on 30 May 2002
I sometimes wonder why some bands who clearly have no talent sell millions of records and others who show touches of genius don't. Ride did it their own way and maybe thats why they never even made it into the catorgary of also rans, when they had so much talent. Back in 1990 however, following the release of this album I believed ride had it in them to conquer the world. In hindsight they were a little to rough round the edges. Songs such as paralysed and nowhere, good though they are were never meant for a wider audience which is a crying shame because this album has some class moments. Ride's trade mark harmonis and chiming guitars reflected the Stone Roses pre-emince at the time of recording, but gave it a different rockier darker slant. Despite this the album was also lighter and popier than the earlier EP's. Vapour Trail may well have been rides finest moment, but this is an album stuffed full of classic tracks. Ride found themselves around at a time when British music last hit a creative high point and this album was lost to successive generations. Seeing wood for the trees and all that. Eventually Andy Bell joined Oasis, a band that had little talent and alot of hype, and stood for all the things ride had meant for me, at that point the dreams finally burned down.
I remember being a little unimpressed at this album when it came out- having seen Ride several times & been blown away by the experience it seemed they hadn't lived up to the promise of early e.p.'s or their live sound...I was wrong...This record sounds great today- its influences obviously Creation labelmates The House of Love & My Bloody Valentine (and perhaps early Echo & Bunnymen, The Cure, Spacemen 3 & Sonic Youth...)
Ride were great- primal guitar explosions on a par with anything by Husker Du from 'New Day Rising' to 'Warehouse'. Just add a hint of the Smiths and you have a classic band!
'Seagull' is the decimating opener- Buffalo Springfield play 'Psycho Candy'- it is followed by 'Kaleidoscope', another Mark Gardener doomy pop song in the mode of 'Taste'. 'In a different Place' is an Andy Bell song reaching for a space in which to define love- and recalls 'Goodbye & Helo' Tim Buckley (if Loop backed him)...'Polar Bear' often opened concerts & builds up in a style close to the Pixies covering 'Disintergration'. While 'Dreams Burn Down' nods towards Led Zep's 'When the Levee Breaks' (precipitating the retro-influences that made Ride less interesting following 'Going Blank Again')- 'Decay' is a gnarly slab of guitars. A morose downer, very 'Daydream Nation' or 'Metal Postcard'. 'Paralysed' hints at ambition and the urge to explore vaster songs; it gives way to 'Vapour Trail'- the single that never was. Oh, a jingly-jangly classic, with falling strings; it sounds like an English summer sky in 1990. It is the sound of youth & falling in love & illicit substances & the gigantic optimism of 1990 (the wall had come down, people were experimenting, dance & rock were fusing. Sadly Yugoslavia & the Gulf War were about to occur).
The extra tracks are from the 'Fall' e.p.- the hit 'Taste' (a relative of 'She Bangs the Drums' or 'God knows it's true')is a Byrds-inflected number. Very 'Younger than Yesterday'. 'Here & Now' is even better, Andy Bell's postcard of the present is given some melancholic harmonica. The final track, 'Nowhere', often destroyed live- is more sombre here. The sound is between 'Pornography'- Cure & 'Dub Housing'-Pere Ubu. Oh, it all sounds a bit teenage now- but so do Rimbaud & Nick Drake! It ends on the album on uncertainty- "all that's left is you & me/and here we are/nowhere".
A classic debut- and proof that Creation was more than just the label that spawned Oasis.
on 28 February 2004
This album has the power to make me cry; it's that good.
When I listen to Vapour Trail, I'm 15 again, with huge curtains for hair and an un-healthy interest in Abi Frost's arse!
I was instantly obsessed by the Today Forever EP, carrying it around with me like it was sacred.
Nowhere is magical, full of the innocence of youth.
As I am typing this I'm listening to Taste. Would you just listen to those awesome, angelic voices and that mad drumming?!
