25 Year Stretch

Helpfully reminded by @BritpopMemories on Twitter, that last week marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Elastica’s Waking Up (the single that very nearly wasn’t! The debates between whether it was going to be this or ‘Car Song’ had raged all through the previous Christmas – as previously as you can read about in the book. It took several long distance phone calls to where Justine Frischman was on holiday with Damon Albarn, to finally pick between the two).
‘Waking Up’ was key though to capturing Elastica’s qualities in the immediate run up to the release of the album which followed in March (their sexiness/their normalness; their sense of mostly skint bedsit romance).
In the cut and thrust of the ‘90s music industry though – at a time where singles were multi-formatted to try and rinse a higher chart position out of them – over at Deceptive Records we had been looking at ways to do something a little different from the simple seven inch and CD bundle.
So like previous single ‘Connection’, ‘Waking Up’ came up out on cassette. I’m pretty sure the tapes were Justine’s idea; certainly the playing card style sleeve was hers, inspired by a vintage pack of playing cards she owned, which had been produced in the ‘70s by a tabloid newspaper. They cost a fortune, but I’m still really fond of them.
In the meantime, while ‘Waking Up’ was bothering the chart – helped by a preview on Top Of The Pops (see below) – we had just, after more ongoing debate, finalised a tracklisting for their debut album.

Early versions of the record, on cassettes I found the other day, have ‘Blue’ at the start. But over the course of some weeks, when Frischman and I were forever exchanging tapes we’d made of suggested running orders, we’d come to decent compromise, starting with ‘Line Up’ (amazingly after all this, the American licensee label Geffen still decided to add an extra track and rearrange the end of the record, which is why there’s a different tracklisting to the US version).

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