“Don’t Think You’ll Never Be a Star” Redux

New reader Jess asked if I would repost Velvet Crush so for those of you who missed it the first time around here it is. Since my original post I’ve also come across the bands 1999 release, Free Expression, which I’m posting for the first time.

Formed in 1989, Providence Rhode Island’s Velvet Crush (vocalist/bassist Paul Chastain, drummer Ric Menck and guitarist Jeffrey Borchardt) were a classic power pop band in the tradition of the Raspberries and Big Star. Long time friend Matthew Sweet both produced, and added lead guitar and harmonies to their first record 1991’s In The Presence Of Greatness, which proved to be a hit with the British music press.

Their second album 1994’s Teenage Symphonies to God takes its name from a comment attributed to the Beach Boys Brian Wilson when asked to describe the music for the legendary Smile album. Produced by R.E.M. producer and Let’s Activate leader Mitch Easter Teenage Symphonies to God is an old fashion pop record with it’s 12 songs in 40 minutes. Of the records 12 songs, two are covers, Gene Clark’s “Why Not Your Baby” and Matthew Sweet’s “Something’s Gotta Give”.

Matthew Sweet once again produced and contributed to 1999’s Free Expression. Unfailing pleasant it’s tenderly pretty songs with the occasional touches of vintage synthesizer. string work and trumpet reassert the sweet pop center of the band’s music.

The mid 1990’s found Velvet Crush touring in support of major label Teenage Symphonies to God, opening for acts like the Jesus & Mary Chain and Mazzy Star and than with the just beginning to make it Oasis. Rock Concert was recorded at Chicago’s cabaret Metro in 1995; and although short, just 27 minutes, shows the group at the apex of their career.


Singles and CD5’s

Hold Me Up/Mr. Spaceman (US Edition) 45 Single (Parasol)
Ash And Earth + 2 45 Single (SeminalTwang)
Ash And Earth + 3 45 Single (BusStop) 1990
Gentle Breeze/On My Side 45 Single (Bobsled)
Goin’ To My Head/Worst Enemy 45 Single (Bobsled) 1999
Hold Me Up/100 Years From Now/Don’t You Slip Away CD5 (Creation Records) 1994
Goin’ To My Head + 2 (PROMOTIONAL VERSION) CD5 (Bobsled)
Drive Me Down (Softly)/Atmosphere/Slip Away CD5 (Creation) 1992
Gentle Breeze + 2 (RETAIL VERSION) CD5 (Bobsled)
Ash And Earth + 3 CD5 (Seminaltwang)

Full Length and EP’s

In the Presence of Greatness (Ringers Lactate) 1991 (Action Musik) 2001

The Soul Crusher EP EP7 (Aus. Summershine) 1991

The Post-Greatness EP (UK Creation) 1992
Teenage Symphonies to God (Creation/550 Music/Epic) 1994
Heavy Changes (Action Musik) 1998
Free Expression (Bobsled) 1999
Rock Concert (Action Musik) 2000
A Single Odyssey (Action Musik) 2001
Timeless Melodies (Japan. Epic) 2001
Soft Sounds (Action Musik) 2002
Melody Freaks (Action Musik) 2002
Stereo Blues (Action Musik) 2004

In The Presence Of Greatness

Playing Time: 36 minutes 26 seconds

Velvet Crush - In The Presence Of Greatness

1. Windows To The World (3:11)

2. Drive Me Down (3:57)

3. Ash And Earth (2:58)

4. White Soul (4:12)

5. Superstar (3:46)

6. Blind Faith (4:13)

7. Speedway Baby (3:45)

8. Stop (2:22)

9. Asshole (5:09)

10. Die A Little Every Day (2:53)

Buy In the Presence of Greatness from Amazon.com

Buy In The Presence Of Greatness from Parasol Records

Teenage Symphonies To God

Playing Time: 45 minutes 52 seconds

Velvet Crush - Teenage Symphonies To God

1. Hold Me Up (3:00)

2. My Blank Pages (3:30)

3. Why Not Your Baby (4:50)

4. Time Wraps Around You (4:14)

5. Atmosphere (3:54)

6. #10 (2:23)

7. Faster Days (4:38)

8. Something’s Gotta Give (5:52)

9. This Life Is Killing Me (2:51)

10. Weird Summer (3:52)

11. Star Trip (4:18)

12. Keep On Lingerin’ (2:30)

Buy Teenage Symphonies to God from Amazon.com

Free Expression

Playing Time: 40 minutes 21 seconds

 photo free expression_zpsfo9fpbd5.jpg

1. Kill Me Now (3:22)

2. Worst Enemy (2:13)

3. Between The Lines (4:25)

4. Goin’ To My Head (3:23)

5. Heaven Knows (3:11)

6. Roman Candle (4:09)

7. Melody #1 (2:17)

8. Things Get Better (1:42)

9. Gentle Breeze (3:11)

10. All Together (3:25)

11. Shine On Me (1:55)

12. The Unlucky One (3:03)

13. Ballad of Yesteryear (4:05)

Buy Free Expression from Amazon.com

Rock Concert

Playing Time: 27 minutes 12 seconds

Velvet Crush - Rock Concert

1. Window To The World (3:02)

2. My Blank Pages (3:38)

3. Ash And Earth (2:51)

4. Time Wraps Around You (3:59)

5. Atmosphere (4:22)

6. This Life Is Killing Me (3:17)

7. Hold Me Up (2:50)

8. Remember The Lightning (3:13)

Buy Rock Concert from Amazon.com

Buy Rock Concert from Parasol Records


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