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current listening - out-takes, castaways, pirate women and takeaways

A new collection of Ed Kuepper oddities, while we patiently wait for the remastered Today Wonder.

I had some time to kill in Camberwell yesterday evening, and while Dixons and Antiquarian had both closed up for the day, JB HiFi was still open. The last time I was here, I picked up the remastered Honey Steel's Gold that I wasn't even aware of, and this time they had another new Ed release, which is another collection of old bits and pieces (much like, I suppose, The Wheelie Bin Affair).

Kicking off the album is a rather curious rehash of the 15-year-old (or so) track Also Sprach the King of Euro-Disco, that starts off all electronic-like, then descends into the guitars-plus-effects soundscapes that marked 1995's A King in the Kindness Room. This album's versions of Horse Under Water and the classic Eternally Yours were done around the same time, Eternally Yours getting a pretty good thumping rocking band workout, in contrast to Today Wonder's more stripped back and melancholy treatment (for instance).

There's a couple of others, Creedence Clearwater Revival versus the 3rd Reich, Poor Howard and Rough neck blues that are just earlier takes on what ended up on various albums. I haven't really gotten a heap out of these yet, since they're not fabulously different to the already-released versions. There's also a pretty much identical version of All of these things with a female vocalist. Certainly one of Ed's big talents has been in reinventing his songs in a couple of different ways - stripped back, with full band, with weird effects, etc, and so I guess I expected a little more :)

There's also a couple of covers, Okie from Muskogee ("where even squares can have a ball"), and the old Saints standard, Kissin' Cousins.

There's certainly an overwhelming number of Ed Kuepper CDs around now (I've got 23 "Ed Kuepper" releases - there's still the Aints, the Laughing Clowns and early Saints...), My advice would be to go and pick up the following albums first, before you obsess about these rarities :

  • Today Wonder - one of my favourite stripped back albums - just Ed on guitar and Mark Dawson (now of the Blackeyed Susans on drums, it's got this wonderful enveloping sounds that just drags you in and makes it great rainy day music. There's meant to be a remastered version of this reappearing sometime soon...I can't wait !

  • Honey Steel's Gold - one of his most famous albums, perhaps for The way I made you feel ("I'd never seen such mass destruction till I saw you / it was the way I made you feel"), but (as expected) that's not all. A remastered version of this was released early in 2001.

  • Frontierland - this shows off his more experimental side, coupled with good songs (if you want the purely experimental stuff, there's albums like The Blue House).

  • Live ! (by Ed Kuepper and his Oxley Creek Playboys) - After the lone (I think ?) guitar-effects-tour that's documented on With a knapsack on my back Ed returned to band-land, and **** it was good. This album rocks from start to finish, with some great renditions of Electrical Storm, Honey Steel's Gold and When I first came to this land, among others.

* 16:18 * music