The other day, at a loose end, I was looking at my statistics on Last.fm and discovered that, as well as listing the artists and tracks you have listened to most, they now list your most listened to albums as well. Needless to say most of the albums on my personal chart are almost painfully hip, and I can only attribute the appearance of "The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" in the number one position to some sort of technical error.
I was surprised to find "We Are The Pipettes" at number five in the charts, but I should not have been I suppose. When the album first came out in 2006 I was captivated by their update of the 1960s girl-group sound for the ladette generation, and listened to it a lot. It is a great pop album and I expected them to go on to great things. Instead everything went quiet for a long time, and various line-up changes meant that only one of the three girls who recorded the first album was still present when the comeback single, "Stop The Music", was released earlier this year.
A month ago I picked up a second-hand promo copy of their new album "Earth Vs The Pipettes" for a pound. As far as I can tell it has not yet been released, as it is not available on either iTunes or Amazon at the moment. According to Wikipedia it is due out in September in the UK. So what you are about to hear may be something of an exclusive, brought to you courtesy of 27Leggies and whoever donated their review copy to Oxfam in Crouch End.
The new album is not a patch on "We Are The Pipettes" but it is still a pretty good piece of pop. The Pipettes have updated their sound a bit, but only by a decade or two. There are a couple of 1970s style stompers on there ("Captain Rhythm" sounds like the bastard child of Chicory Tip's "Son Of My Father"), but mostly it has a very 1980s feel to it - think Bananarama and you won't be too far off the mark. Of course, some of you may not consider that a good thing. And you do feel their moment has probably passed.
Here are a couple of tracks from the new album:
"Thank You" - The Pipettes
"Ain't No Talkin'" - The Pipettes
And, as a special treat, one of the oldies from "We Are The Pipettes":
"One Night Stand" - The Pipettes
And here are the Bananas in their own early days: