LUSH Albums POLL

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I've been going back through all of the Lush albums (thanks to the shoegaze poll) and becoming a little obsessed. Since I'm going to include Gala I feel compelled to include Topolino too.

http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drf500/f594/f59466ig63m.jpg http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drc400/c477/c477767nysj.jpg http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drc800/c835/c83580n0032.jpg http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drf600/f672/f67231nqxa6.jpg http://image.allmusic.com/00/amg/cov200/drd200/d235/d23505nqc97.jpg

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Gala 21
Spooky 15
Split 11
Lovelife 7
Topolino 0


bmus, Thursday, 4 November 2010 18:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

::head explodes::

Gala is the obvious choice, but I am of course going to have to go and listen to all the albums in order because I haven't heard some of them in donkeys.

I always thought I didn't like Lovelife but the last time I listened, I was enchanted. I remember in the mid 90s not liking it because it seemed too stripped down and I missed all the effects, but on getting it again a few years ago, I actually really liked it a lot, the songwriting was spikier and it was almost like a throwback to their early EPs.

Also, at the time I suspected it was a britpop bandwaggoning move because of the Jarvis thing, but I read more recent interviews where they talked about making a non-effects laden record as a deliberate move so they could highlight their songwriting and stop being seen as Robin Guthrie's etherial Vanity 6 or something.

Wheal Dream, Thursday, 4 November 2010 18:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

I spent a good portion of last week listening to Lovelife in the car and it's really great.

lol tea partiers and their fat fingers (HI DERE), Thursday, 4 November 2010 18:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

Listened to Lovelife a couple of times lately. Really wish they'd recorded Ladykillers in a different key. Miki doesn't usually sound so gruff. Generally never thought of them as an album band, just a string of really great individual tracks. Adored the early stuff, but this is pretty much my definition of early 90s cool:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F4aHdMxM0k

Ian Edmond, Thursday, 4 November 2010 19:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

Going back through Split there were tracks I used to view as filler and would simply skip but now I'm finding really fascinating. Case in point: Desire Lines. I had no idea they had a video for that song. Such a long, slow, dirge-y track for a single.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9tcEuUWuhc

bmus, Thursday, 4 November 2010 19:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Gala when all's said and done. Spooky's bloody brilliant though.

piscesx, Thursday, 4 November 2010 19:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

Spooky, but really when the discography's this good they're all valid winners.

get the fuck out of my mouth (boxedjoy), Thursday, 4 November 2010 20:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

wtf is Topolino?

so imagen what we can do with the rest of our brain...right buddy's?? (Pillbox), Thursday, 4 November 2010 21:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

Japan only Lovelife B-sides compilation.

Ian Edmond, Thursday, 4 November 2010 21:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

Re Hypocrite/Desire Lines: When the Manic Street Preachers released two singles on the same day back in 2001, the BBC news website reported it as the first time that a band had ever done this. Well, I wasn't going to have Lush written out of history like that, so I emailed them to remind them that the Manics weren't the first to do this. They amended the story, but bearing in mind the way that they described the Lush version, I'm not sure that I did the right thing.

Ian Edmond, Friday, 5 November 2010 06:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

Every time I hear Lovelife I am reminded again and again of how great it is, and how *stupid* I was when it came out.

By the time "Last Night" comes on, I'm a gibbering wreck. Still tend to skip the Jarvis song, mind you.

But, argh, you know, Gala is Gala. The two things make lovely bookends.

Wheal Dream, Friday, 5 November 2010 11:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

I loved Lovelife on release, less so now. I like Lovelife, but not like I love Gala.

like an ant to a crumb (DavidM), Friday, 5 November 2010 11:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ian, if I recall, Colourbox did this also: "Baby I love you so" and "the official Colourbox world cup theme" were both released the same day by 4AD as well.

Mark G, Friday, 5 November 2010 11:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm American and was born in the '80s so Lovelife is the only one I've heard.

lil bow bow (some dude), Friday, 5 November 2010 12:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

^this

"Desire Lines" reminds me a little of Mazzy Star...

only! assholes! write on doors! (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 5 November 2010 13:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

(should be mentioned though that Undertow was my first & only exposure to anything shoegazer for a very long time...)

only! assholes! write on doors! (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 5 November 2010 13:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

I was listening to "Undertow (Spooky Remix)" last night and I wasn't too into it, but after going back and listening to the original it made me think that Studio could have done an amazing remix of the same track.

I had only heard Spooky and Split for the longest time. By the time Lovelife came out I had ignorantly lost interest. (Sigh)

bmus, Friday, 5 November 2010 16:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

Would some kind-hearted poster care to give me the lowdown on each of these albums. The only one I'm sure I know is 'Spooky'. My Lush experience started with the 'Mad Love' EP, then 'Sweetness and Light', then 'Spooky', then (at least two years later) a CD single that I can't remember the name of (but there was a long, slighty dubby track that went "I was waiting at the station when your train came in...." and a better track whose tube I can remember but none of the words), and after that just Britpop singles which I saw on TV or heard on the radio, but didn't buy.

Running the Gantelope (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 5 November 2010 22:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

(but there was a long, slighty dubby track that went "I was waiting at the station when your train came in...."

this is a cover of "love at first sight" by post-young marble giants group The Gist

cruel bees (electricsound), Friday, 5 November 2010 23:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's it. I didn't know it was a cover. I'm going to see if I can find out what the poppier track I like was...

Running the Gantelope (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 5 November 2010 23:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

...it's called 'Cat's Chorus'.

Running the Gantelope (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 5 November 2010 23:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

Going with GALA, even though it's not really an album so much as a collection of previously released E.P.'s (like that matters).

Alex in NYC, Saturday, 6 November 2010 14:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

Could go with Gala or Spooky as both were favorites at the time. I've never heard anything after Split though so I probably shouldn't weigh in at all.

Let's just say were I to eventually vote I'll go for Spooky.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 6 November 2010 14:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

Going back and refamiliarizing myself with this discography has only made this decision much more difficult.

bmus, Saturday, 6 November 2010 21:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

Would some kind-hearted poster care to give me the lowdown on each of these albums.

Gala - An LP-length comp. of their first three 4AD-issued UK EPs. This served as an introduction to the band for US buyers &, b/c of the consistent strength of the material, will likely win this poll (deservedly imo).

Spooky - technically their debut album, the critical consensus at the time seemed to be that it was a relative disappointment in comparison with the material that Gala was comprised of. Some would argue that the gauzy Cocteau-ness of Robin Guthrie's production was not the best context for the band's pop/punk smarts, tho you can't really disguise the power & hooks of A+ trax like "Superblast" & "Nothing Natural"

Split - "uneven" or simply "varied," depending on whether you prefer 3-minute sugar-rush pop tracks or extended shoegaze space-dirges, I like this best of their proper LPs b/c it contains an even amount of both. They seemed to be in limbo b/w their shoegaze roots (which had already been laid to waste by the UK press by this time) & the straight-up pop band they were soon to become. Personally, it is that identity crisis that really sells this (underheard & underrated) album imo. I'm voting for it in this poll b/c Gala will already win handily enough.

Lovelife - by far their most immediate pop material; their official bid for Britpop consideration &, as such, their most commercially successful album. Jarvis Cocker guest-spot. Hanging out w/ Elastica & Echobelly, etc. This wasn't the same sea-change (compromise?) in style as it was for Ride etc., b/c they had already proven themselves remarkably adept at this power-pop on past albums, even though they had hidden it under layers and layers of reverb & fx. A very consistent album & (for good reason) highly rated by lots o folks. personally, not really my cup of tea.

Topolino - Someone else will have to comment on this b/c I was never so taken by Lovelife to feel compelled to dig into the b-sides and such from that era.

so imagen what we can do with the rest of our brain...right buddy's?? (Pillbox), Saturday, 6 November 2010 22:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

thanks pillbox

Running the Gantelope (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Saturday, 6 November 2010 22:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

no prob.

Chris Acland RIP - so sad that that tragedy ended their career b/c I would have loved to have seen where they proceeded from Lovelife. This poll has me interested in revisiting that album (admittedly, it has been a loooong time) & checking out Topolino as well. The others have never been far outside of my regular rotation.

so imagen what we can do with the rest of our brain...right buddy's?? (Pillbox), Saturday, 6 November 2010 23:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

oh and fyi as i pointed out in ye olde thred, all their back catalogue; EPs, albums, singles, b sides (and Topolino) are all on Spotify.

piscesx, Sunday, 7 November 2010 04:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

Even though I love Spooky too, I voted Gala, because it was one of those tectonic-plates-of-my-musical-taste-shifting moments. I remember very vividly watching 120 Minutes and seeing this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCvhc2gRBM4

theskysgoneout (Jason Pitzl-Waters), Sunday, 7 November 2010 04:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

"De-Luxe" and the rest of the Mad Love EP segment of Gala are pretty unfuckwithable. But I totally agree with Pillbox, Split as a whole is such a perfect balance of their gaze-y past and their poppy future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ItVSTgYWdM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtf1QNkEwA8

bmus, Monday, 8 November 2010 00:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

I should really listen to the middle two, because I've only been caning the first and the last.

Wheal Dream, Monday, 8 November 2010 10:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

The singles on Spooky remain brilliant (I had forgotten about Superblast!) but it remains a deeply flawed album.

