Oasis – Heroes

Oasis, like Suede, were well known for the quality of their early B-Sides. Therefore, it would have been a no briner to complete one, but someone got there first. Namely, the band themselves when they put out ‘The Masterplan’ in 1998

Unlike Suede, a key member did not leave early on to act as a convenient cut off point for a new collection so I couldn’t replicate the method I used to compile the ‘Sci-Fi Lullabies’ idea from back in February. I therefore took a slightly different angle for this entry as Oasis did sneak a few cover versions on to their B- Sides So here they are compiled, with one live track from the ‘Familiar To Millions’ LP. 

Side A

  1. Street Fighting Man (Rolling Stones) – All Around The World (1998)
  2. Within You, Without You (The Beatles) – BBC Sgt Pepper 40th Anniversary Tribute (2007)
  3. Hey Hey, My My Into The Black (Neil Young) – Familiar To Millions (2000)
  4. My Generation (The Who) – Little By Little (2002)
  5. Cum On Feel The Noize (Slade) – Don;t Look Back In Anger (1996)

Side B

  1. Helter Skelter (The Beatles) – Who Feels Love? (2000)
  2. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (The Beatles) – Some Might Say Japanese CD (1995)
  3. Heroes (David Bowie) – D’You Know What I Mean? (1997)
  4. I Am The Walrus (The Beatles) – Cigarettes & Alcohol (1994)

Bonus 12”

This includes their cover of the classic Slade Christmas song. The second side is a BBC interview with Noel Gallagher talking about the recording process for Within’ You, Without You. 

A. Merry Christmas Everyone

B. Within You, Without You (Recording Process) 

‘Heroes’ is not only one of the covers on here, it serves as a pretty apt title because these songs come from artists that inspired Noel Gallagher. The cover comes from imgur user LisaBerglund. 

Ash – B-Sides & Covers

Ash were official formed in 1992 but two of the members had been playing in an Iron Maiden covers band for the precious three years. After recording some demos and releasing these on cassettes (remember them folks), one of these, ‘Garage Girl’, caught the attention of Stephen Taverner. Taverner put up the money press up 1000 7” records of ‘Jack Names The Planet’s on his own LaLaLand records label whilst becoming the bands manager. What needs to be remembered here is that the members of Ash were so young during these early years that they were still in school. 

The band gained some momentum and airplay when in 1994, they released the mini album ‘Trailer’. Steve Lamacq played some of these songs on his BBC Radio 1 show. American audiences become aware of the band after their song ‘Kung Fu’ was used in the closing credits of the Jackie Chan film, ‘Rumble In The Bronx’. After touring the USA in support of Weezer, the band felt that they needed another guitar player to help flesh out the sound whilst they played live. Charlotte Hatherley (previously of Nightnurse) joined and her first recorded contribution to the band was on their single from the film ‘A Life Less Ordinary’. 

The early singles and album of the band were more upbeat than what came on their second LP and subsequent singles which had a good deal more garage rock influences. The ‘Numbskull’ single included a number of cover versions of grunge acts as well, no doubt showing the influences of the band but it could be argued that these were needed because main songwriter Tim Wheeler was suffering from writers block. The second album gained mix reviews from critics and Wheeler went into an 18 month depression which he eventually come out form after moving back to his parent house in Northern Ireland to focus on writing. 

The band continue to record and play live to this day, even though Charlotte Hatherley left in 2006. This continuation of my series of B-Sides compilations comes in two parts. I liked the covers the band did because instead of doing straight covers, they tried to do something a little different, especially on ‘Give Me Some Truth’. Both of these compilations cover the classic Britpop period of 1994-8 with a couple of songs that were released in 1999 for good measure. 

Side A

  1. What Deaner Was Talking About (A Life Less Ordinary – 1997)
  2. Sneaker (Goldfinger – 1996)
  3. Halloween (A Life Less Ordinary – 1997)
  4. Don’t Know (Jack Names The Planets – 1994)
  5. Story Weather (Wild Surf – 1998)
  6. Dancing On The Moon (Jesus Says – 1998)

Side B

  1. I Need Somebody (Goldfinger – 1996)
  2. When I’m Tired (Wild Surf – 1998)
  3. Gonna Do It Soon(Wild Surf – 1998)
  4. Take Out (Jesus Says – 1998)
  5. Radiation (Jesus Says – 1998)
  6. Everywhere Is All Around (Oh Yeah – 1995)
  7. Heroin, Vodka, White Noise (Jesus Says – 1998)

Side A

  1. Blew – Nirvana (Numbskull – 1999)
  2. Does Your Mother Know – ABBA (Oh Yeah – 1995)
  3. Who You Drivin’ Now? (Numbskull – 1999)
  4. Cantina Band – John Williams (Girl From Mars – 1995)

Side B

  1. Get Ready – The Miracles (Goldfinger – 1996)
  2. Give Me Some Truth – John Lennon (Angel Interceptor – 1995)
  3. I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty Springfield (Single A-Side – 1997) 

The covers I have used for these compilations show the band in similar poses but separated by a few years. The image used for B-Sides was used for the compilation ‘Teenage Wildlife – 25 Years of Ash’. 

The Cure – Three Imaginary Boys (45th Anniversary Edition)

I am a couple of days early with this one but on 11th May 1979, The Cure released their debut album, ’Three Imaginary Boys’. The members of this first line up had all attended Notre Dame Middle School in Crawley and first appeared on stage together in a one-off school band called Obelisk. Eventually settling down into a four piece called Easy Cure consisting of Robert Smith (guitar, vocals), Porl Thompson (guitar), Michael Dempsey (bass) and Lol Tolhurst (drums). Entering and winning a competition that resulted in the band being signed to German label Hansa, a number of demos were recorded which have yet to see the light of day. The label soon dropped the band because they did not see eye to eye on what they wanted. The band wanted to record original material where as the label wanted them to be a covers band. Released from their contract, Thompson would leave due to conflict with Smith. Smith felt that Thompson’s guitar playing was too busy (or too good) for a punk band. Smith was also writing songs that were considerably more minimalistic than their earlier work. Thompson would rejoin the band in 1983 but for the time being, he was out of the picture.

Dropping the Easy part of the name, the three piece recorded a demo at Chestnut Studios in Essex for distribution to record labels. Eventually, Chris Parry at Polydor decided that he would sign them as one of the first acts on his newly formed Fiction label. The resulting album, ‘Three Imaginary Boys’ did not meet Robert Smith’s standard as he was not given control over the track listing and cover art. This is clearly shown by the inclusion of a cover of the Jimi Hendrix song, ‘Foxy Lady’, which the band used as a soundcheck. As far as I can tell, it is the only cover the band has ever released on one of its records. It also has the distinction of being the only song by The Cure that was not sung by Robert Smith. On this occasion, bass player Michael Dempsey took on vocal duties. Three singles were also recorded during these early days and none of the A-Sides appeared on this album. Dempsey would leave before the recording of the next album as the band would leave this post punk sound behind and go on a much darker path. 

The album has been re-released many times over the years but in 2004, a deluxe edition came out which contained a number of unreleased songs from those early days as well as the aforementioned single cuts*. Having been a bit of a Cure fan, and even more so of their earlier work, I knew that there was a number of songs that could have been included to round this collection out and make it more substantial. With this being (nearly) the 45th Anniversary of its release, I though this would be a perfect opportunity to do so.

On disc 1, the first twelve tracks are the same as the original album. We then have all of the Single A and B-Sides, including those recorded at the time but not released until ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ was rereleased with a different vocal in the mid 80s. This disc also includes a number of sessions outtakes, a Peel Session from 1978 and ‘The Weedy Burton’, a hidden track on the original album which sounds as though it should be at the end of the CD and not half way through. 

Disc 1

  1. 10:15 Saturday Night – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  2. Accuracy – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  3. Grinding Halt – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  4. Another Day – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  5. Object – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  6. Subway Song – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  7. Foxy Lady – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  8. Meat Hook – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  9. So What – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  10. Fire in Cairo – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  11. It’s Not You – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  12. Three Imaginary Boys – Three Imaginary Boys Album
  13. Killing an Arab – Single A-side
  14. Boys Don’t Cry – Single A-side
  15. Plastic Passion – Single B-side (Boys Don’t Cry)
  16. Pillbox Tales – Single B-side (Boys Don’t Cry Reissue)
  17. Do The Hansa – Single B-side (Boys Don’t Cry Reissue)
  18. Jumping Someone Else’s Train Single – Single A-side
  19. I’m Cold – Single B-side (Jumping Someone Else’s Train)
  20. Winter – Three Imaginary Boys Out-Take
  21. Faded Smiles (I Don’t Know) – Three Imaginary Boys Out-Take
  22. Play With Me – Three Imaginary Boys Out-Take
  23. World War – Three Imaginary Boys Out-Take
  24. 10:15 Saturday Night – Peel Session (11/12/1978)
  25. Killing an Arab – Peel Session (11/12/1978)
  26. Fire in Cairo – Peel Session (11/12/1978)
  27. Boy’s Don’t Cry – Peel Session (11/12/1978)
  28. The Weedy Burton – Three Imaginary Boys Album

Disc 2 is a deeper dive into the early years of the band, including songs that were recorded when they were still known as Easy Cure. The first four songs are, I believe, from the sessions recorded at Hansa. These show the band as a lot more of a punk band than the tunes included on ‘Three Imaginary Boys’. Opening song is ‘See The Children’ and it is easy to see why this one has never ‘officially’ seen the light of day as it tells the story of a man who prays on children. The demo that secured the band its record deal with Fiction Records is also included as well as few live tracks and another Peel Session. 

Disc 2

  1. See The Children – Easy Cure Demo
  2. Meathook – Easy Cure Demo
  3. I Just Need Myself – Easy Cure Demo
  4. I Want to be Old – Easy Cure Demo
  5. Listen (Pillbox Tales) – Easy Cure Demo
  6. I’m Cold – Sav Studio Demo
  7. The Cocktail Party – Group Home Demo
  8. Grinding Halt – Group Home Demo
  9. Heroin Face – Live At The Rocket Crawely, December 1977
  10. 10:15 Saturday Night – Robert Smith Home Demo
  11. I Just Need Myself – Psl Studio Demo
  12. Boys Don’t Cry – Chestnut Studios Demo
  13. Fire In Cairo – Chestnut Studios Demo
  14. It’s Not You – Chestnut Studios Demo
  15. 10:15 Saturday Night – Chestnut Studios Demo
  16. Killing an Arab – Demo
  17. Faded Smiles – Demo
  18. Plastic Passion – Demo
  19. Subway Song – Live
  20. Accuracy – Live
  21. 10:15 Saturday Night – Live
  22. Desperate Journalist in Ongoing Meaningful Review Situation – Peel Session (06/05/1979)
  23. Plastic Passion – Peel Session (06/05/1979)
  24. Grinding Halt – Peel Session (06/05/1979)
  25. Do the Hansa – Jensen Session (13/08/1979)
  26. Subway Song – Peel Session (06/05/1979)

It might seem a bit excessive, especially as the listener would have to listen to five different versions of ’10:15 Saturday Night’, but it is a more comprehensive package than the original Deluxe Edition from 2004. 

The front cover is the same as the one used on the 2004 Deluxe Edition reissue of the album. 

*Except for ‘Killing an Arab’. Even though it is an adaptation of ‘The Stranger’ by Albert Camus, the song has had a controversial history due to a view that is promotes violence against Arabs. The Cure have even changed the lyrics when performing it in the 21st Century to either ‘Kissing an Arab’ or ‘Killing Another’. This was not concluded on the 2004 re-release of this album. 

Various Artists – The Britpop Years Vol.5

We start this month with yet another two disc compilation of songs from the Briotpop Years.

Disc 1

  1. Breaking Into Heaven – The Stone Roses
  2. Yer Old (Young Version) – Reef
  3. Firestarter – The Prodigy
  4. Swallowed – Bush
  5. Change Me – Jocasta
  6. Does Your Mother Know – Ash
  7. Atomic – Sleeper
  8. If You Really Want To Know – Ether
  9. Travellers Tune (Original Version) – Ocean Colour Scene
  10. Sister Pain – Electrifixion
  11. Have You Seen Her Lately? – Pulp
  12. Country Salad Ballad Man – Blur
  13. High & Dry – Radiohead
  14. Blinded By The Sun – Seahorses
  15. Wild Wood (Sheared Wood Remix) – Paul Weller vs. Portishead
  16. Star – Primal Scream
  17. Whatever – Oasis

Disc 2

  1. Mysterons – Portishead
  2. Black Steel (Album Version) – Tricky
  3. Two Of Us – The Charlatans
  4. Cigarettes & Alcohol – Oasis
  5. Ciao! – Lush
  6. What A Beautiful Day – The Levellers
  7. Bluetonic – The Bluetones
  8. Mansize Rooster – Supergrass
  9. Driving South – The Stone Roses
  10. Milk  – Garbage feat. Tricky
  11. Whale – Catatonia
  12. Freeze The Atlantic – Cable
  13. Starrclub – Whiteout
  14. In The Meantime – Spacehog
  15. Tourniquet – Headswim
  16. How Can You Be Sure? – Radiohead
  17. Grassman – Dodgy
  18. No Surface All Feeling – Manic Street Preachers

The second disc could not be reproduced as one or more songs were not available on Spotify.