Pass me the suitcase baby….
Avenue – Saint Etienne (1992, Heavenly Records, Taken from ‘So Tough’)
“Are we scoring the album version of ‘Avenue’ or the radio edit because they are two very different songs – my score is based solely on the album version”
Jury Member 7 has a point, the album version of ‘Avenue’ is 7 minutes in length and the radio edit is some three minutes shorter and they are quite different. But he is also right, because the album version is the definitive version. The ‘So Tough’ version of ‘Avenue’ is wonderfully elegant, full of sumptuous “ooohs” and regal sounding harpsichord solos, and wistfully distant sounding vocals. It is based around several lengthy instrumental bits, all of which are wrapped around Sarah Cracknell’s wonderful vocals that nostalgically reminisce about some long lost relationship (with a male called Maurice who seemingly smells of lemons) as a chorus of “Young Heart” chimes away beautifully.
The radio edit clocks in at just under four minutes and very much just focuses on the vocal with some of the instrumental bits hacked off and whilst its still great, you lose quite lot of ambition shown in the album version, so there is no real competition.
There was one other Saint Etienne track that was under consideration
A few years after the release of ‘So Tough’, Saint Etienne released an album of remixes, called ‘Casino Classics’, that included a remix of ‘Avenue’ by a chap called Gordon King.
Avenue (Gordon King Mix) – Saint Etienne (1996, Heavenly Records, Taken from ‘Casino Classics’)
Gordon King was for those of who need to know these things used to be the vocalist in a band called World of Twist. World of Twist were one of those bands that never quite achieved success, despite seemingly being an big influence on Oasis (who famously were going to be named after a World of Twist song ‘Sons of the Stage’ until they became Rain (and then Oasis)). King later went on to form the excellent Earl Brutus, who again bubbled under the radar of most people and now he is in a band called Quatermass III, who are worth ten minutes of your time.
Sons of the Stage – World of Twist (1991, Circa Records, Taken from ‘Quality Street’)
Super Star – Quatermass III (can’t find the dates or label)