Friday, 11 November 2016

"All governments are liars and murderers..."

"Out of focus ideology / Keep the masses from majority."

The 21st Anniversary edition of Super Furry Animals' classic debut album 'Fuzzy Logic' hit the shelves a week ago. Among all the added bonuses is a set of demos the band made in 1995, including a very early take on The Man Don't Give A Fuck. It's great to hear these raw versions of works in progress. Interesting to hear how the song started, but let's not pretend it's anywhere near as amazing as the final product.

The song was considered for the album initially, but wasn't finished in time. Then it was mooted as a b-side, but the band felt it was too good for that, so they put it out as a standalone single at the end of the year instead. That version is, quite rightly, hailed as a classic of both Cool Cymru and Britpop, and showed a new act that sounded like no one else around at the time.

Over the years, The Man Don't Give A Fuck has been one of the highlights of the band's live set, usually as the set closer, giving techno wizard Cian Ciaran the opportunity to twiddle knobs galore (quiet at the back!) and the rest of the band the chance to change into their yeti costumes for the final few minutes. This extended wig-out was taken to its extreme in 2004 when the band played Hammersmith Apollo and dragged it out for more than 22 minutes. This extraordinary version, with its Bill Hicks-sampling intro (see post title), was released as another standalone single and outdid the original both in terms of chart position (#16 as opposed to #22) and for the number of times the word "fuck" appeared in a chart single, beating the record previously set by the original studio version.

Next month, I'm catching SFA as they play both the first two albums back-to-back live for the first time. I'm pretty sure they'll find room for The Man Don't Give A Fuck, though. It simply wouldn't be a Furries show without it. And let's face it - if it isn't more relevent now than at any other time in our lives, then it never will be!

And here it is again, closing their festival-stealing show at last year's Glastonbury.