Friday, December 15, 2017

Favorite Reissues of 2017

Every year I pledge to concentrate my time and money on new releases, and every year I fail miserably. I just have to face it. I'm an old guy stuck in bygone eras. This was a particularly rewarding period for looking back, and I didn't even come close to grabbing all of the compilations, live albums, box sets, lost albums and deluxe editions that I wanted. For example, those Cherry Red box sets on Liverpool, Manchester and post-punk have my name written all over them, but I just didn't have the funds. I had to pass on box sets by Luke Haines, Lloyd Cole and Kitchens of Distinction too, but that hurt a little less because I had quite a bit of that content already. I touted that retrospective on the Orchids, but there was only one song on the set I didn't already own. So, I passed.

As far as my list of oldies but goodies goes, I capped it at 20, but it could have been much longer, especially if I had included all of the albums I bought from Firestation Records. I decided to cap the representation of my favorite indie-archive label at three releases, but know that Keen, the English McCoy, the Pressure Group and a couple of more could have easily made the countdown. As for other honorable mentions, 'Action Painting' by the Creation and the phenomenal multi-disc blowout of Prince's 'Purple Rain' are the first two out on this list. Enough. OK, let's get on with it.

20. Lost Tapes - 'We Thought It Was Okay At The Time (2013-2015)'
Shelflife collects the early singles of Spain's finest dream-pop duo.

19. Secret Shine - 'Singles 1992-1994'
One of Sarah's stable was awfully close to shoegaze.

18. China Crisis - 'Working with Fire and Steel - Possible Pop Songs Volume Two' (Deluxe Edition)
First three LPs get blown out. This has always been my favorite.

17. Strawberry Switchblade - '1982 4-Piece Demo'
Fascinating 7" chronicles a time before the hits.

16. The Apple Moths - 'Fred Astaire EP'
Firestation's 12" resurrects the 1990 7" and adds three bonus tracks.

15. 14 Iced Bears - '14 Iced Bears'
Debut album becomes a double LP chock full of extras.

14. The Siddeleys - 'Songs From The Sidings - Demo Recordings 1985-1987'
Everything else is out of print. Get it while you can!

13. Michael Nesmith - 'At The BBC Paris Theatre'
Twangy set from '75 captures the former Monkee at his peak.

12. The Replacements - 'For Sale: Live At Maxwell's 1986'
First official live album was "recorded in front of more than 30 people."

11. Smart Remarks - 'Foreign Fields: 1982-1984
Discover a power-pop outfit that once opened for the Replacements.

10. The Beach Boys - '1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow'
'Wild Honey' with a slew of extra curiosities.

9. The Modulators - 'Tomorrow's Coming'
More underground Jersey power pop. Bonus tracks on '84 album too.

8. 14 Iced Bears, Aberdeen, The June Brides ‎– 'Three Wishes: Part Time Punks Sessions'
Legendary radio show captures indie-pop pioneers.

7. The Jazz Butcher - 'The Wasted Years'
Beautiful four-disc box gathers early albums in their entirety.

6. Love Parade - 'Out to Sea'
Firestation unearths long lost jangle from '91.

5. Various Artists - 'C88'
Who knew it was a very good year? Cherry Red did.

4. The Wedding Present - 'George Best 30'
In 2008, Steve Albini helps Gedge rethink a classic.

3. Marshall Crenshaw - 'Thank You, Rock Fans!!'
Let's take a time machine to a show from '82.

2. Look Blue Go Purple - 'Still Bewitched'
Missed these gals the first time around. Thank you, Flying Nun!

1. Various Artists - 'The Test of Time: A Turntable Friend Records Compilation'
German label collects 40 of its indie-pop classics on three heavy pieces of vinyl housed in a dazzling tri-fold sleeve that includes an album-sized scrapbook of the company's history. The packaging is nothing short of perfection.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

11th-Hour Release Worthy of Year-End Accolades

As 2017 comes to a close, I have been busy compiling my year-end lists while at the same time keeping an ear to the bevy of new releases that have made this a dizzying December like no other in all my years of blogging. Last Friday alone my shopping list grew with the new long player by the Just Joans, the debut single from Elizabeth Morris' new band Elva and a special EP worth much more than a passing mention.

It's clear by now Wendy and Simon Pickles of the Popguns are big favorites around here, and the duo in life and in song have resurrected side project the Perfect English Weather with a gorgeous EP that will leave longtime fans surprised and longing for more. When the Perfect English Weather debuted with 'Isobar Blues' around this time last year, I described my No. 2 album of 2016 as Wendy and Simon "turn[ing] it down just a little bit" and "rivaling their best work." Put another way, there were moments that didn't seem so far away from the band from which they are known. The songs on the just released "English Winter EP", however, are not the Pickles Family with a new branch growing from the Popguns tree. This feels more like that Popguns tree dropped a seed and a whole new sapling is sprouting nearby. And like a sapling, these four new songs are fragile.

From the first notes of EP opener "Still", you know Wendy and Simon are going for something different. This is electronica that may remind you of St. Etienne, Lightning in a Twilight Hour or the softer side of the Luxembourg Signal. The atmosphere is thick, and the sounds are very contemporary. Shaun Charman, formerly of the Wedding Present and the Popguns, collaborated on this song, as did Wendy and Simon's daughter Anna. No knock on Simon, but I think we know where Anna's beautiful pipes come from. No hyperbole. "Still" will be vying for song of the year on these pages.

I'm a real sucker for melancholy holiday songs, and "Christmas in Suburbia" stirred up so many emotions. On the surface, holidays are all about making spirits bright and all of that, but we know that's not always the way, is it? While absorbing the song, one moment I was smiling, and the next I was longing. I know my hometown back in Illinois is nothing like it was when I was growing up, and it has become more and more difficult to return there... especially for the holidays. Everything has changed, including me. What more can you wring out of a three-minute pop song?

In keeping with the theme of an English winter, third song "Cold Out" keeps the electronica going and will have you ready for a warm blanket and a good snuggle. The EP concludes with a stripped-down version of "Dusty in Here" featuring Wendy and Anna. This has to be one of your favorites from the 'Before Hollywood' era of the Go-Betweens, and it may very well bring a tear as you listen to this beautiful cover and think of how many songs we could have had in the years since losing Grant McLennan.

The always dependable Matinée Recordings is ready to ship the "English Winter EP" to you right now. Give yourself an early Christmas present.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter F, Part 13)

Some will argue bands with numeric names such as 10,000 Maniacs or 20/20 belong in their own section at the end of the shelf. This lot may scroll to the bottom of the artist list on their iPods as evidence. Please. These folks are dead wrong and need time on the couch of a well-paid analyst. In short, numeric names are always filed as though spelled out. Do we need to take this outside? Fine. Do what works and gets you to the album you're looking for the quickest. Just know you're doing it all wrong. With hard work and discipline, you can break the cycle of alphabetizing your albums incorrectly.

I do not go back to 1986 and the start of 14 Iced Bears. I learned of the band in name only sometime in the late '80s, but I never saw any of their records at the shops I frequented. It's a moniker you never forget though, and I hoped to hear their music someday. With the pedigree of 14 Iced Bears, why wouldn't I? The band released their first couple of singles on Mark Flunder's Frank label, home to the McTells and other indie-pop legends. Yes, that's Mark Flunder from Television Personalities. John Peel loved 14 Iced Bears, and they would record a session for his show in both 1986 and 1987. The third single came out in 1988 on a new label trying to get its footing called Sarah. Perhaps you have heard of it. A couple of well-received albums would follow, but it's these first three singles in particular that are so highly coveted by indie-pop geeks like me.

In 2001, Slumberland Records, one of the greatest labels out there to this day, rescued these recordings and threw in the Peel Sessions and several other nuggets on a comp called 'In the Beginning'. It's a little less of a big deal now, what with all of the work Cherry Red and Optic Nerve have done in recent years to resurrect their discography, but this CD was a godsend 16 years ago.

To announce this compilation was in the pipeline, Slumberland put out a double-A-sided 7" earlier in the year with debut song "Inside" on one side and second single "Balloon Song" on the flip. That's what we will listen to today. I knew I was going to love "Balloon Song" because another Slumberland band I was enamored with covered it so well in 2000. I highly recommend you give the version by the Aislers Set a listen too. You'll find it on the band's sophomore album 'The Last Match'. "Inside" is loud, fuzzy and would have been a nice fit on NME's 'C86'. By Balloon Song", 14 Iced Bears were a little less about racket and more about melody. Simply beautiful.