It is right up there with my favourite albums of all time, sharing the same stage as Marvin, Stevie, The Beatles, Led Zep and The Stone Roses.
on 8 May 2007
RIDE never reached mega stardom, probably due to the lack of great songs on thier future releases. however nowhere is a truely brilliant album and the album that allows us to revisit the time when rides sound was truely at its best. nowhere has a brilliant mix of sounds mostly based around loud guitars, feedback, reverb. one thing about this album that makes it amazing is the emotion (most noticeable on "in a different place", "dreams burn down") and the brilliant use of vocal harmonising. the album start to finish displays an amazing british sound.
1.seagull - the album starts with some feedback, cymbals , then crashes into a psychedelic forest of wild sounds, the instruments seem to all mix together to become one swirling, rolling sound. the song has an exciting pace and dreamy reverb sound, the vocal harmonizing is brilliant. this is the perfect way to start this album off. the song hassome brilliantwah-wah and feedback sounds in the mid-section and ending. (5/5)
2.kaliedascope - this song has an amazing guitar sound and pop melodys, this song keeps the album rolling on from seagull and keeps the excitement there.kaliedascope is shorter than the 6 minute seaugull making it more of a pop song, great song. (5/5)
3.in a different place - in a different place is a definite gem on this album and a brilliant example of RIDE's range in song styles. the song has a building intro with a nice guitar melody reminiscent of john squires playing. the songs verses are soft and beautifully sung, the chorus comes crashing in with the great lyrics "and were smiling when were sleeping , and where smiling when were waking". the chorus melody is catchy and seems filled with emotion. the song has a nice relaxing outro which is mostly instrumental. (5/5)
4.polar bear - this track stands out most definetely from the rest, the guitar with a tremelo effect is amazing and the drums also have an amazing sound , but nothing beats the simple but amazing vocal melody which soars above the instruments. the song has a "baggy" vibe as well as a psychedelic one. the lyrics are cool and trippy and the song altogether is breathtaking upon the first listen. best played loud. (5/5)
5.dreams burn down - this song truely is special, its super loud but so soft and gentle really, the pace of the song makes it interesting, it has a sad, soft, emotional vibe then breaks oftenly into a loud wall of sound with crashing guitars. the vocal sound is brilliant as the guitars. th guitar part along the beginning is brilliant. (5/5)
6.decay - this song has a pounding beginning , the bass pedal of the drums and a simple guitar part, the vocals come in with a very dark melody which soon gives away to a dreamy pop chorus making the tune what it is, a brilliant dreamy pop song just like ride do best. (5/5)
7.paralysed - this song isnt as amazing as the rest, quite a boring verse melody and chorus, nothing interesting coming from the instruments either really. (2/5)
8.vapour trail - the ultimate ride pop song , how this was never a hit is quite unbeliavable really, the song has an amazing guitar sound with a gentle dream melody, stone roses style drums and an amazing pop chorus "la,la,la,laaa,laaa" simple and beautiful. violins at the end are brillian, this song has a great sense of emotion and true feeling. (5/5)
9.taste - this song is another short pop song, it is brilliant. this song is brilliant for a live show as it is great to sing along too. taste has something that the rest of the songs dont have , itreally stands out. (4/5)
10.here and now- much like paralysed. (2/5)
11.nowhere - the album ends strangely, i think something else could have been put here to make the album truely amazing. (3/5)
the today forever e.p also has some great songs, sennen is in my opinion one of the best songs the band ever did and today is also a true classic
Despite the fact the Shoegazing-tag & Baddiel/Newman/student association Ride were a great band up to 'Going Blank Again' - the great return with 'Carnival of Light' didn't happen and it seemed everything that was great about Ride had been lost in the dilution (the same thing happened to Primal Scream & Stone Roses with 'Give Out...' & 'The Second Coming' respectively). Go back a few years and you'll find some relatively naive teens from Oxford releasing those intitial e.p.'s on Creation: 'Ride' (just 1990 - Snub TV memorably showed 'Drive Blind' before its release) & 'Play' (1990 - both collected on 'Smile')- here was a band like Artic Monkeys or Joy Division (the latter I'm thinking of live rather than produced by Martin Hannett) who were hardly the greatest musicians. There was an energy to the early work of Ride, feeling like a inversion of Joy Division - the feedback and woe having the distinct feel of post the summer of love and post-MBV. The markers for Ride's early material, whether they were aware of it or not, appear to have been My Bloody Valentine, Loop, Sonic Youth, 'Sound of Confusion'-Spacemen 3, Dinosaur Jr., The Byrds, Husker Du's covers of 'Ticket to Ride' & 'Eight Miles High', 'Heaven Up Here'-Bunnymen, The House of Love, The Mary Chain & early Primal Scream ('Sonic Flower Groove' say...)The late Eighties found rock music in its most inventive state - 'Isn't Anything', 'Daydream Nation', 'You're Living All Over Me', '69', 'Playing with Fire', 'Surfer Rosa', 'Locust Abortion Technician', 'Bleach', 'The Young Gods' & 'Fade Out' all pushed guitar music in wild directions - something largely absent since. Ride played pop songs in a Byrds/Husker Du-style but were imbued with the sonics of the era. Against media acclaim, accusations of hype and a feeling they'd hit the big time by puncturing the top 50 with 'Play' (a big deal back then) they set about recorded that classic debut. 'Nowhere' is it.
