What we have here is 2 bands at polar opposites, yet united by a crappy tenuous connection. Firstly, we have Pavement. Shambolic college rock from the U. S. of A. with a neat line in whiny vocals and spidery guitar lines.
Then we have the La’s. Perfectionists to the nth degree, they were desperate to create the perfect album that sounded like Merseybeat mixed with Captain Beefheart and the Delta Blues – the sound of the Merseyssippi as Lee Mavers was keen on saying in every interview he did between 1987 and 1990.
The link? Echo and the Bunnymen. Pavement covered ‘The Killing Moon’ in 1997 for a BBC session. It’s a pretty straightforward version, a bit slower and trippy than the original, with added whoops that make it sound a bit like New Order in places. Get it here.
In 1987, in their quest for the Mersyssippi, the La’s turned to Pete de Freitas, the Bunnymen’s drummer and fellow Scouser to help produce some sessions. Did you know that ‘Echo’ of Echo and the Bunymen was the name of their drum machine before Pete joined? I digress…. Anyway, the sessions did not produce anything classic though all La’s songs you know and love were tried. The sessions are often referred to as the ‘Echo’ sessions, given that de Freitas chucked a big bucket of reverb and echo over the vocal tracks. In some ways it adds to the tracks, in other ways it kind of spoils them. Anyway, here you’ll find a version of ‘Callin’ All’ that sounds like Love or ‘We Love You’-era Rolling Stones and clatters along in a vaguely psychedelic fashion. ‘Callin’ All’ was meant to be the name of the La’s debut until they dropped this song at the last minute. I can tell you loads of La’s stories and useless information, and I have a treasure trove full of La’s stuff which will see the light of day at some point. In the meantime, enjoy ‘Callin’ All’ and keep coming back. Cheers!