Waking Hours / Change Everything / Twisted (Re-issues)
added: 25 Jan 2014
// release date: 20 Jan 2014 // label: UMC
reviewer: David Spencer
One of the 1990s most underrated British bands, Del Amitri are about to embark on their first tour in ten years - and these reissues (branded as 'represents') are a chance to be reminded of an impressive catalogue. Lead singer and chief songwriter Justin Currie had a way with words and tunes that elevated the band to the top 3 of the album charts - with Change Everything only being kept off the top spot by the soundtrack to the film Bodyguard.
Waking Hours was the band's second album and was released in 1989. Arguably it is their best too, with not a duff track among the ten songs. Single Nothing Ever Happens took the album into the top ten, but non-singles Hatful of Rain and This Side Of The Morning are as strong, while the bitter break up of Empty contains some of Currie's most cutting lyrics; "here's a card that says, happy 22nd birthday and I wish you were dead".
The country-rock of Waking Hours begins to be watered down for 1992's Change Everything, with the rockier lead single Always The Last To Know and the lesser-known hit Just Like A Man. But the album's highlights is the fan's favourite Be My Downfall, with Currie's acute observations of love and loss underlined by the poignant reflection of an affair. The poetry of Surface of the Moon shows Currie at his best, with a tour around the changing face of Glasgow - while As Soon As The Tide Comes In observes a wedding from the jilted lover's perspective.
By the time 1995's Twisted was released Del Amitri were ready to break America, and the album matched that ambition with made-for-radio singles Here And Now, Roll To Me and the sublime Driving With The Brakes On. The album's title was a nod towards Currie's lyrics, which would often feature a twist at the end of the tale, as demonstrated on the album's It Might As Well be You, about a one night stand.
All the albums still sound terrific - but the real prize here for fans and casual admirers is the extra CD with each album that contains all the B Sides released with the singles. The strength of the songs shows just how on top of the game the band at the time, with the likes of Whiskey Remorse, Evidence, So Many Souls To Change, Long Way Down and In The Frame all worthy of being on the main album.
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