Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Definitive Del Amitri Rarities Series, Vol. 2*: The Waking Hours B-Sides

Glaswegian pub-rockers Del Amitri don't exactly have legions of fans. But among those who do love the band, there are no doubt many who own all six of their studio albums (save, perhaps, their self-titled debut, about which more later), plus the Best-Of compilation which featured a handful of non-album singles, and think they have all the material available by the band. What they don't realize is that there are actually scores of Dels tracks that were only released as b-sides of singles or on limited-edition versions of their albums. If you add up the many otherwise-unreleased original songs, plus live and alternate versions, the band's discography literally more than doubles!

One album-length collection, Lousy With Love: The B-Sides, was released as a companion to the Best Of compilation, Hatful of Rain, but that disc contained only a baker's dozen (plus one hidden track) of those rare songs. (Since that album is still in print in the U.K. - available at Amazon through the above link - its songs will not be included in these posts.)

And these rare tunes are not tossed-off filler!  In fact, many of them rank with the best stuff Dels leader Justin Currie ever wrote. It's a shame that more of these tracks have not been compiled and made available to the public, instead of languishing obscurely on long-out-of-print singles or import editions.

So let me do my part to rectify that!  Today's post is the first in a TEN-PART SERIES that will, collectively, offer a whopping SEVENTY-SIX TROMBONES -- er, TRACKS :^) -- which were officially released, but are no longer in print!

If you're not familiar with the band's output, today's batch o'tracks is as good a place as any to start. If you haven't been convinced of Currie's brilliance as a songwriter by the time you get to the two tracks from the Nothing Ever Happens single, I guess these guys just aren't for you.  Musically, they're far from the most original band on the planet, as they themselves would no doubt admit, but Currie's clever, grousy, funny, misanthropic lyrics mark them as a great band, nonetheless.

Actually, though, on their self-titled debut from 1985, del Amitri -- then spelled with a small "d", mind you! -- DID have a strikingly original sound, taking the spiky, linear, intersecting guitar sound of seminal New York band Television, and rendering it with acoustic guitars in more melodic songs.  Many fans of the band the dels eventually became (i.e. the Dels!) neglect or disavow this material, since it does sound so different from the rest of their output. Still, the debut remains my favorite album of theirs, and one of my favorites of all time. I wanted to start off this series with these tracks from their second disc, Waking Hours, since they will no doubt have broader appeal. But their are a handful of early tracks which were not appended to the great reissue of the debut from a few years ago (which added three bonus tracks), which I will offer next as Vol. 1 in the series, before continuing chronologically through the band's career.  There will be posts of uncollected songs from each stage of their career, followed by a series of live and/or alternate recordings.

I'm really excited to share this material, the secret history of Del Amitri, a band that deserved more attention than they got. Speaking of which, I'd be most remiss if I didn't direct your attention to Justin Currie's new, second solo album, The Great War, a strong follow-up to his masterful solo debut, What Is Love For. If these posts leave you hungry for more, make sure you hear what he's up to today!  Meanwhile, get ready for plenty of The Rare Stuff -- Del Amitri style!

Contents (Title/Source):
No Holding On/Kiss This Thing Goodbye
Slowly, It's Coming Back/Kiss This Thing Goodbye
Fred Partington's Daughter/Kiss This Thing Goodbye [10"]**
Another Letter Home/Move Away Jimmy Blue
April The First/Move Away Jimmy Blue
More Than You'd Ever Know/Move Away Jimmy Blue
Don't I Look Like The Kind Of Guy You Use To Hate?/Nothing Ever Happens
Evidence/Nothing Ever Happens
Talk It To Death/Stone Cold Sober

As usual, encoded at 320kbps for your aural pleasure.

* Volume 1 to follow (see above)
** The track here is actually from Twisted-era single Tell Her This, but it originally appeared on a 10" single of Kiss This Thing Goodbye.



  1. Thanks much! The Dels have been my favorite pop band since 1995. In fact, I'm seeing Justin Currie next week in Boston!

  2. Outstanding! I just saw Justin Currie in Chicago, and it was a fantastic set. He did about 2 verses of 'Fred Partington's Daughter' before stalling out. It made me nostalgic for my collection of Del Amitri B-sides I've long since lost the tapes for. Started poking around the net, and sadly (but not surprisingly), activity regarding their music is basically non exsistent at this point. So finding your post, and in a timely fashion no less, was a great end to the day.

    Thanks again! I've got the site bookmarked, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the sets. (With a small request to include a copy of Drowned on Dry Land if you've got it. I don't think it ever saw official release but I know there were several decent to great copies floating around back in the day. None of which I can find now.)

  3. Lucky guys! The closest Justin's coming to here in Portland this time is L.A., and while I was able to go down there for his show in 2007, that's not gonna happen this time. He did end up coming to Portland the following spring after all, so perhaps he'll make his way up here later, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.

  4. Jonathan, I was at the Chicago show, too. I have nearly everything the Dels and Justin have released, including Justin's recent guest shots. Did you hang around Lincoln Hall long enough afterward to chat with Justin? He spoke with fans and signed autographs for about 15 minutes (20 minutes after the show ended) Contact me if you'd like to swap stuff from our respective collections. ZooTV8 at Yahoo.com


  5. Well - now I wish I had hung out after the show. I honestly thought about it, but I was there with a group and they all wanted to take off immediately after the show. Glad to hear he did make an appearance, I wasn't sure what the normal after show routine for him would be. Next time I won't be so quick to leave for sure!

    As for swapping stuff - as I mentioned above I've misplaced or lost almost all of my collection throughout the years. Part of the reason I was so pumped to find this blog was the idea of getting my hands on this stuff again, but I really do appreciate the offer.

    And to PopCulturist, thanks again - I must have listened to this set of b-side more than is probably healthy, but having not heard them in so long it was like running into a good friend again and getting reacquainted.

    I'll post further thoughts about the other volumes in their respective posts.

  6. hey, you're amazing posting all this incredible stuffs! only a note, in this volume in the archive "Talk It To Death/Stone Cold Sober" is missing!

  7. Nice job. This is THE hardest single to find in a CD format. I bought it in 7 inch vinyl in the 90's but could never find a CD. Thanks.

    P.S Talk it to death is in a WAV file. You can convert it to MP3.

  8. Yes, in agreement. Their first album is my favorite of theirs and a favorite overall.

  9. I'd appreciate a repost please!

  10. Yes, the link is dead...

  11. Please can you re-upload so we can enjoy again


If you get a link, let us know what you think!