Smashing Pumpkins – Gish (Alternative Version)

Something a little different to finish off the month with, especially as they are not Britpop in anyway shape or form. I have written in length about the Smashing Pumpkins and how I came to find out about them in previous posts, but just to recap. I have been a fan of the original incarnation of the Smashing Pumpkins since I bought their first album ‘Gish’ in 1993. I mentioned the circumstances I became aware of the band back in my October 2020 post about the first album that never was. 

‘Gish’ was released in 1991 but I did not get myself a copy until two years later. It is a bit of a difficult album to categorise as Corgan seems to be trying to harness the power of classic rock bands such as Black Sabbath with aspects of sound utilised by bands such as The Cure. The band were given a rather generous budget of $20,000 to record which afforded Corgan and producer Butch Vig the time to get the sounds right but relations within the group were harmed by the production methods. That was due to Corgan rerecording the bass and guitar parts from Darcy Wretzky and James Iha respectively. To add insult to injury, Corgan used their instruments as well. The press for the album were generally favourable and it would eventually sell over 1 million copies in the US alone.

I liked what I heard with ‘Gish’ and bought ‘Siamese Dream’ soon afterwards. I continued buying all of the material that they had released/recorded between the late 80s up until 2001. This continued with the Deluxe Editions of all of those albums, which have been a treasure trove of previously unreleased material, alternative takes and live material. This was one of the best reissue programmes I have seen, especially as main songwriter Billy Corgan had a hand in putting it all together. I have found that for the majority of the time, the last people you want being in charge of a reissue programme are the artists themselves. Anyway, I digress. 

As so much material has been released, I wondered if it would be possible to compile a completely alternative version of the studio albums they made before they broke up in 2000, just using the material from the Deluxe Editions. Well, I wasn’t able to do this so I had to have a look into the murky world of the bootleg, including ones that Corgan put on line in the early days of the internet. This also included the short lived Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (which offered up tracks to download from the internet that were not included on any of the Deluxe Edition reissues). What this means is that ‘Pieces Iscariot’ and ‘The Aeroplane Flies High’ will not be included here (look at my entry from October 2022 to see my alternative version of ‘The Aeroplane Flies High). 

Side A

  1. I Am One – Limited Potential Version (Single A-Side)
  2. Siva (Peel Radio Session EP)
  3. Rhinoceros (Version Two) – Reel Time Sessions (Smashing Pumpkins Record Club)
  4. Bury Me – Reel Time Demos (Gish Deluxe)
  5. Hippy Trippy – Crush Demo (Gish Deluxe)

SIde B

  1. Seam – Suffer Department Demo (Gish Deluxe)
  2. Snail – Radio Session (Mashed Potatoes Bootleg) 
  3. Tristessa – Sub Pop Version (Single A-Side)
  4. Window Paine – Live (Mashed Potatoes Bootleg)
  5. Daydream – Old House Demo (Gish Deluxe)

What was surpassing was how close I could achieve this aim. Seeing as I bought these records on vinyl, I have followed the order on that release.

Various Artists – Caught Beneath The Landslide Volume 2

Back in 2021, Edsel Records released the compilation ‘Caught Beneath The Landslide’. It was a companion piece to photographers Kevin Cummins book, ‘While We Were Getting High: Britpop & The 90s’. Cummings was the chief photographer at the NME, which at the time of Britpop was a best selling music weekly newspaper. He then compiled a four disc compilation which included some of the biggest names from the period along with some of the also rans. The recordings were not the obvious hits either, but alternative versions, single edits and B-Sides. 

Well, in this year of Britpop themed releases on this site, I have looked to do something similar with a second volume of the ‘Caught Beneath The Landslide’ compilation. What is different about this one is that it is not based around the Cummins book and does not include as many of the Britpop big hitters as the first volume. What we have though is another four disc set encompassing the years 1993-1998 which I hope will be a worthy follow up to the original. 

Disc 1

  1. So Sad About Us – Jubilee
  2. Come Back Tomorrow – Salad
  3. Saturday Night – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
  4. Christopher – Kinky Machine
  5. Natural One – The Folk Implosion
  6. Born Disco, Died Heavy Metal – Cornershop
  7. This Is The Sound Of Youth – These Animal Men
  8. Town Clowns – Blameless
  9. Walter’s Song – Shack
  10. Now That You Know Me – Coast
  11. Cracked – Nylon Bombers
  12. Mall Monarchy – Compulsion
  13. Ha Ha You’re Dead – Sleeper
  14. Bring You Down – The Real People
  15. Daydream – Back To The Planet
  16. Scenester – Flamingoes
  17. Girl A, Girl B, Boy C – My Life Story
  18. Sometimes Always – The Jesus & Mary Chain
  19. Love Songs On The Radio – Mojave 3
  20. Sure As Fate – Passion Fruit & Holy Bread
  21. Out Of This World (Original Mix) – Republica

Disc 2

  1. Step Out – Oasis
  2. I Don’t Know – Ruth
  3. Shirtlifter – Lick
  4. Cookie – David Devant & His Spirit Wife
  5. Mrs Hoover – The Candyskins
  6. Child’s Body – Gene
  7. Box Star A.M. – Embassy
  8. Looey Vs. Christ – Baba Booey
  9. Smiler (Single Version) – Heavy Stereo
  10. Love 45 – Orange Deluxe
  11. Queenie – Pimlico
  12. Bellyache – Echobelly
  13. Good Intentions – Livingstone
  14. Mark – Shed Seven
  15. Don’t Know – Ash
  16. London Breeds – 60ft Dolls
  17. Merched Yn Need Gwallt Eu Gilled – Gorky’s Zygotic Mynchi
  18. Hello Victim – Baby Chaos
  19. Man Of Leisure – The Weekenders
  20. Today & Tonight – Marion
  21. Alison – Slowdrive
  22. Odd (Peel Session) – Supergrass
  23. Bandstarter – Brainpool

Disc 3

  1. Privilege – Mainstream
  2. U16 Girls – Travis
  3. Three Beasts – Moms
  4. Hype – Headswim
  5. Straighten Out – Brassy
  6. Where Have You Been Tonight? – Shed Seven
  7. Death Of A Party (7” Mix) – Blur
  8. English Tea – Thurman
  9. We Are The Supercool – Space Monkeys
  10. Blinded By The Sun (Edit) – The Seahorses
  11. All Pop No Star – Slingbacks
  12. All I Want – Poppyheads
  13. Know Where To Find You – Mantaray 
  14. The Kazoo Song – The Sweeney
  15. Crush – Goya Dress
  16. It Fell Of The Back Of A Lorry – Denim
  17. Holiday – Pullover
  18. Supersexy Revolutionary – Disco Pistol
  19. Primary Alternative (Peel Session) – The Delgados
  20. The Mill Hill Self Hate Club – Edward Ball
  21. Another Night In – Strangelove
  22. Can’t Be Sure – The Sundays

Disc 4

  1. To Earth With Love – Gay Dad
  2. A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed – theaudience
  3. Soloman Bites The Worm – The Bluetones
  4. I Like Rock – Bennet
  5. Roll With It – Mogul
  6. Rent (Live) – Suede & Neil Tennant
  7. Tuesday Afternoon – Ex Boyfriends
  8. Drag Queen – The Dandys
  9. Candlelight – Six By Seven
  10. Break – The Gyres
  11. Julia – Silver Sun
  12. Nothing To Lose – Elcka
  13. Hurricane – Warm Jets
  14. Now I’ve Seen Through You – Hillman Minx
  15. Best Friend – Ether
  16. Move Over – Mover
  17. Maniac – Cinerama
  18. How Free – Don
  19. Will You Still Care – The Crocketts
  20. Vinegar Vera – Rialto
  21. Dry The Rain – The Beta Band

The front cover is similar to Volume 1 with different bands added. The cover stars are as follows. 

Top row (l to r) – theadiance, Travis, The Sundays

Middle row (l to r) – Blur, The Delgados, Cornershop

Bottom row (l to r) – Ash, The Weekenders, Seahorses

Suede – B-Side Collections

Part 1 – Sci-Fi Lullabies (Break Up Version)

Most, if not all musical movements receive their name from people who tend not to be part of that movement, be it the press, critics or the artists A&R. Some movement names are used whilst it is still active, such as punk whereas other are retrospectively given with Freakbeat being a good example. Some artists embrace the movements name, some do not and therefore seek to distance themselves from it. There is also the added problem of trying to work out what is the first record to be released that could be described as starting that moment off. The amount of words that have been written trying to work out what the first Rock ’n’ Roll record was is arguably a good deal more than the amount written by Shakespeare. 

British band Suede fit nicely into lots of the categories mentioned above. Their first album is considered (myself included) to be the first Britpop album. They hated the title and their second album can therefore be considered to be the first post-Britpop LP, four years before anyone else tried to produce one of their own. 

Suede started when students Brett Anderson and Justine Frischmann met whilst studying at University College London. They became a couple soon afterwards and with Anderson’s friend, Matt Osman, they decided to form a band. Neither Frischmann or Anderson felt they were good enough guitar players to play lead so after an advert was placed in the music paper, the New Music Express (or NME as it is more commonly known), a certain Bernard Butler got their job. Early gigs would see the band backed up with a drum machine which proved to be unreliable. They would briefly be joined by drummer Justin Welch, who would later reconnect with Frischmann in Elastica. He didn’t stay long and therefore another advert in the music weeklies was placed. The band were surprised when Mike Joyce, former drummer with The Smiths got in touch but he did not stay long either. Joyce bailed on the fledgling group because he felt that being in a band that was influenced by and had certain similarities to The Smiths would do Suede more harm than good. Eventually, Simon Gilbert joined behind the drum kit. 

Tensions began to build when Frischmann and Anderson split up. Frischmann had started a relationship with Blur’s Damon Alban but she did not leave Suede immediately. It was felt that the situation could be worked through but she was eventually fired after turning up late for rehearsals on too many occasions, sometimes due to being on the set of a Blur video. With Frischmann gone, Anderson and Butler became closer and began writing the songs that would make up the debut album. 

Anderson was the figurehead of the band, and appeared on the front cover of music weekly Melody Maker before they had released a record. The paper even called them the “Best New Band in Britain”. By the time of their third single released, ‘Animal Nitrate’ they had matched the hype with record sales as this was their first single to break into the UK Top Ten singles chart. When the album came out, it was the biggest selling debut since Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Welcome to the Pleasuredome’ LP. The album also won the 1993 Mercury Music Prize and it would seem that Suede were truly going to be the next big thing. That was until tension started to arise between Anderson and Butler. 

In early 1994, the band released ‘Stay Together’, their highest charting single to date but the sound was different to what had gone before. The song was also a portent of what was to come. Multi-layered guitars, increased length of the songs and sounding like nothing else around it. Butler did not help the situation by being quite critical of Anderson in one of the few interviews he gave at the time. Tensions got so high that Butler began to record his parts for the second album separately from the rest of the band until he came to the studio to find that he would not be allowed in and his guitars were left on the street. The band finished the album with either Butler recording in another studio or with a session player playing Butlers’ parts from the demo recordings. Considering the tension that went into making this record, it is surprising how good it is even if it took some members of the music press a number of years to catch up. 

Suede would recruit in a new guitar player in Richard Oakes, and continue to release records to this day. However, what this collection looks to do is see what a B-Sides collection would have looked like if the band had decided to call it a day after ‘Dog Man Star’ had been released. Some of Suede’s B-Sides were excellent, which is was clearly shown when the band released the ‘Sci-Fi Lullabies’ collection which this album shares its title and artwork with. Unlike the version that came out in real life, no songs recorded with Oakes could be included. There is also a lot more songs from the first album sessions as well which shows the strength of material they had before they had even entered a recording studio. Overall, a good record that more than stands up on its own merits.  

Side A

  1. The Living Dead (Stay Together – 1994)
  2. Killing Of A Flash Boy (We Are The Pigs – 1994)
  3. He’s Dead (Metal Mickey – 1992)
  4. My Insatiable One (The Drowners – 1992)
  5. My Dark Star (Stay Together – 1994)
  6. Where The Pigs Don’t Fly (Metal Mickey – 1992)

Side B

  1. Modern Boys (The Wild One – 1994)
  2. Whipsnade (We Are The Pigs – 1994)
  3. High Rising (So Young – 1992)
  4. The Big Time (Animal Nitrate – 1993)
  5. To The Birds (The Drowners – 1993)

Part 2 – Lost Lullabies

When the real ‘Sci-Fi Lullabies’ came out in 1997, it was not a comprehensive collection of Suede’s B-Side. There were a number of tracks that did not make the cut. What I have done here, is to collect those lost songs to be a release all of their own. Called ‘Lost Lullabies’, it is weighed down by the Eno remix of ‘Introducing The Band’ which I first heard as the B-Side to the 12” single version of ‘The Wild Ones’. I think I played it once and for the second time when completing this collection. It is definitely something that does not warrant multiple plays. 

Side A

  1. Eno’s Introducing The Band (The Wild Ones – 1994)
  2. Feel (Lazy – 1997)

Side B

  1. Dolly (So Young – 1993)
  2. Digging A Hole (Lazy – 1997)
  3. Painted People (Animal Nitrate – 1993)
  4. Sam (Beautiful Ones – 1996)
  5. This World Needs A Father (The Wild Ones – 1994)
  6. Asda Town (The Wild Ones – 1994)

The cover is adapted from the original ‘Sci-Fi Lullabies’. 

Various Artists – The Britpop Years Vol.2

It is the first of the month so time for another Britpop Years compilation. Once again, this is not a playlist of Britpop songs/bands (even though the vast majority are), this includes music that came from the years 1994-97.

Disc 1

  1. Wake Up Boo! – The Boo Radleys
  2. Alright – Supergrass
  3. Sorted For E’s & Whizz – Pulp
  4. This Is A Call – Foo Fighters
  5. God! Show Me Magic – Super Furry Animals
  6. Block Rockin’ Beats – The Chemical Brothers
  7. The Day We Caught The Train – Ocean Colour Scene
  8. Everything Must Go – Manic Street Preachers
  9. Oh Yeah – Ash
  10. Peaches – The Presidents Of The United States Of America
  11. Battle Of Who Could Care Less – Ben Folds Five
  12. North Country Boy – The Charlatans (UK)
  13. The Universal – Blur
  14. Staying Out For The Summer – Dodgy
  15. You Can Talk To Me – The Seahorses
  16. King Of The Kerb – Echobelly
  17. Beautiful Ones – Suede
  18. Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
  19. You Do – McAlmont & Butler
  20. Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead
  21. Smile – The Supernaturals

Disc 2 

  1. Reverend Black Grape – Black Grape
  2. Annie – Elastica
  3. Lump – The Presidents Of The United States Of America
  4. Motorbike To Heaven – Salad
  5. Sour Times – Portishead
  6. Lost Myself – Longpigs
  7. One Night Stand – The Aloof
  8. Into The Blue – Geneva
  9. Common People – Pulp
  10. Drop Dead Gorgeous – Republica
  11. Just – Radiohead
  12. Stupid Girl – Garbage
  13. Kung Fu – Ash
  14. Perseverance – Terrorvision
  15. Live Forever – Oasis
  16. The Day Before Yesterday’s Man – The Supernaturals
  17. 6 Underground – Sneaker Pimps
  18. Protection – Massive Attack feat. Tracy Thorn
  19. Glory Box – Portishead
  20. Olympia – Gene