At song #96, we have The Wonder Stuff and their snarling, acerbic track “Unbearable”. This is a band that I typically identify with the early nineties because this is when I discovered them and also when the band released the bulk of their original catalogue. However, their startlingly upbeat debut album, “The eight legged groove machine” was released in the latter part of the eighties, back before the fiddle was added to the stuffies’ repertoire and before The Bass Thing left the band for America. I featured this very same album when it appeared at number two on my Best albums of 1988 list*, back when I counted that down a few years ago. And in that post, I described how the album was my introduction to the band and a bit of the story behind how the band became one of my favourites during my last few years of high school and into my early twenties.
For those unfamiliar with The Wonder Stuff, “Unbearable” is a good starting block. It is certainly representative of their early work and the rest of their debut album, seamlessly blending the pop mentality of The Beatles with the guns blazing, two-minute guitar rock of The Ramones. Yes, it’s the thirteenth track on a fourteen track LP that falls well short of the forty minute mark. Another song about money and the way it’s misspent, priorities and greed. It was this angst and snarling lyrics and vocals of frontman Miles Hunt that drew me (and by all accounts many others) to the band in the first place and what most probably led to the band’s downfall. They were quite popular for a time in their native country but sadly, The Wonder Stuff never quite broke into the North American market.
Original Eighties best 100 position: #98
Favourite lyric: “I didn’t like you very much when I met you / And now I like you even less” Classic Miles Hunt.
Where are they now?: After their original break up in 1994, The Wonder Stuff re-formed for a string of shows in London in 2000. The shows were so successful, Hunt, who had been recording solo up to then, began recording new material under The Wonder Stuff name with the original guitarist, Malc Treece. The two of them are still at it these days, having added violinist Erica Nockalls in 2005, and the rest of the band has pretty much changed every few years since. They last surfaced with a new album called “Better being lucky” in 2019.
*In fact, each of their first three albums have appeared in the top five for albums on this blog for the years in which they were released.
For the rest of the Eighties’ best 100 redux list, click here.