NME's 'C86 Compilation'.... C&D, S&D, Say Something Interesting About, etc etc etc...

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There used to be a record shop behind the Imperial War Museum entitled These Records.

The frontage was totally blank. Unless you knew it was there you could never find it.

You had to ring the bell to gain access.

I did so frequently.

I was always let in.

There were no sinister overtones.

However the shop has since ceased trading.

So perhaps the blank frontage was deleterious from a marketing point of view.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Monday, 30 October 2006 15:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think Mark Sinker's response upthread (the first answer to the orig question) was the most OTM.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 30 October 2006 15:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Best British "indie" record to be released in 1986: In The Good Old Country Way by the Nightingales.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Monday, 30 October 2006 15:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Played with them last week in Brighton. Alas they're not doing anything from that album anymore now that Pete 'Tank' Byrchmore has left - he did the slide guitar on ITGOCW.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 30 October 2006 16:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You just can't beat - rockin with the Tank - so how about rockin there tank?

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 30 October 2006 16:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

not for the first time, I covered a song from C86


the pinefox, Thursday, 12 January 2012 11:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

I have been listening to the 3CD C86 compilation.

First CD is, I think, the original tape then extras; then two more CDs of other material from the year.

First two CDs a bit disappointing, if anything -- basically because they didn't correspond to the myth or legend of C86 as a genre; they're often not poppy, jangly, etc; the original C86 just was not the same as the idea constructed retrospectively. Some might say it was more interesting. There are influences from The Fall, noise, sneering - mostly not my kind of thing.

The third CD though seems to show the aesthetic (as it would later be seen) cohering more and I enjoy it best.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 08:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

Disc 1 is just the original tape, there's no extras. Well, apart from they used the wrong version of the Pastels song, it's the version from the Truck Train Tractor 12" instead, which is particularly annoying since that's one of or perhaps the only song that isn't available anywhere else. But that's fairly typical for Cherry Red records.

Colonel Poo, Friday, 6 April 2018 09:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

So the tape was 22 tracks ?!

I need to read the sleevenotes properly.

Velocity Girl, Therese, It's Up To You -- all tremendous. Otherwise not very convinced by that first disc.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 10:04 (nine months ago) Permalink

Worst things on it: probably Stump and Half Man Half Biscuit.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 10:04 (nine months ago) Permalink

"9 Steps to Ugly - Eddie Lopez lives in Slough
Very cool, proto-Sundays. Makes me wonder if that is actually Harriet Wheeler singing."

Hard to picture HW singing a song with that title.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 10:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

Crikey, though, here it is!


the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 10:07 (nine months ago) Permalink

That song is fine, my kind of thing in a way, but it does not really sound like Harriet Wheeler at all.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 10:09 (nine months ago) Permalink

fwiw CD tracklisting:

1. PRIMAL SCREAM – Velocity Girl
3. THE SOUP DRAGONS – Pleasantly Surprised
4. THE WOLFHOUNDS – Feeling So Strange Again *
5. THE BODINES – Therese
7. STUMP – Buffalo *
8. BOGSHED – Run To The Temple *
9. A WITNESS – Sharpened Sticks
10.THE PASTELS – Breaking Lines *
11.AGE OF CHANCE – From Now On, This Will Be Your God *
12.SHOP ASSISTANTS – It’s Up to You *
13.CLOSE LOBSTERS – Firestation Towers *
14.MIAOW – Sport Most Royal
15.HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT – I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)
16.THE SERVANTS – Transparent
17.MacKENZIES – Big Jim (There’s No Pubs In Heaven) *
18.BIG FLAME – New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology) *
20.McCARTHY – Celestial City *
21.THE SHRUBS – Bullfighter’s Bones * 22.THE WEDDING PRESENT – This Boy Can Wait (A Bit Longer!)

