Got some Wonderstuff CDs

Play tune whilst reading…

I was a big fan of the Wonder Stuff back in the late 80s/early 90s. I got to thinking about them after the Muse gig a couple of weeks ago, mainly because the Muse gig was the first time in years that I had pogo danced and, after the gig, I got to talking with the girl I went with about Brit pop and what came before Blur and Oasis. She’s 10 years younger than me and wasn’t brought up in the UK, so she was really keen to hear about it.

I’ve spent a while since the Muse gig reading up on Brit Pop and the Grebo phenomenon on Wikipedia, as well as shoegazing and various other musical phenomena that I was part of. Wikipedia is really quite good for this kind of stuff.

So, to the Wonder Stuff. My favourite album of theirs was always Never Loved Elvis from 1991. That was about when I started playing the acoustic guitar and it’s quite an acoustic album. I saw them live once at the Magnum in Irvine (August 1992) and was on crutches at the time — no pogoing then. In fact, I watched from the balcony. It was a great gig though.

Track from their first album (Eight Legged Groove Machine – 1988)

It's Yer Money
The Wonder Stuff

I started poking around on Amazon and saw that their early stuff had been remastered on CD with bonus tracks and for cheaper than an album costs on iTunes. So I ordered Eight Legged Groove Machine, Hup and Never Loved Elvis. Then I noticed that they had a new album out! Well knock me down with a feather! So I added that to my order along with the first Pop Will Eat Itself CD (Box Frenzy — 1987). They all arrived to day and I’ve been bopping away to Never Loved Elvis for a good couple of hours.

I have quite a lot of 80s and 90s music on CD and enjoy listening to it whilst acknowledging wholeheartedly that a lot of it is utter rubbish (Howard Jones anyone?) But I enjoy it for nostalgic reasons and for the memories that it brings back. Not so with the Wonder Stuff though. If anything, they sound completely modern. Never Loved Elvis is jam packed with mandolin, fiddle and some banjo — not something that you find very much of in Brit Pop, but there it is.

The Wonder Stuff were influential and I would go so far as to say that they were ahead of their time. It was a great time for music and it seems to be getting that way again now with the slow decline of Pop Idol and Fame Academy type stuff. Andrew Lloyd Weber seems to have inherited all that and he’s welcome to it!