Biff Bang Pow!

A Better Life - Complete Creations 1984-1991


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• A deluxe six-CD box, boasting the entire recorded output of Biff Bang Pow! with the bonus of everything issued by The Laughing Apple.

• Curated with the full support of Alan McGee and other band members, the clamshell set also adds a raft of previously unissued demos and live material.

• Plus tracks from an abandoned album, ‘Sixteen Velvet Fridays’ and a handful of previously undocumented songs.

• And a Laughing Apple CD also adds some hitherto unheard demos by Alan with the band Newspeak (pre-Laughing Apple).

• With sleevenotes including quotes from those involved, this is the ultimate tribute to one of the unsung talents of the C86 generation of indie bands.

Biff Bang Pow! were formed by Alan McGee around the same time he founded Creation Records in 1983. Having evolved out of post-punk band The Laughing Apple, which he’d started in 1980 with friend Andrew Innes, Biff Bang Pow! made seven albums and a handful of singles – many of which were indie hits – before they finally dissolved in 1992.

To many fans of Creation Records, Biff Bang Pow! were the label’s best-kept secret, fusing ‘60s psychedelia and power pop with beautiful, haunting melodies. Their early sound seemed to reinvent The Jam circa 1980, with a pop art approach reminiscent of the ‘60s band from whom their took their name, The Creation (who recorded the song ‘Biff Bang Pow!’).

Albums two and three, ‘The Girl Who Runs The Beat Hotel’ and ‘Oblivion’, captured Biff Bang Pow! at their peak, from the former’s tranquil, ‘60s pop tunes (often with Christine Wanless singing) to the latter’s power pop swagger. Later records adopted an increasingly acoustic bent, essentially solo outlets for McGee, after his discovery of ecstasy, when he was listening to Neil Young and Nick Drake.

Tracklist

DISC ONE:

PASS THE PAINTBRUSH, HONEY
1 THERE MUST BE A BETTER LIFE
2 LOST YOUR DREAMS
3 LOVE AND HATE
4 THE CHOCOLATE ELEPHANT MAN
5 WATERBOMB!
6 COLIN DOBBINS
7 WOULDN’T YOU?
8 A DAY OUT WITH JEREMY CHESTER
Bonus Tracks
9 FIFTY YEARS OF FUN
10 THEN WHEN I SCREAM
11 THE CHOCOLATE ELEPHANT MAN (Alternative Mix – Extra Intro)
12 IN THE AFTERNOON (Early Version) (by Revolving Paint Dream)
13 THEN WHEN I SCREAM (Different Longer Version) ***
14 LOST YOUR DREAMS (Demo)
15 I’M OKAY ME (Demo)

*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DISC TWO:

THE GIRL WHO RUNS THE BEAT HOTEL
1 SOMEONE STOLE MY WHEELS
2 LOVE’S GOING OUT OF FASHION
3 SHE NEVER UNDERSTOOD
4 HE DON’T NEED THAT GIRL
5 SHE SHIVERS INSIDE
6 THE BEAT HOTEL
7 THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD
8 IF I DIE
9 FIVE MINUTES IN THE LIFE OF GREENWOOD GOULDING
10 THE WHOLE WORLD IS TURNING BROUCHARD!

SIXTEEN VELVET FRIDAYS
11 IT MAKES YOU SCARED
12 SUNNY DAYS
13 HE DON’T NEED THAT GIRL (Early Version) ***
14 BACK TO THE START
15 I NEED OPTIMISM ***
16 SHE’S GONE AWAY ***
Bonus Tracks
17 INSIDE THE MUSHROOM
18 IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME (Alan Vocal)
19 IN THE AFTERNOON
20 THE DEATH OF ENGLAND
21 THE BEAT HOTEL (Alan Vocal – Different Mix) ***
22 IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME (Demo – Christine Vocal) ***
23 SHE WENT AWAY TO THE LOVE (Demo) ***
24 THE BEAT HOTEL (Demo – Christine Vocal) ***

*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DISC THREE:

