Monday, June 04, 2007

So mote be it.

Back when I was in my mid-teens, record companies were plotting to kill off vinyl albums, yet strangely, one of their policies towards that end was to sell more vinyl. They started the policy of "nice price", selling classic albums on lighter, recycled (and therefore offensive to audiophiles) vinyl. For a kid with a curiosity about the names dropped by my favourite musicians in interviews, the policy proved a revelation. I could gamble a couple of quid, and chances are I'd have my expectations exceeded. It was the foundation of my auto-didactic education in rock. I still have many records from this era, 'cus nothing beats the magic of Richard Drew's packaging design for LED ZEPPELIN III, or Mike Doud's for PHYSICAL GRAFFITI - these are just impossible to replicate at CD size. But one record I took a flutter on and didn't like was The Who's THE WHO BY NUMBERS, so I gave it to my cousin Geoff. I loved WHO'S NEXT, but this 'un just seemed too... introverted, songwriterly. Not bombastic enough for my teenage self. Plus, it contained Squeezebox, the nadir of the band's playful side (which is really saying something of the band that gave us Happy fucking Jack, Boris The fucking Spider and bleedin' Dogs). Now, thanks to Pandora playing me Dreaming From The Waist at regular intervals recently, I've given it another go. And this time I loved it. Funny old world, innit Saint? It's maybe the bitterest, most self-flagellating work in rock's entire canon (and hey, I've loved SISTER LOVERS and TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT in my time), and I can't believe I've neglected it so long.


Chris Weston said...

Mark Radcliffe once described The Who's "Dogs" as "Blur's entire career condensed into one song"!

Mark said...

Harsh but funny.