These past weeks have been nonstop with my agenda booked with many events regardless my current situation. Live shows, visits from friends staying at the Hellhouse, me spending some time with friends at a town by the sea, new album releases with Handwritten catching my attention on week 29…with so much movement I’ve listened to much music, but being the calendar so crazy, it’s also difficult to mark an album I’ve listened over the others lately.
For the past two weeks, and excited about the special program on Viva Las Vegas radio related to The Wildhearts, I’ve just realized I’ve been listening to this band like crazy. As I’m not sure which was first, I’ll tell you about their debut album, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, and then my last purchase to complete the studio albums collection, The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed.
I’ve never hidden my passion for this band here in Since My Baby Left Me, telling different stories related to their show in Barcelona, the purchase of a single, naming a list of MUST have albums to start with this band, and following every movement performed by their leader, Ginger.
I will never stop thanking my friend Jaume for recording me their Best Of album 10 years ago, I didn’t pay much attention the first time I listened to it, because The Wildhearts are not easy at the first hearing, due to the extended length of their songs, including many different parts and rhythms, and also the melodies in vocals, completely influenced by The Beatles. I wasn’t ready for that, but, once I was in the right mood, I was converted into Wildheartism for good.
Nowadays I’d reckon The Wildhearts have a place in my personal Top 5. It is so unfortunate this band is cursed and have never reached the level of popularity and recognition they deserve, it makes me feel bad, so I’m trying to convince people to appreciate their talent all the time.
If you want to know what real pain is, try to collect all their items, vinyls, singles, LP and CD editions… it’s almost impossible, and quite frustrating, and the money investment would be insane. At this point I have all the studio albums and some of their compilations, and little by little I’m acquiring live CDs and DVDs, but it’ll take some time.
I’m super glad of finding their debut album, Earth Vs The Wildhearts, in Japanese edition, precisely in the land of the rising sun, the only country, together with UK, where the band has an outstanding success, and consequently special editions of their stuff has been issued.
Perhaps the timing had to do with the starting of the curse on the band, as 1993, the year this first album was issued, was 1993, and looking back in the day, there was the dominance of Seattle sounds and all this grunge wave, thus, this mixture of metal with Beatles melodies was a cocktail only worth tasting for the Brits.
Most likely a diehard fan of the band will tell you this is their best album, full of singles, we consider hits, starting from Greetings from Shitsville, followed by TV Tan, Everlone, My Baby Is a Headfuck, Suckerpunch…Absolutely necessary in our existence. As my friend Artie said the other day, the energy of the songs deliver uppers regardless of the negative subjects certain songs might deal with. You listen to the album, and won’t be able to do it laid on the couch bored because your heart beats will accelerate their rhythm.
After many drugs, few studio albums, and lots of compilations, a dark period started with the absence of CJ from the band, to end in a long break (1997-2001). In 2001, the bassist Danny McCormack was fired from the band due to its alarming and un controllable heroin addiction, and CJ was back in.
The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed was released in 2003. Ginger was responsible for the recording of the bass lines, until a new replacement was found (Jon Poole and Scott Sorry would come later) and being the situation under control, the band recovered, so to speak, part of the classic sound that had become their trademark. Thus, milder and more easy listening tunes such as Someone that Won’t Let Me Go, Top of the World, or Vanilla Radio were delivered.
This album is less complex regarding structures, timing of songs is shortened, melodies are predominant, and the harder parts are reduced, being this their pop album, and consequently becoming commercially more successful and popular than the previous ones.
One week ago, Artie, Javi, the leader of the punk rock band based in Madrid, The Diesel Dogs, which opened for The Wildhearts two nights in their last visit to Spain back in 2008, and I, packed with CD’s, some beers, and lots of anecdotes, pending conversations and great mood for it, went to Radio Enlace headquarters, for recording a special program for Viva Las Vegas revisiting the career and history of this band we love so much. The result was one hour mainly talking stories, and listening to some tunes. An hour wasn’t enough, as you can imagine, yet the experience was delightful, and the company high class.
Not many cult bands followed by minorities can count with so many passionate and dedicated fans. This could be labeled as a brotherhood. Once you are in, there’s no turning back and you’ll be devoted of the band for good. I’m proud of supporting and adoring The Wildhearts, and although there’s always a sense of frustration every time there’s a hiatus, or a tour which never calls off Spain, just playing any of their albums out loud, reminds me of their greatness, cheering me up to the max. This band is like a gift, a priceless treasure.
You should trust me, and give them a try…you won’t regret.