Often locking their best tracks away on B sides, Belle and Sebastian compilations are sometimes just as essential as their full length albums. The Third Eye Centre is a follow up of sorts to their earlier Push Barman To Open Old Wounds collection, taking in singles, EP tracks, B sides and even a the Avalanches remix all from their later more pop-centred years.
Vinyl Double LP £18.99 RTRADLP670
2LP on Rough Trade.
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CD on Rough Trade.
Cheers. Here is a challenge for your Uncle Clint. We have a new Belle and Sebastian album in but as it’s so nicely packaged, the powers that be (i.e Phil) want me to write about it without taking the record or cd out of its sleeve. Never one to shirk a challenge, I’ll give it a go.
It’s called ‘The Third Eye Centre’ and when I say it’s new, I’m lying. It’s a compilation of rarities and non-album tracks from the last decade. So sort of an update on ‘Push Bar Man To Open Old Wounds’ their last collection of non LP songs. And as a band who has often tucked a lot of their best material away on B sides, these albums can often be better than the proper LPs. I’m just going to have to nip on to youtube to have a listen to a couple of tracks - taking care not to type in “Prefab Sprout - Mysterious” to hear for the thousandth time one of the great new tracks from the bard of Leadgate which leaked the other week...
Ok so I can’t find the first track ‘I’m a Cuckoo’ remixed by The Avalanches, so we are onto ‘Suicide Girl’ which is one of their upbeat, almost disco offerings with everyone singing together on the chorus, ‘Love on The March’ is a quite pleasant French-styled folly, ‘Last Trip’ is pretty funny, all glam rock and twinkling glockenspiels. I tried to play ‘Heaven In the Afternoon’ but got Wheatus’s greatest hits instead. Ah it’s here, it has a lovely melody and a sax intro worthy of the great Clarence Clemons. I’m never sure of the Belle and Sebastian songs where Stuart Murdoch doesn’t sing but the lady vocals here a soft and breathy. Really good stuff this and better than anything I heard on their slightly underwhelming last album ‘Write About Love’.
We just had a debate in the office as to whether this round up spells the end of the band (sadly, this is what Phil hopes). I’m more than sure that it’s just keeping their fans warm for when they unleash their next album. The ever-boyish Murdoch must be about 50 now but he still knows how to write ‘em.
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