Thursday, June 21, 2018

Kitchenware Classic

David's excellent Kitchenware compilation featured at the New Vinyl Villain today brings me to another single picked up just last week at a shop in Seattle. I have a real soft spot for those early records from the Newcastle label, and I can't ever seem to pass one up, even if, as is in this case, it's one I didn't really need.

The 12" of Prefab Sprout's 1984 single "Couldn't Bear to Be Special" isn't any different from the version found on 'Swoon', and I already had the two B-sides (in the case of "Spinning Belinda" it has been a flip side on multiple singles), but it was just simply seeing these songs presented in a way my eyes had never visualized before that got me excited. I have always loved that 'Swoon' aesthetic. I didn't hesitate to buy it. In fact, before finding this 12", I didn't even know "Couldn't Bear to Be Special" ever was a single. Even now, as I type, I find myself looking at the cover and smiling. I'm still picking up Kitchenware records in 2018! Is there a better feeling than going into a shop and being surprised like that?

"Couldn't Bear to Be Special"
"Spinning Belinda"
"Donna Summer"


Echorich said...

Donna Summer is just a languid, touching jazz-pop song. It's the type of Prefab Sprout song that makes me feel like it's special to be a fan of the band. The depth of their B-sides is endless.

MisterPrime said...

Hey Brian. ‘I Couldn’t Bear…’ is pretty much untouchable I’d have to agree. The other song I love from ‘Swoon’ is ‘I Never Play Basketball Now’ which was, I’m pretty sure, the first song I ever heard of theirs – played on the Radio by John Peel. I concur with you on the whole aesthetic of these releases too – I bought ‘Swoon’ on vinyl recently (a charity shop find) and I like the way the sleeve design spreads over the gatefold, it’s angles slightly ‘off’ and you can’t really work out what’s going on until you open it out. I was going to tell you the tale (lost in reverie as I now am) of how Prefab Sprout were the first ‘proper’ band I saw live, in 1984 at the Victoria Hall in Hanley. A friends sister and her mate were going and we managed to nag our way into a lift. However, a quick look at the ‘net seems to imply that I might be at the mercy of my at-best treacherous memory once again: whilst they clearly played there in ’84, I think the gig I was at was the ‘Steve McQueen’ tour date in November ’85 – certainly I remember the fact that Wendy wasn’t there due to illness and that seems to have been the later date. This means I’d already made my own way to a few gigs Stoke gigs that I’m somewhat less proud of (Marillion and Hawkwind for definite) in the meantime and I’ve obviously just adjusted my memories later on to make the cooler one my first! Anyway, the fact that I now discover that the band never played live in the States probably means I should be careful about crowing about having seen them at all. If it helps any, I was sixteen, went off them after ‘McQueen’ for being ‘too pop’ and only recently discovered in my dotage what a great album ‘Langley Park To Memphis’ actually is…!

Anonymous said...

Really bugged me when I wrote that piece that I couldn't remember what Swoon is alleged to stand for. Reading this it just popped into my head! - Songs Written out of Necessity.

Pop Judge said...

Possibly Swoon is my favourite album all time. I know what you mean about just owning the beautiful record even if you have the song elsewhere. Lions in My Own Garden Exit Someone 12" is one of my most prized vinyl possessions, although those songs are not on any album of course.

Brian said...

Top-notch comments, Sprouts!