Horns give songs like the surging “Sound” a certain majestic grandeur, sweeping without being overblown.
Following the massive success of Sit Down was never going to be an easy task. In typical James fashion, they chose not to release one of the more obvious singles off Seven but went for a six-minute understated epic called Sound. Fans converted by the singalong Sit Down were to be surprised by the new single.
The single was backed by the radio version of the single, All My Sons and a remix of the James standard Come Home by Seven producer Youth. All My Sons clocked in at under two minutes and was a rant at the Gulf War written in late 1990 and first aired live in December 1990.
Press reaction to the single was generally negative. Accused of stadium rock by critics after the recently finished tour, the layered sound of the single provided ammunition to those accusations in their eyes. The inevitable U2 comparisons ensued.
The single was promoted by a series of Radio 1 interviews and the now obligatory appearance on The Word and children’s television including a rather amusing performance on Going Live, where the band en-masse took the piss out of presenter Phillip Schofield.
The artwork features Iout Cpx as cover star, with a special picture taken for the sleeve.
Doubtless this will infuriate James pop fan contingent expecting another ‘Come Home’. Instead James do the decent thing and spread their wings with a grace and elegance which – despite what people say – saves them from stadiumitis. There are stadium-guitar traits here, but thankfully, they don’t come wrapped up in the bombastic shroud widely reported of their recent live shows. Sound (even the title works on various levels) is a layered number with a nice urgent bassline and flickering guitars. Tim Booth, meantime, sounds less fraught than his ‘Gold Mother’ era, though still uncomfortable with the world in general. I like him.
James: Sound Press Release November 1991
James end a triumphant year with a brand new single ‘Sound’. Released by Fontana on November 18th this is a taster for their new album, which is set for release in the Spring of 92.
‘Sound’, a new Booth/Gott/Glennie song. was produced by Youth and mixed by Tim Palmer. The 7″ is backed by another new song, ‘All My Sons’. while the four track 12″ and CD contain extended versions of ‘Sound’ plus Youth’s Pressure Dub Mix of ‘Come Home”.
James chequered eight year history finally came to fruition in 1991. They enjoyed a number two hit with ‘Sit Down’ in April, their live ‘Come Home’ video topped the video charts, their ‘Gold Mother’ LP has sold quarter of a million in the UK, while the band played their biggest show to date when they topped the Saturday night at the Reading Festival, going on to play a 36 date sell-out UK tour.
In Europe a series of summer festival appearances saw the band enjoying a long deserved continental success, while American alternative radio has embraced ‘Sit Down’.
As said on One of the three website, It was debuted, but almost unrecognisably, at the Paris Locomotive show in March 1991.