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Bandwagonesque

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 29, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pop filled major label debut from 1991 features "The Concept",'What You Do To Me' & "Starsign".

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Crotchety critics complained that this Glaswegian quartet sounded too close to cult Memphis band Big Star for their own or anyone else's good, but Bandwagonesque proved that unapologetic homage can sometimes work. The Fanclub's mesh of yearning, ethereal melody and cranked, feed-backing guitars came together superbly on "The Concept," "Metal Baby," and the thrashing "Star Sign"--mini-blizzards of mellifluousness that yoked Alex Chilton to Crazy Horse and the Ramones. Dismiss "Alcholiday" as "record collection rock" if you must: it doesn't make the track any less sublime. --Barney Hoskyns
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 29, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1991
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen Goldline
  • ASIN: B000000P09
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,752 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
All the reviews are true, (except only giving it 4 stars) This album is the highlight of a very confusing time in music. When the world was hypnotized by Nirvana and labeling every rock band into the grunge category, you have a band that truly stood on their own terms and wasn't trying to make you feel sad. Rather they were creating moods of their own.

How can you describe the feeling on "The Concept" it's just musical stone still bliss. I think of this song as being locked into a timeless moment, and the music is able to swirl around your soul so very snuggly.

"Alcoholiday" is the song that makes strong men weep. Something about the singing really bends the mood and you feel at peace with their sound, caught in a twister of oohs and aahs. Out of all of Teenage Fanclub's works this has to be their moment in time. I find myself always going back to this one when I want to listen to them.
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Format: Audio CD
The inevitable (and well deserved) comparisons to Big Star aside, this is "it" when it comes to jangly guitar rock in the 90's. Along with "The Auteurs" and "The Apples in Stereo", "Teenage Fanclub" dusts off Chilton-Bell's sound and turns it into their own powerful machine gun of angst. If you love power pop of the classic variety this CD belongs on your changer 100% of the time. The challenge for anyone who teen'd in the 70's is to listen to "December", "The Concept" or "Guiding Star" and NOT be transported back to High School. Buy this CD yesterday (at this price buy copies for anyone you know in their 40's who hasn't smiled alot lately)! It's only one of the top 10 CD's of the 90's!
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Format: Audio CD
Teenage Fanclub have made a better album than this in the form of Grand Prix but Bandwagonesque is an equally essential purchase. Part self-conscious evocation of sixties' pop, part grunge-inspired guitar fest, Norman Blake, Raymond McGuinley and Gerard Love pointed the way for a host of cross-Atlantic guitar bands with a Lennon/Wilson fixation and a modicum of talent. Alcoholiday, a blaze of criss-cross guitars and heart-breaking lyrics, is one of the finest singles never released, while The Concept, Star Sign and Guiding Star are not far behind. Utterly wonderful.
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Format: Audio CD
Big Star means Big Time for me. Their number one record is one of my fave records, all time fave and i think such records deserve admiration, respect and a following crowd behind them. And when the crowd is good like these fellows, nothing to say. Alex Chilton but mostly Chris Bell must have liked this collection of beautiful, haunting rock songs. Teenage Fanclub have never touched this perfection again (unfortunately).
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Format: Audio CD
This is where is all started (discounting A Catholic Education). One of the great underrated bands of the last decade showed just what they were capable of in the messy, poignant, joyous collection of songs that is Bandwagonesque. Big Star blah blah - Teenage Fanclub stand on their own as a great band who write great songs, full stop. And they invented Travis.
December, Guiding Star, What You Do to Me and Alcoholiday are all lovely, but my favourite is the Gerry Love penned instrumental Is This Music, though how the Fannies managed to get their guitars to sound like bagpipes is a mystery not uncommon in Scottish bands (remember Big Country?).
Bandwagonesque is not as smooth as later Teenage Fanclub offerings, the wonderful Grand Prix, the excellent Songs From Northern Britain and their latest long player Howdy, but in its sheer ragged exuberance it stands out as one of the best albums of the 90s.
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Format: Audio CD
I just bought this album due to the fact that everyone says it is so great and because it is really cheap. Everyone is right. This record is fantastic. It is full of great songs like The Concept, What You Do To Me, and I Don't Know to name a few. Really if you are into highly melodic music with some distorted guitars I highly recommend purchasing this record.
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Format: Audio CD
With a sense of earnestness and a broad wink, this Scottish band has concocted a sound comprised of snarly guitars, melodies that beg to be whistled, and harmonies that are positively haunting. A couple of the tracks happily tread closely to bubblegum (viz. Metal Baby),others, namely Alcoholiday and The Concept, soar nearly to the sublime. If you are young, or ever were, you will enjoy this record.
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Format: Audio CD
Teenage Fanclub is one of those bands who garners a lot of respect from critics, maintains their high level of indie cred, but can still put out songs with lyrics like "When you tick I'll be your tock" and not really be self-effacing about it. The song I just mentioned is "Sidewinder", the album is Bandwagonesque, and the band is simply one of the best that 90's power pop (or any kind of pop/rock) had to offer. Starting out as a considerably noisier band on indie label Matador, Teenage Fanclub dropped a bit of the grungy sound and went for pure pop, Big Star style. Sure, the guitars still have a bit more fuzz than anything on #1 Record, and there's still some silly Sonic Youth style white noise on the instrumental "Satan," but for the most part these Scottish popsters nail it. Would be my record of the year for 1991 but there was darn tough competition that year (Adam Schmitt's "World So Bright" takes the prize). Pick this up if you are a fan of great harmonies, ringing guitars, and all-around great, melancholy pop tunes.

Best Tracks:

"December" - One of the greatest all time Fanclub songs that never gets the recognition of other popular tracks. This is one of those somber but still sugary sweet tunes they do so well.

"What You Do To Me" - Pure Alex Chilton. Fanclub defines their reason for being in about 1:50.

"Sidewinder" - A book called "Bubblegum Music is the REAL Truth" called this one of the definitive bubblegum songs of the 90s - Brains + humor + sugar = perfect pop.

"Alcoholiday" - Considerably more somber & depressing...see Greenberry Woods' "Punch Drunk," and add a purely gorgeous outro.

"Guiding Star" - Harmonies in full force on this Beach Boys/early Shoes-styled charmer. Strings, synths, just a great song that shows they can still tear it up without guitar or drums.
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