Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jacobites- Robespierre's Velvet Basement (1985) Remastered Edition (Bonus Disc) MP3 & FLAC

"I'm looking for something I'll never find. I feel so alone, but I don't mind."

One glance at the beautifully wrecked pair on the cover of Robespierre's Velvet Basement and you know right away The Glimmer Twins are an inspiration. It seems that after disbanding the inimitable Swell Maps, brothers Nikki Sudden and Epic Soundtracks were looking to trade in the Kraut-Rock-Punk hybrid of  A Trip to Marineville  and Jane from Occupied Europe  for a sound best described as a mixture of acoustic folk & blues and glam, which, come to think of it, is also a pretty adequate description of Exile on Mainstreet. This time, Sudden teamed up with Rough Trade journeyman Dave Kusworth (formerly of The Subterranean Hawks) and hit on a sound that presages everything from Brian Jonestown Massacre to Dan Bejar's Destroyer. Most of the songs on Robespierre's Velvet Basement make generous use of shambolic acoustic strums backed with ramshackle percussion, all of which only add to the garage-like greatness of some of the songs. For example, on "Ambulance Station" and "She Never Believes," Sudden's joyfully downtrodden cigarette-soaked vocals exude the same kind of elegant, "who gives a fuck" decadence that made the UK glam scene of the early seventies so engaging. Robespierre's Velvet Basement is an uncompromising classic that couldn't have been more out of time & place when it was released back in 1985, which is why it hasn't aged a day. Listen to this.

Robespierre's Velvet Basement (2002 Remastered Edition)

Disc I:
 1. Big Store  (3:22)
 2. Snow White  (3:45)
 3. When the Rain Comes  (3:55)
 4. Every Girl  (3:31)
 5. Fortune of Fame  (3:02)
 6. Where the Rivers End  (6:06)
 7. Hearts Are Like Flowers  (4:13)
 8. It Will All End Up in Tears  (3:00)
 9. She Never Believes  (3:08)
10. All of My Life  (3:01)
11. Silken Sheets  (3:23)
12. Ambulance Station  (2:42)
13. Son of a French Nobleman  (3:29)

Disc II:
 1. All the Dark Rags  (4:58)
 2. Into My Arms  (3:17)
 3. If I'm Crying  (1:47)
 4. Romance  (2:43)
 5. Country Girl  (3:18)
 6. Sloth  (3:21)
 7. Someone Who Cares  (4:53)
 8. Before I Die  (4:24)
 9. Pin Your Heart to Me  (4:19)
10. Road of Broken Dreams  (3:08)
11. One More String of Pearls  (3:38)
12. I Am Just a Broken Heart  (2:58)
13. Only Children Sleeping  (4:16)
14. Ooh La La  (0:34)


  1. I want to grab this but I can't right now. Do you want to know what I think after I do? It may be several days.....:(

  2. scurfie, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one. No hurry though :)

  3. One of the best albums ever made. I love this album so much it hurts. But wasn't there a double-disc edition of it a very long time ago? I have a copy of that now and my ancient C-90 cassette was made from the original of my copy about 20 years ago.

  4. gomonkeygo, This edition was issued in 1993, so it's probably the one you're thinking of

  5. This album is an absolute masterpiece. Many thanks for sharing!

  6. Excellent - thanks again for the generosity (and always excellent taste). Kurt

  7. Yeah, it might be the one, but there is a chronology problem because I've had my CS copy since before 1992. The CD it was made from belongs to my brother and we haven't lived in the same state since '92. Weird. Sorry to go on about it, but I can obsess about things discographical.

  8. This album is so genius I'm actually leaving a message to say it is. Been keeping up with the blog for a while, but this is my first time talking on it. Have you ever been able to find the album that has the original version of Big Store? I can't think of the bands name right now.

  9. Yet another awesome album on this blog, another alltime favourite of mine and easily the Jacobites crowning achievement.
    Hard to believe that the Swell Maps get all the glory when Nikki Sudden put out so much quality material in the 80s. The first two solo albums, Waiting On Egypt and especially The Bible Belt are totally amazing and sadly underrated. Seriously get The Bible Belt if you can find it. Then came the debut release by the Jacobites (featuring the original Big Store), a mostly acoustic affair but just as glamorous as Basement. Texas was a good one too but the joint album with Rowland S Howard, Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc was another masterpiece, like the negative to the Jacobites debut release. Sadly both are dead now. Think I'm going to put on Wedding Hotel...

  10. gomonkeygo, here is the version I posted:

  11. Anon, The Jacobite' first album has the "original" version of "Big Store"; is that what you mean?

  12. Anon. thank you. I haven't heard "Bible Belt," I'll have to trck that one down. Do you have "Wedding Hotel" in FLAC?

  13. @voixautre:
    Yes, the cover of the Jacobites debut, released in 1984, starts with the track Big Store (orig), a slow eight minute rumbler of a song. The song and lyrics are totally different from the one on RVB, small wonder as the RBV version was composed by Stephen Duffy and the version on Jacobites is credited to Nikki Sudden.

  14. again @ voixautre:
    I got the 12'' EP of Wedding Hotel on vinyl.
    I'm pretty sure all of its tracks are on the deluxe edition of Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc. The only difference could be the second version of the song Wedding Hotel, titled WH (original mix) on the 12'' and WH (the moose) on the deluxe cd. They seem the same to me though.
    ... and The Bible Belt is well worth it, with appearances by Dave Kusworth, Mike Scott (from the Waterboys) and a female singer named Lizard, who sings the gorgeous Chelsea Embankement.

  15. Oops. Perhaps Alex meant the original version of Big Store (RVB version) recorded by the Subterranean Hawks :
    This one was previously released on this album:

  16. Yes, the Subterranean Hawks! I've had a difficult time finding any of their work.

    This has caused me to start listening to The Jewel Thief :)

  17. Anon, thanks for all the fantastic info. I recently acquired Charabanc and have ordered Bible Belt. I will of course post both at some point. A Nikki Sudden series would be amazing. Maybe somewhere down the line

  18. I've listened to a few tracks and I am blown away. This sounds like the Rolling Stones back in the Brian Jones Beggar's Banquet days only better!

  19. scurfie, I need to post more of Sudden's work. It's amazing, incredibly over-looked, and nowhere to be found in lossless. In other words, it has luna written all over it

  20. Secretly Canadian released another edition with a few more bonus tracks back in '02 I think.
    Listen to this indeed. Good stuff.

  21. Jeff, yes, I ordered it and will post it here once I get it ripped to FLAC

  22. Thank you! I love Swell Maps, so I look forward to hearing this! =)


  23. another GREAT one..thanks ! btw I second the Nikki Sudden series.. I eagerly look forward to that !! :)


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