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Album Review

The gold standard of the early-'90s power pop revival, in its own way Bandwagoneque was as much a benchmark as contemporary records like Nevermind and Loveless; though not the generational rallying cry of the former nor the revolutionary sonic breakthrough of the latter, Teenage Fanclub's sophomore album nevertheless heralded the return of melody and craft, coupled with energy and spirit — hallmarks of much of the greatest rock & roll of the past, and virtues as rare as hen's teeth in the years immediately prior to the disc's release. Although its incandescent harmonies, lazily immediate songs, and crunching guitars earned it endless comparisons to vintage Big Star, Bandwagonesque is in every way a product of its own time — the thick, grungy sound of the Fannies' debut A Catholic Education remains intact for gems like "What You Do to Me" (arguably the most brilliantly simpleminded love song ever penned) and the instrumental "Satan," while the lyrics of other standout moments like "Star Sign" and "Alcoholiday" reflect a laissez faire irony and unassuming genius even more emblematic of the moment in question.

Customer Reviews

Buy the CD

By leaving out the first 5 songs, this iTunes partial album chops off some of the very best songs on this album. This is a classic power pop album that has no bad tracks and deserves to be heard in its entirety. Shame on the record labels for forcing Apple to put up "partial albums." Of course, my advice to buy the CD will give the record labels exactly what they want and justify their decision to leave some songs off of iTunes -- but really, in the long run, they are only hurting themselves. One reason is that the vast majority of albums are nowhere near as consistently good as this one, and therefore people will NOT buy the entire CD just for the one or two songs they might like.

A True Gem

Bandwagonesque is a must-have for anyone into UK rock of the early 90's. Unfortunately, the first five songs of the complete album are missing, including the best track, The Concept. I don't understand why partial albums exist at iTunes; it's the one maddening thing about an otherwise great music store. Fortunately, you can get two of the missing tracks (The Concept and What You Do To Me) on the group's 'Four Thousand Seven Hundred...' compilation album. Even in this truncated form (as long as you buy the two additional aforementioned classic tracks), it's a great album.

Fuzz, Crunch, Pop! A brilliant effort.

Buy it—SPIN magazine rated this #1 in 1992... over Nirvana's 'Bleach' followup—Nevermind. If that isn't enough to rope you into this album then you need your head smacked with a wrecking ball. As smooth as silk and accessible these tracks are, they thinly veil the huge sound that will rip apart your speakers when you CRANK this... which you must! This album is huge. BTW iTunes—partial albums just encourage people to pirate the remaining tracks via P2P.


Formed: 1989 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

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

After first gaining acclaim for a dense, melodic sound that anticipated the coming emergence of grunge, Scotland's Teenage Fanclub spent the remainder of their career as torch bearers for the power pop revival, unparalleled among their generation for both their unwavering adherence to and brilliant reinvention of the classic guitar pop of vintage acts like Big Star and Badfinger. Blessed with the talents of three formidable singers and songwriters (Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley,...
Full Bio