Sometimes you own a record, you even like it, you listen to it off and on for almost 20 years, and then suddenly it clicks: The record you've liked for so long, is actually a masterpiece. Bits and bobs that you'd just hummed along to as the notes flew past, suddenly found their place in the collage of noise. And you wished the music never ended.
The Wedding Present record Seamonsters, from 1991, is that record for me. I've owned it since it was released in 1991, on import since at the time it had no US release. I liked it for two reasons: 1) singer David Gedge, while a terrific songwriter, can't sing his way out of a paper bag - just like yours truly; and 2) it was recorded by Steve Albini. But for almost 20 years it stayed just that - a record I was happy to own, but didn't get more than the odd listen over the years. Then one day "Suck" came on the ol' iPod and suddenly I was transfixed. It just was "one of those moments", I can't really explain it. The same with "Carolyn" with its oddly-Mancunian groove, the same with "Dalliance".
The rest of the record suddenly became the same way for me. Not a duff track in the bunch, I even loved the B-sides tacked on by US label First Warning to differentiate the record from the import version that had been in the shops for some time prior to the eventual domestic release.
I think Steve Albini has that magic "something" when it comes to engineering records. Nearly every record he engineers has that same "in your face" feeling, you often feel as if you're RIGHT THERE between the Marshall stacks or Hiwatt cabinets. The drums in particular sound spectacular on just about every Albini recording - I would kill to hear the drums soloed at the console one day.
So I went back and eventually tracked down every song the Weddoes recorded with Albini - and here they are, in their entirety. Starting in 1990 with the re-recorded "Brassneck" (originally recorded and released on the 1989 LP Bizarro) backed with three other tracks (including a song written by then-unknowns Pavement "Box Elder", a track discovered by Weddoes bassist Keith Gregory when visiting New York City in 1989, before virtually anyone had heard of Pavement), Albini went on to engineer the vast majority of Wedding Present sessions up to and including their third LP Seamonsters, released in 1991.
So first we have the "Brassneck" EP with its associated B-sides. Then, we get the "3 Songs" EP which introduced the classic "Corduroy" to the world - a re-recorded version would feature later on the LP. Then, we get the B-sides to "Dalliance" (the lead single off their forthcoming LP), and then we get the Seamonsters album proper. Then we have the "Lovenest" single in its entirety, and then lastly two more covers also recorded by Albini.
This collection of material is stunning in its breadth and power. The Weddoes, in your humble blogger's opinion, never bettered this material featured here - I'm even including their most recent record that has the Weddoes name on it, and was recorded by Albini, but doesn't rate at all.
THE WEDDING PRESENT
The (classic) Steve Albini Recordings 1990-1991
02 Don't Talk, Just Kiss
04 Box Elder
05 Corduroy (single version)
07 Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)
08 She's My Best Friend
20 Lovenest (edit)
22 Dan Dare
24 Don't Dictate
1-4 "Brassneck" EP, 1990
5-7 "3 Songs" EP, 1990
8-9 "Dalliance" CD single, 1991
10-19 Seamonsters LP, 1991
20-23 "Lovenest" CD single, 1991
24-25 Singles 1989-1991 2xCD, 1999
EDIT: Links removed... why? Because I was honored with my first DMCA notice! Way to go, TPoIT! Only took three years...
Thanks due to Tock and Jan...........