Single released to promote the Stutter album.
7″ JIM4 – So Many Ways / Withdrawn
12″ JIM4T – So Many Ways / Withdrawn / Justhipper
|Release Name:||So Many Ways|
|Release Date:||June 1986|
|Catalogue:||7" JIM 4, Blanco Y Negro – 928 715-7; 12" JIM 4T, Sire – 920 481-0|
By the time the Stutter album was released in June 1986, the band – record company relationship had deteriorated to a level where the release of the single was more of an afterthought than a conscientious attempt at promoting the album.
Given the quality of previous EPs, the track listing was disappointing, two tracks taken straight from the album and the third a slightly longer take on another album track.
Without much promotion and airplay the single bombed and is thus one of the most difficult to get hold of today.
It did however mark James first attempt at a promotional video for the single. Set in a large wheat field, the video involves Tim in a ill-advised white suit, orange shirt and white hat and the rest of the band running through the fields, creating human crop circles and singing nose pressed into the camera.
John Carroll’s artwork once again adorned the singles, different watercolours again being used for the 7″ and 12″ formats.
The slightest, most beguiling, most mesmeric, slightly hurried release of the week and their grandest slur since ‘Hymn From A Village’. Whiff the fragrant simplicity all ye naturists. Sublime.
They get weirder and more problematic with each single. Producer Lenny Kate seems to have sorted out the widescreen setting well enough but the dispersal of their early engaging energy has led them to become unbearably pompous; plummy hippyesque prosaics abound here. The song could be about anything; a trip down a moonlit mile fraught with traps and the smell of deadly nightshade, the peculiar snares of the music industry, the dilemma of love, or, gulp, life itself. With some bands this inscrutability is a plus factor, the listener’s interpretation being a vital link in the Esperanto developed by such as The Fall and The Screaming Blue Messiahs. But James haven’t managed that yet and the glimpses you get leave me suspicious of the attitude beneath. Suzanne Vega’s style of cloying introspection doesn’t seem too far away and that’s always likely to make this listener throw up.