Sometime around the late 80's, Steve Diggle from Buzzcocks F.O.C. (Flag Of Convenience) decided to go back and reform the venerable pop-punk group Buzzcocks with Pete Shelly. The remaining members of F.O.C. which included Andy Couzens (guitar), Simon Davies (bass) and Chris Goodwin (drums) decided to reform a new group, but before doing so they had to recruit a vocalist. After a round of rehearsals for a lead singer, the group settled on John Matthews (formerly of Turning Blue) and christened themselves as The High.
In less than five years, the band signed on to a record label (London Records), released a few singles and two LPs (Somewhere Soon in 1990 and Hype in 1992) before calling it quits in 1993. Although their time together was short-lived, their music remains under appreciated to this day. Perhaps their trouble with success had something to do with the unfair comparison of The Stone Roses, the media quickly losing interest in the Madchester scene or people finally started sobering up on ecstasy. Whichever the case may be, The High deserve more recognition. The most notable aspect in The High's history, is they were one of the last bands who collaborated with renowned producer Martin Hannett before his death in 1991.
I'll admit The High do sound a bit like The Stone Roses, but the differences end there. They have an infectious jangly guitar sound I'm very fond of along with atmospherics and a bit of melancholy to round out their sound.
Here's their best of released in 1997, which for some odd reason is not really considered a cumulation of all their best work. Someone at their record label lazily put together their first LP with a single and called it "Best of", while ignoring their other releases and Hannett produced work (they even used the cover from the second LP!). For first time listeners this will have to suffice, but it's not a bad introduction to the band!
The High - The Best Of The High - Compilation - CD (1997), U.K.
1. Box Set Go
2. Take Your Time
3. This Is My World
4. Rather Be Marsanne
5. So I Can See
6. A Minor Turn
7. Dreams Of Dinesh
8. Up & Down
10. Somewhere Soon