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Tales From Turnpike House/Up The Wooden Hills EP Limited Edition

16 customer reviews

Price: £10.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Amazon's Saint Etienne Store

Music

Image of album by Saint Etienne

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Biography

“When I was ten, I wanted to explore the world.”

Pop begins here.

In a bedroom in the North, the South, the East or the West, softly-lit thanks to the scarf thrown across the lamp – just like Bolan’s, or Bowie’s, or Agnetha’s, or Kylie’s. It comes through headphones black and bulky, or small and cushioned. Down the canal to the drum, the ... Read more in Amazon's Saint Etienne Store

Visit Amazon's Saint Etienne Store
for 81 albums, 19 photos, discussions, and more.

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Tales From Turnpike House/Up The Wooden Hills EP + Finisterre + Sound Of Water
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Feb. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B0009F6712
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Sun In My Morning
2. Milk Bottle Symphony
3. Lightning Strikes Twice
4. Slow Down At The Castle
5. A Good Thing
6. Side Streets
7. Last Orders For Gary Stead
8. Stars Above Us
9. Relocate
10. Bird Man of EC1
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. You Can Count ON Me
2. Barnyard Brou Ha Ha
3. Lets Build A Zoo
4. Excitation
5. Bedfordshire
6. Night Owl

Product Description

Product Description

Saint Etienne’s 2005 album is arguably their most mature musical statement to date. An album with a concept, rather than a concept album, the titular Turnpike House refers to a fictional block of flats whose residents provide the characters for the songs that are a microcosmic portrait of metropolitan life. A beautiful, considered album with a nod to Pet Sounds and featuring David Essex, it demands to be listened to as an album and one which perfectly balances pure pop and sensitivity. The album, home to singles "A Good Thing" and "Side Streets", it has now been remastered by the band and expanded to two discs. The 16 bonus tracks on CD2 include eight previously unreleased tracks and other rarities from the album. This new version comes in luxury deluxe edition packaging with a booklet featuring sleevenotes by Travis Elborough and Jeremy Deller and lots of previously unseen photographs.

Amazon.co.uk

This is the Special Edition version, which includes the bonus "Up the Wooden Hills" EP. Times were when the term "concept album" meant having to phone in sick to wade through some four hour long metaphysical prospectus on flying Nepalese goatherds performed by men in long capes. But not anymore. The storyboard to Saint Etienne's Tales From Turnpike House - in nature sharing many of the proletarian grievances of The Streets' A Grand Don't Come For Free and Blur's Modern Life Is Rubbish - is set in and around an Islington high rise and its charmlessly franchised local watering hole "The Hat And Fan" public house; a dysfunctional Camberwick Green environment populated by drifters, dreamers and misfits, where the circadian essentials of the neighbourhood bakery have been supplanted by the pretensions of tanning salons and where the alleyways (the sweet easy listening of "Side Streets") afford pleasant strolls for those unphased by the prospect of having one's wallet emptied and face rearranged. While film director Mike Leigh's bleak burlesques and the astringency of Luke Haines' Black Box Recorder provide honourable comparisons, Saint Etienne remain in love with wit, optimism, The Beach Boys and cut-price electronic disco. Thus, the eastern Eurovision witchery of "Lightning Strikes Twice" and the rooftop party funk-lite of "Stars Above Us" provide valuable pop hit currency, necessary checks and balances to the suffocating social fragmentation narrated on the outstanding "Teenage Winter". Even David Essex - it's official, he's cool again - pops up playing Richard Briers to Sarah Cracknell's Felicity Kendall on the rat race opt-out "Relocate". Tales From Turnpike House is just the sort of record to give concept albums a good name. --Kevin Maidment

