various artists "indie pop 1" (rough trade)
long after the event we welcome 2xcd from rough trade showcasing a useful 46 indie tunes, and all people can do is slag it (well, i'm thinking of ilxor.com here), saying ooh, i would have picked a different 46 songs - no kidding. but the whole point is surely that if this comp contained just a HANDFUL of great long-lost songs, it would be worth fast-forwarding thru any number of aural monstrosities. (and in fact i'm delighted to say that there are very few complete duds on here - just the sign o' the times that the worst song on here is the most recent, aberfeldy's dismally dull "vegetarian restaurant", complete with dreary falsetto...)
IT IS WORTH YOU BUYING THIS COMPILATION because it contains first outings on cd for the likes of this poison!'s "poised over the pause button". IT WOULD BE WORTH BUYING if the only track on it was my real revelation, a r kane's "when you're sad". IT IS WORTH BUYING because until someone does the decent thing and re-releases all my bloody valentine's best stuff, we need to have "paint a rainbow" on our cd players. IT IS WORTH BUYING because unless you already have them all it contains classic and / or excellent tracks from june brides, flatmates, the wedding present, primal scream, josef k, mary lou lord, razorcuts, television personalities, felt, sea urchins, THE SHOP ASSISTANTS for god's sake - it has the shining jewel in scotpop's crown "safety net" - the pastels, mccarthy, talulah gosh... and heavenly's "sort of mine" which THEY PLAYED IN THE VIRGIN MEGASTORE ON OXFORD STREET to an absolutely unadoring and unsuspecting audience of latenight city shoppers but it put a full smile on my face.... and it finishes with "government administrator" by eggs and "sweeping the nation" by spearmint, and whilst neither song make me spin on the ceiling with ageless ecstasy like "you trip me up" (yep, that's here too!! god yes!), they show how "our" whole scene in fact folded so easily into producing fantastic proper, real, likeable, songsmithery, only to be rebuffed by the cold, insular mainstream.
it does not matter that there are about 500 or 600 ace indie-pop tunes that are not on this compilation. instead, it is worth just immersing yourselves in the better tunes and the sleevenotes, and reflecting on the truth that, as matt haynes says, that somewhere around indiepop zero aka 1986, "the ruins of the old pre-punk world were [still]... ours to have a jig in".
it does not matter that guitar music these days is in a fcuking state, nor that oasis and co put out the embers of punk's co-opting, positive flame in the 90s, even that "punk" these days is a trio of public schoolboys who vote tory because their disposable consumer tripe has made them a royal mint. it does not matter that ukhiphop and grindcore and garage and grime are producing the sort of quality now that today's crop of indiepopsters can but dream of. what matters is that we don't have to forget, or ever be ashamed, of what we enjoyed back then, and best of all, we don't even have to stop enjoying it. i'd rather this compilation existed than didn't to the power of 10, so thanks be to rough trade for letting us have it. aight ?