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• Having emerged from the ashes of beat boom hopefuls Mike Sheridan and The Night Riders, by late 1966 Birmingham band The Idle Race were looking for a new guitarist. The successful applicant was local teenager Jeff Lynne.

• By the time the band signed to Liberty Records, the prodigiously-talented Lynne – several years younger than his new colleagues – had been promoted to frontman status, blossoming as the band’s chief songwriter while also taking lead vocals.

• After ‘Skeleton And The Roundabout’ had attracted much airplay but fallen just short of the charts, the band cut their debut album. Issued in October 1968, the idiosyncratic “The Birthday Party” gave notice of a major new talent on the British pop scene. A dazzling creation that matched Beatle-ish melodic flair and witty, surreal vignettes with the heightened ambition of psych-era British studio pop, the set attracted rave reviews and the support of Radio One DJs including Kenny Everett.

• Sadly, however, “The Birthday Party” failed to sell in any great quantity after Liberty mysteriously chose not to issue a single in support of the release (‘I Like My Toys’ was scheduled to appear, but cancelled at the last minute), and the wider world wouldn’t notice Lynne until he joined The Move in early 1970.

• Now acknowledged as a classic album of song-based British psychedelic pop, “The Birthday Party” finally gets the attention that it deserves with this definitive new 2-CD package. The original stereo album is joined by alternative versions, stand-alone singles and, most notably of all, the first-ever official CD release of the original, substantially different mono version of the LP, taken from the original masters.

• A digipak release, this essential set features a 24-page booklet containing numerous rare photos and memorabilia as well as a new essay on the album.

TRACK LISTING

DISC ONE (MONO)
1. SKELETON AND THE ROUNDABOUT
2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
3. THE BIRTHDAY
4. I LIKE MY TOYS
5. MORNING SUNSHINE
6. FOLLOW ME FOLLOW
7. SITTING IN MY TREE
8. ON WITH THE SHOW
9. LUCKY MAN
10. DON’T PUT YOUR BOYS IN THE ARMY, MRS. WARD
11. PIE IN THE SKY
12. THE LADY WHO SAID SHE COULD FLY
13. END OF THE ROAD
BONUS TRACKS
14. (HERE WE GO ROUND) THE LEMON TREE
15. MY FATHER’S SON
16. IMPOSTERS OF LIFE’S MAGAZINE
17. KNOCKING NAILS INTO MY HOUSE
18. LUCKY MAN (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)
19. FOLLOW ME FOLLOW (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)
20. DAYS OF THE BROKEN ARROWS
21. WORN RED CARPET
22. DAYS OF THE BROKEN ARROWS (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

1-13 The album The Birthday Party, Liberty LBL 83132, released October 1968
14-15 US-only single, Liberty 55997, released September 1967
16 Single, Liberty LBF 15026, released September 1967
17 B-side of single, Liberty LBF 15054, released March 1968
18-19, 22 Alternative versions, first issued on Back To The Story, Zonophone 72438 3816224, released 1996
20-21 Single, Liberty LBF 15218, released May 1969

DISC TWO (STEREO)
1. SKELETON AND THE ROUNDABOUT
2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
3. THE BIRTHDAY
4. I LIKE MY TOYS
5. MORNING SUNSHINE
6. FOLLOW ME FOLLOW
7. SITTING IN MY TREE
8. ON WITH THE SHOW
9. LUCKY MAN
10. DON’T PUT YOUR BOYS IN THE ARMY, MRS. WARD
11. PIE IN THE SKY
12. THE LADY WHO SAID SHE COULD FLY
13. END OF THE ROAD
BONUS TRACK
14. SITTING IN MY TREE (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

1-13 The album The Birthday Party, Liberty LBS 83132, released October 1968
14 Electronically processed stereo version, from reissue of The Birthday
Party, Sunset SLS 50381, released February 1976

 

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DISC ONE (MONO)
1. SKELETON AND THE ROUNDABOUT
2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
3. THE BIRTHDAY
4. I LIKE MY TOYS
5. MORNING SUNSHINE
6. FOLLOW ME FOLLOW
7. SITTING IN MY TREE
8. ON WITH THE SHOW
9. LUCKY MAN
10. DON’T PUT YOUR BOYS IN THE ARMY, MRS. WARD
11. PIE IN THE SKY
12. THE LADY WHO SAID SHE COULD FLY
13. END OF THE ROAD
BONUS TRACKS
14. (HERE WE GO ROUND) THE LEMON TREE
15. MY FATHER’S SON
16. IMPOSTERS OF LIFE’S MAGAZINE
17. KNOCKING NAILS INTO MY HOUSE
18. LUCKY MAN (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)
19. FOLLOW ME FOLLOW (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)
20. DAYS OF THE BROKEN ARROWS
21. WORN RED CARPET
22. DAYS OF THE BROKEN ARROWS (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

1-13 The album The Birthday Party, Liberty LBL 83132, released October 1968
14-15 US-only single, Liberty 55997, released September 1967
16 Single, Liberty LBF 15026, released September 1967
17 B-side of single, Liberty LBF 15054, released March 1968
18-19, 22 Alternative versions, first issued on Back To The Story, Zonophone 72438 3816224, released 1996
20-21 Single, Liberty LBF 15218, released May 1969

DISC TWO (STEREO)
1. SKELETON AND THE ROUNDABOUT
2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY
3. THE BIRTHDAY
4. I LIKE MY TOYS
5. MORNING SUNSHINE
6. FOLLOW ME FOLLOW
7. SITTING IN MY TREE
8. ON WITH THE SHOW
9. LUCKY MAN
10. DON’T PUT YOUR BOYS IN THE ARMY, MRS. WARD
11. PIE IN THE SKY
12. THE LADY WHO SAID SHE COULD FLY
13. END OF THE ROAD
BONUS TRACK
14. SITTING IN MY TREE (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

1-13 The album The Birthday Party, Liberty LBS 83132, released October 1968
14 Electronically processed stereo version, from reissue of The Birthday
Party, Sunset SLS 50381, released February 1976
The Idle Race: The Birthday Pa...

£11.99