Album: Play EP, Smile mini-album (both 1990)
Justification: Ride have already been in here twice so I don’t need to explain how not seeing them in 1991ish remains one of my greatest regrets, how their first few EPs and first two albums are damn near flawless and everything else until their 1996 split is largely arse, and how little I care for everything that the members did subsequently: the Animalhouse, Hurricane #1, late-period Oasis, Beady Eye, the lot.
Except for when I saw Loz drumming for the Jesus & Mary Chain at V Festival. That was genuinely awesome.
Anyway: shoegaze has been heavily on my mind of late because I’ve got a pre-release of the new Sounds Like Sunset album and it’s freakin’ magnificent. And that’s put me in the mood for walls of washy guitars, dreamy vocals and bands that sigh winsomely at their effects boards. They’re also one of the very few bands that I’d genuinely love to see reform, because I feel like the expectations would be gratifyingly low.
I saw Mark Gardener and his terrible hat do a tribute to Going Blank Again in 2012, backed by US psych rockers Sky Parade, and it was ghastly. Although they were supported by the then-just-reactivated Underground Lovers who comprehensively blew them off the stage. First time I heard ‘The Au Pair’. Amazing.
Anyway: with public demand for a Ride reunion pretty damn low (although they did get back together in 2001 for a Channel 4 thing on Sonic Youth) and Andy Bell having affectionately ruled out ever doing Ride again, I suspect they’d be a bit more humble and “let’s have fun with this” than a lot of reunions. And let’s be honest: hearing ‘Vapour Trail’ or ‘Leave Them All Behind’ played properly – and loud – would be perfect. Also, this.
This was the first or second Ride song I ever heard (first is either this or ‘Chelsea Girl’ from the first EP), and it’s certainly the only one I could play.
I used to pull it out at my endless solo slots at Merlin’s café in Belair in the early 90s around the point where I had otherwise completely forgotten everything else I knew. When you get to relatively obscure Ride and Carter USM covers, you know you should probably call it a night.
Incidentally, the girl in the video is neatly representative of every woman I had a crush on for the period 1990-1993.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE DISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: Swoon to the still-gorgeous, heartbreaking ‘Like a Motorway’ by St Etienne.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE DISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2012: We can probably stop waiting for Operator Please to reactivate, but ‘Logic’ is still a killer song.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…