• Wah! Heat - Better Scream

    Wah Heat! - Better Scream

    Title: Better Scream
    Format: 7"
    Label: Inevitable
    Year: 1979

    Side A - Better Scream
    Side Hey - Joe

    Better Scream

    In the early 80s just before you pulled into Lime Street Station there was a welcome to Londoners scrawled six foot high that said "Cockneys Die". It always made me smile as despite the rivalry between two major Northern cities, Mancs were marginally more welcome.

    Much has been made of The Crucial Three, a Liverpool post punk supergroup who imploded after a month but featured a pre Teardrop Explodes Julian Cope future Bunnyman Ian McCulloch and the singer of this song.

    Pete Wylie's Wah! Heat (and its subsequent variations) may never have quite caught the tails of the Zoo Records opposition but I reckon debut single Better Scream is still a Merseybeat classic.

    Taken from the inside of the wraparound sleeve:

    This war could give dying for what you believe in a bad name...

  • S*M*A*S*H - Lady Love Your Cunt

    S*M*A*S*H - Lady Love Your Cunt Valentine

    Title: Lady Love Your Cunt
    Format: One Sided 7"
    Label: Le Disques De Popcor
    Year: 1993

    Side AA - Lady Love Your Cunt

    Lady Love Your Cunt

    This is the one sided red vinyl Valentines Day release of LLYC in a metallic foil sleeve that looks great shot under a skylight. I posted the original version a good few years back but the text I wrote seemed well worth a repeat -

    I toyed with the idea of extending the asterixes in the group name to the song title but it just didn't seem right to sanitise what is probably my favourite single of the Nineties. So firstly, let's get this out of the way, Lady Love Your Cunt takes it's name from a Germaine Greer essay on female empowerment which originally appeared in a 1971 edition of the short lived Suck magazine.

    Somehow it's sad that the C word causes far more offence than the actions of a messed up, male dominated world that happily uses high explosives to 'win' hearts and minds. Ed Borrie's opening statement of 'Most governments, religions, institutions, weapons of war and general stupid ideas were made by a man. Not me, I was made by a woman' at least recognises that imbalance.

    S*M*A*S*H were a three piece from Welwyn Garden City who swaggered with a spirit and integrity unmatched by any of their more successful peers and this single says more in three minutes than a ton of lesser vinyl. True punk rock.

    Love at first sight, another place another time

  • Beck - Loser

    Beck - Loser

    Title: Loser
    Format: CD Single
    Label: Bong Load / Geffen
    Year: 1994

    Tracks - Loser / Totally Confused / Corvette Bummer / MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack


    As Kanye attempts to reposition his actions at last Sunday's Grammys, you've got to respect Beck's magnanimous response to yet another ill thought out stage invasion. I doubt the winner actually meant one word of it but it was a smart sidestep and proof that graciousness applies in both victory and defeat.

    I've never heard Beyonce's contender for best album but I did listen to Morning Phase in full on a Transatlantic flight last year and thought it was great. I haven't got round to buying it so instead here's the UK version of his career launching second single which seemed far more apt in the circumstances...

    Soy un perdedor

  • The Popguns - Waiting For The Winter

    The Popguns - Waiting For The Winter

    Title: Waiting For The Winter
    Format: 12"
    Label: Midnight
    Year: 1989

    Side A - Waiting For The Winter
    Side B - Because He Wanted To / Every Dream

    Waiting For The Winter

    I first met The Popguns in a seafront Brighton pub when I was running a small record label called Medium Cool. It followed a tip off from Johnny Dee that led to a demo cassette I absolutely loved and me catching the train from London that takes you to the coast. Over a few drinks and a lot of wide eyed promises and expectations we agreed to release Landslide as their debut single then wandered around the pier where I remember getting lucky on the penny falls.

    The A side was recorded soon after at Pyramid Studios in Hackney and the group used the last of their time to quickly demo Waiting For The Winter. It was a gentler sketchy blueprint of the buzzed up version that would appear on Midnight but you just knew it was destined to be the next single. This is from the first run when the sleeves were a pre-pink wintery beige and I'd say it's up there with anything by The Primitives or The Darling Buds who were both somehow scratching the charts at the time. Perhaps Wendy should have hit the peroxide too...

    In 2014 the group reappeared after almost twenty years with a new single and forthcoming album on Matinee. You can find out more on their website and as a bonus here's a live acoustic take of Landslide from the Gary Crowley show on Greater London Radio. The cassette it came off says 12/11/89 and the group plug Waiting For The Winter and an upcoming show at Dingwalls before playing this and Put Me Through It.

    Landslide (GLR live session)

    Until it's blurred, it's gone away

  • The B-52's - Private Idaho

    B-52s - Party Mix!

    Title: Party Mix!
    Format: LP
    Label: Island
    Year: 1981

    Side One - Party Out Of Bounds / Private Idaho / Give Me Back My man
    Side Two - Lava / Dance This Mess Around / 52 Girls

    Private Idaho (Party Mix)

    Party Mix! takes a handful of tracks from The B-52's first two LPs and throws them around a dance floor.

    The surf pop of Private Idaho was from second album Wild Planet and would eventually lend its name to an early Gus Van Sant film starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. All remixes were by Daniel Coulombe and Steven Stanley, the latter of whom would be brought back in to produce third album Whammy! after an ill fated flirtation with David Byrne on Mesopotomia.

    The blue sticker on the sleeve reads in capitals:

    This record is strictly dance enhanced! Six primetime B-52's tracks remixed and remodelled for total danceability. Party Mix: move to the groove or be removed.


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