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“Going Blank Again,” Again: Ride to Reissue Sophomore Album with Bonus Live Film

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Following Rhino’s great expansion of the debut LP by shoegaze pioneers Ride, the U.K. band are expanding their second album through an independent label with some audiovisual extras packaged in the set.

Going Blank Again, released 20 years ago in 1992, was a bit of an evolution from the traditional, reverb-heavy sounds of their full-length debut, 1990’s Nowhere. While the guitars still had their typical buzzsaw sensibilities, the band experimented with more layered vocals and a less guitar-heavy mix, drawing comparisons with, surprisingly, power-pop labelmates Teenage Fanclub. NME‘s review sums it up nicely: “[Going Blank Again] fills in the lines between Ride’s beauty with cement and then builds like a demon. There is no stone left unturned, as they open up to new reference points…would you believe King Crimson? New Order? The Who? The Beach Boys?”

The deluxe edition of Going Blank Again, to be released through Oxford Music, will feature four bonus tracks from non-LP singles (the same tracks appended on a reissue from Ignition Records in the U.K. in 2001), as well as the first-ever DVD release of Brixton, a 1992 live show released on VHS (and laserdisc in Japan). The show is presented fresh from the original digital video master, with a new audio remix by John Catlin and Catherine Marks (the latter of whom mixed the live show on the bonus disc of Rhino’s Nowhere reissue).

The first 2,000 copies of the album – discounted at £20, from a non-numbered list price of £24 – will be numbered (as of this writing, more than 1,400 are left); of those, 50 random copies will be signed by all four members of the band. A pound from every sale will be donated to the U.K. charity Friends of the Earth Bee Cause.

Check out the set after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 25, 2012 at 15:49

Posted in News, Reissues, Ride

Light in the Attic Shines with Rhino Distribution Deal

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One of the biggest negatives about the Rhino Records catalogue in recent years is that the label’s Handmade titles are generally limited to Rhino’s website. Reissues and limited box sets by Hip-o Select and Legacy will easily find their way on the shelves at any forward-thinking independent record store, but with Rhino, it seems harder to come by.

Thanks to a rising star among indie record labels, that may be about to change. Rhino has announced a distribution deal with Light in the Attic Records to press titles from the Rhino Handmade catalogue and get them into new markets.

Light in the Attic, a Seattle-based label that counts reissues by Serge Gainsbourg, Kris Kristofferson, Charles “Packy” Axton and Motown’s MoWest Records label in their nearly decade-long history, has gained some great (and deserved) plaudits from the catalogue world for their recent efforts. Under the terms of the deal, Handmade titles will remain at Rhino’s website for 60 days before Light in the Attic handles general retail distribution.

The first two titles to be redistributed by the indie will be Handmade’s expanded editions of Tim Buckley’s 1966 debut album and Ride’s Nowhere, streeting October 4 and 18, respectively. It’s quite an auspicious move for both labels, and both are getting a hearty congratulations from Second Disc HQ. And, as always, be sure to keep an eye out right here for more news as it develops.

Written by Mike Duquette

September 21, 2011 at 10:07

Posted in News, Reissues, Ride, Tim Buckley

Review: Ride, “Nowhere: 20th Anniversary Edition”

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Rock music has a definite genre problem. When Rhino Handmade announced the reissue of Ride’s Nowhere late last year, some absent-minded reading on Wikipedia yielded a primer on the shoegaze genre. “Shoegaze” is one of those things you might encounter if you were a voracious reader of music reviews in the early ’90s, but it might have just been a word rather than a whole genre.

Shoegaze was a mini-genre assigned to bands with a particular style – particularly, effects-laden guitars taking center-stage, washing over the vocal tracks in a Wall of Sound-like fashion. (The term itself came from the mostly unmoving stance of the performers on stage, eyes usually cast downward to focus on the changing of effects pedals.) While shoegaze has certainly earned its keep as a genre – thanks in large part to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless – part of me feels the whole assignment of the genre seems unnecessary. Shoegaze, like indie-rock and Britpop and grunge and industrial, is rock and roll, and it carries the basic qualities you’d expect from rock, regardless of guitar and vocal texture.

