and these are also shown. Not shown are any singles which came in special packaging - the Cassette pressing of “Closer Than Most” used a different cover to the CD editions, whilst a number of early period 7” singles were pressed as special editions, with altered artwork - but with selected B-sides still missing. You can see the artwork differences by looking at the BS entry on the 45cat.com website. The only other 45s listed are those which were missing b-sides when first released, but whose interest factor is now greater after said b-side(s) turned up on the double disc “Carry On” release.
As for the albums, the CD pressings are probably the easiest to find, as you can buy pretty much all of them on Amazon in this form still, so I have listed the original compact disc pressings only for clarity. The pre-2001 ones are available on Cassette, and vinyl pressings exist of everything up to “Solid Bronze”, although finding them might be a bit harder. Video releases also exist but I would hope to cover these in a later feature rather than squeeze them in here.
Welcome To The Beautiful South (CD, Go! Discs AGODCD 16, “gun” p/s)
Choke (CD, Go! Discs 828 233-2)
0898 (CD, Go! Discs 828 310-2)
Miaow (CD, Go! Discs 828 507-2)
Carry On Up The Charts (2xCD, Go! Discs 828 569-2)
Blue Is The Colour (CD, Go! Discs 828 845-2)
Quench (CD, Go! Discs 538 179-2, later copies without slipcase have alternate catalogue number)
Painting It Red (2xCD, Go! Discs 548 266-2)
Solid Bronze (CD, Go! Discs 586 444-2)
Gaze (CD, Go! Discs 9865694)
Golddiggas Headnodders And Pholk Songs (CD, Sony 5186329, in hardback book style sleeve, later pressings in jewel case and with alternate catalogue number)
Gold (2xCD, Go! Discs 06024 9836292 1)
Superbi (CD, Sony 82876 831132)
The BBC Sessions (2xCD, Mercury 9845873)
At The BBC (3xCD+DVD, Mercury 5333213)
Song For Whoever (Edit)/Straight In At 37/You And Your Big Ideas (12”, Go! Discs GODX32)
Song For Whoever (Edit)/Straight In At 37/You And Your Big Ideas (CD, Go! Discs GODCD32)
You Keep It All In/You Just Can’t Smile It Away/I Love You (But You’re Boring)/It’s Instrumental (12”, Go! Discs GODX 35)
You Keep It All In/You Just Can’t Smile It Away/I Love You (But You’re Boring)/It’s Instrumental (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 35)
I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (Edit)/(LP Mix)/But Til Then/I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (Orchestral Mix) (White Vinyl 10”, Go! Discs GODT 38)
I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (Edit)/But Til Then/I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (Orchestral Mix) (12”, Go! Discs GODX 38)
I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (Edit)/(LP Mix)/But Til Then/I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (Orchestral Mix) (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 38)
A Little Time/In Other Words I Hate You/What You See Is What You Get (12”, Go! Discs GODX 47)
A Little Time/In Other Words I Hate You/What You See Is What You Get (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 47)
My Book (Edit)/Big Beautiful South/Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better/Speak To Me (12”, Go! Discs GODX 48)
My Book (Edit)/Big Beautiful South/Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better/Speak To Me (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 48)
Let Love Speak Up Itself (Edit)/Danielle Steele (The Enemy Within)/Love Wars/Headbutting Husband (12”, Go! Discs GODX 53)
Let Love Speak Up Itself (Edit)/Danielle Steele (The Enemy Within)/Love Wars/Headbutting Husband (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 53)
Old Red Eyes Is Back/Fleet St BC (7”, Go! Discs GOD 66)
Old Red Eyes Is Back/Fleet St BC (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 66)
Old Red Eyes Is Back/Fleet St BC/Diamonds (12”, Go! Discs GODX 66)
Old Red Eyes Is Back/Fleet St BC/Diamonds (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 66)
We Are Each Other/His Time Ran Out (7”, Go! Discs GOD 71)
We Are Each Other/His Time Ran Out (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 71)
We Are Each Other/His Time Ran Out/I Started A Joke (12”, Go! Discs GODX 71)
We Are Each Other/His Time Ran Out/I Started A Joke (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 71)
Bell Bottomed Tear/A Thousand Lies/They Used To Wear Black (7”, Go! Discs GOD 78, with 4 postcards)
Bell Bottomed Tear/A Thousand Lies/They Used To Wear Black (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 78)
Bell Bottomed Tear/A Thousand Lies/They Used To Wear Black (CD1, Go! Discs GODCD 78)
Bell Bottomed Tear/Woman In The Wall (Live)/You Should Be Dancing (Live) (CD2, Go! Discs GOLCD 78, different p/s)
36D (Edit)/Throw His Song Away/Trevor You’re Bizarre (7”, Go! Discs GOD 88, with 4 postcards)
36D (Edit)/Throw His Song Away/Trevor You’re Bizarre (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 88)
36D/From Under The Covers (Live)/You Keep It All In (Live)/36D (Live) (CD, Go! Discs GOLCD 88, b-sides later included on "At The BBC")
Good As Gold/Love Adjourned/Minicorrect (Demo Version) (CD1, Go! Discs GODCD 110)
Good As Gold/Frank And Delores/One Man’s Rubbish (CD2, Go! Discs GOLCD 110, different colour p/s)
