Sunday, June 30, 2013

V/A - Scared to Get Happy - An Addendum (aka "the sixth disc").

Just as a quick disclaimer, I am not sharing any part of the newly released Scared to Get Happy compilation box set on Cherry Red Records.  Onto the text. 

When it rains, it pours, and this is the type of torrential onslaught that only comes once every ten years or so.  In 2005 the honors went to Rhino Records Children of Nuggets four disc box, which focused on the creme de la creme of (mostly) American bands with psyche/garage tendencies, primarily taking root in the '80s and thus updating the template accordingly.  For the last eight years I've deemed Children of Nuggets to be the most delightful various artists box set to sink it's teeth into the market...but this month it just got bested.  Not by another Nuggets compilation, rather Scared to Get Happy, a mondo five CD extravaganza, strictly dedicated to obscurish indie UK guitar pop hopefuls spanning 1980-89.  134 of them to be exact!  If you've already caught wind of this six hour long collection, chances are you were already familiar with some of the heavy hitters: Primal Scream, House of Love, Mighty Lemon Drops, Jesus and Mary Chain, Dentists, Primitves, etc...  However in putting this together, Cherry Red dug waaaaay deeper stretching it's reissue-happy tentacles into the realms of labels like Sarah, Midnight, Postcard, not to mention a myriad of DIY imprints.  The roster is as impressive to look as listen to.   Scared... harkens back to the Smiths era of Britpop, when romantic ruminations, nervous energy and homespun moxie were spun into chiming, two-and-a-half minute surges of heart and soul.

So what's the deal with this post?  With a compilation that's exhaustive enough to include the likes of the Siddeleys and the Suede Crocodiles you'd think Cherry Red had all the bases covered...and to great extent they do.  But hypothetically, what if I were to construct a sixth CD of equal worthiness?  Here is my meager attempt at stringing together a "companion" album to an already bustling box set.  Though I can't say there were a terrific number of glaring omissions, there were at least three I couldn't quite rationalize, specifically the Field Mice, Candy Skins, and the Outskirts.  For the Field Mice I opted to go with a demo take of a song that later wound up on the band's Skywriting compilation.   I thought the Outskirts insidiously catchy "Blue Line" (later covered by Let's Active) would have also made for an apt fit, as would the Candy Skin's "She Blew Me Away," sounding like the sweetest thing Tommy Keene never busted out.  That leaves another nineteen StGH worthy nuggets including longtime favorite tracks of mine by James Dean Driving Experience, Church Grims, North of Cornwallis, Hey Paulette, Stray Trolleys (incognito Martin Newell of Cleaners From Venus), the Visitors, among a bevy of other unknown quantities from the British Isles.  If you like what you hear, don't deprive yourself of obtaining the smashing box set that inspired this mix!  Amazon UK has the best deal of all the retailers I investigated, and it's an absolute must have.  The addendum track list is as follows:

01. Visitors - Goldmining
02. Moss Poles - Go Down
03. Remember Fun - Train Journeys
04. Field Mice - I Thought Wrong (Run away) (demo)
05. The Church Grims - Plaster Saint
06. Candy Skins - She Blew Me Away
07. Outskirts - Blue Line
08. Various Artists (the band) - Original Mixed Up Kid
09. North of Cornwallis - Billy Liar
10. Hellfire Sermons - Rachel Clean
11. Potting Sheds - Happy Again
12. The Perfect Disaster - Call it a Day
13. Hey Paulette - I Really Do Love Penelope
14. Jane From Occupied Europe - Ocean Run Dry
15. James Dean Driving Experience - Drop Dead Darling
16. The Rose Of Avalanche - Always There
17. Power of Dreams - The Jokes On Me (demo)
18. Palisades - Knight in Gale
19. This Scarlet Train - Picture Frame
20. St. Christopher - Even The Sky Seems Blue
21. Stray Trolleys - Secret Dreams Of A Kitchen Porter
22. extra special mystery bonus track

http://www22.zippyshare.com/v/78811504/file.html

13 comments:

Eric said...

This looks awesome.

My copy of the Scared to Get Happy box is on its way to the US from the UK, and I'm very excited to get it and listen to it, but this will be a nice way to warm up for it.

Kudos.

Jim H. said...

nice...had my eyes on that set for a bit, it's on my list on Amazon UK......a couple of my faves, albeit maybe less obscure, being the Seers and Milltown Brothers are represented, and while i have much of this cd set, WAY more I don't have, so it looks like a purchase! thanks much!

Scaggsaway said...

You must be making the day of the members of Various Artists, finally putting them on a compilation album where they were always meant to be.

spavid said...

You're welcome. Thanks for the feedback. Wasn't sure if there was going to be enough interest in this or not.

Gavin said...

Good timing, just got my copy at the weekend. Listened to the 1st disc today & enjoyed it more than I expected (unheard, the middle discs looked to be the 'meat' of the set to me).

Lisa said...

Hi guys would any of you be kind enough to put the set up in mp3 form? Cheers :)

Unknown said...

Absolutely fantastic! Thanks a lot!

Jon Kelly Green said...
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Jon Kelly Green said...

I agree with you 100% on "Children Of Nuggets" being the best various artists box set. Of course "CD86" is great too. "Scared To Get Happy" arrived in the mail Friday and tomorrow I get to start listening to it. Can't wait!

Jon Kelly Green said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
L said...

Huge Thanks for digging into all that material and pulling out these gems to share with us. Really wonderful.

JOHN BROADLEY said...

Good post and some great choices on there. I hadn't even thought about Rose of Avalanche since about 1987, but more of a goth band I think.

Out of all the records selected though for the Cherry Red comp, I can't believe this was overlooked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWzzvZkyNfU

JOHN BROADLEY said...

Good post and some great choices on there. I hadn't even thought about Rose of Avalanche since about 1987, but more of a goth band I think.

Out of all the records selected though for the Cherry Red comp, I can't believe this was overlooked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWzzvZkyNfU