Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

12 June 2014

Salve for Any Damaged Eardrums

Animals That Swim swam onto the London scene in 1989. They were originally a duo of brothers Hank Starrs (born Jeffery Barker) – vocals & drums & Hugh Barker - guitar. They then recruited a third brother, Al Barker – guitar, Del Crabtree - trumpet, & Tony Coote - bass. Crabtree's mellow but fragmented trumpet style along with Hank's dramatic vocals became a signature sound for the band.

Their debut single, "King Beer" (1991) on their own Beachheads in Space label & its follow-up "Roy" (1992 - a surreal tribute to the late Roy Orbison) were both chosen as Single of the Week in Melody Maker. The success of these singles led to a one-off deal with the experimental indie Che Records, releasing their Fifty Dresses EP 10" in early 1994. Elemental Music, a subsidiary of One Little Indian, then signed the band to record their first album, Workshy that same year.  Workshy featured tracks from all three of the mentioned releases plus some 'bizarre' new material. Workshy received rave reviews in the U.K. press as well as fair sales for an indie label release, but never really caught on with American audiences. Their even more sublime yet bizarre second album, I Was the King, I Was Really the King was released in 1996, but it sounded the death knell for the band. ATS broke up the following year.

I Was the King, I Really Was the King is unquestionably (imho) one of the great lost albums of the nineties. Animals That Swim were just too weird for mass consumption, but their oddball, half-beatnik / half-psychedelic musings were a needed response to the rest of the Brit-pop of that time.

On I Was the King, ATS is: Al Barker – guitar, organ, piano, & backing vocal; Hugh Barker – guitar, keyboards, melodica, harmonica, & backing vocal; Del Crabtree – trumpet & spoken vocal; Hank Starrs – lead vocal & drums with Rachel Davis – violin.

Elemental Records Elm37LP, 1996.
decryption code in comments

Side A –
Faded Glamour
A Good Xmas
The Longest Road
The Greenhouse
East St. O’Neill

Side B –
Kitkats & Vinegar
London Bridge
Bed Island
Near the Moon
Despatches from Lula
The Old Good Way

Dig this underrated chestnut,


  1. WUsO7kIgBnDOTok6I8nE-SA7J2tpMI3nztokuzrp_Yc

  2. Thanks for this. I love Workshy but have long lost my cassette copy of this one so It'll be great to reviit it. Cheers