Before the advent of the internet, I would drive to Chicago in search of music that was truly obscure – not that the record stores in the neighboring college town didn’t have good music, just that what I was in search of was something harder to find. I didn’t know exactly what that would be, but I knew I’d know it when I saw it.
I don’t even remember the name of the little record store where I found this, tucked back in some alcove somewhere near Clark Street, but I remember seeing an album with purple spirals superimposed over a black and white picture of the band (complete with Jaguar guitars and Vox amps) and thinking, “there’s no way I can’t like this”. That album turned out to be The Perfect Prescription by Spacemen 3, and due to the fact that it was an import, it was about $10 more than I wanted to pay. Not far from it, though, was a little cassette plastered with an explosion of day-glow 3’s by the same band, and while not as appealing to me as the record, it was in my price range, and as an added bonus, I could listen to it on the way home. So I bought the cassette with all the 3’s on it, and wouldn’t you know it, I was right – there was no way I could not like this.
Spacemen 3 “Why Couldn’t I See” from Recurring
What I ended up with was the 10 song UK release, with less tracks and shorter songs than its U.S. counterpart. Normally this would be a bad thing, but the sound, mix and order of tracks is so ingrained in my head that the only releases I can find now just sound wrong. But they’ll have to do, as that cassette is long gone.
Next trip to Chicago I picked up The Perfect Prescription and special ordered a few more, including Playing with Fire and a side project of the Spacemen entitled the Darkside. Recurring still held out at #1 but Playing with Fire came in a close second for me, with the others being hit and miss.
For some reason, the track listing on the US version versus the UK, and cassette/vinyl/cd, via Wikipedia, does not match the track lengths and song order from my cassette. The closest one is the original cassette release, but “When Tomorrow Hits” is not listed there (it was most definitely on my tape), and I’m pretty sure “Just to See You Smile” did not include “Orchestral Version” in the name.
One interesting thing that I noted almost immediately upon purchase of the tape, was that Peter Kember’s songs were on side A, while side B contained only compositions by Jason Pierce, apparently due to the fact that they couldn’t get along, which led to their demise shortly before Recurring was released.
Check out this post from the Aquarian Drunkard blog featuring an mp3 download of a demo track from The Perfect Prescription.