Friday, April 24, 2015

Lucky Sevens (Part 2)

Here are the final four of the seven 7" singles I nabbed while visiting Wombleton Records in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago. These aren't quite as impressive as the first three I wrote about early last week, but when you put them all together, I can't help but feel like it was probably my best haul since I hit the shops of Edinburgh and Glasgow in February 2012. Here's a quick summary:

One of my favorites in the collection is 'Boxed' from Hurrah! The album collects the first five singles from the first-ever band signed to Kitchenware. So, I already knew "Hip-hip" well, but I couldn't resist the 7" because of the famous question posed on the center label. "Hip-hip" was the first indie hit for the band, peaking at No. 21 in September 1983.

Hurrah! - Hip-hip

If you're a regular reader, then you know I was very late to the Wedding Present. I didn't buy my first album featuring Gedge until just a couple of years ago, but I have been making up for lost time. This time around I got the band's second single and first for Reception Records. In the past year, most of the Wedding Present's albums have been reissued. That's been great for me because all of you loyal fans have been trading in your old copies for these deluxe editions, and I have been right there to snatch up your used copies for next to nothing. So, in this case, my gaff has really paid off. Thanks! OK, back to this 7". "Once More" made it to No. 4 on the UK Independent Singles Chart in February 1986. I have listened to enough Wedding Present now to form an opinion on the entire discography, and I think 'George Best' and the songs just before and just after that brilliant album are my favorites. I like it loud and rapid fire. You can find "Once More" on the 'Tommy' compilation.

The Wedding Present - Once More

I don't place these last two singles quite as high as the others, but it was nice to see them in the stacks. If you already have the Sire-issued 'Hang-Ten!' compilation featuring those very early "Hang-Ten!," "Whole Wide World" and "Head Gone Astray" singles, then digging up the double-A "Hang-Ten!"/"Slow Things Down" single isn't going to impress you too much. Like all of those early singles, with the exception of "Whole Wide World" on the Subway Organization, this 7" is from the Raw TV label. Hey, at least it's on red vinyl. "Hang-Ten!" just missed the top spot, stalling at No. 2 on the indie chart in October 1986. The song is pretty great... before the guitars took over.

The Soup Dragons - Hang-Ten!

Of the six singles from Mighty Mighty, I would rank "Maisonette" sixth. Still, I like them all, and I was first in line when Cherry Red released the band's 2013 double-disc compilation 'Pop Can: The Definitive Collection 1986-88.' All six of Mighty Mighty's singles did well on the indie chart. The keyboard-heavy "Maisonette" was the last one, making it all the way to No. 8 in January 1988. Compilations have their place, but nothing beats a vinyl single, and I didn't have this one.

So concludes my haul from Wombleton Records. I wish I had a shop like this in my neck of the woods. Chances are it will be another year before I return.

Mighty Mighty - Maisonette


Echorich said...

I think Boxed is my favorite Hurrah! song. They were a group that deserved way more than they ever achieved in the charts. There was a certain Manchester band that stole their's and a lot of other band's fire in the middle 80's though. The one thing that set Hurrah! apart from the others was how grounded in the Post Punk they were as a pop band. Just listen to the guitars on I'll Be Surprised.

Echorich said...

Oops, I should never multitask when writing...of course I meant Hip-hip is my fave Hurrah! song!

Dirk said...

Looking forward to 'Maisonette', which I don't know at all! And re 'Once More': one would think that it'd be worth quite some money these days, but, in fact, it isn't at all ... quite surprising to me! And I'm absolutely with you about the Weddoes best period!

charity chic said...

Always gladdens my heart when I hear things like The Soup Dragons a band from Bellshill bought in LA by a guy from Seattle
As my brother would say - "it's a small world but I wouldn't like to paint it!"

Brian said...

Sadly, I don't think you're going to love Maisonette, but I would love to be wrong. I paid a little more than Discogs' median price for "Once More," but you just can't substitute that feeling of finding it in a shop. Well worth a few extra bucks.

I know what you mean. I have those same moments when you, Scott, George or Swede post something from America that I would never have guessed you fellas would have ever heard. I love that. You guys pull out stuff from Chicago (where I have spent the most time in my life) all the time that are such pleasant surprises.

Brian said...

I didn't stick with Hurrah! in the long haul, but those early singles are gold. Happy we have 'Boxed' in common. Not sure there are a ton of those floating around over here.

Scott said...

Another impressive haul Brian, hard to believe it is almost 30 years since most of these singles came out. Tommy is the album I always pull out when I fancy hearing a bit of The Weddoes. That and George Best are, for me, their best work. When I first saw Hurrah! on The Tube I thought they were destined for the big time but like so many others it just didn't happen. Sweet Sanity was always a big fave of mine.

Brian said...

Hi Scott. I'm still one studio album short of having them all, but we are of the same opinion on the Weddoes. I still need, Watusi, however, and FORW is of the opinion that it's among the best. Nobody has traded that one in yet in my neck of the woods, but I can be patient.

Scott said...

I would totally agree with FORW about Watusi. Rarely gets the credit it deserves but well worth picking up a copy if you see one.

Brian said...

Scott, Found a used Watusi today. Woo-hoo!