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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The album of 1999
From a year that was generally devoid of anything worth buying, HMS Fable shines out as an example of guitar pop craftsmanship at its best. The songs draw heavily on Michael Head's dark, drug-addled past, from which he has dredged up some of the most uplifting and affecting pop music written this decade. This is the album of 1999, bar none. All the plaudits it's been...
Published on 1 Feb 2000

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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The least inspiring chapter in the genius life of Mick Head
I'm relatively new to the genius of Michael Head. Through NME hype I bought the Comedy single and loved it, as much for the joyous rush of stunning B-side 24 Hours. Yet HMS fable was a big disappointment for me; where Comedy rang out clear and true like a foghorn cutting through mist with the weight of pure pop, HMS Fable largely seemed to be a collection of boorish...
Published on 1 May 2000 by J. WREN


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The album of 1999, 1 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
From a year that was generally devoid of anything worth buying, HMS Fable shines out as an example of guitar pop craftsmanship at its best. The songs draw heavily on Michael Head's dark, drug-addled past, from which he has dredged up some of the most uplifting and affecting pop music written this decade. This is the album of 1999, bar none. All the plaudits it's been given are deserved. Drop everything and buy it now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS NOW!, 22 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
I like to think that I am up with what's new in music, yet the first time I heard of Shack was when their latest album HMS Fable was voted fifth best album in the Select end-of-year review. It proceeded to appear in the top five also in the NME and Uncut magazine. On that basis, I went out and bought it. It surpassed even my expectations based on the reviews. It is quite easily the best album of last year, with no track being anything short of excellent. The last track 'Daniella' is so beautiful, it makes you want to cry every time you hear it. The sheer emotion this album provokes is testament to its brilliance. I advise anyone who appreciates music to buy this album. It may take a few listens to get into, but once you do, you won't stop playing it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the album Cast and the la's have always promised, 17 May 2000
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
Like many I got on the Shack bandwagon after a couple of reviews, one suggesting that this was the sound that the La's would play if they were around today. I wasn't disapointed. HMS Fable is blessed with raw emotion. Comedy is a modern day classic. Daniella - one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. Shack continue in the great tradition of 90's Liverpool pop. Check out the Real People, the grounbreaking La's album, or even the much maligned Cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain of the millenium!!, 18 Jun 2008
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
Er, I bought this album yesterday in Morley, for 1 from a charity shop, and it's easily the greatest bargain I have ever picked up!!!!!!!! Sublime!!!!!!!! It's an album that I remember being released and getting great reviews. Part of me wants to go back to the charity shop and give them another 9, but, I have given this shop absolutely tons of stuff in the past including a massive box of ALL of my albums that were on cassette, so I'm guessing that good karma has made a visit to me!! Top stuff. Beautiful melodies, and with just enough psychedelia chucked in for good measure!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone must own this, unless of course you are deaf., 18 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
I really advise everyone to purchase this, even if you are thinking about buying it only a little bit. You won't be dissapointed. It's the type of album where nearly every song makes you feel good. Quick, buy it now!!!! No, quicker than that, go!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those albums..., 12 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
Ask a friend what is their favorite album and they will invariably struggle. This is why I always ask 'what album can you listen to all the way through without skippin any tracks?'. This is simply beautiful soulful music that I love and as nme quite rightly said is 'so splendid it will make youcry.'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Joy, 22 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
This is a fantastic album from one of the most under-rated bands of the last few decades. Michael Head, chief architect of the Paleys (slang name given to The Pale Fountains), together with brother John, started the group in the 1980's. In between releasing three beautiful albums, the brothers became trapped in a life of hard drugs. So much so that the band disintegrated, and their habit continued through the emergence of new band Shack. Heroine's influence on the band was so great that they were often called Crack, or Smack...but in between those dark times they released two landmark albums. The first was Waterpistol, thought lost but recovered and released through a tiny German label. The second, known as The Magical World of The Strands was becalmed in a luminous, mysterious fog, affected by Head's years in the junkie wilderness. No surpries for what X in the song X Hits The Spot could be eh? Both widely acclaimed, both failures commercially.
So we come to this, a new album from a newly reformed and drug free Michael Head. Here is an album that is SO alive it is difficult to comprehend (I guess the closet thing was Oasis' arrogant debut Definitely Maybe, and Liam Gallagher's disdain at everyone around him). Just listen to the anthemic Pull Together, the beautiful tear-jerker Comedy, and the album's magnum opus, the drug influenced Streets Of Kenny.
Indeed, I present to you, the finest song writer to come from Liverpool/England/Great Britain/ since John Lennon. Michael Head, take a bow. Nice one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile voyage..., 25 Nov 2011
By 
A. Wright - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (MP3 Download)
After picking up on the excellent Waterpistol decided to give this a go. A slow burner for me, it seemed a little bit to slick and over produced to start with but stick with it and that magical quality comes to the fore. For me there is not a duff track on here, how many other albums can you say that about?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Positivly Charming, 17 Dec 2010
By 
P. Frizelle (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
Shack are an English band formed in Liverpool in 1987. from the amber of the Pale Fountains. (a cult 1980s band)

No one deserves the bad luck that has dogged the Head brothers since their days in the Pale Fountains way back in the mid '80s. Tragedy after misfortune after slap in the face. Seems like Fate doesn't want them to achieve the fame they so rightly deserve.

Michael Head always has something interesting up his sleeve and these textured and fragile songs are amazingly beautiful. Great album. Shack's Waterpistol should have been the album to bury ghost of The Stone Roses once and for all. But fickle Fate contrived to delay it's release until five years later (1995). Which in music terms is like the passing of eons. But it's still a great album and is really where the Shack story begins.

If you can find the first album Zilch on vinyl hold onto it for dear life, but it's going to be tricky to locate now. In the four years leading up to the release of HMS Fable, the musical backdrop to the UK had been re-written by huge releases from the likes of The Verve, Radiohead, Massive Attack, 1999 was like a pause for breath. What would be the next big thing? Which direction would music go now? The Head brothers already had written the answers in HMS Fable, but very few people picked up on them. Looking back, it's easy to see how far ahead they were of bands like The Coral or even Elbow. Perhaps time will be kinder to this release and grant it the recognition it deserves. It's simply a crime that songs of the stature of "Natalie's Party", "Pull Together" and "Comedy" go unheard.

After I heard of this "Great Unknown", Shack, I thought that I have found again something great, which was kept dark from me too long. Yes, these brothers are talented songwriters and would have deserved bigger acclaim among music buying people.

Michael Head's odyssey continues with one of the finest albums of the 1990s. H.M.S. Fable is jangling guitar-pop of the highest quality whose music embraces a history of the Liverpool music scene. Given Head's much publicised relationship with heroin it may be some time before we see anything else from him so latch on to this wonderful album and marvel at his brilliance, just check out "Pull Together" co-written with his brother John, a song the Gallagher brothers would kill for, you will be astonished. The other songs are equally good. Enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic Shack Album, 16 Jan 2009
By 
Mr. M. L. Hawes "Mitchmusic" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: H.M.S. Fable (Audio CD)
As a late starter on the Shack trail, I can now count myself in as a major fan.

My first purchase was On the Corner of Miles and Gil, which is a stonewall classic, but somehow this feels more cohesive and targetted. The songs are all gems, but the great thing about this record is how well it flows.

How on earth they are not played in every household in this country is quite beyond me.
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H.M.S. Fable by Shack (Audio CD - 1999)
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