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Wednesday 6 March 2024

Don't Say Goodbye

A month ago I wrote a couple of posts about a pile of CD singles found in a box while looking for something else (last weekend while digging through a different box of CDs I found my copy of Spiritualized's Ladies And Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space, the CD version with the blister pack which I've been looking for since their gig at New Century Hall last September. Maybe I need to rationalise/ reorganise my CDs and their storage). Two of the CD singles from the first box were an Elliott Smith single from 2002 (Son Of Sam) and an EP from The Coral, same year, Skeleton Key (complete with sticker, still currently unstuck). Along with Skeleton Key was another single from the Wirral band, Goodbye. 

Goodbye is a fantastic song, four minutes of 60s psyche rock re- dug for the early 21st century, led by a piercing guitar line, some classic minor and major chords and singer James Skelley's old before his years voice. It's The Thirteenth Floor Elevators and The Byrds transported through time and space to West Kirby. The breakdown in the middle, thundering guitars and drums, sudden increase in tempo and wig out are all superb, especially when you consider some of this band were barely out of their teens at the time (Ian Broudie was producer but the band seem to have had a clear idea of how they wanted to sound). Goodbye also has a countdown section, a heavily reverbed vocal countdown from ten down to one, backed by muffled organ and guitars- countdowns always make songs better. 


Goodbye was always one of the standouts from The Coral's debut album and it's no wonder they released it as the album's second single. Somehow the intervening twenty two years have made the song sound even better than it did back in 2002. 

This CD single was an Enhanced CD. Not only did it have two B- sides but if you popped it into your computer you could watch the video, in those pre- Youtube days an exciting thing. The video is a fantastic promo for the song, the band shot at night in North Wales, opposite the Wirral peninsula, with some Wicker Man shenanigans taking place. 

These were the B-sides...

Good Fortune

Good Fortune is two and a half minutes of acoustic guitar, buzzsaw guitar, 60s melodies and cosmic scouse energy. The fact they put this on the B-side of a single shows how strong the group's writing was at the time and how soon they hit their stride.

Travelling Circus

Travelling Circus, fairground guitar and organ lines, breaks down for a question and answer section- 'what shall we do with the foolish people? Hang them from the church's steeple!'- before zipping back into its 60s psyche/ fairground crossover ground. 

My CD was CD 1. There was a CD 2 which I don't have, which had two live in session songs (Goodbye and Dressed Like A Cow, from a session at XFM) and The Coral Mini Movie, a ten minute tour documentary from 2002, a fairly unfiltered view of the group on tour, some fun in a children's play centre, and the world they were creating and inhabiting at the time. 


Martin said...

Yep, that still sounds proper.

Anonymous said...

I’m with George. It’s time to dig out the album... been way too long. - Brian

Swiss Adam said...

Played it a few weeks ago, sounded very good indeed

JC said...

One of those songs that I haven't heard in years.....and yup, you're very right to sing its praises and suggest it has aged very well.

And cheers for the b-sides.....having only bought the album on CD back in the day, these are new to me.

C said...

Ooh, now I really am looking forward to seeing them play my tiny local festival in May. Thank you for a timely primer!