Label: Glass, BigTime
Catalogue: GLACD020, 6021-2
Recorded: May 1986, Woodbine St. Studios, Royal Leamington Spa
Engineered: John A. Rivers
Photography: Richard Dumas
Sleeve: Lionel Brando
Note: limited BigTime copies contain an extended Conspiracy LP.
Falling In Love
Big Bad Thing
Still In The Kitchen
South America (Compact Disc only)
Hungarian Love Song
The New World
Graham "Felix" Fudger
Mark Steeds (Piano on Who Loves You Now?)
John A. Rivers (Backing Vocals on Domestic Animal and Buffalo Shame)
Special thanks and regards to John Silver, Barney, Fransisco, Brian at The George, Eric and Julian, Philip and Eleanor and Spacemen 3.
Option (UK) May/June 1987
A Sri Lankan gentleman once sat down beside me in a bar in Bremen, asked me to sign his copy of this record, and then, even as I wrote messages of good luck and global harmony, announced sternly "This is a very...bad record." He was a berk, but he had a point. Alan McGee and a number of people in France, America and The Music Business have called this one a "classic album". People do, of course, say much the same about "Dark Side Of The Moon". Can you hear my flesh creeping? Germans, on the other hand, despise it almost universally.
We were deeply confused young men when we made this record. Max, Jones and I had all been drinking dangerously for over a year now, and the poor bass player who replaced David was finding it almost impossible to keep up with our twisted thought patterns. Do you like my bass playing? That's me on Buffalo Shame, South America and a couple of others.
By now, effectively, Max and I had totally lost any sense of quality control on my writing. Tragic and sincere or glib and ludicrous, we recorded EVERYTHING. Sent in to make demos for this l.p. Max and I came out with Conspiracy where we squandered a couple of great ideas that this l.p. so badly needs. John A. Rivers you'll notice, has bought a new reverb unit, a Lexicon, in fact. He's also taken to recording digitally. The ensuing absurd gloss, matched with an absence of native intelligence around the bottom end, gives a lot of the songs a sound that I dislike. ON THE OTHER HAND, there's Angels, Falling In Love, The New World.
Still, in 1986 the best plan would be to but the 12" single and go see the band in concert. Generally, we had it down in concert. In just about every other department, however, we were coming to bits, individually and collectively, and to me this record actually shows the morbid state of things at the time. Not, of course, that we really noticed any of this until months later, when, confronted by the realitied of having been on an accidental two-year intercontinental binge, we retired damaged, leaving the group in pieces. Oh, and another thing about Gentlefolk... it's pretentious too.
Mystified by Pat's evaluation of the album
bocacorazon[at]-remove-yahoo.com - marcos [at]-remove- Dallas, TX, USA
13Jan2017 7:33 AM (39 days 12 hours ago)
This was my first JBC record, and I still consider it their best. It is definitely one of my desert island records.
Still a favorite
jbwcomm[at]-remove-mac.com - Jonathan, New Hampshire USA
20Sep2014 8:56 AM (2 years 155 days ago)
Loved this album upon its release, haven't stopped loving it since. The only thing that changes is my favorite song on it, which is typically the one that is playing at the moment. Carried away on waves of digital reverb.
I love this record.
morebarsinmoreplaces[at]-remove-gmail.com - Eric, San Francisco
4Feb2013 10:02 PM (4 years 17 days ago)
I don't understand why you're so down on it. It's the crowning achievement of the Max era.
lawlermcneil[at]-remove-gmail.com - Michael McNeil...Minneapolis
14Nov2010 11:09 PM (6 years 100 days ago)
I bought this record in '88 and it really impressed on me a moment in time that is still there (me mind). I want to thank all the butchers for creating some
of the greatest music i'll always enjoy! Illuminate is also very good.
c_mason[at]-remove-nl.rogers.com - Catherine Mason, Newfoundland
23Apr2007 6:06 AM (9 years 307 days ago)
I came upon Distressed Gentlefolk years ago in cassette form and bought it without having any idea of what it was. I am glad I did. It is one of my favourite albums of all time, and my children, who were small then, loved it too, especially Domesticated Animals. My eldest daughter, who is very fond of pizza, thought one song was about a Pizza Lorry not Peter Lorre.
Tragically it is now worn out and I would dearly love to be able to get hold of a CD copy. I also have Fishcotheque on cassette which is also in a bad way. I have never come across any of the other albums.