You Will Never Know Until You Read Between The Lines

The music on side two of Way Cool Stuff is on average way more obscure than that of side one. Either in spite of or because of that, I think I like it a little better now. Greg’s responsible for making me aware of tracks 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 13, and 14, so blame him if you don’t find it all that. I’m ready to dig in, though.

The Way Moves, “Revel (In Your Time)”
We start with a band whose name likely inspired the name for the tape. These guys came out of Chicago and released two albums before breaking up in early 91. This was the lead single from the second of those, Favor and Disgrace. Pretty song about getting out there and living–in a more just world it would have been a hit. You can be one of the first couple dozen folks to see this video–it went up on YouTube just last month. Gotta love the vocalist’s name: Skid Marks.

Marti Jones, “Be Myself Again”
I held this one back in my recent write-up of Match Game, Jones’s second LP, in anticipation of this day arriving. “Be Myself Again” is the only song on the album for which Jones has (co-)songwriting credit. Another clip recently added to YouTube, but I don’t like the way it sounds here–a little thin and slightly sped up.

The Rave-Ups, “Respectfully King of Rain”
Thirty years ago this song was about to make a little noise on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. Chance was the third and final full release for this Pittsburgh-to-LA band; it’s not as good as their previous album The Book of Your Regrets. And I don’t like this song as much as I did when I made the tape. It sounds good, but the story told is simply kinda dumb. There’s a real video for the song–I’m certain I saw it on 120 Minutes back in the day–but I’m not finding it.

The Katydids, “Lights Out (Read My Lips)”
Another band that didn’t last much longer after failing to strike gold, this time out of the UK. The Katydids released two albums in the early 90s before getting dropped by their label and folding. “Lights Out” wasn’t the first single released to radio from their Nick Lowe-produced, self-titled debut–we’ll get to that one later this year–but it’s my favorite song from a pretty solid disk, another could’ve-been-hit. Vocalist Susie Hug posted a copy of the official clip for this song, but neither the audio nor video are particularly good.

The Lightning Seeds, “Pure”
The Lightning Seeds went on to be an actual band, but the first disk under that name, Cloudcuckooland, was essentially an Ian Broudie solo project.

Apparently, I lied in my previous post–I’d completely forgotten that Tears for Fears was not the only act on this cassette with a Top 40 song. “Pure” reached #31 in July and August of 90. Good on us.

R.E.M., “Fall on Me”
Back in fall of 86 I thought this had a shot to be R.E.M.’s first sizable hit. I was pretty wrong–it only reached #94–but it a year later they would break through commercially in a big way.

Concrete Blonde, “God Is a Bullet”
The first of four songs on this side that made the Destination 89 series. Rather than embed again, I’m giving you links. This came up in June

Will and the Bushmen, “Blow Me Up”
…while this one appeared just last month.

The Darling Buds, “Honeysuckle”
Great song from Crawdaddy, one of my favorite albums from 90. There’s more to be featured from this disk later this year.

Icehouse, “We Can Get Together”
Fun to see Iva Davies before he went all mullet on us. This is a completely excellent new wave-y cut. I’m including the UK version of the song because the vid is pretty cool, as well as making a somewhat punker contrast with the US version I know so well now. To my regret, I didn’t hear this back in 81, but it did reach #62 here in the States.

10000 Maniacs, “A Campfire Song”
A favorite from In My Tribe. Merchant would revisit the theme of this song–unchecked greed–in “The Lion’s Share” on their next album, Blind Man’s Zoo. The two songs occupied almost identical spots on their respective disks, in the middle of side two. Nice to have a second appearance on this side from Michael Stipe, too.

Texas, “Fool for Love”
One of those already covered, back in September

Fetchin Bones, “Deep Blue”
…and another from June.

The Way Moves, “Crown of Thorns”
I didn’t often put two songs from the same band on a tape, but I guess I liked the effect of bookending here. “Crown of Thorns” came from their self-titled debut disk. Definitely a darker, different sound from “Revel (In Your Time).” The embed has the entire album–I can’t seem to cue it up to start in the right spot–you’ll want to start at 35:19.

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