The link today is that this is my 535th post and all of the four featured tracks have (according to Discogs at least) a running time of 535 seconds or 8:55 in proper currency.
The selection's opening song is possibly the most demanding. It's a different, longer take of the closing song from The Velvet Underground and Nico's debut album, taken from sessions recorded at Scepter Studios in New York on 25th April 1966. A couple of acetates surfaced in the late 2000s, one of which found it's way onto bootleg vinyl, CD and MP3s. The sound quality wasn't great and the acetate was full of pops, skips and crackles. In 2011 James Eldred, creator of the mighty Lost Turntable blog, had a go at cleaning up and posting the Scepter Studios Sessions and I think he did a pretty good job. European Son is a testing listen in it's commercially released form and this version pushes the listener's tolerance further still. However, I can visualise Lou, John, Sterling and Mo going for it in the studio and it takes me past the inescapable shortcomings of the audio.
In my mind, the only way to follow that is with even more out there weirdness and cacophony. Step up, Cardiacs. The opening verse sets out it's stall immediately:
We cut all his eyes we didSqueezed the lids and down the grog into holeHe skip with cow eyed smile to the blissfulInto craggy dress and we will we praise himWe will praise him off his pinsClear him of all sinsOh my! we sang with strength to carry onEncouraged him to sing alongWe sang of all the world and praised him hooray!
By comparison, She's A Superstar by Verve (in 1992 missing the definite article) is lyrically in the realm of 6th form poetry:
She got my woeGot my handTook the dreams right outta my headShe bought the worldI paid the billsI took those pillsIt was wind in her sails
Nevertheless, Richard Ashcroft's vocals are softer and more complementary to the music, a swirling sea of sound, with drums, guitars and vocals coming in and out to great effect. I much prefer early Verve to the worthy, anthemic incarnation that came later.
Julian Cope is no stranger to a witty way with words, often veering from the sublime to the ridiculous in the same song. Mighty Carl Jung is described on Head Heritage as a "pre-Autogeddon workout". This version was completed in 1997, placing it in the 'wilderness years' following his last record label album, Interpreter, in 1996. It's a decent enough song but didn't fit with the self-released and largely instrumental albums that immediately followed, Rite² (1997) and Woden (1998). Mighty Carl Jung eventually found a home thirteen years later on odds 'n' sods compilation Floored Genius 3 (also self-released) in 2000. The song is worth it for the lyrical pairing of Carl Jung and Donkey Kong alone.
1) European Son (Scepter Studios Sessions, 4-25-66: Mo Tucker Acetate Digitally Restored By The Lost Turntable, 2011): The Velvet Underground (1966)
2) Dirty Boy: Cardiacs (1996)
3) She's A Superstar (Full Length Version): The Verve (1992)
4) Mighty Carl Jung: Julian Cope (1997)
1992: She's A Superstar EP: 3
1996: Sing To God: 2
2000: Floored Genius 3: Julian Cope's Oddicon Of Lost Rarities & Versions 1978-98: 4
2011: Scepter Studios Sessions, 4-25-66: 1