Posts Tagged ‘The Cleaners From Venus’

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Ten great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more

By Stefano on April 5th, 2013

Not long to wait now. Record Store Day is coming a week on Saturday and I’ll be spending that day hunting down  obscure 80s indie singles and long lost psych albums.

And to celebrate – well we have got in a tad early – here is a list of ten of the greatest albums that have are vinyl only and have never had a CD reissue.

Except a few of them have – but either on dodgy low quality bootlegs or in legit reissues that have never ever turned up in the UK.

Anyhow, the best way to hear them is buying the vinyl. Here’s our list. What have we missed?

Lee Hazlewood - Forty £25

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Picture 1 of 10

In his packed 70 years cosmic cowboy Lee Hazlewood recorded a string of wonderful albums many of which were on obscure labels. Thanks to the sterling work of labels like Light In The Attic many have now been reissued. Not Forty though. Clearly the runt of the Hazlewood litter Forty, recorded when the maestro celebrated that milestone birthday, is low on Hazlewood originals and high on sugary covers of standards like September Song and It Was A Very Good Year which don’t really suit the fella’s gruff voice. There are some stellar tunes here though most notably The Bed, which starts as a depressing country-esque lament before strings, brass and a female vocal kick in to turn into a jaunty pop tune, and the rather miserable but nevertheless marvelous The Night Before.


Ace new vinyl record label Optic Nerve re-issues classic 80s and 90s indie including The Cleaners From Venus

By Stefano on January 17th, 2013

If you liked our round up of long lost 80s and 90s indie bands than you should check out the releases from a new-ish label Optic Nerve.

Based in Cumbria, Optic Nerve specialises in high quality vinyl record reissues of great indie music from the 80s and 90s.

This week sees two new albums bearing its imprint in the guise of much under-rated shoegazers, The Charlottes, Mancunian C86-ers The Waltones and legendary Essex psych/indie combo The Cleaners from Venus

Each album is delivered on high quality coloured vinyl, beautifully packaged and in some instances accompanied by copious sleeve notes.

The one that got me the most excited is The Very Best Of The Cleaners From Venus. If you have never heard them think The Kinks meeting The Cure (at their most melodic) some time during the late 80s. Their string of albums is superb – the early cassette-based ones are packaged here - while this compilation takes the choice cuts from the trio they made at the end of the decade.

There are so many good songs, but highlights for me are the mad time travel through Swinging London, Illya Kuryakin Looked At Me, and the Transatlantic mega hit ballad that never was Mercury Girl. The album comes with a great booklet with reminiscences from band member, now high profile journalist and author, Giles Smith. It sells for £23.99 and is limited to a run of 500.

The Charlottes’ album Things Come Apart is also a real gem. The band were doing shoegazey, feedback-drenched wall of sound indie long before bands like Lush and Ride took it mainstream. There is a bite and verve to their music that is lacking in some of the bands that followed them too, and in opener Liar, they have a real long lost gem of a song. They deserved better – though one member did end up in Slowdive (is that better?) and they are clearly a big influence on this lot. The album is also limited to 500 and sells for £15.99. Here’s a video of the band playing Liar in the early 90s on a deserted Parliament Hill.

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