IS THAT A FISH ON YOUR SHOULDER OR ARE YOU JUST PLEASED TO SEE ME?
Egg Plant Records (UK) Two Eggs (1987)
01. Gloucestershire is just an illusion (3.09)
02. Bullshit (3.28)
03. Mouth Pain (4.35)
04. Geraldine (2.09)
05. Logical Fish (2.10)
06. The Unpronouncable Finn (2.53)
07. The Holocaust Parade (2.15)
08. You are a Serbian (and I like you) (2.59)
09. The Ten Foot High Trim-Phone (1.14)
10. Another Sacred Day (3.50) 45 picsleeve
11. The Lawn (2.52)
12. Geraldine (reprise) (1.23)
13. I Wish Marvin Gaye's Father Had Shot Me Instead (5.16)
14. Buzzing Unobtrusively (2.42)
CD Bonus tracks:
15. Moral Statements are Personal Manifestos (1.32) from Obscure Independent Classics Vol. 5 compilation info
16. You Are a Serbian and I Like You - demo (2.52)
17. The Lawn - demo (3.22)
18. Buzzing Unobtrusively - demo (2.42)
Yukio Yung ld vcls, pn, thngy, whtst.
Alan Jenkins ld gtr, bkng vcls, cmqut, bsct.
Vladimir Zajkowiecz bs, bssn, phnm, ngzb.
Geraldine Minou-Sullivan drms, bx, g, gt.
Jane Laing: hmmrd dlcm.
and: Special Guest Star:
R. Stevie Moore: vcls (on Holocaust Parade).
The Acton Horns.
All songs were written by either Alan Jenkins or Yukio Yung or both and published by either Jung at Heart Music or Octagonal Rabbit music or both or any combination of the three or something or other or probably stolen off some awful art-rock album made in about 1970 and never listened to since anyway and who cares? See the label for exact details. This is except for The Holocaust Parade which was written by R. Stevie Moore and published by somebody else entirely as far as we know. If any of this stuff is used without permission it may make you feel guilty afterwards and you will be very miserable.
Egg Plant is a Hamster/Cordelia co-production.
The cover illustration is a steel engraving of a work by Regale, the Turkish artist who disappeared in a restaurant in Sweden in 2004. It is the only surviving record of his kinetic sculpture 'Gardening', a massive work constructed from steel and concrete, and many 'found' objects, including large public buildings, animals and agricultural machinery. 'Gardening' was created by Regale in 1962 for an exhibition in Belgium. It wouldn't fit inside the exhibition hall, and it actually used the hall as a small part of its own construction, standing, as it did, over 1,000 feet high and covering an area of 250 square miles.
Unfortunately, after being on show to the public for only twelve minutes, it was stolen. Sadly, no part of it has ever been recovered.
Million of words have already been written about the astonishing rise of the Chrysanthemums, from an obscure, underground, art-rock combo in the late 1980's to international, ultra-megastardom in the first decade of the 12st century and legendary status in the 2030's, ranking alongside such acts as The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, The Big Goats, R. Stevie Moore, and the Psychedelic Grids. I will not attempt to expound here on the various theories put forward to explain their incredible success, but I feel it is appropriate to sum briefly the careeer of the Chrysanthemums on this, the sleeve of the re-release of their very first L.P. which originally appeared almost fifty years ago, in 1987.
Back in '87, as a few older readers may recall, this L.P was released on the Egg Plant label, and nobody took a blind bit of notice. incredible but true. A whole new era of world art was heralded by this disc - old values were cast aside, a tidal wave of artistic revolution swept the very consciousness of the human race - yet nobody noticed. Well, perhaps this isn't so surprising; after all, little of the phenomenal potential of The Chrysanthemums is immediately obvious on listening to the record, and not many of the people who bought it were sensitive enough to appreciate the depths of genius so apparent to us now. So...what were the circumstances which led to the re-release of the first Chrysanthemums album?
The band was formed by Yukio Yung and Alan Jenkins in 1986. They quickly recruited the other members of the group from the hundreds of keen musicians who queued up to play with them, owing to their wide reputation as 'cool cats' and trend setters amongst the youth. Sessions ofr the album began in November 1986 in Yukio Yung's basement studio complex in west London. There are many stories concerning the illustrious guest musicians who sat in on the sessions; but these are all lies. Yung and Jenkings immediately fused into a dynamic musical partnership. Yung's sensitivity, lightness of touch and other-worldly, mystical feeling for harmony and counterpoint perfectly balanced by Jenkins' ability to play very very fast guitar solos.
