Happy Easter from Squire!
We hope you are enjoying the break and have taken advantage of the latest free post offer. It gave lots of you a chance to catch up on releases, and we are impressed by the number of Sugarplum ‘Blue Summer Days’ CDs sold - and tee shirts too! It seems everyone is looking forward to summer!
Last week we announced the latest news in Squire live performances, and realised that last year was also the first year in a very long time Squire hadn’t been able to perform live. The interest in the Squire live recordings that we have been sharing here, and on YouTube, and the recent live Anthony Meynell ‘Live In Tokyo’ release, has emphasised that both stage show and studio recordings are vital components in communicating with the audience.
This difference between the stripped down authenticity of the live setting and the careful arrangements of the studio recordings is best exemplified by the contrast between the live bootleg style of the Fan Club Album and subsequent high design of the Get Smart album. Each style of song presentation and performance is deemed to be of equal importance.
The design of the Fan Club album was inspired by the sleeve of the 1969 Bob Dylan bootleg album - Great White Wonder, one of the first ever rock bootleg releases.
Both albums had minimalist sleeve art and a look that mirrored the hand made fanzine culture and a ‘made by fans for fans approach’ rather than resemble an official release.
We had already established the Squire Fan Club with regular newsletters, and feedback from fans focused on the desire to hear any new material and to see us play live, and this support for Squire and hunger for music lead to the idea of releasing a special Fan Club only album that combined some unheard tracks with some live performances.
Thus it was decided that the Fan Club A-side was to be unheard demos and interesting snippets, like the Dylan record, and the B-side a snapshot of Squire live - like The Who record!
The A-side opens with three tracks from The Numbers demo tape, a pre-Squire project that showcased some of the early Squire material, as well as the first single ‘Get Ready To Go’. This is followed by the introduction to 'The Face of Youth Today' by BBC Radio One DJ Richard Skinner, then the demo of the song, and closes with another BBC Radio One DJ, David ‘Kid’ Jensen, followed by the demo of ‘I Know A Girl’. The remaining songs from The Numbers era emerged last year on the Get Ready To Go Album.
The B-side captures a 20 minute snapshot of the band in concert in Swindon in September 1982.
The record had its own label name, Squire Fan Club Recordings, and the catalogue number was SFC1. The Fan Club album, officially titled ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed…’ was originally released in 1982 as a limited edition of 1000 hand stamped copies in green ink, all signed and numbered to fan club members only, and immediately sold out.
However, the record quickly became one of the most sought after of Squire releases, and went on to become Squire’s most released album!
Once the record shops realised they weren’t getting copies, they started to demand quantities to satisfy other Squire fans who were making over the counter enquiries! To coincide with a performance in Belfast in early 1983, the local record shop Caroline Music ordered another 500 just for themselves and distribution in Northern Ireland, and other shops soon bought copies once they heard it was available. These extra copies have the green stamped sleeve, but have SFC1 printed on the label in black rather than the green stamped label, and have a ‘distributed by IDS’ sticker on the back.
Another 500 were pressed with a red stamped sleeve as a ‘California Edition’ to coincide with Squire’s performances in Los Angeles in 1983.
Indeed, the album made it into the US import chart at 13!
When Hi-Lo records signed a pressing and distribution deal with EMI in 1985, another version was manufactured! This version uses dark blue stamps and also includes the SFC2 Fan Club single, ‘The Young Idea’ and ‘It’s Getting Better’ in the track order. At this point, the matrix number changed from SFC1 to LO-004 to become an official Hi-Lo release.
Unfortunately this version was arranged by a third party, hence the unusual placement of the stamping, and we don’t have a copy so are unsure whether it came with an insert, nevertheless it is the version that was mainly exported, and was in circulation in Japan.
After a hiatus, Hi-Lo was re-established, and in 2007 the album was pressed on special white vinyl, following its original track listing, using the original rubber stamps and green ink, and mimicking the original insert!
It was also released on CD with the additional tracks ‘Livin' In The City’ from the original Get Ready To Go single sessions, ‘Has Our Love Gone Bad?' from the Girl On A Train sessions, and ‘Times Change’ from the Smash demo sessions. These three extra tracks had first appeared on the Tangerine CD ‘Get Ready To Go’ in 1994.
Further releases included the 2010 Japanese label Vivid Sounds CD which also adds the SFC2 Fan Club single, ‘The Young Idea’, and ‘It’s Getting Better’, to the UK CD listing, as the songs had appeared on the familiar export blue cover version. It also reproduces that same blue stamped sleeve.
The white vinyl album was issued in a special edition sleeve, sold at the Mods Mayday concert in Birmingham UK in 2009, to coincide with the 30th Anniversary of the Mods Mayday, using the red and blue stamps together! Thirty signed copies were made.
Finally, Spanish label Wah Wah Records issued a limited edition of 500 black vinyl records which follows the original track listing, but has a printed sleeve and an insert with sleeve notes.
The Squire concert at Moonrakers Ballroom, Swindon on Saturday September 4th 1982 was actually recorded through the mixing desk - in entirety! This was the concert that provided the small snapshot which featured on the B-side of The Fan Club album!
The clip below captures the one minute long introduction to the concert as the compere begs the audience to move back and make room for the band! It reveals that the first song was actually ‘The Face Of Youth Today’! It was left off the original album as the live sound engineer was adjusting levels during the song to get a live balance. Nevertheless, you can hear the the electric atmosphere, audience anticipation and sheer mayhem that always accompanied the bands energised performance! The recording is the PA mix so drums and voice are prominent, but the fidelity is clearer than the 100 Club recording we added to YouTube a few weeks ago. And it is in stereo, the record and CD are in mono, chosen to minimise the ‘creative drum panning’ the sound engineer had chosen for the live gig!