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The Night Before Enhanced, EP

30 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
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£5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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The Night Before + The Morning After + Hey Ma
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 April 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, EP
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B003DLTCVQ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,618 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. It's Hot
2. Crazy
3. Ten Below
4. Porcupine
5. Shine
6. Dr Hellier
7. Hero
8. Weblink

Product Description

CD Description

With a career that includes ten studio albums, 20 UK Top 40 singles and 12 million albums sold, The Night Before is the first of two mini albums from James, containing all brand new studio material from the seven piece band. Produced by Lee "Muddy" Baker (who produced Hey Ma as well as lead singer Tim Booth’s solo album Bone in 2004). The Night Before was conceived uniquely: the band set up an ftp site to which they all contributed, downloading and updating each other’s efforts at various intervals whilst Baker knocked things into shape. This virtual recording process (which eventually led to recording sessions in Brighton and Oswestry) was presumably inspired by the band’s history of working with Brian Eno. The stand out track from the mini album is "Crazy" was inspired from Booth’s hospitalisation for liver disease; throughout recovery Booth was convinced that his physical frailty (which often produced hallucinations) meant that he was "crazy".

BBC Review

James gained notoriety in the early 90s with student-pleasing sing-alongs such as the ubiquitous Sit Down, and earned a reputation for selling more t-shirts than records. Given that merchandising makes more money than records these days, they could have gone on to make a fortune from clothing lines. Instead they enlisted the help of Brian Eno, who accentuated the space and atmosphere at the heart of their songs with great success, particularly on Laid (1993) and Whiplash (1997). After the fanfare of a farewell tour in 2001, they reformed for the release of Hey Ma in 2008. James is an oft-misunderstood band and The Night Before, a mini-album of seven songs, won’t clear up any confusion. It’s deliberately curtailed, with a partner record (The Morning After) to follow later in the year, but such a short run time finds the constituent pieces failing to fully gel. The opener, It’s Hot, nods to Joy Division, albeit with a woozy charm in keeping with its title – it’s a pleasant grower. Crazy, the lead single, provides passable radio fodder and reflects James’ tendency to sound like U2, although on its “c-c-cr-crazy” chorus vocalist Tim Booth sounds like a man in pursuit of the correct spelling. His barroom philosophy is never more pronounced than when dealing with politics, such as Dr Hellier’s excruciating Iraq War history lesson. In their best moments James can echo the dream-pop of Cocteau Twins, a side presented here with the touching slide guitar of the chorus-less Porcupine. It’s a shame this subtlety is soon pushed aside by a tedious blokeishness missing from their previous records, such as on Shine’s mid-tempo tirade against the rich. The record is rescued somewhat by the reflective groove of Ten Below, which recalls days of wearing headphones in bed listening to John Peel’s show. But it’s not enough.   Strangely for a band once keen to pursue experimentation, the reconvened James sounds too comfortable. They are one of the country’s best live bands, which is probably where these songs will find the life that is often lacking here. They have created luminescent music in the past, and are likely to do so again, but many will find it hard to connect with this collection. --Tom Hocknell

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Phil Murray on 10 May 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The negative reviews of this album - all be it personal choices - make me wonder if I've been listening to the same (mini) album/band. I've loved James since I was in my teens in the early 90s.
What I like about James and I'll be more specific about this release shortly is the way they have changed and matured....early days lyric: "An earwig crawled into my ear, made a meal of the wax...." To "dr helier says that my body's Afghanistan and we can't let the Taliban...." and "I'm not crazy I'm just laughing at myself" etc. If you know these songs I don't need to go on and on.
The point is that James have had the ability to move me on most of their albums - the last two Hey Ma and The Night are up with the best - including my personal favourite Seven.
To the nitty gritty:

It's Hot - 7/10
Crazy - 9/10
Ten Below 10/10
Porcupine 6/10
Shine 8/10
Dr helier 9/10
Hero 8/10

Tim Booth has a voice and a passion that comes across in these songs -I was cynical when he rejoined James after the 2001 split but he still has the ability to send a shiver down my spine backed by a bunch of great musicans in touch with their own sensitivity. But they are still fun and entertaining just in a more mature and measured way. I hope I see them on tour.
In short, a worthy addition to their discography from a massive - ongoing fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. Nightingale on 27 May 2010
Format: MP3 Download
I am a long term James fan. Some of the albums Ive liked some but not all tracks. I really enjoy every one on this mini album. All good quality. This is a good album for james fans. Can't wait for the 'second half' at the end of the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. T. L. Jordan on 29 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
Once again listening to these new songs, I am transported back to that place when I first got caught up in the magic of james sound. It's authentic, creative and has a lack of self-consciousness. It IS.
It's a sound for the listener to escape back to...everytime I listen to a new james record it helps me escape my exile here in Modernity.

You will not be disappointed, you will derive much aural pleasure.

And the bass is always sooooo good on james records, ever noticed?
And Tim Booth's vocals? Wonderful.
Lyrics? Better than ever
Larry? Sexy
Saul? Raaaaas
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Dobson on 21 May 2010
Format: Audio CD
If you like James then buy this album, if you've never heard them before then buy this album. James just get better and better, Hey Ma was a classic after a period in the wilderness and this follows perfectly. I look forward to hearing the follow up EP in August. Best songs for me have to be Ten Below, Porcupine and Shine. Buy it and you won't be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
This 'mini' album is amazing, even better then 'Hey Ma' which was a great comeback for the band. The Night Before is a great release and it shows how people can relate to the meanings in the songs (e.g. Ten Below, Dr Hellier). The album is fun and entertaining whilst also having a sense of connection to our personal lives. It has a great personality that is portrayed well by Tim Booth (the lead singer) and the great musicians that are also included in the band. I cannot fault any of the songs and I think that they are all remarkable in their own way. All the songs are worthy of 10/10 as they are mind-blowing and utterly incredible. I am a huge James fan and am so glad that they regrouped as they have certainly lived up to my expectations, I cannot wait to see them on tour. They have, without doubt 'Come Home' with fantastic music and albums. Bring on 'The Morning After'!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ive not listened to James for a long time and came across the sister album to The Night Before (called The Morning After) in a CD sale last summer. I liked that so much that I decided to buy this one as well and I have not been disappointed. There are some great songs on here, really good arrangements and melodies, particular highlights for me being Porcupine and Shine. It just shows that after nearly 30 years in the business, James can still churn out some great songs. Add this to your music collection, you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. A. Reed TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Oct. 2010
Format: Audio CD
It's impossible to listen to "The Night Before", without the companion, and second part "The Morning After". The two work together as a whole, light/dark, yin/yang, Buzz/Woody. The first part - "The Night Before" is, as much as there can be, a joyous, loud James : lush string arrangements, propelled rhythms, and reminiscent of the finest James work of all time - the giddy heights of "Seven" and non-linear movements that move between restraint and abandon. Songs like "Porcupine" and "Shine" are glorious, dazzling, happy things - full of joy, of ambition, and of adventure that make the listener feel that nothing is impossible. It's rare music does this, and practically musical Prozac - everything coated in optimism but also tinged with sadness - and, at the same time, it's companion piece, the sequel "The Morning After" - is the hangover. The first part "The Night Before" is almost a mini Greatest Hits, where all the material happens to be new songs - vast, sweeping choruses, broken melodies, a seemingly random order that lacks any form of cohesion. My biggest criticism of it is that, while a collection of grand songs, it also fails to sit together as a cohesive record.

Experiencing one without the other is a false economy. Within these two records lies a great James album (and some average b-sides). Better, I suppose for these two to exist in this form, than not at all. However, a black mark must be raised against James, for placing five bonus tracks (almost all equal to anything on these releases), only on their website, or iTunes, or as part of a unlockable exclusive multimedia bonus tracks you can only get with a copy of the CD inside your computer drive. That means that unless I buy each release twice, I'm missing at least two songs. Thanks : I thought the people who buy your records were worth more than that.
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