Monday, 17 September 2012

Jellyfish ONE : Royal Mail NIL

I recently took delivery of Jellyfish's newly released Live At Bogart's double LP on beautiful blue vinyl, which, in common with Genesis' Calling All Stations album, consists of three playable sides and one purely decorative, laser-etched side.

The LP winged its way over from the States without a hitch only for the Royal Mail to deliver it to a random address half a mile from where I live. Fortunately, and by some strange quirk of fate, a fellow vinyl aficianado lives at said address and, after realising that it wasn't meant for him,  took it upon himself to hand deliver my LP. Perhaps this isn't a big deal if you live somewhere like Alaska where your closest neighbours are likely to be at least half a mile away, but within spitting distance of London, such neighbourly, not to mention honest, behaviour is at a premium. A huge 'thank you' then to Khaled for renewing my faith in human nature and reinforcing my low opinion of the postal service. I hope your Bee Gees LP has turned up!

If ever a band disintegrated before its time, then Jellyfish is that band. The list of my top ten favourite albums is pretty much set in stone with the same LPs maintaining their presence in the list if not their exact ranking, their places in the hierarchy being fluid and ever-shifting, but Jellyfish's Spilt Milk has long remained rooted to the top spot. After their debut album's statement of intent, the band delivered its very own Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band / Pet Sounds / A Night At The Opera with Spilt Milk and promptly imploded. The band took their musical cues from The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Queen and ran with them, creating an album that, amongst a knowing, bewildered and ever-growing cult following is regarded as an inexplicably ignored all-time masterpiece. Live At Bogart's, which documents in its entirety a gig on the Bellybutton tour at Long Beach, California on February 21st 1991, leaves me kicking myself that I never saw the band live. I was certainly aware of, and enjoyed, the first album when it was released thanks to a heads-up from a discerning mate (cheers Ash), but failed at the time to work out where the band fitted into the constant diet of third-rate hair metal crud that dominated my gig-going at the time. You live and learn!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there are tapes of Spilt Milk-era gigs being readied for release. Incidentally, music aside, the richness of the sound reproduction and the quality of the vinyl pressing of this live LP is gobsmackingly good. A big step-up from the somewhat muddled sound of the recent Spilt Milk vinyl reissue, also on Omnivore Records: one of those rare occasions when, whisper it, I would opt for CD over vinyl.


  1. That Jellyfish release looks delicious...I should get this (I got the CD though). I think the first and last laser etched vinyl I bought was Styx - Paradise Theatre (notice English spelling there!).

    1. You are obviously a man of great taste, Nick. Paradise Theatre was my introduction to Styx, so I have a real soft spot for that album. I wonder why more bands didn't laser etch their vinyl? An expensive process perhaps?