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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars listening should be mandatory, 10 Dec 2002
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
When talking about 'Grand Prix' it's difficult not to get carried away. When you think of Teenage Fanclub you may envisage middle-of-the-road twee musical pap from poncey Scottish poets who are too limp-wristed to thrash out a decent rock choon. And you'd be utterly wrong. When 'Sparky's Dream' explodes and the fragile 'Mellow Doubt' quells, you realise just how extraordinary and versatile this band are. The lyrics are wonderful (how did they manage to make "the sun shines in your eyes so brighten up my city sky" not sound like a crap chat-up line?) and the harmonies are delightful. 'Discolite' marches on with authority, and the pleasure sustained throughout the understated 'Going Places' leaves you with a warm glow. Perhaps 'Verisimilitude' needs to be heard live to be fully appreciated, but the finale 'Hardcore/Ballad' embodies everything there is to treasure about this album, blending the hardest and the softest aspects of the previous songs.
The word 'pop' seems insulting in today's music culture, but if taken literally as 'something that everyone will like' then 'Grand Prix' is undoubtedly the greatest pop album of all time.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feelin' low? Go listen to Grand Prix. Trust me - it works., 28 Aug 2001
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
Only the ideal synergy of chunky chords, wistful lyrics and cracked harmonies can fill our dangerous and depressing world with sunshine and exultation on every listen. Luckily for them the Fannies mastered the trick first time out, and luckily for us they believe in refinements rather than new directions. Grand Prix isn't quite as lovable as some of their other albums, but it's their most polished and consistent. Sparky's Dream and Neil Jung are the best singles they ever released, and Verisimilitude has a tune worthy of its wonderful title. Don't be put off by the fact that they never quite made the big time - that says a lot more about the British public and its radio stations than it does about the Fannies. You will be denying yourself a guaranteed works-every-time happy pill if you do not buy this album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To know it is to love it..., 2 May 2010
By 
Robert Machin (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
Only fourteen reviews for this gleaming pop gem?

A simply fantastic record, one of the albums of the nineties and at at this kind of price it's a crime not to own it. In common with much other Fannies material, Grand Prix both jangles and rocks, semi-acoustics thrashed through overdriven AC30s, but still leaving plenty of room for those effortless harmonies, existing somewhere in the space between Big Star, REM and the Hollies, but with melodies to top any of them. Why were they not huge? My guess is that none of them had the colossal ego that hugeness demands - too unassuming and funny to carry off the whole rockstar thing - and that kind of stupid name, which - just my theory - I reckon a lot of people never got beyond. Well, their loss, because pop genius this special doesn't call very often...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Podium Place, 7 Feb 2008
By 
D. Newton (Swindon, Wilts) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
Interesting to review `Grand Prix' from a `neutral' perspective - Teenage Fanclub is a band that had passed me by but my buddy is a massive fan and he urged me to check this one out.

The music of `Grand Prix' is laid-back, melodic guitar pop performed and produced superbly. The only pitfall with this style of music is if laid back becomes lazy but this album is a real success.

The core of the record, from `Sparky's Dream's sweet pop harmonies to `Going Places's beautiful chiming guitar work is absolutely excellent. All of these tracks have really strong melodies and are a joy to listen to. I really like `Don't Look Back' with its anthemic, cranked-up guitars; `Verisimilitude's early-REM style jangly guitar backing and satisfying keyboard chord progression and `Tears's fantastic piano and horns.

The band carries off the feat of three songwriters enhancing an album rather than being a hindrance. Unusually, all seem equally talented and their differing vocals add a welcome extra bit of variety.

The only downside for me is the end of the record. `I'll Make It Clear' and `I Gotta Know' are not up to the quality of the preceding tracks whilst the record deserves a much better closing number than `Hardcore/Ballad', an out of place experimental curiosity fit only for a B-side.

On the whole, though, `Grand Prix' is really enjoyable to listen to but if you are reading this you probably know that already!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best album of the 90's, 17 Aug 2007
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
Quite simply - the best and most underated album of the 90's! A real joy. I bought this on the strength of "Sparky's Dream" and the first 11 tracks are genuis. A shame that the final 2 don't quite match up - editing the album would make it perfect - but BUY THIS - IT'S BRILLIANT!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Teenage Fanclub album to have, 27 Mar 2001
By 
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
After the relative disappointment of Thirteen, my expectations of this album were low. After eating my way through large amounts of humble pie, I have to say that it is nothing short of a classic album. Teenage Fanclub have always been blessed with three great songwriters, and this is the album that proves just how gifted a band they are. Not one bad track here, just gorgeous three-part harmonies and beatiful melodies, with enough edge to appeal to the 'rockers' as much as the fans that see them as the missing Beatles/Big Star link. Any fan of guitar-based pop would be doing themselves a disservice by not owning this album. It is fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Pop from start to finsih, 31 Oct 2008
By 
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
After the critical hoo-ha of Bandwagonesque, the music press seemed to treat Teenage Fanclub as a sort of invisible institution, never frothing with excitement over their subsequent releases. However, their next album, Grand Prix, was an absolute polished gem of a record.

As far as strong starts go, you cannot fault the impeccable programming of the first five tracks of this album. The hits, literally, keep on coming. Having three songwriters, with distinct yet harmonious voices is what has made The Fannies (sorry) a continuous joy to behold.

There are some great singles on here 'Sparky's Dream', 'Mellow Doubt' and a whole host of tracks that would make Travis et al sell their worthless souls for a mere hint of this sparkling talent.

If you love jangly, harmonized power pop in the vein of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Byrds and Big Star (all the B's) then this album is for you. In fact, everyone in the world should own it. Buy it now!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did this not sell millions?, 23 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. Jonathan Robin Oxley "Jon Oxley" (Northampton, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
Along with Radiohead's The Bends, this is without doubt the album of 1995. All three songwriters are on top form. Norman Blake's Neil Jung and Mellow Doubt, Gerard Love's Sparky's Dream and Don't Look Back, Raymond McGinley's About You and Verisimilitude - all classics. Worth noting that Paul Quinn was brought in as drummer for this album and the band seem to play a lot tighter because of it. I can't believe this didn't make a bigger impact but, apparently, the marketing of the album was rubbish. Buy now!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breezy happy summer album of the highest order, 11 Feb 2002
By 
N. Sangarapillai "nazzie" (Lincoln, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
Teenage Fanclubs best work released in the euphoria of the Britpop scene so was lost among many of the other guitar bands of the time but this is one of the true survivors.
This album is influenced by mostly the Byrds with their jangly summery pop melodies and perfect three part harmonies especially seen in Sparkys Dream.
The best happy album of the Nineties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Pop, 29 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Grand Prix (Audio CD)
This is a great album to listen to in the summer with the windows down. All three songwriters manage to produce songs of equal merit. The best: Sparky's Dream, Discolite (Love), Neil Jung/ Mellow Doubt (Norman Blake).
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Grand Prix
Grand Prix by Teenage Fanclub (Audio CD - 2001)
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