Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:10 Release Date:2018-08-10
Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque
Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque

Twenty-seven years on after the original release of Bandwagonesque, Teenage Fanclub’s third album, is there much that is unknown or unwritten about it? Probably not, but there are the facts concerning this remastered vinyl version - the band did it themselves at Abbey Road Studios, it is special vinyl and has a bonus 7” that includes “Heavy Metal 6” from their second album King and “Long Hair” non-album b-side of the album opener “The Concept”.

Remastering improves on the original sonics, in many ways as if the blanket has been taken off your speakers. Also, the inclusion of the 7" is a bonus that does not detract from the integrity of the original album. The key question here though should be - does the ‘review’ of this album belongs in the new or classic section? And the answer is - both.

Bandwagonesque came out in 1991, the year that brought us Nirvana’s Nevermind, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, REM’s Out of Time and Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. Some publications (then all print) proclaimed it the album of the year, to the chagrin of many critics (and public) and the debate is renewed from time to time, probably on this occasion too. I would certainly play these albums once in a while (MBV probably more than that), but I can put Bandwagonesque on any day. Any time.

All of these albums in a way represent summing up on what went on before them musically, with each bringing on something new along, another musical viewpoint. Something that pushed rock music forward into the decades that followed. The thing is, Teenage Fanclub after this album kept moving forward, for all others named, those albums they made in 1991 were their pinnacle.

You can criticise Bandwagonesque as much as you want in the respect that it wears its then influences on its sleeve - Big Star, The Beatles, Beach Boys, the list can go on. But then, many would bring to the debate the argument that rock music itself is an art of arranging and rearranging the parts that went on before to bring on something that transcends those parts and brings on something new. And when you listen again and again to “The Concept”, “Metal Baby” and particularly “Star Sign” that is exactly what you will get - a sum that transcends its (brilliant) parts and comes up with something new.

So, sure, let the debate rage on how Bandwagonesque compares to the other 1991 greats, but the fact is that it is and will remain one of the best rock albums around. No question.

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