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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Kingmaker: Everything Changed 1991-1995' [5CD]
Artist - Kingmaker

For those not in the know, Kingmaker were explosive ‘new cool rock’ and part of the pre-Brit Pop indie rock scene in the early 1990s. Kingmaker released 10 singles / EP's during the period 1991-1995 signed to Chrysalis.

Everything Changed: 1991-1995' (released July 31st, 2020) is the definitive Kingmaker document and is also the most complete collection of Kingmaker's recordings available.

It is a comprehensive 5CD set of almost 90 tracks, combining the band's three studio albums Eat Yourself Whole (1991), Sleepwalking (1993) and In The Best Possible Taste (1995) along with two CDs packed full of bonus material.

Disc One - Eat Yourself Whole (1991):
1. 'Revelation'
2. 'Really Scrape the Sky'
3. 'Two Headed, Yellow Bellied Hole Digger' 5. 'Loveless/Defamed'
6. 'Freewheeling'
7. 'When Lucy's Down'
8. 'Wave'
9. 'Lady Shakespeare's Bomb'
10. 'Everything in Life'
11. 'High As a Kite'
12. 'Where You Stand' [Bonus Track]
13. 'Join the Human Race' [Bonus Track]
14. 'This Time This Town This Sea' [Bonus Track]
15. 'Wonderful Garden' [Bonus Track]
16. 'Pockets of St. Malachi' (Live) [Bonus Track]
17. 'Really Scrape the Sky' (Single Version) [Bonus Track]
18. 'Revelation' (Bombay Mix) [Bonus Track]

A veritable must-have for any fan of the band and indie rock fans everywhere, the first disc features the 10 tracks of the band’s first album, Eat Yourself Whole plus seven related bonus tracks.

I was actually around and living in the UK when Kingmaker first formed and started to impact the charts, in a low level way, and in truth, well, the band were for sure built up with much hype with the press as being the next new thing of a musical era that in the blink of an eye they had already been forgotten about.

That said, Kingmaker's first album (UK #29) is easy to get into, features some very catchy tracks and the singles released won them the most attention during the early '90s, and rightly so.

There were actually two (2) versions released of the album, one for the UK and the other for the US. The UK version had 'Wave' and 'Everything In Life' instead of 'Where You Stand' and 'Eat Yourself Whole' that were on the US version.

Personally, I think the track listing was a let down on the US version as there just wasn't the same consistency as there was on the UK version.

Stand out tracks, in my humble opinion, were 'Really Scrape The Sky,' 'Freewheeling,' 'Loveless/Defamed,' 'When Lucy's Down' and 'High As A Kite.'

Disc Two - Sleepwalking (1993):
1. 'Playground Brutality'
2. 'Armchair Anarchist'
3. 'Queen Jane'
4. 'Sad to See You Go'
5. 'Help Yourself'
6. 'Tomorrow's World'
7. 'Ten Years Asleep'
8. 'Honesty Kills'
9. 'Sequinned Thug'
10. 'Sleepwalking in the Five O'Clock Shadow'
11. 'Stay Free'
12. 'Pyromaniacs Anonymous'
13. 'Eat Yourself Whole' [Bonus Track]
14. 'Pyjama Girl' [Bonus Track]
15. 'Highway's Gate' [Bonus Track]
16. 'Everything's Changed (Since You've Been to London)' [Bonus Track]
17. 'Kissing Under Anaesthetic' [Bonus Track]
18. 'Stained and Sinking Fast' [Bonus Track]

This second disc features the 12 tracks off their second album, Sleepwalking plus six bonus tracks.

With the mix of excellent musicianship, catchy tunes and Loz Hardy's bitter world view lyrics, the combination made Kingmaker stand out from their peers during the early '90s with this, their sophomore album (UK #15).

It's a shame Kingmaker never got any more popular than they were at this juncture of their career, but as aforementioned, the musical tide changed, the press moved onto other bands, and this band just ebbed gently away.

But, as for this great album, to my mind, the best songs on here have to be 'Armchair Anarchist,' 'Sad To See You Go,' 'Ten Years Asleep' and 'Honesty Kills' - but, trust me, all the other songs are equally brilliant.

Disc Three - Bonus Tracks:
1. 'Genuine Liar'
2. 'Lady Madonna'
3. 'When Lucy's Down' (Live)
4. 'Shiver'
5. 'High As a Kite' (Live)
6. 'Hard Times' (Live)
7. 'Broadmoor Hotel'
8. 'Don't Come Over'
9. 'I'm in Love'
10. 'Queen Jane' (E.P. Version)
11. 'Your Place'
12. 'Electric Sue'
13. 'No Way Out'
14. 'Sequinned Thug' ('92 Version)
15. 'Sick and Angry Children'
16. 'Flesh Phobia'
17. 'Saturday's Not What It Used to Be'
18. 'Armchair Anarchist' (Live)
19. 'Highway's Gate' (Live)
20. 'Freewheeling' (Live)

Now we get into the true melodic heart of the band, with this third disc featuring 20 Bonus Tracks sourced from the band’s numerous EP, 12” and CD single releases.

