Elbow – Gentle As (2005)

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Chances are that B side collections like this one will soon be extinct, an alternative view of a band sacrificed to record company executives’ worship of the internet gods. In the download age, there’s little incentive for even the most traditional of modern indie bands to bother recording songs that few will hear, just for their own sake. But, previously, they could comprise the main attraction. In days when singles came as 45s, radio DJs occasionally flipped the record, turning its supposedly makeweight partner into a career-defining moment. Can you imagine a world where Hank Williams’ I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry or Rod Stewart’s Maggie May weren’t hits? Nothing on Dead in the Boot – a coy reference to their debut album Asleep in the Back, suggested by Guy Garvey’s sister – might have worked such magic for Elbow. But for them the B side is a serious business, both a way of rewarding fans with more music and an opportunity to learn more about their craft. In their earliest recording days they would wait until the producer went home before setting to work, creative juices flowing. By doing this, keyboard player Craig Potter taught himself the studio skills that would see him produce later albums. [Source]

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