It's almost shameful for me to suggest the Sundays peaked on their debut, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, circa 1989, but song for song, this album is a delicate tour-de-force of Morrissey-ian, self-deprecating ruminations emanating from the mouth of one Harriet Wheeler amidst dreamily chiming guitars and a subtle rhythm section. It's been an inseparable part of my life for some eighteen years now, and although two follow-up albums have followed in it's wake, I'm virtually gasping for more.
Regarding what I explained in the first paragraph, about two years ago it dawned on me that I had in my possession all ten tracks from Arithmetic in either live, radio session, or demo incarnations. Naturally that realization was the germ that possessed me to slavishly cobble together an "alternate" Arithmetic, that I could substitute the proper album with, minimizing the immunity I've have feared for almost as long as this album came into existence.
The two demos, "Can't Be Sure," and "You're Not The Only One I Know," were b-sides to part two of the 1997 "Summertime" import cd-single. I'd love to hear more where they came from, but unless a deluxe reissue of Arithmetic is impending, I suspect not. The stunning Peel Session take of "Skin & Bones" is more transfixing than the album version. The three cuts culled from the Netherlands March 1990 show, appear to originate from a soundboard recording - almost unheard of for collectors Sundays live shows. "A Certain Someone" performed live on the Blind tour in 1993 was taken from a bootleg CD, likely derived from a decent, if a little bass heavy audience recording. Finally, a couple of representative cuts from the Sunday's Black Session, recorded in France 1992 round out a thoughtful recreation of an album that I hope to never tire of. Hope you like it.
01-Skin & Bones (Peel Session 1989)
02-Here's Where The Story Ends (Black Session 1992)
03-Can't Be Sure (demo)
04-I Won (live Den Haag, Netherlands 3-2-90)
05-Hideous Towns (live Den Haag, Netherlands 3-2-90)
06-You're Not The Only One I Know (demo)
07-A Certain Someone (live Ventura, CA 6-3-93)
08-I Kicked a Boy (live Den Haag, Netherlands 3-2-90)
09-My Finest Hour (Peel Session)
10-Joy (Black Session)