One of the mistakes I kept making was the hashtag on Twitter. Going forward I have amended it to the correct one so that everyone can read it.
So Teenage Fanclub was my choice for this month and for a band who formed in 1989 with twelve albums released, their most recent one being Endless Arcade which I purchased recently. The tough task was to pick fifteen songs which I think do the band justice.
In the end my selections were dominated by Bandwagonesque (4 songs), Grand Prix (2 songs) and Songs from Northern Britain (3 songs). Probably my three favourite albums but there a few other gems in here.
My introduction to the band was when I saw them support Nirvana at the King’s Hall in Belfast on 22 June 1992. Up to that point I hadn’t heard of them but after seeing them live they became a new band to start following.
Kurt Cobain held the band in very high esteem citing Bandswagonesque as his favourite album. It topped Spin magazine’s 1991 end-of-year poll for best album, beating Nirvana’s Nevermind, their Creation stablemates My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, and R.E.M.’s Out of Time
It is very hard to describe what the band sound like. Their early sound embraces a type of proto-grunge on the first two albums – A Catholic Education and Bandwagonesque but they also owe a huge debt to the likes of Big Star and The Byrds which you can hear more in their sound in later albums.
Before Grand Prix came out, they were pretty much tagged into the alternative scene that was big on both sides of the Atlantic. Fallin (just missed out on my top 15) was a collaboration with American alternative hip hop trio De La Soul for the Judgment Night soundtrack featuring collaborations between well-known rock, metal and hip hop groups. The chorus was sampled from the song Free Fallin’ from Tom Petty’s 1989 solo album Full Moon Fever.
However hard people tried to pigeon hole the band, they were neither in the grunge scene nor did their fit into the Britpop scene by the time Grand Prix.
Around that time Liam Gallagher of labelmates Oasis called the band “the second best band in the world” — second only to Oasis. Songs from Northern Britain built on that success but they were far from a Britpop band.
The album title was a joking reference to Britpop, and everybody who thought we were part of that scene”. Norman Blake expanded on the title in 2016, commenting, “We just thought it sounded funny. No one calls Scotland “Northern Britain,” although technically it is.”
This is my top 15 Teenage Fanclub songs via Spotify. You can scroll down and enjoy all 15 tracks.