Eg and Alice. Who? Eg White (really!) is somebody whose work you will be familiar with in some form, promise. Alice Temple was a model and (I kid you not) a former BMX champion who has made some music too. This album is truly brilliant. It was made in 1991 and I still play it regularly. Enough said.
OK so why should I know him? you’re thinking. Well, anyone born in the 70s will have heard of boy band Brother Beyond. He was one of them. I know. No, come back this is better than you’re thinking. So what else? Well he wrote Adele’s Changing Pavements. And Will Young’s Leave Right Now. Limited range? OK, Kylie’s Raining Glitter, Linkin Park’s One More Light, Duffy ‘s Warwick Avenue. And songs for Tom Odell, James Morrison, Florence and the Machine, Maverick Sabre, Paloma Faith, Pink, Ellie Goulding, CeeLo Green, Sam Smith, Elle King. And on and on. Not old then.
Sadly, inexplicably, this album didn’t do much, although the critics loved it. Q magazine put it on a list of their best albums of the 20th century, which was where I spotted it, not having heard any of it. They described it as “the class of Steely Dan and the intriguing detachment of the Blue Nile.” It’s quite difficult to categorise, it’s pretty chilled out but has a quality about it which just hooks you in, and also a sort of sardonic edge that makes you laugh for no apparent reason. One of my favourite recorded moments of all time is the beginning of I Wish, where Alice just says “I hate this song”. I’ve always wondered if she did, and why. Then again a phone goes at the beginning of Mystery Man and Eg says “shit”. But it stayed in. It was recorded in Betty’s house in Hampstead. The rest of the album was recorded in Eg’s kitchen. It all goes to prove that all the production and technology in the world doesn’t create great art. LATE IN: FORGOT THIS, from YouTube!
The mood is laid back, but I Have Seen Myself at the same time manages to be quite manic and stressed, incredibly funky, and makes you want to just jump up and dance. Lovely slide guitar too. New Years Eve is massive, with another great guitar break, tablas, drums and strings creating an extraordinary groove, finished off by a dog expressing concern. Indian – was it a hit? It should have been massive, just a great song, and probably racist or something.
Lyrics? Well, these are worth investigation too
The same key that will let you into heaven will open every door in hell
It’s nothing short of love that we’ve been tiring of
I never wonder how we fell
I don’t like saying goodbye to a good thing
But this time I was laughing hard
Oh at how I could ignore what I traded Eden for
It’s amazing that I got so far
Saturday came round again, but nobody came out to play
‘Doesn’t mean that much to me’
I would love to get hold of the ‘Jesus loves you’ remix by Boy George, which was apparently on the CD single. (Late bulletin: it’s on YouTube). As it is, the album CD will cost you to get hold of. But it is on YouTube, as is (wow, back in a minute) the original video of Doesn’t mean that much to me! Hmm, you can tell why he was in a boy band…
I could go on. Buy it, or listen somehow, you will not be disappointed.