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ST ETIENNE Foxbase Alpha (1991 UK second issue 13-track CD album including the singles Only Love Can Break Your Heart and Nothing Can Stop Us picture sleeve HVNLP1CD)
Top Customer Reviews
Foxbase Alpha, their highly regarded 1991 debut, set a pattern, juxtaposing eclectic samples between songs that might be poppy, wistful, surreal or kitsch. They also used the CD booklet in a different and new way, here with an essay on London by Jon Savage and some iconic photographs.
In the early days, they lacked a regular singer and on their debut single as St Etienne in 1990 (included here) they borrowed the singer Moira Lambert (from Faith Over Reason) for their transformation of Neil Young's Only Love Can Break Your Heart, a regular radio play to this day, and on its follow up, the non-album Let's Kiss And Make Up (originally by the Field Mice) enlisted Donna Savage from Dead Famous People. Once Sarah Cracknell appeared, however, they had found their perfect foil with her summery and evocative lightness of tone. She first appeared on the suitably titled single Nothing Can Stop Us Now, a minor hit in May 1991 that paved the way for this deceptively influential album a few months later, which is still such a joy to listen to
The album is included in the book "1001 albums you must hear before you die".
Tracklisting and ratings for the UK edition (Creation or Heavenly):
1. This is radio Etienne *
2. Only love can break your heart ***** (1st single, dance/pop cover of the Neil Young ballad)
3. Wilson **
4. Carnt sleep ***
5. Girl VII **
6. Spring ****
7. She's the one ***
8. Stoned to say the least **
9. Nothing can stop us **** (2nd single, with a strong 60's vibe)
10. Etienne gonna die **
11. London belongs to me ***
12. Like the swallow ***
13. Dilworth's theme **
The US version (on Warner Brothers) adds two bonus tracks: Single "Kiss and Make Up" and "People Get Real".
Though perhaps the dullest moment of the the album is the pointless song 'Wilson'. Though after this you don't look back. The next few songs 'Carnt sleep' , 'Girl VII', 'Spring' and 'She's the one' are as good as anything I have heard from a UK Independent group.
Especially 'Spring', I think Sarah Cracknell is the only person I have heard sing who can pull off the mid song breathy dialogue. Infact she sounds really classy.
After these there is a momentary lull in 'Stoned to say the least' where there is a soundbite from countdown's Richard Whitely (this is perhaps the only context in which he is ever funny).
From then on Nothing can stop us now takes the album to unforseen hights untill it ends on 'Dilworth's theme'. This album must be bought, it proves what an important group St Ettienne have become over the last decade
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was very happy with my purchases, they came promptly and in excellent condition, thankyou.Published 22 months ago by peter joseph
Always like St Ettienne, but never actually bought an album of theirs before. So late to the party, but it is full of great tracks and still sounds good in 2012.Published on 3 Dec. 2012 by Bramble