94.5 The Edge was the greatest radio station I have ever heard. It debuted in Dallas in the summer of 1989, and for five years it exposed me to more new alternative music than I could have ever imagined. In this continuing series, we’ll take a look back at the songs that made the Edge required listening for anyone with a musical pulse in North Texas in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Songs From The Edge: 1993

Dusk

The The: “Slow Emotion Replay” (Johnson)

From the album Dusk

Epic Records, 1993

1993 got off to a great start for me: I had a bone marrow transplant in early January, and happily I didn’t die. I was in the hospital for almost forty days, and Dusk came out while I was still under a heavy post-procedure morphine drip. My girlfriend Beth brought me a copy of the CD to the hospital, but at that point my mind was simply incapable of listening to music– it was just too much for my brain to process.

After a couple of weeks (and a slow weaning off the morphine), I finally felt the urge to hear music again. The first album I played was R.E.M.’s Automatic For The PeopleDusk was the second, and to this day the album still takes me back to that room at Baylor Medical Center. You would think that might make Dusk a tough listen for me, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Dusk helped make me feel normal again.

Duran Duran (The Wedding Album)

Duran Duran: “Ordinary World” (Duran Duran)

From the album Duran Duran (The Wedding Album)

Capitol Records, 1993

My recollections of the forty days I spent at Baylor are quite hazy. I remember the Cowboys beating Buffalo in the Super Bowl, but had completely forgotten about Leon Lett’s epic blunder until I watched a video tape of the game that a friend thoughtfully provided after my release. I also have a vague recollection of some sort of scandal involving Prince Charles and a tampon, but I’ve made it a point never to dig into that one any further. I also vividly recall at least two visits from Mr. Death himself, but this is a music blog so we’ll save the theological musings for another time and place…

How whacked out on morphine was I? The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders made an appearance on my floor, and I wouldn’t even get out of bed to go see them. Does that answer your question?

When my senses finally began to return, I asked Beth what I had missed while I was “out.” She reminded me that the Cowboys had won the Super Bowl, and that SMU’s basketball team was having a surprisingly good season. Then she added, “Oh yeah, and Duran Duran are popular again.”

Star

Belly: “Gepetto” (Donelly)

From the album Star

Sire Records, 1993

Like “Ordinary World,” Belly’s “Feed the Tree” was another song that became huge while my brain was on a temporary morphine-induced hiatus. Tanya Donelly was still mostly unknown to me at that time, as I really hadn’t listened very much to either The Breeders or Throwing Muses. There was no way to ignore Belly, though– “Feed The Tree” was everywhere. When I heard “Gepetto” for the first time, I finally gave in and bought the record. I am still looking for a nice copy of Star on vinyl if any of you lovely readers happen to have an extra…

soothe you

Maria McKee: “If Love Is A Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags)” (McKee)

From the CD single I’m Gonna Soothe You

Geffen Records, 1993

I could tell a nice long story here about my semi-obsession with Maria McKee back in the ’80s and ’90s, but my lovely wife happens to be one of my most-dedicated readers and I’d really hate to lose her page clicks. Therefore, I will simply say that I nearly lost my mind the first time I saw Pulp Fiction and heard this amazing Maria b-side so prominently placed in the film. I may have been the only person in America besides Mr. Tarantino who knew “If Love Is A Red Dress (Hang Me In Rags)” prior to Pulp Fiction, as I had acquired it a year earlier on an import CD single.

If there were a Billboard chart that tracked the number of plays on dive-bar jukeboxes, I have no doubt that “Love Is A Red Dress” would be in the all-time Top 10. It was stunning then, and it is stunning now.

Radiohead_ Singles & B-Sides

Radiohead: “Stop Whispering” [U.S. Remix] (Radiohead)

From the CD single Stop Whispering

Original version from the album Pablo Honey

Capitol Records, 1993

I have seen Radiohead live many times over the years, but my most memorable show happened in Dallas in the summer of 1993. My former bandmates Simon and Dave had first introduced me to Radiohead shortly after my release from the hospital, and I owned a copy of Pablo Honey long before “Creep” became Radiohead’s “Radio Free Europe.”

That July, Radiohead scheduled a gig at Trees in Dallas’ Deep Ellum district. Trees was a venue that my band Zen Pirates had frequently played at throughout 1992, and therefore we shared a nice relationship with the manager (as I recall, his name was Swank). When we arrived at the show, the club was an absolute madhouse. The line was around the block, and most of these people weren’t getting in. “Creep” had become so huge that Radiohead could have played a venue ten times larger, but instead there were about 1,000 people crammed into a club that should hold a maximum of 500. Oh, and did I mention that the air conditioning was broken?

Recap: Dallas. July. A club at double capacity. No air conditioning.

Have you ever seen it rain indoors? I have. There was so much heat and moisture in that room that it honestly formed a cloud at the top of the club, and I could see the water coming back down. Happily, Swank had scored us some prime private seats on Tree’s side stairwell, so we were able to avoid the crush of humanity on the floor. Even then, the heat was still absolutely unbearable (especially for me, as I was obviously still recovering from the transplant). If the heat was bad for us, imagine how it felt to five pasty white Englishmen– Radiohead made it through about six or seven songs, and then Jonny Greenwood announced that Thom was about to die and they had to stop. You’d think a riot would have broken out, but every single person in that club understood.

After the brief (but epic) show, we got to talk to Greenwood for a bit in the parking lot. It was a much-more-comfortable 94 degrees outside.

“That was insane,” he said.

Jonny, it rained indoors. “Insane” doesn’t even begin to describe that night.

______________________________________________________________

Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

Automatic For The People

R.E.M.: “Find The River” (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)

From the album Automatic For The People

Warner Brothers Records, 1992

Star

Belly: “Feed The Tree” (Donelly)

From the album Star

Sire Records, 1993

Pablo Honey

Radiohead: “Creep” (Radiohead)

From the album Pablo Honey

Capitol Records, 1993

Murmur

R.E.M.: “Radio Free Europe” (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)

From the album Murmur

IRS Records, 1983

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

3 responses »

  1. WTF Pancakes says:

    Dusk is one of the most loved albums in my collection. The bookends, “Love Is Stronger Than Death” and “Lonely Planet” convey a melancholy that I never get completely out of my system. Yeah, I know “True Happiness This Way Lies” is the album opener, and it’s lovely too, but it’s more of an introduction than a full song, isn’t it?

  2. Marc says:

    Agree Gary on “Red Dress”, I think it’s her best…Oddly, I don’t even remember it much at the time…I’m really not a big Tarantino fan, never got into all the hype there, but for such a good song I don’t even remember hearing it on the radio or seeing Maria do it on tv. I did read where a critic said it was a masterful use by QT of music in the film…nice retweet 🙂

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