Oh boy, now this is truly the Kingmaker, tune-making goldmine here as tracks that should have been on vinyl 12"s and such, were now being sourced out by newly manufactured CD singles!

They never sounded the same and they sure weren't as collectible as our beloved 7" single and 12" single poster bags and picture discs, but here they were anyway, all brought forth on nice and shiny "indestructible" discs!

Again, this disc is worth the price of the entire box-set alone as it features stand out cuts such as 'Broadmoor Hotel,' 'Electric Sue,' 'Flesh Phobia,' and vibrant, raw live cuts of 'High As a Kite,' 'Hard Times' and two of my own favorites, the always excellent to hear 'Armchair Anarchist' and the brilliant 'Freewheeling.'

Disc Four - In The Best Possible Taste (1995):
1. 'In the Best Possible Taste (Part 2)'
2. 'You and I Will Never See Things Eye to Eye'
3. 'Hey, Birdman'
4. 'Frustrated Gangster'
5. 'Story of My Life'
6. 'Sometimes I Think She Takes Me Along Just for the Ride'
7. 'One False Move'
8. 'Side By Side'
9. 'A Fool Like You'
10. 'End of the Line'
11. 'In the Best Possible Taste (Part 1)'
12. 'Backroom Boys' [Bonus Track]
13. 'Another Bad Dose of Home Truths' [Bonus Track]
14. 'Dissatisfaction Guaranteed' [Bonus Track]
15. 'Amateur's Lullaby' [Bonus Track]

This fourth disc features the band’s third and final studio album, In The Best Possible Taste plus four bonus tracks.

In truth, this final studio offering (UK #79) from the pre-Brit-pop UK darlings was a rather pompous, sprawling expression of bandleader/singer/songwriter Loz Hardy's considerable talent and ego!

A little too serious to be taking seriously, Hardy tries a little too hard to be clever, and his Billy Idol-meets-glam rock delivery comes off a little cartoonish at times.

That said, the near-epic 'Sometimes I Think She Takes Me Along Just for the Ride' is a fine example of Hardy's ability to make interesting, existential pop despite his propensity for excessive and unnecessary verbiage.

So yeah, some of the tracks were vividly sarcastic and some were even fanciful tunes of the highest order, but the world had lost interest in them and so this album was released, as they say, wrong time, wrong place.

Disc Five - Extra Bonus Tracks:
1. 'If You Were Mine'
2. 'Friends in Low Places'
3. 'S*T*A*R*'
4. 'Warm Heart, Cold Feet'
5. 'You and I Will Never See Things Eye to Eye' (Single Edit)
6. 'Bitch of a Son'
7. 'You of All People'
8. 'Everything's Changed Since You've Been to London)' (Live)
9. 'Eat Yourself Whole' (Live)
10. 'Every Teenage Suicide' (Live)
11. 'Really Scrape the Sky' (Thompson / Barbiero Mix)
12. 'Every Teenage Suicide'
13. 'Strip Away'
14. 'Never Too High to Fall'
15. 'Lies Before Kisses'
16. 'Loose Lips Sink Ships'
17. 'Gimme Shelter'

The fifth and final disc features even more bonus tracks, inclusive of some more live tracks, b-sides and extra mixes.

Chock full of Loz Hardy's snarky witticisms peppered throughout, this is yet another wondrous selection of Extra Bonus Tracks that will have you falling back in love with the band at their best.

All the music here, as a whole, gels a lot better as a group, as they did in their singular pockets spread across their musical timeline, that's for sure.

With Hardy having found his thunder completely stolen soon after Sleepwalking by Oasis, whose Jam/Smiths worship was transformed into something truly spectacular, on balance, any song around that time, and subsequent live tracks and b-sides were much more enjoyable to listen to, in my humble opinion.

Thus, the stand out tracks here for me are 'You and I Will Never See Things Eye to Eye' (Single Edit), 'Every Teenage Suicide,' 'Strip Away,' all the live cuts, and especially the US remix of 'Really Scrape The Sky' by Thompson & Barbiero.

Everything Changed has been made with the full cooperation of the band and includes photographs and memorabilia from their personal archives that are featured within the accompanying 28-page booklet.

Each CD comes in a paper wallet featuring original album and single artwork. Alongside a full UK discography there are sleeve notes written by bassist, Myles Howell.

www.CherryRed.co.uk





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