Remastered BBC session recordings of the legendary Super Furry Animals, covering their emergence in 1996 to the period of major label excess of the early noughties, are being released by the band in remastered form across a deluxe vinyl box set. Courtesy of Strangetown Records and released on Fri 23 November 2018, Super Furry Animals at the BBC covers eight rare sessions recorded especially for BBC Radio One, including one unreleased song. A super limited edition vinyl set, the CD release and digital versions will also include three tracks from their heroic return to Cardiff in 1999 to play the cavernous Cardiff Indoor Arena.
Limited to just 400 vinyl box sets, brand new artwork developed from concept to stunning reality by long-term collaborator Mark James covers not only the external, printed box, but an individual sleeve for each of yeti in the band, with two, new illustrations by Pete Fowler also featured. The package comes with a foil-blocked 12” print and a separate insert of liner notes, featuring an essay by Uncut magazine journalist, Tom Pinnock, where the band and BBC studio engineer, Simon Askew, recall the day the Furries met Leo Sayeramongst other insights. The 37 tracks are pressed onto 180g vinyl following a thorough spring clean of the original recordings.
An additional, super limited edition vinyl box set of just 100 copies includes a specially-produced, fifth vinyl disc, which has pushed the boundaries of vinyl pressing to include the live tracks and an ‘additional cut’ of soon-to-be-sought-after ‘SFA DNA’. Details are soon to be announced alongside confirmed track listing, with collectors advised to link up with the band across social media and at Pledge Music for advance ordering details in the meantime www.pledgemusic.com/superfurryanimals
In an ongoing period of archival and re-evaluation, the Furries have worked side-by-side with the band’s curatorial collaborator, Kliph Scurlock and mastering maestro, Donal Whelan to restore recordings made for John Peel, Mark Radcliffe and Steve Lamacq and Jo Whiley’s Evening Session to pristine condition. In a collection beginning prior to the release of their debut album, Fuzzy Logic, the band’s adventures at the BBC open on April Fools’ Day 1996 with a visit to the, now demolished BBC Manchester studios for Radcliffe and Marc Riley’s Radio One ‘Graveyard Shift’, returning to London and the legendary Maida Vale studios just ten days later for their debut Evening Session recording. Their adventures continued to include three encounters with the late John Peel, including one session at his Peel Acres home in July 2001.
“We got to see some of his records,” Gruff Rhys explains in the accompanying text, telling Pinnock: “I think he’d had new foundations put in because the records were so heavy – he had thousands and thousands and thousands.” Drummer, Daf Ieuan recalled: “I remember Peel saying they had a swimming pool and it was named after whatever voiceover he’d done to get the money, something like the Twix Swimming Pool.”
The BBC sessions were performed in support of the releases of their first album and follow ups Radiator, Guerilla, Mwng and Rings Around the World with rare live versions, alternative takes and faithfully-performed favourites from each included in the collection. Three songs from their December 1999 homecoming at the CIA, concluding the Guerilla Tour, are included as a record of not only the Furries’ ascension to arena-status, but of their fearless, future-facing approach to all aspects of music, having performed the show in surround sound and broadcast the event live to fans around the world via the internet.
A band statement ahead of the release says:
“The five, excitable kids of the Super Furry Animals saw many wonders of the modern world through our innocent eyes, but finding ourselves playing songs in John Peel’s home, or in the carpeted muffle of Maida Vale, elevated the experience to new levels. Our thanks go to those rescuing the recordings from our dusty lofts, Kliph Scurlock and Donal Whelan, and the surgical attention to detail by the great artistic minds of Mark James and Pete Fowler. Also, long live public broadcasting.”
Super Furry Animals At The BBC follows the vinyl, CD and digital remastered re-issues of their top twenty albums, Mwng (2015, Domino Recordings), Fuzzy Logic (2016, BMG Records) and Radiator (2017, BMG Records), as well as a refreshed ‘best of’ compilation album, ZOOM! (2016, BMG Records).