4AD 1995

Listen to 4AD 1995 on Spotify.

I think perhaps it makes sense to regard 1995 as the end of the iconic, classic version of 4AD. 4AD’s ends their association with The Wolfgang Press here, and that’s a group of people that had been with them (in various permutations) since 1980: The very first “proper” 4AD release was by Rema-Rema, which is half the people in The Wolfgang Press or something.

And there are none of the 80s “big hitters” in 1995. Cocteau Twins had left a few years earlier, of course, and This Mortal Coil had wound down, and Dead Can Dance released nothing this year. This leaves Throwing Muses as the only other band from the 80s to release something on 4AD this year. And it’s a wonderful album: University is up there with the very best of what they’ve done, and what they’ve done is very good indeed.

But as for the rest… oy vey.

This is the worst year in 4AD’s history.

SO FAR!

OK, the album by Red House Painters isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as any of their previous work. And newcomers Tarnation are excellent: I didn’t know I liked that kind of music until I heard that album, so it was a gateway drug of sorts. Thanks! And the Liquorice album is really good.

But… Mojave 3? Scheer? The Amps? Kendra Smith? The Lisa Gerrard solo album?

Of the 18 things 4AD released this year, three or four are essential.

4AD was by now not anything resembling cohesive, and had turned into just another indie label: Some good, some bad, and it no longer made any sense to buy everything they released because you knew that you’d love it all.

There’s still some good music to come over the next few years, though.

1995

 CAD4016
The Wolfgang Press — Funky Little Demons

Going South, 11 Years, Blood Satisfaction, Chains, Christianity, Derek The Confessor, So Long Dead, Executioner, She’s So Soft, New Glass, Fallen Not Broken, People Say

 BAD5001
The Wolfgang Press — Going South

Going South (7″ version), Going South (Country style), Going South (@440 mix), Chains (Wobble mix), 11 Years (Sabres Main Mix 2)

 CAD5002
Throwing Muses — University

Bright Yellow Gun, Start, Hazing, Shimmer, Calm Down, Calm Down, Crabtown, No Way In Hell, Surf Cowboy, That’s All You Wanted, Teller, University, Snakeface, Flood, Fever Few

 BAD5003
Belly — Now They’ll Sleep

Now They’ll Sleep, Thief, Baby’s Arm, John Dark

 CAD5004
Belly — King

Puberty, Seal My Fate, Red, Silverfish, Super-Connected, The Bees, King, Now They’ll Sleep, Untitled and Unsung, L’il Ennio, Judas My Heart

 DAD D5005
Red House Painters — Ocean Beach

Cabezon, Summer Dress, San Geronimo, Shadows, Over My Head, Red Carpet, Brockwell Park, Moments, Drop, Brockwell Part pt. 2*, Long Distance Runaround*

 BAD CD K5003
Belly — Super-Connected

Super-Connected, Spaceman, Diamond Rib Cage, Think About Your Troubles

 CAD5006
Kendra Smith — Five Ways of Disappearing

Aurelia, Bohemian Zebulon, Temporarily Lucy, In Your Head, Space Unadorned, Maggots, Drunken Boat, interlude, Dirigible, Valley of the Morning Sun, Judge Not, Get There, interlude, Saturn, Bold Marauder

 AD5007
Belly — Seal My Fate

Seal My Fate (US radio mix), Broken, Judas My Heart (live)*

 BAD CD5007
Belly — Seal My Fate

Seal My Fate, Spaceman, Diamond Rib Cage, Think About Your Troubles

 BAD D CD5007
Belly — Seal My Fate

Seal My Fate (live), White Belly (live), Untitled and Unsung (live), The Bees (live)

 12″BELLY 2
Belly — Seal My Fate

Seal My Fate (US Radio Mix), Judas Mon Coeur (rerecorded)

 CAD5008
Liquorice — Listening Cap

Trump Suit, Team Player, Keeping the Weekend Free, Drive Around, Cheap Cuts, Trump Suit Edit, Jill of All Trades, No Excuses, Breaking the Ice, Blew It

 CAD 5009 CD
Lisa Gerrard — The Mirror Pool

Violina (The Last Embrace, La Bas (Song of the Damned), Persian Love Song (The Silver Gun)|=Persian Love Song, Sanvean (I am your Shadow), The Rite, Ajhon, Glorafin, Majhnavea’s Music Box, Largo, Werd, Laurelei, Celon, Venteles, Swans, Nilleshna, Gloradin

 CAD5010
Tarnation — Gentle Creatures

Game of Broken Hearts, Halfaway to Madness, The Well, Big O Motel, Tell Me It’s Not So, Two Wrongs Won’t Make Things Right, Lonely Lights, Gentle Creatures, Listen To The Wind, The Hand, Do You Fancy Me, Yellow Birds, Burn Again, Stranger in the Mirror, It’s Not Easy

 CAD5011
Air Miami — Me. Me. Me.

