Tag Archives: Rings Around The World

Rocks In The Attic #729: Super Furry Animals – ‘SFA At The BBC’ (2018)

RITA#729The Super Furries have finally managed to do what every other British rock band of the last fifty years has done: released an album of their BBC sessions. Still, while it may seem like an establishment move, their execution of the release is very much in line with what you may expect from such a madcap band.

Released in limited numbers by Strangetown Records, and through pledgemusic.com, the packaging is just awesome. The 4xLP box-set (£85) I managed to secure was initially available as a run of 400, while an even-more limited 5xLP set was available in a run of just 100. Thankfully, this was sold out in seconds – I wouldn’t have been happy with paying a further £115 for three additional tracks. Buyer’s remorse is a very real thing in the world of record collecting.

RITA#729bThe outer-box and individual record sleeves take their design from the Golden Retriever Yeti stage-suits that the band wore on stage, with a lock of the stage-suit hair included in a hand-numbered envelope within. The 5xLP set goes one further and includes some of the Yeti hair actually pressed into the fifth disc. I guess that’s where the extra £115 went.

Despite selling out within minutes, Strangetown Records announced a second pressing of a further 500 copies of the 4xLP set. This led to a lot of complaints on social media, from buyers who were understandably a little miffed at paying for something that turned out not to be as limited as they were originally led to believe. Without apologising, Strangetown issued a response:

It has come to our attention that there needs to be clarity on the 2nd press of the SFA at the BBC box set. There is no difference between the first and second editions so if anyone is unhappy at the thought of owning a boxset that isn’t ltd to 400 copies then we are happy to issue a refund.

While I’m not too precious about owning something that exists in limited numbers or not, it does annoy me that they didn’t press more copies to begin with. There’s obviously a demand for it. They could have pressed thousands and still probably sold out; and pressing in smaller numbers just adds to the horribly negative ‘have / have not’ climate of record collecting. It’s also annoying to shell out for it in the run up to Christmas, when you think that hesitation will be punished.

The eight BBC sessions presented here take place between 1996 and 2001, covering the period between Fuzzy Logic and Rings Around The World, and were taken from a mixture of Steve Lamaq and Jo Whiley’s Evening Sessions, and sessions recorded for Mark Radcliff and John Peel. Not a band known for doing covers, it’s a rare treat to hear them covering a fairly respectable version of the Beach Boys’ Warmth Of The Sun, with this song chosen as they’re one of the only bands that they could all agree on.

The eighth and final side comes from Peel Acres itself, the Suffolk home of John Peel and his wife. As somebody whose musical interests were as weird and wide-ranging as the Super Furries, it’s fitting that Peel’s Brummie drawl is the last voice you hear after the final song:

If you come back again, which would obviously be wonderful if you did, we’ll move the football machine, and er, so there’s a bit more room. That would be handy, wouldn’t it, if we were to do that? Or perhaps we’d build an extension. <sings> BUILD AN EXTENSION! Er, but thanks very much for coming anyway, it’s been a real treat. All the best.

Hit: Something For The Weekend

Hidden Gem: Some Things Come From Nothing


Rocks In The Attic #10: Super Furry Animals – ‘Rings Around The World’ (2001)

Rocks In The Attic #10: Super Furry Animals - ‘Rings Around The World’ (2001)I must admit I didn’t really love the Super Furrys until this album. I definitely liked them – my housemates at University in my third year used to play them to death, especially the Outspaced album which had just come out that year. In fact, I think I bought Outspaced first, on vinyl, and then I started buying all the others.

They were a handy band to have when DJing too – they’re probably the band I was asked most “Hey mate, who’s this?” when playing them.

By the time Rings Around The World came out, I had been buying their albums as they came out – Guerilla after Outspaced, and then Mwng – partly becase they’re an awesome band, but also because they always did something nice with their vinyl releases.

On Rings Around The World, side C, the side with Juxtapozed With U on it, plays ‘backwards’ – that is, you drop the needle in the centre, where the run-out groove usually is, and it plays from centre out to the edge. Sure, it’s gimmicky, but at least it’s something that sets the record apart from others. You just need to be bloody fast, when side C finishes, to save your needle before it does a suicide leap off the record.

I used to listen to this a lot when I drove over to Ireland to see my long-distance girlfriend in Wexford. As the band are Welsh, it’s quite nice that the album became my soundtrack for driving through that country to get to the ferry port in Fishguard.

Paul McCartney appears on this album too, on Receptacle For The Respectable, channelling his earlier role on one of the Beach Boys’ albums by crunching on some celery and carrots. Nice!

Hit: Juxtapozed With U

Hidden Gem: Receptacle For The Respectable




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