The Brit Box | Nonexistent Bonus EP

Rulebritania
Brit Box Week ends (finally) with just a few more bands. This is it I swear. I really meant to include The Frank & Walters on Disc 6 but realized I’d left them off after I’d published. One might think I could’ve just tacked it onto the end, but I bothered to not only put the songs in rough chronological order on the page but also changed the mp3 tags so that they would be in that order as an "album." That I stopped short of making album art shows I know I’m a bit obsessive sometimes… and also general restraint on my part.

So six more tracks from bands who coulda shoulda been on Rhino’s fine four-disc Brit Box. (Any more songs and it would’ve moved into mini-LP territory.) Together with the tracks post here this week you’ve got a pretty complete picture of guitar-based indie-ish music made in the UK from 1985 – 2000 that I would consider worth hearing. Could there be more qualifiers in that sentence? But you need it to figure out the what connects the Shop Assistants, Birdland, Nick Heyward and Hurricane #1. Even that doesn’t explain the dance pop of Saint Etienne, given the criteria the rest of the box seems to be made from, apart from they really exude British-ness and are brilliant. Which I guess is reason enough to break the rules.

MP3: The Dentists – Strawberries are Growing in My Garden

Quintessential cult indie band with their first and best-known song. Find a Dentists’ CD (or 7" single) in someone’s collection and you know they’re more than you’re average music fan. It also probably means they’re over 30.

MP3: Close Lobsters – Let’s Make Some Plans

This song might be better known for the Wedding Present’s cover (b-side to "California," compiled on Hit Parade 1) but the Close Lobsters were one of the best "C-86" bands and if you come across any of their three releases, you should pick them up.

MP3
: The Mock Turtles – Can You Dig It?

The other well-known group on Imaginary Records along with Cud, who appeared on nearly all the label’s many tribute records of that time. (There were a lot of them.) The Mock Turtles were also lumped in with the Madchester scene, though they were more of the earlier jangly side than the rave-y groups. Factoid: Singer Martin is the older brother of comedian Steve Coogan.

MP3: World of Twist – The Storm

I first heard of these Mancunians because they’re namechecked in Saint Etienne’s "London Belongs to Me." I bought their sole album, Quality Street, on that alone and I can’t say that I loved the album (I sold it at some point when I was poor) but "The Storm" is probably World of Twist’s highpoint.

MP3: The Frank and Walters – Fashion Crisis Hits New York

Irish trio signed to Setanta Records, home of Edwyn Collins, the Divine Comedy and A House. Barely got anything released in America but they remain tuneful, charming and unassuming to this day. This was their first single, rerecorded and released more than twice, but I prefer the original.

MP3: Salad – Motorbike to Heaven

I know very little about Salad, apart from their singer, Marijne van der Vlugt, was Dutch. But I’ve always liked their single "Motorbike to Heaven." Thanks to Heather for hooking me up with this.

Buy Rhino’s Brit Box

The Brit Box: Nonexistent Disc Five

The Brit Box: Nonexistent Disc Six

10 Comments

  1. weren't salad lumped in with the new wave of new wave scene…along with echobelly? Marijne van der Vlugt was also an MTV vj in UK. Ok, I've depleted my knowledge of salad now.

  2. interesting that disk 6 has three hannett-produced tracks in a row (box set go, dreamtime, quick as rainbows). put the world of twist's cover of "she's a rainbow," and swap "w.f.l." for "step on" and you're really onto something.
    some interesting omissions, considering the number of crap songs, bands outside the time, small indie pressings and other irrelevancies on the box set, much less your lists:
    1. real people – windowpane
    2. tindersticks – city sickness (inexplicable that they were left off)
    3. gallon drunk – bedlam
    4. wendys – the sun's gonna shine for me soon
    5. miaow – when it all comes down (as seminal a tune to britpop as anything by the shop assistants)
    6. northside – take 5
    7. dubstar – stars
    8. black grape – the reverend black grape
    9. jennifers – just got back today
    10. beta band – dry the rain (same year as spiritualized, so shut up)
    11. chemical brothers – life is sweet (as guitar-y as st. etienne)
    12. denim – back in denim
    13. love and rockets – it's all in my mind
    14. a.r. kane – when you're sad
    15. monaco – what do you want from me?
    16. new fast automatic daffodils – get better
    17. one dove – why don't you take me?
    18. robyn hitchcock – balloon man
    19. spearmint – we're going out
    20. farm – all together now
    21. black box recorder – the facts of life (oh, you're going to include the auteurs, and not this?)
    22. fall – telephone thing (is any comp safe from mark e. smith?)
    23. jah wobble (feat. sinead o'connor) – visions of you (if you flew virgin in the late 90s, you heard this on repeat)
    24. the lightning seeds – pure (are you KIDDING ME? could anyone get away from them during britpop?)
    25. baddiel, skinner and the lightning seeds – three lions
    26. bis – eurodisco
    also, i'd much rather "get a knife between your teeth" or "red sleeping beauty" from mccarthy. and a BIG second to the suggestions of something from george best – like, "nobody's twisting your arm," or "my favourite dress" rather than the lovely but after-thought-ish "silver shorts."

  3. i'm also excited that i don't have to argue for the inclusion of bleach. an excellent band with a couple real corkers (hate song, shotgun, surround, seeing) spread over their odd career.
    for the primitives, they should have gone earlier, like "thru the flowers" or their other lazy records stuff. i don't think they were quite interchangable with darling buds, but, with bleach, were part of a mini-movement called "blonde". see also sunshot.
    and babybird, with whom they could have included "cornershop," "good night," and "candy girl" – all stellar tracks.
    and house of love without "destroy the heart?" why not order an ice cream cone and tell them to hold the ice cream. and the cone.
    finally, if i were going to introduce someone to cocteau twins, or even play a track that influenced britpop, it would be soaring "carolyn's fingers" or the shoe-gazy "rocco", not the gothy but stunning "lorelei." might as well have put "wax and wane." weird.

  4. Thanks for taking me up on my suggestion, Bill. By the way, I did buy the Rhino Brit Box for only $36 on Amazon, brand new. I already own between half and two-thirds of what is in it, but the Rhino liner notes and packing are always great (this one even has flashing lights built in!).

  5. Please could you re-post de bonus EP and the disk 5 & 6?.
    thanks

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