I Hate Milk, World Cup Fever, Seabird, Special Angel, Afternoon Train, Dolphin Expressway, Sweet As A Candy Bar, You Sweet Little Heartbreaker, Neely, Bubble Shield, The Event Horizon, Definitely Beachy, Reprise

 BAD5012
Scheer — Schism

Sometimes, You Said, Baby Size (version), Take You Anywhere, Unlisted track

 CAD5013
Mojave 3 — Ask Me Tomorrow

Love Songs On The Radio, Sarah, Tomorrow’S Taken, Candle Song 3, You’Re Beautiful, Where Is The Love, After All, Pictures, Mercy

 BAD CD5014
Air Miami — Fuck You, Tiger

I Hate Milk (fyt), Warm Miami May, Afternoon Train (Remix #3), See-Through Plastic

 BAD5015
The Amps — Tipp City

Tipp City, Just Like A Briar, Empty Glasses (Kim’s Basement 4-track Version)

 FTWW1
Various — Facing The Wrong Way

Scheer / Take You Anywhere, Throwing Muses / Snakeface, Red House Painters / Summer Dress, Tarnation / The Well, Air Miami / You Sweet Little Heartbreaker, Mojave 3 / Love Songs on the Radio, Belly / Super-Connected, The Wolfgang Press / Christianity (Wicked Man Remix), Heidi Berry / Miracle (new version), Sanvean (I am your Shadow), Liquorice / Cheap Cuts, Kendra Smith / Valley of the Morning Sun, The Amps / Empty Glasses (Kim’s Basement 4 track version)

 CAD5016
The Amps — Pacer

Pacer, Tipp City, I Am Decided, Mom’s Drunk, Bragging Party, Hoverin’ (rerecorded), First Revival, Full on Idle, Breaking the Split Screen Barrier, Empty Glasses, She’s a Girl, Dedicated

 TAD CD5017
Kristin Hersh — The Holy Single

Jesus Christ, Amazing Grace (rerecorded), Sinkhole (rerecorded), Can The Circle Be Unbroken

This post is part of the chronological look at all 4AD releases, year by year.

*) Missing from Spotify.

4AD 1994

Listen to 4AD 1994 on Spotify.

The most important thing that happened in 1994 was that Kristin Hersh launched her solo career. While not really that radically different from her Throwing Muses music, it gave us more Kristin Hersh, and that’s always better, right?

Also: 4AD signed Lisa Germano and released her stunning Geek the Girl album. It’s all an album on 4AD should be: Scary, beautiful, gripping.

Lush released their most accomplished album, Split, and some spiffy EPs, too.

Let’s see… Oh, yeah, Frank Black was such a dick that Ivo Watts-Russell let him go, and the incident was perhaps also instrumental in him withdrawing even further from being involved with artists on 4AD, according to that 4AD biography you’ve all read, no doubt. If you haven’t, you should.

Art-wise, I think that Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg of v23 make something of a comeback this year. After a couple of years of uneasily adjusting to CD-first designs, and failing a lot, this year we get a number of kinda stunning covers, including the Shinro Ohtake things for Kristin Hersh’ releases.

Some significant releases are missing from Spotify this year (in addition to the usual promo releases): Perhaps most importantly, Inconsiderate Bitch by Lisa Germano. 4AD label boss Ivo remixed a bunch of Germano songs and put out a five track EP, and it’s rather brilliant, I think. But you probably have to get it on discogs.com if you want to listen to it.

But the 10″ limited Head to Toe by The Breeders, BADD4012, is also missing, which is just weird, because… it’s the fucking Breeders, right?

The second version of Frank Black’s Headache EP (BADD4007CD) isn’t on Spotify either; something we can all be thankful for.

1994

 BAD4001
Kristin Hersh — Your Ghost

Your Ghost, The Key, Uncle June and Aunt Kiyoti, When the Levee Breaks

 CAD4002
Kristin Hersh — Hips and Makers

Your Ghost, Beestung, Teeth, Sundrops, Sparky, Houdini Blues, A Loon, Velvet Days, Close Your Eyes, Me and My Charms, Tuesday Night, The Letter, Lurch, Cuckoo, Hips and Makers

 TAD4003
Lisa Germano — Inconsiderate Bitch

Happiness (remix)*, Energy (remix)*, Puppet (remix)*, Sycophant (remix)*, (Late Night) Dresses (remix)*

 BAD4004
Red House Painters — Shock Me

Shock Me, Sundays and Holidays, Three-Legged Cat, Shock Me (rerecorded), Untitled

 lp45496
The Glee Club — Mine

Need, The Blame, No Reason, Bad Child’s Dolly, Already There, Free to Believe, Drives You Away, Remember the Years, All The Promises, Take you There, Icy Blue

 CAD4005
Lisa Germano — Happiness

Bad Attitude, Destroy the Flower, Puppet, Everyone’s Victim, Energy, Cowboy, Happiness, The Earth, Around the World, Sycophant, Miamo-Tutti, The Dresses Song, The Darkest Night of All

 TU7CD
Insides — Clear Skin

Clear Skin

 AD4006
Kristin Hersh — Strings

A Loon (strings), Sundrops (strings), Me and My Charms (strings), Velvet Days (strings)

 BAD4007
Frank Black — Headache

Headache (David Bianco), Men in Black, At the End of the World, Oddball

 BADD CD4007
Frank Black — Headache

Headache*, Hate Me*, This is Where I Belong*, Amnesia*

 BAD D4008
Lush — Hypocrite

Hypocrite, Cat’s Chorus, Love at First Sight, Undertow (Spooky Remix)

 DAD4009
Frank Black — Teenager of the Year

Whatever Happened To Pong?, Thalassocracy, (I Want To Live On An) Abstract Plain, Calistan, The Vanishing Spies, Speedy Marie, Headache, Sir Rockaby, Freedom Rock, Two Reelers, Fiddle Riddle, Ole Mulholland, Fazer Eyes, I Could Stay Here Forever, The Hostess With The Mostest, Superabound, Big Red, Space Is Gonna Do Me Good, White Noisemaker, Pure Denizen Of The Citizen’s Band, Bad, Wicked World, Pie In The Sky

 BAD D4010
Lush — Desire Lines

Desire Lines, White Wood, Girl’s World, Lovelife (Suga Bullit remix)

