lunedì 17 gennaio 2011
The La's "The La's"
Ci sono dei dischi che sono unanimamente considerati dei capolavori. Album che entrano nella storia e che bisogna avere nella propria collezione.
Uno di questi dischi è notoriamente considerato l'esordio dei The La's. Album delizioso e magnificamente pop, con un guitar pop davvero pregevole, ma non me la sentirei di definirlo fondamentale. Bello, fresco, vivace, pop...ma non fondamentale. Non mi piacchiate!! (1990 Go! Discs)
Gli La's del cantante e chitarrista Lee Mavers (Power vi suonava il basso), venuti alla ribalta nel 1987 con il singolo Way Out, avevano destato sensazione con il pregevole album di debutto, La's (Go Discs, 1990), che conteneva il loro capolavoro, There She Goes.
Il disco profumava di Hollies e Searchers, e spinse la stampa Britannica a definirli "il piu` grande gruppo dell'universo". (Piero Scaruffi - http://www.scaruffi.com/)
It's a disorienting fact that one of the most influential figures of British music in the past decade hasn't released a record since 1990.
Lee Mavers, raving visonary pivot of The La's, set the template for so much Britpop when most of the scene's major faces were just getting their first bands together or, in one notable case, still working as a roadie.
In an early Oasis interview, Noel Gallagher famously vowed to finish the job that The La's started. That job? To capture the naive energy of rock'n'roll and the unifying spirit of singalong pop, just as The Beatles had.
To harness raw adrenalin spurts, that wouldn't sound out of place in a stinking Hamburg club, and expansive psychedelic sentiments simultaneously. To sound like the '60s never ended.
Oasis succeeded in the task, but they never had the grace and strangeness of The La's, arguably the second most important Liverpool beat group of all time.
The one album they actually ever released, 'The La's', now comes digitally remastered - with five b-sides as a bonus - in the wake of 'There She Goes' becoming nearly as inescapable an anthem as 'Wonderwall'.
The ironies are huge: Mavers spent years recording and re-recording this slim and exceptional set of songs to try and get them as rough-sounding as possible. At one point, memorably, he rejected an original '60s mixing desk because it didn't have original '60s dust on it.
Considering he threw a decade-long strop at the audacity of his record company actually issuing 'The La's' in 1990, since he hated the sound of it, one suspects Mavers can't be entirely supportive of digital remastering.
The inauthenticity and all that...
Never mind its creator's whims, though. 'The La's' still sounds terrific, a clarion call to skinny boys with guitars whose influence was incalculably greater than its sales.
The measured chimes of 'There She Goes' you'll know of course, its elusive perfection untainted even by the memory of Robbie Williams and Sixpence None The Richer butchering it. 'Timeless Melody' is possibly even better, though, with Mavers' voice soaring and inspiring over a tangle of strum and friction.
There's plentiful cosmic wisdom here: "On the street for knowledge/ You must eat your porridge," he counsels on 'IOU'. But only the dope-raddled 'Freedom Song', live and direct from Trenchtown-On-Mersey, has aged badly.
After all, these were songs out of time in 1990, written too late for one beat boom and too early for another. When he could've become a superstar, Mavers disappeared back home amidst dark rumours of drug dependency and incipient madness, chasing a perfect sound intangible to everyone but himself.
In the meantime, others milked his legacy dry, not least John Power, right-hand man in The La's, who went on to make a mockery of the formula with Cast.
Whether Mavers gives a damn any more is hard to fathom.
Let's hope, at least, that the enduring excellence of these few songs earn him the credit he's due: legends have, many times, been made from much less.
Like many bands of the British pop movement of the early 1990s, the La's created a big--though short-lived--splash, then belly-flopped into obscurity.
Most will remember them only from their pillowy single, "There She Goes," but this album is replete with delightfully jangly, remarkably well-crafted songs and deserves to be waived from the stigma of one-hit-wonderdom. (John Mulvey - http://uk.launch.yahoo.com/)
Lead singer and songwriter Lee Mavers is largely the culprit responsible for the success and failure of this album; a perfectionist, he ultimately paralyzed the album's momentum with band-member changes, the relentless rerecording of songs, and obsession over details, which caused fatal delays in its completion and release.
But his pursuit of perfection was nearly achieved--almost every song had potential as a successful single. Truly a sleeper classic. (Beth Bessmer - http://www.amazon.com/)
- Son Of A Gun
- I Can't Sleep
- Timeless Melody
- Liberty Ship
- There She Goes
- Way Out
- Freedom Song
- Looking Glass
- All By Myself
- Clean Prophet
- Knock Me Down
- Over (Live In A Stable In Liverpool)
- I.O.U. (Alternative Version)