The brainchild of Lee Mavers and his band The La’s have produced some of the very best music to come out of Liverpool, ever. Their debut album is the stuff of legend, recorded multiple times with various producers all of whom were asked to capture the sound of the band that was in the Mavers mind, seemingly never happy with results that were released he was often quoted as saying he would prefer to have the album re-recorded, seemingly that is looking less likely with Mavers now a recluse in hiding and the rest of The La’s otherwise occupied it’s up to record labels like 80’s Vinyl and Viper Records who have decided to release an alternate version of the album that more or less captures the songs in a rougher and rawer sound than anything captured on the 1990 release.
Captured from many of the same source tapes as the Callin’ All CD compilations that focused on rare and previously unreleased versions of the tracks on the album, these magical recordings sheds light on a band that were at the panicle of their craft when in a live setting, which appears to be the setting for the bulk of these recordings. Whether recording in a studio, broom cupboard or kitchen the individual setting for each track reveals a unique attraction to the songs not found on the officially released album, something I think Mavers would have wanted to be featured on anything officially released, sadly however producers are after that perfect sound, nothing out of tune, its maybe a shame Frank Zappa wasn’t able to produce the album in the same vein as Trout Mask Replica and the like.
Son Of A Gun sounds like The Beach Boys with Buddy Holly at the helm, There She Goes is less Top Of The Pops but more black and white iconic Cavern Club, Timeless Melody has that addictive revolving beat that is captured even more perfectly here, Doledrum with its echoing harmonies never disappoints, Feelin’ is as you expect, short, sharp and full of…well, feeling. Side 2’s highlights include the stark sounding Freedom Song, Looking Glass is less of the expanded jam rather a chiming call to all is an emphatic before bonus tracks that featured on the officially released album in the guise of Come In Come Out and Callin’ All finish of the set with just as much mystic and intrigue as the opening track.
Released in very limited quantities, this vinyl version is very much worth shifting your cash for. Included is a 4 page insert feature intriguing notes by original The La’s guitarist Paul Hemmings, The La’s legacy is only set to keep on growing in its intrigue and mystery as it always has done. The charming genius chords of Lee Mavers and The La’s is unequivocally brought back to life in this splendid set.
Callin’ All 1986- 1987 can be purchased via the following link