The In Sounds of Today
Let’s discuss what’s been playing on my computer, eh? Delighted to find that eMusic carries the back catalog for influential UK indie label Cherry Red, I spent several downloads recreating the Japanese compilation Cherry Red for Cafe Apres Midi for a whole lot less money than if I’d bought the CD itself. eMusic wound up having having 23 of the disc’s 26 tracks, with the other three songs available at the iTunes store. The resulting playlist makes me wanna smoke clove cigarettes and wistfully compose bad poetry whilst sitting under a tree. Best known for introducing Everything But The Girl to the world, Cherry Red’s roster specialized in introspective pop drawing from bossa nova, ’60s jazz, folk, and, yes, punk. Although spotty, this particular comp is anchored by some shimmering instrumentals and offbeat cover versions like Tracey Thorn’s take on “Femme Fatale.” Acoustic guitars never sounded so yummy.
Continuing the Brit pop theme, I also finally got to check out the 2005 double disc set It’s So Fine: Pye Girls Are Go! via Dusty Groove. This baby collects a whole bunch of energetic 1963-72 girl pop, mostly b-sides from U.K. labels Pye and Picadilly, with illuminating liner notes from Cha Cha Charming‘s Sheila Burgel. Fifty songs worth, to be exact — and most of it’s pretty fantastic! It’s amazing to think a great majority of this stuff never made it to the U.S., since the songs are heavily influenced by a variety of American ’60s pop and Girl Group sounds — all the while retaining that vaguely “British” feel. My fave track might very well be the irresistable and very showbizzy “Take Away The Emptiness Too,” a 1970 single from the wonderfully monikered Tina Tott. Other pleasures lie in the bubblegummy “Sunshine Follows the Rain” by Sweetcorn and Nita Rossi’s pissed-off classic “Untrue Unfaithful (That Was You).” Time to break out those go-go boots, people.