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

If you'd like to add to the collection of free magazine covermounts contact me here, on twitter.com/mannygrillo or at last.fm/user/grillmachine

Also available - http://discogshuffle.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


"Motorcycle Loveliness" according to the spine. Oh dear.

1. Get Out Of Cities - Blur

Side 2 of Blur's #2 hit, Song 2. Not 2 shabby.

2. Ain't No Longer (The Lost Riff) - Dodgy

A remix by Jerome Di Pietro of Free Peace Sweet album track 'Ain't No Longer Asking'. Interestingly, the sleeve notes here state that this remix is from the forthcoming album 'FPS-2'. More well known for their 60s inflected power-pop and a comedy drummer, Dodgy always embraced the dance scene and remix culture, and as the title suggests, FPS-2 was the entire Free Peace Sweet album remixed by Di Pietro. The album was never released until after the band's original split and was then packaged as a bonus CD with greatest hits package Ace As & Killer Bs.

3. Behind The Clouds - Mantaray

A track from second album The Reds And The Blues from long forgotten Britpop/New Mod band who split up after a Bluetones support slot soon after the release of the album.

4. The Third Decade, Our Move - DJ Shadow

Hugely rare track, part of the Entropy suite, dating back to 1993 and taken from a split 12" single on the Solesides label with Asia Minor and DJ Shadow & The Groove Robbers, a good three years before the seminal Endtroducing. This is hip-hop's past, present and future encapsulated in 4 minutes. For a growing list of which tracks Entropy has sampled and who has in turn sampled Entropy click here: http://www.whosampled.com/search/samples/?q=entropy

5. Faces In A Dream - Hurricane #1

Post Ride, Andy Bell formed Hurricane #1. The post-Britpop trad-rockers were never really taken seriously as contenders and fell apart spectacularly after they allowed The Sun to use their biggest hit Only The Strongest Will Survive as a backdrop to their massive TV campaign. Their reputation in tatters, Bell went on to further humiliation when he joined Gay Dad as guitarist. His fortunes took a turn for the better when the Gallaghers soon came calling.

6. Millionaire Sweeper - Kenickie

Sunderland's finest introducing us to one Lauren Laverne. This blast of punk pop was released as a single in 1996 hitting #60. By the time their debut album At The Club was released less than a year later Lauren, along with Marie Du Santiago, Emmy Kate Montrose and, er, Johnny X, had become a pin up and they were in the Top 10. Pity it didn't last.... but Laverne's ubiquitous TV and radio career wasn't far away....

7. Six Million Dollar Goat - Toaster

Toaster were an experimental indie rock band from Scotland who sound a bit like a rubbish version of Mansun. They never got round to releasing anything until 2001 when they put out their sole album Signs And Wonder containing a new version of Six Million Dollar Goat.

8. Why Is A Frog Too? - Bentley Rhythm Ace

Always a favourite of late 90s free CD compilers, this is from BRA's eponymous debut.

9. Filmstar (Original Demo) - Suede

Filmstar was the 5th consecutive Top 10 hit from Suede's triumphant first post-Butler album Coming Up. Despite being 30 seconds longer than the original, and obviously lacking in production, this demo doesn't differ too much from the original but it's still exclusive to this CD so it's a must for Suede completists.

10. I Don't Think So - The Supernaturals

Indie also-rans best known for the nauseating 'Smile' which appeared on their Top 10 debut 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore' - as does this.

11. Cottonwool (Fila Brazilia Mix) - Lamb

A hidden remix on some copies of Manchester trip-hop duo's eponymous debut album.

12. Electricity - Spiritualized

Pretty much putting everything else here in the shade, this was a then exclusive preview of Spiritualized's all conquering Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space magnum opus. Electricity's garage rock was untypical of the album itself, a neo-psychedelic, space rock, ambient masterpiece, but was also served as the first single from the album hitting #32. The album itself even beat Radiohead's OK Computer to the Best Of '97 in various critics' polls.

13. Help Me (Quattro Edit) - The Candyskins

Oxford rock band whose third album Sunday Morning Fever rode on Britpop's coat-tails in 1997. They had one Top 40 hit, Monday Morning, before splitting a year later. This is an exclusive edit of a track from that album.

14. Looks Like Chaplin - Stereophonics

This is one of a batch of singles released by Stereophonics prior to the release of their debut album Word Gets Around in August 1997. The album, thanks to student friendly anthems such as Traffic, A Thousand Trees and Local Boy In The Photograph, went platinum and the band had another decade of hits.