 CAD4011
Lush — Split

Light From A Dead Star, Kiss Chase, Blackout, Hypocrite, Lovelife, Desire Lines, The Invisible Man, Undertow, Never-Never, Lit Up, Starlust (rerecorded), When I Die

 BADD4012
The Breeders — Head to Toe

Head to Toe*, Shocker in Gloomtown*, Freed Pig (originally appeared on «Sebadoh III»)*, Saints (htt)*

 BAD4013
Pale Saints — Fine Friend

Fine Friend, Special Present, Marimba, Reprise

 CAD4014
Pale Saints — Slow Buildings

King Fade, Angel (will you be my), One Blue Hill, Henry, Under Your Nose, Little Gesture, Song of Solomon, Fine Friend, Gesture of a Fear, Always I, Suggestion

 DAD4015
Dead Can Dance — Toward the Within

Yulunga (spririt dance) (live), Rakim (live), Song of the Sibyl (live), I Can See Now (live), American Dreaming (live), Cantara (live), The Wind That Shakes The Barley (live), I Am Stretched On Your Grave (live), Desert Song (live), Oman (live), Tristan (live), Sanvean (live), Don’t Fade Away (live), Persian Love Song (live), Piece for Solo Flute (live)

 CAD4017
Lisa Germano — Geek the Girl

My Secret Reason, Trouble, Geek the Girl, Just Geek, Cry Wolf, …a psychopath, Sexy Little Girl Princess, Phantom Love, Cancer of Everything, A Guy Like You, …of love and colours, Stars

 BAD4018
Throwing Muses — Bright Yellow Gun

Bright Yellow Gun, Crayon Sun, Red Eyes, Like a Dog

This post is part of the chronological look at all 4AD releases, year by year.

*) Missing from Spotify.

4AD 1993

Listen to 4AD 1993 on Spotify.

1992/1993 sealed 4AD’s fate: They had two major hits in the US college market with Belly’s Feed the Tree and The Breeders’ Cannonball; both going into heavy rotation on MTV (back when that meant something). Major label Warner Bros came sniffing seeking grunge acts, and Ivo Watts-Russell signed a distribution deal with them that, to me, seems totally ridiculous and set any band on 4AD up to fail: Warner would start furnishing the advances to the bands 4AD signed, and for every album a band released, the advance would be doubled.

This, of course, meant that any reasonable band that kept releasing stuff would soon be completely unprofitable for the labels, so they would have to be let go, right? We’ll come back to that in a few years. I mean weeks.

But other than those blockbuster hits (both singles and albums from Belly and The Breeders), there was a pretty nice album by His Name is Alive; two good albums from Red House Painters; a really good album by Heidi Berry; Dead Can Dance’s probably best album; and the brilliant album by Insides (on Guernica).

And the Spoonfed Hybrid album which I think is very spiffy. And there’s a story behind why it’s on Guernica:

CT: I never knew until I read Martin Aston’s Facing The Other Way a couple of years ago that Ivo had refused to release Spoonfed Hybrid on 4AD proper because he didn’t like my singing on A Pocketful Of Dust. I don’t like it much either, to be honest, it was much better on the demo. So it goes.

IM: Ivo said he didn’t like Chris’ voice, but I don’t think there was ever a “Lose Chris’s voice and I’ll release it on 4AD” conversation.

A certain lack of communication, I guess.

But, hey, not a bad year at all: Most of the albums 4AD released in 1993 are albums I like a lot, but there’s one that’s pretty bad. (It rhymes with “Rank Black”.)

And then!

There was the Thirteen Year Itch week-long music festival in London! Which I attended! It was fabulous! There was a nice showcase of 4AD artwork (mostly focusing on the CD designs) and a cinema that showed the videos you can see above (I made a playlist; it’s missing the Ultra Vivid Scene video which isn’t at Youtube). And, of course, the venue, which was… pretty intimate, as I recall?

Strangely enough, the concert that made the greatest impression on me was Brendan Perry’s solo show. He premiered all the songs that would end up on his sole solo album, and I loved them to bits. Even more strangely, when the album was finally released, I was totally underwhelmed…

I couldn’t find the That Dog. album on Spotify, so I guess whoever owns the rights (I think 4AD just licensed the album for the UK?) hasn’t made it available.

1993

 BAD3001
Belly — Feed The Tree

Feed The Tree, Dream On Me, Trust In Me, Star

 CAD3002
Belly — Star

Someone To Die For, Angel, Dusted (rerecorded), Every Word, Gepetto, Witch, Slow Dog (rerecorded), Low Red Moon (rerecorded), Feed The Tree, Full Moon, Empty Heart, White Belly, Untogether, Star (rerecorded), Sad Dress, Stay

 BAD3003
Ultra Vivid Scene — Blood and Thunder

Blood and Thunder (radio edit), Don’t Look Now (Now!), Candida (theme from Red Pressure Mounting), Winter Song

 CAD3004
Frank Black — Frank Black

Los Angeles, I Heard Ramona Sing, Hang on to Your Ego, Fu Manchu, Places Named After Numbers, Czar, Old Black Dawning, Ten Percenter, Brackish Boy, Two Spaces, Tossed (Instumental version), Parry the Wind High, Low, Adda Lee, Every Time I Go Around Here, Don’t Ya Rile Them

