Vaselines – Enter the Vaselines: Deluxe Edition [reissue]

January 01, 1970

(Sub Pop)

 

www.subpop.com

 

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was brilliant as songs that
revolutionize the culture go. But Kurt Cobain was also a tireless champion of
quirky little indie bands your average MTV fan never would have gotten to
without him geeking out all over them. Enter the Vaselines, Eugene Kelly and
Frances McKee, an obscure Scottish duo Cobain took to calling his “most
favorite songwriters in the whole world.”

 

Most people’s first taste of Vaselines music, in fact, was
probably via Nirvana, who covered “Molly’s Lips,” “Son a Gun” and “Jesus Wants
Me For A Sunbeam,” a traditional they’d made their own. The Vaselines’ own
versions are among the highlights of this two-CD anthology, which kicks off by
presenting their entire catalog (two EPs and an album) on disc one before
packing a second disc with live recordings and three early demos (including two
most people more than likely never heard before, “Rosary Job” and “Red Poppy”).

 

The live stuff is spirited fun, especially “I Didn’t Know I
Love You (‘Til I Saw You Rock ‘N’ Roll)” and “Teenage Superstars,” but the
studio stuff is essential, endearingly amateurish twee-pop blessed with almost
childlike hooks and naughty lyrics (“Rory Rides Me Raw”). They bring on the
synths for a spirited romp through “You Think You’re A Man” and go a bit
unhinged on the spunkier punk of “Dying For It.”

 

But the heart of this album and the Vaselines’ appeal lies
more in songs that sound like demos for some great lost Archies album where the
cartoon characters have seized the creative control they always wanted. What is
that, a bicycle horn on “Molly’s Lips?” That’s so much cooler than Nirvana’s
version.

 

Standout Tracks: “Molly’s
Lips,” “Son of a Gun” A. WATT

 

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