Classic Albums: In The Pines by The Triffids

After so much deliberation I’m going to have to pick out this album In The Pines out as my fave of all of The Triffids albums, OK? So I’ve got to ask, what’s yours? I did write a little bit yesterday about two later tracks for 1989 which did help my final decision about this. It’s most likely not the last time I’ll write around this group anyway. I’ve been listening again to all the albums over the last couple of days too plus I did find my copy of David McComb bio book after clearing up new year’s day, I got over east last year but yet to read it but I was thinking I lost it or something. I got out the two Freo Press books to have look again and re-read bits again too.

They’re the first Western Aussie band/artist to be tagged in my Classic Albums pages which is where I’m from so it’s about time, I guess. Really I shouldn’t do the albums Born Sandy Devotional and/or Calenture here at least to start with, both have so much written and/or said about them before but not that they’re bad album or anything it’s just I had to pick this less highlighted album. It’s a pretty obvious really and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to decide. So after yesterday’s post as a bit of an intro, I’ll try now not repeat myself again here today.

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David McComb

David McComb is the main singer-songwriter had five albums with The Triffids in the 80’s and this one was right slap bang in the middle of everything in 1986. It’s third album and the second one released that year, sandwiched in between Born Sandy Devotional and then Calenture from 87. All the tracks expert three were written by David. Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil are the writers of the old the 60’s pop song She’s Sure The Girl I Love. The rest of the band was David’s older brother Robert McComb as multi-instrumentalist who played violin, guitar, drummer on Do You Want Me Near You?, harmonica, mandolin plus sung backing vocals too. Alsy MacDonald on drums, backing vocals and lead vocals on Do You Want Me Near You? because he wrote that one, Martyn P. Casey on bass guitar, Jill Birt on keyboards and only backing vocals, she sang lead before but this time. In The Pines is off course based on the very old traditional song aka Black Girl and/or Where Did You Sleep Last Night? The most famous version is by Nirvana on the live Unplugged album but here McComb just has totally rewrites the whole thing into a new song and leaving only that title. Evil Graham Lee on acoustic guitar, pedal and lap steel guitar, backing vocals and the lead vocals on the song Once A Day which is a cover of old country track written by Bill Anderson.

It was recorded all on an small 8 track recorder in a shearing shed on Western Australian farm in Ravensthorpe which is 600 kms south-east from Perth. It was the low budget album before signing to major label Island Records in England. Basically all the fans of them at the time called them sell-outs and they never hit the big time over that three albums (two studio albums and one live album) deal anyway. The break-up of the band followed the end of that major label deal, David did say at the time we’ll take a 6 month break but made his solo album in the early 90’s. Then his ill health started, by mid-90’s he need a heart transplant then a car accident a month before he died in 1999 due to heroin toxicity and the rejection of his heart transplant according to the coroner. But some might say it was a case of a broken heart.

Before all that came this album, recording of all these songs only taken five days in Apirl and then released in August of the same year. You could say this album just before the beginning of the end of The Triffids. After writing this blog for awhile it seems I totally love stuff like this: an album recorded on a 8 track in a shearing shed in the middle of nowhere. I’ve been down there where it was done and it really is middle of nowhere, not much is there at all but after awhile all those very small towns are all the same. Driving down from Perth would be about five maybe six hours trip, I pass thru it to somewhere else and driving too but I really can’t remember why I was there, no idea at all?

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The shearing shed recording studio

My intro to The Triffids would have been that Tales Of The Aussie Underground comp albums and/or I would have them on VHS with Wide Open Road promo video clip from Rage TV show. I think I did have had a copy of Born Sandy Devotional back in the 90’s because it was biggy everyone should have but I never had In The Pines until those mid-2000’s reissues which is when I got all of their albums then as those reissues. I never knew that 13 track version album, I might have heard it somewhere over those years but never had a copy myself. It’s the 18 track reissue that I’ve listen to and really thinking about it now, I don’t know why I was fuckin’ about picking this one because when it I did get them I played it the most back when all those reissues came out in the 2000’s. This one always did get thrown on a few more times, now after playing them all again over this weekend, In The Pines is on yet again while I write this page too. Been to the reunion shows and reading they might have this year off but will do something again in 2018 so I can’t wait for that now!