 BAD3005
Frank Black — Hang On To Your Ego

Hang On To Your Ego, The Ballad Of Johnny Horton, Surf Epic

 cd box set45135
This Mortal Coil — 1983-1991

All the other This Mortal Coil albums, and: Another Day (Roy Harper), Mr. Somewhere (The Apartments), With Tomorrow (Gene Clark), Holocaust (Big Star), Kangaroo (Big Star), Carolyn’s Song (Rain Parade), I Want To Live (Gary Ogan & Bill Lamb), Alone (Colin Newman), Drugs (Talking Heads), Help Me Lift You Up (Mary Margaret O’Hara), Song To The Siren (Tim Buckley), Morning Glory (Tim Buckley), I Must Have Been Blind (Tim Buckley), Several Times I, The Jeweller (Pearls Before Swine), I Come And Stand At Every Door (The Byrds), I Am The Cosmos (Chris Bell), You And Your Sister (Chris Bell), ‘Til I Gain Control Again (Emmylou Harris), Nature’s Way (Spirit), Strength Of Strings (Gene Clark)

 CAD3006
His Name Is Alive — Mouth by Mouth

Baby Fish Mouth, Lip, Cornfield, In Every Ford, Lord, Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace, Drink, Dress and Ink, Where Knock Is Open Wide, Can’t Go Wrong Without You, Jack Rabbits, Sort Of, Sick, Blue Moon, Ear, Lemon Ocean, The Torso, The Dirt Eaters (mbm), The Homsick Waltz

 BAD3007
Unrest — Isabel Bishop e.p.

Isabel (single), Teenage Suicide, Love To Know (originally performed by The Marine Girls.), Nation Writer, Wharton Hockey Club

 DAD3008
Red House Painters — Red House Painters

Grace Cathedral Park, Down Through, Katy Song, Mistress, Things Mean A Lot, Fun House, Take Me Out, Rollercoaster, New Jersey, Dragon Flies, Mistress (piano version), Mother, Strawberry Hill, Brown Eyes

 CAD3009
Heidi Berry — Heidi Berry

Mercury, Little Fox, The Moon And The Sun, One-String Violin, Darling Companion, Distant Thunder, Heart Like A Wheel, For The Rose, Follow, Ariel, Dawn

 BAD3010
Heidi Berry — The Moon And The Sun

The Moon And The Sun, Unholy Light, Zither Song, You Upset The Grace Of Living When You Lie

 (shuffle)
Various — 4AD Presents The 13 Year Itch

Lush / Desire Lines (demo), Kristin Hersh / Your Ghost (demo), Mistress (itch), Underground Lovers / Your Eyes (rerecorded), The Wolfgang Press / Peace On Fire, Unrest / Where Are All Those Puerto Rican Boys?, The Breeders / Invisible Man (demo), Bettie Serveert / Totally Freaked Out, Brendan Perry|R / Happy Time, Firefly (rerecorded), Pale Saints / One Blue Hill (demo), His Name Is Alive / The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light, This Is The Way (part 2)

 (shuffle)
Various — 4AD Presents The 13 Year Itch

The Breeders / Cannonball, Isabel (single), Dig For Fire (single), Pixies / Allison (Peter Scammell), Frank Black / Los Angeles (John Flansburgh), Bettie Serveert / Tom Boy (Jesse Peretz), The Wolfgang Press / Kansas, His Name Is Alive / Are We Still Married? (The Brothers Quay), His Name Is Alive / Lip (itch), His Name Is Alive / Can’t Go Wrong Without You (The Brothers Quay), This Mortal Coil / Late Night (Alexander Spaszt), Michael Brook / Breakdown (Miles Aldridge), Heidi Berry / The Moon And The Sun (Angela Conway), Red House Painters / 24 (Mark Taylor), Throwing Muses / Counting Backwards (Katherine Beickmann), Pale Saints / Blue Flower (Peter Scammell), Swallow / Oceans And Blue Skies, Lush / Superblast (Brett Turnbull), Ultra Vivid Scene / Blood And Thunder (Miles Aldridge)

 BAD3011
The Breeders — Cannonball

Cannonball, Cro-Aloha (rerecorded), Lord Of The Thighs, 900

 CAD3012
Unrest — Perfect Teeth

Angel I’ll Walk You Home, Cath Carroll, So Sick, Light Command, Food & Drink Synthesizer, Soon It Is Going To Rain, Make Out Club, Breather x.o.x.o., West Coast Love Affair, Six Layer Lake, Stylized Ampersand

 CAD3014
The Breeders — Last Splash

New Year, Cannonball, Invisible Man, No Aloha, Roi, Do You Love Me Now? (rerecorded), Flipside, I Just Wanna Get Along (rerecorded), Mad Lucas, Divine Hammer, S. O. S., Hag, Saints, Drivin’ On 9, Roi (reprise)

 BREED 2
The Breeders — untitled

Grungé (demo), New Year (demo)

 CAD C3013
Dead Can Dance — Into the Labyrinth

Yulunga, The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, The Carnival Is Over, Ariadne, Saldek, Toward The Within, Tell Me About The Forest, The Spider’s Strategem, Emmeleia, How Fortunate The Man With None

 BAD3015
Unrest — Cath Carroll

Cath Carroll (10 cc mix), Vibe Out!, Goodbye, Hydro

 CAD3016
Red House Painters — Red House Painters

Evil, Bubble, I am a Rock, Helicopter, New Jersey (remix), Uncle Joe (remix), Blindfold, Star Spangled Banner

 BADD3017
The Breeders — Divine Hammer

Divine Hammer (remix), Hoverin’, I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You), Do You Love Me Now? (jr?)

