Album: File Under: Easy Listening
. . .
Unlike the recording of Copper Blue, the sessions for the official follow-up, 1994’s File Under: Easy Listening were fraught. Of course, this would been Spring 1994, when Sugar were actually massive stars in the U.K., their star was rising in the U.S., so there was some pressure on this album that Mould hadn’t really felt before. In addition, the suicide of Kurt Cobain weighed heavily on his mind, making him question pretty much everything. Oh, and he hated the songs they recorded so much in Atlanta that he scrapped the entire album. And erased the tapes!
Of course it made sense at the time: according to Mould’s great autobiography, See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody: “we spent two months filling up a two-inch tape with music and none of it was satisfying to me.” That said, how bad could it have been, especially 30 years down the line? Anyways, they ended up recording the same batch of songs, it was more Mould doing his parts, then Barbe filling in with the bass and Travis overdubbing drums.
Which might be part of why people didn’t like File Under: Easy Listening as much, it didn’t feel quite as organic as Copper Blue and Beaster. That said, there were some great songs on it, like the second single “Gee Angel,” which rests on a crackling guitar hook and a witty lyric.
Got a set of wings that I couldn’t use
Bought them in a store on the avenue
Didn’t mean to spend all the cash I had
The second that I saw them, I wanted them bad
When I got home and I tried them on
I noticed that the wingspan was way too long
Couldn’t take them back, there was no return
I should have gotten more, I was feeling burned
Unlike a lot of Mould’s Sugar songs, “Gee Angel” wasn’t a breathless torrent of words piling on top of each other. As a matter of fact, after every single line, there’s a stretch where the guitars come in and provide some room before the next line, and it also had a catchy chorus.
Gee angel, won’t you take these back?
Gee angel, gee angel, I need some slack
There’s nothing in this world that I’d rather do
Than buy a set of wings and fly away with you
And in fact, after one more verse where Mould gets abandoned on a mountaintop by the angel, that chorus dominates the back half of the song, Mould pleading for the angels attention over and over: “Gee angel, gee angel please come back.” But, of course, it was to no avail, because if pop culture has taught me anything, it’s that angels are usually assholes.
“Gee Angel” was the final single released by Sugar, and only in the U.S. at that. It didn’t chart anywhere, though File Under: Easy Listening did chart at #50 on the U.S. albums chart and #7 on the U.K. chart.
“Gee Angel” Official Music Video
Did you miss a Certain Song? Follow me on Twitter: @barefootjim
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page