That video above is the song One Soul Less On Your Fiery List but was renamed later on. To me all these tracks are so great and would be really to hard to pick out my fave song/s and that’s after the last couple of days of listening non-stop. I do love these verison of Trick Of The Light, Jerdacuttup Man, Blinder By The Hour and the above video song, they just demo them here and then saved them from the following album in 1987. Both She’s Sure The Girl I Love and Wish to See No More was not on that original release too which would have been a pity because I love those too. That 18 track listing take it’s time up to 55 minutes which some would that’s long but I could just have it on repeat and still dig it forever, it’s great album from amazing back catalogue.

Amazingly In The Pines album did reached No. 69 on the Australian Album Charts in 1986. I can’t seem to find it in any lists or the like naming it now a classic album now but I guess that’s my point here I’m talking about less known albums, highlighting them a little bit more. The Album does have a festival named after it here in Perth W.A. local community radio RTRfm annual fundraiser festival is called In The Pines, they really should book The Triffids because they have never played that gig.

In The Pines track listing and times of the reissue:

1. Suntrapper – 2:34
2. In The Pines – 2:41
3. Kathy Knows – 4:01
4. 25 To 5 – 1:06
5. Only One Life – 1:39
6. Do You Want Me Near You? – 3:32
7. Trick Of The Light – 3:59
8. Once A Day – 4:09
9. She’s Sure The Girl I Love – 2:24
10. Jerdacuttup Man – 4:51
11. Just Might Fade Away – 3:10
12. Better Off This Way – 2:59
13. Keep Your Eyes On The Hole – 2:21
14. Blinder By The Hour – 2:59
15. Wish To See No More – 2:41
16. One Soul Less On Your Fiery List – 4:42
17. Born Sandy Devotional – 3:54
18. Love And Affection – 1:58

In The Pines track listing and times of the original:
1. Suntrapper – 2:18
2. In the Pines – 2:35
3. Kathy Knows – 3:45
4. 25 To 5 – 1:06
5. Do You Want Me Near You? – 3:41
6. Once A Day  – 4:01
7. Just Might Fade Away – 2:59
8. Better Off This Way – 2:51
9. Only One Life – 1:30
10. Keep Your Eyes On The Hole – 2:14
11. One Soul Less On Your Fiery List – 4:18
12. Born Sandy Devotional (Edit) – 1:28
13. Love and Affection – 1:42

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All my Classic Albums posts are linked below, off course it’s a work in progress:

Tales From The Australian Underground – Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists

Station To Station by David Bowie

Unplugged In New York by Nirvana

Rust In Peace by Megadeth

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three

Gala Mill by The Drones

Black Monk Time by The Monks

Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

Work (Work, Work) by HTRK

In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd

Songs Of Love And Hate by Leonard Cohen

Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones

The White House by The Dead C

Silence Is Sexy by Einstürzende Neubauten

Lulu by Lou Reed & Metallica

Kaira by Toumani Diabaté

Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam And The Ants

Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth by Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males

Aerial by Kate Bush

The Future by Leonard Cohen

Rock For Light by Bad Brains

Last Splash by The Breeders

Sex by The Necks

Emergency Ward by Nina Simone

Paradise by My Disco

Batman by Prince

Sings Christmas Carols by Mark Kozelek

What Are Rock Stars Doing Today by Magic Dirt

Love Of Life by Swans

Big Name, No Blankets by Warumpi Band

Blue Valentine by Tom Waits

In The Pines by The Triffids

So, this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write page/post about one of my fave album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave your own comments below about each album because I would love to hear what everyone think and has to say about them? Cheers!

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