These anniversary editions of classic albums come round every now and then, making those of us who bought them back in the day feel really old. We’ve celebrated the releases of ‘Screamadelica’ and ‘Nevermind’. Now it’s the turn of ‘The Sound Of McAlmont and Butler’ by former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, and vocalist David McAlmont. Now obviously I’m not comparing this album with the aforementioned, but it is still a little indie gem from the brit pop era. There is no denying that ‘Yes’ is a huge anthem that went beyond the rattling indie guitars of their contemporaries. They added a huge orchestral sound to the record, and inspired many other bands around at the time. Even looking back, it still stands up as one of the greatest songs of the era.
Back in the nineties it almost seemed essential to release a couple of CD versions of your single to get it into the top ten. Both were usually packed with bonus material. ‘The Sound Of…’ wasn’t so much the duo’s debut album. Instead, more a collection of songs taken from both versions of their two singles ‘Yes’ and the follow up ‘You Do’. The second single never took on the iconic status of its predecessor, but is a great piece of music nonetheless. It neatly ties up the album, and sandwiches the rest of their songs in-between the two hits. It seems harsh calling them B-sides. The term in itself sounds throwaway, but that’s not the impression you get when listening to this album. Track two changes the tempo and the sound altogether from ‘Yes’. ‘What’s The Excuse This Time?’ adds a bit of funk to the album and sounds more like Prince than the indie scene they were part of. Whilst their version of Barbara Lynn’s ‘You’ll Lose A Good Thing’ shows a softer side to the duo in amongst the more guitar-lead tracks.
It was always going to work. Butler turned everything he touched to gold. Whilst McAlmont’s rich soulful vocals stand him above so many other big vocalists f the time, and around today. If you haven’t heard it already, check out his solo track ‘Honey’. I haven’t listened to ‘The Sound Of…’ for a few years, so this anniversary edition brought back a lot of memories, and brought it back to my attention. It is packed with extras, including live and demo versions of tracks from the album, and a DVD featuring the music videos to the two hits, and live performances. They are also embarking on a UK tour. Dates below.
Sun 1 DUBLIN Vicar Street
Mon 2 GLASGOW O2 ABC
Tue 3 MANCHESTER Ritz
Thu 5 BIRMINGHAM Institute
Fri 6 BRISTOL O2 Academy
Sat 7 LONDON
The anniversary edition of ‘The Sound Of McAmont And Butler is out October 2nd.