Split, though, is a lot better than I remember it. Starting to recall why I loved this band so much...

Wheal Dream, Monday, 8 November 2010 12:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Since Topolino is a b-side collection it's pretty all over the place (no surprise) but a few of the standouts are a couple of cover songs. One being I Have the Moon the Magnetic Fields cover which sounds really appropriate. The other is a cover of Demystification by Zounds.

bmus, Monday, 8 November 2010 18:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

Well, so far I've excluded Spooky and Topolino, but the other three are still very much in the running.

I suspect I'm going to go to the shoegaze/pop compromise option and go for Split, even though it's odd, I would never, at the time, have thought of that as their best album.

Wheal Dream, Tuesday, 9 November 2010 12:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

That Zounds cover was responsible for getting me into Zounds, and from there, all the Crass Records stuff.

Found out not so long ago Emma & Miki used to be friends with another Crass Records band, Lack Of Knowledge, and Emma was even briefly in a post-LOK band after LOK broke up, according to the Southern Records page for Lack Of Knowledge: http://www.southern.com/southern/band/LACK1/?section=history

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Tuesday, 9 November 2010 13:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

Heard Split for the first time this weekend (yes, I also think that is ridiculous) and in so many ways this was my perfect band. That album is astonishing.

DJP, Tuesday, 9 November 2010 14:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have only just realised that the song "Lovelife" is actually on Split, not Lovelife. And so that is the final push that sends Split over the edge for me.

Which surprises me, as before I started seriously re-listening to these albums, I always thought I'd pick Gala in a heartbeat. (bring on the toy boys, etc!)

Wheal Dream, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 11:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

That definitely seems to be knee-jerk judgement around here (Gala being the best) and even I originally thought that I liked Spooky more than Split but I was wrong.

Although, I think that the only result of this poll that I'd be happy with would be if they all tied (or were at least pretty close) except for Topolino which I could understand not getting as many votes.

bmus, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 17:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't regret voting Gala in the slightest but Split is amazing.

DJP, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 17:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Knee-jerk" was the wrong word. It's a popular opinion and I thought that I would follow suit...but I think I am enjoying Split a teensy bit more.

bmus, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 17:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

It's odd to me that Gala is the most well-regarded one, because amongst my friends in high school Split (along with Foxbase Alpha) was THE album. None of us even heard another Lush album until years later. Good to hear a lot of love for Split here, since obv it has a lot of nostalgic pull on me which makes it hard to attempt to judge in objectively against the others.

hope this helps (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 10 November 2010 17:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Huh, I thought I posted it here this morning but I guess I didn't.

Was Gala the album named after Gala Eluard/Dali? I vaguely recall some odd rumour that was the case, but have not been able to find confirmation/denial. (I mean, they had already referenced surrealism with the "Mad Love" ep)

Wheal Dream, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 17:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

I don't know how reliable this is, but I found this on the Light From a Dead Star Lush fan page:

In December of 1990 4AD/Reprise compiled and released Lush's two preceding EPs as Gala, their first release in the United States. The group named the album after Salvador Dali's wife.

http://www.lightfromadeadstar.org/Biographies/Index.htm

It's in the "Contemporary Musicians" bio.

bmus, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 18:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not sure I trust a source that reckons Meriel Barham was/is a bloke, mind you. But I am convined that I read it in other accounts, so I'll take it as true.

Wheal Dream, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 18:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

And duh, Black Spring = Henry Miller reference, so Gala Eluard/Dali would be totally in keeping with that theme.

I swear my brain has a hole in the back of it where information leaks out of it...

Wheal Dream, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 18:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not sure I trust a source that reckons Meriel Barham was/is a bloke, mind you.

Oh geez, you're right. Sorry about that. Contemporary Musicians is not the most reputable source.

bmus, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 22:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 11 November 2010 00:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 12 November 2010 00:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

spooky getting more votes than split is very surprising

the barenaked ladies are the roaring night (electricsound), Friday, 12 November 2010 00:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

Kind of reflects my interest at the time in each successive Lush album.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 12 November 2010 00:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I thought Split was generally considered to be a better album than Spooky. I think it is.

like an ant to a crumb (DavidM), Friday, 12 November 2010 00:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aw, I was hoping for Split to rank a little higher. Pleased at the lack of a one-sided blowout.

bmus, Friday, 12 November 2010 00:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's weird. I was expecting Gala to win, but Spooky is an odd choice. But then again, the singles from it were pretty kickass and Split really did get buried in the critical backlash to shoegaze.

Wheal Dream, Friday, 12 November 2010 10:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

I voted Split as a kind of best of both worlds choice though Lovelife is by far my most played of these albums.

skip, Friday, 12 November 2010 13:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

and Split really did get buried in the critical backlash to shoegaze.

