100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s #49 Ride – Twisterella

Released : 1992

There has rarely been a music scene with a more British philosophy than shoegaze, being what was at first a tightly-knit conglomerate of bands who supposedly preferred to look down at their FX pedals as opposed to meeting the stare of their audience (Caveat: the precise origins of the phrase are still disputed).

Ride came from unfashionable Oxford, but their more layered, intricate and noise-drenched music in a period where the C-86 generation were still unraveling attracted the attention of Creation supremo Alan McGee, who signed them in 1989 after a making good on a tip from The Jesus & Mary Chain‘s Jim Reid.

Whilst 14 Iced Bears and The Pooh Sticks fell by the wayside, by 1992 Ride were box office; with at this point fraternally dueling songwriters Andy Bell and Mark Gardener in tandem their second album Going Blank Again climbed to number five in the proper album charts, it’s lead single Leave Them All Behind denting the top ten. Here was the sound of the Poly Bop on daytime Radio 1.

Twisterella was the heavenly pop hit that had seemed anathema when the quartet were appearing on Snub TV a few years before, a ferocious jangle with a verse-chorus-verse structure and lacking a second of feedback. This little nirvana had much more in common with The Charlatans in Ibiza than scuzzed up Yankee refuseniks or Spacemen 3, an arrow that thrust them into a spotlight from which the only respite would ultimately be the self-sabotage of 1994’s mood-soaked Carnival of Light, followed two years later by an antagonistic implosion.

6 Comments

      1. Agreed. And this is why I find it a bit funny that the sound made such a comeback in the 2000s, especially in North America.

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      2. …we had Britpop though, which was a natural reaction to Grunge, thus any showgazey British bands seemed out of touch. As an example Gaz Coombes was in a shoegaze outfit (The Jennifers) before Supergrass.

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