"Balloon Song"

This has been a stellar year for fans of 14 Iced Bears, and I'll have more on that when I unveil my lists of favorite new albums and reissues in the coming days.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter F, Part 12)

We already listened to Friends Again in this series, but you can't really have Friends Again without having Friends, right? Friends is the musical outlet of the talented William Jones, and he founded Summerhouse Records in 1986 to release his take on indie pop. Like so many bands from the period, I was attracted to the jangle and the trumpet. There were other great groups that came through the doors of Summerhouse, including 4,000,000 Telephones and Rumblefish, but it's Friends that have been there from the beginning and have continued to release new music now and again even into this decade.

Like the Hit Parade and many other indie bands of that ilk, Friends have always been much a bigger deal in Japan than in their native UK. My favorite song by Friends is third single "The First Day of Spring", and I recommend you seek that out, but I have it on the inferior format and this is a vinyl series. Today I go with "Foreign Money", a brass-heavy 7" from 1994 that also triumphantly opens the 'Sundrowned' album. Sadly, I believe this marks the last release by Friends that came out on vinyl. I'm not sure if this has remained true to this day because I have lost track of Friends in recent years, but through a slew of albums and singles Jones never had a song with the word "love" in it. Because of its overuse in pop music, this was a matter of policy. He always tried to find other ways to express the feeling.

"Foreign Money"

Monday, December 4, 2017

Worthy of a Monday Misstep?

The plan is to wrap up transferring the letter F of my vinyl collection this week before jumping into my favorite albums of 2017. Before all of that, I have dug up another record from that area on the shelves that might very well qualify for my cringe-worthy Monday Misstep series. I'm on the fence about this one, but I'll let you be the judge. I seem to still like this one despite knowing I shouldn't. I was always much more offended by this band trying to cover Buzzcocks than I was the King.

This 12" single from 1986 is the only piece of vinyl you'll find by Fine Young Cannibals in my collection, and I think it has survived the decades because there is someone else in this house that is even more fond of it than I am. You may know how that goes. There are four songs on the record, including a very decent nearly eight-minute dub version of "Suspicious Minds", but perhaps an even better B-side is a remix of early single "Johnny Come Home", a No. 8 UK smash from 1985. It even managed to break into the Billboard Hot 100 here in America (No. 76). Is this maxi-single trash, a treasure or something in the middle? Certainly better than the Fixx last time around, right? Seems I'm defending Fine Young Cannibals. OK, let me have it.

"Suspicious Minds" (Suspicious Mix)
Johnny Come Home" (That Other Mix)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter F, Part 11)

I'm not sure there is too much more I can say about Terry Hall. He has featured on these pages many times as either a solo artist or with Vegas, the Colourfield, the Specials or Fun Boy Three. I did manage to dig up something from the shelf that hasn't had an airing here before. This, the third and final single from FB3's self-titled 1982 album, is probably my least liked of all the band's singles, but that's far from a rebuke. I particularly like the horns supplied by the Swinging Laurels. Remember them? Terry, Neville and Lynval are quite impressed by someone who gets lots of invites via the phone. Man, do I hate talking on the phone. I sigh every time it rings. This was quite a year for Hall and the rest of the splitters from the Specials. If you count the trio's work with Bananarama, there would be five top 20 hits. "The Telephone Always Rings" peaked at No. 17 on the UK chart. Here is a beefed-up take that gives you about two more minutes than the 7".

"The Telephone Always Rings" (Extended Version)

I had this song on my mind tonight. So, here is a bonus... also from 1982. I played "Give Us Back Our Cheap Fares" here a couple of years ago, but I have never featured the extended version. As a 12 or 13 year old growing up among the corn fields of Illinois, the fact that FB3 and Bananrama were protesting with this song went completely over my head. I just liked that it had the same eerie quality as "The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum" and the Specials' smash hit "Ghost Town". You'll find this much longer take as the B-side to the 12" single of "Really Saying Something".