 GU4
Insides — Euphoria

Walking in Straight Lines, Bent Double, Darling Effect, Distractions, Relentless, Skin Divers, Carly Simon, Yes, Skykicking

 GU4S
Insides — untitled

Further Distractions*, Turning Absentmindedly*

 GU5
Spoonfed Hybrid — Spoonfed Hybrid

Heaven’s Knot, Naturally Occurring Anchors, Tiny Planes, Stolen Clothes, Lynched, 1936, Getting Not to Know, Somehow Some Other Life, A Pocketful of Dust, Ecnalubma, Boys in Zinc

 GU5S
Spoonfed Hybrid — untitled

Bullet and Bees*, Messrs. Hyde*

 GU6
That Dog. — That Dog.

Old Timer*, Jump*, Punk Rock Girl*, Zodiac*, You are Here*, She*, Angel*, Westside Angst*, She Looks at Me*, Family Functions*, Ralna*, She Looks at Me (reprise)*, Just Like Me*, Paid Programming*, This Boy*

 GU6S
That Dog. — untitled

Buy Me Flowers*, Untitled*

This post is part of the chronological look at all 4AD releases, year by year.

*) Missing from Spotify.

4AD 1992

Listen to 4AD 1992 on Spotify.

1992 was another year of change for 4AD. Ivo Watts-Russell wanted to be able to pick more freely among things to release without getting in a serious relationship with bands, so he started the Guernica imprint which released three things at a rapid pace at the end of the year (and couple more the next year) before petering out. While it might be nice for the label not to commit to an artist, the artists may feel a bit… slighted? Because the audience is going “so these are the bands not good enough to be on 4AD?”

Which is a shame, because they’re better than some of the albums released on 4AD “proper” this year.

4AD released a buttload of things in 1992, and few of them have become well-loved classics. Down Colourful Hill by Red House Painters was a revelation and launched Mark Kozelek’s long-running career (still going now); Lush released Spooky, probably their best album (and it’s really good, but it was a let-down after the initial series of EPs, because Robin Guthrie’s production is somewhat sterile and claustrophobic); The Breeders did their first post-Pod EP that points to future stardom; and Belly release their first two EPs.

And I think the Gepetto EP made it clear to everybody that they’d soon have a hit on their hands: It (and Throwing Muses’ Firepile) were the first singles that would be “formatted”; i.e., released in as many formats as the UK indie chart rules would allow. From now on we get a bunch of remixes and more B-sides than anybody really wanted for every single single 4AD releases.

4AD is now becoming a commercial juggernaut with huge name recognition, particularly with the lucrative US college market, and other people than Ivo Watts-Russell would also have a say in what groups were signed. A US office is also opened around this time. *insert spooky music here*

(The first Belly EP, Slow Dust, isn’t available on Spotify, but all the songs show up in different versions on subsequent releases. Perhaps Tanya Donnelly didn’t want those early versions out there? Or did 4AD just forget to upload it? And none of the songs from the limited edition 7″ singles included with the Guernica albums are on Spotify, either.)

1992

 BAD2001
Lush — For Love

For Love, Starlust, Outdoor Miner, Astronaut

 CAD2002
Lush — Spooky

Stray, Nothing Natural (remix), Tiny Smiles, Covert, Ocean, For Love, Superblast!, Untogether, Fantasy, Take, Laura, Monochrome

 BAD2003
The Breeders — Safari

Do You Love Me Now?, Don’t Call Home, Safari, So Sad About Us

 CAD2004
Pale Saints — In Ribbons

Throwing Back the Apple, Ordeal, Thread of Light, Shell, There is No Day, Hunted, Hair Shoes (remix), Babymaker (remix), Liquid, Neverending Night, Featherframe, A Thousand Stars Burst Open

 rib1
Pale Saints — untitled

A Thousand Stars Burst Open (brass)*, A Revelation (rerecorded)*

 BAD2006
The Wolfgang Press — A Girl Like You

A Girl Like You (7″ mix), Angel, A Girl Like You (1000 Times), A Girl Like You (Born To Be Kissed)

 CAD2007
Michael Brook — Cobalt Blue

Shona Bridge, Breakdown, Red Shift, Skip Wave, Slipstream, Andean, Slow Breakdown, Ultramarine, Urbana, Lakbossa, Ten, Hawaii

 BAD2008
Pale Saints — Throwing Back The Apple

Throwing Back The Apple, Blue Flower, Half-Life Remembered (remix), Reflections From A Watery World

 BAD2009
Belly — Slow Dust

Dusted*, Slow Dog*, Dancing Gold*, Low Red Moon*, Dusted (remix)*

 cdLilliput 1 & 2
Various — Lilliput

Dark Entries, Controversial Subject, Nick the Stripper, I Melt With You, Song To The Siren, Incubus Succubus II, The Spangle Maker, Stranger, Baby I Love You So, Hate My Way, No Motion, Pump Up The Volume, Mercy Seat, The Host Of Seraphim, Monkey Gone To Heaven, De-Luxe, Throwing Back The Apple, Featherframe, A Girl Like You (7″ mix), Birmingham, Breakdown, Urbana, Chlorine Dream, Signed D. C., Gloria, Are We Still Married?, Tastes Like Honey, Follow Me Down, A Thousand Stars Burst Open (brass)

 CAD2010
Swallow — Blow

Lovesleep, Tastes Like Honey, Sugar Your Mind, Mensurral, Peekaboo, Lacuna, Oceans and Blue Skies, Follow Me Down, Halo, Cherry Stars Collide, Head In a Cave

 TAD 2011 CD
Michael Brook — Live at The Aquarium

Shona Bridge (live), After Image / Urbana (live), Andean (live), Ultramarine (live), Lakbossa (live), Cascade (live), Red Shift (live)

 BAD2012
Throwing Muses — Firepile

Firepile, Manic Depression, Snailhead (remix), City of the Dead

 BAD D2012
Throwing Muses — Firepile

Firepile (ep2), Jak, Ride into the Sun, Handsome Woman

 CAD2013
Throwing Muses — Red Heaven

Furious, Firepile, Dio, Dirty Water, Stroll, Pearl, Summer St, Vic, Backroad, The Visit, Dovey, Rosetta Stone, Carnival Wig

 KH1
Kristin Hersh — Live at Maxwell’s, Hoboken

Juno (live), Marriage Tree (live), Pearl (live), Stand Up / Dovey / Mexican Women (live), Run Letter (live), Soap & Water (live), Rabbits Dying (live), Cry Baby Cry (live), Counting Backwards / Handsome Woman (live), Take (live), Soul Soldier (live), Bea (live), Delicate Cutters (live)

 GU1 CD
Unrest — Imperial f. f. r. r.

Volume Reference Tone, Suki, Imperial, I Do Beleive You Are Blushing, Champion Nines, Sugarshack, Isabel, Cherry Cream On, Firecracker, June, Loyola, Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl, Hydrofoil no. 1, Full Frequency (remix), Wednesday & Proud

 GU1S
Unrest — untitled

Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl (rerecorded)*, Hydrofoil no. 3 (rerecorded)*, Range Recording (remix)*

 CAD2014
Red House Painters — Down Colorful Hill

24, Medicine Bottle, Down Colorful Hill, Japanese to English, Lord Kill the Pain, Michael

 TAD 2015 CD
Swallow — Blowback

Oceans and Blue Skies (remix), Head in a Cave (remix), Tastes Like Honey (remix), Peekaboo (remix), Sugar Your Mind (remix), Follow Me Down (remix), Mensurral (remix), Cherry Stars Collide (remix)

 DAD2016
The Birthday Party — Hits

The Friend Catcher, Happy Birthday, Mr. Clarinet, Nick the Stripper, Zoo Music Girl, King Ink, Release the Bats, Blast Off, She’s Hit, 6″ Gold Blade, Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow), Dead Joe, Junkyard, Big-Jesus-Trash-Can, Wild World, Sonny’s Burning, Deep in the Woods, Swampland, Jennifer’s Veil, Mutiny in Heaven

 CAD2017
Ultra Vivid Scene — Rev

Candida, Cut-throat, Mirror to Mirror, The Portion of Delight, Thief’s Love Song, How Sweet, Medicating Angels, Blood and Thunder, This is the Way

 GU2
Underground Lovers — Leaves Me Blind

Eastside Stories, Promenade, I was right, Holiday, Got of on it, Daze, Waves, Your eyes, Ladies choice, Get to know, Whisper me nothing

 7″GU2S
Underground Lovers — untitled

Leaves Me Blind (demo version)*, Mumble Head (demo version)*

 BAD2018
Belly — Gepetto

Gepetto, Sexy S, Hot Burrito #1, Sweet Ride

 BAD C2018
Belly — Gepetto

Gepetto (remix), It’s Not Unusual, Star (demo), Dusted (demo)

 TAD 2019 CD
Throwing Muses — The Curse

Manic Depression (live), Counting Backwards (live), Fish (live), Hate My Way (live), Furious (live), Devil’s Roof (live), Snailhead (live), Firepile (live), Finished (live), Take (live), Say Goodbye (live), Mania (live), Two Step (live), Delicate Cutters (live), Cottonmouth (live), Pearl (live), Vic (live), Bea (live)

 GU3
Bettie Serveert — Palomine

Leg, Palomine, Kid’s Allright, Tom Boy, Under The Surface, Balentine, This Thing Nowhere, Healthy Sick, Sundazed To The Core, Palomine (small)

 GU3S
Bettie Serveert — untitled

Brain-Tag*, Get The Bird*, Smile*

This post is part of the chronological look at all 4AD releases, year by year.

*) Missing from Spotify.

New Music

Music I’ve bought (or resampled) this month.

I discovered a shelf of 12″ things this month: They were all items I’d bought in the early noughts before I started doing FLAC instead of MP3. So I had to resample them all, of course, even though I’ll probably never listen to many of them again…

But I’ve really got to stop buying so much music. Every album always seems to lead to ten more that I want to have. And with Discogs and Bandcamp existing, I can get them all like *snap*.

Like I was listening to an old Thomas Mery EP and wondering whether he’d done something else (he had; snapped two things up), and then I went to his Bandcamp, and got that one (it’s a stunning album), and then I went to his web site, and he recommends Sam Amidon, who I’m totally unaware of, so I get that album, and it’s FANTASTIC, and he’s done quite a lot, so I should get all those.

That’s all great. But!

While end-of-lifing stuff from the /music/new directory the other week, I discovered that I’d just listened to Bright Phoebus by Lal & Mike Waterson, bought in October 2017, three (3) times. And it’s such a wonderful, magnificent album. (Except the first song. Rubber Band is annoying!)

I should have been listening to that album 20 times and not listening to all the… other… music.

So! I’m cutting way back! I hope! But but but! I really want to buy all the other things that Lal Waterson has made. And Mike Waterson. And The Watersons. And that tribute album of cover versions of Lal Waterson songs. And.

OK, calm down. Just scaling back… not stopping… Perhaps just a couple of Waterson-related albums over the next month…

We’ll see, I guess!

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jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Shitmat&album=Killababylonkutz jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Thomas+Mery&album=Les+couleurs%2C+les+ombres jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Notwist&album=Lichter jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=To+Rococo+Rot&album=Lips jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Ambitious+Lovers&album=Love+Overlap
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jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Dictaphone&album=Nacht jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Shockout&album=No+Heathen jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=LCD+Soundsystem&album=Oh+Baby jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Herbert&album=On+Your+Feet jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Koushik&album=One+In+A+Day
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4AD 1991

Listen to 4AD 1991 on Spotify.

