Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Intergalactic Sonic 7"s: The Best of Ash by Ash

I quite like Ash, but I couldn't say I was a fan. Twice I saw them support U2 in Dublin on the Popmart Tour in 1997, but I only really got interested once they'd released an album their record company was dubious about and the band funded itself - got to respect that.

I actually bought this as a Christmas present for an ex-girlfriend and since I didn't see her that Christmas, it's been knocking around for a while, bonus disc and all.

Regrets? Sometimes.

Monday, 15 December 2008

His 'n' Hers by Pulp

This is a great album, featuring the glorious "Do You Remember The First Time?" which stood out so prominently at Pulp's Glastonbury performance. Unfortunately, I was late to the party and hardly listened to it as a result. Who needed to when the singles had become so ingrained from hearing them on the radio.

Chris Morris played "Babies" a lot on his Radio One show, which I'd listen to in the car with a friend as we travelled down to Hampshire to visit his girlfriend.

I haven't seen her lately and I don't know that I remember the first time either.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Pulped by Pulp

Bought cheaply from a colleague who learned his lesson about acquiring CDs far sooner than I, this was never going to fetch the slightly ridiculous thirty quid Amazon apparently thought was the going rate.

Sad to say, I've never actually got around to listening to it, which is nothing to do with the quality of the work and all to do with the amount of music I own and the time it takes to listen to it.

No, I don't want you any more.

Encyclopedia of Albums - 1000 best ever albums by Paul Du Noyer

Another selection of writing on albums which is long on personal opinion, short on facts.

Perfect for someone who knows nothing about music, tedious for anyone who does.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Fixed by Nine Inch Nails

A friend was downsizing his collection so I bought this off him. It's of relatively minor interest to me, but perhaps I should've paid more attention - flicking through "Fixed" now it sounds great..!

I really don't anticipate listening to it a great deal though. Throw this away? Not quite...

Ill Communication by The Beastie Boys

This CD doesn't belong to me... it belonged to Jim who left it in the office prior to departing for Thailand... no, that can't be right - I left the company several years before that. So I must've picked it up at some point to listen to.

A surprisingly good album, but I really don't play it at all. Another album I really just wanted to hear rather than own, so it's got to go.

Do it.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The It Girl by Sleeper

Sleeper first caught my attention with their "Inbetweener" single, a clever, hummable song about living in suburban Essex. Sadly, the rest of the album didn't quite measure up.

This follow up featured a four great singles which soundtracked the summer of 1996 and were hardly off the radio... and that's probably how I'll remember them. I certainly don't play this much any more.

What Do I Do Now?

Click... off... gone.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

String 'a' Beads by Rose of Avalanche

Another biz-era freebie, though I knew well enough who Rose of Avalanche were. My best mate had been a fan since their first EP, "L.A. Rain", in 1985. When we formed a band, their flanger-drenched psychedelic sound became a template for our own sonic experimentations. Later, around the time of Never Another Sunset, we saw them at ULU supported by Claytown Troupe.

This album was more forward-looking. Goth was no longer flavour of the month, being supplanted by indie-dance Madchester and bands who experimented with samplers, like Pop Will Eat Itself, Jesus Jones and EMF. This album was an attempt to respond, and even includes a remix by Hacienda DJ Jon Dasilva.

What's going down? This CD's going to a better place...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

R.E.M.: Automatic for the People, Monster, Reveal

I've just read "Fiction", David Buckley's biography of R.E.M., and was reminded there are several of their albums I don't own for various reasons.

"Automatic For The People" I never got around to buying because my sister bought it and I taped it off her. I listened to it a fair bit, though not as much as the previous albums. This resulted in me not buying "Monster", although I still appreciated the singles when I heard them on the radio.

I was in Chicago the week "Reveal" was released and regret not buying it then. I later downloaded it and listened to it a lot when I met my partner. A superb return to form.

There are other gaps. I'd better clear some more space...

