grow up The Best Thing / Without Wings (double CD, £11.95)label: Boutique
The Boutique Label presents the first ever reissues by cult Manchester band Grow Up, active between 1978 and 1981 and a core group on the highly collectible Object Music label. Grow Up were formed in late 1978 by John Bisset-Smith, youthful guitarist with Spherical Objects and an early member of the Manchester Musicians’ Collective. Best described as an experimental pop quintet, Grow Up debuted with the six song EP Stay Awake in April 1979, and followed this with debut album The Best Thing in 1980. Early champion Paul Morley (NME) wrote: ’Grow Up’s LP is not only extremely commercial, it’s a record of mellow, sublime magic that extends the terse sound of the EP to a brilliant, luxurious level. Their sound is a sort of ingenious, sax-propelled chamber pop, of the Ayers/XTC English eccentric line, but it also holds the melancholy depth and sauce of Brechtian cabaret, the twists of Beefheart, the ambiguous tension of Lou Reed. Grow Up have invented a whole new delirious pop world. They fracture tradition, push out and bend into spaces but keep it light, snappy and appealing. The Best Thing is not only Object’s greatest release, but a record that is up there with the obvious Mancunian biggies.’ After a second single Joanne (pitched as a ’quality pop song’), the band recorded second album Without Wings in 1981. However, after Object ceased operations the group were obliged to release the album on their own label, and as a result of poor distribution the set was barely heard. Digitally remastered, the 42 track double CD set features Grow Up’s entire recorded output, as well as two previously unreleased demo tracks. The booklet features archive images and a detailed band biography.
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