Everybody’s Talkin’/A Way With The Blues/Let Love Speak Up Itself (BBC Radio 1 Emma Freud Show March 1994) (7”, Go! Discs GOD 113)
Everybody’s Talkin’/A Way With The Blues/Let Love Speak Up Itself (BBC Radio 1 Emma Freud Show March 1994) (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 113)
Everybody’s Talkin’/A Way With The Blues/Let Love Speak Up Itself (BBC Radio 1 Emma Freud Show March 1994) (CD1, Go! Discs GODCD 113)
Everybody’s Talkin’/Nearer To God/A Piece Of Sky (CD2, Go! Discs GOLCD 113, pink p/s)
Prettiest Eyes (Remix)/The Best We Can/Size (CD1, Go! Discs GODCD 119)
Prettiest Eyes (Remix)/Why Can’t I/Missing Her Now (CD2, Go! Discs GOLCD 119, different colour p/s)
One Last Love Song/Right Man For The Job/Java (7”, Go! Discs GOD 122)
One Last Love Song/Right Man For The Job/Java (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 122)
One Last Love Song/Right Man For The Job/Java (CD1, Go! Discs GODCD 122)
One Last Love Song/Mr Obsession/You’re Only Jealous (CD2, Go! Discs GOLCD 122)
Pretenders To The Throne/Virgin/A Long Day In The Field (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 134)
Pretenders To The Throne/Virgin/A Long Day In The Field (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 134)
Rotterdam/A Minute’s Silence/Pollard (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 155)
Don’t Marry Her (Single Mix)/God Bless The Child/Without Her (CD1, Go! Discs GODCD 158)
Don’t Marry Her (Single Mix)/Dream A Little Dream/Les Yeux Ouverts (CD2, Go! Discs GOLCD 158, different p/s)
Blackbird On The Wire/Lean On Me (Live)/You Just Can’t Smile It Away (Live from “Later With Jools Holland”) (CD1, Go! Discs 582 125-2)
Blackbird On The Wire/I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (Live from “Later With Jools Holland”)/The Sound Of North America (Live from “Later With Jools Holland”) (CD2, Go! Discs 582 197-2, unique p/s)
Liars Bar (Live from “Later With Jools Holland”)/Dumb (Original Version)/You’ve Done Nothing Wrong (Live from “Later With Jools Holland”) (CD1, Go! Discs 582 239-2)
Liars Bar (Live from “Later With Jools Holland”)/The Opening Of A New Book/Hold On To What? (Live from “Later With Jools Holland”) (CD2, Go! Discs 582 241-2, yellow p/s)
Perfect 10/If/I’ll Sail This Ship Alone (performed by the East Yorkshire Motor Services Band) (CD1, Go! Discs 566 481-2, cassette copies exist minus track 3 [566 480-4])
Perfect 10/Loving Arms/One Last Love Song (performed by the East Yorkshire Motor Services Band) (CD2, Go! Discs 566 483-2, different p/s)
Dumb/Suck Harder/Especially For You (performed by the East Yorkshire Motor Services Band) (CD1, Go! Discs 566 753-2, cassette copies exist minus track 3 [566 752-4])
Dumb/I Sold My Heart To The Junkman/Blackbird On The Wire (performed by the East Yorkshire Motor Services Band) (CD2, Go! Discs 566 755-2, different p/s)
How Long’s A Tear Take To Dry (Edit)/(Remix)/Perfect 10 (Acoustic) (CD1, Go! Discs 870 821-2)
How Long’s A Tear Take To Dry (Edit)/Big Coin (Acoustic)/Rotterdam (Acoustic) (CD2, Go! Discs 870 823-2, unique p/s)
The Table/Old Red Eyes Is Back (Acoustic)/Your Father And I (Live) (CD1, Go! Discs 562 165-2)
The Table/Don’t Marry Her (Acoustic)/Look What I Found In My Beer (Acoustic) (CD2, Go! Discs 562 166-2, different colour p/s)
Closer Than Most/Moths/The Table (Live, Cambridge Folk Festival 29.7.2000) (CD1, Go! Discs 562 967-2)
Closer Than Most/The State That I’m In/Blackbird On The Wire (Live, Cambridge Folk Festival 29.7.2000) (CD2, Go! Discs 562 968-2, unique p/s)
The River (Edit)/Just Checkin’ (Remix)/Valentines Day W**k (CD1, Go! Discs 572 755-2)
Just Checkin’ (Remix)/The River (Edit)/Little Chef (CD2, Go! Discs 572 756-2, green p/s)
The Root Of All Evil/Free For All/Perfect 10 (Video) (CD1, Go! Discs 588 870-2)
The Root Of All Evil/Chicken Wings (Original Version)/Rotterdam (Video) (CD2, Go! Discs 588 871-2, different p/s)
Just A Few Things That I Ain’t/Cheap/Care As You Go/Just A Few Things That I Ain’t (Video) (CD1, Go! Discs 981 303-8)
Just A Few Things That I Ain’t/The New Fence/A Long Time Coming (CD2, Go! Discs 981 303-9, different p/s)
Let Go With The Flow/Skool Daze (CD1, Go! Discs 981 5083)
Let Go With The Flow/Don’t Stop Movin’ (Live)/Song For Whoever (Live) (CD2, Go! Discs 981 5084, pink p/s)
Livin’ Thing/I’m Living Good (CD1, Sony 675371 1)
Livin’ Thing/Lovin’ You/Another Night With The Boys (CD2, Sony 675371 2, different colour p/s)
This Old Skin/Lipstick Traces (CD1, Sony 675684 1)
This Old Skin/Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now/Livin’ Thing (Video) (CD2, Sony 675684 2, different colour p/s)
This Will Be Our Year/For The Good Times (CD1, Sony 675746 1)
This Will Be Our Year/Never Mind/This Old Skin (Video) (CD2, Sony 675746 2, different colour p/s)
Manchester/If Teardrops Were Silver (CD, Sony 82876 831132)
The Rose Of My Cologne/Farewell (CD, Sony 82876 872892)
Sunday, 7 December 2014
When I started this website back in 2010, the record industry was in a state of flux. On the one hand, the album had been resurrected by the invention of the deluxe edition reissue, and although there was a continual threat that the CD was on it’s last legs, the end never came. As for the single, well, sales had reached pitiful levels, but some bands seemed to be unaware that this was the case.
The cost of vinyl singles had risen - mainly because their popularity was so niche, that very few were actually selling, and so labels had to raise the price to cover any losses they might have otherwise incurred had they still been knocking out 7 inches at 99p a pop. The CD single was still hanging on, the latest wave of pop princesses like The Saturdays still opting to issue physical releases on the format. That photo above, of Frankie, is just a blatant picture to allow you to join me in worshipping at her altar.
Anyway, I digress. The original inspiration for the site was drawn from this situation - I remember buying a Stephen Malkmus 7” for £4.99 and thinking that the price tag must have been some sort of admin error. The cost of singles was rising so much overall. I had, in my collection, numerous CD singles boxsets, where old 45’s were repressed on CD, housed in a reprint of their original sleeve, and then all shoved into one big box. For anybody just discovering a band, or simply wanting to play catch up, these boxsets were glorious things to own. Coldplay, The Stranglers, The Smiths, large swathes of bands and singers were issuing them at one point, and in some respects, made the concept of trying to hunt down the original pressings slightly pointless. In the Coldplay box, they included a reissue of their “Blue Room” EP, the original of which was valued at MORE than the boxset! So, as a sort of half hearted two fingered salute to the record industry, this website was set up to - at times - showcase these “shortcuts”, to highlight some of these boxsets and how you could kill two, three, or maybe four birds with one stone in buying them - as well as saving a bit of money at the same time.
OK, so not every article has explicitly gone down this route, but my articles on Deep Purple, Buzzcocks and Depeche Mode all showed how, with a well timed hunt on eBay or Amazon, you could grab yourself a big chunk of the band’s history at a cut down price. There are still some articles in the planning stage as I write this that will follow a similar path. My love of these boxsets was two fold - I loved music, and I loved owning music in a physical form, and whilst I am anti streaming, and anti downloading, this still didn’t mean I was prepared to give my blessing to the likes of EMI to charge any old amount for any old tat. The idea was to show, where possible, how you could avoid throwing money away to the eBay scalpers, or buying records still being sold as “new” on Amazon, albeit with the price tag hiked up since it’s original release date. Just look at the OTT prices being attached to former Record Store Day releases that you can still find online - in many instances, these are nothing more than reissues of something that probably cost LESS when it first came out!
I developed something of a love/hate relationship with record collecting soon after I started the blog. By the summer of 2010, the three HMV’s that were located in Birmingham were acknowledging the death of the 45 by becoming rather selective about what they would or would not stock. One of them just stocked the CD singles of acts it thought would have a decent chance of cracking the charts, the biggest one stocked nothing. The other stocked most of what was being released, when it could be bothered, but decided to hide them behind the headphones section. It once took me two weeks to find them. There was a curious situation going on - the price of the average vinyl single was obviously far too high, but such was their relative rarity status, that I couldn’t resist buying the ones I wanted when I found one. I hated the labels for hitching the prices up, but the collector in me couldn’t stop from going back for more. I was like Keith Richards circa 1977, but substituting Heroin for Vinyl.
One day, I found myself in HMV’s flagship London store on Oxford Street. I couldn’t believe what I saw. There was a huge singles section, row after row of vinyl - it was obvious that the ones in Birmingham had been VERY selective about what they had been stocking. I needed to buy something, but the choice was so huge...I ended up picking up slightly randomly some numbered Yeah Yeah Yeahs 45, on the basis it was likely to become quite rare if I didn’t. And then, when I was back in Birmingham the next week, it was back down to earth with a bump. A miniscule selection of 45’s and CD singles. It was almost as if there was a provincial divide between what the shops in the capital would stock, and what everyone else would.
When I did my Pixie Lott article in early 2011, it was inspired by the fact that Lott had filmed, by that point, about five or six music videos, but had only “released” about two physical singles. It was becoming increasingly obvious that the single was being phased out, or at least, run down - and this meant that my local HMV’s were in danger of possibly even stocking LESS than what they already were. I made another trip to the Oxford Street store - but something had changed. The singles section had been heavily depleted - it was hidden near the back of the store, with a reasonable chunk of imported/deleted CD singles on one side, but the new releases were limited to being displayed around a pillar in the middle of the floor. The 7” single section was heartbreaking - a random, non alphabetical, mini selection, unceremoniously dumped at the end of the vinyl LP section. There were about 40 or 50 singles, but not 40 or 50 individual titles - 40 or 50 in total! About 10 Imelda May ones for her latest release, some others I didn’t want, it was all a bit of a comedown to what I had seen about 6 months previous. It wasn’t a north south divide after all - the 45 really was now a “specialist” format.
