Format: 12" Single
Label: Situation Two
Catalogue Number: SIT74T
Year of Release: 1990
A1 Then 4:13
A2 Taurus Moaner 2:29
B1 Then (Alternate Take) 5:46
B2 Taurus Moaner (Instrumental) 2:29
It feels very odd reviewing The Charlatans in 2010. I mean, they're still going and all, but I stopped caring in about 1994 (possibly even earlier, but my curiosity was piqued by Steve Hillage being involved in producing them).
I also wanted to point out that until I took the photograph for the review, I hadn't noticed that the face on the front cover was clearly singer Tim Burgess'.
20 years on Then doesn't sound great. There's a good guitar riff, some pedestrian drumming and flatly delivered, suitably vague lyrics. By far the best thing about the song, and about the band at the time, was the organ playing of Rob Collins.
Taurus Moaner takes the same formula, and repeats it, badly. There aren't many 12" singles I own that I can say I am glad of the inclusion of an otherwise pointless instrumental version on, but this is one. The instrumental version makes the original sound better.
If only the same could be said for the "alternate take" of Then. If the band were in the studio recording an "alternate take" I will eat this record. It's a remix, pure and simple. A club mix no less. Drum machine loop featuring cowbell; synth bass; guitar loops sampled to extend the intro; vocals not re-recorded; all the clues fit! It was probably named "alternate take" by someone in marketing so as not to scare away the indie kids. The uncredited remixer even took the best bit out - the organ part. Pointless.