The most striking thing about 1991 is that a lot of the sleeves aren’t very good. Vaughan Oliver/Chris Bigg might have been going through a period of burn-out, and there’s some external designers used, too. Counting Backwards, Time, the Spirea X releases, Flesh Balloon are all pretty bad. And Mama Told Me Not To Come is just disgusting.

Musically, things are moving in a distinctly more stream-lined and commercial direction. With Trompe le Monde, Pixies are finally nothing more than just another boring rock band; all the weirdness and fun has been discarded. Throwing Muses loses Leslie Langston’s glorious bass lines. The Wolfgang Press decide to stop being such contrarians and go dancing instead. (Which I quite like.) And Spirea X… what the fuck is that even? The first band on 4AD since 1982 that I just don’t like even a tiny bit.

But it’s not all bad. His Name Is Alive return with a magnificent second album, and Heidi Berry’s Love is glorious and fresh. And, of course, This Mortal Coil release their third and final album, and it’s quite good. Not as good a Filigree & Shadow, but then very few things are.

There’s a whopping 17 “official” things released this year (and more than a few promo releases), but only a handful are vital, which makes this the worst year in 4AD history.

SO FAR!

(I haven’t included the promo stuff in the Spotify playlist because they’re not very interesting, and, well, they’re not on Spotify.)

1991

 BAD1001
Throwing Muses — Counting Backwards

Counting Backwards, Same Sun, Amazing Grace, Cottonmouth

 CAD1002
Throwing Muses — The Real Ramona

Counting Backwards, Him Dancing, Red Shoes, Graffiti, Golden Thing, Ellen West, Dylan, Hook In Her Head, Not Too Soon, Honeychain, Say Goodbye, Two Step

 BAD1003
The Wolfgang Press — Time

Time (single), Time Less, Dark Time

 BAD1004
Spirea X — Chlorine Dream

Chlorine Dream, Spirea Rising, Risk

 DAD1005
This Mortal Coil — Blood

The Lacemaker, Mr. Somewhere, Andialu, With Tomorrow, Loose Joints, You And Your Sister, Nature’s Way, I Come And Stand At Every Door, Bitter (), Baby Ray Baby, Several Times (Several Times I), The Lacemaker II, Late Night, Ruddy And Wretched, Help Me Lift You Up, Carolyn’s Song, D. D. And E., ‘Til I Gain Control Again, Dreams Are Like Water, I Am The Cosmos, (Nothing But) Blood

 BAD1006
Spirea X — Speed Reaction

Speed Reaction, What Kind Of Love, Jet Pilot, Re: Action

 BAD1007
The Wolfgang Press — Mama Told Me Not To Come

Mama Told Me Not To Come, Mama Told Me Not To Come (inside out mix), Summer Time

 BAD1008
Pixies — Planet Of Sound

Planet Of Sound, Theme From Narc, Build High, Evil Hearted You

 BAD1009
Pale Saints — Flesh Balloon

Hunted, Porpoise, Kinky Love, Hair Shoes (demo version)

 CAD C1010
Dead Can Dance — A Passage In Time

Saltarello, Song Of Sophia, Ulysses, Cantara, The Garden Of Zephirus, Enigma Of The Absolute, Wilderness, The Host Of Seraphim, Anywhere Out Of The World, The Writing Of My Father’s Hand, Severance, The Song Of The Sybil, Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book, In The Kingdom Of The Blind The One-Eyed Are Kings, Bird, Spirit

 CAD1011
The Wolfgang Press — Queer

Birmingham, Mama Told Me Not To Come, Heaven’s Gate, Riders On The Heart, Questions Of Time, Louis XIV, Fakes & Liars, Honey Tree, Birdie Song, Dreams & Light, Sucker, Mother Valentine

 CAD1012
Heidi Berry — Love

Washington Square, Up In The Air, Gloria, Great Big Silver Key, Wake, Cradle, Hand Over Head, Silver Buttons, Lonely Heart, Bright As Day, Lily

 CAD1013
His Name Is Alive — Home Is In Your Head

Are You Coming Down This Weekend?, Her Eyes Were Huge Things, The Charmer, Hope Called In Sick, My Feathers Needed Cleaning, The Well, There’s Something Between Us And He’s Changing My Words, The Phoenix, A Pool Of Ice, Are We Still Married?, Put Your Finger In Your Eye, Home Is In Your Head, Why People Disappear, Her Eyes Are Huge, Save the Birds, Chances Are We Are Mad, Mescalina, Sitting Still Moving Still Staring Outlooking, Very Bad A Bitter Hand, Beautiful And Pointless, Tempe, Spirit And Body, Love’s A Fish Eye, Dreams Are Of The Body, The Other Body

 CAD1014
Pixies — Trompe Le Monde

Trompe Le Monde, Planet Of Sound, Alec Eiffel, The Sad Punk, Head On, U-Mass, Palace Of The Brine, Letter To Memphis, Bird Dream Of The Olympus Mons, Space (I Believe In), Subbacultcha, Distance Equals Rate Times Time, Lovely Day, Motorway To Roswell, The Navajo Know

 BAD1015
Throwing Muses — Not Too Soon

Not Too Soon, Cry Baby Cry, Him Dancing (remix), Dizzy (remix)

 BAD1016
Lush — Black Spring

Nothing Natural, God’s Gift, Fallin’ In Love, Monochrome

 CAD1017
Spirea X — Fireblade Skies

Smile, Nothing Happened Yesterday, Rollercoaster (spirea), Chlorine Dream (remix), Fire And Light, Spirea 9, Speed Reaction, Confusion In My Soul, Signed D. C., Sisters And Brothers, Sunset Dawn

This post is part of the chronological look at all 4AD releases, year by year.

