When I picked up Lush's Topolino on CD for a couple of pounds in London years ago, I didn't know it was a compilation of B-sides and rarities. I just thought, this is another really good Lush album! I also didn't know that it could be quite hard to track down and quite expensive until my original was destroyed and I had to replace it. Mine's the Canadian version which has 5 songs the Japanese release doesn't; the Japanese one has 2 songs the Canadian one doesn't.
It's worth buying if if you can find it for a decent price. Only the stronger Lovelife B-sides are included (I have a couple of the Lovelife singles and the B-sides that aren't on here aren't as good, in my opinion).
A couple of covers from Topolino, proving Lush had excellent taste in music (if not in coats):
- Lush - Demystification (1996, originally on Single Girl CD2)
- Zounds - Demystification (1981)
The Zounds original is such a fantastic melodic punk track with brilliant lyrics, and Lush do a great job with it. I do prefer the original, but it does suit Miki's vocals well and I have to give credit to Lush for putting me on to Zounds at all. Their only studio album The Curse Of Zounds is superb.
- Lush - I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind (1996, originally on 500 (Shake Baby Shake) CD2)
- Vashti Bunyan - I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind (1967)
Strangely, the Vashti cover on Topolino is credited to 'unknown' - maybe because it had only appeared on the Circus Days: Pop-Sike Obscurities compilation at that point, and the band weren't sure who the actual songwriter was. The Lush update is gorgeous. As lovely and gentle and dreamy as Ms Bunyan's style is, it's nice to be able to make out the words a bit more clearly (ah, just a bit though). Lush's take manages to accentuate the vocal melody and bring everything up a notch, which does a good job of highlighting Ms Bunyan's wonderful songcrafting skills. Here's what Vashti had to say about this cover:
The Lush version pleased me also – that someone in this time should like one of my songs enough to record it was wonderful to me. Their version makes mine sound even more fragile than ever so for that alone I like it a lot. Always wanted to sound stronger. (Dream Magazine)