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. No Time – Whiteout
  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’. 

Radiohead – OK Computer (Redesigned)

I didn’t realise until putting this entry together that Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ was a bit of a Marmite album. Either touted as one of the greatest or most overrated albums of all time, it was for a time the only Radiohead album I owned. I had tried getting into Radiohead after hearing ‘Creep’ for the first time, but ‘Pablo Honey’, the album from which that song was taken did not inspire me to buy anything else at the time. This began to change once some of the songs that were on their second album, ‘The Bends’ started appearing on compilation albums I bought at the time. ‘High & Dry’, ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, ‘Just’ and ‘Street Spirt (Fade Out)’ all made it onto mix tapes from the time but the parent album would have to wait until it was re-released on vinyl about twenty years after the event for me to take the plunge and buy it. There were no such qualms with ‘OK Computer’ though. 

I’m not sure if it was ‘Paranoid Android’ or ‘Karma Police’ that made me feel that this album could be a welcome addition to the Squire Archives, but in it came and what an experience it was. It sounded like a complete album, and not a couple of great singles tagged with some substandard filler. This was prog rock for the 90s. It also signalled the death nail for the ‘Britpop’ movement as this complex style of writing and arranging would influence many acts that produced music over the following years.

I had not played ‘OK Computer’ as a whole for many years. What brought the album back to my attend was reports that a number of MIniDiscs that had belonged to Thom Yorke had been stolen. The story went that the band were contacted by the owner of the sound files and threatened with the whole lot being made available on line without a payment being made. If this happened or not is neither here nor there, but the band decided to officially release the music for a short period of time. In return, the band asked the buyers to donate to Extinction Rebellion. 

So, being a huge fan of the record, I duly paid my money and slowly made my way through the files. Luckily, fans online published playlists for these discs but it took an age to edit them down into individual songs and then listen to them through. Even though the majority of it was not worth even one listen, there was some great outtakes that had not been officially released before and it does beg the question, why not? Picking up a copy of the OKNOTOK 19972017 edition of ‘OK Computer’, I wondered if I could put together an alternative version of the record. 

What I did was to only use songs that I had not used on other compilations elsewhere. I would also add songs that had either been used as B-Sides or previously unreleased. The rest would be made up of different versions (and in some respects, the differences are negligible) of the songs that would make up rest of the record. I did delete ‘Lucky’, a song I do like but never thought that it fitted in with the rest of ‘OK Computer’. That could be down to the fact that I first heard it on the ‘Help’ Charity album from 1995. Personal taste I suppose. 

Unlike the majority of my posts, this is designed for CD length instead of vinyl. The original link that the band posted to donate to Extinction Rebellion still works if you fancy making a donation.

  1. Motion Picture Soundtrack (Solo Piano)
  2. Airbag (Unmastered Album Version)
  3. Paranoid Android (Late Mix)
  4. Subterranean Homesick Alien (Late/Final Version 3 – Different Intro)
  5. Exit Music (Late Mix)
  6. Let Down (Thom 4-Track)
  7. Karma Police (Unmastered Album Version)
  8. Polyethylene – Part 2 (Late Mix w/Vocal Effect)
  9. How I Made My Millions (Single B-Side)
  10. Lull Single (B-Side)
  11. What Do You Mean (Take 2)
  12. Attention (Thom 4-Track)
  13. Fitter Happier (Solo Piano Demo)
  14. Electioneering (Unmastered Album Version)
  15. Climbing Up Walls (Unmastered Album Version)
  16. No Surprises (Late Mix, Original Speed)
  17. Lift (Alternative Version, Mix #1)
  18. Man Of War (OKNOTOK Version) 
  19. The Tourist (Unmastered Album Version 3)

For the cover of this compilation, I used one that was produced on SkillShare for a project to come up with a alternative sleeve.

Various Artists – Lost Alternatives Part 2 (The Other Lost Alternatives)

You really know when you are getting on a bit when the music of your youth becomes the subject of box set retrospectives, containing rare tracks, forgotten artists and the odd unreleased song. Between 2019 and 2021, there were three of these looking at the British music scene in the 1990s. These were ‘Steve Lamacq – Lost Alternatives’ (2019), ’Martin Green Presents: Super Sonics – 40 Junkshop Britpop Greats’ (2020), ’Caught Beneath The Landslide (The Other Side Of Britpop And The ‘90s (2021)’. These were jam packed with names I remember but loads that I did not. What I have been surprised about is that there has not been a second volume.