"Give Us Back Our Cheap Fares" (Extended Version)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Another Musical Trip Inspired By CC

Our pal CC just celebrated five years at the helm of Charity Chic Music, and that's quite a feat when you consider he's one of those disciplined bloggers that somehow finds a way to put something up every day. Man, that's a plethora of posts. A tip of the cap, sir. What I like about CC is he always seems to highlight a song that gets me thinking about something else I have on the shelf. That often starts a chain reaction that ends with me holding a stack of albums and wondering where the evening went. Here are a couple of records I listened to over the weekend after CC had back-to-back submissions on Elvis and Elvis.

On Thursday, CC lamented Elvis Costello's last great album was 'Brutal Youth'. That was 23 years ago, folks. Wow. Like many of you in the comments, I pondered both that last great album statement and whether 'Brutal Youth' was, in fact, a great album. (Yes on both, by the way.) I think what made that time so exciting was the return of bassist Bruce Thomas. I pulled Thomas' book 'The Big Wheel' off the shelf a few days ago to refresh my memory on the dust up that got him dismissed from the Attractions in the first place (and, it turned out, in the second place). I planned on this being a quick read through the preface of the new edition to get his thoughts on the drama surrounding the band's induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, but now I'm fully immersed in Thomas' work of "fiction" for the first time in several years.

While on the Bruce bus, I decided to listen to 'Mad About the Wrong Boy', the 1980 album the Attractions did without their famous leader. Most of the songs were written by Steve Nieve or the mysterious team of Brain/Hart, whom we later learned was Nieve and then-girlfriend Fay Hart. There were a few fine moments on the album, most notably "Single Girl" and Sad About Girls", but most of it was a bit of a stinker. Here was Bruce's best effort...

The Attractions - "Little Miss Understanding"

CC's musings on Elvis Presley, and the song "Mystery Train" in particular, instantly made me think of others who have tried to emulate the King. I'm guessing when you think of "Mystery Train" you probably don't immediately turn to 'Everybody's Rockin'', Neil Young's ode to rock 'n' roll's infancy that he released in 1983, but I do. This album came out the same month my hometown got MTV, and the single "Wonderin'" was a mainstay on the video channel. I loved the retro sound of the song and ran out to get the album. Although I hadn't listened to 'Everybody's Rockin'' for many years, since CC's post on Presley, I can't seem to get it off the turntable. Thanks, CC. Here's to another five years.

Neil Young & the Shocking Pinks - "Mystery Train"

Monday, November 20, 2017

When Oh-OK Found the 'Sweet' Spot

That song written by Matthew Sweet for the Springfields featured here at the end of last week got me going to the shelves for another one of his rarities from the '80s. Sweet went to school briefly at the University of Georgia in Athens where he was pals with Michael Stipe. They had met earlier when R.E.M. made a tour stop in Sweet's hometown back in Nebraska. Through that friendship he met Michael's sister Lynda, a bassist and songwriter with the trio Oh-OK. At that point, the band had already released the 'Wow Mini Album' on the legendary label DB Recs, home to the B-52's. Pylon, the Swimming Pool Q's, Love Tractor and many other local bands. What I always found interesting about that 1982 EP is there was no guitar. Drums, bass, vocals. That's it.

In 1983, Oh-OK would shuffle the lineup a bit for the second (and last) release. Linda Hopper and Stipe remained. Drummer David Pierce was replaced by David McNair and Sweet joined on guitar. The lighthearted tone and humor remained from 'Wow Mini Album', and Oh-OK's sound became just a little bit more accessible on the six-song 'Forevermore What' EP. There is nothing here that screams Sweet, but I find the EP more than just a passing curiosity. It's off-kilter, fun and a good listen. And given Sweet's well-documented love of felines, I think the cover of 'Forevermore What' is a smile.

'Such n Such'

Sweet would remain busy on the Athens scene. There was the short-lived Community Trolls side project with Michael Stipe. Sweet would also join up with Oh-Ok's original drummer to form the Buzz of Delight, also on DB Recs. Of course, it wouldn't be long before Columbia came calling, and after a couple of generally praised but poorly sold solo albums, the rest, as they say, is history.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention you can get both of Oh-OK's EPs along with a 1984 live performance from the Peppermint Lounge in NYC on one beautiful piece of vinyl HHBTM Records put out in 2011 called 'The Complete Reissue', and it's still in print!

