26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Expanded edition of cult band's output
, 1 July 2007
This review is from: Colossal Youth: Expanded Edition (Audio CD)
Young Marble Giants didn't exist for very long, from 1978 to 1980, until their recent reformation, which appears to be a one-off I'm sad to have missed! This is another one of Domino's classic expanded reissues, up there with Sebadoh III and the Pavement double-disc sets, taking in 41 tracks that include the 25 tracks found on the previous version of Colossal Youth, and various rarities/hard to find tracks including Peel Sessions. This is the definitive version of 'Colossal Youth' and pretty much everything they recorded - though I'm sure you see the odd live LP kicking around places...
Young Marble Giants are quite an odd proposition, Alison Statton the primary singer who possibly set the tone for most indie female singers that followed, alongside the Moxham brothers (Philip and Stuart) and Peter Joyce. The sound of YMG was one that was minimal, centred around Silver Apples/Suicide-style droning keyboards, some drum machine, and minimal bass and guitar riffs. The droning keyboards seem a definite influence on Spacemen 3, while the minimal guitar/bass riffs appear to have heavily influenced the sound of Seventeen Seconds by The Cure - which I'm sure someone like Simon Reynolds has identified in the past. Belle and Sebastian covered 'Final Day' for the enjoyable Rough Trade artists covering Rough Trade artists compilation 25, while Hole have also covered 'Credit in the Straight World' (as badly as they did 'The Void' by The Raincoats!!). Michael Stipe and Peter Buck from REM have also dropped their name, like The Au Pairs, The Mekons, and The Raincoats, they are the less celebrated side of the eclectic post-punk scene...when will Domino reissue that Raincoats debut again?
Colossal Youth has a melodic pop song quality often, though the minimal guitar and bass riffs akin to 'Skank Bloc Bologna' by Scritti Politti make it feel unpop. 'Eating Noddemix' is a typical example of this, sounding like a collision of The Field Mice and Swell Maps...which can only be a wonderful thing? The previous version of CY I own is the 25 track version from the late 90s, and that is one LP that I have come back to several times, like Double Nickels on the Dime, Jane in Occupied Europe and Trout Mask Replica, it's an epic set that comes across with each listen. So many great songs, a sequence that you'll just have to hear - though if singling out faves, I'd have to mention 'Eating Noddemix', the nuclear apocalypse of 'Final Day', the opening 'Searching for Mr Right', and the catchy 'Credit in the Straight World.'
This 41 track version of 'Colossal Youth' includes not only that great LP and Peel Sessions, but also the 'Final Day', 'Salad Days', and 'Testcard' reissues. This is shaping up to be the reissue of 2007 and is a reminder that bands who are kind of a one-off, can produce a classic equal to all those usual suspects. Colossal Youth remains one of the peaks of the post punk scene and I think it's one of those albums that has to be owned...
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