Not so sure about this. The shoegaze critical backlash had already started in the second half of 1991. By 1994 shoegazing was ancient history, it was more a question of a backlash to grunge with Britpop taking over.

Porpoises Rescue Dick Van Dyke (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 12 November 2010 15:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Poll results in chronological order (hence in order albums are pictured at the top). I voted Split.

Waldstein Sinatra (Paul in Santa Cruz), Friday, 12 November 2010 16:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

Poll results in chronological order (hence in order albums are pictured at the top).

Which gives the impression that they got worse as they went along. NOT TRUE.

bmus, Friday, 12 November 2010 16:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Matador" off Topolino came up on shuffle a bit ago & w/o looking over, I just assumed it was Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. Prob not a whole lot of opportunities for that case of mistaken identity.

strangled by a necklace of mexicans (Pillbox), Tuesday, 16 November 2010 03:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

O man, I TOTALLY forgot about this track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G2GoFl3bHc

If you immersed this track in a swimming pool of chorus & reverb fx, this could have been a standout on either Gala or Split

As it stands, it is merely the great, lost Velocity Girl track!

strangled by a necklace of mexicans (Pillbox), Tuesday, 16 November 2010 04:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

this band was so so so great

that is a weird thing to bring up over lean cuisine (DJP), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:35 (six years ago) Permalink

I kinda wish that last album hadn't gone the direction it did, but I otherwise agree hardcore. Sing-Sing is a decent post-breakup consolation prize, too.

Quiet Desperation, LLC (Deric W. Haircare), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:44 (six years ago) Permalink

The whole of their discography is on Spotify now.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:46 (six years ago) Permalink

oh I KNOW

that is a weird thing to bring up over lean cuisine (DJP), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:47 (six years ago) Permalink

Not too much post-band activity, huh? Sing Sing was nothing special, and Miki guested on a few tracks here and there. Guess real life took over...

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 17:09 (six years ago) Permalink

the first sing-sing album is great, 'tegan' and 'i can see you' as good as anything lush released imo. they did go a bit less interesting but were never crap.

garrett still a cunt (electricsound), Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:03 (six years ago) Permalink

Lush would be the winner of the "when the shoegazers stopped gazing" poll.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:45 (six years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Always an appropriate soundtrack to winter weather.

how's life, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 13:02 (four years ago) Permalink

Not sure why I wasn't vociferously defending Spooky on here first time around.

how's life, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 13:14 (four years ago) Permalink

I was listening to "Undertow (Spooky Remix)" last night and I wasn't too into it, but after going back and listening to the original it made me think that Studio could have done an amazing remix of the same track.

I would love to hear a version of their cover of Love At First Sight in this form.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 13:26 (four years ago) Permalink

Oh I would love a whole album of remixes, I must listen to the "Undertow" one practically every day! Who originally did "Love At First Sight"?

agincourtgirl, Friday, 30 January 2015 20:30 (four years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I'd be totally OK if Lush decided to play all of Topolino on the reunion tour. B-side Britpop Lush is just proof-positive that they wrote better songs and covered better songs than all those other blowhards.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 28 April 2016 05:28 (three years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

spooky turns 25 today

mookieproof, Friday, 27 January 2017 22:18 (two years ago) Permalink

That's...that's hard to take in.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 27 January 2017 23:12 (two years ago) Permalink

. . . yeah

mookieproof, Saturday, 28 January 2017 00:20 (two years ago) Permalink

Jesus. I still have dreams about the room I was in that year (I had this and Scar then and Sweetness & Light on Shiiiine compilation predecessor Happy Daze). I need to get a new dream writer, he's way out of touch.

Transform All Suffering Into Poo (Colonel Poo), Saturday, 28 January 2017 00:31 (two years ago) Permalink

Spooky is the one for me, gossamer Guthrie production and all

a but (brimstead), Saturday, 28 January 2017 03:18 (two years ago) Permalink

I once interviewed Emma Anderson and she hated Spooky, said they felt like lab animals during the recording because Guthrie wanted everything quantised and time locked to reverbs etc. I remember being so disappointed after Black Spring that they made this anaemic, stiff sounding record.

attention vampire (MatthewK), Saturday, 28 January 2017 03:46 (two years ago) Permalink

Emma ranks Spooky as her favourite these days. https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/rank-your-records-lush-emma-anderson

Kitchen Person, Saturday, 28 January 2017 04:05 (two years ago) Permalink

Hate the process, love the result, maybe. The interview I did was in '94 so the bad experiences were presumably more vivid.

attention vampire (MatthewK), Saturday, 28 January 2017 04:13 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Split > Spooky > Lovelife

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 14 May 2019 19:25 (one week ago) Permalink


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