Sunday, November 19, 2017
The Wedding Present – George Best 30
With all the bad things going on the world, we are especially grateful when the Universe's Central Planning Committee decides we can have good things. One such good thing was George Best. Well, I guess that was two things, George Best, the dazzling attacker from Northern Ireland who played for Manchester United and partied with the Beatles, and George Best, the debut album from David Gedge's The Wedding Present. In all my many decades listening to pop music, this 1987 release is one of the finest debut albums. A full on holiday feast of crunching guitars, frenetic energy and masterful songwriting, it lives well beyond its time and the associated UK groups of the era. But perhaps because we all now need good things more than usual, we are presented (no pun intended) with George Best 30, which is no less than a complete, live re-recording of the original album by The Wedding Present with Steve Albini at the controls.
There are no major changes to the album, nor should there be. But Albini, who recorded The Wedding Present's superb Seamonsters in 1991, is the right man for the recording. And Gedge and his bandmates manage the tough feat of delivering the material with warmth and understanding, without losing the immediacy that these songs demand. I make the rules around here, and while these songs may be 30 years old, the recording is new, so this a going to be one of my top albums of 2017.
George Best 30 is released via Scopitones, with vinyl available in North America from HHBTM Records (limited pressing of 1,000 copies) and CDs in Japan via Vinyl Junkie.
Facebook (The Wedding Present)
Label page for vinyl orders