When I first heard Ride, by way of their debut ep release in 1990, I had the unmistakeable feeling the 90s were going to be a pretty extraordinary decade. I was hearing about the growing Madchester scene in the UK, and bands like Stone Roses and The Charlatans and this, for want of a better term at the time, new genre Shoegaze, coupled with the Seattle scene and labels like SubPop which had been on a steady rise since the late 80s. Things were starting to get exciting. For me, the 80s went through a phase with lots of promise, but with the advent of MTV and the rise of image-conscious bands, rather than musical ones, left me feeling like the future of Rock music was going to be bleak. That’s not to say the whole decade was a wash, or that the MTV influence on Pop music was all bad – it was just getting harder to get wrapped around a lot of what was going on at the time.
But, enter these two seemingly unrelated movements, springing up on opposite sides of the globe, and things took on a ray of hope. So when I first heard Ride, I was convinced we were heading into an interesting direction. And this concert, part of Les Inrocks Festival at La Cigale in Paris, and recorded on October 18, 1991, added further evidence that bland wasn’t going to be part of this decade. Although Ride was a huge success in the UK and the rest of Europe, their success was only moderate in the States, with three singles on the U.S. Modern Rock charts, out of the 10 or so issued. Still, those who heard them cared and they became a very influential band through the 90s, until their eventual break-up in 1996 and a brief reunion in 2001, as well as a full-on reunion in 2014.
A good band with a great legacy. Here is a sample of what they were up to early-on. They’ve been doing a number of festivals the past few summers and the reception indicates they’ve been missed and they haven’t aged a bit.
Crank this one up.