The second box-set celebrating the career of seminal Brum band Felt is out now.
Felt released ten albums during the 1980s – five for Cherry Red Records, and then recorded a further five with Alan McGee’s legendary Creation.
An earlier box-set, released this year (also titled A Decade In Music), surveyed the first run (Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty, The Splendour Of Fear, The Strange Idols Pattern And Other Short Stories, Ignite The Seven Cannons, and The Seventeenth Century).
Now A Decade In Music Part II highlights the Creation period with Forever Breathes The Lonely Word, Poem Of The River, The Pictorial Jackson Review, Train Above The City, and
Me And A Monkey On The Moon.
These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been remastered and revisited by Felt’s Lawrence, and are available in a deluxe gate-fold sleeve. The CD version comes in a bespoke 7” box, complete with various ephemera consisting of: the original album in a special gate-fold sleeve; long deleted 7” vinyl single pertaining to the relevant year of release; reproduction gig flyers; double sided wall poster; and four button lapel badges.
Forever Breathes The Lonely Word (1986) sees the arrival of future Primal Scream man Martin Duffy on keyboards, and comes with the additional single, Primitive Painters / Cathedral.
Poem Of The River (1987) rejects the Robin (Cocteau Twins) Guthrie mixes in favour of the rediscovered Mayo Thompson versions.
Inspired by Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and Friends by The Beach Boys, Lawrence envisaged The Pictorial Jackson Review (1988) as being a collection of short melodic songs. But last minute changes resulted in tracklisting changes and instrumentals being added. The new edition returns to the original vision, dropping Duffy’s Sending Lady Load and Darkest Ending, and reinstating the previously missing Tuesday’s Secret and Jewels Are Set In Crowns.
1988’s Train Above The City was rumoured to have not featured Lawrence – a myth that persists online – though today, the instrumental album is pitched as very much a band album, with Lawrence’s input stressed as key, from concept, to sound, to artwork.
Produced by The Sound’s Adrian Borland, 1989’s Me And A Monkey On The Moon was recorded for Creation, but released by ‘el’ to fulfil Felt’s plan to release 10 albums in 10 years. Primal Scream’s Robert Young contributes bass. Accompanying single, the strange bubbling Space Blues, shows how fan the band had travelled since their jangling ‘indie’ guitar roots.
And that concludes Felt’s album career. Compilation albums followed, while Lawrence went onto to cult acclaim with Denim and Mozart Go-Kart.
The 2018 variations of Felt’s ten albums represent their definitive versions. But with the vaults raided, here’s hoping that they’ve also dug up a few more off-cuts, outtakes, and rarities for a complementary footnote compilation …
Felt: A Decade In Music (pt2) is out now via Cherry Red. For more details, see: www.cherryred.co.uk/artist/felt/
Also see Felt: A Decade In Music Part 1 preview.