This collection is built around the highly acclaimed 1986 album. Includes the singles 'Good Thing', 'Love Affair With Everyday Living' plus bonus tracks from the 12 inch single 'It Will Come' & the 7 inch 'Well, Well, We... more »ll'. Cherry Red Records.« less
This collection is built around the highly acclaimed 1986 album. Includes the singles 'Good Thing', 'Love Affair With Everyday Living' plus bonus tracks from the 12 inch single 'It Will Come' & the 7 inch 'Well, Well, Well'. Cherry Red Records.
Jack R. Tallent | Ellicott City, MD USA | 01/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I put some thought into the best way to describe the general vibe of "Giant", The Woodentops' 1986 debut LP. What suddenly popped into my head was this: had Ferris Bueller been a real person, "Giant" would have been his favorite album. Ferris, Sloane, and Cameron could easily have had The Woodentops in the tape player of the Ferrari 250 GT California as they escaped on the eponymous day off. It is probably no coincidence that this film and "Giant" were released in the same year-- it might just be that both works share a recognizable feel that captures their year of 1986. (Side note: an official soundtrack for Ferris Bueller's Day Off was, lamentably, never released.)
In fact it was 1986 when I first saw an add for "Giant" in one of the music mags. (It was probably Spin.) I looked for the record, bought it, then took it home to the turntable.
I loved it immediately.
I remember bringing the LP to friends so that they could hear it too. (Sharing music in those days required real effort, no iPods for us.) This record remained on my playlist for as long as I had a turntable, which, unfortunately, turned out to be not that much longer. As the '80s ended, "Giant" and The Woodentops became part of a vinyl collection that I would never hear again.
For some reason, The Woodentops were never reintroduced into my collection in CD form. That changed yesterday when the CD of "Giant" arrived from Amazon. Has this CD always been available, I wonder?
I had never completely forgotton this record. From time to time over the years I would remember it, usually a snippet from "Good Thing" or "Love Affair With Everyday Living", and remind myself to see if there was a CD. When I put the disc in the player, though, it was like I had last heard the album only yesterday, and could sing along as if it had been fifteen hours instead of fifteen years.
Here's the thing you need to know about "Giant": it is an album of twelve consecutive bona fide radio hits that never were-- an album that could have been The Woodentops' "The Queen is Dead" or "Black Celebration" but wasn't. (I understand the album did achieve a modest degree of commercial success, but the only time I ever heard The Woodentops was on my turntable. Strange, for an album with so much commercial potential.)
"Who do they sound like?" Well, if you insist on an answer to that question, a rough approximation off the top of my head would be Strangeways-era Smiths with a little Dexy's Midnight Runners thrown in. If that sounds like a bizzare melange to you, well, you asked. The truth is that The Woodentops sound like themselves and sound great doing it.
The production on "Giant" is very clean and crisp, which appeals to me. Vocals and intrumentals are clear and sonically separated. From what little I have read, I have the impression that the band look back on this record and wish it were more raw, less musical. You see this sort of nonsense from artists all the time; they are unable to see past their artistic goals and expectations and appreciate their creation for what it really is on its own terms. In the case of "Giant", what it really is is A Classic."
Just a Great Pop Album
P. Simonson | New Orleans, Louisiana United States | 05/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know how I got turned on to this album. I think I read an interview with Morrissey in the mid-80s where he mentioned the Woodentops and it piqued my interest. Bottom line is - boy, am I glad I picked this one up! I still listen to this record regularly and enjoy it as much as I did when it was spinning at 33 1/3. The tunes are infectious, the production is punchy (but not overproduced, like many 80s dated-sounding record productions), and the quirky and sometimes-frenetic rythms make ya wanna move! The song "Good Thing" has to be one of my favorite feel-good ballads from that era, or any other era for that matter. 'Giant' is just a great pop album that still holds up today. It's ashame that none of the Woodentops' subsequent releases would resonate like the brilliance found on 'Giant'."
Love Affair With A Modern Day Classic !!
Nick-o-tine X | UK | 02/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Giant" is a real, genuine, bona fide shiny pop classic. Released back in 1986 (the age of Yuppies, The Smiths (at their best), perestroika/glasnost, the Reagan/Thatcher love-in and generally insipid, uninspiring over-coiffured pop chart trash) it has not dated - unlike so much of that eras music. Stunning production; crazy songs; groovy tunes - Giant has it all. My favourites? "Love Affair With Modern Day Living", "Good Thing" and the thoughtful "History". Don't take my word for it, buy it and judge for yourself. Shout to the top!!!"
An excellent Pop/Rock album!!
Nick-o-tine X | 08/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have really come to love this album. By far their best one (though they're all good). The songs on here are so tuneful and catchy that it's hard to imagine any lover of Pop not owning a copy of this. The best songs? "Good Thing" and "Give It Time"."
S. Finefrock | Raleigh, NC | 01/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Woodentops always reminded me of the Smiths with a positive (giddy?) attitude and one heckuva caffeine buzz. Infectious is perhaps the best term to describe this music. I defy anyone to remain still during the headlong rush of Get it On, Love Train (not the O'Jays version) or Traveling Man."