28 November 2005

Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street flexi


For those unfamiliar with the format, a flexidisc was a 7inch record pressed on very thin plastic. The sound quality was rubbish to start with, even before it picked up the creases inevitable to such a thin item, but it was enough to give the listener a decent enough clue to the music, and it was cheap and light making it ideal for give-aways.

One such give-away was the flexi that came with the 29th April 1972 edition of New Musical Express.

On one side was some tosh by Curved Air and something called Blind Alley by Fanny, whoever the hell they were. It's the stuff on the other side we're concerned with.

Two weeks before the release of Exile On Main Street, here were excerpts of four tracks (All Down The Line, Tumbling Dice, Shine A Light and Happy), linked by a track called Exile On Main Street Blues. This song is a slow piano boogie with Jagger singing a lyric that strings together a load of the titles of the album tracks. It's a great little oddity, and as far as I know it's never been officially reissued anywhere.

I've put up two MP3s - one's the full flexi, and on the other I've cut out the album tracks so it's a splicing together of Exile On Main Street Blues on its own.

[MP3s deleted to make room for new ones. Sorry!]

10 November 2005

The Colourfield - The Colourfield & Sorry


The Colourfield are best remembered for the hit Thinking Of You, and its follow-up Castles In The Air. Both songs set Terry Hall's trademark deadpan vocal against airy pretty pop tunes.

But their eponymous debut single was another thing altogether. Hard, dark, brooding, ominous, with a bleak, almost paranoid lyric, it still had one foot firmly in the Fun Boy Three camp. The difference between the bands lies in the guitarryness of The Colourfield, which manifests on this track as a hard Bunnymenish edge.

Constantly pushing forward, sinister and urgent, unlike anything else they ever did, it's a truly magnificent single.

The B-side, Sorry, is a failed-relationship song, and was re-recorded for the Virgins And Philistines album. More typical of what the band would become, it is really too good to have been tucked away on a B-side.

Incidentally, I went to see The Colourfield at Liverpool University on the Virgins & Philistines tour. Hall was as dour and miserable as you'd imagine him to be, and then some. He introduced the album's title track as 'Virgins & Fill-me-arse', and sang the first verse of Thinking Of You as 'I guess you kind of ought to know I ought to be having a shit / But friendship built on trust means everyone gets on my tits'. Miserable bugger.

[MP3 deleted to make way for new ones. Sorry!]