Oh dear, turkey time. As I ‘ve said several times I feel very bad if I ever have to be unremittingly negative about any LP in my possession, mostly because having no musical ability at all I’m in awe of those who have and, hey, even the worst LP out there is one up from any I’ve ever made. And so on*.
I mean the immunity the internet gives you to voice your irrelevant opinions to all and sundry is one thing but let’s face it I’m about to be unkind about someone’s auntie, or mum from Sydney, not spark the Arab Spring here. So let’s be kind and gentlemanly and bear others’ feelings into account and report that this LP is not a good one, in a kind way.
Remember that really good covers band around your home town when you were young? remember how they just rocked ass playing ‘Shock Me’, ‘Tush’ and, probably ‘Pretty Vacant’? ever wondered, around about the 4th bottle of lager, how they would do if they got a chance to record an LP? wonder no more, dear musical travelling companion, it would sound just like Ya Ya Choral One Small Step For Mankind. I found this going cheap in (the late lamented) Backstreet records in Carmarthen on 13 February 1990 – I’m guessing I didn’t need to buy anyone a valentines card that year! It was an Aussie import, there was a (badly drawn) skeletal dude on the cover and I’m struggling to recapture my motives after that. I genuinely think that before today, when I span it the regulation twice whilst painting my daughter’s wardrobe, I had only played this twice before in my life. There’s a reason for this.
The playing is the competent side of okay, the production is flat and muted, the song writing is poor and the singing is, frankly, awful. I’m sorry. The production thing is particularly tough, you get the right breaks and you get millions of Australian dollars thrown at you – maybe even enough to buy Mutt Lange and 5 weeks in the Bahamas; you get the shitty end of the stick and you get the best local guy and as many studio hours as you can, beg borrow or steal. It’s not fair is it? even so, the sound here is flat and awful, but I guess money was scarce at Rattlesnake Record, Sydney in 1990.
There are some signs of life during ‘Hit’ and ‘Clock’, at least good lead guitar but that really is it from the positives desk this evening. What really kills it for me are Fiona Graham’s vocals; kills it dead in fact, as I said I’m sorry if you’re a relation but she’s damn awful. I didn’t recognize AC/DC’s ‘Touch Too Much’ until we were half way through the first chorus. And I haven’t even quoted the lyrics out of context yet for humorous purposes.
As I said though I don’t want to be unkind, so I’ll just tramp the dirt down on this one and move on.
It does beg the question why keep this? why not just bin an LP that I don’t think I will ever listen to again? because I would then have to change the blog name to 1536 is not a good enough answer. I’m not sure what the real answer is, compulsion? a reluctance to airbrush my personal musical history? the fact that I’ve just had a new shelf built so shelf space is not at a premium?
Ah well, One Small Step For Mankind is just one step beyond for me.
*sorry, am re-reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions for about the 4th time and bits of it are contagious. And so on.