That was the initial takeaway in hearing Rhino’s expanded Nowhere package (Rhino Handmade RHM2 525247), finally released last week. While the album is rightfully seen as one of the great LPs of the shoegaze era – to many, it sits right next to Loveless – it seems ridiculous to judge its merits on a genre that was largely blown off the map by grunge, itself replaced by Britpop years later and so on. Indeed, it seems not a second goes by on the album without the triumphant, insistent ringing of a guitar. And it’s not easy to inherently pick up on what Mark Gardener and Andy Bell are singing. But let it be known: more than any other genre, Nowhere is a great rock album.

The first disc is full of enough studio mastery to entice the first-time listener. Fifteen tracks are presented on Disc 1, listed as the contents of the Nowhere LP and the Today Forever EP from 1991. This is technically true, although original pressings of Nowhere only had eight tracks. That would make Tracks 9-11 officially stem from a different EP, Fall, and it’s admittedly a far better listen knowing that those tracks can be indexed separately. The eight-track Nowhere is a sublime experience, heavy on sweet harmonies from Gardener and Bell and those hypnotic guitars (though the rhythm section – bassist Steve Queralt and drummer Laurence Colbert – are just as vital to Ride’s sound). Those eight tracks continue to plateau through the urgent cooldown of the last three tracks, “Decay,” “Paralysed” and “Vapour Trail.” Compared to the slightly more ragged, effects-heavier and generally shorter-length treatment on the tracks from Fall and Today Forever, Nowhere deserves to be eight tracks. (Not that the other tracks aren’t welcome, but the rush of those first eight tunes are hard to compare.)

Rhino’s package is further fleshed out by a 12-track live disc recorded at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles in 1991. The form of the tracks doesn’t deviate terribly from how they’re heard in the studio, but there seems to be a greater separation of guitar tracks and a heavier emphasis on rhythm. (The trade-off is rawer vocals with far less harmonies. Think of it as an alternate mix of the album, in that respect.)

Bottom line? If you’re a shoegaze fan, you’re going to want to pick this reissue up. But if you’d rather dispense with that genre and opt for some straightforward rock-and-roll goodness…you’re still going to want to spring for this one.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 21, 2011 at 16:20

Posted in Reissues, Reviews, Ride

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“Nowhere” Goes Somewhere for 20th Anniversary (UPDATED 11/29)

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Another deluxe title is on its way from Rhino Handmade next month, and it’s a good one for any shoegaze fans out there: Pitchfork reports that the label is reissuing Nowhere, the debut LP by Ride, for its 20th anniversary.

Ride were a British alt-rock band in the tradition of The Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. All of those outfits were deemed “shoegaze” bands by the British music press, a term which would describe bands heavy on distorted but melodic guitars. (Some say the term itself came from most of those bands’ postures, which were still and introspective as the band focuses intently on their instruments; others say it came from the heavy usage of effects pedals, which are of course placed on the ground for guitarists to manipulate with their feet.)

Whatever the origin, Ride, hailing from Oxford, are considered one of the best-loved bands from the subgenre. Nowhere, a Top 20 U.K. hit which followed three successful EPs, is considered by some critics to be second only to My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless as the best example of the scene and its sound. Ironically, Ride would spend the rest of their careers attempting to leave that label behind, experimenting with power-pop and AOR styles before splitting in 1996. The band briefly reunited in 2001 and its members have worked together since, but each has enough projects on their plates to never have to worry about a proper reunion: drummer Laurence Colbert has lent his skills to the recently-reformed Jesus and Mary Chain, vocalist Mark Gardener has eked out a moderately successful solo career, and guitarist Andy Bell became the bassist for Oasis in 2000. (He remains a member of Noel Gallagher-less splinter group Beady Eye, who recently released their first single.)

This deluxe edition of Nowhere features one disc of the original LP and the extra tracks from EPs Fall and Today Forever. (The Fall tracks were added as extra-value content on the original CD version of the album; the Today Forever EP was appended to the album for a 2001 remaster on Ignition Records in England.) It also features a bonus disc of a live show at Hollywood’s Roxy Theatre, which was only ever released in part on a promotional disc. The deluxe packaging includes a lenticular version of the album cover and an essay by noted critic Jim DeRogatis.

The whole set will be available on December 21. (You can order it from Rhino now.) Hit the jump to read the track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 29, 2010 at 11:08

Posted in News, Reissues, Ride