Velvet Crush: Teenage Symphonies To God (1994)
Originally recorded in 1994 and produced by Mitch Easter (Let’s Active, REM), the album was released by Creation Records in the UK, and Sony Music in the US. It was issued on vinyl in the UK, but only in limited quantity. This is the first time it has been issued on vinyl in the US.
The album was recorded at Easter’s legendary Drive-In Studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Reflection Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina. It features contributions from acclaimed pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz, and feted British singer/songwriter Stephen Duffy.
All of the songs on the record were written by the band, except “Why Not Your Baby”, which was originally recorded by Dillard & Clark, and “Something’s Gotta Give”, an unreleased song by their friend Matthew Sweet.
To promote the album the band toured extensively with the Jesus & Mary Chain, Mazzy Star, and Oasis, and they played hundreds of their own club shows throughout Europe and the United States.
Mitch Easter was initially enlisted to play lead guitar, but was eventually replaced by Tommy Keene, who became the band’s permanent touring guitarist.
The music of Velvet Crush has often been described as power pop, although the group has never been entirely comfortable with that term, preferring instead to think of themselves as a straight ahead rock & roll group. Teenage Symphonies To God features all sides of the band’s musical personality, including crushing rockers, rustic country strummers, and lilting ballads.
The album was universally praised by critics upon release, although it probably only sold around 20,000 copies. These days it is regarded as a beloved cult classic...but now its back and coming to vinyl this month!
“Velvet Crush’s second album is an old-fashioned pop record: 12 songs in 40 minutes, filled with ultra-melodic guitar hooks and simple, memorable melodies.”
– Stephen Thomas Erlewine | AllMusic
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