Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Our Rough Trade trilogy concludes today with the sad saga of the Raincoats' 3rd LP, Moving. But let's back up a bit... The band was one of the earliest on the RT label, and, by some accounts I've read, worked there as well. The ear-shattering violin-fueled heartbreak of the 1st (1979) 7" and self-titled (1980) LP remains a favorite of mine. Charles Hayward of This Heat (see earlier post), Robert Wyatt, and others joined them for the 2nd (1981) LP, Odyshape, more oblique and quiet but also very good.

The following year, they released a 7" single that I had an even harder time finding than the first one. Pointing towards the new directions of the forthcoming 3rd LP, the 7" had a bouncy cover of a Sly Stone song, "Running Away" on the A-side. The flip had the classic cut "No One's Little Girl". A great 3rd LP, Moving, was released in late 1983, and the followup Animal Rhapsody EP added one otherwise unavailable "version" (what they used to call remixes) of the title track. Posthumous recordings consisted of a live (December 1982) cassette (later CD) on ROIR (The Kitchen Tapes), an unreleased Peel Session, and little else. In the wake of Rough Trade's cataclysmic financial, uh, "reorganization" these records were out of print for roughly a decade.

Enter Raincoats fan Kurt Cobain. Allegedly at his urging (not surprisingly, the Rough Trade scene was heavily influential on the Olympia scene Nirvana was related to) the three records were reissued by his label, Geffen, on CD! With bonus tracks! They were probably remastered! (I don't have 'em, so I can't tell). The damn band reformed! In 1995 or so! And put out new stuff! It was pretty good!

There was only one problem, and that was with the third CD. The first included the crucial debut 7" A-side omitting two (very similar) earlier versions of LP classics that were on the B-side. I can live with that. Odyshape was reissued as is. So far, so good. But something went drastically wrong with Moving.

Aside from a drastically reordered track sequence (never a good idea), the reissue included the 1982 7" B-side (yay!), omitted the A-side (what the...?) and completely LEFT OFF three tracks from the LP. Don't even think about the "Animal Rhapsody" remix (although now that I think about it, it might be included as one long track, which would totally fit this perversity). Insert horrified record collector screams here, especially since two of those Moving tracks are the band's best from this period. No apparent differences in the publishing credits... absolutely nothing suggests why these tracks were omitted. Anyone know?

So here they are... why Geffen didn't hire me to do this right in the first place remains a mystery.

"Running Away" 7" A-side (Rough Trade RT093 1982)
"Dreaming In The Past" from Moving LP (Rough Trade 66, 1983)
"Honey Mad Woman" (")
"Avidoso" (")

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