ARTIST: Belle & Sebastian
YEAR RELEASED: 1996
CHART ACTION: #13 UK (Reissue)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The State I Am In
LINEUP: Stuart Murdoch, Stuart David, Isobel Campbell, Chris Geddes, Richard Colburn, Stevie Jackson, Mick Cooke, Joe Togher.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Delicately twee pop band’s debut, all of 1,000 copies pressed originally, found a group basically ready to take on the indie world, one delicate piano and violin phrase at atime.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: First released in 1996, and now a collector’s item in its original vinyl form, Belle & Sebastian’s first album is a blueprint for the rest of their career.
Murdoch’s songs are playful pop ditties and the backing adds a touch of class and elegance to them. There’s nothing grating or unpleasant, and they do have their share of hooks and memorable melodies. It’s just not anywhere near rock – and that’s just fine.
These are songs Murdoch wrote over the three years prior to this album and performed acoustically before forming the group. It shows that he had these arrangements in his head long before they were put on tape. This is a great intro to Belle & Sebastian as there’s not a cut that’s boring or longwinded.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Originally, the album was just the completion of a class project and after this album and their followup that would be it for the group. Word of mouth spread and they were signed in the UK for their second album
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: A-: Put the kettle on, get the lace doilies out and relax. This is a soundtrack to a quiet English afternoon. (Yes, I know they’re Scottish…still…)