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Live - Under A Blood Red Sky (Remastered) by U2

While it's great to see the full concert on DVD at last, to a hypercritical U2 obsessive, this seems like another missed opportunity.

Sadly there was a camera malfunction during "I Fall Down", so that track is missing from the concert footage, but wouldn't it have been worth including the audio as an easter egg?

Both CD and DVD feature horrendous edits during "The Electric Co." due to Bono dropping in a snippet of the tune of "Send In The Clowns". Isn't remastering an opportunity to fix these things? How much was Stephen Sondheim asking for?

Otherwise, the package is nice enough - a slipcase, a booklet with plenty of photos, some wallpaper for your computer and a dodgy old screensaver.

I'm going to dig out my original vinyl copy...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Regatta de Blanc by The Police

I couldn't listen to this album enough when I was younger. I'd first noticed The Police when "Can't Stand Losing You" was a hit second time around and I remember being excited to hear "Message In A Bottle" one afternoon in the car on the way home from school. I finally borrowed the album from a friend a year or two later and taped it, listening to it almost nightly.

It was one of the first albums I picked up on CD, but it's now been surpassed by the boxed set and there's little point hanging on to it.

Sorry Sting, I can easily stand losing this.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Easy Rider

I learned an important lesson when video cassettes were nearing the end of their lifespan. The deluge of cheap merchandise hitting the bargain bins indicates the passing of the format, not an opportunity to fill your boots. Do not repeat the mistake with DVDs - sell them now!

My dad was a bit down on this film when he saw it. I thought it was great. It's about time I watched it again. I think I'd enjoy it...

But the tape is heading out on the highway.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Spaced - series 1

I missed the first series of Spaced first time around, so it was through the DVD I got to know it. A simple idea - a man and a woman pretend to be a couple to rent a flat - done with style and filled with references to pop culture, great characters, well acted. How could it fail?

They did such a good job with the second series DVD, they went back and redid this one in the same style with all the same features, so I thought it was about time I replaced it - especially with Amazon having the double pack on sale.

Then Amazon put the price back up! Grrrr.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Rotten Apples: Greatest Hits/Judas O by Smashing Pumpkins

I bought an early Smashing Pumpkins single - on Sub Pop, I think - around the time of Gish, when they were being touted as the next big thing. I never really got into them, but I thought this might be a chance to catch up.

Sadly, it failed to capture my imagination or my attention.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Spaced - Series 2

An almost-perfect second series which ended on a cliffhanger... then the makers got interested in other things and never returned to it. Perhaps there'll be a "ten years after" special like "Before Sunset" or "This Life".

The DVD has a great subtitle feature which constantly points out all the references which are constantly made to films, TV, games and music. I'm disposing of it merely to get hold of the double pack with the updated first disc.

Although... I'm not sure I really need that.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

War Against Sleep by Cassandra Complex

Another freebie with a free 3" CD, something I probably should've disposed of long ago, but I didn't get rid of stuff back then and just let it accumulate.

A member of this group had some involvement with Utah Saints, but this is more industrial or newbeat than techno and I didn't really take to it.

What can you do for me? Not a lot. Off you jolly well go.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Campaigning With Grant by Peter Minack again

I found another copy on www.amazon.com so let's hope this one shows up. I was good at the weekend and took ten books to the charity shops on Mill Road, so I'll let myself have this one.

Boy, October and War by U2 - Remastered Deluxe Editions



I have been waiting twenty years to hear the former awaken from the murky, late 70s-style production techniques which swamped the chiming guitars in a welter of bias noise, particularly noticeable when it was originally issued on CD. While this is an improvement, it's not a revelation. New figures don't suddenly leap out of the mix, though it remains perfectly adequate.

More interesting is the bonus disc. An unreleased Steve Lillywhite mix of "I Will Follow" with acoustic guitars to the fore and other ambient sounds coming in all at the wrong times. Fascinating to hear, after nearly thirty years with the original mix it just sounds wrong, though amusing. There are few surprises with the remastered singles, though the single version of "Stories For Boys" sounds more like the version on the Dublin compilation "Just For Kicks" than that which appeared on "U2 Three". Sadly, the sleeve notes point out the 1/4" master of the "Twilight" demo is missing, so this is mastered from vinyl. Not much better than the version I made myself.

The demo of "Speed Of Life" sadly lacks a vocal, while previously unheard "Saturday Night" proves to be the source of the instrumental guitar solo included on the original vinyl and cassette copies of the album.

Lastly, a tantalising glimpse into the live archives. The b-side to "I Will Follow", "Boy-Girl" is complimented by a version of "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" from the same Marquee show, while the set concludes with "Cartoon World", a live recording from the 1980 Dublin National Stadium show broadcast on RTE and widely bootlegged. Like a typical obsessive, what I get is never enough and I'm still dreaming of hearing these shows in their entirety in full 16-bit glory.


The liner notes repeat the story about the loss of the lyric ideas due to a "stolen" briefcase, though this isn't quite the whole story.

The sound is better than the Boy remaster, but this seems to be due to the source. Nothing jumps out, but the drums seems sharper, the guitars chime and the bass thrums. This needs more comparison, but presumably it's as much of an improvement as The Joshua Tree remaster, if not more.

The second disc is again tantalising. The first five songs are live versions of October tracks taken from a War Tour show at Hammersmith Palais in December 1982, but reordered. "Gloria" was played in the encore, while "I Threw A Brick..." ends slightly early prior to the segue into "A Day Without Me", which sounds very odd to a U2 fan well-versed in bootlegs from that era.

The show was rebroadcast on BBC 6Music recently in similar form to their original broadcast. At the show, Bono had dedicated "I Fall Down" to a fan named Duncan who sadly died on the Monday night during the concert he was supposed to be at after a road accident. I had an e-mail from his sister some time ago saying she had obtained a tape of the show from the BBC, including the dedication. Public service broadcasting.

Three BBC session tracks recorded for Richard Skinner are included, giving hope that perhaps the Boy-era sessions will emerge one day. The remaining tracks include the "A Celebration" single and b-sides and live tracks from the 1981 Boston Paradise Theatre show. There's no "Out Of Control" from the US "I Will Follow" b-side - though this was released on the "Sweetest Thing" single. And, most puzzlingly, "11 O'Clock Tick Tock" which originally segued into "The Ocean" on the "Fire" double single, has been split and reordered.

The disc closes with the live "I Will Follow" from Veronica's Music Mobile released as a single in the Netherlands and the 1996 reworking of "Tomorrow".


War was the first U2 album I bought. I knew New Year's Day from the radio and television and I made a trip to Oxford Street the weekend after it was released, only to find window displays featuring the album artwork dominating Virgin and Our Price.

The previous reissue by Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratories was excellent and included different versions of "Seconds" and "Like A Song". I'd need to sit down and compare side-by-side, but the bass drum resonates nicely under the acoustic guitars at the start of "Sunday Bloody Sunday", so I'm not going to complain.

The second disc starts with b-side "Endless Deep", followed by previously unreleased "Angels Too Tied To The Ground".

The plethora of remixes follows, but there is one missing. We have the single version of "New Year's Day" and the US Remix by Francois Kevorkian, as well as two 1999 remixes by Ferry Corsten. Then there are three remixes of "Two Hearts Beat As One": the Long Mix and USA Mix again by Francois Kevorkian and the Club Version by Steve Lillywhite.

Missing is the Francois Kevorkian version (3:42) from the b-side of the French release of "Two Hearts Beat As One" and the US release of "I Will Follow (live)". This is an edit of the Long Mix. Still, at least this resolves the confusion over the naming of the mixes over at u2wanderer.org!

The disc closes with the tracks from the 12" release of New Year's Day, the b-side and the live tracks - and this time "A Day Without Me" does follow "I Threw A Brick Through A Window"!

