An interesting exercise here from The Wedding Present: with a play-the-whole-album tour fresh in their recent past and a Steve Albini-manned studio to play with having wrapped on new album El Rey, the group decided to record a live-in-the-studio version of classic debut album George Best. And so they did! This new version is punchy and energetic, and arguably closer to the Present’s original vision… On Scopitones.
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When the Wedding Present approached Steve Albini with a view to recording a 30th anniversary edition of 'George Best' he described it as the worst idea he'd ever heard.... but he recorded it anyway and here is the result. .
If you've watched the Wedding Present live of late then you'll know that they play their songs at about half the pace of the originals and you'll notice this as soon as you put the needle on the record as 'Everything Looks Daft' plods into view. So if you want to hear a cleaner slightly pitch shifted down 'George Best' then here it is. It's like a nicely recorded live album. One guitar in each ear, drums straight down the middle, Gedge's lyrics more audible.
Yet there's no real magic at play. It does a functional job of reproducing the original album with a slightly more polished sound. One advantage is that Gedge's bark has mellowed somewhat over the years and you pay more attention to the kitchen sink dramas he's describing.
Overall it does a job and Wedding Present fans may well rejoice at hearing one of their favourite albums in a different setting but without a drastic re-interpretations of the songs you really wonder what the point is,
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- George Best 30 by The Wedding Present
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