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The La's [Vinyl] CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Vinyl, CD, June 20, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Originally released in 1990 on the Go! Discs label, The La's self-titled debut is a tasty nugget of classic British pop (Kinks, Small Faces) matched with the post-punk jangle of groups like the Smiths and XTC. Predating the second British invasion by a number of years, this, the sole album by the La's features the classic 'There She Goes' along with 11 other slices of pop goodness. Back in print on vinyl for the first time since its original release.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (June 20, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Plain
  • ASIN: B0013FDE1S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #613,432 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The La's produced one great album. Lee Mavers, in his quest for perfection, went through band members like some people go through shoe--he wore them out and then replaced them. Only the bassist in the band was a consistent member besides Mavers.
That quest for musical perfection led to the firing of a number of producers (including John Leckie of XTC and Stone Roses fame). Finally, Steve Lilywhite (Peter Gabriel, Xtc, U2) came to the rescue. He, too, was fired before the album was completed. Despite the checkered production history, The La's is a terrific album brimming with melody, jangly guitar chord changes and top flight performances.
I would recommend the Japanese import version which has 8 bonus tracks (all previously unavailable on CD b sides with the exception of the single version of There She Goes). This is the completist version of the album. It has everything the band committed to vinyl and had released. A pity that Mavers isn't doing much as he showed tremendous promise with this, The La's debut.
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Format: Audio CD
Though they didnt last long after the release of this CD they were together 7 years, 1985-92, some of them went on to form the group Cast. Some how it didnt work for the La's, but this CD tells a different story. 4 years in the making! producer after producer till they finally settled on one. Produced by one of the best, Steve Lillywhite, who also produced XTC.
The group is from Liverpool, and in some ways its obvious, yes you guessed it, the fabs and others, It wont take you long to find out who their heros were.
The song "I can't Sleep" is worth it by it self, the vocals dance for you weaving in and out. and the guitars on this CD, it will hook you and you won't want to listen to anything else for a week. The well known single is on here as well, "There She Goes".
The folky Doledrum is great, the vocals once again weave all over. the Beatlesque "Feelin" you will want to play it again and again on your CD player. "Way Out" this time the guitars do the weaving complete with hand claps (dont hear that much any more. You'll love it!, buy now and enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
Eccentricity in rock is nothing new. Ambivalence toward the rock audience is nothing new, either. I'm trying to think if there was anyone who combined those characteristics before Lee Mavers, the leader of the La's. Can't think of any, but certainly Mavers was both. Indeed, to this very day, he's evidently so eccentric in his ideas and so ambivalent about his audience that you wonder if he realizes he even has one.

Remember, this is the guy who rejected an entire mixing desk, a relic of the 1960s brought in at his own request, because it didn't have the authentic 1960s dust on it. He may have been joking, or throwing out a sarcastic comment because he wasn't happy with the work on his music, or he may have actually meant it, but whatever the explanation he certainly did not want this music issued in its current form and the La's have not issued any official releases since.

And that's crazy, because "The La's" is gorgeous. Everyone's heard "There She Goes Again", a classic of jangle-rock, but the album also contains a lot of acoustic folk-based material like "Liberty Ship", some hard stuff like "I Can't Sleep", a few slightly progressive tunes in odd meters like "Way Out". And then there's "Lookin' Glass", which is some kind of masterpiece of self-examination that veers from a single guitar to an orchestral suite to an electronic freakout over quotes from the other eleven cuts, all in less than eight minutes.

The sound is remarkably consistent, considering that Mavers had a habit of tossing band members aside every time he turned around.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album instinctively based on the reviews I had read for it. Of course I already knew "There she goes" (the original one here, not the recent cover by Sixpence None the Richer). But I hadn't heard any other songs by this one-album wonder.
The first thing that struck me when I listened to it was Lee Maver's voice. While most British artists tend to lose their accent when singing, his Liverpudlian accent comes right through in the songs. This is especially noticeable on the opening track "Son of a gun" when Maver's sings "...well person-arly I think that's fine...if you're in the right mind". Definitely the most unique pronounciation of "personally" that I've ever heard.
What also struck me after the first listen was how different the vocals and music sounded to "There she goes". It's almost like a different band, and I'll admit this was a bit of a shock on first listen. A few other songs, like the tuneful "Timeless melody" and "Liberty ship" struck me as well.
After several listens, the brilliance of the album started to shine through. Suddenly I started hearing things that I'd never heard before: the gorgeous harmonies on "Son of a gun", the brilliant guitar work in "I can't sleep", the superb broadway musical sound of the bizarre "Freedom song".
Then there's "Looking Glass", the superb closer to this brilliant album. I don't think I can praise this song enough, it is the work of genius. Listen to it again and again and you will constantly pick up new things. Listen to it again, and listen CAREFULLY. You'd be surprised what you notice near the end of the song. I won't tell you because it will spoil the surprise.
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