Friday, 30 April 2010

The return of The Wrong People

One of the best albums of the 1980s has finally been reissued. Furniture's The Wrong People, which boasts the wonderful single Brilliant Mind, always sounded out of time, and nearly 25 years hasn't changed that - kitchen sink dramas played to brushes.

Stiffed by the demise of Stiff records and stuck in contractual limbo, it seemed we may never get to hear this way again (my cassettes of this, a second album and a 'greatest hits' compilation screwed up a long time ago). What makes this reissue especially welcome is the care and attention that has gone into it: sleevenotes, lyrics and additional b-sides and demos are all present and correct.

You could find such putative 'hits' as Shake Like Judy Says and Love Your Shoes ('I love your mind/And it makes me want to stay right here in bed') on YouTube but it's startling the punch half-remembered tracks like Make Believe I'm Him ('If you want to/When we make love/You can make believe I'm him') and Pierre's Fight still pack.

At the centre of it is all is one of the most ambitious, and dramatic, pop songs ever recorded: She Gets Out the Scrapbook. How humbling the revelation, from singer Jim Irvin, 'We were a bit afraid of it after we'd written it. I'm still slightly mystified by it.' It shares with the aching I Miss You a beautifully combative air of nostalgia; 'She's been working late/She comes home, gets on the phone/Calls up a few close friends/Gets a bottle of wine or something/And as the evening draws on, they sit and reminiscence/She gets out the scrapbook and they say/Did we really live like this?/Did we really, really live like this?' Yes, we did, and it's still lovely.

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