Friday, 3 October 2014

50 songs to take to my grave #16: Leave Them All Behind

I saw Ride live during their tour for their debut album ‘Nowhere’ and remember feeling quite unmoved by the experience. I was more impressed with their support band Mercury Rev (pre-‘Deserters Songs’ and the massive acclaim it brought them) – they were altogether louder, noisier and more interesting. Ride were pretty, well, meh!

I still wanted to like them though; I felt that had something, some potential that remained untapped. I was sure they had at least one record in them that would make me love them, even just a single song, something that would stop me in my tracks and make me go ‘wow’!

That record came out in early 1992 and was called Leave Them All Behind.

In many ways it was a strange choice of single – particularly the lead single for the second album. It’s more than eight minutes in length, it has a ‘false intro’ – just when you think you’re off and running, it seems like it starts all over again – and it has no chorus. It does, however, have loads of swirling guitars, some trademark Ride “aaahhhhhs” and a brilliantly rousing crescendo. It was everything I expected from Ride, but with that little bit extra that finally made me love them.

Leave Them All Behind is an absolute beast of a record that has such a great time, it doesn’t know when to stop. Only when the rug is pulled from under it after eight minutes does it tumble into the abyss, but even then those guitars are still playing. It also led me back to that debut album which I seemed to appreciate more then ever before – Vapour Trail and Polar Bear became big faves. The much-anticipated follow-up ‘Going Blank Again’ opened with Leave Them All Behind, but took a different direction with songs like Twisterella, Mouse Trap and Making Judy Smile lending a much cleaner, pop-sounding element to the proceedings. It’s a good example of how far Ride had come since their lauded early EPs and debut album, but they never came close to a track of such majesty as Leave Them All Behind. It stands alone.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing song. I only got to Ride late. I could listen to this song all day. The live Brixton version is great too. A mention should also be made to Grasshopper on the B Side. Both these songs would have a good fight between each other!!!!