Album: Up to Our Hips, 1994
Justification: I’m just going to put this out there: like Weezer’s Pinkerton, this was the Charlatans‘ best album – and, also like Pinkerton, its perceived failure was to taint everything they subsequently did.
Unlike Weezer, though, the band’s unhappiness with the album was also to do with the circumstances of its recording: organist Rob Collins recorded his parts after having been charged with driving the getaway car for an armed robbery (he was to get four months imprisonment for the reduced charge of “assisting an offender after an offence”). Collins was to die around 18 months later, crashing his car while drunk during the recording of Tellin’ Stories, but this song is a showcase of his massive swirling sound. Every time I hear it I’m transported back to the sticky dancefloors of Adelaide early 90s indie clubs, normally with DJ Craig or DJ Ian behind the decks. Yes, Adelaide DJs didn’t bother with that give-oneself-a-sweet-nickname jive.
This was the least successful of the singles from this album (following ‘Can’t Get Out Of Bed’ and ‘Jesus Hairdo’), but it’s easily my favourite song by the band – not least because the next few Charlatans albums were all about the band rediscovering their roots, man. Still, I’m amazed they still exist, and still do pretty decent work. Of all of the Madchester bands, who’d have picked these guys to be the survivors?
Awful video, though. Any time a clip is made up of hand-shot footage from The Road, you know this is the third or fourth single from the album and the band no longer give a shit.
UPDATE: Literally seconds after this entry was published came news that Deep Purple’s organist jon Lord – a massive influence on Collins’ sound – had passed away. And when I say “influence” I mean “if you listen to Deep Purple’s ‘Hush’ and the Charlatans’ ‘The Only One I Know’, the organ parts are identical”. Coincidence, you can be pretty coincidental sometimes.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010 and/or 2011: Nothing. Wow. OK, have a look at the freakin’ huge 1994 archive, then.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…