Ah, better to arrive late to the party than to never arrive at all. The Beautiful South first caught my attention with the melodic “I’ll Sail This Ship Alone”, which I caught over on the alternative streaming site flasbackalternatives.com (thanks for the tunes DJ Ed!). Turns out that the song was from the band’s 1989 album ‘Welcome To The Beautiful South’.
Back in January I was in one of my rare depressive must-buy-music trips to Tower Records in Buckhead. While I was thumbing through the imports section the album “The Best of The Beautiful South, Carry On Up The Charts” clattered into view. Flipping the case over I spotted the aforementioned song from the internet radio station and I immediately added it to my growing stack of CDs. Now, the first time I toss an album into the CD player is usually the worst opportunity for it to impress me in any way because I only want immediate aural satisfaction. This album didn’t make it past three repetitive cycles of “Sail This Ship Alone” before I ejected it and tore into one of my other newly purchased discs.
However, in the last couple of weeks I’ve finally listened to the entire album four or five times and realized that these are the same folks who sang some familar songs like “36D”, “Old Red Eyes Is Back” and “We Are Each Other”.
Do you remember any of those?
LYRICS SAMPLE FROM 36D:
Close your legs, open your mind
Leave those compliments well behind
Dig a little deeper into yourself
And you may find…..
So tonight I did some Googling and found a good bio of the group. Turns out that “36D” was released back in 1992 and I seem to remember that it had a bit of airplay over here for awhile. The bio also mentioned that this compilation album is the biggest things to have ever happened to the band (in England), going Platinum several times over in 1994, finally arriving in the states in 1995. So yeah, I’m a decade behind hearing this band’s greatest hits, but maybe you are too?
The two surprises on this release were covers of the songs “Everybody’s Talkin'” and a really well-done version of the classic “Dream a Little Dream”.
If you enjoy 80’s/90’s pop with a twist of irony, a hint of sadness and a whole lot of British flavor then make this CD the first stop on your visit to The Beautiful South.