Call me a taxi! (Alright… you’re a taxi)

inlovewithmambotaxiHere’s a full album for you, from riot grrrl quartet Mambo Taxi. The thanks list for this album (which takes up most of the inlay card) is a wonderful catalogue of great bands of the early-to-mid 90s…. Stereolab, Th’ Faith healers, Velocity Girl, John Spencer Blues Explosion, Pram, Cornershop, Senseless Things, Prolapse, Heavenly, Huggy Bear, Transglobal Underground… and bands I’d forgotten even existed, like Killdozer and Palace Brothers. And ones I’m only guessing from context were bands: Saffron’s Daughter, Frantic Spiders, Gorgeous Space Virus, Ascoyne d’Ascoynes, Punjab Rovers… heck, who needs the music when just the acknowlegements are such a rush of nostalgia?

But here’s the music anyway.

Link: Mambo Taxi – In Love With… (password: salad)

1. Tom
2. Kiss Kiss Kiss
3. Belgian Blues
4. 2 Nice Boys
5. Happy Claire
6. (Push That) Pram (Under The Train)
7. Evangelical
8. Screaming In Public
9. Poems on the underground
10. Reasons To Live
11. Inscure
12. My Room
13. Velvet Youth




A.R.Kane revisited

As the original links are long gone from The New Vinyl Villain blog, here’s the Imaginary Compilation Album I assembled for dreampop innovators A.R.Kane. Note that the password here is NOT salad, but anitina.

Link: A.R. Kane – Is This Is? (An Imaginary Compilation Album) (password: anitina)

“Dream side”
1. Baby Milk Snatcher (EP version)
2. When You’re Sad (short version)
3. Sperm Whale Trip Over
4. The Butterfly Collector
5. Is This Dub?
“Pop side”
6. Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance) (original 12″ mix)
7. Miles Apart (Robin Guthrie mix)
8. In A Circle
9. A Love from Outer Space (John Luongo solar equinox mix)
10. Sea Like A Child (album version)

You can find the write-up here:

Undercover Cardigans

One thing that bothers me about The Cardigans‘ discography is the way that the international version of “Life” messed up the album’s concept by cherry-picking songs from the proper Swedish version of the album, and their previous long-player “Emmerdale”. The two albums have quite distinct feels (actually, all six of their studio albums have quite distinct feels): “Emmerdale” is full of gentle-sounding but quite bleak songs with cellos and woodwind and that, while “Life” is a much more “up” album full of character-driven slice-of-life songs. But the international version of “Life” just throws together a mishmash of songs from both LPs, and though “Emmerdale” was later released internationally in its original configuration, “Life” never was. So now there are two albums out there with a bunch of tracks in common, which they shouldn’t have.

Anyway, this Canadian-only EP features the re-recorded version of “Rise & Shine” from the international “Life”, along with “In The Afternoon”, also on the international “Life” but from “Emmerdale” really, plus three slowed-down cover versions of songs by Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne. Alright individually, though a bit much back-to-back, and anyway their best effort in this vein is Sabbath’s “Iron Man” from “Emmerdale”. “Mr Crowley” does offer the chance to hear the group’s menfolk doing a cappella harmonies though.

Bafflingly, on Allmusic, it says that this EP contains a unique re-recording of “Rise & Shine”, though nobody else seems to think it does. It certainly sounds like the “Life” recording to me.

Link: The Cardigans – Under The Covers EP (password: salad)

1. Rise & Shine
2. The Boys Are Back In Town
3. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
4. Mr. Crowley
5. In The Afternoon


It wasn’t fifty years ago today, as it turns out

My friend Eloise is 50 today. For a long time, I thought she was named after this song, until I checked the date and realised it came out in the autumn of 1968. So she wasn’t. And neither was her twin sister Jesamine. (No, she doesn’t really have a twin sister called Jesamine.)