I thought I would see if I could produce my own box set following a similar template laid out by the ‘Lost Alternatives ’ by choosing tracks from the whole decade, but I would not be allowed to use any songs from the three compilations above*. I would also not be allowed to any songs that I have placed on any of the compilation or lost albums that I am posting or already posted this year. I also could not use the same artist more than once (unless guesting with someone else). This did prove to be a bit of a challenge but this is what I came up with. 

Some of the more well known names represented with rare tracks such as B-Sides. I have also looked to include only bands from the British Isles, even though the odd interloper will make an appearance. Steve Lamacq also had nothing to do with this either. 

Disc 1

  1. Heavenly Pop Hit – The Chills
  2. Rollercoaster – The Jesus & Mary Chain
  3. 13th Disciple  – Five Thirty
  4. Kinky Love – Pale Saints
  5. Inertia – Blur
  6. Dogs With No Tails – The Pale
  7. Which Way Should I Jump? – Milltown Brothers
  8. Twiggy Twiggy – Pizzicato Five
  9. Here’s Where The Story Ends – The Sundays
  10. Alternative Title – Carter, The Unstoppable Sex Machine
  11. Funny How – Airhead
  12. Touched By The Hand Of Cicciolina – Pop Will Eat Itself
  13. Yr Own World – The Blue Aeroplanes
  14. Obscurity Knocks – The Trash Can Sinatra’s
  15. Cherry-Coloured Funk – Cocteau Twins
  16. Gimmie Some Truth – The Wonder Stuff
  17. Flying – The Telescopes
  18. Sweetness & Light (Demo) – Lush
  19. Leave The All Behind – Ride

Disc 2

  1. Unstable – Flamingoes
  2. If I Can’t Change Your Mind – Sugar
  3. Judy Over The Rainbow – Orange
  4. Dream – Pooka
  5. Lowdown – Elextrafixation
  6. Without Doubt – Mantaray
  7. City Sickness – Tindersticks
  8. Girl At The Bus Stop – My Drug Hell
  9. Kent – Salad
  10. Still Hanging Around – AutoPop
  11. Every Day – Brianpool
  12. Halo – Girl Of The Year
  13. What’s What We’ll Do – The Poppies
  14. Not Even Starcrossed – Telstar Ponies
  15. In The Groove Again – Out Of My Hair
  16. Undecided – Shack
  17. So Glad (Album Version) – Thrum
  18. White Love (Radio Mix) – One Dove
  19. Souvlaki Space Station – Slowdrive
  20. (Come On, Join) The High Society – These Animal Men
  21. Kenuwee Head – Voodoo Queens

Disc 3

  1. Who’s That Girl – The Mystics
  2. Disco Hell – The Candyskins
  3. Go Go Pepper – Tip Top Planets
  4. Lewis Brightworth – Thurman
  5. Seems You’ve Missed Sunday – The Weekenders
  6. Out Of The Void – Grass Show
  7. Sucrose – The Delgados
  8. Spice Girls (Who Do You Think You Are?) – Period Pains
  9. Teenage Girl Crush – Angelica
  10. Mail Monarchy – Compulsion
  11. Stand Up – Lick
  12. Me & Mr Lonely – Pimlico
  13. Working On A Beautiful Thing – The Pooh Sticks
  14. Fear Of Flying – Ruth
  15. The Milkman – Mice
  16. Strawberries & Cream – Boutique
  17. Sex & Cheques – Jolt
  18. Kylie & Jason – Midget
  19. Ignoramus (Alternative Version) – Baby Chaos
  20. Ecstacy – Deluxor
  21. Strength – Comet Gain
  22. Loves A Cliché – The Karelia
  23. I’m In Love – Taxi Driver
  24. Twist – Arnold
  25. Alfie – Don
  26. Welsh Bands Suck – Teen Anthems

