A Few Useful Tips About Living Underground The James Taylor Quartet


Acid Jazz
Catalogue Id:

The JTQ’s second album for Acid Jazz came at a time when the label and the act were at loggerheads. Tensions that always tended to run high between label owner Ed Piller and James Taylor had boiled over in May 1995 when a dispute over the video for the second single from the “In The Hand Of The Inevitable” LP led to the single being scrapped. A feeling of injustice lingered, compounded when, in early 1996, Acid Jazz scored their biggest hit single with Goldbug’s ‘Whole Lot Of Love’, the same song featured on James’ abandoned single. With this in mind James recorded the album that became “A Few Useful Tips About Living Underground” as quickly as possible, as far away from the Acid Jazz hub of office and studio as possible, by using the Battery studio, home of James’ publisher Zomba Music.

It is ironic that the recordings were far closer to what Acid Jazz had wanted from the band than “In The Hand Of The Inevitable” LP. “A Few Useful Tips” is an album shorn of adornments: out went the strings, the backing vocals, the guest musicians and the star vocalists, replaced for the most part by the sound of the touring Quartet (actually a six-piece, plus a percussionist) doing what they did best. The rhythm section, plus John Willmott, had been playing together since late 1991 and had an almost telepathic understanding of where each of them was going within any song. James, his brother David and John Willmott had become expressive soloists, whose skills as jazz players are frequently overlooked. This album lets you see their many guises – from the pulsating ‘Creation’, through the rousing cover of Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘It’s Your World’ onto the more delicate ‘Summer Fantasy’ and ‘Serenity’. James never restricts himself to the Hammond but is equally at ease on a whole barrage of keyboards including Moog and electric piano. The album was the essence of the band as so many of their fans loved them and it absolutely rocks. It was preceded by a single of ‘Creation’ that had been remixed by then in-vogue dance DJ Derek Delarge under his Ceasefire moniker. It’s issued for the first time on a JTQ album.

Three other tracks are included for the first time outside the US. ‘Austin’s Theme’, ‘Theme From A Faraway Land’ and ‘ Man Of Mystery’ were all issued on the revamped version of “A Few Tips” in the US, named “Creation”. All three are rumoured to have been written with a view to being used in Mike Myer’s film Austin Powers, although only ‘Austin’s Theme’ made the cut.

This final album for Acid Jazz was the last time that two of the most important figures in the birth and development of the acid jazz scene – James Taylor and Eddie Piller – would work together. JTQ continue to fill venues the world over, and are as good as ever.

By Dean Rudland


Track listing


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


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought