Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The third album by The Records. Great CD bonus tracks!
J. McDonald | 12/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One has to first offer a huge "Thank you" to Will Birch (a founding member of the Records) for creating "On The Beach Recordings" and re-releasing this album. 25 years after its initial release on vinyl, Music On Both Sides finally arrives on CD!!
Considered by many to be the weakest release by The Records, Both Sides still has much to offer and should certainly NOT be considered a failure. The addition of a new lead singer (Chris Gent) upset quite a few die hard fans, but was not the only reason this release had trouble finding an audience.
For the most part, the entire approach taken on this album differs considerably from previous efforts. A few tracks could be classified as more "New Wave" oriented than PowerPop. It's also quite apparent that this is a group in transition, feeling more like a first album than a third. But, even if the Records had decided to build upon the solid foundation laid with 1980's "Crashes", the overall music scene had drifted away from PowerPop into a more image driven, New Wave arena.
With this release you're witnessing a group that barely missed its target (commercially) a few years previous, and now were trying to re-organize and deal with a changing musical landscape. Not a bad album, just not the great album they needed to have at this point in their career. For comparison, one must also remember that even the kings of late 70's/early 80's PowerPop (The Knack) had lost favor within the industry by their third album. The times were simply changing and powerpop was no longer in vogue.
Songs like "Imitation Jewelry", "Heather and Hell", and "Not So Much the Time" have always been high points. But thanks to Will Birch we also get some really cool bonus tracks; 9 bonus tracks total!!!
Here's the correct track listing;
 Your Own Soundtrack (*)
 Imitation Jewelry
 Heather and Hell
 Selfish Love
 Clown Around Town
 Not so Much the Time
 Keeping up with Jones
 Third Hand Information
 King of Kings
 Cheap Detective Music
 Everyday Nightmare
 Your Own Soundtrack (demo) (*+)
 Not So Much the Time (demo) (*+)
 Third Hand Information (demo) (*+)
 On Time (demo) (*+)
 Insomnia - live at Hull (*+)
 Affection Rejected - Live at Portrush (*+)
 Starry Eyes - Live at Leeds (*)
 Lovin' You Ain't Easy - with jane Aire, vocal (*+)
* = bonus track
+ = previously unreleased
After hearing the demo tracks with John Wicks on vocals, one has to wonder how the final album may have sounded had they not opted for a new front-man. The "Not So Much the Time" demo is excellent. It's a very basic demo with minimal production and certainly is in need of more "work", but I found it to be a real high-point on this release, (since I've always closely associated Mr. Wicks voice with the sound of the Records). The "Third Hand Information" demo is also outstanding. That's not to say that Chris Gent didn't crank-out outstanding final versions. Track 20 (With Jane Aire on Vocals) is also a REAL TREAT!
The packaging on this CD re-issue is very nice, but the included information is not as in-depth as with previous re-issues. There is not a cd book included, instead the packaging is a fold open cardboard case with brief text on the inside front and inside back.
This CD re-issue is a "must own" for fans of the Records (or anyone interested in PowerPop or early 80's rock).
I've gotten a lot of flack for only giving the first Records release (shades in bed) "three stars", but I was a bit more strict in my ratings system back in those days. Considering that I would like to give this CD three stars, it causes me to want to bump up my rating of the first release to FOUR STARS. I would rate the first three releases by the records as follows:
Records - Shades in Bed: Four Stars
Records - Crashes: Five Stars
Records - Music on Both Sides: Three Stars
All deserve to be added to your collection!
Many of the members of the Records went on to create solo projects. John Wicks in particular has managed to create some amazing music in recent years! If you do your research, you'll find more great music available by these talented musicians!