Zavvi are offering a free, four-disc slipcase when you purchase any two, so I went for that.

HMV has an exclusive T-shirt edition of each. Must resist...

Monday, 14 July 2008

Achtung Baby and Zooropa by U2 on DCC

Oh dear, but in one fell swoop I completed my collection of U2 DCCs.

Now let's never mention them again.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Grow Up by Keith Allen

I popped into the Amnesty International bookshop on Mill Road with a pile of books to donate, only to spy this hardback sitting on the shelf.

It's on my wishlist, recommended to me by Sue Gogan... I had little choice.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Swoon by Prefab Sprout

The second Prefab Sprout album is one of my favourites, produced by Thomas Dolby, featuring "Faron Young" and "When Love Breaks Down"... I bought it with this in a double pack - the old trick: convince you you're getting value by selling quantity not quality. I've fallen for it so often.

This features "Don't Sing" which I remember seeing on The Tube. And that's about all I remember.

Sorry Paddy.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Wikinomics by Tapscott and Williams, Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, Six Days of the Condor by James Grady

A new bulk scam is operating and I am falling victim.

This time it's Amazon who are to blame, by offering free postage above a certain amount, which means I'm often hunting around to spend more and buy more in order to spend less on postage.

I shouldn't imagine there's little to learn in "Wikinomics" which I've been intending to read for a long time. I initially thought that about Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody" and was pleasantly surprised.

I bought "No Logo" from Amazon when it was impossible to find in the shops. As a result, I was regularly recommended every anti-capitalist rant that found print over the next five years. I like Naomi Klein's writing, so I was hoping to read this at some point.

My dad has recently decided that "Three Days Of The Condor" is his favourite film. Before I start deluging him with 70s conspiracy thrillers, I thought I'd get him the book for his birthday, which he was very happy with, proving that it's not the size of the gift that matters.

Me and Mr. Ray by Miracle Legion

This is supposed to be a great album. A lost classic. I may listen to it one day and decide I should never have sold it.

But for now it's another record company freebie sitting on my shelves and taking up space which I have to pay for.

And then? I posted it. And it was gone.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Urban Hymns by The Verve

I remember when this was out - Radiohead, Travis and The Verve were ubiquitous on every radio in a public place.

"Bittersweet Symphony" was regularly played prior to U2's entrance on the Popmart Tour and the opening bars still make friends of mine who saw up to fifty shows feel a surge of adrenaline whenever they hear them.

Sadly, a couple of big hits weren't enough to get this to stick in my CD player. The drugs don't work... and neither does this.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Joshua Tree by U2 - Remastered Double CD

Okay, so I haven't opened my copy of the two-CD-and-DVD package yet... and I'm sure I would've wanted this version anyway. Nice liner notes, booklet, pictures...

The sound is even better than the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs version from the 90s. That reissue sounded little different to the original, but this is clearer and has less bias noise evident from as soon as you cue the music.

This'll do until I finally find what I'm looking for.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Midnight Club

I love racing games and this seemed about the best when I first bought my PS2. I played it quite a lot, but my system was stolen during a break-in and once it was replaced I never picked it up again.

At least someone gets the chance to own a nice new unwrapped copy.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Against Nature by Fatima Mansions

I saw Fatima Mansions support U2 on the Zoo TV tour in Paris and London.

They were entertaining, fleetingly. And this - a record company freebie - is taking up shelf space.

Only losers take the bus - or hang on to stuff they don't need, want or care about.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Campaigning With Grant by Peter Minack

I understand for one reason and another this book contains of veiled references to Melbourne's anonymous rock band TISM. It is highly recommended and sounds fascinating.

It seems to be quite rare, hence I can convince myself I am "trading up" by buying it.

I should get rid of two other books though as a result.

id Anthology

I bought this a long time ago because I'm a bit of a sucker for boxed sets.

