Billy Childish Archive From 1959 - The Billy Childish Story Review

Released 2009.  

BBC Review

30 years of blazingly discrete music.

Daryl Easlea 2009

Archive From 1959: The Billy Childish Story goes some way to making a labyrinthine lo-fi career clear. With contributions from at least 11 of the outfits Childish has been involved with, it guides you through 30 years of blazingly discrete music.

Billy Childish: a man who would purposely change musicians if they were too competent. If you like musical complexity, this is simply not for you. Eschewing the ornate, there is not a single unnecessary trimming on this album. It's a palate cleanser and no mistake; the fourth chord, if it is there, comes often as a great release.


There are 51 examples of his craft. The rush of the Buff Medways' Troubled Mind; the outstanding rock 'n' roll pathos of the MBEs' He's Making A Tape from 2008's Thatcher's Children. The aggressive simplicity of the Milkshakes' For She. Davy Crockett by Thee Headcoatees is the best record that you've never heard, a deceptively straightforward pop splash, which could be slipped into a party after Louie Louie and everyone would go berserk.
 
Of course it's all a bit 1977, and that's just it. The quality of thought takes it far from being stuck in a rut, and the strength of belief blocks it from being an intellectual exercise in parody. And it frequently makes you laugh out loud and reconnect with the primal daftness of pop.


As an introduction to an artist who has simply made too many records, it is indispensable. It reminds you of the 2004 Fall Compilation 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong: 39 Golden Greats, in that it pins the tail on a very inscrutable pop donkey. Compilation of 2009, we'd wager.

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