Saturday, June 23, 2007

Cheap at Half the Price

One day the streets will be littered with discarded CDs. Thousands of them smashed and cracked, just thrown out of car windows and left on the floor in the newsagents, people not even bothering to pick them up along with the advertising inserts and free listings magazines. It’s been quite some time since I saw a spool of tape swirling in the breeze caught in a tree and wondered what was on it. Technology; it moves on I guess. Perhaps one-day people will use the Internet as a marketing tool to get free songs? Until then we still have the hastily arranged free CD compilations strapped to the front of magazines and inserted into newspapers. Mostly they are full of toot, or something so old there are only 17 people left in the country who haven’t bought at least one copy of the song in one format or another at some point.

Over the years I’ve acquired loads of these free CDs, although for me the hey-day was during the indie Britpop days of the late 1990s, when I bought the NME and such like every week. It seems that most of these CDs spread out on the floor behind me represent that period of my youth. I’ve got hundreds of the things and the desperate need for space has made go through them, and coldly get rid of most of them. However, buried in amongst the chaff and the obvious are some buried b-sides, rare live versions and good memories.

The Flaming Lips – Waiting For A Superman (Xfm Session Version)

Taken from 'The XFM Live Sessions' - Select Magazine, January 2000. A lovely, simplified piano version of the song from 'The Soft Bulletin'. Other artists on the CD included Mercury Rev, Shack, Suede, Catatonia and Travis.

David Devant and His Spirit Wife – Everything Fits Into Place

Taken from 'Sessions 3' - Sessions Magazine, 1997. I think this track was originally a b-side. I can’t recall too much about the magazine I plucked this disc from, except I’m pretty sure there wasn’t ever a 'Sessions 4'. Other bands on here are James and Laxton’s Superb.

Primal Scream – Swastika Eyes (David Holmes Remix)

Taken from 'The Deep End' - Select Magazine, May 2000. Fairly rare remix of one of the best songs from the 'Xtrmntr LP', and much better than the Chemical Brothers remix which was also on the album. Other stuff on this CD includes previously unreleased (at the time) tracks from Mogwai, Super Furry Animals, Eels and Elliot Smith.

Spiritualized with Suicide – Rocket USA (Live at the London Astoria)

Taken from 'Clean Sweep' - NME, February 1998. I can remember trying to get tickets for some of these NME gigs in ’98. I failed. The CD also includes the Super Furry Animals, Mogwai, Asian Dub Foundation, and Lo-Fidelity Allstars.

Discography of free CD's given away with Select
The Flaming Lips website
David Devant and his Spirit Wife at My Space
Primal Scream website
Spiritualized website
Suicide fansite