Disc 4

  1. Heavens Above – Hillman Minx
  2. Say Something – The Smiles
  3. I Messiah, Am Jailer – AC Acoustics
  4. Overthrown – Labido
  5. I Was Starving Hungry (In Tesco’s) – Mogul
  6. Hot Topic – Le Tigre
  7. Daria – Chicks
  8. Girlie Pop – Pop Tarts
  9. Super Sexy Razor Happy Girls – Mika Bomb
  10. Spyder – Jetsons
  11. The Wee Wee Song – Girlfriendo
  12. Ray Liotta – Linoleum
  13. Jediwannabie – Bellatrix
  14. Killing The Bland – Prolapse
  15. Dirty Weekend – The Dandys
  16. The Hymn For The Cigarettes – Hefner
  17. Sweeping The Nation – Spearmint
  18. The Book Lovers – Broadcast
  19. Looking For Sparks – Seafruit
  20. Shirley Wall – Doberman
  21. Better Made – Head-swim
  22. Baby Come On – Spacemaid
  23. Disco 2000 (Original Mix) – The Lance Gambit Trio

The cover is adapted from one used for a Spotify playlist which represented tracks that didn’t quite make the ‘Lost Alternatives’ four CD box set. 

*I suspect that I will have doubled up on at least one song.

Supergrass – Wait Tor The Sun (B-Sides Collection)

Oasis in their mid 90s pomp always boasted that some of their best songs were relegated to the B-Sides of their singles and a collection of these flip sides were collected together on ‘The Masterplan’ compilation which was released in 1998. Taking a look at the other big hitters from the era, Oasis were the only band to do this (as far as I can tell) so I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if there was enough material from some of these other bands to do the same. This is the first of these B-Sides Collections and it is the mighty Supergrass that get this honour.   

These date from their first releases on Parlophone in 1995 up until the last album of the decade in 1999. Unlike their standard albums, there are a couple of covers on here. The title takes it name from ‘Wait For The Sun’, one of the B-Sides from the ‘Lenny’ single. An awesome song and such a shame that it was relegated to a B-Side. 

Side A

  1. Believer (Moving – 1999)
  2. Nothing More’s Gonna Get In My Way (Richard III – 1997)
  3. Condition (Alright – 1995)
  4. Melanie Davis (Going Out – 1996)
  5. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (Sun Hits The Sky – 1997)
  6. Faraway (Acoustic Version) (Moving – 1999)

Side B

  1. We Still Need More (Than Anyone Can Give) (Late In The Day – 1997)
  2. What A Shame (Pumping On Your Stereo – 1999)
  3. Lucky (No Fear) (Pumping On Your Stereo – 1999)
  4. 20ft Halo (Richard III – 1997)
  5. Odd? (Mansize Rooster – 1995)
  6. Wait For The Sun (Lenny – 1995)

The sleeve is adapted from the Hollywood Bowl 2003 bootleg, with a slight change to the graphics. A nice pastiche of The Beatles Second album cover, ‘With The Beatles’.

Kate Bush – The EP’s

Kate Bush has been one of the most innovative and eclectic songwriters of the last 50 years. She was an innovator because she moved away from conventional instrumentation, being one of the earliest exponents of the Fairlight CMI sampler. She was one of the first people to use a headset wireless microphone so her hands would be free during the choreographed dance sequences of her one and only concert tour. She was also the first female artist to achieve a number one hit single in the UK charts with a songs that she had written herself. None of her original albums have failed to break the top ten in the UK charts, and her singles have also achieved high chart status on a regular basis. Not bad for someone who has only released two albums this century. 

As is my want at this time of year, I have decided to put together a Christmas themed what-if release, and as this is the season of good will, I have added a second one for good measure. The first is a selection of recordings Kate Bush has completed that have a Christmas theme. There aren’t many different songs that could have been included here and three versions of the same song might be overkill, but they are all different so I am sure the Kate Bush completist would like it.  

‘December Will Be Magic Again’ in its original studio version was recorded in 1979 but not released until a year later. It was a Top 30 hit in the UK and did a lot better in Ireland. This is followed by ‘Home For Christmas’ which originally appeared in the Comic Strip Presents film, ‘Wild Turkey’. It then appeared on the B-Side of the UK single ‘Moment of Pleasure’ which came out in 1993. She also privately pressed a number of these on a 3” CD single (anyone remember these?) which were sent out as a Christmas card. We end Side A with a non Christmas song, but it did feature in the Kate Bush Christmas Special that was broadcast in 1979. It was written as an introduction to guest Peter Gabriel and was performed as a three part harmony with her brother Paddy and Glenys Groves. Side B has two more versions of ‘December Will Be Magic Again’. The first is from the aforementioned Christmas Special and was performed live with Kevin McAlea on Keyboards, with Kate on piano and vocals. The last song is the bongo mix of ‘December Will Be Magic Again’ which has, as far as I can tell, not appeared on a Kate Bush released but has found a home on Christmas compilation albums down the years. 

