Friday, October 08, 2004

favourite fallen idol

Adorable's first single, Sunshine Smile, is pure shoegazery bliss-out pop goodness. The perfect mix of pretty and gritty that could only be found in the early 90s. This is the kind of CD that you could find in just about every used bin in America during my undergrad years, but has now sort of disappeared. The typical problems with british bands on U.S. labels. Wasn't SBK the label that screwed Slowdive, in a manner of speaking, as well? The second track I choose, Breathless, is a personal favorite of mine from the land of romantic mixtapes past.

Adorable arrived when the shoegazer scene in England was starting to fade away. Formed in Coventry, England, in late 1990, Adorable was comprised of Piotr Fijalkowski (vocals, guitar), Robert Dillam (guitar), Wil (bass), and Kevin Gritton (drums). The band's wall of shimmering riffs drew comparisons to shoegazer icons such as My Bloody Valentine and Ride; however, their most noticeable influence was Echo & the Bunnymen as Fijalkowski has a harrowed, melancholic voice similar to Ian McCulloch's. The group didn't deny its Bunnymen worship in the U.K. press, either, as Fijalkowski stated in one interview that the Bunnymen were even superior to the Doors. Adorable recorded their first single, "Sunshine Smile," in 1991. However, the 800 copies made of it were never released. In January 1992, the band met Alan McGee, the owner of the British independent label Creation Records, at a pub in Coventry. The group signed with Creation and "Sunshine Smile" finally appeared in April of that year. The record was voted Single of the Week by the U.K. magazine NME and hit number one on the indie charts. But the band's cockiness -- which separated the group from faceless shoegazer acts -- began to annoy critics. Adorable's first album, Against Perfection, was released in 1993. The band then toured America for a month; however, Creation and the group's U.S. label, SBK, were bickering, throwing Adorable into the crossfire. Although it made the Top 75, Against Perfection didn't sell as heavily as it should've and reviewers -- perhaps still turned off by the band's arrogance -- were not impressed. After Sony took over Creation, Adorable felt pressured in recording a follow-up LP that would keep them with the company. Unfortunately, 1994's Fake didn't have the snotty self-confidence of Against Perfection, and it flopped. Consequently, the group was dropped from Creation; a year later, they split up. - AMG

Upon gazing upon the impressive listing of producer Pat Collier's resume, my record collection makes a little more sense. Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians, The Wonder Stuff, Darling Buds, House of Love, Primal Scream, Soft Boys, Method Actors, etc.

Adorable - Sunshine Smile
Adorable - Breathless


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