Get It At Discogs
This is a three disc, 60-track set: the original album on disc one, a collection of EP tracks and demos on disc two, and a live (in Stockholm) set plus an early BBC session on disc three. It works brilliantly as a fairly comprehensive overview of the band’s music from that early Nineties peak period. Some of the stuff on the disc of EP tracks and demos is quite fascinating (in the anorak sense), and a lot of it serves to demonstrate the way raw material can be transformed from a rough sketch into finished product. Not just any old finished product either, but work good enough to make it on to an album that eventually wound up becoming one of the most critically acclaimed albums of its decade. For example, there’s a track called ‘Grunggae’, which is a raw very early take on the band’s breakthrough single ‘Cannonball’. There’s ‘Cro-Aloha’, which eventually became ‘No Aloha’ on the album, and the single version of ‘Divine Hammer’, which is quite different from the one found on the album. There’s also a live (at Glastonbury) take on early fan favourite ‘Iris’. Plus plenty more.The Stockholm gig that makes up the majority of the third disc is probably not quite so compelling, but it’s a worthwhile enough exercise in that it captures the band in its prime, albeit in very much a rough and ready state. It represents the DIY rock n roll ethic at its most ragged, and The Breeders were nothing if not nonchalant champions of that particular form. I’d not heard the band’s live take on ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ (The Beatles) before so it was worth it for that alone. The BBC session at the end of the disc – four live-in-the-studio tracks including yet another version of ‘Divine Hammer’ – feels like an add-on, an afterthought perhaps. Regardless, this is great value for money (providing you buy into the idea that deluxe editions are not solely released to sell you what you already own) and I’ve enjoyed revisiting Last Splash again, 20 years after the fact.