Link: Barry Ryan – Eloise

And here are a couple of later versions…

Link: The Damned – Eloise
Link: The Associates – Eloise

More Pizzicato Five

I don’t update this blog very often anymore, but in case you’ve surfed in from the link on The New Vinyl Villain today, I’ve hastily thrown together some bonus Pizzicato Five stuff that was in the running for the Imaginary Compilation Album but didn’t make it for one reason or another.

Link: Pizzicato Five – Twiggy Twiggy

This is one of the P5 songs that’s turned up as background music for TV and film, and might therefore elicit a vague sense of recognition. I considered throwing it in for that reason, but ultimately decided to avoid anything that appeared in the same form on “Made In USA”, so it was disqualified on those grounds.

Link: Pizzicato Five – Triste (string quartet version)

I flip-flopped for a long time over whether to use this or the standard version of “Triste” on the ICA. I think the standard version is the right choice, but you might still like to hear this one.

Link: Pizzicato Five – Baby Portable Rock

A bright, catchy tune but in the end a bit too similar in style to “Happy Sad”.

Link: Pizzicato Five – The International Playboy And Playgirl Beats

This “big beat”-ish instrumental mix of “Playboy Playgirl” nearly replaced “Darlin’ Of Discotheque” in the “overly long instrumental” slot, but simply wasn’t overly long enough.

And if you like “The Night Is Still Young”, there’s also a previous post here that features thirteen versions of it.

Doctor Who Christmas Special


Let it snow, in strictly limited quantities

Is it just me, or did Cocteau Twins always have a bit of a wintery vibe about them? In any case, in 1993 they put this pair of cover versions out as a very limited edition. Limited because they didn’t want to accidentally have a big hit with it and for this to be the single that everybody would know them for, forevermore. Probably wise.

Link: Cocteau Twins – Winter Wonderland
Link: Cocteau Twins – Frosty The Snowman

A Christmas Gift To You From Sub Pop

Icombustibleedisonn 1993, Sub Pop, then probably the coolest record label on the planet, sent their mailing list a Christmas card with a CD inside. I’m guessing that had this CD contained material by one of Sub Pop’s alt-rock signings, most obviously Nirvana, but Sebadoh or Afghan Whigs would do at a pinch, this CD would probably change hands nowadays for a lot more money than it actually does. As it is, less than ten dollars will secure you a copy, probably with the card itself attached too. It seems lounge revivalists Combustible Edison just aren’t that collectible…

Anyway, here are the two tracks featured on that CD. Well, they were given away for free in the first place, after all. Apparently, “Christmas Time Is Here” is a seasonal standard in the USA, but I’d never heard of it, and until I looked into the story of Combustible Edison last year, I’d assumed it was an original song. How wrong I was… Wikipedia lists a whole heap of other versions, noticeably all by North Americans. We just don’t have that song in the UK. I think the Charlie Brown christmas special which introduced it in 1965, may have been shown here at nine in the morning once in 1991.

Link: Combustible Edison – Christmas Time Is Here

Anyway, “Christmas Time Is Here” is the less interesting of the two tracks. Much better is their inventive arrangement of “Sleigh Ride”. We in the UK do know “Sleigh Ride”, mainly through the Ronettes version, but Combustible Edison’s version is a pleasing contrast to Phil Spector‘s wall of sound. A surprisingly minimal arrangement (no strings or brass in this version) and seemingly delivered with a determination not to maintain the same combination of instruments for more than eight bars in a row, it fairly breezes along and even survives the uncharacteristic cheesiness of the brief vocal interjections (“Giddy up!”). Delightful.

Link: Combustible Edison – Sleigh Ride

Old Art Riot

Punk silliness with The Rezillos from 1977…

Link: The Rezillos – (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (single version)
Link: The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack

Up, up and away

This is the “Jamscraper” mix of “Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You” by Underworld, with the snappily-titled “Mmm…Skyscraper I Love You (After Sky Id6 1551 2)” (basically, a demo version of the coda from the standard single/LP mix) edited onto the end for 14 minutes of… stuff.

Link: Underworld – Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You (Jamscraper / After Sky Id6 1551 2)