Recommended Albums #29

The Pooh Sticks: Million Seller (1993)

Welsh band The Pooh Sticks have been described as “rock’s most inside joke”. At nearly every turn they were slyly sending up rock mythology, whether by ironic image manipulation, outlandish marketing (putting out their own mock bootleg) or stealing bits of classic songs–copping a Who riff here, the guitar solo from Neil Young’s “Powderfinger” there, nicking the opening lines from Alice Cooper’s “Hello Hooray” or a chunk of Stephen Stills’ “Love the One You’re With”…but all in a spirit of fun, a sort of game of spot-the-stolen-bit for the knowing rock fan.

Their first release was a single. Their second? A box set. Ha ha. A couple of records later came the ironically titled Million Seller, which of course wasn’t. It was however their best, most polished album.

But sales were disappointing, probably because they’d built a reputation for a somewhat ragged, more guitar-heavy power pop sound on previous releases. This one may have been a little too poppy and polished for its own good. So, having no place on 1993 pop radio and not being what fans of the band expected, this album didn’t really find much of an audience at the time. It has since, however, earned a degree of acclaim as a pop classic.

As is the case with so many of the good ones, the Million Seller album is out of print.

Listen to: “Let the Good Times Roll”

Listen to: “Rainbow Rider”

Listen to: “Sugar Mello”

Listen to: “That Was the Greatest Song”

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