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Various - Martin Green Presents: Super Sonics - 40 Junkshop Britpop Greats

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 13 / 7 / 2020



Various - Martin Green Presents: Super Sonics - 40 Junkshop Britpop Greats
Label: Cherry Red Records
Format: CD X2

intro

Excellently presented double CD from Cherry Red which compiles together some of the more obscure and less well known bands of the Britpop era


Up until the early '90s, all I listened to was electronic music. And by that I don’t mean electric guitars, but rather synthesizers and drum machines - my earliest musical heroes were Erasure and Silicon Teens (Yes, the fictional band that consisted of Mute Records founder Daniel Miller). Well, I did listen to other bands as well, like the Cars and ELO, but mostly I thought that guitars were old fashioned. That lasted until I discovered R.E.M. in the early '90s (Me and the rest of the world), and in 1993, my brother came home from a trip to London with a CD single called 'For Tomorrow' by a band called Blur. I fell in love with it instantly, but by that time Colchester’s finest were totally unknown in Sweden, so it was almost impossible to find their records here. But it did open my eyes to other bands that came in their wake, and soon my list of favourite bands included Suede, Gene, Dodgy and the Auteurs (more or less all bands except Oasis). To cut a long story a bit shorter - I was knee-deep in Britpop. So, when I saw that RPM/Cherry Red was releasing a compilation of ‘Junkshop’ Britpop, I was immediately intrigued. On my trips to England and Scotland in the mid '90s I brought home a lot of obscure Britpop singles (They were usually just 99p, so you could easily afford to take some risks in the record shop), and some of them are featured here, like Jocasta, Duffy, Menswear and Bis. But most of these forty tracks are actually more or less unknown to me, even though I recognise most of the band names. As an avid 'NME' reader back then, it was hard to miss out on Kenickie, Pimlico, Schampoo, Huggy Bear and Urusei Yatsura. But - have the songs stood the test of time? The short answer is sadly ‘no’. When listening to this compilation, I’m struck by how annoying most of the songs are. But I also realize how vague the Britpop term was (and still is). For me, Britpop is basically guitar-based pop music, more or less inspired by the pop scene of the '60s, '70s and '80s, like the aforementioned bands. But here, many of the tracks owes a lot more to the '70s punk scene (and maybe the post punk scene too, if you’re feeling generous), and we also get a bit of riot grrl punk thrown in for good measure (Huggy Bear). And most of all - Radiohead really did create a monster when they released their debut album ‘Pablo Honey’ in 1993! If you don’t believe me, just listen to almost any song of your choice from the forty tracks available here. With that being said, there are some really good songs here too, with my favourite probably being ‘London Girls’ by Duffy. And no, it’s not the ‘Mercy’ lady, but rather the man also known as ‘TinTin’ (which was actually the name of his band at first), with his real name being Stephen Duffy. He was once a founding member of Duran Duran (although he left the band before they got their first record deal), and in the mid '80s he launched a solo career that would earn him a few hit singles, most notably ‘Kiss Me’, a song that would be an even bigger hit two decades later when Robbie Williams recorded a cover version of it. After a few years with his band the Lilac Time and some not very successful solo albums, he teamed up with American producer Mitch Easter (who famously produced the first R.E.M. albums, and also had the rather brilliant band Let’s Active) and recorded a self titled comeback album in the midst of the Britpop wave, which resulted in it being categorised as...well...a Britpop album, even though it really isn’t. But never mind that. It’s a great record, and ‘London girls’ is probably the most Britpop-ish song on it. As usual when it comes to the compilations released by Cherry Red and their sub-labels, ‘Super Sonics’ is a very well-made collection, with great liner notes and a good selection of songs. Because, let’s face it - it’s called ‘Junkshop Britpop’, so we shouldn’t expect all the biggest hits, but rather all the songs that never made it. And it’s a really fascinating look into a scene which is nowadays more or less synonymous with Blur and Oasis. Also, I really hope the ‘Junkshop’ series will continue on future compilations in other ‘genres’...



Track Listing:-
1 Afrodisiac
2 Marquis
3 Rough Lover
4 Sad
5 Revolve
6 So Small
7 Come Out 2nite
8 We Don't Care
9 Charlotte's Party
10 Goldmine
11 Inelegantly Wasted In Papa's Penthouse Pad In Belgravia
12 Don't Turn This Love Into Sorrow
13 Nosebleed
14 Change Me
15 Entertainment
16 Plastic Ashtray
17 Monica Webster
18 Her Jazz
19 Trophy Girlfriend
20 Supermodel-Superficial
21 London Girls
22 Sometimes The Kids Are Not Alright
23 Inevitable Fast Access
24 Pit Stop
25 Mood Music
26 Strip Polka
27 Pimlico
28 Conker Fight In Wendy's House
29 Chrysalis
30 VDT
31 On Me Not In Me
32 Daydre@Mer
33 Edit Life Form
34 Curl Up
35 Keroleen
36 Crawl
37 Do You Always Dress Like That In Front Of Other Peoples Girlfriends
38 Steal Steal Steal
39 Judy Garland Life
40 Underdogs


Band Links:-
https://generationblitz.bandcamp.com/
https://stateofbassuk.com/


Label Links:-
http://www.cherryred.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords
https://twitter.com/cherryredgroup
https://www.youtube.com/CherryRedRecords



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