The Christmas EP

Side A

  1. December Will Be Magic Again
  2. Home For Christmas
  3. The Angel Gabriel (Kate – Christmas Special 1979)

Side B

  1. December Will Be Magic Again (Kate – Christmas Special 1979)
  2. December Will Be Magic Again (Bongo Mix)

The second EP complies folk songs that Kate Bush has released. I was quite surprised that she had covered any at all, considering that she has focused mostly on her own compositions. The opening song was released in 1996 for a compilation album ‘Common Ground – Voices of Modern Irish Music’. Bush herself was born in England but her mother was from Ireland and said that he mother helped out with the recording as she is not a speaker of the Irish language. She had to learn it phonetically before laying down her recording. The song itself tells of a woman that represents Ireland, and is given over her gifts (such as cattle, her land and even herself) to the cruel English and wondering why Irish men do nothing to defend her. 

The second might be pushing it a bit as being a folk song, because it is not a traditional song like the others on this disc, but was written by Donovan for his ‘HMS Donovan’ album. Donovan may well have started off as a folk singer but quickly morphed into something distinctively more psychedelic. ‘HMS Donovan’ was his second album directed at children and did draw on traditional folk songs, poems and hymns. Bush covered the song for the B Side of her ‘Sat In Your Lap’ from 1981. 

Side B starts with another Irish folk song, ‘My Lagan Love’. The Lagan might refer to the river of the same name that runs through Belfast or a stream that flows into Lough Swilly in County Donegal. ‘The Handsome Cabin Boy’ is another traditional folk song which refers to girls impersonating sailors and heading off for a life at sea. This was released on the B-Side of the ‘Hounds of Love’ single in 1986. Even though this is a traditional song, some pressings of this single credited Bush as the sole writer of the song, instead of the trad arr. by credit you’d expect. It is a shame Kate Bush did not release more traditional songs as she had an excellent voice for interpreting this style of music. 

The Folk EP

Side A

  1. Mna Na H’Éireann (Women Of Ireland)
  2. Lord Of The Ready River

Side B

  1. My Lagan Love
  2. The Handsome Cabin Boy

Elvis Orbison – Almost Beatle Songs

I loaded up YouTube a little while back for my daily dose of new content by one of the creators I subscribe to and found that the algorithm had decided that I liked The Beatles. This is true, but this was something a bit different. The video was called “ABANDONED: This Beatles Jam Was Almost A Masterpiece Pt.1” on a channel called ‘almost beatle songs’. What I got when I clicked on it was some video of the band from the 1969 ‘Get Back’ sessions playing an unreleased/unfinished song called “Watching Rainbows”. The narrator talked about the similarities between it another Beatles song called ‘I’ve Got A Feeling”. The lyric watching rainbows had also been used in a Bee Gees song called ‘Morning Of My Life” which had been recorded in 1968 by Mary Hopkin, who was signed to The Beatles record label, Apple. The video teased that the song could have been a masterpiece if the band had worked on it a bit more and finished it off. Well, the people who produced the video decided to do just that. 

How do you finish off a Beatles song from over 50 years earlier? Well, this story goes back early 1969 when The Beatles met up at Twickenham Film Studio to rehearse material for a potential live concert. It was decided that they would only play new material. Having only just finished the sessions to ‘The Beatles (White Album)’ just over two months previously, there was a dearth of new material. It had also been decided that a film crew would be on hand to record the rehearsals as part of a TV documentary, culminating in the aforementioned live concert. The soundtrack of the film was recorded on two mono Nagra tape recorders. At some point in the 1970’s, these tapes were stolen from The Beatles archive and become a source of numerous bootlegs throughout the years. It was also a treasure trove for Beatles archeologists to hear the band working on new material, some of which never went further than a one off play through. 

So taking these unfinished tracks, using different parts from different takes and in some cases, slicing in some other unreleased material from the sessions, the people behind the channel recorded a more realised take of the song than The Beatles every did. Whilst the video of the song played, dates would appear on the screen showing which date that particular section was taken from. Over the next year, they would release a number of other songs that they had interpreted and it is a selection of these that I present today. 