This reissue, with a slightly different cover, now lists the three tracks from September 1990's 'Fall' e.p. in the main tracklisting and adds 1991's 'Today Forever' e.p. which was summarised the early sound of Ride before they experimented more on 1992's 'Going Blank Again' (which had elements of dub, ambient, spacerock, prog, Britpop, power-pop & the like...)
Opening with live favourite 'seagull', 'Nowhere' bursts into life - it sounds like early Dinosaur Jr. playing Buffalo Springfield's 'Burned', while having an infinite end where the drones go into overload.'Kaleidoscope'has a feeling of light/dark, the lyrics being suitably vague it could be about coming together or falling apart - a bittersweet feeling between Morrissey-mopery and lovedupness.The title is in many ways the quintiessential shoegazing title! 'In a Different Place' changes the tone, a huge ballad with those epic power chords - the dub-version found on the 'OX4' box-set is worth a listen despite not having vocals. 'polar Bear' is up next, another huge track that builds around Loz Colbert's spleenshattering drumming - this was the opener for the 'Nowhere' tour that followed and a song Ride ditched too soon.
'dreams Burn Down' is up next, originally released on the 'Fall'e.p. like 'seagull' and 'vapour Trail' it stuck out in their live shows of 1990. The drums are very Zep here, very 'When the Levee Breaks' as the rest of the band fire up a beautiful noise over it - Mark Gardener's lyrics point to something between energy and ennui - though "we fill up the gaps into our empty little lives" is pure existentialism (The Cure's 'Disintegration' might have been an influence on such lyrics!). The wonderful drones that follow the "dreams burn down...everytime" line take the feedback section of 'You Made Me Realise' and place it somewhere near pop.
The LP gets darker with the double whammy of 'decay' & 'paralysed' - the former is desperate and a bit gothic, sounding like the missing link between 'Scream'-Banshees and Interpol. 'paralysed' meanwhile finds Andy Bell offering one of the most ambitious tracks here, predicting the progtastic directions of later tracks such as 'Leave Them All Behind', 'Chrome Waves','Birdman' & 'At the End of the Universe' - of course it gives way to huge feedback by the end...as it had to! The album proper concludes on 'vapour trail', the single that should have been - one of Ride's finest songs it captures a moment (& takes you back to several). The kind of song that needs to be played on a summer's day...happy Proustian stuff! The cello is a great touch too - await the tribute LP by Michael Nyman...
'Nowhere' is now extended with the 'Fall'-tracks - lead-track and top 40 hit 'taste' (as with 'like a daydream' & 'chelsea girl' this is the Byrds post-MBV), 'here and now' (which builds around some harmonica), & 'nowhere' - which is Ride's darkest song offering up a wall of drones'n'feedback that feel like the ocean after a tsunami (...or just before?). It's like 'Metal Machine Music', but with a song! 'today forever' was released in the Spring of the following year (with a quite silly accompanying video-single which had all four tracks represented by some of the most boring promos in history!). Lead track 'unfamiliar' is a lot more melancholy and trying not to be pop - part of it would be re-cycled in 1994's 'From Time to Time' (which is probably a better song); 'beneath' is the other stock Ride track that just sounds like...(you guessed it) Ride. The other two tracks are more interesting - the gorgeous 'sennen' which explores more acoustic climes (& has been taken as a moniker for a second wave of shoegazing band of the same name!) & 'today' which is closer to Kevin Shields' 'don't ask why'...
