Friday, 12 June 2015

50 songs to take to my grave #32: Head Gone Astray

Not sure if this one ever featured in JC's wonderful long-running Saturday's Scottish Single series, but even if it did, it's certainly worthy of yet another reappraisal. The Soup Dragons was one of the very first indie bands I ever got into. I caught them towards the end of their best period, just before their debut album. Those early singles were just brilliant. The cream of the crop for me was Head Gone Astray.

There's so much I like about it. The way the solo jangly guitar gives way to two loud drum beats, then launches into a full-blown assault of playful tunage. The way that single piano note is furiously pounded all the way through until it remains the only thing that can be heard. Sean Dickson's vocal, all full of beans and joyful (in spite of the song being a social comment on capitalism and greed). Jim McCulloch's Rickenbacker, a thing of beauty. Drummer Ross Sinclair's hair... in fact, take Ross out of 1987 and plonk him in some student hangout in 2015 and he'd fit right in - he had the hipster look nailed 28 years ago!

It's always been my fave Soup Dragons track, but two others come pretty bloody close; one of them was the b-side of this very single - Girl In The World. (Oh, the other one is the splendid follow-up Can't Take No More, a fine, fine single indeed.) I do find the 12" version of Head Gone Astray far more satisfying than the shorter 7", so that's the one I'm posting. Such a crying shame that with great songs like this in their canon, they'll only be remembered for a dreadful cover of a Rolling Stones b-side. Woeful.

(The original video is for the 7" edit, but here someone has taken the full-length 12" version and re-edited the video to fit. Unfortunately they've also decided to add the (incorrect and misspelt) lyrics to the bottom...!)


  1. Me thinks you might like this?

    1. Sounds like early Lush. I do like it. That video is just awful though. I cringed all the way through it.

  2. It was only released the other day! Sounds so early ninties! They are Swedish. Lots of good Swedish shoegazer bands out at the moment. Swoon is another.
    This better?