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard Wilkinson on 3 July 2005
Format: Audio CD
Saint Etienne are one of those consistently surprising bands. For 15 years we have followed them on this whimsical journey, and they show no sign of fatigue as yet. Each album contains the requisite pop/dance stormers that would probably harass the Top 10 relentlessly were they by some personality-free record label-marionettes. Similarly, with every release you know there's going to be a few tracks that you will probably listen to a couple of times then write off, only to find yourself a few months / years down the line giving them a second chance and wondering what on earth was wrong with you.
Their last offering, "Finisterre", didn't even bother the Top 40 album chart. An absolute travesty when you consider the musical hot water bottles and duvets the masses are missing out on. Saint Etienne have a knack for producing albums that are as different from the last as dog food is from hairnets. But still they remain unmistakably Saint Etienne.
"Tales From Turnpike House" is no exception. After initial trepidation due to pre-release single "Side Streets" (not that I don't like the song, I just had visions of an album full of acoustic ballads) I was ecstatic to find "Tales..." was just what I was hoping for. Not that I knew what I was hoping for until I heard it. That's the beauty of Saint Etienne. You never know what to expect, so don't have any expectations. As such they never disappoint. With each new release it's like discovering a new band.
"Tales..." is much less electronic than it's predecessor, but still instantly recognisable. Being a "concept" album (usually words to turn your hair grey, but don't fret) set around a London tower block, you may be forgiven for thinking this album might be a difficult listen, at least a touch depressing?
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. Gray on 14 Jun. 2005
Format: Audio CD
When World Peace is finally declared Saint Etienne will write the soundtrack. The word 'pop' was created for them, in fact maybe they created the whole genre themselves. Their music is so blissfully and painfully beautiful it's hard to imagine a world without them. Their will be no angels with harps in heaven but Sarah, Bob and Pete waving people in to the sound of Saint Etienne. The album has everything from sing-along pop songs, instrumentals and tear jerking ballads. At the end of every track Etienne wipe the slate clean and start all over. There's not an ounce of repetition when tracks incorporate electronica, spanish guitars and even David Essex! Highlight of the album has to be 'Last Orders for Gary Stead' which would put a smile on the face of even the hardest anti-pop cynic. Just when you think it's safe to go back in the water final track 'Goodnight' ensures a tear remains in the eye before you press repeat on your stereo and start the journey all over again. Now I can only pray, that after 16 years of pop perfection, this is only the beginning!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By L. Button on 21 Jun. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Saint Etienne are without doubt one of the most under rated "groups" of all time. They have had their odd dodgy moment but this album is fantatstic.
The first two tracks set the tone. Sun in my morning is uplifting with great harmonies. Milk bottle symphony is a story of a track with Sarah's beatiful vocals doing it justice. You cannot fail to sing to it. Lightning strikes twice is Euro sounding and is "Kylie-esque". The beautiful, Slow Down At The Castle next with it's strumming guitars. More sing a long with Good Thing and the first single Side Streets again with great harmonies is mellow and relaxing. Last Orders and Relocate are not to as high a standard but still ok. Disco sounding Stars Above us is great again sounding a bit like Kylie.Jumping stlyes again is Bird Man. An instrumental mandolin sounding affair that again is wonderful. Teenage Winter is heavier with Sarah's vocals shining through. Goodnight is the best end to an album I have had the pleasure to listen to. Beatiful, sad, harmonious, tearful and vocal.
In summary a mixture of stlyes all excecuted brilliantly. Sarah sounding great and the boys doing what they do best. Lots of great harmonies to support Sarah and all brilliantly produced. It's an absolute pleasure to have them back again. I hope they live forever!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M.D. Smart TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 July 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a joy to have the Saints back on the scene - the music world always seems so dull and grey when they're absent. And there's double cause for celebration, as they've produced their strongest and most consistent album since 'So Tough'.
Forget ghastly visions of prog-rock, this is a concept album a la Saints; a day in the life of a small London community from the bright dawn chorus of 'Sun In My Morning' to the beautiful lullaby 'Goodnight'.. and it's absolutely packed with top tunes. It almost seems sacreligious to pick out favourites. There's the glorious, sunny disco of 'Good Thing' and 'Stars Above Us', the slightly sinister electronica of 'Lightning Strikes Twice', the touching melancholy of 'Teenage Winter' and the unexpected glam of the brilliant 'Last Orders for Gary Stead'...not forgetting the Saints' take on The Good Life, 'Relocate', starring Sarah as Felicity Kendall (naturally) and a surprisingly good David Essex as Margo (probably). Sarah's voice is at its best, as velvety smooth and sweetly gorgeous as it's ever been, and she's backed by the band's best collection of melodies since the early 'Nineties. If there were any justice in the world this would sell about twenty-seven million copies worldwide (but of course we already know there isn't).
Go down on your knees RIGHT NOW and thank whoever you believe in for giving us Saint Etienne.
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