*) Missing from Spotify.

4AD 1990

Listen to 4AD 1990 on Spotify.

4AD head Ivo Watts-Russell has later said that he was going to shut down 4AD after ten years, but he didn’t because he felt an obligation to the bands. So instead 1990 turned into one of the busiest years ever, with 17 releases, and some of the biggest commercial successes in 4AD’s history.

Dead Can Dance released Aion, a release that I think converted anybody sceptical about them into fans. Pixies released Bossanova, which was very popular and the first release on 4AD I didn’t like since 1984. But Kim Deal from Pixies joined up with Tanya Donnelly from Throwing Muses and Josephine Wiggs and went into the studio with “producer” Steve Albini and came up with the Pod album, which I think is better than everything Pixies did ever combined.

And we got the first album from His Name Is Alive, which did much to ensure people sceptical of the other newcomers that 4AD was still spiffy.

And then there’s Cocteau Twins. Heaven or Las Vegas was their most commercial release ever, and sold a buttload of copies, and was also well-liked by old fans. Imagine that. But: During interviews Robin Guthrie had been saying increasingly dismissive things about Ivo, and he finally got fed up and released them from their contract out of the blue.

As was part of the pattern, after leaving 4AD they didn’t really do anything much worthwhile. People are still coming clean about whether they tolerated Four-Calendar Cafe or not.

Watts-Russell would start withdrawing from day-to-day running of the label (and the artists) after this. He had been very hands-on, from doing the A&R thing to signing bands to visiting them in the studio to overseeing the manufacturing, and that ended around this time. Perceived cohesion would start to dissolve over the next few years as other people at 4AD would start bringing in bands. The “4AD fan” thing would start to become a thing of the past. Which is perhaps a good thing? Or kinda melancholic. Take your pick.

1990

 CAD0002
Pale Saints — The Comforts Of Madness

Way The World Is, You Tear The World In Two, Sea Of Sound, True Coming Dream, Little Hammer, Insubstantial, A Deep Sleep For Steven, Language Of Flowers, Fell From The Sun, Sight Of You (remix), Time Thief

 BAD0003
Lush — Mad Love

De-Luxe, Leaves Me Cold, Downer, Thoughtforms (remix)

 BAD0004
Ultra Vivid Scene — Staring At The Sun

Staring At The Sun, Three Stars (*** version), Crash (remix), Something Better

 CAD0005
Ultra Vivid Scene — Joy 1967-1990

It Happens Every Time, Staring At The Sun, Three Stars (remix), Special One, Grey Turns White, Poison, Guilty Pleasure, Extra Ordinary, Beauty #2, The Kindest Cut, Praise The Low, Lightning

 CAD0006
The Breeders — Pod

Glorious, Doe, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, Oh!, Hellbound, When I Was A Painter, Fortunately Gone, Iris, Opened, Only In 3’s, Lime House, Metal Man

 CAD0007
Dead Can Dance — Aion

The Arrival And The Reunion, Saltarello, Mephisto, The Song Of The Sybil, Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book, As The Bell Rings The Maypole Spins, The End Of Words, Black Sun, Wilderness, The Promised Womb, The Garden Of Zephirus, Radharc

 CAD0008
His Name Is Alive — Livonia

As We Could Ever, e-nicolle, If July, Some and I, fossil, E-Nicolle, Caroline’s Supposed Demon, Fossil, reincarnation, You And I Have Seizures, How Ghosts Affect Relationships, Darkest Dreams

 BAD0009
Pixies — Velouria

Velouria, I’ve Been Waiting For You, Make Believe, The Thing (The Happening)

 CAD0010
Pixies — Bossanova

Cecilia Ann, Rock Music, Velouria, Allison, Is She Weird, Ana, All Over The World, Dig For Fire, Down To The Well (remix), The Happening, Blown Away, Hang Wire, Stormy Weather, Havalina

 BAD0011
Cocteau Twins — Iceblink Luck

Iceblink Luck, Mizake The Mizan, Watchlar

 CAD0012
Cocteau Twins — Heaven Or Las Vegas

Cherry-Coloured Funk, Pitch The Baby, Iceblink Luck, Fifty-Fifty Clown, Heaven Or Las Vegas, I Wear Your Ring, Fotzepolitic, Wolf In The Breast, Road River And Rail, Frou-Frou Foxes In Midsummer Fires

 BAD0013
Lush — Sweetness And Light

Sweetness And Light, Breeze, Sunbathing

 BAD0014
Pixies — Dig For Fire

Dig For Fire (single), Winterlong, Velvety Instrumental Version, Santo

 BAD0015
Pale Saints — Half-Life

Half-Life Remembered, Babymaker, Two Sick Sisters, A Revelation, The Colour Of The Sky

 BAD0016
Ultra Vivid Scene — Special One

Special One, Lightning (72 b.p.m / 4 a.m.), Kind Of A Drag, A Smile And A Death Wish

 CAD0017
Lush — Gala

Baby Talk, Thoughtforms, Scarlet, Bitter, Second Sight, Etheriel, De-Luxe, Leaves Me Cold, Downer, Thoughtforms (remix), Sweetness And Light, Breeze, Sunbathing, Hey Hey Helen, Scarlet (version two)

This post is part of the chronological look at all 4AD releases, year by year.

*) Missing from Spotify.