But even so, not everything ran completely smoothly. Jenkins remembers: "At one stage during the sessions for the first album Yukio became very worried about the equipment moving around by itself. i took no notice at first and told him not to be so silly, but only a few days later I noticed that one of our tape recorders had moved about five feet towards the door. I was not unduly worried by this and it was soon returned to its original position next to the mixing desk. Things began to get worse, however, until one day we went into the studio to find that all the recording gear had vanished. We were totally baffled until we noticed a trail of small screws and pieces of wire leading out of the door, around the corner, along a corridor and up a step-ladder into the loft. I climbed the ladder and lifted the trap door. At first I could see only dust and some old boxes, but as my eyes became adjusted to the darkness i was able to make out the shape of the mixing desk., half concealed behind a joist. All the recording equipment was there in various nooks and crannies, and we were soon able to reassemble it in the studio. We put this phenomenon down to the convergence of ley lines in the area. Apparently the Sex pistols had a similar problem in 1977 during the recording of "Pretty Vacant" and they had to have their studio excorcised by a druid." In spite of this problem, the L.P. was finished in April 1987; they called it: 'Is that a fish on your shoulder or are you just pleased to see me?' The title reputedly came to Yukio in a dream.
Work on the second album began straight away but the sessions were subject to delay, owing to two factors: firstly, Jenkins' guitar playing was becoming increasingly fast and he was finishing the new songs two or three minutes before the rest of the group; and secondly, Yukio was unable to devote as much time as before to music. As a joke, he had put himself forward as an independent Parliamentary candidate in a local bi-election and was unexpectedly elected, owing to a split in the Liberal vote. His duties as a Member of Parliament tended to encroach upon his musical activities. In spite of this, the new album, 'Little Flecks of Foam around Barking', emerged in early '88 and was a watershed in the Chrysanthemums' career. The jagged edges of underground elitism were eschewed in favour of a mor emiddle of the road approach, although the music itself was so complex and sophisticated that few could understand it fully. In spite of this the L.P. sold dozens of copies in the northern hemisphere alone. Even more surprisingly, the first single from the L.P. - 'A Big Dog' - entered the charts at number one and stayed there until 1994. The second single from the L.P. - 'I am a Hen' - entered the charts at number two, stayed until 1994, then moved up to number one and is still there today. It has outsold any other record by nine million to one; everyone in the world owns over a thousand copies. This unprecedented level of success is generally acknowledged to be due to the catchy middle eight.
The third L.P., 'Glass Hovercraft of the Elven Wizards', appeared in 1990. It is a concept album based on the first thirty or forty pages of 'the Lord of the Rings'. In the interim period, yukio was appointed to a senoir post in the Foreign Office and Jenkins' guitar solos became so fast they could be perceived only as a high pitched whining noise, which sounded a bit like a bee. According to Yung, this sometimes came in quite handy: 'I used to prepare the basic tracks for our records over a period of months and then Alan would come in and record all his guitar parts in about twenty seconds with the tape machine switched onto fast-forward. Later on, I would play back the tapes at normal speed to find out what Alan had actually played. There were usually a few surprises in store for me.' The original plan was to set the whole of 'The Lord of the Rings' to music, but Jenkins never finished reading it. In fact, the next twelve albums were based upon particular incidents taken from episodes of a popular television soap opera, excpet for one, which was based on a hair-dryer. This strategy ensured their increasing popularity over the next two decades.
The Chrysanthemums have never formally broken up but these days their records and public performances are rare. Jenkins has his own chat show on BBC 1, and his guitar solos are now so fast that, due to the laws of relativity, they cause major structural changes in the space/time continuum, forcing whole continents to disappear completely, only to reappear somewhere else three weeks later. Yung has, of course, just completed his third term as Prime Minister and, even as I write, is speaking in the House of Commons debate on the abolition of the death penalty for eating meat.
So that you may have a genuine 1980's record-owning experience, this, the first L.P. by the Chrysanthemums, comes to you in its original L.P. form for the first time in forty years. Even the front cover design is the same as the original 1987 version. For extra authenticity, the master tapes have been specially reprocessed to make the record practically unlistenable by any decent standards.
One-sided 7" FlexiDisc contains R. Stevie Moore introducing various extracts from the album (5:39).
