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Best EP Ever?

Discussion in 'music' started by droodzilla, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Your nominations please!

    In my opinion, EP = 12" vinyl, not an LP, but longer than a typical 7" single. Feel free to adopt a more liberal approach if it helps.

    I can think of a few outstanding ones from the 80s and 90s.
  2. chartz

    chartz pfm Member

    Madness, Yesterday's Man.

    Tina Turner, Private Dancer, a Mark Knopfler song admirably recorded.
  3. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Remainiac Terrorist

    Blue Monday, obvs.

    I Feel Love, Donna Summer.

    St James Infirmary, Louis Armstrong (Classic Records 12")

    Teardrop, Massive Attack

    Vogue, Madonna
    Darren likes this.
  4. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Utterly wonderful, as you demonstrated :)
  5. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    I think there is Before Blue Monday, and After Blue Monday, BBM and ABM-era notation required here.

    My vote in the latter (and so not LP but a CD EP): Come to Daddy - Aphex Twin.
  6. Whaleblue

    Whaleblue Southbound


    Chulahoma - The Black Keys
  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Good thread, though I think we should define ‘12” EP’, and how for me it really isn’t a 12” single. To my mind it needs to have a minimum of four distinct tracks (i.e. not just remixes of one song), e.g. A Certain Ratio ‘Du The Du (Casse)’, McCarthy ‘Red Sleeping Beauty’ etc (I’ll have these as my choices for now, I’ll add more later). More than four songs and it is probably a ‘mini-LP’, a format I love, e.g. The Fall ‘Slates’, Lush ‘Scar’, Stump ‘Quirk Out’ etc, these normally having three tracks a side, or four really short ones. By saying that one could make a strong case for The Orb’s ‘Blue Room’ being an EP despite only one track (part I&II) as it plays for 40 minutes!
    Weekender likes this.
  8. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Jungle innit.
  9. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Yes, I thought about imposing the condition that N > 2 (where N is the number of songs) but I realised it would rule out one of my favourites:

    Another classic is the Nightingales EP which includes this little number about our shared hobby:

    The EP that prompted me to start the thread is the marvellous, eerie and timeless "To You with ReGard" by Sudden Sway:

    It was the first thing I played when my mini-active speakers finally arrived in France (having been lost in transit for more than a week).

    PS: Thanks for reminding me about McCarthy and Stump - good stuff!
  10. Durmbo

    Durmbo not French

    I love EPs. I find them a good length and there's usually no filler. Concise. To me, any 7-12" at either 45 or 33 rpm, that times at a maximum of around 20 minutes, qualifies. I'd include digital and cassette releases, too.

    Vinyl EPs were a common format of Flying Nun's during the 80s and early 90s, and all the ones I know have been worth a listen.

    Favourites in no special order, off the top of my head. I couldn't choose just one. Nearly all by NZ bands; most from FN. I don't have many EPs by overseas bands and artists that I can think of.

    The Clean - Boodle Boodle Boodle; Great Sounds Great
    Tall Dwarfs - Canned Music. All Tall Dwarfs EPs up to Dogma are great.
    Gordons - Future Shock
    Dead C: The Sun Stabbed EP; Helen said This (perhaps more of a 33 rpm 12" single); Vs Sedadoh
    Look Blue Go Purple - Bewitched
    Terminals - Disconnect
    The Chills - The Lost EP
    This Kind Of Punishment: 5 By Four
    Plagal Grind eponymous
    Xpressway compilation - What's That Noise?
    Bachelorette - The End Of Things
    Breeders - Safari. Fantastic songs, and one of the best sounding records I have.
    The Fall - Slates
    The Dirty Three - Sharks (CD)
  11. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    I've never heard of most of those Durmbo but it looks like a great list.

    I'll leave you and TonyL to argue the toss about whether Slates is an EP or a mini-LP. ;)
    Durmbo likes this.
  12. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    I only own two EPs, so they'll have to be my nominations:

    5 x 5 by the Rolling Stones

    A Velvet Underground EP featuring Foggy Notion, Inside Your Heart and I'm Sticking With You.
  13. jimpey

    jimpey pfm Member

    First record and only EP I ever knowingly bought was the Beatles Twist and Shout, 7" 45rpm and with a gloss finish photo sleeve it cost 10 bob!

    It would have been 1964 IIRC so I look forward to learning more about 'EPs' as defined above by following this thread:D

  14. guey

    guey pfm Member

    Ah, from their none more Talk Talk period - I flippin' love that record.

    First one that comes to mind for me is Cocteau Twins Aikea Guinea EP.
    I'd have a scan of the shelves to look for more, but they're largely hidden by kitchen appliances while the kitchen's being refitted (oh joy unbounded).
    droodzilla likes this.
  15. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    Love and Money have been a favourite of mine since the 80s and many of their B sides were better than their album tracks IMO.

    The Halleluiah Man EP has 3 splendid non-album tracks on it. Here's She Carved Her Name

    Also the Up Escalator / Four Songs From Love and Money EP has 3 good uns
  16. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    Two from the 90s, both Britpop:

    Suede 'Stay Together':
    1. Stay Together (Edit)
    2. My Dark Star
    3. The Living Dead
    4. Stay Together

    Oasis 'Whatever':
    1. Whatever
    2. (It's Good) To Be Free
    3. Half The World Away [became famous as 'The Royle Family' theme tune]
    4. Slide Away

    Both are quite similar in that they are from bands who always did good B sides, and the title track is some kind of sprawling masterpiece -- and one of the finest things they ever did -- that never appeared on any studio album.

    I bought them both on CD. I'm not sure that matters.
    BJP and Colonel_Mad like this.
  17. deebster

    deebster Half Man Half Biscuit

    Not forgetting The Masterplan, which they tucked away as an extra track on the 12"/CD of Wonderwall.

    I recall Noel once saying they put out tracks as B sides that other bands would make a whole career out of, and whilst I'm not that much of an Oasis fan, to be fair he had a point. Shame he wasn't lead singer, as I always preferred his voice and certainly his version of Wonderwall.
  18. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    Ye Gods!!! what a load of cobblers!!! :D

    E.P. = 'Extended Play' and was introduced shortly after the introduction of microgroove vinyl.probably early 1950s. (First vinyl singles 1949) The format was 7" and usually, though not exclusively, 45 rpm.

    It therefore follows (because I say it does..) that the Best E.P. ever was, and remains, the Beatles 'Magical Mystery Tour', which was originally issued as an 2 E.P. 'gatefold' in 1967 and only later (1976 I think) as an LP, cobbled together with additional songs.
    Martyn Miles, suzywong and tiggers like this.
  19. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    Reminds me of another band.. who have since had whole albums of 'B' sides published... ;)
  20. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    My parents had quite a lot of Beatles music in this format, 7 inch, 45 rpm, 2 songs per side. Wikipedia has a whole list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_discography#EPs

    Magical Mystery Tour is the final one in the Wiki list. Cheating slightly, as it was a double E.P., as you point out. Anyway, no shortage of choice or quality.

    Sometimes I feel like there should be a special Beatles get-out clause in any 'best of' thread: assume an implied 'apart from The Beatles'. Otherwise the 'correct' answers may start to get somewhat monotonous.

    That said, some here don't actually like The Beatles. I find this hard to understand, but usually take it to mean that they don't actually like pop music at all, which is fair enough I suppose. Martin Amis went further: '...to be against the Beatles (late-middle period) is to be against life.'

    Kind regards

    - Garry
    jimpey and Mullardman like this.

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