6 Del Amitri by Del Amitri 1985
Number 6 is one of those lps that pretty much sets the template for most of the music I like - jangly guitars and pretentious lyrics (full of meaning or meaningless depending on your point of view) , add in a focus on melody , some interesting right turns, a dash of melancholy and love gone wrong songs and you have my perfect band or album
I've written about this lp before and I've not really got that much to add so being lazy this is a slightly extended post of something that appeared 3 years ago.
Once upon a time Del Amitri used to have short hair and wear jumpers. They sounded more like Orange Juice and Aztec Camera than Neil Young. They released a couple of singles and a self titled debut lp before frustrated at the lack of recognition and being dropped by their record label they undertook a never ending US tour often sleeping on fans floors after the gigs and came back with sideburns and guitar solos and finally a hit in "Nothing Ever Happens"
The Waking Hours is a great lp but feels like it is by a different band. Their debut sparkles. Lead singer Justin Currie describes the bands philosophy of the time as "No chords, No choruses, no distortion, no synthesizers and no long hair, melody was god". - the polar opposite of the band they would become
He goes on to say "There are more tunes between the twin guitars and the basslines in one backing track from this era than in every top line melody I've written since".
A lot of credit must go to the "god like" Hugh Jones who keeps the guitar sounds crisp and clear , with every note
On the re-release Justin Currie ends his sleeve noted by saying "Too many fucking words though", but for me the more the better!
I bought this when it came out in 1985 and loved it ever since. My copy came with a poster of the cover art which now sits proudly framed on our landing.
The lp starts with a rush of descending notes on a guitar and never lets ups
Heard Through a Wall - Del Amitri
Keepers - Del Amitri
why are you craving
to be free from loves slavery
Former Owner - Del Amitri
Just as the early bird catches the worm
The Early cat catches the bird
That former owner is keeping his word
These lines sum up the whole lp. If I heard them for the first time now I'd cringe a bit but they are so ingrained and linked to being 18 that they remain perfect
If you've not heard this incarnation of Del Amitri then give them a go. If you are a fan of the mid atlantic later stuff then you're probably in for a surprise
I'll end with a quote from the bio Justin Currie's put in his myspace page (again lifted from another post I'm afraid)
Justin Currie was born in a van near Paisley in 1964 in a hailstorm so vicious that it took a team of panel beaters a month to separate his forehead from the roof. Later on, perhaps in the nineteen eighties he started to sing in a strange breathless way, cramming too many words into odd amounts of bars and found himself, with his group of twee schoolboy punks, Del Amitri, getting firmly up the collective nose of the Glasgow white-soul cognoscenti. Much more loathed than loved, and revelling in their outsider status, Del Amitri attracted a dense little coterie of followers in the United States of America who duly set up a nationwide tour funded by busking, badge selling and the refrigerators of those fans' generous parents. Driven half-mental by their experiences the group came home, ditched their indie twiddling and embarked upon a course of songwriting so sickeningly mainstream and Americanised that it led to a long career being spoilt stupid by the radio and recording industries of the English speaking world. Limos to the pub, ponds full of chips, week-long parties in Bognor, that sort of thing.
You can buy the lp here