Archive for the ‘4AD’ Category


Friday, January 6th, 2012

Listen: Baby I Love You So / Colourbox
Baby I Love You So / Colourbox

Not having been a follower of 4AD, I’d hardly paid attention to Colourbox until catching ‘Baby I Love You So’ coming from a co-worker’s office at Elektra back in ’86. To be precise, I was just walking by, and thought sure I’d found a fellow Augustus Pablo fan playing a new remix. From the hallway it was hard to tell the difference.

Instead, what I found was Colourbox. Despite the synth heavy version, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the best white dub tracks I’ve yet to hear. And what a surprise too seeing it scale to #4 on the UK Top 40. And so the 7″ found a permanent place in the collection. Without rhyme or reason, I proceeded through life continuing to pay little attention to both band and label.

Years later I put two and two together to find they, with A. R. Kane, had an even better single the very next year. This time under the moniker of M/A/R/R/S with their sole release ‘Pump Up The Volume’, so strong it couldn’t be kept from #1, even charting at #13 in America.

Inspiral Carpets

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Listen: This Is How It Feels / Inspiral Carpets
This Is How It Feels / Inspiral Carpets

Dare I say ‘This Is How It Feels’ is to the 90′s what The Damned’s ‘Grimly Fiendish’ was to the 80′s. I’ll go one further, the song has a remarkable sonic lineage to ‘Arnold Layne’ as well. Fightin’ words, maybe. Yet it’s always how I heard it.

Inspiral Carpets played The Limelight when they were in the limelight, I’m recalling around the time of this single. Signed to Elektra, one can only guess off the back of US success with Happy Mondays and such, a tour or maybe three brought them to town. I loved ‘This Is How It Feels’ so much, I went along. Visually similar to The Fleshtones (only one Three Stooges bowl cut necessary), the boys were a touch too reminiscent of The Swingin’ Medallions
at a time when I personally didn’t need that refresher button hit. But ‘This Is How It Feels’, no denying, it’s one hell of a massive tune.


Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Listen: Here Comes Your Man / Pixies
Here Comes Your Man / Pixies

‘Here Comes Your Man’ was released as a 7″ either right before or straight after ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’. Regardless, together they were the band’s crowning 45rpm singles moment. Surprisingly, both were Top 5 Modern Rock hits in the US. Well maybe not so shocking, there was a patch in the late 80′s and early 90′s when alternative stuff was pretty mainstream. Some even went Top 40.

A bunch of us coined their sound as plinky plinky, which in a more just world, should be recognized as a genre. The band seemingly had an intentional refusal to evolve into more complex musicians. The simplicity became a charm that wore thin eventually.

Suddenly, The Pixies upside was dwarfed. Despite the scene they rolled with, ‘Here Comes Your Man’ forced the band out of the comfortable underground space and into pop. Great songs, but their indie inflexibility was too off putting for a mainstream ear, and they never did cross over, which is a real drag. Feels like they had a ton of great singles in them.

This is my opinion totally, but I’d bet money on it.