GREAT LOST ALBUMS: Ultrasound (#1 in a hypothetical series).
Ultrasound’s lengthy, ridiculous, triumphant and only album Everything Picture, as likely to have been welcomed in 1999 as would have been a rogue asteroid, is a messy collision between some things that were never either good or OK, notably Britpop and Waters-era Floyd, and some other things that were fairly fucking excellent, notably Hawkwind, Sonic Youth and the Sex Pistols (glib “if you like this…” comparisons failing as ever to do justice to either party). But despite the fact that it looks about as good on paper as shit does, it’s a beautiful misshapen jewel, a diamond with big ears and a trunk.
If you don’t do pompous, overwrought, overblown, over-everything pre-millennial Yorkshire punk-prog, game over. But you’ll be missing out on this ugly, beautiful thing. There was so much terrible British music in those nineteen nineties. And this is some of it. But it’s great. Whatever else it is, it’s definitely not Robbie Williams proudly presenting Let Me Entertain You. It’s not rolling over to have its tummy tickled. It gives you a headache, if I’m honest. Luckily, the terrifying bass player is on hand to give you her special interpretation of the Anadin advert bit from Dark Side of the Moon.
Last time I looked, you could get the Limited Edition 2xCD fancypants version of this for about three quid. Well, it only came out in 1999. You’d expect there to be a few left. Massive credit to Saul Galpern – the man who, lest we forget, made Hex Enduction Hour possible at a time when the trendy indie community had all but given up on the Fall – for allowing Ultrasound to blow their one chance at becoming flavour of the month in such spectacular, doomed fashion. If this had been released into the much freer climes of today, who knows?