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/

Monday, 28 February 2011


1. Sub-Culture (Exclusive Remix) - New Order

A collector's item for fans of one of the most collectable bands of their time. This is genuinely an exclusive remix which has never been officially released since. Sub-Culture began its life on New Order's classic 1985 album 'Low Life'. In 1986, the track was remixed by John Robie and released as a single. However, the mix was badly received and the single became a rare critical and commercial failure for the band, only hitting #63 in the UK chart. Factory graphic designer Peter Saville objected to the release of the remix of Sub-Culture to such an extent he refused to design a sleeve explaining why the single was only distributed in a plain black sleeve. As tends to be the norm with New Order releases, there has always been confusion over the source of this remix. The label credits Robie as being on remix duty again but it actually seems to be an edit of the first of several Razormaid remixes of the track. Razormaid being one of the largest DJ subscription remix services in the world, this became one of the very rare instances when such a remix was released outside the confines of their stringent subscription service. Despite being regarded as superior to the official Robie mixes, this EP is still the only legit place to find this.

For more New Order TheFreeEPs recommends http://neworder-recycle.blogspot.com 

2. Jennifer Wants - Raymonde

Despite a huge Smiths connection - Raymonde frequently supported them and lead singer James Maker used to be their back up singer and dancer - the band only released on overlooked album in 1987, Babelogue. Although Raymonde never lived up to RM's billing of them as one of the year's most exciting newcomers, Maker made a few quid out of his old mate nearly two decades on in 2004 when Morrissey not only covered Raymonde track No One Can Hold A Candle To You as a B side and live, but included the original version on his own compilation, the NME FreeEP 'Songs To Save Your Life' in 2004.  Back to Jennifer Wants, this track is absolutely exclusive to this EP so a must for all Morrissey fans.

3. Bad Thing Longing - Hipsway

In between featuring in two hugely successful bands - Altered Images and Texas - guitarist Johnny Mcelhone formed Hipsway in 1984. The band's eponymous debut album just missed out on a Top 40 place but single The Honeythief hit #17 in 1986. This track, at the time of this EP's release an exclusive preview, was featured on their debut. Despite this early promise, the band folded in 1989.

4. Walk Away Renee - The Adventures

The Adventures were an Irish folk rock band who briefly threatened to become one of the UK's biggest bands. Backed by eventual Spice Girls guru Simon Fuller, he ensured The Adventures achieved plenty of airplay and music press attention. Despite a Top 20 hit in 1988 with Broken Land, it never really happened and The Adventures became one of the country's best kept secrets instead. This faithful cover of The Left Banke's Walk Away Renee, made famous by The Four Tops, was specially recorded for Record Mirror and remains exclusive to this release. Arguably, as the band had already released their album Theodore & Friends and its singles to little success, this was most likely an attempt by Fuller to keep them in the public eye in the absence of any new material.

*Thanks to Eric Generic for sending me this FreeEP*

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

THE VOX BOX (1992)

Drawn from the labels of Polydor, Vertigo. Mercury, Def American and A&M

LIVE SIDE - yep, they're all live tracks. No idea if these are unique to this cassette OR when these were recorded so all help welcome

1. Don't Believe A Word - Thin Lizzy

A 1976 #12 UK hit from Northern Ireland's premier hard rock outfit, the studio version originally taken from their album Johnny The Fox.

2. Statesboro Blues - The Allman Brothers Band

Featured on the country blues legends' 1971 At Filmore East, this is the most famous version of a track originally written and recorded by Blind Willie McTell. Rolling Stone magaine name the Allman Brothers version as the ninth greatest guitar song of all time.

3. Stay With Me - Rod Stewart & The Faces

Credited to simply The Faces on release in 1971, this enduring classic hit #6 in the UK charts and released on the album A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse. The track has been performed live ever since by Rod Stewart and covered by McFly and Manic Street Preachers.

