Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Both Sides of Split 7" Deserve A-Side Status

Calvin Johnson's K label is arguably best known for releases from his band Beat Happening, early Beck or a slew of local bands in and around his hometown of Olympia, Washington. Some of us, though, revere Johnson for bringing UK indie pop to our shores by licensing the occasional single or album from the likes of the Pastels, Flatmates, Bis, Teenage Fanclub and a bevy of bands from Amelia Fletcher's musical tree, including Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, Marine Research and Tender Trap.

Speaking of Marine Research, here they are in 1998 sharing a single on K's 7" series International Pop Underground (IPU). This is one of those split singles where each band covers a song first recorded by the other. Boise's own Built to Spill spent the better part of two decades on major label Warner Bros., but they released the single "Joyride" on IPU in 1994, for which "Sick & Wrong" was the B-side. That's the one Marine Research nabbed. Built to Spill took "By the Way" from Heavenly's 1996 album 'Operation Heavenly.' That would have been the last release from Amelia and Co. before drummer (and brother) Matthew Fletcher passed away. Thus the new band name and fresh start. This split single would have been the first release as Marine Research. Their single "Queen B" would come out on Where It's At Is Where You Are a little later in the year. The chapter called Marine Research was a short one, but there were some great songs, especially the sublime "Parallel Horizontal."

Built to Spill - By the Way
Marine Research - Sick & Wrong


C said...

Really enjoyed 'Sick and Wrong' (far from its title's suggestion!) - thanks Brian.

The Swede said...

A pair of good 'uns Brian, but, like C, I'd say 'Sick & Wrong' is my pick of the two.