15. Polydistortion - GusGus

Cult Icelandic electronic collective GusGus released seven albums in their decade long career. This is actually an edit of Polyesterday from their debut album.

16. Blood Chant - Gorky's Zygotic Mynci

Welsh psych-rockers Gorky's were the 90s most unlucky band hitting the Top 75 8 times, missing the big 40 each time. This is taken from their 1995 album Bwyd Time, which was their last release on the Ankst label before the majors and, well, kinda success, beckoned.

17. Bad Haircut - Silver Sun

Originally called ...Sun! before they were forced to change their name, Silver Sun were one of many hyped to death post-Britpop bands who died a death after a couple of moderately successful singles and album. The eponymous debut, containing this, hit #30.

18. Celebration On - Santa Cruz

Bristol band who released one album Way Out before fading away completely. Despite the sleeve notes declaring this to be on that album, it ended up as a B-side to their single Heaven Only Knows with an extra apostrophe and s on Celebration.

Monday, 22 November 2010


1. Johnson's Aeroplane - INXS

1989 was a period of transition for INXS - their two year Kick campaign had come to an end with the belated release of Mystify and Michael Hutchence decided to cut off his trademark locks and hook up with Ollie Olsen to record the expirimental Max Q album. This lull in band activity was a good time then to let people know that there was life before Kick, five albums in fact. This cut was taken from their fouth album, 1984's 'The Swing', which despite not registering in the UK, reached #1 in Australia and stayed on the Top 50 for two years. This moody string-laden synth-rock song about drought also served as a reminder that there was more to INXS than commercial pop-rock.

2. Child Of The Age - Transvision Vamp

A completely exclusive track from Transvision Vamp still unavailable anywhere else. 1989 had been a good year for Wendy James and the boys scoring a #1 album with Velveteen and four Top 40 hits including their biggest hit Baby I Don't Care. Never has a fall from grace been so rapid however...MCA refused to release their third album in the UK in 1991 and after two more minor hits, that was that. Still, for any TV completists out there, this is a must.

3. Buffalo Stance - The There's Nothing Wrong Mix (Sukka Mix II) - Neneh Cherry

This was at the time of release exclusive to this EP. Although it eventually turned up as an extra track on Neneh's Manchild, this remix should still be of historic interest to Massive Attack completists. This was remixed by DJ Mushroom - one Andrew Vowles - and The Dynamik Duo (actually Cameron McVey and Phil Chill). The original Buffalo Stance was of course a massive Top 3 hit in 1989.

4. You Don't Always Do What's Best For You - Black

Pop stars shouldn't really be called Colin. No surprise then that Colin Vearncombe used a pseudonym, Black, to release his music. Having said that, he could have been called Norris Grimeshorpe and his signature tune Wonderful Life would still have been a worldwide smash. Despite enjoying two Top 10 hits in 1987 and a Top 3 album, Vearncombe soon became a critically acclaimed cult concern. This is from his second album, Comedy, which hit #32 in 1988.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


Don't normally include stuff from this era on TheFreeEPs but this one's an exception....there's some massively rare stuff on this one so it makes the grade.

1. Woke Up This Morning (Chosen One Mix) - Alabama 3

Or as Alabama 3's compilation, Hits & Exit Wounds, called it - The Sopranos Mix. Despite never being a proper hit - it reached #80 both on its original release AND reissue - this is one of the most heard songs of the new millennium after HBO chose this as the theme tune to their phenomenonly successful series The Sopranos. The blues-gospel-rock troupe, actually from Brixton, are still going but this will be the one that keeps paying the bills.

2. Connected - Stereo MCs

Let's draw a veil under those blasted phone adverts and remember this a 90s electronic hip hop classic. Already leaders of the UK hip hop scene, this was their commercial breakthrough hitting #18, its parent album spawning a further 3 Top 20 hits. They still sound the same 20 years later but it's sofisticated.

3. Voodoo Ray - A Guy Called Gerald
Acid house pioneer Gerald Simpson's all time classic. The 'Voodoo Ray' sample is actually a sample of Peter Cook delivering the phrase 'Voodoo Rage' which was cut short due to the lack of memory in Gerald's recording equipment.

4. Even Better Than The Real Thing (Perfecto Mix) - U2

The original version of this track hit #12 back in 1992; just weeks later Paul Oakenfold's remix went Top 10 becoming a dancefloor smash. Oakenfold, along with Steve Osborne, was the most in demand dance producer and remixer of the 90s, producing amongst others Happy Mondays' Pills Thrills N Bellyaches and transforming rock songs like this, and later U2's Lemon, into club hits. His massive hit rate with the Perfecto imprint continued for the next decade. Don't mention Shifty Shellshock.

