The Damn Rest


Nothing compares to Lewis Taylor and nobody crafts a "B-Side" quite like him. Gathered together for the first time on one slice of wax, Be With Records present The Damn Rest: an album's worth of B-Sides from the era of the 1996 Lewis Taylor album. More off-the-wall and abstract than the album proper, these rare, underheard tracks burst with Lewis's uncompromising genius. The Damn Rest is the essential bridge between Lewis Taylor and Lewis II. Lewis Taylor's self-titled masterpiece from 1996 was to be originally called Damn. However, concerns over distribution in the US soured this desired title. When thinking about what to call this collection of essential B-Sides from the era of that first album, we thought The Damn Rest would be appropriate. But these tracks aren't simply throwaways or outtakes, as Lewis himself states: "each little group were recorded specifically for the release of each 'single'." The collection opens with "Asleep When You Come", the A2 on the original "Lucky" 12". It's a slow-mo string-drenched soul offering, cast in cinematic soft-focus with a vocal performance from the heavens. Also, from the "Lucky" single, "You Got Me Thinking" may actually be Lewis's funkiest moment, a great, gently psychedelic funky club track. Next, the gorgeous, meandering "I Dream The Better Dream" is just sheer, metronomic bliss, with shades of Stevie Wonder. As we move to the B-sides from the "Whoever" single, the first to feature is "Pie In The Electric Sky / If I Lay Down". A head-nod funk workout in two parts; part psychedelic heavy soul jam, part breezy Marvin-esque near-instrumental of the deeply lush variety. Flip over for "Waves", a shimmering, dramatic, sweeping string-led fan favorite. It's followed by the deep wyrd-soul of "Trip So Heavy" the final, dizzying track from the "Whoever" single and another celestial funk delight featuring strings, organ, twisted bass and heavy drums. From the "Bittersweet" 12", "A Little Bit Tasty" is a building, schizophrenic soul-jazz epic that starts out with Lewis performing a call and (distant) response with himself over a gentle mid-90s drum loop before snatches of heavy, crunching metal guitars blast apart the otherwise neat song structure. The Damn Rest is worth it for the inclusion of the jaw-dropping "Lewis III" alone. A dazzlingly lush and stunningly sophisticated prog/soul hybrid that owes as much to Pet Sounds as What's Going On with arrangements that grow and unfold in layers. Mastered by Simon Francis. Cut by Cicely Balston at Air Studios and pressed at Record Industry.