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Still double LP review

Magazine: Sounds (UK)

Publication date: Saturday 21 November 1981

Reviewer: Dave McCullough


 

STILL

THERE IS no clear reason why Still should exist. If anything, it leaves a slightly bad taste at the tail end of the JD myth, rounding it all off (at least, one hopes this rounds it all off) on a weak note of conformity and orthodoxy
Still is one live side and on recorded side, totally what you would expect even down to the poor quality of the live recordings, and the unnecessary and platitudinous nature of 'the records ya might have missed, folks'
I stopped buying or listening to 'live' albums with The Band's obligatory 70's fiasco, and so it is somewhat irritating to have to again point out the genre's fallibility, in this case concerning how two sides of songs culled from JD's truly seminal pair of albums reveals what does not at all need to be revealed; namely, a slight traditionalism, a tendency to 'whip it up' into an HM splurge at times much in the way U2 afterwards were prone to do
Most of all these live recordings mercilessly take a lot of the mystery away from the originals, and this is something I openly resent. It isn't helpful, it smacks of condescension on Factory's part (also, cough, their growing old) that we are rock fans wanting the complete and unexpurgated JD collection – or so they expect. It would have been far more fitting and far more radical to end the JD oeuvre with, what they were surely always about any rate, one sharp and final bang
As it is,
Still is a rockist whimper that nods in the direction of repetitive memorabilia collecting. It is also very middle class and in this sense if anything does not help destroy the (not very true) myth that JD were essentially a coffer-table entity. It presupposes a middle class and therefore very weak sense of humour within Factory's audience, that they include such predictable junk as Ian Curtis cutely (in retrospect! The real thing would've been great) ending Sister ray (a disaster) with the comment, "You should hear our Louie louie!" I nearly chocked on my After Dinner Mint on that darlings, I can tell you...
No, somebody(s) wants their middle class wrists slapped. Okay, as a post-Punk group JD were second only to
The Fall, and the first two sides of studio songs (including Dead souls, their finest hour) are super-and-orgasmic-inducing-etc-etc, but really Still exists only as an aberration of what JD existed for
Also, has nobody up there in 'Ovis Land' even thought that it is impossible to sit through two sides of JD? Without, that is, strangling the goldfish? I mean, even Tolstoy didn't have shopping lists he wrote while at War And Peace spewed forth after his departure… by the way, this review is dedicated to Barney Hoskyns who is a tit