OBLIVION
1 IN A MOURNING TOWN
2 THERE YOU GO AGAIN
3 7 SECONDS
4 A GIRL CALLED DESTRUCTION
5 SHE’S GOT DIAMONDS IN HER HAIR
6 THE ONLY COLOUR IN THIS WORLD IS LOVE
7 BABY SISTER
8 THEN WHEN I SCREAM
9 I SEE THE SUN
10 I’M STILL WAITING FOR MY TIME
Bonus Tracks
11 SHE’S GOT DIAMONDS IN HER HAIR (Demo Version)
12 SHE NEVER UNDERSTOOD (Alternate Version)
13 FIFTY YEARS OF FUN (Almost Live Version)

DORTMUND, GERMANY, FEBRUARY 1987
14 THE CHOCOLATE ELEPHANT MAN ***
15 IN A MOURNING TOWN ***
16 SHE’S GOT DIAMONDS IN HER HAIR ***
17 7 SECONDS ***
18 LOVE’S GOING OUT OF FASHION ***
19 LOVE AND HATE ***
20 THERE MUST BE A BETTER LIFE ***
21 FIFTY YEARS OF FUN ***
22 A GIRL CALLED DESTRUCTION ***
23 COLIN DOBBINS ***
24 WATERBOMB! ***
25 SHE NEVER UNDERSTOOD ***

*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DISC FOUR:

LOVE IS FOREVER
1 MISS CALIFORNIA
TOOTHPASTE 1972
2 SHE HAUNTS
3 SEARCHING FOR THE PAVEMENT
4 SHE PAINTS
5 CLOSE
6 ICE CREAM MACHINE
7 ELECTRIC SUGAR CHILD
8 DARK IN MIND
9 STARTRIPPER
10 SHE WENT AWAY TO THE LOVE
Bonus Tracks
11 THE BEAT HOTEL (12” Version – Christine Vocal)
12 IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME (12” Version – Christine Vocal)

SONGS FOR THE SAD EYED GIRL
13 SHE KILLS ME
14 THE GIRL FROM WELL LANE
15 BABY, YOU JUST DON’T CARE
16 IF YOU DON’T LOVE ME NOW YOU NEVER EVER WILL
17 SOMEONE TO SHARE MY LIFE WITH
18 RELIGIOUS
19 HUG ME HONEY
Bonus Track
20 VICTORIA APPLETREE LOVES CHRISTOPHER JONES (alias She Haunts – Take 1) ***

*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DISC FIVE:

“ME”
1 MY FIRST FRIEND
2 MISS YOU
3 I’M BURNED
4 SONG FOR A NAIL
5 SHE SAVED ME
6 YOU JUST CAN’T BUY SATISFACTION
7 SAD EYES IN VELVET
8 GUILT RIDDEN
9 LOVERS
10 BABY YOU JUST MAKE ME STRONG
Bonus Tracks
11 SLEEP
12 LONG LIVE NEIL YOUNG AND ALL WHO SAIL IN HIM
13 IN BED WITH PAUL WELLER
14 EVERYBODY WANTS TO DIVORCE HER
15 JEAN MICHEL POW
16 I HOPE YOU BURN ***
17 YOU JUST CAN’T BUY SATISFACTION (Demo) ***

*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DISC SIX:

THE LAUGHING APPLE
1 SOMETIMES I WISH
2 CHIPS FOR TEA
3 UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS
4 I’M OKAY
5 PARTICIPATE!
6 WOULDN’T YOU?
7 PRECIOUS FEELING
8 CELEBRATION
DEMOS
9 INSTINCT ***
10 MY JUDGEMENT DAY ***
11 WHERE I TAKE MY PLEASURE ***

NEWSPEAK DEMOS
12 WEEKEND WORLD ***
13 WOULDN’T YOU? ***
14 SHE’S BOXED IN ***

ALAN MCGEE & JOWE HEAD DEMOS:
15 FIFTY YEARS OF FUN ***
16 I STILL LOOK FOR HER (alias Then When I Scream) ***
17 ALL I WANT ***
18 YOU STILL LOST YOUR
DREAM (alias Lost Your Dreams) ***

*** PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED