Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – The Collection

When I heard that there was going to be a collaborative album between the sweet sounding Campbell with the life lived baritone of Lanegan, I thought it was an April Fool’s. It just goes to show how wrong you can be. The duo produced three albums along with associated singles/EPs between 2006 and 2010. With Lanegan’s passing in 2022, the chance of the pair recording together again has now passed. 

Campbell was the driving force behind this pair up, writing most of the songs as well as producing the records but did not want to continue touring. The grind of going out on the road was one of the reasons she had quit Belle and Sebastian back in 2002. The relationship with Lanegan had also become strained but what we got when they did work together, it was a modern version of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood.  Enjoy.

  1. Dusty Wreath
  2. We Die & See Beauty Again
  3. You Won’t Let Me Down Again
  4. Snake Song
  5. Shotgun Blues
  6. The False Husband
  7. Deus Ibi Est
  8. Ramblin’ Man
  9. Time Of The Season
  10. Something To Believe
  11. Come On Over (Turn Me On)
  12. Cool Water
  13. Saturday’s Gone
  14. Lately
  15. Rambling Rose, Clinging Vine
  16. No Place To Fall
  17. Trouble
  18. Revolver
  19. Keep Me In Mind Sweetheart
  20. The Circus Is Leaving Town 

The cover is adapted from the duo’s third and final album, ‘Hawk’. This play list could not be reproduced with one or more songs not being available on Spotify.

Isobel Campbell – The Collection

I only started buying Isobel Campbell’s solo records once she had left Belle and Sebastian. This occurred after the release of the bands ‘Storytelling’ LPs and it as though her leaving was one of the reasons why some of the tweeness left the band. What I didn’t realise until much later is that she released two album whilst still a member of Belle and Sebastian under the name of The Gentle Waves. These Gentle Waves albums could even be considered lost Belle and Sebastian albums as members of the band provide backing to her songs. Campbell released a number of records until 2006, when she collaborated with Mark Lanegan on a number of albums, but more on them later in the month. After the release of he last Campbell/Lanegan collaboration, there was silence for ten years. That does not mean that Campbell wasn’t doing anything. She had moved to American with her husband and had recorded an album but when her label folded, she spent a long time trying to obtain the rights to her own recordings so she could release them herself. Luckily for us, she did this and when ‘There Is No Other’ came out in 2020, there was an option to buy the album with a different, acoustic mix. Any songs where I have used these acoustic versions have been listed as such. Enjoy. 

Disc 1

  1. Milkwhite Sheets
  2. Bang Bang
  3. Hold Back A Thousand Years*
  4. Solace Of Pain*
  5. Renew & Restore*
  6. Time Is Just The Same
  7. Evensong*
  8. Weathershow*
  9. Song For Baby
  10. Argomenti
  11. This Land Flows With Milk
  12. Beggar, Wiseman or Thief?
  13. Hori Horo
  14. O Love Is Teasin’
  15. Are You Going To Leave Me?
  16. Monologue For An Old True Love
  17. Loretta Young*
  18. The Breeze Whispered Your Name (Part 2)
  19. There is No Greater Gold*
  20. Let The Good Times Begin*
  21. There Was Magic, Then…*
  22. Rose, I Love You*
  23. Thursday’s Child (Coda)*

This play list could not be reproduced with one or more songs not being available on Spotify.

Disc 2

  1. City Of Angels
  2. Rainbow (Acoustic)
  3. Ant Life (Acoustic)
  4. Just For Today (Acoustic)
  5. The National Bird Of India
  6. Runnin’ Down A Dream
  7. Love For Tomorrow
  8. Johnny Come Home
  9. Falling From Grace*
  10. Pretty Things*
  11. Flood*
  12. Reynardine
  13. Tree Lullaby*
  14. Yearning
  15. Vultures (Acoustic)
  16. See Your Face Again
  17. Loving Hannah
  18. Willow’s Song
  19. Hey World (Acoustic)
  20. Emmanuelle, Skating On Thin Ice*
  21. Enchanted Place*
  22. The Heart of It All (Acoustic)
  23. A Chapter In The Life Mathiew*

*The Gentle Waves

Some of these songs are from the acoustic version her last album. This play list could not be reproduced with one or more songs not being available on Spotify. 

The cover is adapted from the EP, ‘Time Is Just the Same’.

Belle & Sebastian – The Rough Trade Years

Before I start talking about the band in this era, I will point out that a couple of the tracks on this compilation come from the bands tenure on the Jeepster label. I quite liked the tunes and couldn’t find a place for them on the Jeepster compilation, so I thought I would use them here. They don’t sound out of place which is a bonus. 

The bands time on Rough Trade started with intent as they had Uber producer Trevor Horn to work on their ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’ LP. It not only signalled a period of time on a  new label, but a newish sound. The songs were not as twee as they once were as the songs had a bit more production to them. The instrumentation more diverse and they also started to release singles that was already on an album, which was a change from what had gone before. With Trevor Horn on board, the fact that the band became louder and more mainstream should not have been a surprise. 

This period also produced the ‘God Help the Girl’ project. This was initially an album of songs sung by women but written by Belle and Sebastian’s main songwriter, Stuart Murdoch. Though not classed as a Belle and Sebastian album, I have included songs from this project here because they fit in with the overall sound. These records also had a number of people from the band playing on them so that is close enough for me. The project would eventually lead to a film of the same name and because there was such a focus on this, there was only one Belle and Sebastian album released between 2007 and 2015. 

Disc 1

  1. Fiction
  2. I Didn’t See It Coming 
  3. God Help The Girl*
  4. Come On Sister
  5. The Blues Are Still Blue
  6. Last Trip 
  7. Funny Little Frog
  8. I’ll Have To Dance With Cassie*
  9. Pretty Eve in The Tub*
  10. Your Cover’s Blown
  11. You Don’t Send Me
  12. Song For Sunshine
  13. Calculating Bimbo
  14. Dress Up In You
  15. If You Could Speak*
  16. The Psychiatrist Is In*
  17. Baby’s Just Waiting*
  18. Stay Loose
  19. Perfection Is A Hipster*
  20. Mornington Crescent
  21. Fiction Reprise

Disc 2

  1. Act Of The Apostle*
  2. I’m In Love With The City*
  3. Susie In The Graveyard
  4. He’s A Loving Kind Of Boy*
  5. Stop, Look & Listen
  6. Blue Eyes Of A Millionaire
  7. If She Wants Me
  8. Suicide Girl
  9. White Collar Boy
  10. Dear Catastrophe Waitress
  11. Come Monday Night*
  12. Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John
  13. Musician, Please Take Heed*
  14. I Just Want Your Jeans*
  15. Roy Walker
  16. We Are The Sleepyheads
  17. Another Sunny Day
  18. I’m A Cuckoo (Single Version)
  19. I’m Not Living In The Real World
  20. Asleep On A Sunbeam
  21. A Down & Dusky Blonde*
  22. I Took A Long Hard Look
  23. Night Walk

The cover of this compilation is adapted from the album, ‘The Life Pursuit’.

*God Help The Girl

Belle & Sebastian – The Jeepster Years

This month, I will be focusing on Belle and Sebastian, as well as the solo career of past member Isobel Campbell. I think the first time I heard of this band was when they won the British Breakthrough act at the Brit Awards in 1999. I did ask myself who they were especially as their victory annoyed Pete Waterman who felt that Steps, a group he produced should have won claiming Belle and Sebastian had rigged the online vote to win. The Brits checked the votes and found nothing wrong, but any band that can annoy Pete Waterman is alright with me. It was not long after this that I read that their first album from three years before was going to be re-released. I was also interested in this release because ‘Tigermilk’ which was the name of the first album had only originally been released in a limited edition of 1000. I went down to my local Our Price (remember them?) and ordered it. 

‘Tigermilk’ was a lot more twee than the majority, if not all of the records I owned up to that point but I loved it. It is one of the few albums I can put on and play all the way through without wanting to skip over a single song. From the opening song, ‘The State I Am In’, I was hooked. Considering this album was made as a college project, it is better than a lot of more famous albums that had a lot more money thrown into its production. Just goes to show you that money doesn’t buy you everything. After the first play through, I knew had to find out what other records they had made. 

At that point, it included three albums and four EPs which rather quickly made their way into the Squire Archive. The first two albums were both originally released in 1996 and the second was called ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’. I found this album a bit hard to get into initially but with perseverance, it paid dividends. The band spent 1997 releasing a number of EPs instead of an LP. The first one was ‘Dog On Wheels’, which is essentially the demos that the college heard which lead to the recording of ‘Tigermilk’. Two more EPs followed, each with a number of classy songs but would show the way forward for the group as they contained songs not written by main writer, Stuart Murdoch. This democratic approach would continue into their third record, ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’.  

With all this great music blaring out of my stereo system, I began to look forward to the next album. I did not have to wait long for. “Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant” came out in 2000 and I remember being very disappointed with it but there were still a couple of good tunes on here for me to enjoy. The band ticked over between this and their last album on the Jeepster label by releasing some singles, none of which appeared on any of the LPs. You cannot accuse Belle and Sebastian of not giving their fans value for money. This view all came crashing down with their last album on the Jeepster label which was called ‘Storytelling’. The album was meant to be the soundtrack to a movie of the same name, but only six minutes of music was used. Without looking at it too much, I’m sure I did not use that much more on this compilation either. It was an album of musical cues and most probably a contract filler. The band would sign with the Rough Trade label for their next release.

Even though they could not maintain the quality of the songs (what band can?), there was so much great material during the years they were with the Jeepster label that I could produce a three disc compilation. I love this era of the band and I especially love the music contained on the first two disc. It brings back lots of memories of a time in my life and in their win at the 1999 Brit Awards, showed that manufactured groups did not always get their own way.  All of these songs were available on Spotify so the playlists are available to listen to. 

Disc 1

  1. The State I Am In
  2. Expectations
  3. She’s Losing it
  4. You’re Just A Baby
  5. Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying
  6. If You’re Feeling Sinister
  7. I Don’t Love Anyone
  8. Photo Jenny
  9. I Know Where The Summer Goes
  10. Mayfly
  11. I Could Be Dreaming
  12. Lazy Line Painter Jane
  13. My Wandering Days Are Over
  14. Mary Jo
  15. Ease Your Feet In The Sea
  16. Like Dylan In The Movies
  17. Beautiful
  18. The Rollercoaster Ride

Disc 2

  1. It Could Have Been A Brilliant Career
  2. Is It Wicked Not To Care?
  3. Seeing Other People
  4. The Loneliness Of The Middle Distance Runner
  5. The Model
  6. Don’t Leave The Light On Baby
  7. The Boy With The Arab Strap
  8. Chickfactor
  9. I Love My Car
  10. Seymour Stein
  11. Women’s Realm
  12. Waiting For The Moon To Rise
  13. A Summer Wasting
  14. Marx & Engels
  15. The Gate
  16. Take Your Carriage Clock & Shove It
  17. We Rule The School
  18. The Chalet Lines
  19. Judy & The Dream Of Horses
  20. Electronic Renaissance
  21. Songs For Children

Disc 3

  1. I Fought In A War
  2. Black & White Lines
  3. Storytelling
  4. Wandering Alone
  5. La Pastie De La Bourgeoise
  6. Me & The Major
  7. Nothing In The Silence
  8. Big John Shaft
  9. The Wrong Girl
  10. There’s Too Much Love
  11. Put The Book Back On The Shelf
  12. Simple Things
  13. Dirty Dream Number 2
  14. Winter Wooksie
  15. A Century Of Fakers
  16. Nice Day For A Sulk
  17. Family Tree
  18. The Boy Done Wrong Again
  19. The Magic Of A Kind Word
  20. The Fox In The Snow
  21. You Made Me Forget My Dreams
  22. This Is Just A Modern Rock Song

The front cover is the same as the cover to the ‘Dog On Wheels’ EP.