MP3: The Wedding Present - Seamonsters
The Wedding Present formed in Leeds in 1985, and went on to become one of the most influential and long lasting Indie bands in...well, the world. Far more in England than abroad, but the influence is still very widespread. The band were led by singer/songwriter/guitarist and indie legend Dave Gedge, and the initial lineup was Peter Solowka (guitar), Keith Gregory (drums) and Shaun Charman (drums). The band recorded their first Peel session in 1986 and soon became one of JP's favourite bands, going on to make many more appearances throughout their career. Their first single was 1985's Go Out And Get 'Em Boy! on Reception Records, the label that was to be their home until they signed to RCA in 1989. A number of other singles, including the classic You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends and My Favourite Dress were released in the first two years of their existence, until 1987 saw the release of their debut album George Best. It now sounds very underproduced and slightly immature, but its still got some great moments and is well worth tracking down.
After becoming a lot more popular in England in a very short time, the band soon released an excellent compilation of their singles and bsides to date, 1988's Tommy. Bizarrely their next release would be a compilation of Peel sessions featuring traditional folk songs recorded in guitarist Solowka's native Ukrainian, which also featured new drummer Simon Smith. More success was to follow fast as the band signed to RCA and their excellent 1989 single Kennedy became a top 40 hit. The first fruits of the bands partnership with RCA were the single Brassneck (produced by Steve Albini) and the classic Bizarro album, which sadly featured a rather inferior non-Albini produced version of the aforementioned single, but is otherwise completely fantastic. As the bands momentum continued, chart positions got better and tours became more successful, guitarist Solowka left to be replaced by Paul Dorrington, in time for the release of the classic Seamonsters album. I don't think there's a lot of people that would argue against the statement that Seamonsters is the bands true defining moment, and so its that record that i've taken tonights MP3s from.
Again Steve Albini was at the helm as the band took their sound to even heavier and more intense levels. I wasn't a big Weddoes fan until about six months ago when I stuck this record on loud and suddenly realised exactly why they're so good. It's something to do with: loud guitars + northernness + romance + anger + innovation. Like Morrissey going apeshit on a spiked vegetable hotpot. I think it's pretty obvious from the tracks i've put up how great the album is. It's not an instant album, but once it connects with you its hard to stop listening to. I also think Billy Corgan has probably been nicking some of those amazing guitar sounds from this albums "Blonde", which happens to be one of the superexciting mp3 downloads below. Rock. Anyway in 1992 the band decided to release one single every month for the whole year. Results varied, but the project did produce some great stuff, all of it available on the Hit Parade collection. Bassist Keith Gregory left and made Gedge the only original member of the WP in time for 1994's Watusi, a more commercial effort than before but still worthwhile. From this time on the bands fortunes lessened. Imaginatively titled mini-album Mini came out in 1995, and their next record proper was 1996's underrated Saturnalia. The band unofficially took a break in 1997 for Gedge to pursue the more relaxed Cinerama side project, who to date have released three albums including 2002's excellent Torino. However in 2004 Cinerama magically became The Wedding Present and Gedge n pals began work on a new record. That record, last year's Take Fountain, was a complete return to form and an album I really should listen to more.
For more info on The Wedding Present you can try this extremely informative Wikipedia post, this excellent unofficial site, this discography, this other unofficial site. Also recommended is the unofficial 'The Moment's Gone' site, which has lots of lovely music videos up to download. Enjoy.
Download: Dare - MP3 2.58mb (rapidshare)
Download: Suck - MP3 3.18mb (rapidshare)
Download: Blonde - MP3 4.10mb (rapidshare)
Discography: (click to buy @ amazon.co.uk)
George Best (1987)
Ukrainski Vistupi V Johna Peela (1989)
Hit Parade (1992)
Evening Sessions (1997)
Peel Sessions (1998)
Take Fountain (2005)