Whilst I was on the one hand bemoaning the murdering of the single, it was also becoming increasingly hard to “love” record collecting at the same time. It became more of a job - and one that I wasn’t very good at either. I still remember my jaw dropping when one of the Birmingham HMV’s decided to stock Moz’s “Glamorous Glue” 45 in the spring of 2011 - of which there were two vinyl editions, both at £6.99 each. An extortionate amount of money to pay for an album track backed with a half hearted demo recording, but I was still a music fan, and still a (often lapsed) record collector, so I had to still buy at least one of the formats. Because I knew that this was the future. Vinyl had quite quickly become even more niche than it already was, and the labels had to hitch up the prices even more to cover the fact that so few copies were required to be pressed to meet the “demand”.
It’s been more or less like this ever since. The invention of the Super Deluxe boxset finally finished me off, in terms of being a “completist”. Being asked to rebuy, at inflated prices, records I already owned usually incurred the wrath of god within me. This, coupled with most new albums appearing as “limited edition, buy now or else!” releases with price tags more than the “not as limited” edition, made it doubly hard to keep up. And then, as the CD Single quietly slipped away, to the point where the one HMV left in Birmingham saw no need to even have a CD Singles section left in the shop, vinyl curiously took over as THE format of choice as regards the old 45. We had, in the space of 40 odd years, simply gone back to where we had started. Except the 7” single now cost the same as an old back catalogue album you could find elsewhere in the same store. The value for money aspect of the single was completely gone. Things of beauty yes, but without doubt, completely overpriced for what you actually got in terms of MUSIC. Even Frankie and her friends sort of semi-ditched the format, moving instead to releasing mail order only autographed CD singles that, once sold out, surfaced second hand on the likes of Amazon where they retailed for more than the cost of their latest LP. Go on, try and find a copy of "Disco Love" for less than a tenner now.
My approach to record collecting now is, at times, a bit random. There is still the desire to own every album, and every single, but the cost implications of getting absolutely EVERYTHING, such as all the mail order live albums and compilations, or getting the biggies on the “most special” format, can at times can be frightening. I have decided that the new Dylan release will be purchased on the cheap 2-CD edition rather than that overpriced boxset - it comes with a slightly different title, so at least I feel like I am getting something special for my money. Occasionally, I will stumble across things seemingly only available online, and so will decide not to buy them because they are “not proper releases”. Cheating, I know, but my house, my rules. Freebie 7” singles with new albums? At £20 a throw? Sorry, once you have one (such as, say, “Walk On By” by The Stranglers), you don’t really need anymore. Not at that price.
It’s still in the blood though, and it always will be. I have just gone through something of a Beatles phase again, which saw me buy “Revolver” in Mono on LP for £25, because five of the songs are different to their stereo brothers. Yes, I know, a lot of money to pay for something I TECHNICALLY ALREADY OWN, but these things happen. I still love music, and I am still fascinated by alternate mixes, foreign releases, and different sleeves - I just have to be a bit more “selective” about what I buy. I quite like the idea of picking “favourites”, rather than trying to have it all. I have just read an interview with Sophie Ellis Bextor, who collects dolls, but only those she “likes the look of”. So why not try it with music? In an attempt to live within my means, I feel I have no choice.
As I have mentioned before, I guess those with bigger disposable incomes and/or more narrow minded musical tastes have it easier. People often come round our house and say, “you have a lot of CD’s”, only for us to say “in your opinion, maybe - the trouble is, the collection is actually only half complete”. The industry has simply made it harder. In 1992, all you had to do a lot of the time was buy somebody’s latest album on CD, each of the accompanying singles on CD, and nine times out of ten, that often did the job. But now? There is a dividing line between the rich and poor - if you want to get each album with all it’s bells and whistles, it’s going to be £30 for a deluxe boxset, or £80 for a super deluxe. For the latest physical single release - well, apart from those CD singles you see on Amazon at a fiver a go, that may or may not actually just be Polish imports and not proper UK singles - you are looking at a release on vinyl only, which because of it’s “niche” situation, is nowadays likely to set you back a tenner. Ouch. For people who don’t really like music, the people who download left right and centre, and even then only selected tracks, “the hits”, well, they have it easy. Because everything is cheaper on iTunes, especially if you are not even downloading full albums. But for those of us who have kept the faith, our reward is to be asked to pay over the odds for basically the same material. This seems a bit unfair. It’s like asking a football season ticket holder to pay for entry again every time they go to a match. But if it is in the blood...well, sometimes, it’s difficult to resist. Or to at least go for the cheaper option, as long as it is still in physical form.
This may explain why some of the articles on here can be a bit ramshackle - why my U2 blogs list the original album releases as opposed to the expanded CD reissues that came later. I’d already bought the bloody things on vinyl fifteen years before, I couldn’t afford to go and get them all again! (Except “War”, because I couldn’t resist it. As I say, it's in the blood.)
And so that really is how I learned to hate record collecting. The constant stream of new product, old product, new “old” product - I only earn so much money, and I can’t give it all to Bono. The concept of record collecting, which was born out of a record industry that did things that caused certain things to become collectable, had the tables turned on it - labels began making records designed to BE collectable from day one, and it eventually got out of hand. I still collect records - always have done, and always will. If I hear somebody talking about “streaming from the internet”, I may give them a slap. But it’s not always a very enjoyable hobby, more of a chore at times. Yet I can’t really give it up. I’ve started, so I will attempt to finish. Yes, the ludicrousness of the Super Deluxe Edition has turned record collecting into, at times, a hobby for the rich boys, but somewhere, the music still remains. Unblemished by the industry’s disdain for the fanbases, and still as good as it ever was. You just need to find a way to enjoy hunting it down. Remember, downloading doesn’t count. And streaming certainly doesn’t. Keep it real. And even though it is hard, keep the faith.
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Whilst on holiday in Edinburgh this year, we had our annual visit to Unknown Pleasures, the record shop at the OTHER end of the Royal Mile. I picked up a copy, 11 years after it’s release, of Paul Weller’s “Fly On The Wall”, which was issued to mark the end of his record contract with Island Records, who by this point had consumed the Go! Discs imprint, the label upon which most Weller solo singles had been released thus far. The rarities set actually appeared after his first album(s) for his next label, Independiente, and cheated a bit by including something taped for a magazine CD cover mount freebie from 2002, but it’s a nice overview of the man’s flipsides from that first decade, along with the obligatory “previously unreleased song” included in carrot-dangling mode.
The early period of Weller’s career seems almost the work of another man. By the end of the 90’s, he had gone from being the celebrated Modfather, to the man who had invented “Dadrock” and lots of bad Oasis tribute bands, and even the man himself seems to have a bit of a problem with some of the things he recorded at times - the sleeve notes for “Fly On The Wall” included quotes from Weller admitting that some of these B-sides were massive throwaways. And in recent times, his latter period albums have featured levels of sonic experimentation that make even his Soul Boy days in The Style Council seem positively mainstream. But there are some decent songs in this part of the back catalogue, and some of those b-sides are exactly what b-sides are supposed to be - slightly off kilter, and a bit odd at times. Buying this boxset reminded me it was time for a Weller early years article.
Weller’s solo career might never have happened had there not been a falling out between The Style Council and their record label. In 1989, the band released a stand alone 45 called “Promised Land”, which was heavily influenced by the US house music scene. It was due to be followed by an entire album recorded within the same genre, called “Modernism” - but Polydor refused to release it, seemingly on the basis that it was just too far removed from the sort of music Weller had become associated with. The band promptly split up there and then, and after a brief break, Weller made the decision to carry on with music.
Much has been made of Weller’s early years as a solo performer, with numerous reports of how his first gigs as a solo artist were in miniscule dives of venues, but within about a year, he was playing slightly larger club venues, the sort of places he would inhabit frequently until the late 1990s. He formed a new band called The Paul Weller Movement, and set up his own label, Freedom High. The band’s debut single was 1991’s “Into Tomorrow”, a return of sorts to the power pop growl of The Jam, and a sound that would inform much of what he would record in the years that followed. Weller was excited by the songs he had recorded, and gained a new found confidence, even though the single itself went mostly unnoticed.
The band didn’t last too long - they managed one other release, a concert VHS called “Live!”, before Weller was signed to Go! Discs, and assumed the role of solo artist. His first single under his own name, 1992’s “Uh Huh Oh Yeh” was a masterful effort, mixing the guitar sounds of “Into Tomorrow” with an almost dance like groove, which was then overlaid by some psychedelic beeps and noises courtesy of producer Brendan Lynch. Lynch’s influence would be heard on numerous Weller recordings over the next few years.
His self titled debut LP was released, at first, in Japan in the spring of 1992 - which can sometimes suggest a UK label is stalling over a release (Alesha Dixon‘s debut never came out here, but did surface on RCA in Japan, for a modern example). But it did eventually surface in the UK in September, with an altered track listing. Weller still seemed like a cult figure at this time - Britpop hadn’t quite yet really happened, and neither the album nor follow up 45 “Above The Clouds” did a great deal chart wise, but it’s love of 60’s R&B ran through the album, and it essentially set up Weller’s soon-to-be-popular ‘back to basics’ sound for pretty much the rest of the decade.
It was with 1993’s “Wild Wood” that Weller’s comeback was finally sealed. Not that dissimilar to it’s predecessor, but here was a record that just arrived at the right time - it was home to a pair of sterling 45’s, the raucous thump of “Sunflower” and the Nick Drake-esque acoustic strum of the title track, and it catapulted him back into the mainstream. Lynch’s involvement helped to give the album, at times, that sort of left-field feel, there were a number of mini instrumentals placed at specific points throughout the record, and although it may well have paved the way for the likes of Oasis to emerge soon after, few of the bands that followed in it’s wake really did anything other than borrow the “guitary” bits of the record.
“Wild Wood” was the first time for which Weller would issue singles that featured identical track listings on each format, with the title track issued as a 2-track release irrelevant of which edition you purchased, and “The Weaver” was later issued as a 4 track EP on multiple formats, Weller’s first such release. Indeed, every (regular) subsequent single he released on Go!/Island were always issued in the same manner, meaning that some of the vinyl and cassette pressings are just as worthwhile hunting down as the CD versions. With the man himself now on a critical and commercial roll, he issued a stand alone single, the sublime beauty that was “Hung Up”, soon after the album’s release. “Wild Wood”, the LP, was then reissued in 1994 with said 45 tagged on as a bonus track followed by a live album, the punningly titled “Live Wood”.
The next two studio albums were both previewed, many months in advance, by what might have seemed at the time to have been stand alone singles. 1995’s “Stanley Road” was preceded by a masterful late ‘94 single called “Out Of The Sinking”, all Who-esque strutting and a power chord romp of a chorus, that was so good, it was later reissued in revamped packaging in Feb 96 to coincide with Paul getting a couple of nods (and a win) at the Brit Awards. In the weeks leading up to “Stanley Road” (which took it’s name from the street in Woking that he grew up in), the album was previewed by a second 45, the Lynch-assisted “The Changingman”, which stole it’s famous riff directly off an old ELO single, “10538 Overture”, which probably went straight over the heads of the youngsters who were now digging Weller via the Britpop link.
“Stanley Road” remains, for many, Weller’s stand out solo album - possibly even more so than the later “left field” releases like “Wake Up The Nation”. It retains it’s love of mod, it’s obsession with R&B and wears it’s Beatles and Traffic influences on it’s (tailored) sleeve, but it’s never less than enjoyable - be it the slushy piano mush of “You Do Something To Me”, the soulful groove of “Broken Stones” or the snarling roar of “Porcelain Gods”. You could even view it as his own “Sgt Pepper” - the man himself loves it, and it even came in a Pepper-esque collage style sleeve designed by the very same Peter Blake, complete with images of Lennon, Georgie Best and the circular Mod target on the front. Unashamedly retro perhaps, but all in all, very cleverly done. Weller, by now being lauded by just about everyone, and given the ‘Modfather’ tag on a “Time Out” magazine cover, was putting those troublesome post-Style Council years behind him, and was becoming a huge star yet again. In the summer of 1996, he even put on his own festival - with himself as headliner - at Finsbury Park, dubbed “Lazy Sunday Afternoon”. A far cry from those little gigs at Subterania in 1991. So confident was he by now, that he had mostly abandoned performances of old Jam and Style Council songs from the setlists, and usually filled his shows with material drawn exclusively from his solo repertoire. A newspaper issued a three track freebie CD led off by "Into Tomorrow" the day before the gig, to coincide.
1997’s “Heavy Soul” was, again, previewed by a single a year earlier, another spiky piece of slightly agitated guitar rock in the form of “Peacock Suit”. As for the LP itself, released after he had shifted sideways from Go! Discs to Island, it seems to divide opinion. Some will tell you it’s a work of genius, the sound of a man moving onwards and upwards, away from what he had done before, but I am convinced the music rags at the time grumbled a bit about it, more or less dubbing it “Stanley Road-lite” and moaning that he still sounded exactly the same as he had done in 1992. Still, I love the cover (a big “Heavy Soul” logo, but no mention of the artist’s name - a bit surreal really), and the fact that the title track was so long, it had to be split into two halves (Prog Mod, anybody?), whilst there is no denying the melodic joy of “Mermaids” nor the anthemic catchiness of the short, sharp, but sweet “Friday Street”.
1998’s “Modern Classics”, which spawned a ‘follow up’ in 2014, was his first hits set. It doesn’t mess about - all 16 of Weller’s singles released thus far, albeit in “random” order, and thus does what all singles collections should do. Initial copies included a free 13 track live album taped at a gig that summer in London’s Victoria Park. The show had originally been recorded for radio, but the track listing on this freebie disc differed to the original FM broadcast.
As with “Heavy Soul”, depending on who you ask about “Heliocentric”, 2000’s last studio outing on Island, they will tell you it’s either the sound of a man going round in circles and ultimately getting stuck in a rut, or is the sound of a man outgrowing and outstripping his past and continuing to make forward thinking good music. The NME loved it. I particularly like the cover again, Weller looking like he’s stepped straight out of the 60s, with similar retro activity in action courtesy of the song titles being printed on the front. For those of you who have been, perhaps, cryogenically frozen for the last 25 years, you can play catch up with the five studio efforts courtesy of another recent release, “Paul Weller Vol.1 : Classic Albums Selection”, which includes repressings of these efforts in their original sleeves, with “Hung Up” still in situ on “Wild Wood”.
Weller’s deal with Island came to an end with this record, and he moved to Independiente, debuting on that label with a live album, which was a tad odd. “Fly On The Wall” was released in 2003 on Universal, and succeeded in making several of the now hard-to-find flipsides from the Go! And Island era available once more.
“Fly On The Wall” was designed as a boxset - each disc in it’s own sleeve, with booklet and photo. The cover versions that were included were siphoned off and placed exclusively on disc 3, which was given it’s own individual title of “Button Downs” (a Mod reference), housed in a cover showing a Pop-Art image of Weller and model Kate Moss.
It’s not complete, by the way - some B-sides appeared multiple times in alternate forms, and at no point does the box ever cover this repetition. Live tracks did, or did not, make the cut, depending on...well, I have no idea really. So whilst certain singles saw all their B-sides make it into the box, others, simply, didn’t. Therefore, you will see that for some releases listed below, only the “extended play” formats are shown, and this is because their 7” and Cassette cousins omitted flipsides that even today, are only available in the UK on the original 12” or CD pressings.
