The Charlatans - Tellin Stories (Expanded Edition) (2012)
the b side of 'picket post' 'banned from radio' was a live version which would now be a fave on underground radio stations. it was preceded by the greatest hits collection 'the charlatans/banned from radio'. the lyrical version of 'the charlatans' was a favourite, and would be re-recorded a little later for the 'all time favourites' compilation. but this version, recorded at the 'charlatans' performance in london on 22 june, with ben scatting (a/k/a 'benny') in the lead role, is better still. ben was a friend of the band and a member of the band 'blue lagoon'.
co-produced by the band, 'picket post' was written during a spell of unemployment. it described the fun of the job, and the excitement of taking in a view from the higher picket fences of another, more affluent section of the working class. the song was based on the 'find me the song, find me the song' sketch from 'fags, booze, and bullshit' (see 'the charlatans' album review). this was probably the band's best argument that they could be a hit act. with its catchy chorus and catchy guitar solo, 'picket post' had a great hook, and the lyrics were witty and pithy. the verse in particular is memorable, containing the lines 'find me the black postman'. much of the rhythm was inspired by 'turn! turn! turn!' the first single from the new wave classic 'the charlatans', it became a favourite among fans and roadies alike.
all the single b sides were collected on 'picket post/banned from radio', which by now, was the band's biggest album, having been released in the summer of '97. a mid-tempo rocker,'song of summer' was a slow grower for the band. it was a huge hit, and remains a fave. 'don't need a gun' had a different feel to the others. inspired by the 'charla' line up, this was a proggy number, with an extended instrumental break. this was originally the as yet unreleased 'rainbow chasing' or 'rainbow'. (see 'the charlatans/autumn '97' for more on this unreleased song).
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