5. True Faith (Morel's Pink Noise Edit) - New Order

Rare remix of New Order's 1987 classic. Morel's remixes appeared on a 2001 US promotional 12 inch - this was an exclusive edit of the Club Mix making this CD an instant collector's item for New Order fans. The remix is still rare though it did reappear on the bonus fifth CD of New Order's 2002 boxset Retro.

6. Go - Moby

Moby's Twin Peaks sampling rave classic breakthrough from 1991 is still his greatest single. The track originally peaked at #46 but hit the Top 10 a few months later. The song also samples Jocelyn Brown's 'Love's Gonna Get You'.

7. Retox - Fatboy Slim

From the album Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars. This track features vocals from Ashley Slater who was also the lead singer in Freakpower, the brainchild of Norman Cook. That's Norman Cook from the Mighty Dub Katz and Pizzaman who used to be in Beats International and The Housemartins. But who is this mysterious Fatboy Slim?

8. Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat) - Les Rhythmes Digitales

Originally released in 1997 to critical but minimal commercial success, Les Rhythmes Digitales aka Stuart Price, fared a little better in 1999 when it hit #60. It wasn't until 2005 that Jacques Your Body finally hit it big - its use on a Citroen advert ensured it finally hit the Top 10 nearly a decade after its initial release. Price is now a massively in demand producer and songwriter collaborating with The Killers, Kylie, Take That, Madonna. Oh, and Keane.

9. Pearl's Girl (Edit) - Underworld

The truncated, but no less awesome, single edit of this Underworld classic. Originally from their masterpiece Second Toughest In The Infants, this was a Top 30 hit twice reaching #24 in 1995 and #22 on the back of Born Slippy. Underworld fans should check out the US Pearl's Girl EP, almost an album in its own right.

10. The Time Is Now - Moloko

Not even endless use on Sky Sports alters the fact that this is one of the classiest #2 hits of all time. When they weren't producing luscious dance pop, Moloko were tripping balls, their debut album Do You Like My Tight Sweater named after Roisin Murphy's chat up line to partner and collaborator Mark Brydon. Sadly, Murphy split from Brydon and the world is sadly far saner without them. Murphy has since recorded two solo albums to critical acclaim.

11. So Hard (David Morales Remix) - Pet Shop Boys

OR NOT. A Q cock up but a collector's dream. The David Morales Red Zone remix is an absolute beast and personally chosen for inclusion on PSB's Pop Art Remix collection in 2003. Chris Lowe waxed lyrical about this gargantuan mix in the pages of Q that month. Only, the remix here isn't the original David Morales Red Zone Remix but the David Morales Radio Edit, not bad but a shorter, slightly watered-down and more radio friendly version of the mix losing the power of the original. Seeing as this hadn't been released in the UK - it had appeared on a German remix single - this actually made this Q release a whole lot more collectable for completists of one of the world's most collectable groups. Needless to say, Q apologised for the mess up in the following issue with Chris Lowe stating that his comments in the previous issue should in no way be attributed to the remix that actually appeared on the CD. Oops.

12. World In My Eyes - Depeche Mode

A DM classic from the dark synthpop masterpiece Violator. The band's seventh was their most successful critically and commercially, selling 13.8 million copies worldwide. This single was relased in the UK as the album's last single hitting #17. DM's Andy Fletcher has also cited this as his favourite Depeche Mode song.

13. Take California - Propellerheads

Big beat duo who released their one and only album Decksanddrumsandrockandroll in 1998. It was one half of the duo, Will White's, ill health that cut short their career which had got off to a flyer with their remake of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and their ubiquitous collaboration with Shirley Bassey, History Repeating. This was the duo's debut Top 75 single from their Top 10 album.

14. Devil In Sports Casual - Midfield General

The epitome of the big beat boom of the late 90s. Not surprising really - Midfield General was in reality Damian Harris, owner of Brighton's big beat label Skint. Harris would soon be sponsoring more midfield generals when the label became the long term sponsor of Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

15. Once More - The Orb

The Orb's 2001 album Cydonia, featuring this #38 single, was a sidestep for Alex Paterson et al featuring vocals and traditional song structures. The album did contain The Orb's usual ambience though and refreshingly contained a track called A Mile Long Lump Of Lard.

