Saturday, August 11, 2007

Logo #23: Inspiral Carpets

To mark the endlessly depressing death of Tony Wilson (20 February 1950 - 10 August 2007), Factory Records founder and herald of all interesting music to come from Manchester - an endlessly encouraging pile - here is the 1986 "Cool As F*ck" bovine logo for "Madchester" band Inspiral Carpets. From their website: "It's with great sadness that we hear of the passing away of Tony Wilson. Tony was a massive supporter of Inspiral Carpets, giving us our first break on TV with his "Other Side of Midnight" programme and he was instrumental in us setting up our own record label, Cow Records. His maverick style and acerbic wit will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with all his family and friends. " Worth digging out of the record pit: Facd325, a.k.a. "Martin: The Work of Record Producer Martin Hannett," released 1991 as a benefit for the family of then-recently departed Martin Hannett. This compilation contains the Howard Devoto-era Buzzcocks; the brilliant paean to capital punishment, "Suspended Sentence", by John Cooper Clarke, who dated Nico at the end of her life and whose "Evidently Chickentown" appeared in the closing credits of the first episode of the final season of "The Sopranos." Also: "Do the Du" by A Certain Ratio, a band that Wilson tried and tried to break huge but for some strange reason the magic never quite took with the predictably slow listening public; "11 O'Clock Tick Tock", one of about a half-dozen U2 songs that are even worth half a damn; the 1978 "Jilted John" single by British humorist Graham Fellows working under the Jilted John moniker, a sad story that would six years later be picked up by British hardcore band Animal Farm and continued as the B-side of their "Model Soldier" 7"; and the breathlessly affecting OMD single, "Almost," which features one of the best of all possible synth melodies of the 1980s (OMD distressingly tends to play it about half a measure too fast in concert). Of course there's also Joy Division and Happy Mondays and New Order and as Franco Battiato's record label use to say, "bla bla." And yet it's not as if Tony hasn't already met God - it was in the movie. As with more than a few things Tony Wilson championed (the extortionately underrated Durutti Column, for example), one need only know where to look - and for how long.

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