One Hit Wonders: …And Stones – The Blue Aeroplanes
In June 1990, Bristol’s finest art-rock collective released …And Stones. Since their inception in 1981, the band had celebrated the eclecticism of pop music and had included pretty much every genre in their consistently experimental sound. With regular evening airplay on Radio 1, exposure on MTV and ubiquitous play-outs at student unions and indie club nights around the UK, the band’s eighth single seemed destined to be their first big hit.
Sadly, it stalled at a relatively disappointing 62 in the UK, but the single remains one of the most memorable and unusual songs of the indie-dance era, not to mention a highlight of the band’s legendary live performances. Reflecting the group’s leftfield sensibilities, …And Stones is nuts, evoking the psychedelic-fuelled imagination of the day.
A repetitive, almost John Martyn-style echoplex guitar is accompanied by rapid, hypnotic drums and plaintive, almost sinister spoken-word vocals, all of which gels together in a manner that could best be described as “beatnik house”. Despite the relative chart failure of the single and accompanying album – the magnificent Swagger – The Blue Aeroplanes have continued to thrill fans and critics alike with their glorious noise and incendiary stage shows.