1968 debut album remastered in mono and stereo plus 10 bonus tracks. Features pre-fame Jeff Lynne.
Emerging from the ashes of beat boom hopefuls Mike Sheridan and The Night Riders, by late 1966 Birmingham band The Idle Race were looking for a new guitarist. The successful applicant was local teenager Jeff Lynne. By the time the band signed to Liberty Records, the prodigiously-talented Lynne – several years younger than his new colleagues – had been promoted to frontman status, blossoming as the band’s chief songwriter while also taking lead vocals.
After “Skeleton And The Roundabout” had attracted much airplay but fallen just short of the charts, the band cut their debut album. Issued in October 1968, the idiosyncratic ‘The Birthday Party’ gave notice of a major new talent on the British pop scene. A dazzling creation that matched Beatle-ish melodic flair and witty, surreal vignettes with the heightened ambition of psych-era British studio pop, the set attracted rave reviews and the support of Radio One DJs including Kenny Everett. Sadly, however, ‘The Birthday Party’ failed to sell in any great quantity after Liberty mysteriously chose not to issue a single in support of the release and the wider world wouldn’t notice Lynne until he joined The Move in early 1970.
Now acknowledged as a classic album of song-based British psychedelic pop, ‘The Birthday Party’ finally gets the attention that it deserves with this definitive new 2-CD package. The original stereo album is joined by alternative versions, stand-alone singles and, most notably of all, the first-ever official CD release of the original, substantially different mono version of the LP, taken from the original masters. This also features a 24-page booklet containing numerous rare photos and memorabilia as well as a new essay on the album.
Disc One (Mono): Skeleton And The Roundabout / Happy Birthday / The Birthday /I Like My Toys / Morning Sunshine / Follow Me Follow / Sitting In My Tree / On With The Show / Lucky Man / Don’t Put Your Boys In The Army, Mrs. Ward / Pie In The Sky / The Lady Who Said She Could Fly / End Of The Road / (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree / My Father’s Son / Imposters Of Life’s Magazine / Knocking Nails Into My House / Lucky Man (Alternative Version) / Follow Me Follow (Alternative Version) / Days Of The Broken Arrows / Worn Red Carpet / Days Of The Broken Arrows (Alternative Version)
Disc Two (Stereo): Skeleton And The Roundabout / Happy Birthday / The Birthday / I Like My Toys / Morning Sunshine / Follow Me Follow / Sitting In My Tree / On With The Show / Lucky Man / Don’t Put Your Boys In The Army, Mrs. Ward / Pie In The Sky / The Lady Who Said She Could Fly / End Of The Road / Sitting In My Tree (Alternative Version)