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Album #281: The Bodines – Played

  • Released: 1987
  • Origin: Glossop, England
  • Label: Magnet
  • Best Track: Therese

From what I’ve read about The Bodines, theirs is a story of what might have been. Readily associated with the C86 sound and arguably the British indie band of the moment at one time, they made the decision to build on this by moving from the independent Creation label to the mainstream Magnet for their debut album Played.

It didn’t quite go as planned. The album only reached #94 in the charts, and two singles from it did no better than the lower echelons of the top 100 either. The band never released another album and had packed it in by 1990.

But let’s judge the album in its own right. It’s pretty enjoyable. The only two Bodines songs I had heard before this were ‘Heard It All’ (which isn’t on this album) and ‘Therese’ (which is). The latter definitely stands out on the album with its catchy “it scares the health out of me” refrain.

The closest band I can think of to The Bodines is The Wedding Present, with Michael Ryan’s dry, weary lyrics and matter-of-fact delivery at times reminiscent of David Gedge. ‘Tall Stories’ and ‘Back Door’ are worth a listen too for the catchiness of their choruses.

It’s a decent album, but it does feel a little compromised. It’s like they’re trying to maintain an indie aesthetic while at the same time branching out to new audiences, but Played just didn’t quite have the tunes.

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