Reissue CDs Weekly: Ride, Juliette Gréco, Krzysztof Komeda, Priscilla Paris | New music reviews, news & interviews
Reissue CDs Weekly: Ride, Juliette Gréco, Krzysztof Komeda, Priscilla Paris
Creation Records' highlight, skimpily packaged chanson, early Polish jazz and rescued recordings from a Sixties great
When Oxfordshire’s Ride arrived in the shops via Creation Records, they were the sonic little brothers to label-mates My Bloody Valentine. But their second album, 1992’s Going Blank Again, ploughed its own path, leaving the competition behind. Twenty years on, this smart, book-bound reissue adds most of the tracks from contemporary EPs and teams the album with a DVD of a March 1992 Brixton Academy live show.
In the liner notes, guitarist – and future Oasis bassist, and current Beady Eye member - Andy Bell admits Ride were initially an “an amalgamation of the Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and the House of Love” – all of whom had been on or were on Creation. The label was Ride’s natural home. Going Blank Again found Ride stretching out, exerting a growing confidence and musical prowess to complete one of the year’s most striking and satisfying albums. It went Top Five. An EP with the still-stunning “Leave Them all Behind” as the lead track trailed Going Blank Again. Its soaring, surging beauty married Who dynamics to shoegazing.
When the album came, it revealed a band at home with to-the-point Sixties-style psychedelic pop (“Twisterella") and dramatic guitar interplay (“Not Fazed”). “OX4” was an out-and-out psychedelic reverie. There were missteps – the archly pop “Making Judy Smile” – but this was their confident peak. The Brixton show on the DVD has exemplary sound, and shows Ride matching the studio ambition live. On stage, everything springs from Loz Colbert's explosive, Keith Moon drums. A great band on a high, on a great album.
The quintessential Left Bank muse, Juliette Gréco has always managed the enviable trick of being cool and distanced, yet popular and engaged with the lyrics she delivered. This un-annotated compilation – no sources or dates are given for any tracks – won’t replace last year’s La Belle Vie box set, but it is a fine, atmospheric starting point. The 22 songs seem to be drawn from soundtrack appearances, rather than studio sessions. So classics like the Léo Ferré-written “Jolie Môme” and George Brassens' “Chanson pour L’Auverngnat” don't sound quite as you remember them. As the muse of stellar writers – adaptations of the lyrics by Charles Aznavour, Jacques Prévert and Françoise Sagan are also here – Gréco has always risen to the challenge, and is never less than dramatic and engrossing. Pity about the poor packaging.
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