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The Breeders were kicking around as a band long before they ever got into a recording studio. It was the brainchild of Kim Deal and Kelley Deal. They happened to be twin sisters. But before they could really do anything with the band, Kim found fame as bass player with The Pixies.

In late 1989, seemingly tired of her band’s refusal to record songs she had written, Kim re-formed The Breeders as a side project. She did not however, include her sister in the band – instead recruiting a group of close friends and fellow musicians including Tanya Donnelly from Throwing Muses.

Their debut album Pod, recorded in Edinburgh, Scotland, was released in 1990. Not long after, The Pixies broke-up. Whether or not the two events were linked, no-one is really prepared to say, but you can draw your own conclusions.

Kim decided to concentrate fully on The Breeders, and her twin sister came on board for the next set of recordings, which resulted in the four songs on this very fine 1992 EP:-

mp3 : The Breeders – Do You Love Me Know?
mp3 : The Breeders – Don’t Call Home
mp3 : The Breeders – Safari
mp3 : The Breeders – So Sad About Us

That’s the order the songs appear on the CD – alphabetically as it turns out – but it was track 3 Safari for which the promo video was made. It’s a belter of a track that wouldn’t have been out of place on any Pixies record.

The fourth track is a cover version of a song by The Who (a song that had also coincidentally been covered some 14 years earlier by The Jam). It has been suggested by some that it is a sarcastic attack by Kim on the break-up of her other band.

This particular line-up of The Breeders proved to be short-lived. Tanya Donnelly went off to front her own band – Belly – while there was also a change of drummer.

Mark III of The Breeders would then find some fame and fortune in 1993, with the hit single Cannonball and the LP Last Splash. Incidentally a different, more refined version of Do You Love Me Now? from Safari was recorded for Last Splash.

Enjoy

HEY HEY HEY

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This #1 hit from April 1996 is a genuine timeless classic

mp3 : The Prodigy – Firestarter (edit)

It also gave the former NME scribe turned novelist turned socio-pop commentator Paul Morley a #1 hit, a situation that nobody from the post-punk Manchester scene could ever have imagined when he was part of The Negatives, a group set up as an antagonistic joke and which also numbered famed photographer Kevin Cummins in its line-up. Morley’s writing credit came from one of the two cracking bits of sampled instrumentals:-

mp3 : The Art of Noise – Close (To The Edit)
mp3 : The Breeders – S.O.S.

The former had been a Top 10 hit back in 1984 while the latter was one of the many outstanding tracks on the 1993 LP Last Splash.

Firestarter took The Prodigy out of the dance/rave scene and right into heart of the cultural mainstream and along with the likes of Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Orbital and others helped create the sort of critical mass that enabled dance music to become such a mainstay of the festival circuit across Europe and so drive bring a welcome end to line-ups that were becoming increasingly one-dimensional and dull thanks to the plethora of sub-standard indie-guitar Britpop line-ups.

Here’s the other tracks that you will find on the CD single:-

mp3 : The Prodigy – Firestarter (empirion mix)
mp3 : The Prodigy – Firestarter (instrumental)
mp3 : The Prodigy – Molotov Bitch

The Empirion Mix doesn’t feature any of the samples and stretches out to almost eight minutes and it demonstrates, from about the 1:40 mark onwards just how hardcore and good a tune Firestarter is on its own. Nice companion piece to Moaner by Underworld as featured on the blog a few weeks back…

Enjoy

FROM THE SOUTH-WEST CORRESPONDENT…WHAT’S IN YOUR BOX (16)

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Weather and Feminism

But to start with a bit about the weather and something completely different. Recently the weather in the South West has been terrible, awful, most of it is underwater and I swear I saw a Merman the other day in the local branch of Waterstones.

So yesterday as I trudged back from the sandwich shop clutching my avocado and pine nut salad sandwich (I say sandwich shop, I mean, ridiculously expensive deli) a song came on my Ipod. It was ‘Sennen’ by Ride and as I walked through the lakes and wind lashed more rain into my face, I smiled, because this song made me feel warm, dry and a little bit cosy.

For those of you who don’t know, Sennen is a beautiful beach in Cornwall (check it on the Interent – I thoroughly recommend a visit), right at the end near Lands End. It is one of my favourite places on Earth and I firmly believe that it has never rained there.

The song itself by Ride is a sunny type of song, and in the perfect world, when the weather forecasters say ‘Rain, Wind, Hail, Plague of Frogs’ they should then be forced to say ‘Never mind all that though, here’s Ride with Sennen, now smile you miserable toads’. So if its wet, damp and your lounge is full of mud, here’s Ride with ‘Sennen’. Hope for the four minutes or so that you listen to it, it makes you smile as much as it did me. Play it in the rain and grin like a loon.

mp3 : Ride – Sennen

Anyway back to the box choice, Bandit Queen, for those who don’t know, where a Manchester three piece fronted by former Swirl (nope, me neither) singer Tracey Gooding, released one album ‘Hormone Hotel’ in the mid 90’s. (which is what has come out of the box).  A second album was recorded and never released until the power of the Internet allowed it to be self released in 2010. They came across on the ‘feminist angle’ back then and they seem a fitting choice for today because as I type it is Simone de Beauvoirs 106th birthday and if the Google Doodle is correct, she’s looking good on it. There were also named after the Indian Freedom Fighter Phoolan Devi and were strongly influenced by Frida Kahlo (even putting her on the cover of Hormone Hotel) so you get the agenda that they were addressing.

 

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I have chosen the lead single of the album ‘Miss Dandys’, a spiky little pop song all about crossing dressing gigolos.

mp3 : Bandit Queen – Miss Dandys

The bands bio states that they sit perfectly in between The Breeders and Throwing Muses and you will see why, they have that clever lyric writing going on that the Throwing Muses had and they have the angriness of The Breeders, although Miss Dandys is no ‘Cannonball’. Decide for yourself.

mp3 : The Breeders – Cannonball

I remember quite liking this when I was a student and I made it Single of the Week in my column in the Student Rag I know this as in pen next to the song I have written ‘SOTW’, today I checked the archives and it beat ‘Mansize Rooster’ by Supergrass to that accolade, so I think I must have been drunk when I listened to it. I mean its good, but its not that good. The album promised much, and kind of delivers, you get much more of the same, decent indie pop, well worth an investment if you can find a cheap copy, (or give me a shout and I’ll see what I can do).

S-WC