Sunday, 17 May 2009

A Trick or Two

A trait I've always found abhorrent is the way the music industry exploits the hunter gatherer nature of us all by releasing multiple versions of the same single.

To release different versions on different formats is one thing - the twelve inch more acceptably would feature different titles or versions than the regular seven inch - but several versions available on a single format - the CD single - is mere exploitation.

The punter obviously has to make the choice, with the constant nag that the best tracks are going to be on the version not decided upon, forcing them to live uneasily, satisfied only by succumbing to doubt (and desire) and finally handing over their hard earned cash for something they already partly own.

'Tricky Kid' was released simultaneously in two versions, imaginatively entitled CD1 and CD2.
(Other artists and labels could release as many as four different versions; and it seemed any leaning towards the dance genre would allow for almost anybody to come up with a new mix!)

Both versions contain worthy tracks, and for the Tricky completest, both are essential - across both releases there is only one 'remix', but it was unreleased elsewhere (which is something), as well as another two unreleased tracks, and two tracks unreleased in the U.K.

The best tracks, as with all Tricky's material, are those songs where he is accompanied by the wonderful Martina Topley-Bird: vocalist, muse, [then] lover and mother of his child.

She readily brings the songs to life, and works so efficiently as a contrast to Tricky's often hyperbolic brooding and hard-boiled self-deprecation.

The Shakespearean Sonnet inspired 'Suffocated Love' (the source is Sonnet 138:

When my love swears that she is made of truth,

I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.

Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth supprest.

But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told:

Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.)

is a great example of Tricky and Martina working as one; two halves in perfect harmony, perfect unity.
The version featured here is a recording taken from the BBC's Jools Holland Later... programme, and as a live cut, stripped-down, absent of Tricky's noir-styled atmospherics, a very different side to Tricky's music is revealed.

The original source for the recording is captured in this video, along with a corking version of another of Maxinquaye's tracks, 'Black Steel':

Tricky - Tricky Kid (1997)

Tricky Kid
Devil's Helper
Smoking Beagles
Suffocated Love
Makes Me Wanna Die (Tricky's Extremix)
Grass Roots

CD rips with covers
Kid's stuff here


Josh said...

Excellent stuff Roy. I love Tricky's older stuff. Not too much of a fan of his last couple of efforts though.

roy rocket said...

Hey Josh. Good to hear from you.
Totally agree with your Tricky assessment; his best material definitely comes from the time before his self-beatification...
Hope all's cool with you, roy

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with both comments - the last long player was a partial return to form though.

Cheers Roy for persevering with your splendid blog.


Anonymous said...

Saw him circa '95, great concert, amazing. Whoever the drummer And for a year or two I searched in vain trying to find some of the very psychedelic workouts they played that night..