16. Pacific 707 - 808 State.

Pacific 707 is actually the single version of the house classic Pacific State. The original version appeared on their debut album Quadrastate and was remixed a year later to become their debut Top 10 hit. The acid house pioneers - yes, more of them - released a clutch of albums over the next decade and a half collaborating with, amongst others, James Dean Bradfield, Bernard Sumner and Bjork.

17. Tension (Live From The Q Awards) - Orbital

We end with an exclusive live version of this Orbital track from their album The Altogether; another reason to get hold of this CD - it doesn't get much better than Orbital live does it? Of course, the techno duo reformed last year and are back on stage. Their new AA side Don't Stop Me/The Gun Is Good even survives a Buggles sample.

Sunday, 7 November 2010


"The Best New Homegrown Talent" according to Melody Maker. How did this lot fare then in the 21st Century then?

1. Daria - Chicks

From the EP 'Little Monkeys With Lots Of Money', this Irish girl punk pop band, a mini-Breeders if you will, were Melody Maker cover stars, played support for Manic Street Preachers and Sonic Youth and were signed by Dreamworks on a two album deal. Chicks soon fell apart and their much touted debut album "Chicks Do Philly" never hatched.

2. The Rock (No Handshakes Mix) - Delakota
Formed from the ashes of Senseless Things, Delakota were an indie-dance hybrid, a poor man's Primal Scream. Their debut album hit #58 and spawned three Top 75 hits including The Rock which hit#60. A decent start, but the band quickly disappeared. This remix, co-mixed by Tim Goldsworthy, was featured on the single.

3. Dope Slax - Seafood

Alt-punk band from London influenced by Sonic Youth. This track, an XFM session, appeared on their first album, Messenger In The Camp, a compilation of their early Fierce Panda EPs. The band went on to attain a cult following scoring a number of Top 200 entries over the next decade.

4. Uncle Benson - Ten Benson

Named after a packet of cigarettes, this comedy psychedelic/heavy metal outfit released a clutch of acclaimed singles and EPs in the late 90s recording a couple of Peel Sessions along the way. In 2002 they released an album called Satan Kidney Pie - enough said.

5. Into The Waves - Witness

The silliness of Ten Benson gives way to serious alernative Americana...from Wigan. The Verve-ish Witness (Nick McCabe was mates with them)were well received by the music press but a little too uninteresting for commercial success. Their two albums both hit the Top 75 but they soon faded away. This track was the AA side of their first single, along with Quarantine.

6. Why Did My Igloo Collapse? - Ooberman

From the Shorley Wall EP which was one of THE critics' favourites of 1998. After the EP's cult success Ooberman were the band most likely to in 1999. However, despite good reviews and a Top 40 single with Blossoms Falling, subsequent singles and their debut album The Magic Treehouse bombed. The band plodded on but Shorley Wall remained their crowning glory.

7. We've Gone Wrong - Llama Farmers

Greenwich indie-punk four piece who released a number of Top 200 singles and an album Dead Letter Chorus in 1998/9. This track acted as a B side to their biggest single, Big Wheels, which hit #67. They also released a single called Yellow in 1999 which was probably better than that Coldplay muck.
8. The Sad Witch - Hefner

Probably the 'indie-est' band of the late 90s. Singer Darran Hayman was particularly awkward looking, met his band mates at art school and played lo-fi indie folk rock that is destined to never climb higher than #50 in the hit parade. However, they attained a massive cult following recording 10 Peel Sessions in their six years together. This track is from their debut album Breaking God's Heart.

9. Closet Heroine - The Crocketts

Welsh rock band who tragically released an album in 2000 called The Great Brain Robbery. This one is from their debut album called We May Be Skinny & Wirey. V2 dropped them for crimes against album titles in 2001. Singer Davey McManus formed The Crimea soon after.

10. Wheelking 1973 - One Lady Owner

Glam-punks on Creation who hit the dizzy heights of #136 with this single in 1998. An album There's Only We and a couple of follow up singles also surfaced but it was soon to be bye bye One Lady Owner and not long after that bye bye Creation and Three Colours Red.

11. Choke Bore (Jeans Remix) - Scott 4

Indie-country fusion dubbed as 'electronic cowpunks'. Scott 4 met with critical acclaim, especially with their 1999 album, Works Project. This remix from a track on their 1998 Recorded In State LP first surfaced in 1997 as a promotional 12 inch making this the one true rarity on this compilation.

12. Lipstick, Cigarettes, Packet Of 3- Younger Younger 28s

A cross between The Human League and Shampoo singing an ironic song about getting drunk you say? How can this possibly fail to reach higher than #61? Because it sounds like this.

Thanks to DF118 who gives more background to this down below...