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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

on 27 May 2002
On the one hand it is shocking that Teenage Fanclub have never been a commercial hit, but then again there are not many Scottish guitar bands who can lay claim to releasing more than 5 albums. Here lies the enigma that is Teenage Fanclub. The legacy they will leave behind contains moments of melody as pure as you will ever here - and yet they have stuck doggedly to a sound and style which has cemented them as 'also - rans' commercially.
A Catholic Education is in many ways a seminal album as it was the first time the band managed to tame the raw guitar sound of their first work with the harmonies which have become their trademark. The album bursts out of the stereo and continues at a roaring pace. The production is un-polished but you can see the crystals of songwriting talent which would emerge in their next, and most well known album, bandwagonesque.
For all your Fannies out there, and you either are you arent!, a Catholic Education is the missing piece of the jigsaw. The album is a rough diamond of potential and promise. It is the 'talent spotters' Teenage Fanclub album. This where they were allowed to experiment, make mistakes and eventuall hit on the formula which would shape the sound for the next decade.
This album will take you back as well as forward, and after a few listens your education will be complete.
16 people found this helpful
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on 6 December 2015
Have wanted this album for years. It was difficult to obtain when first released. Superb!
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on 17 June 2015
Truely an overlooked classic. I never upstood why this got such mixed reviews upon release. The NME claimed it was a hotchpotch - thrown together with lots of filler. Well I have been listening to this for 25 years and am yet to find the filler. It may have been recorded quickly - I dunno to be honest - but so was most of the beatles stuff. It is excellent - from Heavy metal indie opener with stoner riffs and acdc drumming to the classic slacker anthem - Everything Flows. More listenable than Daydream nation or Loveless - but still overlooked.
(admittedly Loveless, I prefer, but still....)
Buy it now, love the stoned riffing and the hazy vocals. Best thing they did, along with the poptastic Grand Prix.

ps. hunt it down on vinyl - even more perfect.
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on 6 April 2015
Not listened to yet.
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on 31 March 2003
There are many who would have this as a stepping stone to future greatness, but for me Teenage Fanclub were already there. The rough-hewn guitar sound and comparatively primitive mix gives the songs edge and mystery. There is less attempt to emulate their heroes and more focus on feel and energy. But the greatest plus is the songs. With the greatest respect to Messrs. Love and McGinlay, both fine songwriters, it's no coincidence that this great recording is also mainly comprised of songs written by Norman Blake (or, as he's mysteriously credited, 'Morman Blake'), one of the greatest word/tunesmiths of this or any era.The title track fizzes along in both incarnations like a firework whilst 'Everything Flows' possesses one of the most beautiful choruses ever written. To conclude this album you get one of the most joyously vitriolic putdown songs ever, 'Everybody's Fool', with the unrepeatable chorus. Some might argue you should go for another title if you're new to Teenage Fanclub, but I disagree; this superb record contains the very essence of the group and as such is a worthwhile purchase whether you're a fan, a novice or, as Dave Nice would say, just love guitar-based rock in general. Let us rock.
9 people found this helpful
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on 4 December 2009
Jesus Christ - I cant believe theres only 3 reviews of this album and the last one was 5+ years ago.

Everything Flows - feel the infinite beauty of it.

Eternal Light - possibly the best guitar solo of all time.

The rest is better than great but if thats not enough for you dont buy it.

Its your loss.

10 people found this helpful
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on 18 January 2000
I am quite a fan of TF, and this has got to be almost there best work. The tunes and hooks in the songs are superb, despite the way it rocks like a cave! Go on, buy it, if you don't then you only have ypurself to blame.
One person found this helpful
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on 16 December 1999
What more do I need to say, other than, Everything Flows! This was the album, that was never off my Turnstile in the early nineties. This album showed a real raw side of the band, which disappeared whenever the studio influence took over from the more live sound. The album is littered with great guitar songs, such as Critical Mass and Heavy Metal. It was said that these boys sounded like Neil Young, I never made the connection on this album, but it was in line with the grunge scene of the time. I can almost remember the acne!
One person found this helpful
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on 6 March 2003
Teenage Fanclub's trademark sound is easily recognisable on "A Catholic Education": melodic guitars, close harmonies, sometimes naive lyrics etc. But there are no show-stealers here. If you've never heard Teenage Fanclub, don't make this your first TFC purchase. If you have, buy it only if you are *really* keen on their particular musical style. And prepare to be ever so slightly disappointed.
2 people found this helpful
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