I think I’ve said it before but The Bluetones are most definitely my band. I still remember buying Slight Return on single in Exeter’s HMV and the love-in had officially begun. It’s outlasted everything. As well as seeing them live more times than I can even remember, and some of the fun gigs that I can just remember (blame all the usual things), their debut Expecting to Fly has never dated…. and now we’ve somehow hit the 25th Anniversary of this classic and, deservedly so, it’s getting an iconic re-release on Vinyl, thanks to Demon Music, on 16th July!
Formed in London, The ‘tones consist of Scott Morriss (bass), Eds Chesters (drums), Adam Devlin (guitars) and some troublemaker called Mark Morriss on vocals, and they all do lots of other things as well. While it was Are You Blue Or Are You Blind? that kicked them off, and also Bluetonic, it was the damn-hot-hit Slight Return which threw them headfirst into the spotlight and also the #2 spot in the UK singles chart, with a little charm and a lot of style.
Expecting to Fly was placed on the shelves in February 1996, and even in the old days when you had to go into the stores, and went to the #1 spot and has stayed there ever since… honest! Today sees the announcement of this stunning 3 LP box-set which contains that original album, plus a 12 track LP of non-album A- and B-sides, as well as the collection of pre-fame demos The Early Garage Years. The box also contains the 12 x 12 booklet from the
original limited edition sleeve, as well as a note by 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq!
While there’s a few different versions of this release, this initial, exclusive edition also contains a 12” single featuring three previously unreleased demos (mastered for this complication by none-other-than Nigel Clark of Dodgy), and the three LPs are pressed on 180 gram blue vinyl, the 12” single on black vinyl.
LP 1 – EXPECTING TO FLY : Side 1: 1. Talking To Clarry / 2. Bluetonic / 3. Cut Some Rug / 4. Things Change / 5. The Fountainhead Side 2: 1. Carnt Be Trusted / 2. Slight Return / 3. Putting Out Fires / 4. Vampire / 5. A Parting Gesture / 6. Time & Again
LP 2 – EXPECTING TO FLY: A- and B-SIDES : Side 1: 1. Are You Blue Or Are You Blind? / 2. String Along / 3. Driftwood / 4. Colorado Beetle / 5. Glad To See Y’Back Again / 6. Don’t Stand Me Down Side 2: 1. Nae Hair On’t / 2. Castle Rock / 3. The Devil Behind My Smile / 4. Marblehead Johnson / 5. The Simple Things / 6. Nifkin’s Bridge
LP 3 – THE EARLY GARAGE YEARS : Side 1: 1. Are You Blue Or Are You Blind? [demo] / 2. Talking To Clarry [demo] / 3. CarntBe Trusted [demo] / 4. Slight Return [limited edition UK/Japan 7″ single] / 5. No. 11 (Bluetonic) [from the Fierce Panda “Return To Splendour” EP] Side 2: 1. The Fountainhead [demo] / 2. Time & Again [demo] / 3. Cut Some Rug [homemade 4-track recording] / 4. Talking To Clarry [homemade 8-track recording] / 5. Are You Blue Or Are You Blind? [homemade 8-track recording]
12” SINGLE – BONUS DEMOS: A1. Time & Again [4-track demo] / A2. Cut Some Rug [4-track demo] / B. Putting Out Fires [4-track demo]
There’s a host of links below to pre-order now, it’s released on 16th July, and scroll down to get to the info for Return to the Last Chance Saloon and the comeback of those saloon doors, in another special release from Demon Music.
Pre-order the Deluxe 3 LPs on 180g blue vinyl in inner sleeves in lift-off lid box, with 12 x 12 booklet, plus 12” single: https://amzn.to/3fRfW68
3 LPs on 180g blue vinyl in inner sleeves in lift-off lid box, with 12 x 12 booklet
As promised, now it’s time for a look at The Bluetones second album Return To The Last Chance Saloon, which was preceded by another Top 10 single Solomon Bites The Worm in February 1998 – a song that I first heard literally sat in John Peel‘s chair at the old Radio 1 (unfortunately he wasn’t there but I did see Jo Whiley!), a memory never forgotten. This ’98 effort went straight into the Top 10 album chart and followed with two more hit singles including Sleazy Bed Track and the absolute live-classic If…
If you’ve got the original vinyl, you’re a very lucky soul, but thankfully Demon Music are recreating the gatefold sleeve with the saloon doors, which are fixed inside the sleeve, and it’ll come on 180g red vinyl – Oooh!
1 LP in gatefold sleeve with saloon doors + inner sleeve, 180 gram red vinyl: https://amzn.to/39R4gNf
Anyone else feel like we’re in a Golden era for the re-releases of vinyl, for both new fans and collectors? It sure feels like it!