I remember a friend picking up a the Shareware version of Doom on 3.5" floppy discs at a computer fair in Great Russell Street in the early 90s and it remains the only computer game I've ever finished. I did reasonably well on Quake - liked the Nine Inch Nails soundtrack, but got sidetracked with all the upgraded versions for different hardware configurations.

Perhaps this compilation - which is apparently limited to 10,000 copies worldwide was overkill for me. I never wore the T-shirt or the dogtags, read the comic or removed the pewter cyberdemon from its box.

It goes on eBay this weekend.

Game over.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Veni Vidi Vicious by The Hives

This is a great album. "Main Offender", "Hate To Say I Told You So" and "Supply And Demand" all feature.

But I'm not listening to it and it's taking up space.

"Hate To Say I Told You So" indeed.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

www.tism.wanker.com double CD

I am becoming obsessed with TISM - I have to own every limited release, despite already owning the regular version.

This is noteworthy - a free disc entitled "Att: Shock Records Faulty Pressing Do Not Manufacture". Many people and shops apparently fell for this and returned copies upon its release.

Perhaps not TISM's best effort, but it includes "Thunderbirds Are Coming Out" (great video), "Whatareya?" and the self-explanatory "I Might Be A C***, But I'm Not A F***ing C***".

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Metal Gear Solid Limited Edition Premium Package

I bought this a long time ago. I played the game while taking care of the discs and never opened any of the additional items.

Sadly, it's a long time since I played Metal Gear Solid and the Premium Package is merely taking up space.

To ebay with you, Solid Snake.

Monday, 14 April 2008

At Home - Not At Home by Wim Mertens

Another disc from the ex-plugger's freebie box and it's still sealed.

Which means I've never listened to it. Leaving me slightly curious.

No matter: no longer at home.

Barely Legal by The Hives

The Hives were fantastically exciting for around five minutes back in 2001 in the wake of The Strokes and The White Stripes. I saw them twice, bought their back catalogue and enjoyed listening to their songs on the radio.

Which is probably why I listened to their CDs so rarely.

All supply, no demand.

Boss Drum by The Shamen

A popular record from the summer of 1991 as The Shamen completed the crossover from the indie charts to the mainstream pop charts, with the help of "annoying" cult rapper Mr. C.

Very rarely listened to and must go.

Sorry, this is not a forever album.

Stranger In This Town by Mick Taylor

A freebie from my previous life as a record plugger.

Little surprise the obscure things I've been given free are commanding the highest values.

Mick is now off to another country.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Great Truckin' Songs Of The Renaissance by TISM

TISM's first album and one which I don't have in a lossless format. I downloaded it a long time ago, but it no longer seems to be available to buy new.

I like "40 Years - Then Death" most of all, the poetry interludes "Kill Americans" and "The Penis Is Mightier Than The Sword" are amusing and it's a good album overall.

I wish I'd heard it sooner though - I feel like I've been wasting my life.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Blackadder: The Whole Damn Dynasty by Richard Curtis, Ben Elton and John Lloyd

I'm starting to realise how big a problem gifts cause me.

This is a great collection of scripts from the Blackadder television series. And I'm not going to read it. I've seen every programme - at least once - and they're probably available on-line somewhere if I ever need to refer to them.

(Note to self: don't offer any more hardback books to buyers in the USA!)

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Cowboy Records Volume 1 by Various

Back when I was a poor record plugger ekeing out a living in a Notting Hill Basement, I came across a cassette on the front of DJ Magazine mixed by Justin Robertson.

The tape featured tracks from Guerilla Records and was enough to convince me that I liked what was termed "progressive house" music. I bought a lot of releases on the Guerilla label, including some excellent compilations, before branching out with this Cowboy Records compilation.

Sadly, the music never quite grabbed me in the same way and I'll have to release this double CD to ride the range with someone else.

Lifes Rich Pageant by REM

A great album which features one of my all-time favourite REM tracks in "Fall On Me". I bought it quite cheaply after seeing the VHS collection "Succumbs" which feaures lots of early super 8 "videos".

