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File Under: Easy Listening

Bob Mould Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Bob Mould
Beauty & Ruin

“It’s a song cycle. A narrative. It’s nobody’s story but my own… I ran so fast from my past that I caught up with myself. This album is acknowledging that and dealing with every year getting a little tougher.”

Bob Mould’s new album Beauty & Ruin may very well be the most epic emotional roller coaster ever ... Read more in Amazon's Bob Mould Store

Visit Amazon's Bob Mould Store
for 19 albums, 7 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Dec 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Creation
  • ASIN: B000024ECZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Deluxe Version 12 Jun 2012
By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
And so the final Sugar album is remastered and follows Copper Blue and Beaster's repackaging. Following those albums was always going to be an issue and at the time this felt like a let down after the sweetness of Copper Blue and the bitter angst of Beaster. So its actually nice to revisit this on its own merits.

File Under Easy Listening (shortened to FUEL at the time and since) isn't as good as those albums. At times when listening again its hard to pinpoint exactly why. Gift starts off proceedings in fine style with a track that could have been on Copper Blue (Bob Mould still plays it live). Its a tour de force of guitar and grunge. Company Book isn't quite the dirge it could be and is David Barbe on vocals. On the remaster it somehow comes out better than I remember it. Your Favourite Thing is the first single and it rocked along nicely enough with great melodies and sounded almost power pop (ok not just almost). The next two tracks, What You Want It To Be - guitar driven pop again but never hitting the heights really and Gee Angel - a single and a good track at that round off side one. Yes side one...you read that right because this was definitely of the era (and read the liner notes and Bob's book for more details) where LP's were still about and bands split their albums into sides. Side One of this is a solid offering. Side two feels different. - confirmed by the liner notes. This was mainly acoustically led tracks like Panama City Motel, Believe What You Are Saying and Can't Help You Anymore. They feel almost lightweight and throwaway (with one huge exception which I will come to shortly).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly maligned at the time 20 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sugar's final album deserves a fresh listen, and this remaster provides the perfect opportunity. This is admittedly an album of two halves, a louder "Copper Blue"-like first half giving way to a more reflective second, but after listening to the album for the first time in a few years I've realised it is a lot better than I remembered.

It opens brilliantly with "Gift", a "Copper Blue"-esque track complete with guitars that would have sounded at home on "Beaster", one of Sugar's best songs in my opinion. This is followed by "Company Book", written and sung by David Barbe (Sugar's bass player) and although his voice is weaker than Mould's it is an enjoyable if slight song. The album's first single, "Your Favourite Thing", comes next, similar in sound to "Copper Blue"'s "If I Can't Change Your Mind", and it sounds as good as it always did. I've always liked "What You Want It To Be", a song that to my ears sounds a little like Bowie's "Heroes", and the final track on the first half of the record, "Gee Angel" is an enjoyable fast rock track, hewn from the same stuff as "Fortune Teller". The second half is quieter on the whole but still sounds great, and personally I love "Panama City Hotel", "Can't Help You Anymore" and the phenomenal "Explode And Make Up", the only weak(ish) tracks being the almost ballad-like "Believe What You're Saying" and the potential filler of "Granny Cool". When I first heard the album when it was originally released I thought the second half was almost acoustic, even country & western sounding, but it is more electric than I remembered, and when I played the remastered version I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It has aged well.

The rest of the package consists of a CD and a DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dam fine album 7 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
File under easy listening is a very good album and contains some great songs: Panama City Motel, Gee Angel, Believe what you're saying, are great songs in their own right. It has more commercial appeal and catchy songs than the real power guitars of the previous two albums. FUEL is a good album in it's own right and well worth listening to. If you've heard it and like it but don't own Copper Blue then go and buy it now you won't belive what you have missed
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars File under... average 24 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
Bob Mould must have thought he might have had a shot at genuine success in 1994. Sugar's debut album "Copper Blue" had charted top ten in the UK album charts in 1992 and had recieved widespread critical praise. Follow up, mini album "Beaster", although much darker, and exploring the singers complex personal emotions, was again seen as a compelling work by a songwriter hitting top form. Grunge bands including Nirvana, Buffalo Tom, Superchunk and Mudhoney held him and former band Husker Du in a near religious regard, Sugar's record label in the UK, Creation, had began to be established as the hippest in Britain. Surely nothing could go wrong could it?

"File Under Easy Listening" or F.U.E.L as fans know it, was secretly turning into a nightmare for Mould. The Album was re-recorded from scratch after an aborted false start and tension btween Mould and bassist Dave Barbe had began to surfice like the ghost of (certain) bands past. Subsquently the resulting finished album released in September 1994 is a mixed bag to say the least.

Listening to the album now I can't help feeling the record is a missed opportunity. Its not that bad, but too many of the songs seem uninspired and lack the invention and spark of "Copper Blue" or "Beaster". It does have its worthwhile moments, "Favorite thing" and "Gee Angel" capture Sugar's familiar driving pop sound and "Believe In What Your Saying" is a nice acoustic ballad, but often this album really plods; "Granny Cool" and "Panama City Motel" are forgettable and dull. Barbe's sole contribution "Company Book" is also surprisingly average, especially as previous B-Side "Diamonds are Halos" showed what he was really capable of. Mould's lifeless production on this record also hold it back.
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