The Brit Box | Nonexistent Bonus EP

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.

: 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

The Brit Box: Nonexistent Disc 5

Rhino’s cool "alternative" box set of 2007 is The Brit Box which I wrote about back in August. It’s in stores this week. As I said then, it does a pretty admirable job of documenting the cool music coming out of the UK between 1985 – 2000,  but it’s really for beginners, as anyone who was really into the scene then probably already has most of this stuff. My only interest, personally, is reading the liner notes.

It’s also got a few omissions, no surprise. (And it’s got some weird/overly-obvious song choices.) I was going to offer up about a disc’s worth of extra tracks which are certainly as worthy to be apart of the set as Kula Shaker, Five-Thirty, Marion, Rialto, or Hurricane #1, but I came up with a lot more than I thought I would so I’m going to do it in two parts. So here’s the imagined fifth disc to the set, with another to come later in the week. I stuck to the same criteria as they did — guitar-based UK bands from the same years, and kept it to a length that will fit on one CD. I’ve also included the original, seven-minute, single version of The Boo Radley’s "Lazarus" which crushes the short album version Rhino included in the  box. I tried not to be too obscure.

Also, I’ve got a little room on Nonexistent Disc 6, so if you have suggestions for it, leave it in the comments and if it’s not already on my planned tracklist (and it’s not something I dislike) I’ll try and throw it in.

These wont’ be up for long, so get ’em while you can.

MP3: That Petrol Emotion – It’s a Good Thing

MP3: Easterhouse – Whistling in the Dark

MP3: The Lilac Time – Return to Yesterday

MP3: The Popinjays – Vote Elvis

MP3: The House of Love – I Don’t Know Why I Love You

: The Power of Dreams – Never Told You

MP3: A House – Endless Art

MP3: Kingmaker – Really Scrape the Sky

: Adorable – Sunshine Smile

MP3: The Pooh Sticks – Young People

MP3: The Boo Radleys – Lazarus

MP3: The Wedding Present – Silver Shorts

MP3: Strangelove – Sand

: Warm Jets – Autopia

MP3: Animals That Swim – London Bridge

MP3: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Young Girls and Happy Endings

MP3: Subcircus – 86’d

: Longpigs – On and On

You can by Rhino’s Brit Box here. Or if you want a free one, visit I Am Fuel, You Are Friends… they’re giving one away.