After last week’s glorious hillbilly stomp from a slightly surprising location (the North East of England), more of the same this week, but with the sat nav controls set to the Midlands, and to Stourbridge, to be precise.
After the success of the indie power pop of their first album, the direction that The Wonder Stuff went in with their second album was a bit of a surprise, with the introduction of violinist and banjoist (is that what banjo players are called..?) Martin “Fiddly” Bell. He pops up quite a lot on Hup, their second album; this was the second single (a different version to the one on the album):
The Wonder Stuff – Golden Green
If you’re idea of The Wonder Stuff is Size of a Cow/Vic and Bob-era singles, you might want to give that a listen. It’ll change your opinion, I reckon.
The post-Berry R.E.M. albums generally get a fairly bad press, and there’s a reason for that: they’re mostly nowhere near as great as what had come before then.
But to write them off completely is madness, for each of them has one or two absolute jewels hidden away: there’s usually something just drop dead gorgeous, and/or which fits the jangly guitar template of their earlier records.
Tonight’s record falls into the former category, a song I’m really rather surprised I haven’t already posted. I was torn whether to plump for the album version or the demo version which pops up as an extra track on the lead single from that album, Imitation of Life. But since I’ve just banged on about hidden jewels on their later albums, I guess album version it is.
As with many of their piano-led tracks, this is quite lovely:
R.E.M. – Beat A Drum