Friday, May 16, 2014

UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 13)

I'm counting down my top 50 singles from the golden age of the UK Independent Charts.

13. The Wedding Present - "My Favourite Dress"

Other Contenders: "This Boy Can Wait," "Nobody's Twisting Your Arm" and "Anyone Can Make a Mistake" received serious consideration. Between 1985 and 1988, the band made this chart nine times.

Chart Entry: Feb. 14, 1987

Peak Position: No. 4

Comment: I go back decades with 49 of the 50 singles on my list. This song is the exception. Sadly, prior to February 2013, I never owned an album from the Wedding Present. For whatever reason, the songs I had by them on various compilations never got me off the sofa to take the plunge. When Friend of Rachel Worth at the now defunct Cathedrals of Sound (you are missed!) highlighted the band's 'Take Fountain' on his Desert Island Discs list, I asked him where he thought I should start. 'George Best' was one of his recommendations, and I bought it immediately.

This has been, by far, my most listened to album of the past year, and each play is like running into a tornado. What energy! Yet, this tune is a particularly sad one: "To see it all in a drunken kiss, a stranger's hand on my favorite dress" really gets me. To these ears, every song on the album sounds like a single. I suspect if I went all of the way back to 1987 with the songs from the 'George Best' era, "My Favourite Dress" would be in contention for the top spot on this list. Still, after only about a year, No. 13 with a bullet is mighty impressive.

Buy "My Favourite Dress" on 'George Best.'

13 comments:

Dirk said...

Choosing but one here is an impossible task! I couldn't even tell which B-Side is the best!!

For nostalgic reasons I'd go for 'Once More', because that's the first tune I heard by them ... no idea whether this ever charted though ..

Brian said...

Hey Dirk. Yes, Once More was the second charting single and the first to make the top 10. It peaked at No. 4 on the indie list in February 1986. I have really gobbled up everything by them from this time period, and now I'm working on the RCA and Island stuff. I know TVV has always touted Seamonsters, and FORW suggested Watusi. So, those are the two I'm breaking in now. I missed out on a lot... I guess we all have a band or two that we just somehow keep missing.

Echorich said...

Funny, the Wedding Present went pretty unnoticed by me until the early 2000's when I was trying to catch on bands I had missed over the past 30 yrs. I have to say the Gedge and Co. have released some great music over the years. George Best is by far my favorite album of theirs. I'm glad I didn't have to attempt to lump them in with other bands of their era and can now listen to them outside of genre pointing.

Brian said...

Ah, you were late to the party, too. I'm in good company. Echorich, I have a few other bands in this untapped group, and two of them are ones you have recommended... Kitchens of Distinction and Comsat Angels. I have heard a little of both but don't own any albums from either. What a crime. Hope to remedy that soon.

Echorich said...

I highly recommend your further investigation of Comsat Angels. Their story as a band and what they went through is as interesting and aggravating as the path their music took. I am a diehard fan, stuck with them through thick and thin and have elevated their importance in my musical canon with each passing year. They are deep in the core of my collection.

friend of rachel worth said...

I love the lyrics on gb they sound like conversations set to music . Favourite dress just pips once more for me for his howl of despair

george said...

"George Best" was at one time one of The Ten Best Albums Of all Time. Excellent choice, Brian, and yes the album still sounds great, even after all these years.

friend of rachel worth said...

Meant to say re kitchens, although it doesn't have their best song on (the prize) strange free world and cowboys and aliens are my 2:favs

Echorich said...

Re Re Kitchens -- For me its a toss up right now between Strange Free World and the new one Folly. Folly is an album made without reservation and so strongly focused. Patrick Fitzgerald puts it all on the line on songs like Oak Tree and Photographing Rain.

Brian said...

Great to hear from you, George. So, I guess George Best will be part of your almost top 10 list, eh? Love that series.

FORW and Echorich, My Kitchens of Distinction moment came last November when they were here in Seattle and performed in the studios of KEXP. I heard it live while in the car, and I really took to it. If you have time, check out this version of Drive That Fast.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fWbfuCgLPU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kakepL_q9os

friend of rachel worth said...

I was a tad disappointed with folly ,maybe just need to give it more of a chance

Séamus Duggan said...

George Best was also one of my favourite albums when it came out and it still sounds fresh today. That great mix of heartache and energy, feel good miserabilism is a winner every time. My Favourite Dress would be a contender for my favourite off it, although it's a tough choice.

Brian said...

I know, Seamus. There was some toil, to be sure, but you can't really be wrong with anything from that album.