'91' by Eight Miles High

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'91' by Eight Miles High

Review

For ages, I regarded Eight Miles High as some form of heritage band: one whose star shone & then went out & that was the basis on which we included their song "These Days" on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Three' way back in 2020 (and which was originally released on their ‘Features' EP in 1993)

That was of course until they came together again last year to record "Fox" and "Breathless" which we reviewed for you back in October.

Now there's no stopping them: there are yet more freshly recorded songs coming our way this summer & in the short space ahead of their release, they've shared the (remastered) fruits of a 1991 live session at Rhythm Studios in Bidford-on-Avon.

Cut by Simon Kelly (vocals),  Mark Patrick (keyboards and programming ), Greg Sibley ( guitars), Simon Ward (bass) and drummer Gary Cody, the resultant album is called ‘91' and consists of the tracks "Box Me In", "What Can You Do?", "Not The Way", "Taking Over", "Never Mind", "Do You Know How It Is?", "Unscrupulous" and "I Jump I Fall".

There is one track played here which also appeared later on ‘Features': "Taking Over", so you do get a lot of songs you won't have previously possessed in any form.

Intriguingly there is also a video which Gary made at the time for his degree course and which Simon Ward recently rediscovered so you can see what they looked like 33 years ago and Patrick McGoohan fans will like it too: it can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnS68n9uSUA

The video features "Box Me In" and on listening to it, you have to wonder why it didn't make rich men of them: it's as good if not better than other hits of a similar style of the time.

I guess it was one of their big songs: it's got that "single quality" in a higher dosage than the other tracks, but all are worth exploring not least because of the variety equates with the quality of composition & performance (if this was a live take, they were clearly an accomplished & tight combo despite their relative lack of experience compared with 2024).

Maybe that's why Eight Miles High (it's a great name isn't it?)  are one of music's footnotes and not a Wikipedia entry: too diverse in their stylings? While people like me tend to celebrate this sort of approach, seizing the baggy zeitgeist to achieve fame & fortune probably required more slavish adherence to the genre's conventions than they were prepared to give: which makes it 1991's loss. The music does stand up better in 2024 than some homogenous "style of the moment" album would have done.

Let's see now what their 2024 songs are liked: I really liked the 2023 pair.

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