Supergrass: In It for the Money (Remastered Expanded Edition) Album review
Indulgence can be its own reward. To take In it for the money, the second-year wild and fairing set from Supergrass. Rich in success and fresh out of their teens, the Britpop trio embraced all new adventures en route, a journey that gradually took them away from the frantic pleasures of their 1995 debut. i should coco. Where their peers sang about ordinary people and walls of wonders, Supergrass was concerned with teenage thrills: buzzing with speed, getting pulled over by cops, telling dirty jokes and hanging out with friends. At the center of the album was the hit “Alright”, a glowing pop song about being young, dumb and free. Other bands could have chased the charts trying to recreate the spirit of “Alright”. Instead, Supergrass chose to see how fast and how far they could run.
In it for the money is not so much a departure from i should coco like a progression. Often it feels like Supergrass is trying to offer a crash course in British rock history, cramming elements borrowed from classic swing rock from the 1960s and 1970s, and then filtering those well-known sounds through the irreverence of punk. They still sound vigorous – as evidenced by the rampant single “Richard III” – but they lack the exuberance that fueled their debut album. The change was necessary for their long-term survival. “Alright” threatened to classify Supergrass as adorable teenage imps, a role they played all the way through in the song’s extremely silly video. (They played their roles so well that Steven Spielberg figured Supergrass would be ideal candidates for a gen-X spin on the Monkees.)
Supergrass refused Spielberg, choosing instead to do what normal rock ‘n’ roll bands do: play a huge amount of gigs before hiding in the studio to make another record. It helped that Supergrass arrived just as the Britpop wave peaked, its rising tide not only lifting the shaggy band into the Top Ten, but putting them squarely in a happening scene. They shared the space on the charts and festival posters with the likes of Cast, Sleeper, the Bluetones, and Ash, but they were qualitatively different, possessing a punk-pop intelligence to compete with Elastica, a more muscular musicality than Oasis. and a no-brainer. sense of humor.
It all comes to the end In it for the money, an album where riffs and jokes are enveloped in woolly psychedelia, howling horns and touches of sweet melancholy. Or i should coco blew at a breakneck pace, In it for the money unfolds with a deliberate sense of drama, slowly focusing on the title song’s menacing whirlwind and ebbing and flowing through its 12 songs. The record seems so unified that it’s remarkable to realize that they entered the studio in 1996 with only two songs completed, forcing them to write most of the album during recording sessions. Rob Coombes, a keyboardist who was the brother of the frontman of Supergrass Gaz. He had been on the outskirts of the band for quite some time, hammering the piano on “Alright” and playing the woozy organ on “Going Out,” the 1996 Supergrass interim single released between their first and second albums, but he’s a part of it. integral to In it for the money, earning writing credits on all 12 songs and adding distinctive color throughout. (Rob Coombes would officially join Supergrass in 2002.)
Listen intently – or hang out with the set of monitor mixes and rough versions that fill the second disc of the new 3xCD deluxe reissue of the 1997 album – and it’s obvious Supergrass did indeed write. In it for the money in the studio. Most of the songs are rooted in vampires that blossom into full songs: the slender funk that propels the verses of “Cheapskate”, the circular stampede on “G-Song”, the lazy, shuffling gait of “Hollow Little Reign” signs of compositions that began as group jams. However, none of these songs seem dismissed, littered with overdubs, upside down guitars and sound effects. Supergrass couldn’t resist any studio trickery when they were doing In it for the money, but they retained their sense of concise craftsmanship. The disc is vibrating, not overloaded.
The triple disc reissue of In it for the money can dampen some of the energy of the album. Some beautiful B-sides, such as the melodious neo-music-hall ride “Melanie Davis”, are buried among the alternate mixes and working versions of the second record, a collection of ephemera that play better as individual tracks than as an album. The disc of live recordings is another story. Anchored by a full January 1998 show, a concert given nearly a year after the release of In it for the money, the live record shows Supergrass at full blast, turning those studio creations into searing rockers.
The title of In it for the money is a nod to Frank Zappa’s anti-hippie classic We’re only here for the money. Supergrass might not look like the Mothers of Invention, but their choice reflects how entrenched they have been in rock history. Supergrass has never tried to be innovators. They were magpies who took care of figuring out how to put together pieces of glam, psychedelia, punk and pop in a fresh and surprising way. They would continue to perfect their art, making albums more elegant than In it for the money, yet the enthusiasm and imagination of the group are at their peak here. They seem excited to discover their full potential, and that dizziness remains contagious decades later.
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