All the Free EP's from the 20th Century collected in one place....when I get them, that is.

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Sunday, 22 August 2010


1. My Beloved Monster (Live From Tennessee) - Eels

A live version of a track from Eels' first album Beautiful Freak. This version was also released on their Top 10 breakthrough single Novocaine For The Soul.

2. Into The Blue - Geneva
Last seen on Never Mind The Buzzcocks' career-defining identity parade, Geneva's Andrew Montgomery was an early incarnation of Keane's Tom Chaplin. Montgomery's angelic vocal coupled with melodic production won over the critics but not the public at large. As this track hit the Top 30 in 1996, this is a rare instance of a hit single being featured on a free compilation; it probably shows how hard Nude were pushing their debut album, Further, at the time. The album promisingly charted at#20 but got no further.

3. Bloke - Republica

For a few minutes in 1997 Republica were massive. With two ubiqitous singles, Ready To Go and Drop Dead Gorgeous, a Top 5 album (containing this track) and an iconic lead singer in Saffron, Republica should have gone on to bigger - and better -things. An underwhelming second album released on a soon to be defunct record label - DeConstruciton - put paid to that and Republica were no more.

4. Believe (18B Remix) - GusGus

Cult Icelandic electronic band Gus Gus are now in their 15th year and still making music. Their album Polydistortion and single Believe, along with this remix, scraped the Top 200. The band continiued to scrape the bottom end of the UK chart for the next 6 years.

5. The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail - Mansun
Mansun released 14 EPs and three albums in their all too brief career. This is from their 5th EP, featuring lead track She Makes My Nose Bleed, which reached #9 in early '97. Their next release, debut album Attack Of The Grey Lantern, went straight in at #1.

6. Closer - Lamb

UK Electronic/trip-hop duo consisting of Andy Barlow and Lou Rhodes. Although their debut eponymous album only peaked at #109 it was a steady seller and spawned the Top 40 single Gorecki. This is from that debut.

7. It's Coming Down - Cake

Alternative Californian rock. This track is from the album Fashion Nugget which featured two Top 30 hits, The Distance and an ironic cover version of I Will Survive. Three more albums followed with ever decreasing success in the UK.
8. Stunt Girl - AC Acoustics

Glasgow's AC Acoustics were one of the most celebrated cult bands of their time playing Jesus & Mary chain inspired fuzz rock. Lauded by their peers, they had no commercial success whatosever and split in 2003 after a decade releasing music. Stunt Girl merited a place in John Peel's 1996 Festive 50 and hit a mighty #182 in the UK Charts. The album Victory Parts failed to chart at all. The 2010 reissue of their follow-up album Understanding Music has given the band's legacy a new lease of life.

9. Low Place Like Home - Sneaker Pimps

Sneaker Pimps were the band to name drop when they put out their album Becoming X in 1997. Two singles, 6 Underground and Spin Spin Sugar also gave them mainstream credibility. Lead singer Kelli Dayton (now known as Kelli Ali) was also cute and fast becoming the latest in a long line of female indie pin-ups. When she was suddenly ousted from the band in 1998, it was also goodbye to success and little has been heard from the band since 2002. A waste.

10. Pie In The Sky - The Supernaturals

Pie In The Sky really is a very Supernaturals title for a song - a cliche that doesn't take itself very seriously. Their single Smile is forever ingrained in everyone's memory after its inclusion on countless television adverts for the website of that name. That, and this track, were included on their Top 10 debut It Doesn't Matter Anymore. The title of which nicely sums up The Supernaturals.
11. Top Trumps - Silver Sun

When this band released their debut EP Sun! in 1996, containing this track, that was also the name of their band until they realised it was already taken. They added the Silver to the band name and the rest was, as they say, a few minor hits and indie obscurity.

12. Ain't Goin' To Goa (Special K Mix) - Alabama 3

An alternative blues ten piece from Brixton...not quite what the name suggests. However, despite not having much chart success - this reached #98 and #40 a year later on reissue - their music has been used on countless television and film soundtracks, most notably The Sopranos which used their single Woke Up This Morning as its theme. This remix is I think exclusive to this CD.

13. Dirt (Edit) - Death In Vegas

The single radio edit of DIV's 1996 single which, like parent abum Dead Elvis and its other singles, was more electronic and instrumental in style than their later dark, guitar-heavy material. This era was only a modest commercial and critical success for Richard Fearless. 1999's Contino Sessions, featuring Iggy Pop, Bobby Gillespie, Jon Spencer, Jim Reid and Dot Allison would change that...

14. Concerto Of The Desperado - The Roots
From Russia With Love sampling cut from Philadelphian hip-hop legends' Iladelph Halflife album.