Music Pick of the Day – Catherine Wheel
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This album changed me. It changed my taste in music.
I loved loved Catherine Wheel’s 1995 grunge heavy metal album “Happy Days” when I was 15. I listened to it all the time, turned it up loud, and fed off its pounding energy. I was so excited when I heard in early 1997 that Catherine Wheel has a new album coming. I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t wait. Then “Adam and Eve” came out and… I was disappointed. So disappointed. Just so surprised to hear them so stripped down and bare. What is this sissy shit? You know, I thought I was about to bite into a sloppy chili cheeseburger with bacon and onion rings only to discover that I just bit into a warm goat cheese sandwich on wheat toast with beansprouts and eggplant. WTF?? Very startling and upsetting for an aggressive 16 year old. I listened to it just once, put it on my shelf and didn’t touch the cd for 3 years. I wasn’t alone with that opinion, many of the newer fans weren’t into it, and the label was upset, ultimately dropping the band and letting the album go out of print quickly.
3 years later, I picked it up again for some reason at the much more mature age of 19 and discovered maybe the most beautiful thing I ever heard. My god. This album is stripped away and about pulling back the layers and getting somewhere authentic. I can now tell that Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden” were big inspirations. I heard the song “Future Boy” and I was stopped cold. You understand the meaning of the song just from the production mixing, when the rising swirl of insanity and noise disappears into a singer alone with his acoustic guitar. I wanted to learn how to play this song on guitar. I’d been playing guitar for 3 years at this point, but it was this song that got me to turn off the distortion and learn chords beyond metal power chords. This started my journey through acoustic rock. And I was suddenly sad to realize that creating one of the most beautiful works of all time earned this band the reward of being dropped from their label and having their album go out of print to fade into obscurity.
Although they did add one radio friendly song at the last minute; “Delicious” is a cool song, just out of place here.
If this album didn’t exist there never would have been any Coldplay. Listen to Coldplay’s first record “Parachutes”. It’s a watered down attempt at “Adam and Eve”. But props to Coldplay, they were so much better when they tried to pull off Catherine Wheel than when they tried to pull off U2.
[B-sides and Video after the break]
There are 2 awesome B-sides that were cut from the album
[wpaudio url=”http://hustlebear.com/audio/catherine_wheel/adam_and_eve/catherine%20wheel%20-%20lucifer.mp3″ text=”Lucifer” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://hustlebear.com/audio/catherine_wheel/adam_and_eve/catherine%20wheel%20-%20paranoia.mp3″ text=”Paranoia” dl=”0″]
Video for “Ma Solituda” from “Adam and Eve”