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.
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
I love this record.
- Eric, San Francisco
4Feb2013 10:02 PM
(1 year 168 days ago)
I don't understand why you're so down on it. It's the crowning achievement of the Max era.
- Michael McNeil...Minneapolis
14Nov2010 11:09 PM
(3 years 251 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.
- Catherine Mason, Newfoundland
23Apr2007 6:06 AM
(7 years 93 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.
I bet all his clothes were made in Thailand
- Derick, Berkeley CA
12Apr2006 12:25 PM
(8 years 103 days ago)
This is one of about 30 vinyl records that I actually hauled cross-country, since it's really indispensable IMHO. Back in the day (1988?) I worked out the chords to Nothing Special & would perplex people with my rendition...
Key to Distressed Gentlefolk sleeve
27Oct2005 4:22 PM
(8 years 270 days ago)
Anyone know the identity of the people on the Distressed Gentlefolk sleeve? Here's a start from starting with upper left and going in concentric spiral clockwise (numbered by go-round, guesses described without name - most all except obvious are guesses and didn't check spelling):
1: Buster Keaton, bearded man, black female, young man, Allen Ginsberg, Judy Garland (below), African man, Bela Lugosi, man in profile, Marianne Faithful, older man, smiling woman, closely shaved man, buffalo, Richard Burton, bearded man2, coiffed man, puppet man, collared man, Indian chief, scarfed man, wrinkled man
2: Vincent Van Gogh, sunglassed man, Syd Barrett, moustachioed man, Dylan Thomas, white shirted man, shakespeare looking man, queenly woman, Oscar Wilde, African man2, Patty Hearst, Trotsky (no couldn't be), Billie Holiday, smoking man, engraved mustachioed man, George Orwell and child, cat people orchestra
3: Rainer Fassbinder, Brian Wilson (below), tortured cat, eye-rolling man, Janis Joplin, bespectacled man, Charlie "Bird" Parker, smiling man in profile
That's all for now. Any help or insight as to inspiration would be appreciated.