'Nowhere' still sounds great and surprisingly was voted #37 in a recent poll of Greatest British Albums of All Time in the NME. This is quite surprising when Ride seem a bit forgotten and Mark Gardener's solo album has been generally ignored - clearly the NME have some shoegazers on staff! The fact that this LP came above 'Psychocandy','Park Life', 'Kid A' (& many great albums the NME forgot about) suggests that its finally being valued/revalued. An excellent reissue that sounds much better than my worn 1990-original, a compulsory purchase alongside 'Smile' and 'Going Blank Again' (the others have their moments...). In time this will become as prescient on lists such as over-rated peers like 'The LAs' and 'The Stone Roses'...
on 30 June 2011
I was rather ashamed that the 20th anniversary edition of Nowhere was hard to attain without forking out quite a sum for somebody just getting into shoegaze records recently. I was pleasantly surprised at this version that I opted for content-wise though. For just under 7 pounds you get the remastered songs from the album Nowhere plus three bonus songs. On top of that you get the sublime here and now EP. It clocks up to over 70 minutes of Ride material.
Content wise, the album is very deserving of its cult classic status. Every song is shrouded in reverb and pedal effects combined with Mark Gardiner and Andy Bell's innocuous sounding vocals. It sets itself apart from other dreampop/shoegaze records with this formula that they follow. Immediate favourites of mine are actually on the original 8 tracks of the Nowhere album. In Another Place is a bittersweet mid-tempo lament while Albatross combines wonderful lyrical imagery with a driving tempo. My favourite has to be Paralysed, a slow meditation of piano, field music of protests and the ever familiar formula of loud/quiet taken upon by so many bands of this era.
Ride had obstacles in their way since the get-go. They were too early to ride the indie(no pun intended) wave that Oasis introduced to the mainstream, and while Nowhere is considered a standout album from this scene, it was quickly overshadowed by My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. With this in mind, issues like this do the band justice giving value for money and preserving two great releases in one.
on 27 January 2015
I have the original LP bought whilst I was at college in 1990 and I played it to death. This adds tracks from the EPs released around the same time and just after. It's shoegaze Classic indie rock and is possibly the best example of this short lived sub genre. Fast forward to the demise of Beady Eye and Ride have reformed, with suggestion of new music!
on 11 November 2015
Why is this so expensive? £25.99 for another release of this album, with a bonus DVD? That's simply not value for money. Plenty of other great 90s albums have had multi-disc sets in similar case bound book packaging for a tenner, what's so special about Ride? I've got THREE copies of this album already, so I'm not going to buy it, but I may have had, if it had been at a sensible, pocket-friendly price.
on 6 November 2014
This is a fabulous album, - one of my favourites from student days - powerful, emotional, epic. The picture on the cover perfectly fits the music - this is a sea of sound with songs building up to crashing chord changes (Dreams burn down, Polar bear) and guitar lines soaring within the mix (like seagulls? - perhaps that's taking the analogy too far!). Sometimes calmer, shimmering but no less powerful (In a different place, Paralysed), the album closes with the classic Vapour Trail. All these songs work well together. This CD then includes seven more tracks from two mini albums which were originally released separately. The songs have a different feel - sometimes with a more upbeat, jangly style - but are no less powerful and still with the Ride "wall of sound". They include some of my favourite Ride tracks but ironically the track 'Nowhere' which wasn't originally on the album despite sharing its name is perhaps the weakest. OK so perhaps the vocals are slightly off-key on occasion, but this is still highly recommended if you like powerful, emotional indie guitar sounds.
Ride's debut album 'Nowhere' is easily the equal of Oasis' Definitely Maybe, Primal Scream's 'Screamadelica' and Teenage Fanclub's 'bandwagonesque'- it's that good. An essential purchase, and an album that should really have featured in all those 'best albums of the 90s' lists of a few years ago. a towering achievement. The bonus tracks are great,too.