Acoustic Afternoons

One of the other reasons there were even less posts than usual from me last week, was that I decided I wanted to rejig which day each series appeared on, and this one seemed to be more of a Sunday afternoon kind of post than a Wednesday afternoon one.

So here we are, and to move things forward a track by The Wonder Stuff, a band whose early stuff I love, but who I have kinda lost touch with since they reformed.

But in their heyday, they produced four albums, three of which I love, although the one I’m not fond of, “Never Loved Elvis” is the one that gave them the most commercial success, containing as it did chart smasheroos “The Size of a Cow” and “Welcome to the Cheap Seats”, the latter of which’s one redeeming feature is that it features the lovely and much missed Kirsty MacColl.

But it’s to second album “Hup!” that I want to lead you today, and specifically to an album track called “Can’t Shape Up”, an acoustic version of which resurfaced as a bonus track on the CD2 release of the aforementioned “Welcome to…” and which is, simply, quite beautiful.

Welcome To The Cheap Seats Reel 2 Front

The Wonder Stuff – Can’t Shape Up Again

See? Just lovely.

I’ll leave you all to go and source/listen to the original version so you can see how superior this one is.

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

Ever since I posted that Glen Campbell cover of the Foo Fighters track, then the acoustic Foo Fighters track, followed by The Sundays track on…erm…Sunday, I’ve found myself generating towards acoustic records, and in particular acoustic versions of songs that I have in my record collection.

Since the wet weather more associated with the British summer time seems to have returned, thereby outing my usual splurge of summer tunes on ice for a while at least, I thought I’d share a few of them with you, every now and then, when I can be bothered. Another of my sporadic themed posts that pop up every now and then, if you like.

Of course, if I’m going to talk about artists doing acoustic versions of their own songs, it’s impossible not to mention the behemoth of the genre: MTV Unplugged.

So there, I’ve mentioned them, but to be honest I want to avoid those records as much as possible, as I figure most of you will know those recordings already. Instead, I’d prefer to have a look some lesser known ones.

Having said that, there are a couple from the MTV Unplugged series that I will feature – no, not the Nirvana one, what would be the point? – but ones which are perhaps less well known, particularly on this side of the pond, or have had a particular effect on me.

And so here’s one of those.

In 1993, 10,000 Maniacs recorded and released their Unplugged album and it, like many of their earlier albums, did little over here, with the possible exception of their cover of the Springsteen-penned “Because The Night”.

But, in the words of the host of a now defunct gameshow: we don’t want to give you that one.

Instead this, the original version of which appeared on 1992’s Our Time in Eden album, and is good, but this live, acoustic version knocks that one into a cocked hat, whatever that means.


10,000 Maniacs – Stockton Gala Days(MTV Unplugged)

I adore lead singer Natalie Merchant’s voice, but sadly this album turned out to be her last recording with the band. She quit shortly afterwards, embarking on a solo career. The band, after a brief hiatus, continued without her. But neither of their subsequent careers are a patch on what they created as a whole.

Which is a bit of a shame, in my book.

More soon.