4. Crossroads - Cream

Originally written and recorded by Robert Johnson as 'Crossroad Blues', Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce's live version, retitled Crossroads, was released on their album Wheels On Fire and released as a single in the USA.

5. Hard To Handle - The Black Crowes

The most famous version of the Otis Redding original, was released on their 1990 debut Shake Your Moneymaker. Released twice as a single in the UK, it eventually hit a peak of #39 but has remained a radio staple ever since.

6. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix's only, and posthumous, #1 in the UK. The title here is misleading. The track 'Voodoo Chile' is a 15 minute jam featured on Side 1 of the classic Electric Ladyland. A much shorter recording, 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)' is the last track on the same album and it's this version that was released as the single....When the single appeared though, the track was confusingly titled 'Voodoo Chile'.

7. Get The Funk Out - Extreme

Extreme's second album Pornograffiti II propelled Extreme into orbit, mostly thanks to the acoustic ballad More Than Words which hit #2 in the UK and #1 in the US. The hard rocking Get The Funk Out was the lead single from the album and paved the way for More Than Words by hitting the UK Top 20. Since the initial demise of Extreme, lead singer Gary Cherone briefly joined Van Halen, lead giuitarist Nuno Bettencourt released a solo album entitled Schizophonic and bassist Pat Badger bizarrely had his birthday announced in The Sun every year for about a decade afterwards.

8. When You're Young - The Jam

One off single released by The Jam in 1979. The single reached #17. Regulars in the Top 40 by this time - this was their eighth - the band would hit even greater heights with their next two singles, The Eton Rifles and Going Underground.

9. She's A Girl And I'm A Man - Lloyd Cole

The lead single from Lloyd Cole's second solo - that is, without The Commotions -album, Don't Get Weird On Me Babe. The single only hit #55 and the album #21 despite good reviews.

10. Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground

Classic VU, written by Lou Reed and pulled from their 1970 album Loaded which proved to be the band's proper swansong, the Doug Yule helmed Squeeze notwithstanding. Sweet Jane has been covered by Mott The Hoople, The Sugarcubes and -oh dear - The Kooks.

11. Shine The Light - 10cc

Well I can't actually play this cassette, but I can only assume this is 10cc's Shine A Light In The Dark which was released in the same year as this compilation, 1992, on their album ...Menwhile. The album was a comeback for the band's original four members - Graham Goldman, Godley & Creme and Eric Stewart - after the success of the 10cc/G&C compilation Changing Faces. Despite resurgence in interest for the band's back catalogue, this didn't translate into sales for new material, the album failing to break the UK Top 75.

12. Wideshire - Thousand Yard Stare

Early 90s indie favourites from Berkshire. Their singles and EPs, inluding the Spindrift EP containing this track, regularly topped the indie charts and grazed the bottom end of the official UK chart. Despite indie success, they failed to break the mainstream and were brutally bumped off by the rise in the UK Britpop scene. Wideshire was also featured on their album Hands On.

13. Donation - The Wonder Stuff

If you're name is Miles Hunt, you really ought to endear yourself to the UK music press. This didn't happen and the lead singer of the most successful band to emerge from the West Midlands grebo scene became popular rhyming slang - c.f. James Blunt. Donation featured on the band's third album Never Loved Elvis which saw them shed their indie status and become genuine pop stars. The success of the album, and lead single The Size Of A Cow, lead to their first and only #1 single with their Vic Reeves collaboration, Dizzy. No big pop moment would be complete without the inevitable bleak, comedown album (Construction For The Modern Idiot) and split followed by a decade long silence and inevitable reformation....

Sunday, 6 February 2011


Vox's Best of '95 cassette:

1. This Is A Call - Foo Fighters

A year after Kurt Cobain's - and ultimately Nirvana's - demise, drummer Dave Grohl announced Foo Fighters to the world. This was their debut single proper and immediately hit the Top 5 in the UK as did their debut eponymous album. Give them a few years and they'd be one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world...

2. He Thought Of Cars - Blur

Blur may have won the Blur-Oasis singles chart battle with Country House but Oasis won the war with the era-defining ...Morning Glory. Blur's The Great Escape reached #1 but was not nearly as loved as Parklife previously. Ultimately, it marked the end of Blur Mk1 before they shed the Britpop sound that made them famous. This relatively downbeat track is one of The Great Escape's highlights.

3. Sitting Up Straight (Live) - Supergrass

One of the few bands to be born during the so-called Britpop years to last the distance, something they did until last year when they became one of the era's final casualties. Sitting Up Straight was one of the first 'Grass songs appearing as B-side to the original 7" release of Mansize Rooster in its initial incarnation. The track was re-recorded and appeared on the re-released Rooster single and subsequently on their classic debut I Should Coco. This live version is only available on this cassette and was recorded at 1995's T In The Park Festival.

4. In The Name Of The Father (Choppers Mix)- Black Grape

1995's most unexpected, and celebrated, comeback. After Happy Mondays' messy split, Shaun Ryder's future looked bleak. He returned, alongside Bez and Kermit from Ruthless Rap Assassins amongst others, with Black Grape and massive album It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah. In The Name Of The Father preceded the album as their second single and hit #8. The Choppers Mix, mislabelled here as the Chopper Mix, was remixed by Danny Saber. Shaun Ryder was last seen on This Morning.

5. Down By The Water - PJ Harvey

Second outing for this To Bring You My Love in a week on TheFreeEPs. Harvey's new album Let England Shake is out on February 14th.

6. History - The Verve

The third single from The Verve's second album A Northern Soul was to be their final single. Posthumously released, it became their biggest hit reaching #24. Needless to say, the History books had to be rewritten two years later......

7. Sorted For Es & Wizz (Live) - Pulp

Recorded live at their triumphant Glastonbury performance in 1995. Pulp were only invited to perform Glasto after illness forced a dying Stone Roses to pull out. On the back of the release of the anthem Common People, this couldn't have come at a better time and the band went on to become one of the era's defining bands.

8. Yes - McAlmont & Butler

David McAlmont's career was going precisely nowhere until he hooked up with Bernard Butler, fresh from leaving Suede behind. Combined, the results were magic and Yes became an immediate Top 10 and one of 1995's most uplifting singles. The two released one more single, You Do, and one album - which wasn't much more than a compilation of their singles - before splitting acrimoniously. They did patch things up for one more album, Bring It Back, in 2002. Since then, McAlmont has kept himself busy on the jazz circuit. Butler has not only worked with Brett Anderson again with the one-off Tears project but also become a producer of note, producing amongst others Duffy's huge Rockferry.

9. (Nice Dream) - Radiohead

Radiohead had little to do with their contemporaries but almost certainly benefitted from the Britpop movement and the resurgence of indie/alternative rock with huge sales for their album The Bends which included this track. The album's huge, epic sound was light years from their grunge-inflected debut Pablo Honey. The band would travel several more light years over the next decade...

10. Screamager (Live) - Therapy?

The original version of Screamager was taken from NI's biggest alternative metal band Therapy?'s highest charting single, the Shortsharpshock EP which hit the Top 10 in 1993. The band scored several more hits throughout 1993 and 1994 before releasing the dark, ballad-laden album Infernal Love in 1995, which still hit the Top 10 and spawned three Top 40 singles. It proved to be the band's last major stab at success, their next album Semi Detached proving less successful before they retreated into cultdom.

11. Hyperballad - Bjork

Even though this was the 4th single from Bjork's second album Post, and released after given away free on this very cassette, it still managed to hit #8. This was no doubt in part to being released straight off the back of Bjork's big pop single, It's Oh So Quiet. Although it was probably given a leg-up by a lot of casual buyers who weren't expecting this wonderful slice of electronica, justice was done as this is one of Bjork's finest moments and deserved to be a Top 10 hit.

