Compilation Terrorist: Richey’s Tapes
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.
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