Rounding back into the trenches of sorely overlooked fodder for vinyl reissue in a time when greatest hits albums are somehow finding their way back to the plants. The wanting bin of treasures that should be made available is too deep to measure and sadly the reissue marker isn’t set by how deserving an album is of new review, just how many copies are going to rush out the door. If the majors are going to comb their back stacks there still remain quite a few more deserving records than whatever post-Eagles solo records are in the queue. Case in point, before they found their way to Creation, a stable I’d lobby should be entirely back in print if at all possible, The Weather Prophets issued a debut for WEA. I’d submit Mayflower as an essential record and one that’s profoundly deserving of a new life among the racks.
Out of print on CD even since the mid-90s, barring a Japanese issue in 2010, the record is a college rock gem and one of the most solid debuts of the ‘80s. The Weather Prophets were formed immediately after Pete Astor and drummer Dave Morgan left their folded previous band The Loft. Jumping off of The Loft’s post-punk lean into jangles they formed The Weather Prophets with veritable unknowns David Greenwood Goulding and Oisin Little. The band took up under Creation guru Alan McGee’s management (after a brief stint of him contemplating being the band’s bassist) and issued the single “Almost Prayed.” It took off despite a bit of scoffing towards Creation at the time and some kickback from The Loft holdovers who found them too commercial.
The band recruited Lenny Kaye for a second single and subsequent album, which both received more flack from the indie press despite weathering time better than many of their contemporaries in hindsight. The band became the first signing to McGee’s Warner imprint Elevation and they’d release Mayflower as the inaugural release. Kaye’s production gives the album a heft and heavier edge than many in the jangle-pop / indie-darling scenes and despite a lack of commercial reception and even the band souring on the album at the time, it’s hard to ignore that the album has merit when put up with offerings from The Chills, Razorcuts or early-mid R.E.M. at the time.
With reception a bit chilly the band dropped out of WEA’s arms and back into Creation proper for a follow-up the next year, Judges, Juries and Horsemen, though it too was not the smashing success the band was looking for and after a final single, “Always The Light,” they disbanded. Astor would go on to form Wisdom of Harry which would find a home with Matador Records and eventually resurface with two stellar solo albums. Still this record remains a wanting omission from the current crop of ‘80s bent reissues. While I’m ecstatic that Adorable’s classic for Creation is getting its due this year, this one should surely be next on the list. I’d submit it for another look by the labels that be.
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