Tuesday, July 02, 2013


hi there

i have been sorting and sifting through my collections of discs and that, as most of you will be aware. as i've gone about doing this, i have found one or two oddities that i had either forgotten about or felt were worth posting images of here or over on the grand social network.

today i hit a pile of CD singles and, if i am honest, found a mountain of things that was tempting to take pictures of and post here. i opted instead to limit it to a chosen few, however, for if i spent time taking pictures of all the class looking discs i would not have the time to do the very reason i am sorting through them.

the kids of today are no doubt baffled to hear a term like "CD singles". for their benefit, once upon a time we had such a thing as singles. they were songs that the artists who recorded them felt were strong and would be popular, and usually came with an extra track or two. they were not the "downloads" of today, which going on the chart tend to be mindless ditties that the kids download as they will sound OK as ringtones on their iTwats.

a major difference was that with a CD single you actually bought a physical product you could hold in your hands, and indeed play properly mastered music off of it on a stereo. our first example is this ace single, Sexy Boy by the band Air.

yeah, that's a pic off the blueberry, sorry. there are one or two pictures here taken with a "proper digital" camera, but the batteries went flat.

as for the single, Sexy Boy has one of the most tremendous, excellent bits of bass you would ever want to hear on it. in respect of the band Air, if you have never heard them, think if you will of the concept of Daft Punk, only with some genuine musical talent and ability added.

onwards, then, to Oasis, and the CD single of D'You Know What I Mean? no, you are right, it certainly isn't a particularly interesting or rare single. i just find it weird that, when you look below the Oasis logo, for some reason it looks like Noel Gallagher has been replaced by the legendary Roy Keane.

as for the song itself, it sounded really good at the time. certainly it had some of Noel's best, as in least stolen, lyrics - "I met my Maker and made him cry" is up there with the lyrics to something like Some Might Say in illustrating that he can be really, really good when he bothers. unfortunately the lengthy, over-produced nature of this single should have been a warning that nobody heeded about just how bloated and kind of bad the album, Be Here Now, was to be. in many respects, then, this single was the start of the end for Oasis. they did some really great songs after this, but they were not the instant hit making hugely celebrated band they once were.

another apology is in order, as Blogger has done its thing and turned perfectly good pictures on their side again. sorry about that, nothing to do with me. with that in mind, here we go with a somewhat controversial CD single cover. i speak, and show on its side, the original cover for Sorted For E's & Wizz by Pulp.

why controversial? that's a very good question. the cover, and indeed the booklet, give one instruction on how to construct a "wrap" from a piece of paper. what does one do with such a wrap? usually keep drugs of a powder variant in it, such as speed, cocaine or in some cases heroin.

the controversy, and yes it was for the most part newspaper generated controversy, was that this would in some way encourage people to take drugs. in retrospect you can see the folly in that. to my knowledge, most drug dealers tend to sell their items in packaging (wraps or other) rather than just dolling them out into someone's hand. one would suggest, then, that knowledge of how to maye a "wrap" is somewhat secondary. unless of course the concern was that people were out there wanting to be drug dealers, but had no idea how to make packaging to sell it in and were waiting for a band from Sheffield to provide them with instructions on how to do it.

just to be sure that i do not encourage anyone to make some packets to sell drugs in i will not show you the inside of the booklet, but here's the back of the box.

i tread on somewhat dangerous ground here. although Pulp had been going for years and had some moderate success, they only really became massive and huge hits as a consequence of John Squire breaking his collar bone. that incident saw The Stone Roses left with no choice but to cancel their imminent gigs, including a planned headline slot at Glastonbury. Pulp were drafted in as replacement headliners at short notice (that they were not on the bill for Glastonbury at all shows you the lack of success at that point) and to their credit they took full advantage.

the album Different Class went massive, as did the singles from it, such as the one pictured here and of course Disco 2000 and the biggest of them all, Common People. there exists an ultra-loyalist, if you will hardcore element of the Pulp fanbase that would have you believe that Different Class is rubbish, and people should only listen to what they did before or after that album. whereas all are welcome to their opinion, and one should appreciate the input of such loyal fans, my advice would be to ignore such statements.

the rise of Pulp at the expense of The Stone Roses tied in with the eventual, dismal demise of The Stone Roses. Second Coming was hardly the greatest album of all time and not what many fans expected from them, but it contained enough to keep the fans loyal and always eager to see and support them. this was loyalty somewhat tested with the choice of Begging You, one of the weakest tracks on the album, as the third and thus far last single from the band.

yes, indeed i could have filled a blog and a half for you with images of The Stone Roses and their singles. i opted not to, since i would imagine all who want to see such things already have or most likely already own the same ones as i do. i am led to believe, though, that this six track Australian Tour edition of the single is something of a rarity, so here it is.

and thank you Blogger for uploading the pictures of the single the right way up.

it's great and that if this is indeed a rare Stone Roses item, but the possible rarity of it does not, i am sorry to say, make the song or the single any better. oh, i have just had a look at an ebay thing for it and it seem the market value of it is around the £20 mark. high, as it were, but reflects that it's not a great release.

here, for your amusement, is the actual disc.

as i think you may well be able to make out, the single consists of 6 versions of the song. this was always a warning sign that your favourite band was in some sort of creative trouble. if there is not so much as an instrumental studio jam left to stick on a CD single or out as a b-side then the band has burned itself out in any sort of creative sense.

off the top of my head, examples of that are Frankie Goes To Hollywood with the Warriors Of The Wasteland single. in-fighting and disagreements about what should be on the single just saw remix after remix appearing, strange and disappointing when you look at the amazing amount of music you got on all the other singles. and not long after this U2 released Discotheque with just a load of remixes of that song.the b-sides and extra tracks from the singles off of The Joshua Tree and to an extent Rattle & Hum basically gave you an entire, quality album for "free". U2 remain, of course, probably the biggest musical thing in the world that is not an annoying Canadian virgin, but when was the last time they were truly creative and not simply releasing an album featuring one or two great songs with lots and lots of padding?

getting back on point, and here's a group picture of the band inside the Begging You single, featuring of course Robbie Maddix in place of Reni. this must be one of the last, if not the last, pictures of the band with this line-up, with John Squire quitting not too long after the tour.

and, for good measure so you can see exactly what £20 or so would get you off ebay (you are not having mine, thanks), here's the full on inside the single picture experience.

the two biggest downsides to the return of The Stone Roses as we know them have been Mani no longer being part of Primal Scream and Ian Brown's impressive solo career being, in his words "parked". of all the Ian Brown singles i have, i thought it best, in light of the choice of the Stone Roses one, to show off Corpses.

other than being a real highlight of his solo career, i chose this because of the cover picture. as you can see, if you can through the flash reflecing off the cover, Ian Brown looks a touch worse for wear, what with his fingers taped up. if i am recalling my history correctly, that's because he got into a bit of a fight with someone the night before this photo was taken. i suspect that it was a fight in Australia, no less. which would make sense, as - excluding the recent tour by The Stone Roses - to my knowledge every time Ian Brown has gone to Australia he has ended up in a fist fight with someone. no, i have no idea why that is.

i am uncertain as to why i bothered taking a picture of the next one, let alone uploading it here. probably to discuss Paul Weller. here is what i seem to recall as being the last ever single by The Style Council, the ace, house influenced cover of Promised Land.

The Style Council famously recorded an entire album in a House style and their record label infamously refused to release it. that was, sadly, the end of the band. off Paul Weller went on a solo career, then, and one that was ritualistically and horribly mocked by the music press. mocked and knocked, that is, for a few years until a certain Noel Gallagher came along and declared Paul Weller to be one of his heroes. all of a sudden the press decided what the fans knew all along - Paul Weller has always been good. Paul's solo career has been class, and decent enough compensation for the loss of The Style Council, but one does tend to miss seeing Mick Talbot in the music videos.

now then. i have a Tin Machine single to show you, but alas not the one or ones i had hoped to. somewhere i have the CD singles of You Belong In Rock N Roll and Baby Universal that came in excellent looking but tricky to store round tins. i will no doubt find them sooner or later and shove some pictures up here.

in the mean time, then, here's the CD single for You Belong In Rock N Roll in the rather more conventional, easier to store CD packaging.

and yet again Blogger has decided to rotate the pictures for me. sorry, i have no idea how to fix it.

i have defended Tin Machine at great length on this blog before, in particular with this post. i will just leave it as this is a class song and a great single from the band. the video, as i recall, seemed to feature David Bowie shaving. shaving his face i should stress, before the boys and girls excitedly rush to you tube.

here's the inside of the single, once again thanks to Blogger rotated, showing some of the naughty bits off the statues that got the Tin Machine II album cover banned and me in some trouble for wearing a t-shirt featuring it.

that thing about saving the best for last is not always a true thing, looking at the last single i have to show you for now. it's one of them things that makes a great deal of sense to buy at the time, and tends to sound excellent all the way up to either a late equalizer, a defeat in a replay, losing to one of the fastest ever goals in FA Cup history or indeed relegation.

yes, that's right, behold a relic from Middlesbrough's most interesting ever season, which saw us lose two cup finals and get relegated.

that's lose two cup finals and be relegated whilst fielding Ravanelli, a superb striker who scored 30 goals in the season, and Juninho, widely regarded as one of the all time great midfielders and one of the few Brazilian players ever to adapt and play well in the Premier League. it took some doing to make a mess of a season with a very good squad, but full credit to Bryan Robson and Viv Anderson for somehow pulling that one off.

if for some reason you are enthusiastic about finding a reference to the song We're The Boro by BoroZone on the internet, here is a special look at the inside for you. it included the lyrics too, if you wanted to have a bash at the karaoke (ie instrumental) version of the song included on the disc.

i know you can't really make out the lyrics in the above picture, but they do make a reference to one Curtis Fleming being central, if not pivotal, to Boro's success. that quite possibly helped Mr Robson and Mr Anderson in their quest to turn the season into a disaster. i would suggest that Curtis Fleming holds some sort of never to be beaten record for having to put his hand in the air and say sorry to the team and the fans for missing a tackle, missing a pass, and for conceding a throw in, corner or goal. the fans used stick their hands in the air and shout "sorry" when the ground announcer read his name off the team sheet. if that gives you a clue about what i am saying.

well, that's about it for now. as and when i find more things of interest i will no doubt post them here. in the mean time, i can only hope some of these have been of interest to fellow fans!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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