Released right at the start of 1990, it kicked off a year that saw them rise from promising upstarts to one of the most acclaimed bands on the music scene - after they'd got the ball rolling with Ride, they soon released two more EPs, Play and Fall and of course, their all conquering debut album Nowhere.
1990 was Ride's year, and this EP might possibly be the band's finest - but you couldn't bank on it, because Ride's EPs were all pretty out of this world. It brushed the singles charts, but more than that, it received unanimously positive reviews and catapulted Ride to the front pages of the music industry. As a whole release, as a starting point for getting into the band, and as an EP for a seasoned fan to turn to when they just don't know what to listen to next, it's just absolutely fucking brilliant, and it will always be absolutely brilliant.
Like a few other of their EPs, Ride is structured just like a little album; first up you've got your mind-blowing pop song, with some swirling and added noise; that's Chelsea Girl here. Then you've got another track that's a bit less accessible, but easily good enough to be an album track; that's Drive Blind. Well, it's unfair to dismiss that masterpiece as 'good enough to be an album track', but still; it could definitely be on Nowhere. Following that, you've got another track of those sorts; All I Can See is hardly a Ride career highlight, but you can't deny it's status as what would be a spot-on album track. And, like their albums, the Ride EP closes with a track that sounds kind of like a book closing; Close My Eyes; a fan favourite that kind of slams the door shut on this EP. It's the ultimate closer, and kind of an ode to hangovers, but it's both tired and life-affirming at the same time, you know? For those reasons, Ride's debut EP endears itself to me as a very complete bit of work.
|The inside of Ride's demo cassette, with a phone|
number for anyone needing 'any sonic business'
ANYWAY, after signing to Creation, Ride went to Oxford's Union Studios to record this EP, the one I'm rambling about. Union Studios was pretty much in someone's terraced house, and tiny, importantly in the middle of OX4. For their second EP, McGee booked them into an actual real proper studio. It's kind of hard to imagine something as well-rounded as Ride coming out of something as humble as a simple house, but that's where it was knocked out from.
It was released to great reviews in early 1990; the nineties had been going on for about two weeks and Ride were already here to knock the socks off everyone. It climbed up the singles charts, and got into 72nd - which, when you think of the fact that Ride were a bunch of teenagers making their first record, is pretty incredible. It still sounds fresh today, and it's a completely timeless work of British indie music that's now going to reach a new generation, assuming that Ride add it to their setlist for their reunion shows later this year.
So anyway, thanks for bearing with me and apologies for the rambly post, but this EP deserves all the love in the world.
Here are the links to the songs that make up the incredible release.
The RIDE e.p
All I Can See
Close My Eyes
(WRITTEN BY CALUM CASHIN)