Side 1

  1. How Do You Tell Someone?
  2. Rambling Woman
  3. I Lost My Little Girl
  4. Suicide
  5. There You Are, Eddie
  6. Watching Rainbows (Melody Version)
  7. Taking A Trip To Carolina

Side 2

  1. Madman
  2. Pillow For Your Head
  3. Child Of Nature
  4. Window Window
  5. Case Of The Blues
  6. Woman
  7. All I Want Is You

All I Want Is You (Lennon)

The original recording sounds nothing more than the band warming up in the studio. Not a lost classic by any stretch of the imagination but this version takes elements of ‘Hey Jude’ and because of this, it finishes the set off nicely.

A Case Of The Blues (Lennon)

As far as I can tell, this was not presented to The Beatles as a song to record during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions, but predates it by about a year. That does not mean it wouldn’t find a home here. The Beatles would resurrect all sorts of songs during these sessions including ‘One After 909” which was one of the earliest songs Lennon and McCartney wrote together. 

Child Of Nature (Lennon)

Inspired by a lecture given by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during The Beatles’ stay in India, early in 1968. The song was demoed for ‘The Beatles’ and played during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions. The melody and the tune were kept but the lyrics would be completely changed before being released on Lennon’s 1971 ‘Imagine’ album. 

How Do You Tell Someone? (Harrison)

A quick run through of this song was as far as The Beatles got with this George Harrison song. 

I Lost My Little Girl (McCartney)

McCartney says that this was one of the first songs he ever wrote on a guitar in around 1956. It was played during there ‘Let It Be’ sessions with John Lennon on lead vocals. The version presented here is a lot darker than the Buddy Holly inspired track that McCartney himself would perform on his “Unplugged’ performance in 1991. 

Madman (Lennon)

Attempted at least twice during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions, the song shares certain similarities to another Lennon song, ‘Mean Mr Mustard’.

Pillow For Your Head (McCartney)

Performed twice during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions, this was never attempted again. The folks over at Almost Beatle Songs needed to have an educated guess as to what some of the lyrics were on this one as the original recording, his vocals are really hard to hear. 

Rambling Woman (Harrison)

On the original recording, this sounds like George Harrison is doing his best Bob Dylan impression. 

Suicide (McCartney)

Another McCartney song that dates from the 1950’s, he is said to have offered it to Frank Sinatra to record but with a title such as this, it would seem that Blue Eyes decided to pass. 

Taking a Trip To Carolina (Starkey)

Unlike the original ‘Let It Be’ album, we have included a song written by Ringo. The original snippet of this song was included on the ‘Fly On The Wall’ bonus disc which was included on the ‘Let It Be…Naked’ album from 2003

There You Are, Eddie (McCartney)

McCartney wrote a song about his dog Martha for the ‘The Beatles’ album. As far as I can tell, this was written about his other dog called Eddie. 

Watching Rainbows (Lennon/McCartney)

The tune is similar to ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ and some of the improvised lyrics hark back to ‘I Am The  Walrus’. 

Window Window (Harrison)

Harrison once again channels his inner Dylan with a bit of Simon and Garfunkel thrown in. Seemingly inspired by his marriage to Patti Boyd. 

Woman (McCartney)

A song that did make it out of the sessions, four years before it was played at the ‘Let It Be’ sessions. McCartney had given this song away to Peter & Gordon but insisted that the writing credit would be for Webb as he wanted to see if the duo would have a hit with a song that was not obviously written by Lennon/McCartney. 

I decided that fourteen songs was the correct amount of songs to include here as the majority of The Beatles UK albums had this number of tracks. There is also a nice balance between the amount of songs the three main songwriters get, including one from Ringo to boot. Listening to these songs lifts the lid on an alternative ‘Let It Be’ album. All songs credited to the member of the band who wrote it. You can find more of the songs recorded by this collective on the aforementioned almost beatles songs YouTube account (, bandcamp ( listed under Elvis Orbison on Spotify as well as their own site ( Elvis Orbison is the name used by musician Brett Lyda to complete this project. 

The Beach Boys – Our New Home

Last month I put together a version of Dennis Wilson’ ‘Hubba Hubba’ album, I wondered if there enough material to put together an album that The Beach Boys could have put out in either late 1974 or sometime in 1975. I have picked this time because after the band released in ‘Holland’ in 1973, they did not release another record of new material until 1976 when they put out ’15 Big Ones’.  What happened in those three years. Well, as was noted last month, they did try to record some new material in 1974 but these sessions went nowhere. The release of the ‘Endless Summer’ compilation meant that the band started to focus more on touring. Murray Wilson, father to the Wilson brothers passed away in 1973 and Brian retreated into his bedroom to abuse drugs and over eat. With all of these factors, the creativity of the band disappeared and the great run of albums they had been making was derailed. 

So what if the record company had demanded a new album? Well, the band did not seem keen to return to the studio so what about an LP of outtakes. As it turns out, there was plenty of material to put together a double, but I felt that a single would be more appropriate. The album also shows how far musical styles had changed. ‘Soulful Old Man Sunshine’ and ‘Loop De Loop (Flip Flop Flyin’ In An Aeroplane)’ bely their late 1960s origins. The album runs in an almost chronological order and if the record company wanted to put out a single from this release, the best song to fit the bill (in my opinion) is ‘Hard Time’. I decided that ‘Loop De Loop (Flip Flop Flyin’ In An Aeroplane)’ would have been an appropriate B-Side. There isn’t any Dennis Wilson material because all of his unreleased material is on the aforementioned ‘Hubba Hubba’ released. 

What were are left with is a good album, showing that the band were keeping some quality material in the archive. Its not a classic but what album of unreleased material is. I do believe that this is a better record than any the band released in real life after ‘Holland’. 

Out In The Country (Version 2 Edit)

Two songs were recorded with the same name. One is an instrumental but this version is a vocals only. It would eventually be released as part of the 1972 sessions CD in the ‘Sail On Sailor’ Box Set. I edited out the studio chatter at the start and then edited the end so that it faded out. 

Soulful Old Man Sunshine

Recorded late 1969, this one of the many songs recorded for the ‘Sunflower’ album which did not make the cut. It remained in the vaults until it came out in 1998 on the ‘Endless Harmony’ compilation. It was said to have been include on the 1993 Box Set, ‘Good Vibrations – Thirty Years of The Beach Boys’ but it was vetoed for this by Carl Wilson. This was because he fluffed his lines somewhat, singing ‘shunshine’ instead of ‘sunshine’.  

H.E.L.P. Is On The Way

There can’t be many songs out there that have the word enema mentioned in the lyrics. It also mentions the Radiant Radish, a West Hollywood health food shop once owned (and sometimes manned) by Brian Wilson. Wilson could be seen serving in the shop wearing a dressing gown and pyjamas as he usually opened the shop up when he could be bothered, normally at night. The subject matter of the song deals with Wilson’s self-image and eating problems. The song was recorded during the ‘Surf’s Up’ sessions but would first see the light of day on the ‘Good Vibrations – Thirty Years of The Beach Boys’ box set. 

Games Two Can Play

The lyrics refer to Joe South and his recording of ‘Games People Play’, but we can only speculate as to what songwriter Brian Wilson meant by games two can play. He once again refers to his weight by saying he is as fat as a cow. This and the previous song on this collection were slated to appear on the unreleased 1977 album, ‘Adult/Child’. The song was recorded during the ‘Sunflower’ sessions but would first see the light of day on the ‘Good Vibrations – Thirty Years of The Beach Boys’ box set

Sweet & Bitter

The song was recorded during the ‘Surf’s Up’ sessions and would first see the light of day on the ‘Feel Flows – The Sunflower & Surf’s Up Sessions’ box set. 

It’s Natural

The song was recorded during the ‘Surf’s Up’ sessions and would first see the light of day on the ‘Feel Flows – The Sunflower & Surf’s Up Sessions’ box set.

Won’t You Tell Me

The song was recorded during the ‘Surf’s Up’ sessions and would first see the light of day on the ‘Feel Flows – The Sunflower & Surf’s Up Sessions’ box set.

Oh Sweet Something

It would be released as part of the 1972 sessions CD in the ‘Sail On Sailor’ Box Set.

Hard Time

The song was recorded during the ‘Holland’ sessions and would first see the light of day on the ‘Sail On Sail – 1972’ box set.

We Got Love

Recorded for the ‘Holland’ album and it did make the track listing until Reprise, the band’s record label at this time decided that the recorded did not have a hit single on it. This song made way for ‘Sail On Sailor’. However, there was a mispress in Germany and a small number of copies with the  original track listing came out. It would eventually be officially released in 2016 as a bonus track on the SACD version of the ‘Holland’ album. 

Where Is She?

There is a resemblance between this song and ‘She’s Leaving Home’ by The Beatles. The song was recorded during the ‘Sunflower’ sessions and would first see the light of day on the ‘Made In California’ box set.

