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Never Loved Elvis (Remastered)

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Album Review

The Wonder Stuff's third and best album (although their 1988 debut, The Eight-Legged Groove Machine, is pretty wonderful), 1991's Never Loved Elvis, is the album that made Miles Hunt and company at least temporary superstars in the U.K. (It also got them the most commercial exposure they ever achieved in the U.S., where the Kinksy, music hall-styled single "The Size of a Cow" was a big college radio hit.) It departs from the first two albums by de-emphasizing the dance rhythms and Buzzcocks-like guitars and (courtesy of new multi-instrumentalist Martin Bell) adding fiddle, banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and accordion to the mix. Kirsty MacColl's inimitable vocals add another excellent texture to a couple of songs, especially the folk-rocky "Welcome to the Cheap Seats." There's a much sweeter sound to this unapologetically poppy album, and even Hunt's lyrics are less snide and arrogant than before. The disappointing follow-up, 1993's Construction for the Modern Idiot, shows that the Wonder Stuff couldn't maintain this creative high for long, but Never Loved Elvis is one of the better U.K. pop albums of 1991.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Stourbridge, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Somewhere between the mid-'80s and mid-'90s, the Wonder Stuff were one of the biggest bands in the U.K. Starting as a revved-up guitar pop band, later adding offbeat folk influences while occasionally nodding to the excess of the Madchester scene, cleverness and eclecticism were the Wonder Stuff's calling cards. The group was also blessed/cursed with a frontman, Miles Hunt, who had a gift of arrogant gab, delivering bitingly witty lyrics and lively interviews that won plenty of space in the U.K....
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Never Loved Elvis (Remastered), The Wonder Stuff
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