Listen: Love Is The Key / The Charlatans
7″ singles became less desirable as a format for radio through the 90′s, and by the new millennium, few were available as promo only pressings. Well, not so much in the UK luckily. Possibly driven by guilt, the vinyl conscience music industry still pressed limited copies for radio and jukebox, often with zero packaging. Seemingly an insult at the time, and very disposable, fast forward ten years and I’m well happy to have saved every last one.
Such is the case with The Charlatans’ ‘Love Is The Key’. Being an early possessed band follower, my attraction to their 45′s waned as time progressed, but given those first few gems, I always would give a listen to each new release, and usually winced with disappointment. The more than basic, information only sleeve above, which looks rather nice a decade later, didn’t help.
Unexpectedly, a revelation greeted me: ‘Love Is Te Key’ wiped clean the band’s by then dodgy slate of single releases, each one more dull than it’s predecessor. This record sounded hot on first listen. A return to form, as others have said way too many times. Despite the buried vocals, and Tim Burgess’s much publicized move to LA, this still sounded very British, especially it’s amusing faux funk, which only The Stone Roses had managed to master previously.