Barracudas’ Gluck Gets Vinyl Reissue

Eighties indie classic I Knew Buffalo Bill featured such luminaries as Nikki Sudden, Epic Soundtracks, Roland S.
Howard and Jeffrey Lee Pierce. “A
unique record with a rootsy, haunting sound, which mixes dark folk, swamp blues
and the ghostly side of
country music.” Amen to that!

 

By Fred
Mills

 

Musos with
long memories have long held that England’s
Barracudas, equal parts Stooges punk, Radio Birdman rawk, Flamin’ Groovies
garage/pop and vintage West Coas surf, were
one of indiedom’s leading lights during the eighties, particularly with
frontman Jeremy Gluck leading the charge. After the band broke up, Gluck – fun
fact: he was sometimes known as veteran British music journalist “Ralph
Traitor” – embarked upon a relatively brief solo career and despite being based
across the Atlantic was among the early proto-Americana/alt-country acts.
Later, he became novelist Jeremy Clarke (Necrotrivia vs SKULL, God Is
Love – Get It In Writing, They Shoot Reindeer, Don’t They
) and also wrote screenplays in addition to
his journalism career.

 

The aforementioned
solo career yielded at least one stone classic: 1986’s I Knew Buffalo Bill,
a platter populated by the guest star turns mentioned above. It’s been out of
print for ages, but now Spain’s Munster label is reissuing it as a
limited-edition (600 copies) 2LP viny set expanded with many tracks not on the original album (demos,
live material and B sides). We’ll have a full review of it very soon, but in
the meanwhile, Gluck
kindly provides some explanatory narrative:

 

“It was 1986, autumn. Over the years Nikki
Sudden and I had discussed, planned and written songs for an eventual
collaboration. Nikki was working his music full-time; I was writing and raising
my kid. One day Nikki calls pretty much out of the blue and says he is in
Fairport Dave Pegg’s lush Woodworm Studio recording with his brother Epic
Soundtracks and Rowland S Howard, and do I want to tack a week on and do an
album? I started packing. When I arrived at the studio one gorgeous afternoon,
the band had just laid down the backing track to Nikki’s remarkably beautiful ‘Gallery Wharf’. I was awed and enchanted. I
still love that song and my good fortune in performing its only recorded
incarnation is humbling.

 

“In the years since, I Knew Buffalo Bill has
been heard more, evaluated further, loved by a few fiercely, liked by many
more, overlooked by millions. The unusual combination of players and pieces,
and some great production, have earned it a niche all its own. In that time,
four of its key players – Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks, Rowland S Howard
and Jeffrey Lee Pierce (whom I only met briefly before and during the sessions)
have passed away.

 

“It gladdens me that our work on the album has
been the cause of one excellent shared homage (Italians Circo Fantasma’s
“I Knew Jeffrey Lee”), and that one of its latter tracks, ‘Burning
Skulls Rise’ (from the eponymous EP that followed the original album), was
covered by Rowland and Lydia
Lunch. Subsequently it has appeared on a handful of European compilations and even one modern
B-movie soundtrack, for “I Pass As Human”, directed by former
Flesheater Chris D.

 

“On this deluxe edition I’ve included all but
one track of the original album, demos, Bsides and, to bookend the album, live
material reinventing the songs Nikki, Rowland, Epic and I laid down recklessly
over 20 years ago. My favourite line of Nikki’s, from ‘Gallery Wharf’
– “What’s done can never be put down” – speaks for all of what is
here for you to remember, discover or rediscover. It’s a strange pile of sounds
and songs to have helped create.”
– Jeremy Gluck

 

 

TRACKLISTING:

 

Side One

1 LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO FALL

2. TOO LONG

3. GONE
FREE

4. TIME
UNDONE

5. ONE MORE
STORY

 

Side Two

1. GALLERY WHARF

2. FOUR
SEASONS OF TROUBLE

3. ALL MY
SECRETS

4. TIME
GOES FASTER

 

Side
Three

1. BURNING
SKULLS RISE (Demo)

2. FOUR
SEASONS OF TROUBLE (Demo)

3. SORROW DRIVE

4. EPISODE
IN A TOWN

5. APRIL
NORTH

6. THE
PROVING TRAIL

7. THEY’RE
HANGING ME TONIGHT

8. LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO FALL
(Reprise)

 

Side
Four

1. NO SOUND

2. THREW
THIS AWAY

3. THE OLD
MAN’S DREAM

4. PRAYER
OF A GUNMAN

5. GRAD’S
HOTEL

6. BAR WITH
NO NAME

7. NOTHING
TO ME

8. EPISODE
IN A TOWN (Live 2009)

 

 

 

 

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