Friday, 7 December 2007

Shop Assistants "Safety Net" (unreleased rough mix for single) (53rd & 3rd, 1985)

There's a story behind this particular song, and it's here, in all its glory. I do ramble on a bit, but look at that time! 2.18 am! I think alcohol may have been involved.
As it says in the blog post, this version of "Safety Net", without doubt the highpoint of the Shop Assistants short career, was the rough mix, and not the eventual version that was released. The comparisons between the two versions are pronounced: the stereo separation is greater, the vocals are higher in the mix....but at the end of the day, the most obvious difference is the lack of guitar. By the time it was finally released, David Keegan had quite literally COVERED the song in waves of squalling guitar. To be honest, it's those waves of nose-bleed guitars that give the actual single it's thrilling power, but it's really interesting to hear how it was initially recorded. Hearing this rough mix again, after so many years, still sends a chill up my spine.
I got this tape on a Saturday afternoon, in October 1985, the day after "Safety net" was recorded, and later on that Saturday evening, we watched the band open their set at Moray House in Edinburgh with it. I've posted that live version as well, plus the second song in the set "All That Ever Mattered", with Alex giving me a little shout out at the start :)

Shop Assistants "Safety Net" (Rough Mix) (mp3)

Shop Assistants "Safety Net/All That Ever Mattered" (Live at Moray House College, Edinburgh, October 1985) (mp3)

The Muscle Shoal "Summer's Here" (Treasure Island Discs, 1988)

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One of the best things about this little blog, so far, has been hearing from the artists responsible for some of the stuff I've posted. It's been informative, humbling and astounding, in equal measure. But, of all of the stories that have emerged, none has lifted my spirits more than finally finding out some information about The Muscle Shoal. Here's a band I knew next to nothing about, appeared to be virtually un-googleable, and seemed destined to languish in undeserved obscurity. Thankfully, we now have some meat to put on the bones, which has put a MASSIVE grin on my face. So, I think it's only right that I post up the first Muscle Shoal single (and one which I referred to in my earlier post), "Summer's Here". This was the single that first made me sit up and listen to the band, and I love it just as much today as the first time I heard it, 19 years ago. Enjoy.

The Muscle Shoal "Summer's Here" (mp3)