Com­pi­la­tion Ter­ror­ist: Richey’s Tapes

Q (UK) - - Cover Story -

The most strik­ing thing about Richey Edwards’s DIY cas­settes, com­piled during his years with Nicky Wire at Swansea Univer­sity (’ ’87-’89), 87-’89), is they could’ve been made by thou­sands of iden­ti­cally mu­sic-pos­sessed fa­nat­ics across the UK prov­inces. They’re all there: the day’s Top 40 “in­die clas­sics” (Smiths, Lloyd Cole, Bun­ny­men). But the true in­sights into his pas­sion-gen­er­at­ing psy­che lie in his metic­u­lously cho­sen, random thrills (with­out specif­i­cally nam­ing any­one).

“CRI­SIS”, sub-headed in­side with “IN­TRO­DUC­ING THE BLUE BEATS”, is a com­pen­dium of punk/post-punk and clas­sic ’60s: Teenage Warn­ing (An­gelic Up­starts), Love Is Dead (The God­fa­thers), Mandinka (Sinéad O’Con­nor), Seven Days Too Long ( 1967 Chuck Wood North­ern soul song, per­haps the Dexys ver­sion) and The Kinks’ The Vil­lage Green Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety. Most sur­pris­ingly is his hith­erto un­known love for the jin­gle-pop he­roes of the “C86” gen­er­a­tion, In Spite Of Th­ese Times (Close Lob­sters), Head Gone Astray (Soup Dragons) and the win­some Comin’ Through (The Pas­tels), from the man who once provoca­tively de­clared he hated weedy early-’ 90s shoegaz­ers Slow­dive “more than Hitler”. post-punk and four from The Rolling Stones (in­clud­ing Brown Sugar), some ac­knowl­edged clas­sics, some un­apolo­get­i­cally un­cool, in­clud­ing five from The Cult’s 1987 Elec­tric al­bum, two from the New York Dolls (Per­son­al­ity Cri­sis, Who Are The Mys­tery Girls), three from Wire ( 106 Beats That, Mr Suit, Man­nequin) and a spec­trum of the un­ex­pected: Ivy Ivy Ivy (early Pri­mal Scream in MC5 homage), King Rocker (Gen­er­a­tion X), I’m Gonna Be Strong (Gene Pit­ney), It’s Only Make Be­lieve (pos­si­bly the Con­way Twitty ver­sion) and could Oh! Carol re­ally be Neil Sedaka’s perky Brill Build­ing ode to Ca­role King? His tastes were vast, im­pec­ca­ble, cu­ri­ous, funny and, most of all, REAL.

“ROCK’N’ROLL is here to stay” cu­rates from punk, glam-metal, more

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