But I have the remastered version with additional tracks, I don't listen to this version any more and I don't need it.

Fall on someone else.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Hurting By Tears For Fears

A great 80s album, from the opening chords which were sampled for Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas", through the singles which sounded so different to other pop bands around at the time. Annie Nightingale would often play Suffer The Children on her request show back in the 80s which cemented it as the standout track in my mind.

There's a remastered version of this out, although I don't have it, but I know I can get it if I want.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Volume 1

This series captivated me as a four year-old when it was shown on early evening television in the 70s, so I jumped at the chance to pick up the video set when it was released.

When the rights were snarled up and a DVD reissue began to look a remote possiblity, the prices jumped, causing one friend to unload his set for £120! I didn't jump. And I'm now selling them for knock-down prices.

I bet Robinson wouldn't have hoarded them in his cave. He'd have lined his parrot's cage with them or something useful.

The Jesus And Mary Chain video by Jesus And Mary Chain

The all-reaching power of John Peel was such that I once walked into my parents' dining room in the late 80s to find my father listening to The Jesus And Marychain's "April Skies" and tapping his foot.

In those days Radio One shared an FM frequency with Radio Two and the end of whatever light music programme he listended to in the early evening would be followed at 9:00pm by the familiar theme tune, John Peel's laconic chatter and whatever non-playlist music was exciting him enough to play that night.

The Jesus And Marychain had exploded into our consciousness in the mid-80s with "Never Understand". The (old grey) Whistle Test screened the disorientating video (a formula which this tape reveals they repeated for all subsequent clips bar one) and a superb performance which caught even the unflappable Mark Ellen off-guard when they kicked over their instruments and sat sullenly on the stage at the end.

This tape is repetitive - in a nice way. But it's also VHS sized... and sitting with other VHS-sized video cassettes is a prime candidate for liberation.

Someone out there wants it. Good for them.

(I admit to capturing this on my PC for posterity.)

Never Another Sunset by Rose Of Avalanche

I remember seeing Rose Of Avalanche touring this album with Claytown Troupe at ULU. They were all leather jackets, sunglasses and fake American accents. The first track, "What's Going Down" wasn't bad, the rest not as good.

We had a band called The Raw Bloodthirsty Energy Dogs which sounded a lot like the early, "L.A. Rain"-era Rose of Avalance, though my bass-playing was deemed superfluous to requirements during the summer holidays. They also ditched the cover of "She Sells Sanctuary" and became The Acolytes.

I also have the album "String A Beads" - both were freebies from my plugging years. I don't like my chances of getting shot of that.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The Joshua Tree by U2 - DCC

U2 issued four of their albums on Philips' Digital Compact Cassette format and as a completist, I want them all. They turn up occasionally on eBay, so when I saw this, I snapped it up. It's even still wrapped, so it's never been played.

And since I don't have a player, it probably never will be.

Monday, 17 March 2008

The Story Of The Clash Volume 1 by The Clash

Wow! It's the late 80s and this appears on the shelves at a knock down price - I'd better get it! And listen to it a couple of times. And then just leave it on the shelf.

No longer.


Tuesday, 11 March 2008

#1 by Fischerspooner

"Rather a lot of hype" was the media's impression of Fischerspooner. I wasn't susceptible, I just liked the track Emerge.

I didn't like the rest of the album quite as much.

Demerge, if you please.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Tekken 2

This came with my PlayStation when I bought it.

I was never a big fan of fighting games, which I find mildly diverting at best.

Someone wanted it though and I'm pleased to reclaim the space.

"Finish him!"

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Gala by Lush

I once blagged my way into a Lush gig at the Town & Country Club, Kentish Town. I had been promised a guest list place by someone at 4AD, but when we arrived it was such a huge, unmanageable guest list, the doorman had almost given up on it.

There were two great early singles by Lush: De-Luxe and Sweetness And Light and both feature on this compilation which I stopped listening to long ago.

I saw four people who resembled the group in Ladbroke Grove the day after the concert and laughed to myself "Lush!", only to find on getting closer to them that it was actually the band.

Sweetness And Light probably deserves the occasional spin.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Crash Bandicoot

This came free with PlayStation. I'm not a great lover of platform games, they seem a bit of a throwback - to Chuckie Egg, more than anything and I think I've moved on.

Someone else was pretty keen on it though - it didn't stick around long.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw: Robin Friday Story by Paul McGuigan and Paolo Hewitt

An episodic compilation of clips, cuttings and interviews which give you an overview of the story of Robin Friday's life without taking you any closer to the enigmatic man himself, much like the fans watching from the terraces.

Worth reading if you're interested in cult football heroes.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Rattle And Hum by U2 - Digital Compact Cassette

The first U2 DCC I managed to secure - if only I wasn't such a collector. I can't even play the things.

Still, they look very nice. Kind of like cassettes, but different.

Not that anyone would notice.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

World Clique by Deee-Lite

"Groove Is In The Heart" is one tune which is guaranteed to get me on the dancefloor. Kiss FM played it to death in the summer of 1990, just as I started working for pluggers International Radio Promotions in Notting Hill.

The following year I caught Deee-Lite at the Tourhout Festival in Belgium. Having obtained a backstage pass, I managed to blag my way into the press pit and got some great shots of Lady Miss Kier. Hmmm... I just realised who Lily Allen reminds me of!

Unfortunately, this is a bit of a one-song album - something I'm starting to notice and beginning to rail against. How many other Deee-Lite tunes do I need? Exactly.

Au revoir.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

From Her To Eternity by Nick Cave

I thought this had "The Mercy Seat" on it. Dummkopf! I didn't listen to it that much. And now it's gone.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Wipeout 2097

This is what decluttering is all about.

I played this game relentlessly in the late 90s and it epitomised everything I loved about racing games: hard to master, it featured explosive action, adrenaline pumping speed and an array of improvements as you got better at it.

Time has moved on though and I don't play it any more.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Pump Up The Volume by Various

A great compilation of 80s/90s dance and house music which captures the atmosphere perfectly of something I didn't participate in, I picked this up in Australia after it seemed to disappear from UK shelves with some finality.

I don't listen to it often... and now it's gone.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror/Simpson and Delilah; Three Men and a Comic Book/Blood Feud

Two more Simpsons video cassettes leave the shelves and the house visibly exhales. Only four left!

The Good Son by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Sales are particularly dangerous for me. The chance to aquire something new and not pay the full price is almost irresistible, so I frequently left HMV and Virgin with goods I didn't particularly want throughout the 80s and 90s.
Around ten years ago I looked at the sale CDs from one end of a row, hundreds and hundreds of them, all sitting there in cardboard boxes. Why cardboard boxes? Then it dawned on me. This wasn't stock. This was cheap product bought in especially to create an event: the sale. Looking closer, the bargains were few and far between. This stuff was garbage. I found myself able to hold onto my hard-earned cash more easily after this.
None of which has anything to do with The Good Son by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, which I did acquire from a sale, but not from a chainstore.
In 1990, I attended my sixth Greenbelt Festival. It had become a regular thing among my friends, signalling the end of summer and a return to either school or university.
This year was different. I'd just left university and would be returning to a job in the music industry, working for a plugging company in Ladbroke Grove.
A Christian festival, Greenbelt had a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. You were never worried about losing your belongings, people were very friendly and the only ones drinking tended to be us. The festival gained greatere exposure through Radio One in the years I attended, thanks to support from Simon Mayo, who in 1990 donated all the CDs he'd been sent by pluggers.
I bought this and Goo by Sonic Youth.
I listened to Sonic Youth a lot more.
Sorry Nick.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

I Am The Greatest by A House


I saw A House over at the Mean Fiddler (when it was in Harlesden) on a night when This Picture supported them - my reason for driving round the north circular at a ridiculous time of night, since the tube didn't go all the way out there.

