Thank You Friends - The Ardent Records Story Various Artists (Ardent)

£14.91

Availablity:
World
Genre:
70s Rock
Label:
Big Beat
Format:
CD
Catalogue Id:
CDWIK2 273

Memphis’ Ardent Studios is one of the most respected recording facilities in the world. Everyone from Led Zeppelin to ZZ Top, from REM to Cat Power have made music within its hallowed halls. But despite the studio’s credentials, it is Ardent Records, the label, that inspires awe amongst pop aficionados, particularly as the imprint that begat pop cult heroes Big Star.

“Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story” celebrates with a deluxe two CD anthology that ranges from the label’s earliest mid-60s garage studio recordings to the halcyon days of the early 1970s, when a distribution deal with Stax established Ardent as a purveyor of the finest pop-rock. Memphis might have been the city where rock’n’roll was born, yet a significant minority of its youth in the late 60s and early 70s appeared besotted with the sound of British rock, inhabiting a Southern demi-monde where the Yardbirds and Who reigned supreme. The sharply-dressed Brit-pop aesthetic seemed integral to the Ardent modus operandi, adding a certain flash to even its most undemonstrative acts. It was also reflected in founder John Fry’s unerring commitment to technical quality, and the permission to experiment: Ardent was always more Abbey Road than McLemore Avenue.

We have split the CDs neatly between the two eras of the studio/label. Disc One (the 1960s, when the studio was based on National Street) features a mind boggling array of rare garage singles and unissued psychedelic sessions, mostly overseen by Memphis maverick Jim Dickinson, as well as the early experiments of Big Star’s Alex Chilton and Chris Bell. Disc Two (the 1970s, when Ardent moved to Madison Avenue) examines the Stax era and beyond, with selections from Ardent acts Cargoe and the Hot Dogs, and no less than 14 rare or unissued Big Star-related cuts, most of which have not been on CD before. These include demos, alternate versions, original mixes and non-LP tracks. Everything is presented from the master tapes and the sound quality, as befits any Ardent recording, is second to none. Additionally, the lengthy sleeve notes draw upon in-depth interviews with both Fry and Ardent associates Dickinson and Terry Manning, as well as other behind the scenes personages such as Richard Rosebrough, Tom Eubanks and Steve Rhea, all of whom add unique insight to a cornerstone chapter of both Memphis and pop music history.

It was a thrill it was to spend so many hours at Ardent Studios during the lengthy assembly of this project. The magic that infuses all the recordings I have included on “Thank You Friends” is still quite tangible as you pass through its corridors and studio spaces at Madison Avenue. Thus, eternal gratitude to John, Jody, Adam and everyone else at Ardent from this long-time fan.

By Alec Palao

Track listing

Side 1

  • 01
    Geraldine - The Ole Miss Downbeats

  • 02
    If You Want Me, You Can Find Me - Lawson & 4 More

  • 03
    Batarang - The Avengers

  • 04
    White Doors - The Wallabies

  • 05
    Halfway Down The Stairs - Lawson & Four More

  • 06
    Hands Are Only To See - The Bitter Ind

  • 07
    The Surveyor - The 1st Century

  • 08
    Rocks - Terry Manning

  • 09
    Up And Down Children - The Wallabies

  • 10
    Not At All - Terry Manning

  • 11
    Looking Down - The 1st Century

  • 12
    In 1852 We - The Honey Jug

  • 13
    Patches Of Dust - The Goatdancers

  • 14
    Psychedelic Stuff (demo) - Chris Bell

  • 15
    Free Again - Alex Chilton

  • 16
    All I See Is You - Icewater

  • 17
    Every Shoemaker - The Badgers

  • 18
    Miss Eleana - Sid Selvidge

  • 19
    Lovely Lady - Rock City

  • 20
    Every Day As We Grow Closer (original mono mix) - Alex Chilton

  • 21
    Guess Things Happen That Way - Terry Manning

  • 22
    Feeling High - Icewater

  • 23
    The EMI Song (Smile For Me) (original mono mix) - Alex Chilton

  • 24
    Think It's Time To Say Goodbye - Rock City

Side 2

  • 01
    In The Street (single version) - Big Star

  • 02
    Feel Alright - Cargoe

  • 03
    When My Baby's Beside Me - Big Star

  • 04
    My Life Is Right - Big Star

  • 05
    Back Of A Car - Big Star

  • 06
    I Love You Anyway (single edit) - Cargoe

  • 07
    I Got Kinda Lost - Big Star

  • 08
    Let Me Look At The Sun - The Hot Dogs

  • 09
    Mod Lang - Big Star

  • 10
    She's A Mover - Big Star

  • 11
    I Walk The Line - The Hot Dogs

  • 12
    September Gurls - Big Star

  • 13
    Big Black Car - Big Star

  • 14
    Lovely Day aka Stroke It Noel - Alex Chilton

  • 15
    For You - Big Star

  • 16
    Downs - Alex Chilton

  • 17
    Kizza Me - Big Star

  • 18
    Holocaust - Big Star

  • 19
    You And Your Sister - Chris Bell

  • 20
    Love You (All Day Long) - Tommy Hoehn

  • 21
    Thank You Friends - Big Star

  • 22
    Blow Yourself Up - Tommy Hoehn

  • 23
    My Mind - The Scruffs

  • 24
    Don't Worry Baby (fragment) - Alex Chilton

Delivery & Returns

We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at orders@acerecords.com ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: orders@acerecords.com ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Bus Stop Mail Order Ltd, 42-50 Steele Road, London, NW10 7AS. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: orders@acerecords.com including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Customer reviews

comments powered by Disqus

Press quotes

A thrilling double CD. ★★★★

Mojo

This will delight and surprise and delight lovers of great pop music. ★★★★

Record Collector

Customers who bought this item also bought

© Ace records 2012