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Laid (2001 Reissue) Extra tracks

4.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Aug. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Spectrum
  • ASIN: B00005TNYG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

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BBC Review

It may be hard to believe, but once upon a time, back in the pre-Britpop era of the early 90s, James were one of the biggest groups in the UK. Sure they dated further back than that, being the mildly unfashionable band mentioned in passing while fellow Manchester types The Smiths, The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays came, and went, and ultimately imploded. But after a couple of albums, they grabbed the baggy bandwagon by its number plate with 1990's Come Home and eventually broke through big-time with indie disco perennial Sit Down when it was re-released in 1991. The result: their records finally sold more than their t-shirts (25 million worldwide is a figure many of today's bands would lop off a limb for) and a decent career beckoned. A number of hit singles graced the charts, so it was no real surprise when their comeback tour in 2007 was such a success. James were, and very much remain, a band that a lot of people are very fond of.

By the time of this fifth album, released in 1993, Radio 1 was holding James Days and the band had graduated to football ground-sized shows, while stateside they were supporting the likes of Neil Young. Another sign of their status the arrival of Brian Eno as producer - Laid is the first of several collaborations between man and band. His presence was made perfectly clear when James' sixth album, Wah Wah, collected textural and ambient pieces and improvisational jams from the Laid sessions. But this set was one of solid songwriting, showcasing James at their finest, relaxing into their own skins.

A warm, subtle album in tone, songs like Out to Get You, One of the Three and Lullaby might be seen as forerunners of Snow Patrol's more-measured, less-grating fare. The title-track is indie-doing-sex a bit too self-consciously - Pulp would soon rise to public prominence and make this shtick their own. The freeform feel of Skindiving and the careering runaway of Sometimes feel like fleeting glimpses of lengthier streams of consciousness - both are far from the bombast of James' previous album, 1992's Seven. And such was the group's position in pop at the time that they hoped Low, Low, Low would be used by the England football team at 1994's World Cup (which, of course, they failed to qualify for).

The cover may make your eyes bleed - the band in dresses, eating bananas - but the contents of Laid comprise what is probably James' real masterpiece.

--Ian Wade

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
James, Laid, is one of the seminal albums of the 90's. As mentioned elsewhere, this is completely different from everything else they've done, which, in my opinion, is something of a bonus.
Laid and Low... are two very witty songs with cracking, catchy, tunes. Lullaby & Skindiving are entrancing while Out to Get You submerges you in their vibe instantaneously. Songs are attempted from a whole range of angles and speeds but the slightly dreamy tone is never lost. It is the perfect album stoned yet a drunkard will always manage to sing along. One can just sit and listen but, equally, I found it useful writing my dissertation.
Say Something and Laid are probably the most well known tunes on the album but please don't think they characterise it. The whole (ignore the bonus tracks, as interesting as the are) is much greater than the sum of it parts.
A true masterpiece this really didn't sell enough records. If you like catchy tunes, good singing (some nice harmonies), interesting drumming, wicked lyrics, spot on production, and grown men dressed in skirts eating bananas: buy it and help James get the recognition they deserve.
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Format: Audio CD
Not to disagree with the rest of the reviewers on here - this is a fantastic record and in my top ten. Maybe top five. I bought it on (far too quiet) tape when I was (nearly) 14. I listen to it every winter. This may seem empty, considering this album came out nearly 20 years ago, but I am confused to see people reviewing this album as one that is 'perfect for a Sunday afternoon' or 'getting over a hangover' This is a dark, very dark album. The lyrics here deal with the loss of a sense of self as an adult when faced with loneliness, doubting the loving connection between two people, the pressures of coming to terms with the expectations of adult life, mental illness, failed communication, the despair of monogamy.... that's the first side.

Maybe people don't listen to lyrics, but this has opened my mind, repeatedly for 18 years.

Oh and yeah, if they (and 'Eno Collaboration') had had the sense to leave out Low Low Low, this would be one of those rare un-skippable albums.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most gorgeous albums I own. From the barely perceptible bass opening of 'out to get you' to the overly boisterous (by comparison!) 'low low low' and 'laid' there is not a weak song on the record. Most of the tracks are mellow and haunting, with occasional breaks for more up-tempo numbers. Amazingly they do not clash but work together to create an album far greater than the sum of its individual tracks. I have always felt that 'electioneering' let Radiohead down on 'OK Computer' because it sat so uneasily with the rest of the album. How James have managed to weave such different songs together to such good effect on 'Laid' still baffles me.
PS is one of my favourite songs of all time. The slide guitar is simple yet utterly beautiful and ushers in a wonderful melancholic song.
This album has seen in many a sunrise with me and soothed away almost as many hangovers. It is perfect in both situations. Everybody should have this record in their collections, without exception.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Dec. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Produced by Brian Eno, this album is imaginative as it is professional, playful and laid-back, and his skills serve as an enormous boost to the band's incredible songwriting. Eno also supplied additional vocals on Five-O and Dream Thrum, and played bass and keyboards on certain tracks. On the title track, James deals with the disparities of love in a delirious fashion, howling strategically over a surging stream of sound. Sometimes is a quirky piece of power-pop, while other gripping numbers include Knuckle Too Far, Skindiving and Low Low Low. The cast responsible for putting together this classic album deserve applause for their meticulous attention to detail and the beautiful arrangements. It's lively, melodic, full of unexpected hooks and engaging melody lines. Without a doubt some of the best melodic rock of the 90's.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Laid is one of the best 1990's records, and here it's also issued with the extra album of material that nearly made Laid a double-album. I wish James would return to this wonderfully atmospheric, guitar based spacial material that Eno brilliantly coaxed out of them 23 years ago - and leave behind the heavy, multi-layered synth sound of recent records.
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Format: Audio CD
...and to think I was just passing Safeway at the time. I nipped in to see what CDs they had and there it was: Laid for half the price of a current 'trendy' chart CD.
But give me this any day. Personal preference will decide whether you like each track (there isn't a bad one on it) but as a collection it takes some beating. And in Five-O they have created a haunting piece of atmospheric genius; try listening to it loud on headphones!
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Format: Audio CD
This for me is James at their peak, its an almost perfect album (they should have left Low,Low,Low off not the best tune and doesnt sit right with the other songs)
The production by Eno is sparse but at the same time so ambient and uplifting.
I just realised the other day that Five-O is the most played song on my Itunes, the lyrics are beautiful and the overall sound is so atmospheric, its amazing.
Dream Thrum, One of the Three and P.S are also outstanding.
Its well up there in my top albums of all time.
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