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

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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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) Permalink

There's a great Stump thread on here

Mark G, Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:12 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) Permalink

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

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

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

everything, Saturday, 7 April 2018 17:46 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month ago) Permalink

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

Tim, Monday, 16 April 2018 10:41 (one month 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 (one month ago) Permalink


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