Saturday, December 16, 2006

Classic Album: Gene - Olympian (1995)

In my opinion, and i'm sure in the opinion of many of their fans, Gene were treated very unfairly by the UK press. History will forever class them as talentless Smiths-wannabes, and yet even a cursory listen to much of their back catalogue will reveal a much wider set of influences and a songwriting talent that will no doubt remain seriously underrated for a very long time. Now thats not to deny the influence of Morrissey, which is immediately obvious on first listen (and from that album cover!), and maybe i'm too much of a Smiths fan not to enjoy anything that reminds me of them, but I think that the Smiths are far better a band to be influenced by than say, Oasis, or Slade, or Blur. So there.

Olympian was Gene's debut album, and came out in 1995, reaching number 8 in the UK album charts. The following four songs were all singles from the record, the most successful of which was the album's title track (and quite rightfully so). More info on Gene at Wikipedia.

Gene - Haunted By You
Gene - Still Can't Find The Phone
Gene - Olympian
Gene - Sleep Well Tonight


Blogger JC said...

Two things did for Gene.

Firstly, a failure to move beyond a really excellent debut album;

Secondly, they were never a 'lads' band - and as Oasis became increasingly massive in the UK, Gene were less and less fashionable (It's no coincidence that Morrissey himself disappeared off the radar during Britpop).

There's another really early beautiful Gene song - 'I Can't Help Myself' that was on the b-side to an earlier single (Be My Light, Be My Guide) not on the debut album.

You can find it on my own blog... (plug, plug)

6:05 pm, December 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally think that 'Olympian' is excellent, but that 'Drawn to the Deep End' is their zenith, a really strong album which showed greater confidence in their sound and songwriting ability. After that, 'Revelations' was - despite a few excellent songs - a significant dip in form.

6:27 pm, December 16, 2006  
Blogger Jon said...

My favourite gene song was the one that goes: "Please don't stop me from drinking, it is my only joy, please don't stop me from smoking, it is my one reward...."

Sick, Sober and Sorry I think it was called. Another great b-side!

Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

6:56 pm, December 16, 2006  
Blogger isabel said...

I agree with the anonymous poster up there. Even though Olympian is a wonderful album, it hasn't got the maturity displayed in Drawn to the Deep End.
I think all the B-Sides to Olympian can be found in To See The Lights, an album released between Olympian and Drawn to the Deep End, which also included some live performances (but you probably know all that).

5:38 am, December 17, 2006  
Blogger Tim Young said...

Yup .. Sick Sober and Sorry is my favourite Gene song too and was on many a compliation tape :)

7:04 pm, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Paul said...

Much better than the Smiths!

Thanks for Haunted By You, something I thought I had as an mp3, but didn't.

11:06 am, January 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you can't ignore the smiths due to his voice. but the music is completely full of the jam, the small faces and the faces. Libertine was a great record as well. . .full of the same influences plus R&B

1:49 pm, May 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

still can't find the phone is their only smiths-esque song. cannot deny them. even john peel was a HUUUUGE fan!

1:56 pm, May 21, 2007  

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