Saturday, June 04, 2005


Compilations part 3: Wakefield Volume 3/Superstars On 45

If you ever wanted to drive yourself insane, you could do worse than try to collect every single release on Teenbeat records. With a bewildering array of cassettes, 7" singles, alternate versions, alternate-alternate versions, and non-musical (sometime non-tangible) items with catalog numbers, it makes collecting the Sarah catalog look like child's play.

Which is why the The Teenbeat Story series of CD compilations can be semi-invaluable. There were four (also available as a box set, which I don't have) and today I'm talking about the third one, Superstars On 45, which compiles 16 tracks from various Teenbeat singles.

As with previous compilations discussed here, I can imagine a number of paths that would lead you to this album. Depending on what items you already have in your music collection, you might want Big Head On by Versus or So Sick by Unrest (from a promo only single released in 1993, and I'm pretty sure it's available elsewhere but I'm so sick of keeping track of Unrest's discography ha ha ha ha). Andrew Beaujon obsessives might want the track by Scaley Andrew, and there's a nice Barbara Manning cover of a nice Robert Scott (best known as leader of The Bats, but here it's the Magick Heads) song called B4 We Go Under. And there's a Cath Carroll A-side, Eggs, Tuscadero, and those note splattering maniacs Gastr Del Sol, and so on. Eclectic, thy name is Teenbeat.

But, yet again, I'm here for The Dustdevils. 'Cause this CD is also the only digital appearance of a track called Seen Heat from their Is Big Leggy 7" single, which immediately preceded the Matador/Teenbeat co-release Struggling Electric & Chemical. I'll quickly note that while this track is amazing, it's not necessarily the song I would use to convert people to the way of the Dustdevils. It's got structure and melody, but neither is immediately apparent. Sounds way better than the vinyl. Play it loud.

And my reason number two for drawing attention to this CD: a track from an EP by a band called Sexual Milkshake who are probably better known for their packaging [keep the mouse away from the matchbook if you're at work] than for their music. Here's Peanuts, which is ever so slightly like Flipper and The Fall performing the end of Iggy Pop's Here Comes Success. (Or, in English, a really sloppy and repetitive song with an insistent group of backing vocalists). It's fantastic, especially when they get to "Shut Up! Shut Up!"

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