21. Hate to Say I Told You So – The Hives (2002, Poptones Records, Taken from ‘Your New Favourite Band’)
This was of course originally released in 2000 and only about sixteen people bought it. It would have perhaps faded into rock history as one of the great lost 45s if it had not been for Alan McGee. In late 2001 he saw the video for ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ on German TV and decided to make them one of the first signings to his new Poptones Records Label (which he set up after the demise of Creation, and since the demise of Poptones, he has set the label It’s Creation, Baby). The track was then re-released and six weeks later the band were on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’ and ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’ was everywhere and became their breakthrough hit as it flew into the Top 25.
Here’s the garage rock inspired B Side
Die, All Right – The Hives (2000, Burning Heart Records)
McGee, perhaps seeing dollar signs bundled up all the bands previous singles and stuck them on all a new compilation album ‘Your New Favourite Band’ which quickly rocketed into the UK Top Ten. The joke, obviously being that The Hives were not, a ‘New’ (having released two albums previous to the compilation) or necessarily our ‘Favourite’ Band but they were very much of that age. The Hives had an image, (the black and white suits) and quirky stage names – such as singer ‘Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, guitarist Nicholaus Arson and best of all bassist The Johan and Only and quickly gathered lazy and unfair comparisons with The Vines and The Strokes.
“Hate to Say I Told You So” was obviously amazing and their finest moment and even today some twenty years later it still sounds brilliant. That churning guitar riff which perfectly accompanies Almqvists sandpaper rough vocals as he bellows out “Do I what I Please/Gonna Spread the disease” – which in todays society seems a little impolite.
As wonderful as ‘Hate To Say I Told You So’ is, it wasn’t the bands biggest hit – that came courtesy of ‘Walk Idiot Walk’ the lead single from the bands follow up album ‘Tyrannosaurus Hives’ – which roared (see what I did there?) itself into the Top 15 and then much like the album that followed it, promptly vanished.
Walk Idiot Walk – The Hives (2004, Polydor Records)