Rough Trade 1989. RTD137
I’m not sure why I have a German copy of this – the UK issue was of course on Creation. It was the follow up to the rather wonderful Tender Pervert, and while it continued his great songwriting and his especially sharp lyrics, it marked the start of his irritating journey into third rate electronica. It’s best to try to screen that out and concentrate on what Momus does best – if you do, the album will reward your efforts.
The album includes a favourite of mine, Right Hand Heart which I’ve already posted a demo version of. The demo is such a favourite that I’ve done a shiny new rip of it because my new cartridge picks up a lot less surface noise. Get it here.
Creation 1990. CRELP 082
Creation were in the habit of putting out endless badly compiled and pointless compilations whenever their bank balance was a bit low, which with Kevin Shields’ studio bills to pay, it often was. This one is certainly badly compiled and some of the tracks are awful, but it isn’t pointless because there are some rare gems amongst the garbage.
First up is The House Of Love with a sublime live acoustic version of Shine On recorded live, apparently during one of Guy Chadwick’s meltdowns. It was originally on a flexi given away at gigs, and Creation, being hopelessly disorganised had lost the tape, so this was mastered from a rather damaged flexi. It sounds surprisingly listenable given the source and it’s well worth downloading the album for this track alone.
Next is a My Bloody Valentine rarity – an instrumental taken from a 7″ single given away free with the first few copies of Isn’t Anything. It’s unlike anything else they recorded, in that it uses a drum loop – in fact the same drum loop Madonna later used on Justify My Love, and works really well. It’s doubly welcome here because it sounds much better than the original 7″, although it has more recently been included as an extra track on the re-issue of Isn’t Anything. The same comment applies to the excellent Momus track (I’ve posted a rip of the terrible sounding original 7″ already – this pressing is much better).
The rest are dodgy album out-takes and rejected singles. Mostly it’s not hard to see why they were rejected, although if there are any bands here you particularly like, they’re worth having. The Jazz Butcher track is rather good, but this Peel session version is inferior to the officially released one which I’ll post at some point. Of interest is the Nikki Sudden track which was recorded with Peter Buck of REM – and anyway you can never have too much Nikki Sudden.
Creation Records 1988. CRELP 021 CD
Rownderbowt over at the excellent Huremics wanted some Momus, so I’ve re-upped all my old Momus posts, and added this one, which is his second album, and the earliest one I own. The further back you go through his catalogue, the less he uses irritating bedroom electronica as backing, so on this album his excellent songwriting and lyrics are relatively unencumbered.
This is the CD issue which includes the contemporaneous EP Murderers The Hope Of Women as the first three tracks. Normally I separate out this sort of thing and present them as they were originally released, but not this time – just didn’t get around to it I’m afraid.
I haven’t really got anything more to add to what I said when I posted Tender Pervert – you can read all that stuff here.
Creation Records 1988. CRELP 032 CD
Some time ago I listed Creation’s first ever CD, a compilation of early singles. It’s been one of the most popular posts, so here’s its companion release, Purple. It covers similar ground, has similar artists and is of a similar high standard. As I recall it didn’t sell nearly as well as the first one – I guess people thought one of these compilations was enough. Anyway if you liked the first one, you’ll like this one too.
Creation Records 1988. CRELP 028 CD
I bought this the same day I bought my first CD player. As I left the shop I realised I had only one CD, Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me by The Smiths – a good start but listening to one single over and over was going to drive me nuts, so I rushed out and bought this and the New Order Substance compilation. As far as I know this was also the first CD Creation released – there are some with lower catalogue numbers, but with those the CD was issued some time after the vinyl.
Creation had a habit of putting out way too many compilation albums, usually when they were short of cash, and quality was often poor. This one works well though. It’s a retrospective of their early singles, although strangely the Revolving Paint Dream track it’s named after doesn’t appear. It has the artists you’d expect – Primal Scream in their jangly phase, House Of Love & Felt, as well as forgotten gems like The Loft. It works as a reminder of what made the label great in the first place – not that some of their later phases weren’t great too.
Creation Records 1988. CRE-FRE 3
Not separately listed on Discogs.
This 7″ was given away free with the first few copies of Momus’s best (I think) album, Tender Pervert. Both tracks seem to be demos, although info about this release is hard to come by.
What I do know is that this is one of the shoddiest 7″ singles I own. It’s pressed off centre, is distorted and crackles a fair bit. I thought about not bothering posting it, but it deals well with Momus’s biggest musical problem, which is burying his songs under loads of bland and/or irritating arrangements. These much simpler versions work far better, and so it’s worth putting up with the poor sound quality. Alan McGee apparently agreed – he liked Momus’s demos more than the released versions.
Momus is still recording, although I’ve bought nothing for at least a decade so no real recommendations. He’s written books too which I might check out at some point.
Right Hand Heart
The Poison Boyfriend (1982)
Creation 1988. CRELP 036 CD
Momus is the Greek god of satire and mockery, an apt name for Nick Currie’s musical persona which reached its most satisfying expression on this, his third album. It’s lyrically complex, dealing with death, ravished innocence, and on this album particularly, anger about the Thatcher government’s attitude towards homosexuality in the wake of the AIDS crisis. In fact so angry was the (straight) Currie about this that the album was originally called The Homosexual, changed only when Creation boss Alan McGee pointed out it would make distribution difficult.
The lyrics on this album are immensely entertaining. They’re twisted, witty stories dealing with all manner of socially unacceptable subjects very much in the vein of Serge Gainsbourg. Later Momus albums were made, at least for me relatively unlistenable by his use of irritating DIY electropop backing. Yes, the pastiche of the Pet Shop Boys was effective, but, well, he wasn’t very good at it. On this album though the backing works much better with the material.
I was going to say much more about it, but I came across this on Momus’s web site which is Currie revisiting his own work a long time after the event. It makes for a really interesting read, and is certainly more worthwhile than anything I might say.
This is the original Creation CD issue. I also have the first vinyl pressing, which I’m certainly not going to rip, but it did come with an interesting bonus 7″ which I’ll post. Like so much else, it’s held up by turntable problems.