coming out today 11/20...rhino brit box...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 20, 2007 10:49pm | Post a Comment
Rhino has finally decided to put out a special box set just for me. If I could imagine up any box set to best describe me and capture my little world of music, it would look something like this new brilliant box set released today by Rhino. The new "Brit Box" is a 4 cd set of the british music from the 80's and 90's that made me who I am. I have many mix tapes that resemble a lot of what is included in this box. Some of them made by me and many made by friends. I can remember the exact moment that I heard some of the songs on this box for the first time. The exact moment that I went to a record store in search of the albums from these artists. There are 78 songs by 78 different artists in this box.

The box is officially called "The Brit Box: U.K. Indie, Shoegaze, and Brit Pop Gems of the Last Millennium." It really looks awesome. The box is shaped like one of those red telephone booths in England. I have never seen one up close but we all know what they look like. It even has a working light. It also comes with an 80 page book of interviews and photos. It includes essays by Alan Mcgee, Stephen Street, and Alan Moulder. It drives me a little crazy when box sets or collections have a random order to the track listing. So it made me happy to see that the tracks are all in a basic order. The box set is not perfect. But it comes really close. I own or have owned at one point almost all of the songs in this box. If I didn't own one of the albums that all these songs were on, then I definitely had a close friend that did. I might have picked a couple different songs for some of these artists and I probably would have included a couple more artists. But overall, the box is very impressive. I really can't wait to open one up and read all those interviews and stories in that fancy little booklet. And I can not wait to listen to all these songs again. I have never stopped listening to most of the bands in this box. The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, The Stone Roses, Lush, Suede, Blur, & Pulp remain some of my favorite bands. It is really hard to even put into words the lasting effect that these bands have had on me and on a whole generation of music fans.

The first disc covers the mid to late 80's right up to 1990. It covers the bands that I was just getting into in high school. The Smiths are a perfect start to this box. They were the band than many of us first got into and were sort of the gateway to all the other bands included in this box. Where would we be without The Smiths? This disc includes all the bands that I first really became obsessed with.
Echo & the Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, The Stone Roses, The Sundays, The Charlatans, The Cure, Jesus & Mary Chain, Happy Mondays, & Primal Scream all quickly became my favorites. With the exception of The Smiths and Happy Mondays, I have seen all of those bands live at least once. These were just the kind of bands that once you heard that one song, you were immediately hooked. I heard a lot of these songs on the radio for the first time. Saw videos for some of them for the first time. A lot of them I heard about from friends. These were the bands that formed friendships as well. They became the songs that brought friends together. You knew that if you found someone else who liked The Smiths, that you then had found a friend that you had a whole lot in common with. This was also the period of bands like Jesus Jones, EMF, The Shamen, and Pop WIll Eat Itself. I was obsessed with all these bands. These bands all popped up in the late 80's and early 90's. I was also in love with "I'm Free" by The Soupdragons, "All Together Now" by The Farm, and "3 A.M. Eternal" by the KLF. These could have all easily been included with this disc. I would have put  "Pure" by The Lightning Seeds on this disc as well. But the disc is a nice introduction to the british music that got us all obsessed with music during the late 80's and early 90's.

Disc 1 includes...

The Smiths -'How Soon Is Now?'
Cocteau Twins -'Lorelei'
Felt -'Primitive Painters'
Shop Assistants -'Somewhere in China'
The Mighty Lemon Drops -'My Biggest Thrill'
The Cure -'Just Like Heaven'
Echo & The Bunnymen -'Lips Like Sugar'

The Jesus And Mary Chain -'April Skies'
Spacemen 3 -'Walkin' With Jesus (Sound of Confusion)'
The Primitives -'Crash'

The Wonder Stuff -'Unbearable'
The Stone Roses -'She Bangs the Drums'
The Charlatans UK -'The Only One I Know'
Happy Mondays -'Step On'
Primal Scream -'Loaded' [single version]
Inspiral Carpets -'This Is How It Feels'
The Trash Can Sinatras -'Obscurity Knocks'
The La's -'There She Goes'
The Sundays -'Here's Where the Story Ends'

Disc 2 covers the early 90's and the shoegaze bands. I got into most of these bands in college. Ride, Pale Saints, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Chapterhouse, Catherine Wheel, and Teenage Fanclub all quickly made their way into my CD collection. I remember being so excited when I was first introduced to all these bands. Slowdive is obviously missing from this disc. Maybe it was just too hard for them to pick just one Slowdive song. I would have maybe included "Skyscraper" by the Boo Radleys, "Catch the Breeze" by Slowdive and "Watersong" by The Cranes. I would have also put Ned's Atomic Dustbin on the first disc. But this disc is still great. Boo Radleys do end up on the next disc but should have been on this one along with Swervedriver. All of these bands have influenced a whole set of bands in the 90's and a whole new set of bands in the last couple years. It remains an excellent genre of music and its fans are completely devoted. I still love my shoegaze and hold it very close to my heart. This is probably my favorite disc in the box. A whole 4 CD box set completely devoted to shoegaze would be awesome. These bands have influenced tons of electronica bands and artists as well.

Disc 2 includes...

Ride -'Vapour Trail'
Pale Saints -'Sight of You'
My Bloody Valentine -'Only Shallow'
Lush -'For Love'
The Telescopes -'Flying'
Chapterhouse -'Pearl'
Catherine Wheel -'I Want to Touch You'
Bleach -'Trip & Slide'
Curve -'Coast Is Clear'
Five Thirty -'You'

Moose -'This River Will Never Run Dry'
The Family Cat -'(Thought I'd Died) And Gone to Heaven'
The Dylans -'(Don't Cut Me Down) Mary Quant in Blue'
Thousand Yard Stare -'0-0 A.E.T. (No Score After Extra Time)'
Ned's Atomic Dustbin -'Grey Cell Green'
Birdland -'Shoot You Down'
Manic Street Preachers -'Stay Beautiful'
Teenage Fanclub -'Star Sign'

Disc 3 cover the mid 90's and the breakthrough of Brit Pop. This was the period of Blur and Oasis. Suede and Pulp. Echobelly and Gene. I quickly fell in love with Blur and their music. I never really felt like I had to pick one or the other but I always preferred Blur over Oasis. Much of these bands were not just about the music but also about their image and look. It reminded me of New Wave and it was easy for me to fall into the trap of Brit Pop. The music was a drastic change from the shoe gaze on the last disc. This music was fun and exciting. Blur and Suede went on to create many more great albums after their fantastic debut. I bought every single that Pulp and Gene put out. For many years this was the music that I listened to. I went to a lot of these shows after I moved to San Francisco. And spent many nights at Pop Scene in S.F. in the mid to late 90's. This was also the period of bands like Portishead, Massive Attack, and Tricky. I had been obsessed with Saint Etienne for years already. But it was really Pulp and Suede that had the biggest impact on me in this period. I really couldn't get enough of them. I think they were all I really talked about for a good couple of years. The Verve really belong on this disc instead of disc 4. Their best albums came out in 1993 and 1995. Long before "Lucky Man" and the album "Urban Hymns. They were just as important as Blur and Oasis in this period of music.

Disc 3 includes...

Suede -'Metal Mickey'
Swervedriver -'Duel' [radio edit]
Eugenius -'Breakfast'
Superstar -'Barfly'
New Order -'Regret'
James -'Laid'
Nick Heyward -'Kite'
The Boo Radleys -'Lazarus'
Saint Etienne -'You're in a Bad Way'

Stereolab -'Wow & Flutter'
Blur -'Tracy Jacks'
Oasis -'Live Forever'
Pulp -'Common People'
These Animal Men -'Speeed King'
Mega City Four -'Wallflower'
Echobelly -'Insomniac'
Gene -'Sleep Well Tonight'
Menswear -'Sleeping In'
Supergrass -'Alright'
Cast -'Alright'
Elastica -'Stutter'

Disc 4 is basically the later period of Brit Pop and the british music of the late 90's. I was already getting over most of the britpop by this point. However, I remained a huge fan of the bands that I first got into. I did become a huge Placebo fan and really did like The Divine Comedy, Sleeper, and Ash a bunch. But most of these other bands didn't have much impact on me. There are still some great songs on here. But the box is really all about the first 3 discs. Some of these bands did have a huge influence on many others so I'm sure some will be excited by them being included. It is fun to be taken back to this period again. While many of these bands sort of disappeared, they did make a huge impact on the fans that became obsessed with brit pop and british indie. This box is really exciting. It is validating a whole scene of music that is often neglected or pushed aside. It is about time that these shoegaze, britpop and british indie bands get the respect that they deserve. They had such a major impact on my life and will never be forgotten. This box set just makes it nice to look back and reflect on an exciting time in british music.

These box set collections are always a bit weird. Especially when they cover a period of music so close to your heart. There are bound to be songs that you can't believe that they missed. Bound to be songs that you don't even think belong in the set. But I just sort of look at it at a great little tribute to the music that made me who I am. The british music that is often overlooked. And it makes me more happy than I could possibly explain to think that some people will now discover a whole section of music history that they barely knew existed. There is no point in keeping it secret anymore. I am sure that most people would have some sort of box set that they would like to see featuring the music from the late 80's and 90's. But this comes pretty close to what mine would look like.

Disc 4 includes...

Dodgy -'In a Room'
Ash -'Girl From Mars'
Sleeper -'Sale of the Century'
Marion -'Sleep'
Kula Shaker -'Tattva'
Ocean Colour Scene -'The Riverboat Song'
Babybird -'You're Gorgeous'
The Bluetones -'Slight Return'

Super Furry Animals -'Something 4 the Weekend'
The Divine Comedy -'Something for the Weekend'

Cornershop -'Brimful of Asha'
Silver Sun -'Service'
Spiritualized -'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space'
Mansun -'Wide Open Space'
Hurricane #1 -'Step Into My World'
The Verve -'Lucky Man'
Rialto -'Untouchable'
Catatonia -'Mulder and Scully'
Placebo -'You Don't Care About Us'
Gay Dad -'Oh Jim'

also out today...

"Ask Forgiven" by Bonnie Prince Billy

"Rock Dream" by Boris & Merzbow

"Devil Makes Three" by Devil Makes Three

"D-Sides" by The Gorillaz

"Y34RZ3R0R3MIX" by Nine Inch Nails

"Shelter From the Ash" by Six Organs of Admittance

"Joshua Tree" Deluxe Edition by U2

"Frank" by Amy Winehouse

"Heima" DVD by Sigur Ros

Relevant Tags

The Smiths (41), Blur (13), Brit Box (1), My Bloody Valentine (33), Lush (10), Suede (8), Rhino (6)