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Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Melody Always Finds Me

I remember buying the 12" of Timeless Melody by The La's, rushing home by bus, and dropping the needle onto the groove and being dumbstruck by it. Its sheer brilliance, the perfect guitar pop song, those clanging chords, a song about being in love with the song. Funny really because as everyone knows the band hated it and the album it came off and the proper fans had to hate it too. We didn't really have anything else to go off though so the badmouthing of the album was a bit odd when it all sounded so good. I saw them in Liverpool some time later and the songs were the same but different- rougher, rawer, all wrapped up in those chewy Scouse vowel sounds. This version is from a 1990 BBC session (for Bob Harris I think) and it's, y'know, the same song but different enough for you to prick your ears up and begin to understand what the fuss with the album was all about. I'm not going to describe it- listen to it and see. Whether this version matches the sound that only Lee Mavers can hear when he hears his band in his head I don't know. There's another version here on Youtube, from an acetate of the first album that was withdrawn. Many of the aficionados reckon this is the one. I think they could be right. There's probably other versions out there. The internet seems to have been partly invented for La's fans to share alternate versions of those dozen songs off that one single album. Craig at Plain Or Pan once posted twenty two different versions of There She Goes. I still don't know which is the best. Possibly the John Leckie one. Possibly not.

This is Timeless Melody, without doubt the best version of this song released back in that week in 1990.

Timeless Melody (BBC Session 1990)

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