The Times: Beat Torture


Creation records 1988.  CRELP038


I reckon if this had come out 15 years earlier, and been on, say Elektra it would have been huge.  As it is, it lies forgotten by nearly everyone.

The Times (more accurately Ed Ball who is the band) have always been a bit of a puzzle to me.  He was one of the label’s most prolific artists, and what I’ve heard I like very much.   There never seemed to be any buzz around him, and despite the label, he was never really cool.  I guess this album was a bit too rock n roll for Creation and for 1988.

So what we have here is a series of quite anthemic rock songs, some of which sound as though they ought to be classics, but none of them are.  The material is a bit ambitious for his voice, but the album is so good, he gets away with it anyway.

The cover art is typical of what Creation used to do when they’d run out of money, although my first pressing comes in a custom plastic carrier bag with a picture of Ed Ball with a noose, which must have cost a few quid.


Various Artists: Pensioners On Ecstasy


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.

Various Artists: Lunacy Is Legend EP


Barracuda Blue Records 1987.  12UTA9


As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t had much time lately to post stuff here, or to do vinyl rips.  That’s because I became a dad for the first time last week, so priorities have shifted a bit.  Things are calming down now so I’ll get back to it, but from now on the pace will be a bit slower.

I’m also having filehost trouble – all music bloggers get it at some point.  Ultramegabit are taking down files much faster than they’re supposed to, bitshare are terminally unreliable and my 4shared account is pretty much full.  So I need another free filehost who doesn’t take files down, but have no time right now to look for one.  Any suggestions gratefully received.

In the meantime, here’s a rather obscure EP which is mostly a Marc Bolan tribute.  The real draw here is Nikki Sudden whose massive body of work is consistently worthwhile.  Here he contributes a rather pleasing acoustic version of Sailors Of The Highway.  The Times later signed for Creation and are mostly an Ed Ball solo project – his version of The Slider adds a nice grungy element to the song.  I know nothing at all about the Necessitarians, nor why of the three tracks they contribute only one is a Bolan cover.

There are more detailed notes about this release than I can be bothered to write here.