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Sunday 23 February 2020

Special One

A list of records that I love out of all proportion to their importance or impact would include Special One by Ultra Vivid Scene, a single from the New York band's second album (released in 1990 so nothing to do with the self- proclaimed special one Jose Mourinho). Ultra Vivid Scene were largely the work of one man, Kurt Ralske, who made two albums for 4AD, both packed with alternative guitar songs, Velvets inspired melodies and Mary Chain style drums and bass. Special One is a brilliant little song, instantly bringing Vox teardrop guitars, valve amps and wraparound sunglasses to mind and has Kim Deal on backing vox singing the 'how do you think it feels?' line.

Special One

The Special One single was a four track e.p. Of the three B-sides this is the best, a slow crawl through the streets at dawn.

Lightning (72 BPM/4 A.M.)

Nothing really happened for Ultra Vivid Scene. Apparently they played some gigs in London to support the second album, Joy 1967- 1990, that were terrible, 4AD's staff begging the room full of journalists not to review them. The first self titled album still gets played round here from time to time as does Joy 1967- 1990. There was a third in 1992 called Rev which I've never heard.


Michael Doherty said...

A love the original video with them sitting on the stools ending with Deal giving Ralske what looks like a very unexpected and hard slap across the face. Another Snub TV classic.

Swiss Adam said...

Ha. yes, that's brilliant. I should have included that.

Echorich said...

Mercy Seat from the debut album is one of those tracks that gave me some hope for rock and roll in the late 80s. It stood out from the dross for me.
The EP is fantastic. Funny how listening to it again in the context of all that has on my musical mind this week, how it fits right in with those earliest Weatherall tracks I've been spending time with. My favorite track on the EP is Kind Of A Drag - Funky Drummer meets When The Levee Breaks...and he makes them part of hid downbeat opus.

Anonymous said...

Rev's good, and sounds as different to Joy as Joy does to their debut.

Swiss Adam said...

Thanks anon. I should track a copy down.