Friday, 4 February 2011


4 Track Cassette EP promoting four CBS Dance Division acts:

1. Trust - The Chimes

Back in the last series of The X Factor when that Rebecca or someone sang a gospelised version of U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Simon Cowell, who previously suggested that Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men had never reached #1 anywhere significant despite staying at #1 for 15 weeks in the USA, commented on how wonderfully unique the interpretation was. Of course, the man behind Teletubbies, Robson and Jerome and -worse- Olly Murs, didn't realise that The Chimes had beaten The X Factor to it by 20 years. Their version was The Chimes' biggest hit by far and the Scottish group released one eponymous album before singer Pauline Henry went solo to limited success. Trust is an exclusive track to this release.

2. Mr Icecream - Teena Marie

The late Teena Marie was a rarity; a white soul singer signed to Motown. She was also the first white female to appear on Soul Train. Despite a long and influential career in the USA, Teena Marie only scored one major hit in the UK, Behind The Groove, in 1980. Mr Icecream was featured on her 1990 album, Ivory.

3. I Want To Be - The Pasadenas

The best thing about British R&B group The Pasadenas was that the lead singer was called Rockin' Jeff. Despite this obstacle, the group managed a number of Top 40 hits and 2 Top 20 albums before bizarrely disappearing off the face of the Earth except maybe Japan. This track was featured on their second album Elevate which, surprisingly sandwiched between two hit albums, failed to chart.

4. Milky Cereal - LL Cool J

Cool J recounts meeting many ladies whilst offering us up some dope rhymes about Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies and something called Captain Crunch amongst other granular snacks. It's taken from his 1990 album Mama Said Knock You Out. Which presumably she did when he opened up a new packet of Sugar Puffs before finishing the old one.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


"All tracks are demo versions" so reads the legend on this free cassette given away by MM in 1997; not strictly true but there are some real rarities on this one:

1. For All The Cows (Live) - Foo Fighters

Reading Festival 1995 was Foo Fighters' first major show in the UK. This is a performance from that set. This version was broadcast live on Radio 1 and was included as an extra track on the Cows single which hit #28 in 1995.

2. Europe Is Our Playground (Alternative Mix) - Suede

Originally featured as a B-side to the Top 3 single Trash, this new version of Europe Is Our Playground turned up on superlative B-side compilation Sci Fi Lullabies. At the time, this was unique to this compilation until that album's release.

3. No One Speaks (Demo Version) - Geneva

The proto Keane. Geneva were tipped for huge things in 1997. Despite a Top 20 album and 4 Top 40 singles, the band never properly broke through. No One Speaks was their debut single and hit a respectable #32. This demo is unique to this cassette.

4. DJ Shadow's Theme (1990 Demo) - DJ Shadow

Shadow's Theme forms part of Joshua Davis' legendary Entropy set. This demo is impossibly rare and is unique to this cassette - at least in the UK. A Japanese collection entitled The 4 Track Era Collection 1990-1992 was released on Reconstruction in 2009 containing the 'Original Version' of DJ Shadow's Theme. Is this the same version?

5. Never Again (Campfire Version) - Dodgy

Never Again is featured on Dodgy's debut album, er, The Dodgy Album in 1993. This stripped back version was first included on the I Need Another EP the same year.

6. London - Sparklehorse

Early track from the late Mark Linkous. This dates from 1995 and was released a limited 7" single. It turned up again as an extra track on his Someday I Will Treat You Good single.

7. Love's Cradle (Demo Version) - 3 Colours Red

It's them again! This is a unique version of the Pure album track so is a must-get for both 3CR completists out there.

8. Dark Globe - Placebo

Brian Molko suggested he left a trail of blood and spunk across the country in the wake of Placebo's massive success with their debut album and Nancy Boy single. The band enjoyed their first taste of controversy however in July 1996 when the Chris Cunnigham directed video for single 36 Degrees was banned from daytime air play for showing the band playing underwater. Dark Globe was originally included as an extra track on the 36 Degrees single which hit #83 in the chart. Two singles later they were in the Top 5 and needed a wash.