Thursday, October 15, 2015


Ride flew on a kaleidoscopic vapour trail in the waking dream of this moody melodic haze. The group was formed in the summer of 1988 when schoolchums Andy Bell and Mark Gardener got together with fellow Oxfordshire College student Laurence Colbert and friend Steve Queralt, who worked at the local Our Price record shop. They recorded a demo which found its way to Alan McGee of Creation Records through Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Gardener reveals: "I quickly sort of became aware of Creation when we were at art school. This is how ridiculous it was. I remember being at art school and we taking our art history A levels or something because I'd botched it up at school, and I remember coming back home to put a sort of pasty in the oven or something, and it was a guy from Warner Bros. saying that we want to speak to your band, we'd like to sign your band. And I just went back and completely botched up the exam again, because I obviously I just sort of felt like, 'Well, I won't be needing my art history exam now.'...It was only a matter of weeks. I think we ended up on a tour with Soup Dragons of all people, and that was when McGee started coming on the road. So it was all that little period at art school. Also, you have to understand that me and Andy were at school, and we knew Steve from school, but up to the time we went to art school, that's where who should we meet at art school but one of the most amazing drummers, which is Loz. So it was all coming into place. You have your dream lineup in a sense, so things were feeling great."

In 1990, they released three EP's Ride, Play and Fall, all of which made it onto the UK singles chart. 'Nowhere' was recorded live in the studio and features Mark Gardener on vocals and guitar; Andy Bell on vocals, guitar, piano, and harmonica; Steve Queralt on bass; and Laurence Colbert on drums. The album came together in London with producer Marc Waterman at Blackwing Studios, was mixed by Alan Moulder at Swanyard Studios, and remastered by Rick Webb at Abbey Road Studios.

Bell says: "Every time we came back to a town, we were playing a bigger venue. We got signed after six shows and there were a few major labels after us, it was a bit of a whirlwind...I love Nowhere and I'm really proud of it. I do find it hard to listen to, though, because my vocals aren't that strong. Sometimes I think I'd like to go back in time and spend more time getting the vocals in tune and sounding better. But I'm sure that would spoil it for the people who love the record as it is...I think that underneath the shoegazing sound, there is a classic rock band structure holding everything together. If anything gives the music longevity, it's probably that."

'Nowhere' reached number eleven on the British album chart and has gained in stature over the years as a pillar of the shoegaze movement. Gardener considers: "Obviously, with Ride and being involved with Creation and Sire, and the other bands that were around at the time, I feel very quite proud now to be in the middle of it and, to look back on it, I have to say that I have no regrets about any of it, and I'd sort of do it all again if I had that time again. There's not a lot I would change about it. At the time, you're always thinking, maybe you can change this, change that, but actually I kind of understand now that there's a great sort of freshness, rawness, and sort of naiveté about it, which is very sort of natural, and that's what really I hear in it now. And I think it really helps it sound fresh, you know? ... Creation was very happy because, for the first time they were starting to see a band on their label hitting the charts. So there was expectation around us. Alan McGee was coming in quite a lot as well when we were recorded Nowhere. So I think that we all felt that, and then we just tried to do the best we could. But because we had been playing so many shows, and we toured a lot around that time —your small shows, your little bars, all over the country, and I think we dipped into Europe and Scandinavia and stuff —I think actually we were probably a lot more competent than we even sort of realized at that point ... An art school foundation year was about sending you after that to a university to do an art master's degree or something like that. At a certain point, throughout the foundation—I was probably the first one—I was just like, 'Fuck going to do our art masters, let's just do this band.' So you make those choices, and on the outside of that, you have like your parents just despairing, and everyone just going, 'Oh my god, what are these guys doing?' At that time it could have all gone wrong, but we made certain choices, individually and collectively, and then it all just started to work, so it just vindicated the fact that we made the right choice. We followed our dreams, and that's the thing. It's kind of a cliché, but we did, and it worked out for us. So that's kind of what I say to anyone now, whether they're trying to play football or be in a band or whatever. Dare to dream. You can actually achieve it."

"Vapour Trail"

"Taste" made it to number twenty-four on the US modern rock tracks chart.  


full album:

All songs were equally credited to Ride (Andy Bell, Loz Colbert, Mark Gardener, Steve Queralt). Lyrics by Andy Bell, except where noted.

1. "Seagull"   sung by Gardener and Bell 6:09
2. "Kaleidoscope"   sung by Gardener with Bell 3:01
3. "In a Different Place"   sung by Gardener 5:29
4. "Polar Bear"   sung by Gardener 4:45
5. "Dreams Burn Down"   sung by Gardener 6:04
6. "Decay" (Mark Gardener)    sung by Gardener 3:35
7. "Paralysed"   sung by Bell 5:34
8. "Vapour Trail"   sung by Bell 4:18


9. "Taste" (Mark Gardener)    sung by Gardener 3:17
10. "Here and Now"   sung by Bell 4:26
11. "Nowhere" (Loz Colbert)   sung by Bell 5:23

Live at Reading Festival 1990

Polar Bear

Dreams Burn Down
Like A Daydream
Drive Blind
Vapour Trail
Perfect Time
Chelsea Girl

The 'Today Forever' EP went to number fourteen on the UK singles chart and was included on the reissue

all songs composed by Bell, Colbert, Gardener, Queralt and sung by Gardener and Bell

12. "Unfamiliar"   5:03

13. "Sennen"   4:23
14. "Beneath"   4:06
15. "Today"   6:26

 Live at the Roxy, 10 April 1991  

bonus disk

01. Polar Bear 00:00

02. Seagull 05:03
03. Unfamiliar 10:53
04. Dreams Burn Down 15:10
05. Like A Daydream 20:25
06. Vapour Trail 23:07
07. In A Different Place 26:34
08. Perfect Time 32:05
09. Taste 35:27
10. Nowhere 38:45
11. Chelsea Girl 46:57
12. Drive Blind 50:50

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