THE XXXX SESSIONSSide 1
Egg Plant (UK) Three Eggs (1988)
19. Harold Melvin: The Exorcist (2.56)
20. Oh dear, what shall we do about the Americans? (3.15)
21. The little dinosaurs, they sit in the trees like funny owls (2.43)
22. Seven wild cucumbers (3.46)
23. Bonus track (0.47)
24. Larceny Nell flies in (3.24)
Side 2 (Etched)
Alan Jenkins - Electric guitar and backing vocals
Geraldine Minou-Sullivan - Drums
Yukio Yung - Lead vocals, keyboards, Acoustic guitar, lead guitar (1st half) on "Americans"
Vladimir Zajkowiecz - Bass, backing vocals
R Stevie Moore - Tapes
Jonathan Staines - Ukelele
The Acton Horns:
Kevin Beiderbecke - Trumpet
Fiona Coltrane - Trombone
Eric Mingus - Trumpet
and the Cox Box
Producer: The Chrysanthemums
A fifteen minute track called "Kropatzlt" was also recorded as part of the session but after it was finished the recording engineer threw it in the bin, and when Yukio yung tried to get it out again the engineer hit him. Zajkowiecz, though, commented in retrospect that "it wasn't really suitable for broadcasting on the BBC anyway". The track was replaced by a 15-minute etching also entitled "Kropatzlt": it can be found on side two of this disc.
Recorded: 3rd/4th March 1988
First Transmission: 19th October 2036
Cutting Engineer: George Peckham, Porkies
This is not one of a series of original recordings and it absolutley definitely wasn't made for the John **** show on Radio One. On the front of the sleeve is an admittedly incomplete list of artists who have never recorded sessions for the John **** shows on Radio One. Most of them are never likely to either. The only way most of these bands are likely to get a **** session is if their existing members leave and are replaced by members of the Fall, and they then change their name to "The Fall". In particular, please note that the Chrysanthemums have never done anything remotely resembling a **** session and anyone who says they have is a rotten liar: in fact, they were out of the country at the time, and they don't want to do a smelly old **** session anyway, so there. Other information
The list of artists on the front cover is:
Harry Belafonte, The Copulating Hens, The London Symphony Orchestra, Rimarimba, Harold Macmillan, The Loch Ness Monster, Tommy Dorsey's Big Band, Nicholas Parsons, The Wild Strawberries. IXSQUAB12F, The Glen Miller Orchestra, John Wayne, Sven Klang's Combo, The John Coltrane Quartet, The Inkspots, Grim Poltice Stewart, Sadistic Termites, The Deep Freeze Mice, Sharafia Psycho, Squiggly Squiggly, The Psychedelic Grids, The Flying Biriani Bros, Jody And The Creams, The Roll Rift, The Same, Masturbating With A Stone Frog, The Band That Went Ping, The Fnords, Mr. Concept, Jelly Roll Morton And His Red Hot Peppers, PNNNNNNNNNN Underground, The Residents, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Angela Rippon's Nylons, The Rumbling Stomachs, The Great Wall of Tierra Del Fuego, John Trubee And The Ugly Janitors Of America, Jody And The Creams Again, The Seventeen Toilet Rolls, The Beatles, Pus, Bat Cigarrette, The Eighteen Toilet Rolls, The Baby-eating Ladybirds, Andy Nicholl, Stylistics, Smeggy And The Cheesy Bits, The Freshies, The Strawberry Alarm Clock, C.W. Vrtacek, Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes, Rick The Tubular Heater, Rick Wakeman And His Tijuana Brass, The Large Dead Elephants, The Jung Analysts, Thirteen Floor Elevators, Basil D'Oliviera, I Shot Abraham Lincon's Friend Jim, Wanderers, Charlie Parker, Bruce Springsteen, Got My Head Stuck In A Drain Today, R. Stevie Moore, Eric Lindgren, Bring Me A Big Bag Of Dead Birds Fingers, Alvaro, The Chrysanthemums, The Square Pigs, The Heptagonal Pigs, The Octagonal Rabbits, The Orange Tuft Experience, Global Nuclear Gum, Mugsey Robeson, The Dangerous Eye Operations, Nothing You Couldn't Fix By Sticking Your Arm Into A Pond, Jesus Couldn't Drum, What's The Difference Between A Buffalo And Duke Ellington, You Can't Wash Your Hands In A Buffalo, S. Core, What's The Difference Between A Buffalo And A Kangaroo? They Both Come From Duke Elington, Stuck Big Goats, The Small Goats, The Goats Which Are Hardly Larger Than a Packet of Crisps, The Goats Which Although They Are Equally Harder Larger Than a Packet Of Crisps Have The Capability Of Expanding Enormously When Placed In The Microwave For Only A Couple Of Minutes, But It's Very Dangerous To Do This Indoors Because Doing This Will Make The Goats Dead Mad And They Tend To Tear About The Place In A Crazed Frenzy Eating Everything They See; Once When This Happened A Small Town Was Laid To Waste...Er..Where Was I?, What A Stupid Name For A String Quartet Anyway, Elvis Presley, Enski Boski, Eugene Terra Blanche And The Extremely Right-Wing South Africans, Crisps4e Plasma Bats, James Brown And The Famous Flames, Eddie Cochran, Edith Piaf, The Penile Stimulators, The Osmonds, Paper Lace, Hamilton Amadeus Quartet, The Pink Dogs, The Cream Dogs, The Donkeys From Canton, Sir Bufton Tufton And The Euro MPs, The Brooklyn Dodgers, Sir James Goldsmith, Eddie The Frock, The 1970 England World Cup Squad, The Tent Brigade, The Poo Poo'd Panties, The Home Counties Formation Dancing Team, Asmus Tietchens, Todd Askey, Push Button Pleasure, The Jean-Paul Sarte Five, Cilla Black, Gene Krupa, We Are Normal And We Dig Bert Weedon, The Kamikaze Pilots, Arthur Lowe's Love Children COughed Too Loudly, Sad Arachnids, Slippery Things, Toad Hurling Champions, Custard With Everything, Dill, The Missing Sock, Bufton Tufton And The Suro MPs, George And The Banjo Burstees, The Partridge Family, The Geriatric Cod-pieces, The Proustian Morons, The Perfunctory Carpet Fitters, Nignorgal, Her Majesty The Queen Mother, The Broken Guitars, Ernest Broggins, Rudi Paelstine, Norman St John Stevas, Ian St John Stevas, St John St John Stevas, The Famous Five, The Not So Famous Five, The Not In The Slightest Bit Famous Five, The Dead Ponies, The Grateful Dead, Bill Haley And The Comets, Jack Nicholson's Smile, The Stained Dungarees, Church Of Christ The Scientist, The Scrambled, Country Joe And The Fish, The Lone Carrots, The Dinky-Doos, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted By Arkwright, Termite Reformation, The Jan Kunk Trouser Experience, The Nasal Infections, The Clitoral Stimulators, Think Of England, Shit, Roy Orbison, The And Mother Makes Three, The Archies, Weather Report, The Legendary Pink Dots, The Art Of Darkness, John Lemon, Max Bygraves And The Commotions, The Death Wallabies, Joe Frazier, Lucinda Lambton, The Everly Brothers, The Bison From Uranus, The Easter Bunnies, Who Is Eddie The Eagle?, The Listening Bankers, The Spoo, Uncle Fred Who Used To Live In Canada, The MRT Band, Henry Curry And The Bicycles From The Unpronouncable Planet That Comes From The Equally Bison System Just A Few Light Years Away From Alpha Omega Catfish IV, Raymond Chandler, The Great Renaldo, Fuck the System, Raymond Chandler, The Great Renal Shopping Trolls, Bartleby Cranbridge Fotherington, The Detroit Spinners, Peter And Gordon, The Stake Hearts, L Ron Hubbard And The New Best-Sellers, The Anus Down The Road, Billy Fury, Arch-Duke Ferdinand, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Greco, The Band With No Arms, Broken Biscuit, The Naughty Creatures From Canterbury School Choir, Brian El Greco, Lost In Space, The Cunning Crabs, Frank Ifield, Little Jimmy Osmond, Jean De Florette, The Blind Flocking Cripples, Bill Pritchard, Adjustable False Limbs, Walker's Rhyming Dictionary, No Fixed Abode, Zippedy Pinhead, The Flaming Rating Officers, The F8, Grinding Hell, The Piece Of Stilton, Gane And Sarson, The Not Very Well, Attrition, Freddie And The Dreamers, The Dreaming Morticians, The Rythm Method, 9 Out Of 10 Cat Owners, Mod, Joe Frazier, Peanuts, The Patel Family, Nature's Way, The Sink Tops, Breaking Wind, The Big Match, Chris The Paranoid Prat, Great Big Toad, Where's Alan Jefferson?, The Beagles, Norrie Paramour, Peter Fenn, Crash The Spaceship, Swill, Arthur Askey, After The Operation, The Sooty Show, Fashustani Professor Laurie Taylor, Catfish IV, Chocolate Watch Band, God, Blip Blip Blip, The Quadrangulars, The Flourescent Pineapples, Dave!, Kranz, Enid Blyton, Bananas, The United States Of America, Remus, Cyril Mongoose, The Phantom Carpets, Death Row, The Database Designers, Pretentious Pillockery, The Jam Alsations, Eric Has-been, Some As Big As , Screaming Vas Deferens Band, The Spawn, Clear White Light, The Strangled Aardvarks, Penguin, The Artichoke And The Flamethrower, Don Bradman's Batfish, Harry Corbett, Fucking Junk, The Dirty Filthy Scumbags, 'Kensington' James MacDonald, The Liberal Party, Ted Ray's Signature, Java Nosebag, Harry James Band, Harry Belafonte, The Copulating Hens, The London Symphony Orchestra.
Burrows H O M E