INSPIRAL CARPETS: Dung 4: CD

This is the Inspiral Carpets‘ legendary 1989 mail-order only cassette DUNG 4 on CD for the very first time ever. Originally issued on the band’s own Cow label, this tape was never issued on vinyl or CD and it contained unique songs as well as versions of tracks which were later re-recorded. It sold 8,000 cassettes and has the contents of their earlier demo EP Cow as bonus tracks.

Their debut single “Garage Full Of Flowers” is here in a totally different version, that’s fast and peppy. Their breakthrough single “Joe” is present with a spoken word intro from drummer Craig Gill that’s missing from the better known later version. There’s a version of ? And The Mysterians’ “96 Tears,” that was recorded before The Stranglers had a hit with it on their album 10. “Inside My Head” and “Seeds Of Doubt” are fast and hard-hitting songs, “Sun Don’t Shine” is a beautiful organ-led ballad that was later re-recorded for the band’s debut album Life. “Theme From Cow” is a short stab of organ-led pop that shows their garage roots. “Butterfly” is taken off the band’s second EP, Trainsurfing. as well as “Causeway.” “26” is a slower song that was written before vocalist Stephen Holt left the band. The four bonus tracks from the band’s previous Cow demo cassette capture a slightly harder Inspiral sound than you’re used to hearing. “Head For The Sun” is fast, and driven by Graham Lambert’s wild guitar playing. “Now You’re Gone” has the feel of ’60s psychedelia. “Whisky” is a fast organ based ode to drinking. The final “Love Can Never Lose Its Own” is another shot of ’60s psychedelia. The booklet has great pictures of posters and other bits of memorabilia from the era, plus comments from each band member. The sound has been improved on and sounds nice and clear, giving you the full experience of their earliest recordings.

Yes, the band became a big thing not long after this and for fans, it shows the roots of a band that just kept getting better. It stands as not a relic, but an insight to a band on the cusp of greatness.

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