Vinyl love: Adorable “Against perfection”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Adorable
Album Title: Against perfection
Year released: 1993
Year reissued: 2018
Details: 180 gram, Limited edition, 25th anniversary reissue, Flaming orange vinyl, numbered 532/1500

The skinny: It’s the Thanksgiving long weekend here Canada and the leaves are in the midst of their annual change from boring green to the splendours of yellows, oranges, and reds. To celebrate the season, I thought I’d spin and share one of my favourite vinyl pieces that is coloured to match the leaves that are currently falling and filling up my yard. This reissue of Adorable’s debut album, “Against perfection”, was given the limited edition treatment by Music on Vinyl for the 25th anniversary of its original release. The album originally came out just as shoegaze was on the wane but because of the string of singles that preceded it (more of which appeared on the US release that I still have on CD), it still sold reasonably well. The singles even did quite well on Alternative radio here in Canada, especially the song below, which is where I first heard them and got hooked. And the album still sounds amazing.

Standout track: “Homeboy”

100 best covers: #74 The Charlatans “Time for livin'”

<< #75    |    #73 >>

In the very first post in this series, I made mention of the compilation, “The Help Album”. It was a charity album to raise funds for War Child, an organization that helps “children in war-affected communities reclaim their childhood through access to education, opportunity and justice”*. All of the songs, along with a handful that were released on a companion EP, were recorded on one day, Monday, September 4th, 1995, mixed the following day, and released to the buying public a few days later, on Saturday, September 9th. The artwork on the copy of the compilation that I still have on CD did not make mention of any of the artists or songs, given how quick everything came together. Instead, a yellow sticker was affixed to the front of the disc with this pertinent information.

The songs on the album are all performed by Irish and English artists that were current at the time and given the year, you might be unsurprised to see that many of them were associated to the BritPop movement. Some of the songs were those that the bands had been demoing for upcoming albums, some were reimagined, previously released songs, and many, many more were covers. Hence, my mention of this album today. And besides this particular cover by The Charlatans of the Sly and the Family Stone tune, “Time for livin'”, Manic Street Preachers’ cover of “Raindrops keep falling on my head” has already appeared in this series at the aforementioned 100 spot and I’m reasonably certain without looking at my list that there might be one or two more songs from this compilation to appear later on.

The Charlatans were one of my favourite bands from the early 1990s. I had adored their first two baggy-infused albums but was slightly disappointed by their third. In early September 1995, however, they were just over one week removed from releasing their fourth, eponymously named album and to me this was a remarkable ‘comeback’ of sorts. And this cover fits right in with the sound and energy of that album, all danceable rhythms, roaring guitars, and Rob Collins’ wailing organs. It actually ranks up there with my favourite recordings by the band, not actually knowing it was a cover until many years later. Then, when I found out, I avoided listening to the Sly and the Family Stone original until just a few days ago because I just couldn’t imagine a different version. I mean, Tim Burgess singing those lines: “Time for changin’, re-arrangin’, no time for peace, just pass the buck. Rearrangin’, leader’s changin’, pretty soon he might not give a f**k.” C’mon!

So apologies to those fans out there of the original, but I’m going with the cover here. You can go ahead and try but I don’t think you’ll change my mind,

The cover:

The original:

For the rest of the 100 best covers list, click here.

* This quote is taken directly from the charity organization’s website.

Best tunes of 2002: #23 Miles Hunt “Everything is not ok”

<< 24    |    #22 >>

I might have mentioned once or twice already on these pages that my very favourite band in the early 1990s was Stourbridge, England’s The Wonder Stuff. When they split in 1994, I was quite heartbroken. Then, after news crossed the ocean that the various band members had formed a couple of groups (We Know Where You Live and Vent 414), I went on the lookout for any output from either one. But of course, in the days before the internet, such a quest was a near impossible one, given that both of those groups were short-lived. Then, one day at work in 1999, I caught wind of a new Miles Hunt solo record, “Hairy on the inside”, on the radio and stopped what I was doing to listen to the new song they played. It goes without saying that I went out to buy the album upon its release and listened to it over and over and saw him live on all three of his swings through Toronto on the corresponding solo tours.

A few years later, Miles put together a band and released another album, a more electric and upbeat album than the previous stripped-down affair. Some of the songs on “The Miles Hunt Club”* were reworkings of tunes on Miles’s debut and “Everything is not ok” is one of these. The original was intimate acoustic pluckings and fiddle meanderings but while beautiful, didn’t quite fit the bill of the song, especially when placed side by side with the opening track on “The Miles Hunt Club”. This re-recording is more straight ahead rock, electric guitars and peppy drums serving up the required bite for Miles’s words.

“Everything is not okay
Things will not turn out to be just fine
All is not well, not this time.”

Originally penned in the days and months leading up to the infamous Y2K, Miles seems to be musing on the end of days and for him, it’s nothing good. Luckily for all of us, all the worry was for naught. Great tune nonetheless.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2002 list, click here.

* I was never sure whether this was just the name of the album or the name of the group and the album eponymously named.