Seasons In The Sun

Recorded prior to the release of the more famous version by Terry Jacks, this song is a reflection by the narrator of the life he has lived and those who spent their time with him. Originally written by Jacques Brel, Jacks rewrote the lyrics and was called into to produce The Beach Boys version. Mike Love said the band didn’t like their version, stating that it was the wrong song for them.  The song was recorded during the ‘Surf’s Up’ sessions and would first see the light of day on the ‘Feel Flows – The Sunflower & Surf’s Up Sessions’ box set.

Loop De Loop (Flip Flop Flyin’ In An Aeroplane)

The song started out as a demo by Carl and Brian Wilson which was recorded for the ’20/20’ sessions in 1969. Al Jardine decided to rework the song, added all sorts of instrumentation and special effects. Jardine was not happy with the vocals and the song remained in the vaults until finally being released with a new vocal on 1998 ‘Endless Harmony’ compilation. This is the original 1969 mix. 

Side A

  1. Out In The Country (Version 2 Edit)
  2. Soulful Old Man Sunshine
  3. H.E.L.P. Is On The Way
  4. Games Two Can Play
  5. Sweet & Bitter
  6. It’s Natural
  7. Won’t You Tell Me

Side B

  1. Oh Sweet Something
  2. Hard Time
  3. We Got Love
  4. Where Is She?
  5. Seasons In The Sun

Single B-Side

Loop De Loop (Flip Flop Flyin’ In An Aeroplane)

I have tried to use as close to the original mix as possible because some of these songs have have updated mixes on recent compilations. 

The cover and title come from Reddit under, Circlonta6a who made a number alternative sleeves for Beach Boy records. 

Pink Floyd – Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (Alternative Version)

As I come to the end of my year of Psychedelic playlists, I thought I would throw a reimagined version of one of the great psych albums. That is ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’, the debut album from Pink Floyd. This was the only album to include original guitar player and main songwriter, Syd Barrett when at the hight of his powers. His tenure in the band was short lived, which if you have seen the recent ‘Have You Got It Yet?” film could have been down to a personality disorder exasperated by his drug intake. The album could only have come out in the late 60s, with its songs covering subjects such as the I-Chang, gnomes, bikes and with references to children’s literature. The psychedelic jams are also very much of their time. 

With the Floyd over the past ten years or so finally given the archives a bit of a clear out, it was nice to see what there was to come up with an album that was in my opinion all killer and no filler. That meant including the single A-Sides of ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’. Singles at this time were, for the most part, were left off of albums but not always. There is the exclusive B-Side of ‘Arnold Layne’ as well to consider. ‘Candy and a Current Bun’ was originally known as ‘Let’s Roll Another One’. The lyrics and title were changed after pressure from the record company due to their overt references to drugs. It didn’t stop Barrett from including the word ‘Fuck’ in the re-recording in such a way that it was missed by everyone not listening closely enough. For this what-if album, that originally version is included here and is the one song on this compilation that the Floyd have not released officially. Why not I ask, considering a recording of it does still exist and has been present on bootlegs, in edited form. The instrumental middle section always seems to be missing form the persons I have heard. 

I have always found Pink Floyd’s psychedelic noodling became a little tedious after a couple of listens and ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ is no acceptation. Due to the additional tracks, but wanting something to compliment ‘For R. Too H.” I thought about editing down ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ to a more manageable length but on the 40th Anniversary of ‘Piper At The Gates of Dawn’ from 2007, there were a couple of different versions. The ‘French Edit’ fades out but ‘Take 6’ is complete so I used this instead. It doesn’t have the awesome ending the original LP version has but in this case less is more. I have also included an alternative version of ‘Matilda Mother’ which has completely different lyrics.

The rest of the album is as you were, even though I suspect to get the most out of this release, all the songs would have to have been released in mono. 

Side 1

  1. stronomy Domine
  2. Lucifer Sam
  3. Chapter 24
  4. See Emily Play
  5. Flaming
  6. Pow R. Toc H.

Side 2

  1. Arnold Layne
  2. Interstellar Overdrive (Take 6)
  3. The Gnome
  4. Let’s Roll Another One
  5. The Scarecrow
  6. Matilda Mother (Alternative Version)
  7. Bike 

The cover was one that I came across online but did not make a note of who the creator was. Whoever you are, thank you especially as this is considerably more psychedelic than the one the original album had.