The 45’s list below, as ever, lists formats that are of interest if you have “Fly“, and also the recent-ish expanded deluxe editions of Weller’s first three LP’s, as these between them do include many of the flipsides that failed to make “FOTW“ (but, again, not quite all of them - still). A handful of singles were later reissued, and these are detailed alongside their original releases for ease of use. For the albums, I have listed the original pressings, for those of you who simply want a copy without added bells and whistles and for some reason don’t want to get the recent box set, alongside important limited/deluxe pressings, for those of you who simply have to have everything. The likes of “Paul Weller” were issued in digipack form, and then later, in “standard” casing, but I have just listed the “standard“ catalogue numbers.
Paul Weller (LP, Go! Discs 828 343 1)
Paul Weller (Cassette, Go! Discs 828 343 4)
Paul Weller (CD, Go! Discs 828 343 2)
Paul Weller (2xCD, Island 06007 5322339, 2009 “Deluxe“ reissue)
Wild Wood (LP, Go! Discs 828 435 1)
Wild Wood (Cassette, Go! Discs 828 435 4)
Wild Wood (CD, Go! Discs 828 435 2)
Wild Wood (LP, Go! Discs 828 513 1, 1994 reissue with “Hung Up“)
Wild Wood (Cassette, Go! Discs 828 513 4, 1994 reissue with “Hung Up“)
Wild Wood (CD, Go! Discs 828 513 2, 1994 reissue with “Hung Up“)
Wild Wood (2xCD, Go! Discs 530 1916, 2007 “Deluxe” reissue)
Live Wood (LP, Go! Discs 828 561 1)
Live Wood (Cassette, Go! Discs 828 561 4)
Live Wood (CD, Go! Discs 828 561 2)
Note: there were also corresponding VHS/Laserdisc releases issued simultaneously.
Stanley Road (LP, Go! Discs 828 619 1)
Stanley Road (6x7” Boxset, Go! Discs 850 070 7)
Stanley Road (Cassette, Go! Discs 828 619 4)
Stanley Road (CD, Go! Discs 828 619 2)
Stanley Road (CD in 12” box, Go! Discs 828 629 2)
Stanley Road (2xCD + DVD, Go! Discs 928 840 1, 2005 “Deluxe” reissue)
Heavy Soul (LP, Island ILPS 8058)
Heavy Soul (Cassette, Island ICT 8058)
Heavy Soul (CD, Island CID 8058)
Heavy Soul (Limited CD, Island CIDX 8058, foldout sleeve)
Modern Classics (2xLP, Island ILPSD 8080)
Modern Classics (4x7”, Island IBX 8080)
Modern Classics (Cassette, Island ICT 8080)
Modern Classics (CD, Island CID 8080)
Modern Classics (2xCD, Island CIDD 8080, with free “Live Classics” bonus CD)
Heliocentric (LP, Island ILPS 8093)
Heliocentric (Cassette, Island ICT 8093)
Heliocentric (CD, Island CID 8093)
Into Tomorrow/Here’s A New Thing (7”, Freedom High FHP 1)
Into Tomorrow/Here’s A New Thing (Cassette, Freedom High FHPMC 1)
Into Tomorrow/Here’s A New Thing/That Spiritual Feeling/Into Tomorrow (Original 8 Track Demo) (12”, Freedom High FHPT 1)
Into Tomorrow/Here’s A New Thing/That Spiritual Feeling/Into Tomorrow (Original 8 Track Demo) (CD, Freedom High FHPC 1)
Into Tomorrow/Wild Wood/Out Of The Sinking (The Guardian freebie CD, Go! Discs PWGCD 1)
Uh Huh Oh Yeh/Fly On The Wall (7”, Go! Discs GOD 86)
Uh Huh Oh Yeh/Fly On The Wall (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 86)
Uh Huh Oh Yeh/Arrival Time/Fly On The Wall/Always There To Fool You (12“, Go! Discs GODX 86)
Uh Huh Oh Yeh/Arrival Time/Fly On The Wall/Always There To Fool You (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 86)
Above The Clouds/Everything Has A Price To Pay (7”, Go! Discs GOD 91)
Above The Clouds/Everything Has A Price To Pay (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 91)
Above The Clouds/Everything Has A Price To Pay/All Year Round (Live)/Feeling Alright (12“, Go! Discs GODX 91)
Above The Clouds/Everything Has A Price To Pay/All Year Round (Live)/Feeling Alright (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 91)
Sunflower/Kosmos SXDub 2000/Bull Rush - Magic Bus/That Spiritual Feeling (New Mix) (12“, Go! Discs GODX 102)
Sunflower/Kosmos SXDub 2000/Bull Rush - Magic Bus/That Spiritual Feeling (New Mix) (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 102)
The Loved (Big Issue Flexi Disc, no catalogue number)
Wild Wood/Ends Of The Earth (7“, Go! Discs GOD 104)
Wild Wood/Ends Of The Earth (10“, Go! Discs GODT 104)
Wild Wood/Ends Of The Earth (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 104)
Wild Wood/Ends Of The Earth (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 104)
Wild Wood (LP Version)/(Paul Weller VS Portishead - The Sheared Wood Remix) (7”, Island IS 734)
Wild Wood (LP Version)/Science (With The Psychonauts - Lynch Mob Remix)/Wild Wood (Paul Weller VS Portishead - The Sheared Wood Remix) (12”, Island 12 IS 734)
Wild Wood (LP Version)/(Paul Weller VS Portishead - The Sheared Wood Remix)/Science (With The Psychonauts - Lynch Mob Remix) (CD, Island CID 734)
Note: every B-side, including those from the reissue, are on “Fly On The Wall”.
