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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Sarah Records Chart

Sarah Records was stylish, uncompromising and put extra jangle into the world of indie jangle pop. Releasing just one hundred singles, usually in 7 inch or flexi-disc format, the label left a legacy of  pure pop tweeness that still sounds vibrant and distinctive today. As a tribute Into the Valley... presents our all time Sarah favourites in time honoured chart rundown fashion.

15. Blueboy - Alison (Sarah 55)
Fragile guitars and winsome vocals characterised Blueboy's b-side of 'Clearer'.

14. Aberdeen - Byron (Sarah 93)
From the later end of the Sarah spectrum, Aberdeen were American exponents of delicate indie pop creations and sounded like a cross between the Cocteau Twins and Lush, which can't be a bad thing.

13 Northern Picture Library - Paris (Sarah 94)
And even later came Northern Picture Library with a definite continental sound that the title of the track conjures up, in a similar vein to Stereolab maybe.

12. St. Christopher - The Kind of Girl (Sarah 15)
The sound of downtown York, North Yorkshire and if ever there was a northern Sarah city it would have to be York. Jangly and beautiful.

11. The Orchids - A Kind of Eden (Sarah 617)
The best track from the album 'Striving for the Lazy Perfection', this was a laid back, Sunday morning anthem from the Scottish starlets.

10. Another Sunny Day - You should all be Murdered (Sarah 22)
Just pipping 'Anorak City' for the Another Sunny Day entry and just sneaks it due to the lyrics. Let's face it the lowest ranked people on the FBI database of murderers are anyone who's ever been in a Sarah band, but nice sentiments.

9. The Sweetest Ache - Tell me how it feels (Sarah 39)
Not my favourite Sweetest Ache song, but I don't think 'I Remember Caroline' was released on Sarah. It's possibly dated badly, but the boy/girl harmonies are great and scores highly on the tweeness-ometer.

8. Shelley - Reproduction is Pollution (Sarah 98)
Quirky late release and really appeals to my liking of records with talking on them. Loved the lyrics too.

7. The Golden Dawn - My Secret World (Sarah 009)
Harking back to the sound of C86, The Golden Dawn produced a whirlwind sound that combined a fragility of vocals with the indie fuzzbox experience.

6. The Wake - Crush the Flowers (Sarah 21)
Brilliantly twee boy/girl vocals from Glasgow band The Wake and shaping up like the weedier younger brother of Sons and Daughters.

5. Secret Shine - Loveblind (Sarah 71)
I possibly like their post Sarah output a bit more, but how can you not like Loveblind? A surging rollercoaster of love and emotion. Great cover on the record as well.

4. Even as we Speak - Falling Down the Stairs (Sarah 614)
Sugar sweet and as jangly as a jangly thing, Even as we Speak's album track from 'Feral Pop Frenzy' never fails to provide a little jolt of happiness.

3. The Sea Urchins - Pristine Christine (Sarah 001)
An obvious choice I know but quality nonetheless. The only thing spoiling it is that all women called Christine now work as slightly cranky school secretaries and are not the sirens of seduction they once were.

2. The Field Mice - Sensitive (Sarah 18)
So unlucky not to be number 1 as this is pure quality and a track I used to listen to over and over again in the late 1980's. The Field Mice are the archetypal Sarah band and combine delicacy and passion in equal measure. I also love 'Willow' from For Keeps.

1. Heavenly - Attagirl (Sarah 82)
Not just the greatest Sarah track but one on the best tracks from any label or genre. Lyrically powerful and possessing a muscular attitude that is more Riot Grrl than Sarah, this is a monster of a single and it's even got swearing in it. Amelia Fletcher is a legend in a musical sense but also manages to be an economist, which can't be a bad thing. Britain would be a far better place I'm sure, if the government turned to her for economic advice. Somehow I doubt they will.


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