This album contains the radio hit Endless Art, a popular choice on GLR (which BBC Radio London was known in the 90s).

They may not have been the greatest, but they were good.

Sadly the world moved on.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Ninety by 808 State

A speculative acquisition which didn't grab me and outstayed its welcome.

By around 15 years.

Really, how many 808 State songs do I need? And how many times am I going to listen to Pacific State?

Ocean Colour Scene by Ocean Colour Scene

I first saw Ocean Colour Scene supporting Jesus Jones (along with Ned's Atomic Dustbin) and then again at ICA Rock Week, where I took a bunch of black and white photos. They also appeared on SnubTV, though I never thought they'd become as popular as they eventually did.

I spent a fair while searching for the original version of the song Sway several months after it was released, but I evidently missed the boat. The album was disappointing, attempting to ape some of the baggy and Madchester trends happening at the time. The band agreed.

Sway still sounds great though. And the album version turned out to be the same one they released as a single.

Perhaps they should've released a live version.

Monday, 28 January 2008

The Simpsons Collection: Two Cars In Every Garage, Three Eyes On Every Fish/Brush With Greatness

I first saw The Simpsons in 1990 when a colleague named Simpson received a tape from friends in New York. A lot had been written about the show in the media, but it would be some time before the show arrived on Sky One. And I didn't know anyone with satellite.

The episodes included Simpson and Delilah, The Crepes Of Wrath and Krusty Gets Busted - which at the time looked like hilarious, ground-breaking animated comedy. Now they look poorly-sketched, badly animated, half-characterised run throughs. I never imagined it would improve so much over the next four years.
By this time, although the show was broadcast on Sky, I still didn't know anyone with satellite, so when the first batch of videos were release, I started picking them up from Woolworths. Two episodes per tape, £8.99 each. Series 1 had thirteen episodes. Series 2, 22. Now you can pick up a series for the cost of two of the tapes.
And tapes take up so much room.
So long, and thanks for all the laughs.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Songs From The Big Chair by Tears For Fears

I saw this cheap in Trumps, Barkingside. I quite liked Tears For Fears and this had Everyone Wants to Rule The World on it. It also had a fair bit of filler and thus wasn't played often.

We can't work it out and it must be vanquished.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Star Wars: Incredible Cross-Sections

Another odd gift: a technical guide to non-existent technology.

What do I look like?

Banished. Eventually.

Cafe del Mar volumen seis by Various

Flexing my credibility (and wallet) on another trip to Australia, I picked up this. Probably attracted by At The River, but it made it onto the CD player far too infrequently (unlike also featured artist Talvin Singh's solo album).

Go now.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Aliens Ate My Buick by Thomas Dolby

I bought this for the opening track Key To Her Ferrari which Annie Nightingale used to play on her show in 80s. It wasn't bad. And neither was the second track Airhead.
The rest wasn't quite as not bad.
I didn't get where I am today being not quite as not bad.
Or maybe I did.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Motown Dance Party 2 by Various

One of my problems as a collector is I am a completist. So naturally having bought part one, I invariably buy part two, whether it's good or not.

This isn't bad. I enjoyed playing bass along to Diana Ross and My Own Piano. But it couldn't last...
When I dispose of part one, I have to dispose of part two.
I am, after all, a completist.

Little Big Adventure

I remember a colleague showing me the demo of this from a magazine cover disc and it looked really exciting and original.
I didn't buy the original release, but a reissue. And I never had the patience or imagination to get beyond the inital level.
I never got very far with the original Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy game either.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Beautiful Freak by Eels

A striking cover and two strong singles, but the album never impressed me enough to make me grab it from the sheld and stick the whole thing on again.

As I said before, they're such an interesting band, I have to guard against becoming intrigued enough to buy their entire back catalogue.