A year ago today, Chris, a friend of mine who I grew up with died suddenly. He was a friend that shared my passion for music, a decent record shop, Lincoln biscuits and cheap wine from Kwik Save. Today’s post is dedicated to him
Every song on this page today was a song that appeared at some point on one of the many mixtapes he made for me, which I played until the tape wore out.
Dreams Burn Down – Ride (1990, Creation Records) – This appeared on a tape, called “Grungy MuffShag Vol. 2 and in brackets after the song title he’d written (Bloody great song) and for a while until I physically held a copy of ‘Nowhere’ in my hands, I thought the actual title of this song was ‘Dreams Burn Down (Bloody great song)’.
Pop Will Eat Itself were formed in 1986, after the demise of two or three other bands in the grebo scene that was big in the West Midlands. Their name came from an interview that a writer called David Quantick wrote about a band called Jamie Wednesday. Jamie Wednesday of course, later became Carter USM.
‘Karmadrome’ was taken from ‘The Looks and the Lifestyle’ the bands fourth studio album, which was also the first album in which the band employed an actual drummer rather than using the generated sound from a drum machine. Weirdly it also saw the band move in a more dance orientated direction – although it wasn’t a great leap, more an embracing that a full on commitment. Fans were split down the middle by the ‘slight change in musical direction’. On the one hand, the band started to have more commercial success, regularly hitting the Top Twenty (and on one occasion the Top Ten), on the other hand the band were accused of sounding ‘factory built and overproduced’ and the songs being underwritten.
Bearing in mind that about six years earlier the bands singles had been badly produced cover versions of Sigue Sigue Sputnik songs, this was quite the criticism. Personally I think ‘Karmadrome’ is one of the bands best singles and ‘The Looks and the Lifestyle’ is the album of theirs that I come back to the most, but they were never really an album band if I’m being honest.
‘Karmadrome’ went Top 20 in the uk, and it was backed with another track from the album