This Friday 6th August also gives us another special The Bluetones re-release on vinyl, (as well their 25th Anniversary Expecting to Fly Boxset) with their second album Return To The Last Chance Saloon, which was preceded by Top 10 single Solomon Bites The Worm in February 1998 – a song I first heard whilst 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, ever forgotten.
This ’98 effort went straight into the Top 10 album chart and followed with two more hit singles including Sleazy Bed Track and absolute end of the night live-classic If… and this fresh release from Demon Music is very attractively recreated. In truth, those first 7-8 tracks blend effortlessly into one another to create a whole atmosphere that was different to the debut, but why would we want the same again anyway? It’s unique and really takes me back to 1998 and beyond, because the dark stories and songs stick in all the right ways.
Inside the gatefold sleeves, you get those aggressive lyrics and sleeve-notes in one continual sentence/setup, which would be impossible to read if you took part in the underlying alcohol-theme in many songs, but the Demon Music team have been good enough to create the ‘wild west’ saloon doors, which you could only previously get with the white vinyl version but I actually prefer the bright 180g red vinyl in contrast to the blue! The sleeve for the vinyl also has pictures of the flyers that were sent out to fans for releases, which were unique little newsletters I loved getting through the post.
While there’s other The Bluetones albums waiting to be added to my vinyl collection, it’s all coming together impressively so far, and there’s no knocking the quality at all, and at a very reasonable price in an era of great albums being slightly too expensive, this is a bar-friendly £22.99.