1. THE JUNE BRIDES – Just The Same
2. YEAH YEAH NOH – Another Side To Mrs Quill
5. THE BAND OF HOLY JOY – Rosemary Smith
6. THE McTELLS – Virginia M.C. *
7. B.M.X. BANDITS – E102
8. ONE THOUSAND VIOLINS – Like One Thousand Violins
9. THE DENTISTS – Peppermint Dreams
10.THE MEMBRANES – Everything’s Brilliant
12.THE BRILLIANT CORNERS – Meet Me On Tuesdays
13.TALULAH GOSH – I Told You So 14.PIGBROS – Hedonist Hat
15.14 ICED BEARS – Inside
16.ST. CHRISTOPHER – Go Ahead, Cry * 17.THE GROOVE FARM – Captain Fantastic (Demo)
18.KILGORE TROUT – The Peacock Nose * 19.THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN – Inside Me
20.THE HIT PARADE – You Didn’t Love Me Then
21.THAT PETROL EMOTION – Mine 22.THE TURNCOATS – One Breath * 23.A RIOT OF COLOUR – Skink (Flexi Version) *
24.PAUL GROOVY & THE POP ART EXPERIENCE – Tune In, Turn On, Trip Out **
25. THE RAILWAY CHILDREN – Darkness And Colour

1. THE CHESTERF!ELDS – Sweet Revenge
2. THE JASMINE MINKS – World’s No Place
4. RAZORCUTS – Sad Kaleidoscope
5. TREEBOUND STORY – I Remember *
6. THE NIGHTINGALES – Part Time Moral England
7. EPISODE FOUR – Strike Up Matches
8. THE AVONS – Everything’s Going Right *
9. MEAT WHIPLASH – Don’t Slip Up
10.KING OF THE SLUMS – Spider Psychiatry *
11.HAPPY MONDAYS – Freaky Dancin’
12.BIFF BANG POW! – Love’s Going Out Of Fashion
13.BLUE AEROPLANES – Outback Jazz
15.LAUGH – Take Your Time, Yeah (Flexi Version) *
16.NORTH OF CORNWALLIS – Billy Liar **
17.POP WILL EAT ITSELF – Mesmerized
18.BENNY PROFANE – Hang Fire *
19.GO! SERVICE – Real Life
20.JANITORS – Good To Be The King *
21.THE CLAIM – Gullible’s Travels
23.NOSEFLUTES – Perfect Cockney Hard-On *
24.THE LOVE ACT – Hep Clothes **
25.THE ENORMOUS ROOM – I Don’t Need You *


the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 10:17 (nine months ago) Permalink

odd revive.

they've done a c87 and c88 in the same style.


which, looking at the listings, eschew the more interesting (imo) bits of c86 in favour of the more 'c86'-sounding things.

koogs, Friday, 6 April 2018 14:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

> they used the wrong version of the Pastels song

is this a thing? it's just that the truckload of trouble comp had different versions of older tracks on it too. did they lose the masters? rights issues? thought they could do better (invariably false)?

koogs, Friday, 6 April 2018 14:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

I guess you're not a Fall fan, Pinefox, because I love the influence sprinkled around C86. The myth has always been that it was a single sound - the original tape disproves that immediately.

Stump is a great lost treasure but admittedly an acquired taste.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:05 (nine months ago) Permalink

In my case Stump are the opposite of an acquired taste - I liked them at the time and now I can't bear to listen to them.

Tim, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

i'd've like to have seen more ron johnson records in the expanded version. they don't appear to be available anywhere (not that i've looked that hard. there was an a witness compilation on amazon until recently. but i think the label comp is long oop)

koogs, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:22 (nine months ago) Permalink

(although maybe i am nostalgic for the names rather than the actual music)

koogs, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

Gerald, yes, your attitude to the whole thing is roughly the opposite of mine.

I can see that it isn't in fact a single pop sound (as legend has misleadingly suggested) and I tend to wish it was, because the other sounds are mostly ones I don't like.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:40 (nine months ago) Permalink

thinking about ron johnson etc makes me wish there was an online archive for 'underground' magazine somewhere. maybe there is?

i'm surprised to see your screwface at the door (NickB), Friday, 6 April 2018 15:42 (nine months ago) Permalink

Tim - why, what happened?

Pinefox - I love that sound as well; I am all-in with The Bodines, Shop Assistants, Close Lobsters, Fuzzbox, McCarthy and The Wedding Present. Later I came to love Stump, A Witness, and bits of Big Flame (who get too cacophonous for even me). You'd do well to check out the C87 and C88 comps. As mentioned, they focus on the poppier side and have very few duds.

Further down the indiepop compilation road is also the "Scared To Get Happy" box.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:48 (nine months ago) Permalink

Close Lobsters (to a degree) and (more so) Fuzzbox and Wedding Present are not really jangly or sweet enough for me.

But I take the general point and I do sense that the 87 and 88 compilations might be closer to what I like.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:50 (nine months ago) Permalink

It's apples and oranges innit. C86 was a compilation of brand-new artists while the others are retrospective genre compilations.

The connection is the use of "C86" for marketing purposes.

everything, Friday, 6 April 2018 18:03 (nine months ago) Permalink

twas called "shambling bands" not "jangling bands" at the time iirc; a jaggedness that might be clumsy and/or willed was one of the hallmarks at least as much as velvets/shangrilas indiepop template, or something.

Stump were magnificent.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 6 April 2018 20:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

"It's apples and oranges innit. C86 was a compilation of brand-new artists while the others are retrospective genre compilations."

Well the Cherry Red C86 box is both. But the songs it includes that were not on the tape include (esp CD2) stuff that's like what's on the tape. It's not that everything not on the original tape is a different aesthetic.

"The connection is the use of "C86" for marketing purposes."

But ... given that the original C86 was a particular thing (some pop, some noise, some Fall, etc), why did it become potent for marketing something else? That's the puzzle maybe.

For me the whole thing is to some extent a case study of how culture is reimagined, re-streamlined, etc, retrospectively for the needs of a later time. Though it's not entirely that, as some of what came to be casually thought of as C86 is present in the original.

the pinefox, Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:04 (nine months ago) Permalink

There's a great Stump thread on here

Mark G, Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:12 (nine months ago) Permalink

... and why did the later time have those needs?

And what time was it?

I'm inclined to pin it on the www-driven indiepop revival of c.2008-. I feel like it was around that time and subsequent years that I especially heard a lot of 'C86' as a category for indie discos, influences, etc, not particularly meaning the actual 'C86'. I feel like that was the time that the reinvention / relabelling process really took place. A clear-cut example is the idea (c.2008-) that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart drew on C86, though it would be harder really to point to a Pains record that sounds like what's on C86.

But maybe it was earlier too. Maybe all this was around by eg: the early days of Camera Obscura.

And maybe, even, by say the end of the 1980s, once some kind of idea of indie pop had been more streamlined and solidified (cf. the 87 and 88 compilations which draw on this), it was already tempting to look back and think of this in terms of C86? I can remember reviews of The Primitives in maybe 1989 putting them in this sort of context (ie: saying they were successors to Shop Assistants & Talulah Gosh, who at the time were exotic mysterious bands I had never heard).

the pinefox, Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

I'm sure I don't need to remind you all that the first BMX Bandits album, released in '89 or '90(?), was called 'C86'! This seemed kind of hilarious at the time because C86 was like the uncoolest thing imaginable by 1989. I don't know why the BMX Bandits called the album that but it seemed to me they were saying, "Yeah yeah, we know you think it's crap but we still like it".

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:55 (nine months ago) Permalink

... they might have just thought it was funny though.

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:56 (nine months ago) Permalink

Yes, I did need you to remind me of that.

BMX Bandits are on CD2 of the Cherry Red version with a song from 1986 itself.

I agree that releasing a record called C86 in 1990 is odd.

