DGCD-24461 Bandwagonesque
Produced by Don Fleming, Paul Chisholm and Teenage Fanclub
Released on November 19, 1991
UK CHART POSITION #22 . . . US CHART POSITION #137
Find it at GEMM
DGCD-24461 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I f I read one more reference to Big Star, I’m gonna puke. To hear it told nowadays, all the little left-wing, acne-riddled teenagers of the ‘80s were holed up in their rooms listening to Big Star and making macaroni figures of Alex Chilton. Except me, apparently. I listened to bands that no one had ever heard of like The Beatles, The Clash, Husker Du, Cheap Trick, all of whom had no influence on the budding songwriters of the ‘80s because the world was being swallowed by Big Star. Now, maybe Teenage Fanclub were big fans of Big Star, but Bandwagonesque is simple two- and three-chord pop music, not the sort of thing you need to rifle through musty old record collections to find a reference point for. In fact, Norman Blake seems content to write the same song: “What You Do To Me,” “Metal Baby,” “Alcoholiday,” “The Concept.” Don’t misunderstand me, they’re the four best songs on Bandwagonesque and I’ve played ‘em about a billion times, but you don’t need to trouble yourself with reverse-engineering the history of pop music to find their precedent. They’re cute left-of-center, extemporaneous pop songs in the same general ballpark as Husker Du, The Pixies, Weezer, Blur, Nirvana, They Might Be Giants, et cetera. And the idea of making a holy grail out of Bandwagonesque is just creepy desperate. It’s a really good power pop record, but is it better than Nevermind or Weezer? Nah. In fact, there are post-Nirvana wannabes that wrote better songs. I’m probably just being grouchy this morning, but it troubles me when so many critics stumble over themselves to place music of low means on such a high pedestal. I’ll concede that Bandwagonesque is probably one of the most fun records from 1991, but there’s nothing on here The Monkees weren’t doing twenty years ago. Who, of course, learned everything they knew from Big Star.

DGCD-24461 gatefold sleeve
DGCD-24461 gatefold sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. THE CONCEPT    (Norman Blake)    6:07
  2. SATAN    (Teenage Fanclub)    1:22
  3. DECEMBER    (Gerard Love)    3:02
  4. WHAT YOU DO TO ME    (Norman Blake)    1:59
  5. I DON'T KNOW    (Raymond McGinley)    4:35
  6. STAR SIGN    (Gerard Love)    4:53
  7. METAL BABY    (Norman Blake)    3:39
  8. PET ROCK    (Gerard Love)    2:34
  9. SIDEWINDER    (Gerard Love/Brendan O'Hare)    3:02
  10. ALCOHOLIDAY    (Norman Blake)    5:26
  11. GUIDING STAR    (Gerard Love)    2:45
  12. IS THIS MUSIC?    (Gerard Love)    3:17

CREDITS

NORMAN BLAKE --
GERARD LOVE --
RAYMOND McGINLEY --
BRENDAN O'HARE --
Dave Buchanan -- handclaps
Don Fleming -- occasional guitar & vocals
Joseph McAlinden -- brass & strings
Keith Hartley -- engineer
Paul Chisholm -- engineer
Sharon Fitzgerald -- cover design and photography
Moneybag Logo used by permission of Gene Simmons

return to TEENAGE FANCLUB discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 1991 Creation LP/CD/CS CRELP/CRECD/CCRE 106  
US November 19, 1991 DGC CD/CS DGCD/DGC-24461  
JPN   Geffen CD UICY-2011  
NET   Creation CD 484210  

 

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