This Too Shall Pass Away

I found myself humming this song to myself while at work earlier this week- not sure what that tells you. This Too Shall Pass Away was on World Of Twist’s 1991 album Quality Street, the 3rd track in after the magnificent opening one-two punch of Lose My Way and Sons Of The Stage. Fading in on some studio chatter and tons of echo and a bubbling bassline, it is a gently sung, swirly piece of psychedelic pop, FX and atmospherics courtesy of producers The Grid. This Too Shall Pass Away is a cover, one of two covers on the album along with their terrific cover of The Stones’ She’s A Rainbow (and also Sly Stone’s Life And Death on the cd version). It was originally by 60s pop combo The Honeycombs, who had a million selling number one with the Joe Meek produced Have I The Right?

This Too Shall Pass Away

Quality Street is often seen as a ‘lost’ album, a record that slightly missed the boat. The band lost momentum and broke up. Part of this was down to the failure of the album (and not having a massive hit single) which led to the band being dropped. The Manchester wave crested and broke. But it was partly down to the album itself (not that there is anything wrong with the songs or the production). It’s the mastering of the volume. It’s too quiet. Tony Ogden, who died in 2006, was interviewed about the record and said ‘We wanted to make the greatest psychedelic dance rock album ever and there was a lot of coke and E in the studio. But the album came out at half normal volume. We’d spent £250,000 making an album with the smallest bollocks in pop history! The band just fell apart. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast and that led to communication problems. I didn’t wanna sing, the guitarist didn’t wanna play. When the company didn’t get a hit they threw us in the bin. I was devastated – I spent four years on smack watching Third Reich movies because the good guys always win. I’m really sorry for letting our fans down. But I’d ask anyone to play that World of Twist album 20 times with every dial on full. If it doesn’t rock, come and smash it over my head.’

 

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Sweets

World Of Twist were the outliers of the Manchester scene and made some cracking records between 1990 and 1992. Sweets was a stab at a hit on the proper charts with a lyric written by Tony Ogden in a deliberate attempt to write an awful lyric- ‘sweets are sweet but you are sweeter baby’. Actually it isn’t that bad. I’ve heard worse. It wasn’t a hit reaching number 58 in 1991. This version is from the 12″ single, produced by The Grid, and is really rather sweet.

Sweets (Barrett 200 Mix)

Greater Reward

Talking Heads yesterday, Severed Heads today. Severed Heads are/were an Australian electronic/post punk outfit formed in 1979 and operating on and off with a revolving door of personnel from then until now. In 1989 their Greater Reward single was remixed in a variety of versions and mixes and the following year The Grid turned in this rather nice and very 1990 version, house piano to the fore at first, then beats and bass and handclaps before the pianos return.

Greater Reward (The Grid Remix)

Still Feel The Rain

Sometimes a fringe and a denim jacket is all you need. Johnny Marr’s been all over the media recently including here two days ago. His guitar playing was all over other people’s work too, occasionally during his time in the The Smiths and then especially in the years afterwards. In full flow in the years after the split he recorded impossibly funky Nile Rodgers style guitar onto Still Feel the Rain by Stex. I’ve got a real softspot for this single and even with that very 1990 drumbeat this song still sounds good today. The Grid were involved in a remixed version on the 12″. Difficult to believe this wasn’t a massive hit.

Still Feel The Rain

In the video the fringe and denim jacket have gone, replaced by a crop and baggy white sweatshirt and jeans. Time moves on, never stand still, keep looking forward and all that.

Bleu Bandulu

In the second hand record shop the other day I picked up a 12″ of Lundi Bleu by The Times. The Times was Ed Ball’s (note NOT Ed Balls) acid house project and Lundi Bleu was his cover version of Blue Monday which I posted here several years ago. The 12″ had two remixes of the track by The Grid which were what caught my eye and at £2.00 I decided it was worth a punt, having heard none of the remixes before. The two Grid remixes are both good, dubby with vocal samples, chugging away nicely. Here’s The Grid’s World Communications remix. It’s a Youtube video only I’m afraid- my computer issues continue and ripping anything is a bridge too far at the moment.

I enjoyed both The Grid remixes, especially as being off this week I had the house to myself and could turn it up loud enough and sit back with a cup of tea. But the real treat is on the flipside with Bandulu’s remix. Bandulu were from London, also on Creation and made reggae influenced dub/techno. Their remix of Lundi Bleu is a delight which defies description really- bubbling sounds and bouncing bass with an otherworldly, underwater groove. Futuristic in ’92 and still sounding so today. Properly making something wonderful and new out of a track.

Deep Space Boom

Here’s a 1991 tune from yesterday’s remixers The Grid to welcome in May. Boom is a rolling uptempo, Italo piano led seven minutes worth of music to lift the spirits and expand the mind, messages and bleeps bouncing back to us from a very long way away.

Boom (Deep Space Mix)

Come The Revolution

IF? were a three piece progressive house group from the early 90s, one of the three being Sean McLusky who was previously a member of Subway Sect and JoBoxers and also the man behind a multitude of influential London clubs including The Brain Club and Love Ranch. Although IF? didn’t see much in the way of chart success they did record some good singles. This one, remixed by The Grid (Richard Norris and David Ball, Ball being one half of Soft Cell), is a lovely, expansive, end of night tune.

IF (Come The Revolution Mix)