With the recent turnaround in vinyl sales, the album has started to regain some lost ground as an art-form. We have all been so spoilt for choice with the numerous streaming services and instant downloads, that the ritual of listening to say The Beatles’ White Album from start to finish in order has become as a rarity. A Beatles playlist on Spotify cherry-picking the more famous songs has unfortunately made track order debates that can split a band apart now irrelevant. The upturn in vinyl LP sales and listening habits means more and more music fans were making a point of playing an album in its entirety, rather than clicking shuffle or skipping to the hits.
To celebrate the rise of the classic album format, and in part inspired by Ryan Adams‘ cover of the fantastic 1989 by Taylor Swift, HTF asks some of our favourite artists which records they would take on. So many artists are always asked which tracks to cover on numerous radio shows. But what if they have been invited to cover an entire album? Would they make a faithful interpretation or entirely have a re-haul and create their masterpiece from the foundations of another. Would Metallica take on The Wurzels’ classic Vintage Cider? How about Blur covering Shed Seven’s Maximum High? Both didn’t reply to our emails so sadly we shall never find out. Luckily these acts did!
First up are one of the 90’s most glamorous Britpop bands My Life Story. Fronted by Jake Shillingford, they had hits with ‘Strumpet‘ and ‘12 Reasons Why I love Her, ‘ and after a six-year hiatus, MLS are now celebrating ten years back together. Recently they were named by NME as “one of the greatest lost bands of the 90s”.
“We’d like to cover Cheap Trick at Budokan – It’s one of the most atmospheric and highly charged live records of all time and shows a band at their peak. The pumped-up sound of 1970’s New Wave and the sheer exuberance of 12,000 screaming Japanese girls is pure Rock n Roll. The simplicity of a guitar, a single fuzz pedal, and a proper tune is all anyone needs in this mad crazy world. The track order is so important because it follows the live tradition of building a crowd to a frenzy and stand out track ‘I Want You to Want’Me‘ has more crowd participation that an entire screening of the Rocky Horror Show.
The album was only supposed to be released in Japan; however rumours on their kick ass power pop performances meant the US and the UK snapped it up on import. One can’t underestimate how unusual it is for a band to break into the mainstream with a live record, never mind sell 3 million copies.
My plan would be to revisit Tokyo, and invite the daughters and granddaughters of the 12,000 to the Nippon Budokan in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere all over again! “Mommy’s alright, daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird”…
Check out their latest single ’24 Hour Deflowerer’ below and you can download it from here and for more news on tours or releases, check out their Facebook page.