Take Fountain

Take Fountain

by The Wedding Present
     
 

The Wedding Present were among the most popular U.K. indie groups of the late '80s, led by eternally heartbroken frontman David Gedge, who masked his anguish with a din of jangly guitars. Gedge put the band on hiatus in 1997 and formed a new project, Cinerama, with his longtime girlfriend, Sally Murrell,See more details below

Overview

The Wedding Present were among the most popular U.K. indie groups of the late '80s, led by eternally heartbroken frontman David Gedge, who masked his anguish with a din of jangly guitars. Gedge put the band on hiatus in 1997 and formed a new project, Cinerama, with his longtime girlfriend, Sally Murrell, replacing the loud guitars with a sound indebted to Burt Bacharach and Ennio Morricone. But with each new Cinerama album, the roar of the first band was more and more in evidence. And when Gedge and Murrell broke up in 2004, he decided to resurrect the old moniker, giving us Take Fountain -- the first Wedding Present album in eight years. Few songwriters can mine relationship highs and lows the way Gedge can, and lyrically, Take Fountain is easily the most personal thing he's ever produced. There are times when listening is a guilt-filled experience, akin to prying open someone's diary. His pain is our gain, however, as the songs crackle with emotional energy. The churning "Interstate 5" hammers on one chord for nearly six minutes, gaining momentum as it goes, and you can feel the resentment when Gedge sings, "You were just seeing me as a chance of getting laid." It would fit perfectly on the Wedding Present's 1991 masterwork, Seamonsters, though when the song morphs into a spaghetti western motif, it becomes apparent that Take Fountain probably could have been Cinerama's fourth CD. On "Mars Sparkles Down" Gedge tries to come to terms with the fact that his ex has moved on, and the bouncy "I'm from Further North" looks back on the relationship with post-breakup glasses ("I guess we had some memorable days…just not very many"). It's not all misery: "Always the Quiet One" is buoyant with the rush of meeting someone new, and "Perfect Blue" -- one of the best songs Gedge has ever written -- finds him in the throes of new love once again. At the risk of indulging in Schadenfreude, let's hope he doesn't get too happy -- his breakup songs have always been better.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
From the start, Cinerama was not a drastic diversion from the Wedding Present. David Gedge rounded off whatever remaining edges were left in the Weddoes' sound and developed a crack chamber pop group. Softer songs off Watusi and Saturnalia, such as "Catwoman," "2, 3 Go," and "Real Thing," dropped hints. Gedge's gruff yelps vanished, replaced by bedroom whispers; roaring electric guitars were swapped out for delicate acoustic strums, with extensive use of strings, brass, woodwinds, and keyboards. After Cinerama released their first album, they began to sound more and more like the Wedding Present, to the point where the two groups were virtually indistinguishable from one another. In 2004, Gedge and his associates began recording the fourth Cinerama album with Watusi producer Steve Fisk and resurfaced instead with the sixth Wedding Present album. To no surprise, Take Fountain sounds just like Cinerama and the Wedding Present. Opener "Interstate 5" gets it across right off the bat, its first six minutes an effectively repetitive chugging groove that shifts into a drifting hybrid of Ennio Morricone and John Barry for the final two minutes -- a bracing zip up the West Coast turns into a restful gondola ride alongside an Italian village. From then on, the album is populated by a range of three- to four-minute pop songs that you're accustomed to hearing from Gedge. For every hushed, playful passage, there's an explosive chorus, and for every verse dealing with some form of romantic frustration, there's...a bunch of romantically frustrated verses. Most songs are of the standard that made Gedge one of the most loved indie figures of the '80s and '90s, though the bluntly sexual phrasings that repelled George Best/Tommy-era fans from Watusi, Saturnalia, and everything released by Cinerama remain. Take Fountain is a solid Wedding Present album, one that will satisfy those who have been following Gedge all along. (As an important footnote, the Wedding Present name was reactivated in time to record one final Peel Session before John Peel's passing in October of 2004.)

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/2005
Label:
Manifesto Records
UPC:
0767004390123
catalogNumber:
43901

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wedding Present   Primary Artist
Steve Fisk   Organ,Piano,Glockenspiel,Mellotron,Vibes
David Gedge   Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Lori Goldston   Cello
Terry de Castro   Bass,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Simon Cleave   Guitar,Group Member
Don Crevie   French Horn
Jeff McGrath   Trumpet
Kari Paavola   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Jen Kozel   Violin
Keri Paavola   Drums
Steve Cresswell   Viola
Jen Rozel   Violin

Technical Credits

Steve Fisk   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
David Gedge   Composer,Producer,Orchestral Arrangements
Noel Summerville   Mastering
Greg Norman   Engineer
Simon Cleave   Composer,Producer
Justin Armstrong   Engineer
Matt Evenden   Web Design

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