Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Vinyl Frontier - Sugar, Carter USM and New Order

Another record fair today, this time in sunny Guildford at the wonderful (yet small and cold) Guildhall. It was the usual mix of old and new, boxes of ragged dog-eared Beatles and Rolling Stones, plenty of poor-quality Bob Dylan and Bowie, and a smattering of 'newer' music.

And for me, a real find: Sugar's Copper Blue, one of my favourite albums which kept me sane on many a bus journey to university in the early 90s. Like many records of this time, the pressing isn't perfect and slightly 'treble' heavy but in good condition. Two other albums caught my eye: 101 Damnations, the début from Carter, The Unstoppable Sex Machine - again, for an album that's 25 years old, it plays very well. This is a real angst-driven album of frustration and social-political songwriting which still sounds new and relevant today (and yes, Sheriff Fatman is forever magnificent). To complete the trio, Joe Jackson's Night and Day. I'm not a huge Joe Jackson fan but this is a great album; a deft blend of rough and smooth, paying homage to Cole Porter and New York City. Stepping Out is the undisputed classic but elsewhere there is astute observations and commentary.

I don't usually buy 12 inch singles these days but I couldn't let these go. I've always wanted a copy of New Order's Blue Monday and the FAC73 'seven and a half minute' original single (the 12" backed with The Beach) is the grandfather of all versions since ('88 and '95'). And it plays wonderfully. From the same year is Lovecats by The Cure, another brilliant song, and the 1998 re-issue 12" of Wild Wood by Paul Weller, originally released to promote the Modern Classics greatest hits, this is backed with The Sheared Wood (Portishead) remix and Science (with The Psychonauts - Lynch Mob remix). Try and find these on Spotify :)

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