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The essential Paisley Underground collection
on 3 June 2003
The CD comprises the eponymous first album and its successor, a mini LP titled ‘Explosions in the Glass Palace’, which makes up the last 5 tracks. David Roback doesn’t feature on the latter, yet it is this 5 track set which represents the band at their most awesome, including the smouldering A Broken Horse and the astonishing closer No Easy Way Down, a landmark track in the history of rock with its oriental chord sequences coming at you full tilt from guitar, organ and strings. By comparison some of the stuff on the first album is a little lacklustre, although there are many highlights here too. ‘I look around’ is the first example of the trademark ornamented guitar hook, a sound which reaches final fruition on ‘No Easy Way Down’. The dreamy ‘Carolyn’s Song’ and the playful ‘Saturday’s Asylum’ are among the other standout tracks.
Whether this is anything like the kind of music Pink Floyd would have made if Syd Barrett hadn’t had his breakdown I can’t judge. Whether R.E.M.’s ‘You’, which closes ‘Monster’, is an affectionate nod to the Rain Parade seems beyond doubt to these ears. This set represents the best of this fabulous band – buy!