Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Ten inky covers

Yes I have been in the attic pulling out all the MMs and (as I am duty bound to embarrass my mother every time) 'Neemies' and asking myself the question should they stay or should they go. I'm veering toward a cull, keeping only the most significant issues and giving away ('to a good home', etc) the rest. Some of the most emotive covers are here:


Manic Street Preachers – Indecent Exposure (inside headline - 11 May 91) Not their debut inky cover (I couldn’t find either that or Flowered Up’s one for prime examples of the weeklies’ hyperbole of the Next Big Thing), or even the infamous ‘4 real’ self-harming Lamacq interview of a few years later, but this Cummins cover from around May 1991 was definitive visually of the band’s Richie period. The classic inky band, in that their statements were always much more interesting than their music, no matter what phase or line-up they were in.


Primal Scream – The Final Frontier (1 June 91) Bobby Gillespie and co had to ditch indie, rock and then indie-dance (just how plodding is the main weatherall mix of Loaded?) before they were ready to hit the motherlode, with the landmark Screamadelica. This interview was a promo for the Higher Than the Sun single. Gillespie told Reynolds how he was ‘through being cool’ – but it was the pull and framework of traditional music media that influenced them reverting to that on Rocks (Cocks).


The Shamen – Last Will and Testament (8 June 91). The Shamen were never much cop musically but they were evangelists for the new culture with their Synergy night and had a lot of love and support. Such a pity then that Will died while they were shooting a video in the Canaries – not least as that would indirectly usher in Ebenezer Goode. Also inside, Slowdive, three singles in, tell us how they could never listen to ‘punk – to me that is horrible’.


LFO/techno – Digital Overground (18 January 92). A big one for me, conceptually. Like every other raver I recognised that the sound I was dancing to was ‘hardcore’, in itself more of an attitude than anything in a scene that still incorporated techno but was fast mutating. Was this a conscious effort to put a more comfortable label on the scene, paving the way for an approvable canon from Derrick onto Deutschland? Any road a classic example of when the mainstream music press tried to cover something that was not ‘theirs’, putting a slightly ill-fitting frame on things (LFO’s best work was already way behind them). This would effectively mean a lot of recovering ground when jungle, which was emphatically not techno, arrived only a year or so later.


Nirvana – Face to Face with Kurt and Courtney (19/26 December 92). Another whose best work was behind them, for entirely different reasons. Grunge had exploded, and even though certain groups I mingled in had already been big on Mudhoney and Nirvana, nobody denied the force of Nevermind, and its ability to convert the rocker-mates. Poignant to think that Kurt was already very probably lost on the H at this child-rearing time. I’d seen their last UK gig at Reading (earlier that year), and that was enough of a mindfuck. The demand for others’ satisfaction would be too much.


Velvet Underground – 50 in Their Shades (5 June 93). Emerging proof that heroes/ghosts from the past, even the most ‘anti-establishment’/‘alternative’/‘cult’ etc would come back to haunt us for the revival live gig paycheck. Now it’s me and the wife’s favourite cd ‘for the car’. Me and my mate Tommy wouldn’t have reckoned with either of those developments when we were lost in the band’s noise at 14/15.


Simon’s single reviews (28 August 93). Still often a lone voice because the NME and MM had gone big on ‘techno’ and other less exciting splintered genres as we’d seen, for me too this was sadly mainly of informational use as I had left the emergent sound behind on heading up north for higher ed. Tantalising prospect only then, with Foul Play’s Open Your Mind only not SOTW because there was no picture available of any of the group (so Goldie got it for Angel). I’d be back.



Cypress Hill – Gang Squeaks Roachshow (!)(19 Feb 94)/Snoop Dogg – Every Dog has its Dre (better!)(14 May 94). Evidence that hip-hop was becoming bigger than any of us would ever want it to be, that the spectacle would soon take over. Back then though, we could still just ride the new sounds. Cypress’ two albums were big in weed-smoking studentland, that Muggs blunted low-end reeling in even non-hip hoppers for a while (especially when Jump Around was released), and we’d be on Dre’s G-funk thing not much later, and with expert cultural relativism bang that out with the ‘gin and juice’ before heading out for a night out in our home counties patch.


Oasis – Those Windows Are Saying ‘Throw a Chair Through Me’ (4 June 94). This was emphatically not what the world was waiting for, but like the suckaz we were experienced a massive sonic consolidation with the City boys. But a great Cummins cover in the classic inky icon-building style. The bigger ressentiment was theirs, as the first tunes we heard (Columbia, Supersonic) did not suggest quite how deferential and traditional the rest of their stuff would be. Britpop was near, and the UK would go back to liking the cut of its jib for several painful years. The effective nail in the Roses’ coffin.


Glastonbury –Pastoral Breaks (2 July 94). When Glstnbry came around, it was time not to worry about subgenres and who’s carrying the torch, as rave had revitalised the Worthy Farm festival for a good few years of TAZ hedonism before its latest ‘alternative weekend break’ incarnation in the noughties.
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you not have the Melody Maker with Raymonde on the cover?

12:19 pm  

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