If you’re not a reader of The (New) Vinyl Villain then (1) you really should be, and (2) you won’t be aware of the fascinating series of Imaginary Compilation Albums that has been unfolding there over the last year and a half and a month and a bit. These are… well, the clue’s in the name. They’re usually ten tracks, usually sequenced as a notional vinyl LP, usually with a bit of commentary on each track, and since they’re hand-picked by people who know their stuff, always worth a listen.
Last summer (remember summer? Ahhhhh…), I contributed a Martha & the Muffins compilation to that series, and I think it’s a pretty solid ten-tracker, but there’s one particular track which got lost in the shuffle that I always regretted leaving out. So a bit belatedly, here it is now…
This was the only proper single release from their third LP, 1981’s This Is The Ice Age, and it’s a great single on a great album – but compared to the rest of the album it was a bit of a throwback to their earlier sound. I very much recommend This Is The Ice Age, which came out about the same time as labelmates Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark‘s acknowledged classic Architecture & Morality, and while its sound is quite different, it shares a similar icy-warm stateliness, if you know what I mean.
Here, incidentally, is the near-instrumental non-album B-side of the single:
And while we’re on the subject, here are a few more Muffins songs that weren’t even good enough to get onto an imaginary compilation album. (Hmmm… not selling these well, am I?) The first is typical of their early sound, when they could easily have been mistaken for regulars at CBGB; the second is my favourite song from the folk/country/cajun-influenced Modern Lullaby LP; and the third is an ethereal tribute to Paul Gaughin.
Link: Martha & The Muffins – Be Blasé (Trance And Dance, 1980)
Link: Martha & The Muffins – Fighting The Monster (Modern Lullaby, 1992)
Link: Martha & The Muffins – Garden In The Sky (Mystery Walk, 1984)