The Weaver EP: The Weaver/This Is No Time/Another New Day/Ohio (7“, Go! Discs GOD 107)
The Weaver EP: The Weaver/This Is No Time/Another New Day/Ohio (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 107)
The Weaver EP: The Weaver/This Is No Time/Another New Day/Ohio (10“, Go! Discs GODT 107)
The Weaver EP: The Weaver/This Is No Time/Another New Day/Ohio (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 107)
Hung Up/Foot Of The Mountain (Live)/The Loved/Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats) (7“, Go! Discs GOD 111)
Hung Up/Foot Of The Mountain (Live)/The Loved/Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats) (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 111)
Hung Up/Foot Of The Mountain (Live)/The Loved/Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats) (12“, Go! Discs GODX 111)
Hung Up/Foot Of The Mountain (Live)/The Loved/Kosmos (Lynch Mob Bonus Beats) (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 111)
Shadow Of The Sun (Live in Wolverhampton)/Sunflower (Lynch Mob Dub Edit)/Wild Wood (Paul Weller VS Portishead - The Sheared Wood Remix) (NME freebie AAA 7”, Go! Discs PNME 1)
Out Of The Sinking/Sexy Sadie/Sunflower (Lynch Mob Dub) (7“, Go! Discs GOD 121)
Out Of The Sinking/Sexy Sadie/Sunflower (Lynch Mob Dub) (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 121)
Out Of The Sinking/Sexy Sadie/Sunflower (Lynch Mob Dub) (12“, Go! Discs GODX 121)
Out Of The Sinking/Sexy Sadie/Sunflower (Lynch Mob Dub) (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 121)
Out Of The Sinking/I Shall Be Released/Broken Stones (KRO Radio 3 1.10.1995)/Porcelain Gods (KRO Radio 3 1.10.1995) (7”, Go! Discs GOD 143)
Out Of The Sinking/I Shall Be Released/Broken Stones (KRO Radio 3 1.10.1995)/Porcelain Gods (KRO Radio 3 1.10.1995) (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 143)
The Changingman/I’d Rather Go Blind/It’s A New Day Baby/I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You (Live) (7“, Go! Discs GOD 127)
The Changingman/I’d Rather Go Blind/It’s A New Day Baby/I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You (Live) (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 127)
The Changingman/I’d Rather Go Blind/It’s A New Day Baby/I Didn’t Mean To Hurt You (Live) (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 127)
You Do Something To Me/My Whole World Is Falling Down/A Year Late/Woodcutter’s Son (Live) (7“, Go! Discs GOD 130)
You Do Something To Me/My Whole World Is Falling Down/A Year Late/Woodcutter’s Son (Live) (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 130)
You Do Something To Me/My Whole World Is Falling Down/A Year Late/Woodcutter’s Son (Live) (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 130)
Broken Stones/Steam (7“, Go! Discs GOD 132)
Broken Stones/Steam (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 132)
Broken Stones/Steam (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 132)
Peacock Suit/Eye Of The Storm (7“, Go! Discs GOD 149)
Peacock Suit/Eye Of The Storm (Cassette, Go! Discs GODMC 149)
Peacock Suit/Eye Of The Storm (CD, Go! Discs GODCD 149)
Brushed/Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City/Shoot The Dove/As You Lean Into The Light (Acoustic) (7“, Island IS 666)
Brushed/Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City/Shoot The Dove/As You Lean Into The Light (Acoustic) (Cassette, Island CIS 666)
Brushed/Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City/Shoot The Dove/As You Lean Into The Light (Acoustic) (CD, Island CID 666)
Friday Street/Sunflower (Live 1997)/Brushed (Live 1997)/Mermaids (Live 1997) (7“, Island IS 676)
Friday Street/Sunflower (Live 1997)/Brushed (Live 1997)/Mermaids (Live 1997) (Cassette, Island CIS 676)
Friday Street/Sunflower (Live 1997)/Brushed (Live 1997)/Mermaids (Live 1997) (CD, Island CID 676)
Mermaids/Everything Has A Price To Pay (‘97 Version)/So You Want To Be A Dancer (7“, Island IS 683)
Mermaids/So You Want To Be A Dancer/Everything Has A Price To Pay ('97 Version) (Cassette, Island CIS 683)
Mermaids/So You Want To Be A Dancer/Everything Has A Price To Pay (‘97 Version) (CD, Island CID 683)
Brand New Start/Right Underneath It/The Riverbank (7“, Island IS 711)
Brand New Start/Right Underneath It/The Riverbank (Cassette, Island CIS 711)
Brand New Start/Right Underneath It/The Riverbank (CD, Island CID 711)
He’s The Keeper/Helioscentric/Bang Bang (12“, Island 12 IS 760)
He’s The Keeper/Helioscentric/Bang Bang (CD, Island CID 760)
Sweet Pea, My Sweet Pea/Back In The Fire (BBC Radio Theatre 27.5.2000)/There’s No Drinking After You’re Dead (Noonday Underground Remix) (12“, Island IS 764)
Sweet Pea, My Sweet Pea/Back In The Fire (BBC Radio Theatre 27.5.2000)/There’s No Drinking After You’re Dead (Noonday Underground Remix) (CD, Island CID 764)
Helios EP: Frightened (BBC Radio Theatre 27.5.2000)/There’s No Drinking After You’re Dead/Bang Bang/Helioscentric (Record Store Freebie CD, Island WELLERCD1)