Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Random Review #97 Del Amitri - The B-Sides Lousy With Love

C2S2CD6 Anybody that knows me or has followed my Twitter feed for any length of time will be aware of my love of Del Amitri and anything lead singer Justin Currie decides to do. So pulling out this CD made me smile.

This album is a compilation of B-sides and was release as a companion to their Best of CD, Hatful of Rain. Such was the demand for the B-sides disc it was subsequently released in its own right, rather than as a part of a 2 CD package with the Best of disc. Why the great demand for the B-sides disc? Well Del Amitri were one of the few bands that put good stuff on the back of singles and in later years hagged onto Cd singles. Although I have uploaded and got rid of nearly all the CD singles I used to have but I still trawl e-bay every now and again for Del Amitri singles to see if there are any tracks I don’t have.

If you didn’t know the music of Del Amitri you would struggle to tell the difference between the Best of CD and the B-sides CD such is the quality and if I’m honest I think I have listened to this album more than the greatest hits. This album is entitled The B-sides Lousy With Love and as the album indicates most of the songs are written about failed or failing relationships. Currie has a knack of capturing in words the feeling and thoughts that most of us have felt at some time towards the end of a relationship. I defy anybody to listen to Scared To Live, or In The Meantime and not empathise about the final moments of a relationship where you both know it’s over but neither want to say it. Beautiful songs with a huge dollop of heartbreak. Of the 13 tracks here I suspect that at least 8 could have made it on to any Del Amitri album. The Verb To Do, In The Frame and Before The Evening Steals The Afternoon all make me sing at the top of my voice, (which got me some funny looks in the morning traffic today!) Verb To Do, In The Meantime could easily be singled out as some of my favourite Del track ever but I can’t not mention Sleep Instead Of Teardrops. My guess is that this song is written about the sadness that comes from the bereavement of somebody very close. It may have a deeper hidden meaning but as a reflection of the despair of losing someone I would say this song says it all. Lyrically beautiful I have spent hours with this song on repeat.

Del Amitri had some chart success but never really gained the success they deserved, I suspect there image (or lack of it) counted towards that. Curries Mutton chop sideburns, a guitarist who looked like Lemmy (they played Ace of Spades live) and three other band members who at the best looked like dads at a disco, was never a recipe for gracing the pages of Smash Hits!

Del Amitri are no more, since then Justin Currie has realised 2 brilliant solo albums, (see my previous blog Songs I Love #1. ) and an album under the name of The Uncle Devil Show where his character Jason Barr sang odes to Gilbert O’Sullivan and other tongue in cheek songs.

If you don’t know the music of Del Amitri then the Best of Hatful of Rain is the best place to start, but if you like it then buy this album it’s the best collection of throw away tracks that I own and I have a few.

Mark 7/10

P.S. I can't find any of the tracks on youtube as they are are b-sides so here is Possibly their biggest hit. Nothing Ever Happens.

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