I The Pogues: The Best Of The Pogues (Warners) Two points arise from this timely collection. First. Shane Mac( iow an is a poet. and those claiming otherwise. mocking his Faber l’ogtwirv volume. hay e a sadly warped. pretentiotis idea ofwhat poetry is. I’roof~— ‘A Rainy Night In Soho', ‘A Pair Of Brown Eyes'. Second. The Pogues. though blessed with a frontman with a drink problem the size of ligypt. have steadily . consistently endeavoured to extend the parameters of the tin-whistle folk-rock they're forever pigeonholcd as representing. It‘s the most accessible ‘world' tnusic you‘ll hear this year—- ‘l’iesta'. ‘lrish Rovcr'. ‘Body ()f An American'. 'Rain Street'. Okay. Shane's voice gets wobblier with the bleary years. but ‘Iiairytale ()I New York' is still the best Christmas present a pop group has ever given us. Great. (Paul W IIullah) I Mozart/Harnoncourt: Cosi Ian tutte (Teldec) Scottish ()pcra's 1990 production of Mozart's last opera buff}: emphasised the abstract nature of the plot'sconceptsoffidelity and deceit. This new recording by Amsterdam‘s Royal (‘oncertgebouw ()rehestra under conductor Nikolaus llarnoneourt centres on the latter. not only in terms of the narrative two young soldiers test the faithfulnessoftheir fiancees by wooing them in disguise but also by highlightingthe subtle ironies when Mozart‘s music seems to contradict Da Ponte's libretto.

This opera is unusual in that it has no clear hero; instead its protagonist is a sextet. The strength ofthe Ilarnoncourt recording lies in the compatability of these six voices. which. through continual interplay, bring out the beauty and range of Mozart‘s writing. 'I'cchnically assured to the smallest detail. it succeeds by placing dark cynicism at the heart of wonderful melody. (Alan Morrison) I Various: Atiistorical Debt (Beechwood) The cause: raising funds to stave off the looming liquidation that faces many ofthe smaller independent labels in the wake of Rough Trade's collapse.

The content: tracks culled from indieland's library the section marked ‘Classics. or thereabouts‘ ~ vi: Aztec Camcra's ‘Oblivious'. M/A«'R/R.’S‘ ‘Pump Up The Volume‘. The Field

Mice's‘Let's Kiss And Make L’p‘. The Charlatans' ‘The Only One] Know" and umpteen others.

The overview: A Historical [)ebl‘s

' worthiness can’tbe

denied. and if it saves even some of the well-springsof talent that can be found in

I the indie labelsjungle.

then it‘s done the job. And when it showcases 'alternative music' in all its guises from the cuties

tothe clubbers.thc buggies to the belchers

its significance is undeniable. Buy this and save the world. (Craig


'; IVariouszl'm YourFan

. (EastWest) A difficult

i task.hittingtherightnote _ on a Leonard Cohen song. llere.eightecnartistsgive

it their best shot.w'ith REM. Ian MeCulloch. Pixies and That Petrol Iimotion. among the better-known acts. coming out with honour

intact. But if yourname‘s

Ilouse ()I Love. The Lilac Time or Peter Astor. don‘t call us . ..

()nly eight years

' (‘ohen's junior. and just

as dapper. John ("ale is

perfectlysuited tothe stately‘IIaIlelujah'.but

Robert Forster has tuned in best of all to Cohen's wavelength. speeding tip

; ‘Tower Of Song‘ to a

rattling pace while retaining the sardonic

cdgethat lightweightslike Lloyd (‘ole appear unable to carry. Nick (‘ave's

version is just plain wild. ()ne ofthe first singers of our times to declare

himselfa Cohen fan. Cave

slays the father by thrashing ‘Tower Of Song' until it whinipers. (Alastair Mabbott) IThe Cult: Ceremony (Beggars Banquet) Romantics. that's what The Cult are. Everything they do is done with a grand gesture. a dramatic flourish. Both Ian Astbury. through his lyrics. and Billy Duffy. through his guitar work. hunger for times long-since gone when rock and roll and the spirit of rebellion and freedom went hand in hand. On songs like ‘Wild Ilearted Son' and ‘Full Tilt‘ thisis all well and good heavy rock at its best. simplistic and tribal and just the right side of HM excess. Things go wrong. though. with songs like ‘White‘ with Astbury's New Age lyrical imagery and Duffy‘s pompous over-indulgence. lfThe Cult could somehow have managed to strike a balance throughout Ceremony it would have been a resounding success rather than the erratic amalgamation of the excellent and the downright ridiculous that it is. (James Ilaliburton)


ITtie Pastels: Speeding Motorcycle (Paperhouse) A cover of Daniel Johnston‘s ‘I-ouie Louie' rewrite (and aren't all the best songs “Louie Louie' rewrites?) that‘s not only nothing like the original. but nothing like any Pastels record you've ever heard before. The instrumental version all bouzoukis and strings over a vaguely danceable beat leaves no clues as to the identity ofits perpetrators. Mark yourselves down a point for the tired drum sample. you Pastels. but keep on rockin'. (AM)

I The Wendys: I Instruct EP (Factory) Sadly. Edinburgh‘s Wendy’s are still desperate to be anything but original. Not content with their ‘lan Brown FrontsThe Bunnymen‘ routine (showcased here on two live tracks) they‘re heading a tad Doorsish (‘finjoy The Things You Fear') with eerie echoes of Josef K. llackncyed. but it makes for good

influence-spotting. (PWII)

I Pele: Raid The Palace (M&G/Po|ydor) Country music! With spunk aplenty! Raucous. spiccy. spikey fiddles. J Geils

Band chants. jump ‘n‘ jive

exhiliration! ‘Raid The I’alacc'. in its free-flowing good time abandon. is fun fun fun all the way! Country music! From Liverpool! Fanrockingtastic! ((‘McL) I Chapterhouse: Mesmerise (Dedicated) A pleasing piano refrain. a funky backbeat. and Chapterhouse get all lively on us. ‘Mesmerise'. shockingly. is animated and assertive. Despite the persistent airiness and almost-thereness of the vocals. this lot's gaze has moved from the vertical to the horizontal. Far sighted. far out. (CMcI-) I Kit Clark: Lovedung EP (Beverh) For the title and sleeve poem alone. Clark‘s solo debut is worth it. The actual tracks are Danny Wilson-esque in their literacy and richness. and with substance taking precedence over gloss. Lovedung won't win over any new. fly-by-night fans. Persevere. though; just like his big brother's. Kit Clark‘s songwriting talents are endearing and treasureable. (CMcL) ITop: Buzzin' (Island) Pleasant in an ineffectual kind ofway. ‘Buzzin‘ is pretty much indie-pop by numbers. Shimmering guitars and the regulation dance backbeat rounded off by fairly unremarkable vocals. Despite all the right ingredients the song simply doesn‘t possess the spark required to make it stand out from a dozen other hopefuls. (JH)

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- 031 557 2590, VIRGIN RECORDS







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The List 11— 2-1 October 199137