A limited to 300 Gate Fold ‘vinyl only’ issue.
This album is a selection of recordings The Merry Babes made over a period of 5 years, when we were trying to get a record deal, while cutting our teeth on the vibrant London live circuit. We think it’s an interesting document of the evolution of our sound going towards Salad.
All the narratives in these songs are works of fiction…
A lot of the songs are not necessarily in Marijne’s key, as PK hadn’t learnt how to transpose guitar chords at this stage. Hence some of Marijne’s vocals are a bit overly angelic.
Are you standing comfortably? Then let us begin..
(Art work by Tim Topple)
My Life’s Crown (1990)
MvdV: The video for this song (see below) got me noticed by MTV and led to my job there as a VJ.
PK: I wrote this song after Marijne and I split up, as a romantic entity, in 1989. Partly inspired by my annoyance with her new boyfriend, but it’s not about him, honest guv. And he became our video director. Top bloke!
It Came Apart in my Hands (1990)
MvdV: This one features a drum pattern I came up with on my Alesis HR-16 drum machine.
PK: I’ve no idea what this song is about, even though I wrote it. Lovely guitar solo by David Forcefield.
PK: This is one of my best early songs, I remember sitting on my bed writing it, and thinking ‘That’s a step up from my usual stuff’.
MvdV: Although it does have a rather embarrassing line about a fish farm….
Let’s Go Sailing (1991)
MvdV: This is obvs where we got our love for codas from, I mean how many codas do Salad songs have?
PK: Our then Bass player James like to sail occasionally, which is probably what gave me the idea.
I am Cuckoo (1989)
MvdV: Our engineer Tony labelled us as Idiosyncratic on the basis of this song….good word, I’d never heard it before.
PK: One of my favourite songs. Features leg slapping. Written perched on the end of my bed in Brockley. Plover- a shore bird with a round head, straight bill, and long pointed wings. Probably doesn’t steal eggs- that’s cuckoos. Cuckoo- insane or foolish, from Old French: cucu. Recorded in Recording Engineer Tony’s house. He didn’t really get our music, but we think he realised we had something…
On a Horse (1990)
MvdV: This song makes Paul cry
PK: I was trying to write a Beach Boys type song.
In a House (1989)
MvdV: My love for Paul’s writing at the time was personified in this song…it was so easy for me to relate to the lyrics even though I didn’t necessarily know what I was singing about. John Irvine needs praise for his Drum Machine skills.
PK: Wind in the Willows (1908 novel) meets Tales of the Riverbank (1960s TV Show).
Never Seen the Sun (1991)
MvdV: My lyrics were vaguely inspired by the release of John McCarthy in 1991.
PK: Threw this one together in the rehearsal room, a bit Stonesy / Funky.
Aeroplane Sadness (1990)
MvdV: One word, Balsa Wood…. This is the song that got us noticed by Go Discs (Home of The Las). They almost signed us, close but no cigar.
PK: Melodic and rather poignant.
MvdV: I was asked to front a children’s magazine program on Radio 5, and when I suggested we’d write the theme tune for it, they said yes reluctantly. However they were pleasantly surprised by the result, which they used.
PK: This features Marijne on a Kids’ Farm Yard Animal FX box that she brought back from a modeling trip in Japan.
I’ve got some Honey (1987)
MvdV: Come to think of it I think this is pretty Politically Incorrect, “I’m gonna buy your love”….sheeesh!!
PK: “It doesn’t matter if I’m ugly, cos money buys everything…”. Nice use of evocative jungle sounds by John Irvine.
Take it Away (1991)
MvdV: A step towards the Salad Sound.
PK: Pretty Rocking although the lyrics are rather silly, so not quite Salad yet…
Where You Been (1991)
MvdV: I love this song, and I love Paul’s singing on it.
PK: A bit of a funky travelog. James and I were always big fans of Chic.
Sally Sally Sally (1991)
MvdV: I’m channeling Iggy and the Stooges on my piano line. The Salad Lost Album includes a rewrite of this song under the name of Billy.
PK: Slightly unpleasant sing but rocks like a barn door.
Melanie from Another Planet (1989)
MvdV: Got us the Radio 1 session with Liz Kershaw, although it went quiet for us again after that…wonder why? ‘Daft people know what they want from life!’ ….Indeed
PK: Good Sci-Fi story, this one…
Hector the Horse (1990)
MvdV: A highlight of our live sets at the time
PK: Tale of a persecuted transvestite horse. A slight nod to Acid House meets Sgt Pepper. A fitting touch to end the album on.