Friday, November 17, 2017

'Sweet' Treat From Ric Menck

Here's a bit of trivia for you. Did you know there's a tiny connection between Sarah Records and Matthew Sweet? Ric Menck, probably best known for his power-pop outfit Velvet Crush, or for a few of you as Sweet's drummer on some of his best work, was in a couple of great but slightly lesser-known indie-pop bands in the '80s that deserved more of the limelight. One of those, Choo Choo Train, was on Subway Records, a label that gets touted here with regularity, and the other was the Springfields, an American band from Champaign, Illinois, that caught the ears of Clare and Matt. Sarah 10 was "Sunflower", a three-track 7" from 1988 with "Clown", a Hollies' cover, and the Sweet-penned "Are We Gonna Be Alright?" Sweet has never released a recording of this beauty given to the Springfields.

I have a couple of singles from the Springfields, but I don't own "Sunflower". Instead, I have all three songs from the single on 'The Ballad of Ric Menck' compilation that first came out on Summershine in 1996. I can't recommend this one enough. You'll find some Choo Choo Train, Springfields and solo recordings on there. I like it so much I bought it on two formats! Action Musik reissued it in 2004 with extra songs and liner notes from Menck. If I come across that one, I guess I'll own three copies. Doing this post reminded me of another seldom heard Sweet recording that I'll get to next week.

"Are We Gonna Be Alright?"

Yes, that really is how the songs ends.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Two Good Songs That Sound Great Together

Back when we spent all of our free time making mix tapes, perhaps you did this too. Even if my ear knew they didn't necessarily work as a tandem all that well, I liked to place a song about a musician next to a song by said musician, such as an Alex Chilton tune followed by "Alex Chilton" by the Replacements or "Sister Ray" by the Velvet Underground and "Velvet Underground" by Jonathan Richman back to back. Like the artist that sings about an artist, in a small way, I always felt like I was thanking one of my heroes by this placement. It was especially fun to put two musicians together that seemingly had very different sounds, such as something by Duke Ellington next to "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder. That's the direction I'm going in today.

Over the weekend, I thought about "Breakfast in Bed" from Dusty Springfield's 1969 album 'Dusty in Memphis' because today is my birthday. I secretly hoped maybe I would get my breakfast served that way this morning. Alas, that's a pretty tall order on a school day and, as is the ritual, I was the one making breakfast for everyone else. I knew I had an album with a song called "Dusty Springfield" in my music room somewhere, but the band wasn't coming to me right away. Let's just say I have had a number of birthdays under my belt, and I'm not quite the savant I used to be when it comes to remembering such things. I was singing it to myself yesterday. So I knew it was jangly indie pop from the golden age of jangly indie pop and probably from the UK. Finally, it hit me like a bolt of lightning a little while ago. If you're curious about just how many birthdays I have had, I'm the same age as 'Dusty in Memphis.' Sigh.

As an aside, I had no idea until today the album cover for 'Dusty in Memphis' was different for folks in the UK. The one above seems so iconic to this Yank.

Dusty Springfield - Breakfast in Bed
The Haywains - Dusty Springfield

Thursday, November 9, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter F, Part 10)

Apologies, indie fans. A bit of a curve ball today but, perhaps, an interesting curiosity if you kneel at the altar of Brian Wilson. As many of you know, for much of the '90s, I became disenchanted with pop music. I increasingly turned to the loves of my childhood, absconded from my mother's record collection when I was 10, particularly the Kinks and Beach Boys. In the early years of that decade, it was a terrific time to be a fan of the Beach Boys. Reference books, biographies, box sets and other reissues were being released at a furious pace. After reading so much about Brian's influences, naturally, I began seeking out that music too. Again, the timing was perfect. Among my favorites, I really took to Phil Spector just as his 'Back to Mono' box set hit the shelves. I also picked up a decent comp of the Four Freshmen that received a few plays.

In the late '90s, while living in Washington, D.C., my fandom for Brian reached a fever pitch as he began releasing new music and flirting with the idea of touring. During that period, I went to a record convention in the Northern Virginia suburbs. I was shocked as I happened across a booth that had absolutely nothing but Four Freshmen memorabilia. I introduced myself to the fella at the booth and explained my interest due to the Wilson connection. His name was David, from nearby McLean, and I learned he was a Virginia representative of FFS, the Four Freshmen Society. Trust me, it's a big operation. It was a fascinating day of learning as David took me through some of the group's best recordings and explained their place in music as the group moved away from barbershop and introduced jazz elements that kids like Brian really dug as he listened in his bedroom back in Hawthorne, California. Did I just use the term barbershop on this blog?

The album changed everything for Brian was the 1955 release 'Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones'. Wilson once said of the album, "I was 14. They had a demonstration booth where you could listen to it in the store, and I found the Four Freshmen. My mother said, 'Do you really wanna hear this?' and I said, 'Sure!' So I went in this little booth, and I played it and fell in love with it. And I bought it. I loved the sound of the trombones. Wonderful songs -- 'I Remember You', 'Mam'selle'..." In another interview, he went further, saying of the song "You Stepped Out of a Dream", "This is where I learned to arrange harmonies, and also where I learned to sing falsetto. Their four-part harmony was totally original -- not five or three parts, but four parts. Wow!"

I have several albums by the Four Freshmen, but I think the two pictured above, 'Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones' and the comp 'Freshmen Favorites' are the only two I listen to with much regularity. My copy of 'Trombones' is very rough. In fact, while listening, you might run to the window thinking it has started raining. Sorry, that's surface noise. Here are the three songs Brian dropped in the quotes above. It will take you about 10 seconds to realize how much Brian was influenced by them.

"I Remember You"
"You Stepped Out of a Dream"

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter F, Part 9)

Here's a quick explanation of where I have been. Three weeks ago, my computer died. The repair shop told me the hard drive was fried. After a couple of days of contemplation, I decided to get a new laptop. The old one had already experienced a major repair last year, and who was to say the fan or screen wouldn't break the day after replacing the drive? I chose a model rather quickly, but then I found out there was a good chance it would be going on sale in a week's time. I waited.

The day it went on sale, I returned to the shop with a pile of cash. The model I wanted was not in stock. I could get the sale price, but the laptop would have to be ordered. It would be mailed to my house in 3-5 business days. With a weekend thrown in for good measure, I lost another week. The package arrived yesterday. I quickly took it to the repair shop to have the files on the old hard drive moved to the new one. I just picked it up a few minutes ago. It will probably take me a couple of days to get all of the missing software reinstalled, but I should be all set by the end of the week. In the meantime, I did have the next band in my vinyl collection already ripped. Let's get back to it.

One last thing. It would seem the worst part of the ordeal would be living without that one piece of equipment all of us have come to depend on for just about everything. Nope. For me, it's knowing I won't be able to buy records for a good long while as we try to replenish the coffers. The shopping list is as long as it has ever been.

I realize a post on Friends Again is for about two readers out there (JC and FORW, presumably), but I would be kicking myself if I skipped one of my favorite Scottish bands from my youth. I came to them from a little different angle than JC. He liked them from the beginning, listening to those early singles before they recorded for a major label. When I was a kid, my first taste of Friends again was the band's one and only album, 'Trapped and Unwrapped'. For those who had followed them since the 'Honey at the Core' single in 1983, the 1984 album was a bit of a disappointment. In particular, some of the songs were inferior recordings of those earlier releases. It's an old story, isn't it? I, of course, had nothing to compare them too, and I thought "Lucky Star" and others from the album were terrific pieces of jangle.

Fast forward about a quarter of a century, and I find JC's original Vinyl Villain blog. He starts playing these original versions from Friends Again, and I'm just floored. 'Trapped and Unwrapped' begins collecting dust as I start seeking out the old singles. As you can see from the photo above, during the past five or six years, I have collected quite a few trophies on my hunt for Friends Again relics. Here are a few of my favorites from the band. This is as good a time as any to thank JC for the education.

"Lullaby No. 2" (from 'the Friends Again EP')
"Sunkissed" (Extended Version) (12" single)
"Lucky Star" (original B-side to the "Honey at the Core" 7")