I don't think I have ever really heard a song by that band that I liked, but I might not have heard enough.

the pinefox, Saturday, 7 April 2018 15:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

I bought the C86 tape in a second hand shop in 1997, and I was surprised by all the Fall-influenced bands because I was expecting it all to be jangly indiepop, because that's what C86 meant at the time.

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 7 April 2018 15:02 (nine months ago) Permalink

C86 became a millstone for bands included on the album and also for some bands that weren't. BMX Bandits' C86 album is because they were one of the bands cast as and archetypal C86 band yet having nothing to do with it. And possibly because it had taken them almost 5 years to get an album out and some of the songs were from the C86 period. The cover has their skeleton mascot rising from the dead with associated iconography - just like Iron Maiden's Live After Death.

everything, Saturday, 7 April 2018 17:38 (nine months ago) Permalink

But maybe Duglas will show up on this thread to sort it out.

everything, Saturday, 7 April 2018 17:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

Stevie T pointed out to me that MIAOW was CATH CARROLL so I listened to this with new ears.

Previously I had heard or misheard it as some kind of Scritti Politti pastiche.

I also keep playing THE SERVANTS.

Despite my doubts, there is something about this compilation that responds to a lot of listening.

the pinefox, Monday, 16 April 2018 10:19 (nine months ago) Permalink

The Servants is Luke Haines's original band iirc?

you're my luger not my rifle (Noodle Vague), Monday, 16 April 2018 10:33 (nine months ago) Permalink

It was but he hadn’t joined by the time of C86.

Tim, Monday, 16 April 2018 10:41 (nine months ago) Permalink

Stevie T pointed out to me that MIAOW was CATH CARROLL so I listened to this with new ears.

Check out the Miaow compilation When It All Comes Down that LTM put out; great stuff!

early rejecter, Monday, 16 April 2018 14:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Yes, that sounds like a good idea.

I have just started on the Cherry Red C87 compilation. It's very good! Better than C86!

the pinefox, Friday, 29 June 2018 15:13 (six months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

CD2 of C87 is even better than CD1.

One song on it that I never really knew is LAUGH's 'Paul McCartney'. I find this tune quite compelling. Does anyone else remember and like this band?

the pinefox, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:11 (five months ago) Permalink

They are on the Video comp "Gimme Shelter" put out by the NME.

Mark G, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:18 (five months ago) Permalink

I know and like Laugh - our friend Dan Pantry was a big fan, PF. My favourite of their material is when they went a little dancier on SubAqua ("Good To Feel Good" off their only LP is tremendous, though I think a little less up your street.

They evolved into Intastella, who you may also remember?

Tim, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:35 (five months ago) Permalink

Thanks TH! Somehow I associated you with Laugh but could not find any specific evidence of this.

I do remember the name Intastella but not, just now, the music.

The song 'Paul McCartney' - apart from its perhaps appealing title - has a kind of rhetorical and emotional urgency that I find fits well with its melody and music.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 10:18 (five months ago) Permalink

Bad news update: CD3 seems to be where the bad, gurning, wacky, tuneless sub-Fall would-be-avant-garde bands have been stowed in this compilation. I had hoped that it might be almost free of them. It's quite a disappointment after the heights of CD2.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:31 (five months ago) Permalink

I'd keep going, the first 8 or so bands might be along those lines but I'd be surprised if you view e.g. Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes or the Siddeleys as tuneless sub-Fall (of course I like all the supposedly bad bands at the beginning of disc 3, especially the Dog Faced Hermans and A Witness)

Colonel Poo, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:44 (five months ago) Permalink

Yes, A Witness in particular has some great moments.

The next box, "C89", is coming out in a couple of weeks!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:53 (five months ago) Permalink

I agree, Jesse Garon and (even more) Siddeleys are definitely not in that bad genre. (Though there is a Jesse Garon track somewhere that seems to have some kind of Mark E. Smith pastiche on it?) So yes I will keep going, thanks.

As a friend says, it's good that they put all that stuff together and maybe I can skip past it in future.

I like the idea of C89 but I will need to get to C88 first.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 17:44 (five months ago) Permalink

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