Dave Jennings reviews the singles of the week, 2nd March 1996

[AMP trolling Jennings…AMP trolling Jennings]

If Taylor wanted to punch his face in when he saw his old Singles of the Week column photo then Jennings will surely be searching his house trying to find his knuckledusters when he sees this.

Not much else to say except that I agree with single of the week. Love the Clouds Taste Metallic album that This Here Giraffe comes from. Remember discussing the album rather drunkenly with Brian Molko at a showbiz party I somehow found myself at back in 1997…the preceding track is called Placebo Headwound fact fans! And then I asked him for some Rizlas and, very graciously he obliged, although did question why I needed 3. Hmmm…

Have also added a scan of the Fiddling While Romo Burns tour dates to the Plastic Fantastic interview which I came across inside this issue. There’s been a few, pretty lengthy comments added since it first went up so if you’re interested the link to the post is here.

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Everett True reviews the singles of the week, 11th December 1993

He’s a lumberjack and he’s ok. He drinks all night and he reviews all day. Everett True reviews the singles of the week, 11th December 1993.

Listening to Adoration by The Cranes on Spotify and loving it. What are you doing?

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Chris Roberts reviews Mercury Rev's Yerself Is Steam, 16th February 1991

Truth be told this is a pretty uninspiring issue of Melody Maker but there is this, a review of Mercury Rev’s debut, a record that’s brought me immeasurable pleasure over the years and for which I’m grateful to long time friend and sometime commentator Phil for telling me about. The fact that pointless, one hit wonder, girl duo Soho get the featured review spot seems incomprehensible to me – the only reason HippyChick was a hit was because it used a Smiths sample which seemed quite daring and novel back in 1991.

If you’ve only ever heard latterday Rev then you MUST get hold of a copy of Yerself Is Steam, one of my Top10 records of all time.

Oh and no…I couldn’t fucking dig it and it still amazes me that Vodafone did

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Steve Sutherland reviews Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub, 26th October 1991

Steve Sutherland reviews Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub, 26th October 1991.

And when I say “reviews”, I really mean “compares”. Despite the persistent cries of plagiarism this was still a huge Creation success at the time and the start of a lighter poppier sound (when a grungy/shoegaze direction was prevalent) which would eventually become Britpop.

I was never that much of a fan of the Fanclub though and besides, I always thought Grand Prix was better. After that record they slowly slipped off my radar and I’ve genuinely not thought about, or listened to a Teenage Fanclub track for years and years. So memory jogged, and as is now customary, I go to wikipedia to find out if the band have split up or are still together. And stone the crows it seems that in this case it’s the latter. Now I’m not sure if my surprise about this just proves how out of touch with music I have become and that Teenage Fanclub are musical colossus’ selling more records than they ever did before, or if, as I suspect, the band are struggling on for lack of anything better to do, somehow eeking out a living based on former glories. Time marches on and pop’s a fickle mistress.

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Turncoat Sutherland reviews No Need To Argue by The Cranberries, 8th October 1994.

This for everyone coming here from The Cranberries forum. A shame it’s closed to guests so I can’t see what you’re saying. In case there’s any doubt about where I stand on The Cranberries let me make my position clear.

This record got 4/10 and that’s 5 more than it deserves.

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The great pretendin’, moonshine sippin’, Ween hatin’ Andrew Mueller reviews The Boo Radleys Wake Up, 25th March 1995.

One of the great ironies for the Boos is that the record that made them also ended up breaking them. It’s probably their weakest record but I’m glad it made them some cash if nothing else. Go buy Giant Steps, C’Mon Kids or Kingsize before this though.

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David Bennun reviews The Tindersticks second album, 25th March 1995

Here’s the review of The Tindersticks second album to complete The Tindersticks trilogy. My only complaint with this record being its lack of a title. How big an imagination vacuum does it take to not only fail to title your first record, but also your second? It can’t be a conceptual thing either because their tracks have titles, so I can’t for the life of me think what was going through their minds by not giving the record a name.

As it happens I’m currently reading David Bennun’s memoir of growing up in Kenya, Tick Bite Fever. It’s a light, easy read and I’m enjoying it quite a lot, even if at times Bennun’s memory seems rather heightened. His vivid critiques of the cinema ads he saw at the age of 7 seem rather too well remembered and researched for my liking, but that niggle withstanding, it’s something I’d probably never have discovered if it hadn’t been for this blog. And if I’d never bought the book I’d never have found out he’d co-written a whole lorryload of Jeremy Clarkson material either. This latter fact wasn’t quite such a welcome discovery.

It seems most of the journos featured here have dipped into writing books to a greater or lesser extent as the years have past. Most are, in some way or other, connected to music as you might expect, but there are a few, such as Bennun’s that break this mold.

One name conspicuously absent from the ‘I’ve done a book’ list is Taylor Parkes, which is a shame because he writes powerfully and emotively about his life in his sporadic blog posts. To my mind it seems like he could have given us our own (English and almost certainly much better) version of Prozac Nation.

According to wikipedia Elizabeth Wurtzel is a lawyer now which must be a great relief to her after spending so much time as a one trick pony. I’ve no idea how well Prozac Nation is remembered these days. Is it on the compulsory teen angst reading lists along with all the classics like The Bell Jar etc. Please, if you are ‘young’ then do leave a comment about the book and how well known you think it is or isn’t.

It certainly created quite stir at the time. It tapped into that zeitgeisty ‘depression is the new black’ vibe of the mid-nineties. Personally I was always irritated beyond belief by Prozac Nation purely by the simple fact of what Wurtzel looked like. It bugged me that a very pretty, very clever girl could moan so fucking much about how she hated her life. Now I know that’s kind of the point. Depression isn’t rational etc. but I still felt sorry for all the fat, ugly girls who probably felt just as suicidal, if not more so, but didn’t get a book deal because they weren’t going to make for such an attractive book cover. The publishers and marketing people certainly knew what they were doing when they put that photo of her on the cover. I’m not going to say it explicitly in text but she’s another one to file alongside Myleen Klass.

Speaking of which today’s bizarre Google term that brought people to the blog was “obese women in bikinis”. Great. Move along now, there’s nothing to see here.

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